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
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?
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
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
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!