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I Have Agida

Feb 21, 2024
Reading time 3 min.

I was hiking with a good friend in the foothills of the Sonoran Desert. It's our Friday morning ritual. We decided to try a new trail called the Agua Caliente Hill Trail. It's a pretty aggressive climb into the foothills of the Catalina Mountains. We meet early. Hike for three or four hours and always leave time for lunch. Sometimes, we hike in silence. Sometimes, we talk about our personal lives and what we are present to. Today, for some unknown reason, our conversation spontaneously fell into talking about the current political climate in this country and the resulting stress we were both experiencing. What should have been a relaxing hike in an amazingly beautiful place morphed into trudging up a hill of annoyance, anxiety, and uncertainty.
We hiked for about two miles before we reached the ridge of the mountain we were moving up. We stopped in a clearing surrounded by an ancient stand of Saguaro cactuses. It was starkly quiet. We were absolutely alone. We could see the entire landscape of Tucson laid out before us. Sometimes, when hiking alone, I hear echoes of the ageless voices of all the people who occupied this land. Voices of the past offering me a gift of insight and wisdom into the present moment of my life.

Sitting, resting in that clearing, my friend and I glanced toward each other and simultaneously fell quiet. It was a clarifying moment. There was nothing more we had to say. The magnificence of this moment returned us both to a deep-rooted sense of being. We fell into a profound awareness that allowed me, at that moment, to feel how all life arises from the same source. That life and everything in it, its contradictions, all the good, all the love, and all the beauty, as well as all the hatred, the ugliness, pain, and suffering, all originated from the mystery that holds our reality together.

The stress I encountered while hiking is partly fueled by people dominating social media who have an articulated strategy to resolve the dilemmas of our time. People like Jordan Peterson and Joe Rogan create a certainty of perspective. A formula for living one's life that is shared with a voice of inevitability. There is some validity in what they share. Ultimately, their message is more about who is right, who is wrong, and who is doing what to whom. There needs to be more conversation about kindness, compassion, and understanding. They offer no wisdom, just a mandate for our culture to embrace their point of view. Blame is a convenient path for deflecting the need to look at ourselves first.

I need to focus on letting go of my internal dialog that often incorrectly informs me about my state of being. I am frequently invested in whatever story my mind makes up about a given situation, even though there is not a shred of truth to base it on. I am amazed at how that story then begins to create my life. And then I am left wondering how we got to where I am.

When I see myself as separate from the world I live in, I am left feeling the need to invest in a particular point of view that puts me on the "side of being right." It would be naive of me not to recognize that there is evil in this world. I would absolutely protect myself, my family, and my friends from harm. Having said that, I always first move towards relationship, connection, and understanding.

I am; we are all ultimately a living expression of the whole. For me, a change of consciousness, not technology or some ideology, will save humanity.
I recently came across this invocation. It deeply resonated with me. It helps me to release the tension I often carry when feeling separate from my life and the world I live in. "Dedicated with love to all those who constantly seek for the one Peace between science and spirituality, Israelis and Palestinians, The East and the West, the mind and the heart, human beings and the universe."

Amidst the chaos and uncertainty of life, I remain open to Grace and the gift of my life.

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