No One Prays
As I mentioned previously, my mother sleeps most of the time now and is in hospice care. Sometimes she goes so deep into the bardo of sleep, I cannot rouse her. Today I visit with my guitar in hand and notice she is in one of those remote places. When mom was more responsive to her environment, she liked hearing me play. But I have not played for her lately, arrogantly assuming she would be asleep to the offering. Letting go into the silence, I play anyway.
Just as we are encouraged to speak to someone in a coma, I strum a few tunes. They say the auditory sense remains awake and capable of receiving the vibrations. Playing for someone who, on the surface, seems unaware of my presence is strangely freeing. I can play without my usual musical shyness. But it is not about me.
In this moment, I am not acknowledged. I can be nobody playing a guitar. This unbinds my offering from place and time. I can visualize a musical prayer blessing mom and numberless unknown beings. I wonder if this is what the Buddhas suggest as “being nobody, going nowhere.” Maybe another iteration would be, “No one prays, no limitation.”