DAY 52: 8 Minutes & 40 Seconds of Gazing

sunset, branches, clouds
Brian Hogan

“A seeker of Truth looks beyond the apparent and contemplates the hidden. What the senses perceive is only a distortion. We all look for something that is not yet in existence, beggars look for coins, shopkeepers for profit, farmers for harvest, pupils for knowledge, and seekers for enlightenment. Non-existence is the treasure house of God in the process of becoming manifest.” -Rumi

I gazed last night for eight minutes and forty seconds from an even higher point on Runyon Canyon than the usual cactus covered temple I’ve been using. I wasn’t even planning to go there. And I didn’t expect I could go even higher. As a last minute whim after a few errands yesterday evening I turned the car sharply and headed to the top of the hill, surprising even myself. There was a dead stop of locked traffic on that particular route so I turned, again on a whim, and found myself navigating the back roads. As I was driving up and down these beautiful back roads the ups and downs that have been stirring inside of me begin to smooth in relative comparison. With each winding bend in the road I feel my inner struggle unwinding and unbending. 

As I navigate my outer world, something more powerful or primal begins to navigate my inner world. I don’t know why or how this happened, or why the screen of my physical reality became such an obvious reflection of my internal struggle to transcend my suffering, but it did happen. My theory is that perhaps the need to focus on the map app, the steering wheel, the road signs and the oncoming traffic around blind turns forced me to let go of my inner struggle, because I had to concentrate. Or perhaps the solar energy coursing through me from my gazing has thinned the veil of illusion shrouding us. Whatever the cause, as I’m making my way around the blind corners, internally I am able to see. I can see the imaginary nature of my current suffering. It is made of worry, and anxiousness because I am on the verge of so many dreams. The worry’s aren’t real, they are based fundamentally on imagined future scenarios that have not yet happened. And my anxiousness come from impatience, as the flowers now blooming in front of my door remind me every day. The closer I get to my dreams the more vulnerable I am to the fear of them being taken away. That fear is out-dated, and also imaginary. The fact is my dreams are coming closer and closer everyday, in the end a most illogical cause for anxiousness or impatience. While getting lost in the mountain side, my center is being found. 

During my impromptu trek into the back roads of the Hollywood hills I, no surprise, make a wrong turn. I can see on the map the tiniest little street that can lead me back to my correct course up the mountainside, but the street is so small I can’ see the name on the screen. When I approach the street to make the course correction it is revealed the street name is Hermes. This reminds me of the supposed secret to life that was found inscribed inside his tomb: As above, so below. As within, so without. The universe is reminding me again, as plainly as can be, the outer world is simply and completely a reflection of my inner world. And then I realize that all the streets around me are named for the Gods, Jupiter, Apollo, Hercules, Venus, Zeus. I hadn’t noticed this before. I am literally climbing up the mountain on the backs of the Gods. Suddenly all my turmoil dropped away and I felt a net of energy guiding my car up the mountain. I was being carried by the Gods, even if “The Gods” just means my own internal confidence, I was elevated now. Maybe that’s what faith is, maybe the Gods are just the larger part of us waiting for us to acknowledge it. But minutes later my car dumped me out at the top of the mountain, and it happened to be a street right at the mouth of the parking lot I was searching for. Wow. I should let the universe navigate more often. 

I park and follow a trail I’ve only followed half way up once before. Another whim, but this time I know it’s not a whim, it’s an impulse from higher intelligence. I’m just going to start calling a spade a spade. The universe is very chatty, it’s full of messages, and I can translate them now. That’s the power of the sun. So I follow this path, and it leads me higher up the mountain side, to the highest point on the mountain you can go. I never knew how to get to this highest point before. It turns out the path had literally been right in front of me the entire time. The metaphor for my internal journey that I am now living in the middle of is starting to seem ridiculous. The universe might be a little cliche, but the message is clear as day: I am hear to guide you, if you could but learn to follow. 

I read the poetry of Rumi until the sun was at the prime deep yellow for gazing, set my time, and lit my eyes on fire. I walked back to my car hand in hand with the universe. As I drove down the mountain back home, I also stayed up in the clouds, knowing, on a deeper lever than I have ever known that the world is magical, and it’s on my side. 

“It is the sun that transforms stones into gems, it is the sun of eternal love shining in your heart that stirs it into service and leads it to mastery.” – Rumi


BENEFITS: Everything I go through now, pleasant or pressured, seems to be an obvious teacher and metaphor to me, creating a life where I am able to learn and improve moment by moment by moment. And the universe makes just as many puns as I do, so that’s comforting. 

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About Brian

About Brian

Brian is a Writer, Clarity Coach, Filmmaker and Adjunct Professor who loves teaching and learning, and living in the uncertainty of it all.




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