More than it being Heaven AND Earth, this photo shows me that we are living Heaven ON Earth. The thing that trips people up is that we also see Hell on Earth. So how can there be both?
If we want to experience one we have to be willing to acknowledge the other. It's all a part of one whole.
This photo was beautiful when my husband first took it a month before his passing. In some ways it is even more beautiful now. The light he was able to share with the world had a lot to do with his openness to seeing the dark, not hiding from it, and facing it within the world and within himself.
As painful as it has been I am grateful that he taught me this lesson. In his life and in his passing he has been my biggest teacher in Light and Dark (and Love) exploration. And I am more whole because of him.
The evening this photo was taken we sat watching the sunset from Taft Point in Yosemite National Park. In a state of adoration of the creation around and within us the Sutra below spontaneously spilled from my lips. I share it now to more fully share the feeling of this moment. I recommend when you read the sutra below that you do so out loud.
The air that I breathe was exhaled in ecstasy
By an ancient sun.
The earth that I stand on
Was born of cosmic fire.
The blood flowing through my veins
Is as salty as the primordial ocean.
The space permeating my body
Is as infinite as the space all around.
Above, below, to all sides, within,
The elements of the universe
are engaged in their ceremony of delight.
This is my religion.
the attraction between suns
is the same
As the love pulsating in my heart.
-The Radiance Sutras
Yukti verse 34
Shared and Translated by Lorin Roche