Tantra & The Cicada

I walked out onto my front porch this morning and was greeted by the sight of a cicada laying belly up in the morning sunshine. It’s cicada season here in Japan. The rainy season done, we are in full summer now.

I saw the guy laying there and passed him by, assuming that he’d passed his time of joy and took his last landing at my doorstep. These guys only fly for about 8-10 days, you know. They burst out of the ground like a lightning bolt from the earth and fly and fly and hum for joy, morning to night until they are expended and life is done. Poof. Finished. I so adore them. Such beautiful representations of the meaning of life. Truly.

So, yeah, I passed him by, went over to a shade spot by the car park and a little corner that had once been loved as a garden but has now become overgrown with weeds and tall grass, a few toys and some relics of the bygone nursery and sat down for a smoke with my coffee and iPhone to check on the morning affairs.

When I finished, I headed back to the porch and the entrance to my home and was stopped abruptly when from behind me I heard the characteristic high-toned humming of the cicada, looked down, and saw the critter I’d bypassed earlier actually still had some life left in her. Collecting it on my finger I took the guy over to the shade place of the overgrowth by the car park whispering something to it about going off to enjoy the rest of its time and even snapping a photo to share with my tribe, so much love do these fellows inspire in me.

And then I noticed them, just a bit below the perch on which I’d left my friend. The marigolds! They’d bloomed!

A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away where indeed a great adventure had taken place… Sorry, I don’t know why I let the Star Wars geek in me out at this particular time. But yes, it was a long time ago, in another life, in a magical place and time, my Guru gave to me and my wife each a garland of marigolds in traditional Indian fashion. I think this was 11 years ago, and every year since, I have harvested the seeds from the flowers of each new bloom, packaged them away and re-planted them in the proper season as a simple celebration of life and ode to the joy of being and memory of my guide. And last year, for the first time since I’d begun this ritual, the marigolds hadn’t bloomed and I was saddened by that but took it to mean simply that the seeds had dried out too much or for whatever reason the time of the marigolds had passed.

But no! The time had not passed! What kind of miracle sees autumn flowers bloom in an unkempt shade spot of the summer season, a full year after their planting? I was touched again deeply by this expression of life and immediately went inside to share the joy with my family before coming here to share it with you.

Once you become aware of the true nature of reality, everything you do becomes an act of reverence. Simply living your ordinary daily life with full awareness becomes a complete practice of meditation, a perfect form of worship, an offering to all beings and to Being itself. Tantra teaches that because there is only One in the universe, all actions are in truth the Divine exploring itself, reverencing itself, worshipping itself.

The Recognition Sutras by
Christopher Wallis