Words of WonderAt the Teahouse, 6 am - Holly J. Hughes

Sunrise at the octagonal hut;
beyond, where two decks meet,
a lizard does pushups in the sun.
I see the green, chattering world
through the window, I see
my image in the window.
Both are present; are both true?
A bee enters the hut, buzzes
insistently against the window,
but the window won’t yield
to his wishes. I want to
show him the open door,
this world through the glass
is only an illusion but I don’t.
How long will he hurl himself
against the dusty glass? How long
will we believe we are not free?

by Holly J. Hughes


This image of not being able to see the open door and therefore believing in the perceived limitations of captivity, has always felt both poignant and a bit tragic to me because it doesn’t have to be that way. Of course a bee buzzing against the window is not exactly tragic, but where am I doing the same, caught in the grip of limiting emotions when I could be awake to their arising and passing without losing the bigger perspective and freedom of choice?

So much grief and heartache comes from being caught in our illusionary limitations, in our stories of lack and resentment and the illusion that if only I buzz hard enough, I’ll get to where I think I want to be.

And then the wonder when the penny finally drops and though seemingly nothing has changed, there is peace and ease in a relationship where before there was strife, or a sense of freedom inside where before there was tightness… and all that strife seems an innocent misunderstanding. Do you know what I mean, have you experienced it too?

I think this is what the poet Holly J. Hughes is struck by when witnessing the bee stuck in her hut while the door is open in the early morning. I don’t know what help exactly would be useful for the bee, but for me I know that practice and the willingness to turn towards what’s here even when it’s deeply uncomfortable, can lead to an insightful clarity which offers freedom and flow and the connectedness I previously just longed for. Every reason to continue the practice, then!


PS We practice creating the causes and conditions for this greater freedom from suffering in the Level 3: Seeing deeply course…

Photo by Paolo Nicolello on Unsplash