It was exactly a week after my overnight encounter with the mountain forest. The rhythm of our previous meetings drew me back to Grange and I was smiling as I parked the car and walked, excitedly, up the steep main street and towards the Sunrise Cafe. There were never invites of a usual nature in Don Pedro’s circle, you simply had to learn to ‘feel’ when the time was right . . .
The place was still closed for its January break, as I knew it would be. But, sitting outside, wrapped snugly in a thick, quilted coat, was Maria Angelo. Before her on the weatherbeaten outdoor table, was a large thermos flask, much more modern than Don Pedro’s.
“You survived then?” It wasn’t really a question, I was sure they had monitored my return, in their own private ways. She unscrewed the outer cup of the flask, revealing a smaller one, beneath, like a set of Russian Dolls. “And what did you learn?”
She made no further move with the coffee, though her eyes danced and teased. I was going to have to sing for my breakfast. I sat back on the damp bench, equally protected in my long coat, and thought about how I might use this unexpected and frank exchange.
“I learned that fear and belonging are at the heart of what we are . . .”
I thought for a minute before replying. So many revelations had rushed through my heart and mind that night, a mere week ago.
“I learned the power and the beauty of being alive, truly alive, in a dramatic moment, one where the dangers were real and something inside was silenced.”
Her smile broadened and she poured us some coffee.
“And what do we do with fear and belonging?” she asked, sipping hot coffee as the steam rose over her lower face.
I had a response to this, but it was in the form of a collection of ideas. It seemed that this unexpectedly normal meeting was there to help me clarify those and give them a form to which I could later refer. She waited, in perfect silence, while I sipped coffee and gathered my thoughts. This was one of the things I had learned early in my contact with their circle – that there was never any rush for the right response. The ‘normal’ chattering ways of the world were pushed aside by Don Pedro’s group. In many ways their teaching could be encapsulated in the words: challenge and response, where the space for the response could be stretched out for hours, or even days . . .
“Belonging is easier”, I said, putting down my cup and stretching my fingers out on the table. “Not easier in the sense of being it, but easier in the sense of how to respond to it. We need to belong, but we sacrifice so much to belong to the mundane, to the familiar. There is a sense of inner belonging that you people know and live in . . . and now I share that.”
Her smile lit up her face. I think she would have graced me with one of her little kisses, had I been closer; but the table prevented it. “And fear . . .?” she asked.
“Fear is more difficult.” I thought deeply about how to express what I had glimpse up there, alone and in the darkness. “Fear is the ongoing shock of our untainted being in the world, its reaction to the unknown and that which might hurt us. But, most of the time, we are afraid of fear itself, which is crazy and takes all our energy . . .”
She looked at me and her eyes probed my soul. “And what do we do with this fear?”
The loving eyes had given me the impetus I needed. I knew what I wanted to say. “We cannot be completely free of it, but we can bring something to sit with it, to watch it from within, to make it reveal its inner structure.”
“And what is that something to sit with it? Her eyes danced, again.
“Well, in my case, it’s a wolf” I said, softly.
The smile persisted as she finished her coffee. Then, she stood and came round to my side of the table and waited for me to do the same. When the restored flask was tucked into her shoulder bag, she bent to kiss the top of my head.
“I named you well,” she whispered.
Coffee with Don Pedro is usually published on Thursdays. The previous episodes, some of which are labelled ‘The Beast in the Cafe’ are in the blogs. You can follow the enigmatic trail by clicking on this link.
All images and text ©International copyright, The Silent Eye School of Consciousness, 2014.
Contact details and an outline description are on the other pages of this blog and via the website at www.thesilenteye.co.uk