Where is your target?
Where is your target?
I remember dancing with Bradford Keeney, PhD (a respected shaman and psychotherapist) a few years ago. Sweat was dripping down our foreheads as we had been shaking in ecstatic movement and song for the past several days. He was still plugged into something beautiful, his legs were pumping and his voice was like smooth jazz honey.
We so often seek those spiritual high moments, looking for peace, love, stillness. We go into prayer, meditation, song, dance, worship and rituals seeking to be full of spirit, connected with life, with community, with land. We put the target “out there” somewhere. We still want to be in control, trying to direct the flow of Life. This is "if/then" thinking. If I do this or that, then I will feel happy. If this or that happens, then I will feel at peace.
...On that day, with his voice quivering in a mix between a song, sermon and joke, Bradford said, get out a marker and draw a big fat target right on your chest! Ask that Big Love to shoot you with an arrow of n/om right in your bull’s eye where your heart is.
I love dancing with heyoka tricksters, and the very next day I did just that. At first I felt self-conscious and then I surrendered. I stepped out onto the streets of Budapest and looked out at an infinite playground. I was like a kid on Christmas Eve who could not stand still because of so much anticipation! In a short while, the overwhelming city noises and inputs started to get to me. I felt more like a rebel teenager who says defiantly and impatiently, I dare you to try and hit my target! It was getting late in the day and at some point I gave up my spiritual quest and forgot the target on my chest. At that moment, I came to a cathedral up on a hill. A concert was about to start in 5 minutes. The sign said that it was a Methodist Gospel choir from Texas who would sing. The hairs on my neck stood up and I knew something magic was about to happen…
I sat down and tears started rolling down my cheeks as the huge choir started singing “He Leadeth Me”. You see, I came to see Bradford before visiting my Dad, a retired Methodist Pastor and District Superintendent who lived just two hours from where this choir came from. My Dad was dieing and I wanted to fly from Hungary back to Oklahoma to say goodbye. Bradford told me to sing one of my Dad’s favorite songs … to him on his deathbed. No way was I going to do that!
After living on four continents for years and speaking languages other than my native English, I felt very far from home. Especially there in Budapest, Hungary. That song, a favorite song of my father, the one I was supposed to sing to him. That song, sung by a Methodist gospel choir from Texas, 1000’s of miles from home, opened the doors of my heart and made me soft.
...Soft enough for the arrows of n/om to pierce me.
...Soft enough for me to remember my childhood roots.
...Soft enough for me to remember the charisma and faith of my father.
...Soft enough to be carried through the streets of Budapest into a magical world where we are hunted by Spirit.
The boundaries of my body faded away and I was transported into a world where light and sound were one and the same. Living Light. Living Love. I surrendered and was hit by a magical arrow of living love. Bull´s Eye! That day, I was a target for the Big Love. And that Love pulled me through the streets of Budapest bringing me to exactly the right people, at the right time, at the right place. Love´s arrow manifested itself in the form of a Methodist Choir, a shared lunch with a homeless man, a child´s smile, the flight of a pigeon, the dance of sun and shadows across a city landscape. I was hit hard and deeply. I became part of Love´s arrow.
Well, I went home and sung that song to my Dad, and he did not die. But that song opened us all in that room WIDE. I will never forget that moment. Magic.
The movement of SEARCHING does not get us to that space of freedom and healing. It is the movement of OPENING and SURRENDER. Become the target. I dare you to dance with the trickster who will nail you with an arrow of Love. Get out your marker and start drawing your target!