Turning arrows into roses

I want to tell you a story that annihilated me into itself when I heard it. Maybe it will annihilate you too, and point you back to essence…

A story that almost could be from the Mahabharata, that almost could have happened. But it didn’t.
And not the way I am going to tell it. 
And none of this will matter if you feel where it points…

When Arjuna the great Indian warrior found himself on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, across from an army led by the very teachers who had trained him to become the finest archer in the land, full with brothers and uncles- the family he grew up with, he couldn’t lift his bow to fire the first arrow across the enemy lines.

He looked at their faces and his heart broke. 
He knew his Dharma, he knew it had to be such- that he must engage this battle, for it was Divine will, and yet, as he gazed across the battlefield, he couldn’t fire at the enemy.

He just stood there, seeing them with this heart.

And when the very people he couldn’t shoot at, began firing arrows at him, something unusual happened: as the arrows they shot touched Arjuna, they began to transform into petals of Rose and fell at his feet. 

You see, he had become love
Big love.


The enormity of his love was such that it dissolved everything that touched him into itself- back into the essence of the Everything- the core vibration of love.

And the harshness of the arrows, the hate, the anger, the violence that came at him, transmuted into Roses- the fragrant softness of love. 

I feel at the core, this is life’s invitation to us all- to not just know love as a verb, but to become it…and in that becoming, make everything we meet part of the Love we are…

This is no small order. And yet, there are beings who join us here on Earth and embody this capacity.

This morning at 00:00, 1.22.22, in the temple he was initiated in as a young boy, Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh left his body. And as I sat feeling his essence in meditation, this story came up and again made me cry. Because Arjuna’s story also describes him.

Maybe you’ve met his teachings? Maybe this note will inspire you to…I hope it does.

I’ve always experienced Thich Nhat Hanh as the Boddhisattva of peace. I haven’t read any of his books, nor attended any of his retreats. Nor really followed his teachings closely.

But I have heard his voice name the Truth in us all.
I have seen his brush, make spirit into form.
I have felt the power and the radiance of his presence, melt me with love, into itself. 

It’s a gift to be annihilated, over and over again in meeting a presence like his. The best way to honor him, of course, is to live aligned with the Truth in you.

You can read his parting words below, gently melting all the pointy arrows in me, into the tenderness of petals…

in celebration, in honor of a Life lived fully, his, yours and mine- 

with big love,
Ishita
 

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