Thursday, April 22, 2010
A New Meditation Tool and Some Explanations
(the two OSHO Zen Tarot cards I drew today during my meditations)
Today, I got the OSHO Zen Tarot set I ordered online. Actually, I was inspired to do this by a Facebook Friend, who has been posting the OSHO Zen Tarot "card of the day." I loved the sentiments behind the cards so much, that I thought it would a great tool for me to try.
So, I hopped onto trusty Amazon.com and ordered my own set.
When I ordered them, I had not SEEN them, only seen the titles of the cards and a brief description of them on Jamie's Card of the Day posts.
When I opened the deck, I was amazed and awed.
The artwork is GORGEOUS. and the deck IMMEDIATELY spoke to me.
I will be doing more with the specific images and meanings of the various cards in the deck in later posts, I promise. Briefly, though, it is laid out like a traditional Tarot deck, with Major and Minor Arcana cards. There is one additional card, however, the MASTER card, which represents mastery over the symbols represented. The Master card symbolizes the ultimate trancendence of journeying itself, a transcendence that becomes possible only through the dissolving of the separate, individual ego in enlightenment.
This particular deck is highly inspired by Zen Buddhism, in which enlightenment is achievable by all, not by imitating a master, but by looking inward and finding one's one path to enlightenment. This capacity can only be realized through "meditation", though "meditation" can take many forms. In Osho's words, it is the capacity not to worship buddhas but to become a buddha; not to follow others, but to develop the awareness within that brings a quality of light and love to all that we do.
So, that is the purpose of this deck: to serve as a meditative tool to help the querent look inward to find the path to light and love.
Ok, so that's a thumbnail intro to the Osho Zen Tarot.
Now on to my meditations with it today.
I have been struggling with my career path lately, as I have written about earlier in this blog, here, here, and here. Today, I learned of some details about my difficult path this year, details that made me angry and had me thinking about how unethical some individuals can be. And part of me, a WEE part, but a part nonetheless, wanted to do harm to the institution that has wronged me.
And then my beautiful, marvelous Osho cards came.
And I unwrapped them lovingly, gently, and decided to put them to work.
I took a deep breath, began thinking about my situation, and gave myself over to the deck. I cut the unshuffled deck, without looking at any of the cards, and drew a single card to give my guidance.
And that first card, ever, that I drew from this beautiful new deck was the Courage card, pictured on the left above. I cracked open the accompanying booklet and read this about that card:
"This card shows a small wildflower that has met the challenge of the rocks and stones in its path to emerge into the light of day. Surrounded by an aura of bright golden light, it exposes the majesty of its tiny self. Unashamed, it is equal to the brightest sun. When we are faced with a very difficult situation we have a choice: we can either be resentful, and try to find somebody or something to blame for the hardships, or we can face the challenge and grow. The flower shows us the way, as its passion for life leads it out of the darkness and into the light. There is no point fighting against the challenges of life, or trying to avoid or deny them. They are there, and if the seed is to become the flower we must go through them. Be courageous enough to grow into the flower you are meant to be."
Christine, my good friend and Yogadance instructor, told me this morning that she felt as if I had "turned a corner" this week in my dealings with my institution. She said I seemed calmer, more accepting, as if I was beginning to let it go and move on.
This card, the courage card, represents all that Christine was talking about. So, the fact that it was the first card I drew from this deck, as I contemplated the demise of this career and the prospects of starting a new one, made me believe that she was right.
A bit later, after my husband came home and I shared with him the news that had made me so angry earlier, I decided I needed a little more grounding. So, I took up the deck again, shuffling the cards for the first time, letting their energy run through my hands, and letting my own energy fill them. I shuffled for many moments, all the while contemplating my occupational challenges.
Finally, I stopped, cut the deck, and flipped over a single card.
This time, it was the "Letting Go" card. Another poignant image that drew me deeply in as I pondered it. I again turned to the booklet for further explanation. I read:
"In this image of lotus leaves in the early morning, we can see in the rippling of the water that one drop has just fallen. It is a precious moment, and one that is full of poignancy. In surrendering to gravity and slipping off the leaf, the drop loses its previous identity and joins the vastness of the water below. WE can imagine that it must have trembled before it fell, just on the edge between the known and the unknowable. To choose this card is a recognition that something is finished, something is completing. Whatever it is - a job, a relationship, a home you have loved, anything that might have helped you to define who you are - it is time to let go of it, allowing any sadness but not trying to hold on. Something greater is awaiting you, new dimensions are there to be discovered. You are past the point of no return now, and gravity is doing its work. Go with it - it represents liberation."
And that, to me, said it all. I realized, as I read those words, that my struggle has been with my seeming loss of my identity (ie: as a teacher), an identity that I have held since I was a child of about four years old. I have been fearful that if I abandon teaching in an academic setting, that I will lose myself in the process. This card helped me to see that I am not losing myself, but rather that I am DISCOVERING myself. Now is the time that I can spread my wings and truly FLY.
I am that single water droplet, poised on the edge of the lotus leaf. I'm ready to join the vastness of the waters below, and feel them engulf me in their wonder.