The image before me is of a doorway, standing wide open, only blackness.  I don’t know what lies beyond, only emptiness, not a speck of light, not even a reflection spilling over from the space I’m standing in.  There is no floor, nor walls, nothing to help orient me – no up, no down, no right, no left.  Stepping through would mean leaving my sense of space and form.

Partial Eclipse by Nancy Castillio (c) The Zen Birdfeeder (

Standing on the threshold, I am consumed with trepidation about moving forward.  This Blackness is beyond the darkness of the Universe; there at least the darkness is filled with stars that flow out into infinity – a star-filled sky that holds a promise of life ‘out there’, a connection to Creation and Creator, something that exists.  But not this darkness, this darkness is emptiness and nothingness.

I can’t tell if there is a floor beneath, nor if I were to cross if there will be something to support me.  Will I fall?  Poised, precariously balanced on the threshold, I hear the words:  “IT’S NOT YOURS TO DO.”  Everything in me that I have relied on, myself, my job, my relationships, on the concept of me inside me, all these thoughts and choices have defined me, taught me how to move through life.  And I recoil.

These words “it’s not yours to do” leave me with emptiness. I realize it isn’t just about this one choice I’m faced with, nor the next thing my mind jumps to, or about any of the myriad of tasks I worry about leaving undone.  Nor is it the singular impulse, in this moment, distracting me from sitting in silence – my head obsessing about responsibilities. The words come “It’s Not Yours to Do” — and in a flash I know it is true for everything.

Everything that I’ve believed is mine to do.   It’s not mine to do.