Just beneath the expressive notes of the consoling ney (reed flute) I hear the current of His breath carrying the burden of the neyzen’s lamenting song. Such intimacy between the lips of man and the kiss of his Creator reveals a musical beauty that does not discriminate between sadness and joy.
Many of us feel the spells of bliss amidst the austerity of living in this world. Within these moments are radiating spires of clarity streaming through the breaks of shifting clouds. It is the undercurrents of our present awareness dispersing the fog of pain and confusion.
We often react to our pleasure so blindly and thus quickly go from both creator and created to simply spectator. And so we whip out our cameras, open our notebooks and sketchpads, or raise our hands and voices toward the magnificence. No sooner do we set the snare for our experience, than the elusive moment shimmers one last time and blinks out for good.
While walking with my young son along the Shenandoah mountain trails yesterday, he said, “…it’s weird how we rush down the path just to get to the next location, and then we get to that location and all we do is think about all the things we saw on our way to that location…” Was he simply impatient with our stops along the way, or was the effort of waiting revealing something so deeply profound to us both?
We covet the beauty as if the sky-clearing-breath is solely our own; an occasional and accidental gust of wind. Do we choose to be the occasional neyzen or are we each music’s timeless messenger? Beyond the limits of our easily distractible consciousness is a state of pure presence that is forever an open channel to the true breath. The potential to shift the opacity and translucency of the heavens is not acquired from the crypts and treasure troves around us, but rather is recognized within ourselves through meditation and prayer. We may withdraw our reach, but beauty is always within reach inside of us.
Everything in the world is breath, persistent and unified. We are both the ney and its hollowness; the polished surface is the harmony to the melody within us. The rising music is our honored wayfaring guest, a gracious essence – nourished by our presence and hospitality.
Be all things by resisting possession of anything in particular. And should you come across the wealth spring of being, give it away to the world’s chorus that stirs you.