joanne sales



Replenishing Our Wells
Well Well Well...

Joanne Sales – Sept 2009

We have a shallow well. With a flashlight in hand, I looked down into its concrete cylinder many times last summer. Is there enough water? Will we make through the drought? Somehow the well kept replenishing itself.

Well watching is an ancient human activity. Humans have spent a lot of time looking down into the dark silent earth, to see what’s there or what’s not there. We know it’s important and we need it. We can’t live without it. Our lives depend on it.

Where does your water come from?
Down there.

We’re very fortunate to know where our water comes from, and to be able to watch the water miraculously replenish itself.

The same thing happens inside of us. We fall to sleep exhausted at night but wake up in the morning energized - because our wells replenish naturally. We exert energy and it comes back. Our scratches and bruises heal themselves, our breath arises naturally without trying. We have built in pace makers, and ideas and thoughts spring up faster than crab grass. Something is coming from somewhere. Energy arises, just like well water. Where does it come from? We don’t know.

The cross is an ancient symbol. The horizontal (our connection with the physical world of beings and things) intersects with the vertical (our connection with the depth and height.) We spend most of our time maneuvering in the physical world, but sometimes we are called to connect with and marvel at the well inside. Our vertical root. Our inner wellspring.

The Hindus divided “it all” into energy and consciousness, acknowledging that the two are one, but finding the distinction to be useful. Energy is energy, and the consciousness watches it dance. |

Here is an easy way to watch the replenishing well in action. Don’t breathe on purpose. Exhale and just wait. Eventually, a breath will come all by itself. Breathe out. Then wait again. Sure enough, we keep breathing. It’s a wonderful, calming experiment.

Here is another one. Ask yourself, “What will my next thought be?” If taken seriously, that question stuns the mind for a moment, and it abandons words. It has to watch, and “think without thoughts.” Just to be aware.

What is this active intelligence from which thoughts arise, that heals scratches and stubbed toes, and inspires breath? When we start asking those question, we’re sitting by the side of a very deep well that apparently has no bottom. We can keep diving in that well for a mighty long time - and then some.

We can try to talk about this subtle stuff that wakes us up in the morning in spiritual, religious, street or scientific terms, but regardless, our word fall short. It’s way over our heads. All we know is that when we look down that well with our flashlights, we recognize - that stuff is important. We can’t live without it. Our lives depend on it.

Some people’s wells are overflowing, but for others, the water intake valve seems to be blocked or the pump malfunctioning.

We had a discussion with young visitors recently, about how we can spend time with some people and feel energized and alive, but with other people, we come away feeling exhausted. We concluded that needy people have to draw their energy from other people (horizontally). People that make us feel energized and alive are connected to their own energy source - the well spring within (vertically).

A young woman from Germany asked, “Can we change?”
Of course. That’s what our life’s work is about.

Well, here’s what works in the field well. Give it attention. Don’t let mice in - keep it clean. Remove the obstacles, maintain the pump, don’t waste the water, and pray for rain.

May our wells be full - clean, clear and abundant!