the Sun Hermit: “What about the Immortals?”

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“For some reason, I am wondering about the Immortals. Do they really exist? Do you know anything about them?”

The Sun Hermit and I were walking along a stream, one of his favorite activities. He said the sound of the stream could clear the mind, just as the water cleans the body.

“Immortals?” he asked. “Hmm… what do you think, is this stream immortal? Everything is changing…”

“Yes, but is it possible to live forever with the memory of your own history? Or at least a very long time?”

“Even your memories are changing, and your history is just a set of stories you keep telling yourself. Those who desire immortality push it away, and those who do not desire it already have it.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean that everything is changing, and those who seek immortality seek to preserve something that is not real to begin with. There is no substance to the self. It is like this stream, always changing, made of many different things moving together. But those who surrender the self and its stories and memories and allow the stream of their lives to follow the course of gravity realize more and more the timeless aspect of existence. We realize we are already immortal, at one with life, in timeless being. And so, in a sense we are Immortals, though our bodies may die.”

“But the body could be preserved?”

“Anything is possible. But the body of an immortal is the world, not this little physical entity.”

“So really the immortals are everywhere?”

“Yes, and they are always at play, always calling you into the timeless present. They may talk to you through a bird call or a branch knocking you on the head… or an unexpected wave jumping out of the Ocean.”

“So to hear them I just have to be open to recognizing their voice?”

“Yes, and embody the qualities they love. Be kind, generous, gentle, compassionate and wise. Laugh often and share the wonders of life. Create music that is soothing for the soul. And awaken others to the magic all around, especially in nature! You really should spend more time outdoors…”

“It’s beautiful and calming. I forget how much I like it.”

“It likes you too. The forests appreciate slow-moving humans who take the time to delight in their little treasures.”

When I walk with the Sun Hermit, I feel at home in nature. Movement and silence become one and the same. I can stop and appreciate a fleeting beauty without expecting anything grandiose or dramatic. I can hear the meandering music of the wind and feel it connect with my breath. Everything becomes quiet and simple and though I walk without a destination, I know I’m on my way home.

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