In trying to understand more about "vigil" I found two quotes,
“I keep vigil over the stories of men and the stories of things, in case I can discern some secret message of my Love.” - love that quote!
“I’d write and read and let myself, a little at a time, step down into myself- like a stairway down into a dark, intimate kiva- where the work of vigil is taking place, the necessary attending." - such a powerful thought!
I found these two statements particularly relevant. For me being here as a parent, a to become grandparent, a mother-in-law, a woman thinker and interior diver I want to use this vigil for these purposes too. As the stillness of sitting that we are taught in Buddhism offers the letting go and letting be, so can this time of wakeful watchfulness, the vigil. If I look closely around me and in me I can find places that need examining, polishing and adjusting to be more peaceful and present in this moment. This practice is not without an edge. It is meant to show the edges, the places where our emotions reside, our preconceived notions, our judgements, our holding on. But I recognized this morning if I can use this very special time when things have slowed maybe I can make a little progress when progress within is greatly needed.
Maybe I don't need to prove anything to myself but just be aware when the edge makes itself known. I felt it today, that edge. It was recognizable and love showed it to me. I remembered my mother again and my relationship with her. I remember being a young mom and how I felt my mom was seeking her spot, her role in my life as I am now seeking mine. I was inpatient at times. I was confused at times. I made mistakes at times but we found our way. I trust love. I do. I trust love above all else. If you have a noisy mind filled with chatter go to the heart. Where the love is. Yes, right there, that is where you drop the story line. Oh, if only you could do this all of the time. The teachings are available for us to use but we are evolving, we are learning, we are stuck, but it seems when we are in vigil we open, we can learn so much. And this is such a lovely and happy time to be in a vigil of love.
I have experienced other different and particularly power times of vigil in my life. One was at the time of my mother's passing. Mom wanted to go. She had told me for quite a while that when it was time she wanted to pass, transition, leave into another world. She felt her life was complete and in a sense she was in a vigil waiting for the door to open when she could find a spiritual freedom from this earthly life. Her door opened when she fell and broke her hip. It was quite remarkable that she seized that moment to find the exit, the exquisite door made of wings that she had been waiting for. We sat with her as she consciously placed the wings upon her back and within days escaped to another place leaving her body here. My sister and I recognized the power of this intimate time. I remember sitting alone with Mom in the night, in a bedside vigil being as wakeful as I could be. I felt the room fill with beings surrounding her, welcoming her. The hair on my arms stood up and I continued to sit. I chanted and sang and reassured my mother. Tenderly her family surrounded her in the middle of the day as she flew away. Thank you mom for those precious few days we were in a vigil with you. You taught such a beautiful lesson to us including Sara and Anna who both were able to be a your bedside.
The vigils of life being born, of life letting go. These are the vigils that we can participate in with our family. Such joys and learning in this so brief and temporary life. Hold on to our memories, hold on to those we love, sit in vigil as babies are to be born with joy and the anticipation of more and more love coming into our life. That is what happens in vigil, we mark a time, we feel deeply within, we share joys and sorrows, if we can watch wakefully.
Last night was the second night of the wolf moon. Its beauty will be part of the remembering of this baby vigil.