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Come meander with me on the pathless path of the Heart
in these anecdotal,
sometimes inspiring, sometimes personal meanderings of the Heart's opening in the every-day-ness of Life...

Saturday, October 31, 2009

"The Mystery" in Disguise

Well I’ve just finished carving the pumpkin and the pumpkin seeds are roasting in the oven. The smell is delightful wafting through the house. Soon I’ll be making a pot of homemade chicken soup that will fill the air with more wonderful smells of Fall, although we just had a 2 day snow storm that made everything look like the middle of winter. Today, however, is a balmy 55 degrees, enough to melt the snow left from that wicked witch storm that blew through here.

I love this time of year, and I love Halloween. It is my favorite holiday actually. I look forward to seeing the kids come to the door tonight dressed in their costumes, especially the little ones, who really have no clue why they are dressing up and trudging through the neighborhood, arriving at each door with parent in tow, coaching them on what to say. It gives my Heart delight to experience the children in disguise – hiding behind their masks – pretending I don’t know who they are. Kind of like me. I’m really a child disguised as an adult – but maybe you knew that :)

Thursday while sitting with “The Wizard” I had several realizations actually. One of which was that life is really a dance *with* this Divine Mystery as *It* manifests Itself in form, everywhere, in & as everything. “The Mystery” is right here – revealing Itself – right here, speaking to us in & through others, through art, through words, through music, through humor, through movement, through nature – through all of “Its” disguises. It is all right here waiting to be recognized, seen and acknowledged. *Everything* that is expressed is “It”, in disguise, even the drama, the pain – physical and emotional – the intellect, thought, the feelings, the emotions. It speaks in whatever form we can hear or see or experience “It”: Buddha, Christ, The Divine Mother, difficult mothers, Drama Queens, Spirit, Being, all the forms of “God” – including an old lady at the grocery store, Consciousness, “The Wizard”, The Great Pumpkin. Even sickness, suffering and sorrow are “It, allowing us to *see* how The Mystery works through it. Even anger is “The Mystery” in disguise, like a child in a scary Halloween costume.

Another realization from my time with “The Wizard” is that this “Mystery” *wants* to be discovered, to be seen, to be known, to be communed with, and has manifested Itself in form – in *all* forms - so that it *can* be seen and known and experienced. The Mystery *wants* to commune with Itself – Its manifested Self; to dance with life, to play in life. It is The Mystery that *wants* to express here – through and as “the me.” The Mystery *wants* to express Itself in and through Its manifestations – Its disguises. It is the force of Life, the “primal scream” that wants to break through the disguise, express Itself and be *recognized.* It delights in being seen through Its disguise. Have you ever noticed that when you look into someone’s eyes and actually *see* The Mystery, there is a flash of recognition and their eyes light up? “It” wants to be found out! This realization excites me for some reason. My Heart is singing, can you tell! :)

WE are “The Mystery” in disguise, in costume, wearing masks – pretending we don’t know who we are. It seems I’ve known this and yet I am rediscovering it again as if for the first time. I’m still wearing my costume and mask, *believing* it is “me”! Halloween all year long! Although I’m beginning to really get a clue here that they’re just a disguise. I like playing dress up, don’t you? :) It doesn’t mean I’m not being authentic. I’m just playing “Life.” And what rises up again and again from within the disguise is “The Mystery” to be seen, heard, expressed, communed with - and lived – passionately and creatively in and *as* all of Its many disguises – meeting Itself *in* the disguise.

Weds night I listened to Adyashanti’s web broadcast on “Café Dharma.” At one point he said: “The presence that you are is a transparency. We are a living transparency. See yourself as transparent…”

And so, Charlie Brown, I said to myself - maybe “awakening” is really not about removing the disguise, or getting rid of the mask - but about not *believing* that we are the disguise, seeing beyond the mask to the “The Mystery” that is there shining through…

Peek-a-Boo… MeANderi – The Mystery in disguise :)



Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Wizard Speaks - "Resolute"

I hope you all understand my humor here when I say "The Wizard Speaks." Just in case, I’ll clarify here a little with a word glossary. In my previous blog post I talked about needing to “enter” the womb of Stillness again, to just listen. (see Primal Scream). “The Stillness” to me is synonymous with Being, Presence, Awareness, Spirit, Consciousness, the Universe, Universal Intelligence, Universal Truth, The Divine, The Mystery, This, “God”, and many other “titles.” It is whatever name *we* give “It.” It is that which we know in ourselves to be the Truth of who we are. Some call it our “inner guru.” And “That,” however we refer to it, “speaks” in our Heart when we are listening, when we are “practicing” awareness, especially in the space of stillness, but not necessarily. It can speak anywhere, through anything. AND – what I have also discovered is that it helps me to give “It” a visual image - like "The Wizard." It’s all a projection anyway, so why not make it fun – right :).

Several years ago the “image” that “worked” for me was of the “Divine Mother.” It was a combination of the Virgin Mother figure from the Christian tradition AND the more metaphysical Goddess image. Lately it’s been just “Spirit” – a kind of nebulous, all encompassing Presence that just IS – no image really – just Isness - Beingness. This is the one I seem to fall back on most of the time. A couple of years ago it was the image of a Buddhist monk who just showed up one day in the Stillness, as an inner teacher. So I played with that for a while. But for the purpose of this post I’ll call it “The Wizard.” I hope this doesn’t sound to woo-woo, or less than sacred, or offend anyone. It’s just Being being playful with me - especially when I begin to take myself too seriously. And besides, Mystics like all this different imagery stuff. :) It helps keep the Divine spark alive, and draws me in to the Flame.

So – now that we’re on the same page – I think, or at least in the same ballpark – I wanted to share what I heard “The Wizard” say. I told you I would… :)

Weds afternoon I just stopped all activity, all the inner churning, and just sat, in stillness with Stillness. And I asked: What is this “primal scream” that I am experiencing? *What* is this? There was no answer. It has been quite a while since I sat inquiring in this way, so my hearing is a little rusty. And, sometimes when there is no answer, it means that it’s not the right question. And I’m not talking about “channeling” here. I’m talking about using inquiry to find the inner answers – consulting with that Inner Knowing Awareness. I waited in silence, and then asked to just be shown the Truth of what was happening – still nothing. Okay – so I sat some more in silence… following the breath, sinking deeper into Stillness - waiting… And then I asked: What is needed here? And two words arose from/in the Stillness. Poised, pen in hand, I wrote them in my journal:

“Resolute patience”

Now, I know when something arises from the Stillness and not just my mind because often it will be a word that is not in my everyday vocabulary. “Resolute” is one of those words (as is patience for that matter!) I don’t have a ready definition in my head. So I had to look it up - after I was done sitting with “The Wizard.” (And, for those inquiring minds like mine, it means – characterized by firmness or determination; unwavering.) I continued to just sit in Silence, *experiencing* the word (before definition) and the *sense* that I got was “staying power”, “seeing things through.” Intuitively I was understanding the meaning.

And so it didn’t seem to matter what this “primal scream” was all about, whether it was the “me” or “Being,” or what was causing it, because the “answer” seemed to be that no matter what was happening or why, to be patiently “resolute” – to be unwavering in seeing “it” through (the life circumstances) - to be firm in my determination to return to Stillness, to Presence, and just BE there… Just BE “That”… Just BE…

Heart Smiles – MeANderi :)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Primal Scream

Like so many others these days my husband and I find ourselves at the edge of the abyss. It is the abyss of uncertainty, feeling like we are just re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic that is about to sink into the dark unknown. Lately I have been feeling the weight of life circumstances that keep pulling and pushing me in directions that “I” don’t want to go in, to try to keep from drowning. Resistance to “life as it is” arises quite easily these days and shows up in a whole array of emotions. And I mud wrestle (aka *identify*) with the thoughts, feelings and story that I’m living at this moment, that isn’t going at all the way “I” had in mind. I have been unable to see everything in context, to step back out of the mud, and live from the space of Presence, letting this all blow through – all the things that I know I “should” be able to do, but am not doing. And all previous “awakenings” & awareness appear to be gone. I am back at square one, wondering what happened…

What it feels like inside is a deep primal scream, as if Being/Presence Itself is screaming to be let out, to express, to break through, to fully live Itself. It’s like a deep impulse for Life, something beyond the surface story of the “me” that keeps getting stuck in the mud. And thus this funky little picture that I did a couple of years ago to express this deep internal scream that I was feeling back then. But what can this be? - this primal scream. Is this really the ego resisting, wanting life to be different than it is… Or is this Being – the Essence of Life - rising up from what feels like a deep place of primal existence, feeling suffocated by current life circumstances… I don’t know. Maybe a little of both, and maybe I am deluding myself. Some would say it is the ego, the false self that is creating this, feeling these feelings - the mind-identified state. But WHO is identified? And WHO is mud wrestling here? If it’s really all the Self then WHO is screaming to be free? I don’t know. And that’s part of the humbling of this present life experience, I just don’t know. All I know is what I am experiencing in this moment. And it feels like something bigger, deeper than ego that wants freedom from the constraints, the limitations of life as it is being lived at the moment. And I know that it’s not a matter of what “I” want, but is this *really* what LIFE wants! And WHO is questioning this? Once again, I don’t know… But I know I need to get in touch with whatever “it” is…

Non-duality teachers say that the remedy is to come into present moment awareness, into the NOW of the moment, to live life as it is with radical acceptance, to just rest in Awareness and allow, to not get entangled in it, to not identify with the story, etc. Yes, I know this, and it’s easy to regurgitate these words of the masters, but it still doesn’t explain WHO is screaming from the inside, and what does it *really* want… Often I feel like I am living somebody else’s present moment – being dragged along by life circumstances (like being dragged through the mud behind a run-away horse) that have been *created* by other people that I am supposed to just accept. And so I engage in thinking that this should not be happening and could have been prevented – I know, I know – irrelevant storytelling. And so for me it's not just about “present moment awareness” where “I” (ego) am aware of the surface life events of the present moment – life being lived - but also an inner awareness of what is aware of this moment, an awareness of inner Presence – the ever-present Awake Aware Being that is aware of all this – that is apparently living & experiencing all this, and evidently trying to get my attention – or so I interpret this primal scream.

Admittedly, I have become so preoccupied and numbed by the spirit-killing demands and distractions of chaotic living (I know you can relate :) that I have been on automatic and haven’t been spending much time in Stillness, deeply listening to this Voice that is calling from within. I haven’t been walking my talk, what I know in my Heart to be true… So it seems I am being called to the womb of Stillness again, to listen, to hear, to rediscover the Truth again… For me that is the “remedy” – to return to the space of inner Stillness and just listen to the call, the longing of the Heart – to commune with Stillness (Being/Awareness/Presence) and just ask to be shown the Truth of the situation…

Yo – Mr. Wizard, what’s all this racket going on behind the curtain?

I’ll let you know what I hear… :)




Sunday, October 25, 2009

Serenity's Sanctuary - Authenticity

Several weeks ago I started this post called Serenity’s Sanctuary. They are excerpts from compilations of insights that were written during times of meditation and deep listening between 2004 and 2006. The e-books are available free on my web site – A Serenity Sanctuary. They are meant to inspire. (And no this is not a promotion:). It’s been interesting going back and reading through the books as I look for phrases to post, realizing how much I have forgotten from those times, how I have gotten away from deeply listening - the sanctuary of Serenity - and how much I need to hear them again. I also see that I could do a little word touch-up, like an artist touches up a painting, adding or changing a word here and there to better reflect the meaning. Each week seems to present a theme based on the posts I have written, as well as the other blogs that I read during the week. I extract a few phrases from the books that seem to represent that theme. Many Serenity’s Sanctuary posts in the past have been inspired by writings by ZenDotStudio, Meg Hitchcock, this unlit light, and Liminal Light. This week I was touched by a comment that Kris at Watercolor Haiku left me. She said: “And sometimes the best answer….. is not our ‘idea’ of what compassion is – all sweetness and peace – but rather, authentic, heartfelt truth.” And so this week’s post is entitled Authenticity, as it appears this is what I need to see – again: That it’s not about working on being more compassionate, more loving, but being authentic in the moment. When we bring awake awareness to a situation, our response is authentic and appropriate to the situation, and not some pretense of compassion. When we are authentic, our compassion is real. It’s not something the ego can manufacture…

Serenity's Sanctuary - Authenticity

Don’t try to cover things over with a pretense of love…a shadow love.
Just let things be as they are.
Your responsibility is to be real, authentic –
maintaining a sense of integrity for yourself.
There is great healing in this.
Maintain your integrity through authenticity.

Go beyond “love”, the shadow love, into realness – authenticity – integrity.

Don’t allow love to be a pawn, manipulated by the fingers of illusion,
misdirected energies and perceptions.
Take love down off the pedestal.

Don’t aspire to love – but aspire to be real.
Be clear and transparent.
When love is just a covering, an egoic pretense, it dissipates.
Let “love” dissipate to reveal what’s beyond love’s shadow veil,
to the truth beyond the shadow heart.

~

Compassion is not sympathy or rescuing, (or fixing).
It is an objective *seeing* of the whole
- the context of the experience –
how we all share the experience of humanity.

~

There is something beyond “love” as we define love.
It is Presence.


Sweet Serenity...

~



Photo by Christine Kennedy

Love - from the Heart :)

Thanks to all who inspire me!



Thursday, October 22, 2009

Paper Tigers

Lions and Tigers and Bears! Oh, my…..:)

My husband is returning from his 5 day trip to and from the Forest of Dramaland and a visit with DQ. It has turned out to be quite beneficial for all concerned, or so it appears - in the moment. Communication has been restored, relationships seemingly repaired – for the moment. And momentary cooperation has been established in creating a workable solution for the benefit of his mother. The door to communication has been pried open ever so slightly. A bridge of commonality has been created through focusing on a project that my husband and his sister can work on together - even with their differences – namely, finding appropriate solutions for the care of their mother. Interesting.

And through this we’ve seen that behind the blustery persona of drama and control is a fearful heart. I think we have known this all along, but it seems more clear to us these days. It is a fear-based game of power and control: fear of lack, fear of inadequacy, fear of losing control and power, and probably many other fears that are hidden behind a façade of drama, anger, fierceness, and threatening attacks – the realm of dramaland. But for all the bluster and aggression they are Paper Tigers. There is no substance really… Just fear.

For my husband and me this has been a call to conscious living - to authenticity - through awareness – through seeing what is behind the mask, our own as well as others. For me in particular it has been a reminder to step back into authentic Presence and just see - without coming to conclusions, without trying to control things from here – like the “wizard” behind the curtain pulling the levers - without defending, without getting into the emotional drama pit with them, but to just let the situation unfold. To not *believe* the stories, even the ones I’m creating about them in my own head, to not believe my assumptions of why they (his sister and her husband) are acting the way they are, to not project motive and intent, to not make *them* the enemy to soothe my own sense of rightness. So many lessons here, it may take a while to digest them all, after all there was a lot of ooey-gooey bitter-sweet chocolate and nuts that were consumed on this rocky road. I may have to go through withdrawal for my indulgence, as I find my own way out of the forest…. Some quiet time in Stillness and meditation sounds good right about now to get my bearings again – to drop down from behind my own mask of engagement into the Heart of Awareness again.

As Pema Chodron says: “It’s all raw material for waking up….. By the way we think and by the way we believe…, in that way is our world created. Life’s work is to wake up. You don’t have to transform anything. Simply let go of the storyline (the drama)….and find the tenderness that’s underneath…” – the Living Consciousness that we are behind the mask…

Peek-a-Boo :)



Tuesday, October 20, 2009

DQ w/ Hot Fudge & Nuts - The Draw of Drama

Well I’m back from the fluidity of the “reality peel” in the sanctuary of Primordial Presence. The re-entry has left me slightly frazzled as the landing was a little harsh. I actually re-entered the dream world last week to yet another family drama. But of course we *live* in the dream world. Duality and Drama happen here. It’s all a story in one form or another. It appears that unconsciousness has run amuck while I was away. That’s the problem with excursions to outer space (or Inner Space actually) the gravitational pull of the unconscious (as Adyashanti calls it) eventually pulls me back into dualistic reality again and again. I am told that the effects of the unconscious gravitational pull become less and less over time, as one gets acclimated to non-dual existence, or at least the dramas, the stories, aren’t supposed to be as magnetic. In this instance it’s the stories of a Drama Queen – a drama that has continued for years and years in my husband’s family, covered with layers of ooey-gooey, densely thick chocolate and driving my husband and I nuts. :) I ponder how one interacts with people who are so deeply unconscious that they don’t even *want* to *see*?

Last week there was a volley of flaming emails between my husband and his sister, dredging up old unconscious issues on both ends, and some new accusations about his supposed lack of understanding, caring, and involvement with what is happening with his mother who has mild Alzheimer's, whom she is caring for… There are always accusations that arise about what “we” have done or are not doing, or the problems that “we” have caused for “them.” Evidently my husband is supposed to have telepathy and just “know” what’s going on, or how difficult it is for his sister, as she decided to withhold all communication more than 6 weeks ago because of some supposed offense that angered her, even though he continually tries to communicate with her about his mother. You’re getting the picture I think. So – in this latest volley all his sister had to do was throw a temper tantrum and her little brother made the 500 mile trip to try to find out what’s really going on and why his sister won’t communicate with him, except for this latest attack. And of course, the unconscious blame game continues as according to DQ, I am to blame for my husband’s *supposed* lack of involvement with his mother and DQ’s family… I am just so tired of hearing this same story after 30 years.

This unconscious activity seems to be very passive-aggressive, and filled with self-importance. It goes silent for long periods of time and then it rears up and spits in your face. So what to do… I will admit I easily get drawn into this drama. My unconscious stuff gets triggered. My own crown from my own reign as DQ is a little tarnished, sitting slightly askew, but - there’s a storyteller still alive inside here. Obviously, I’m writing a story-like blog here! :) As my husband reiterates to me their 6 hour marathon heated discussion, as we talk over the phone in the evening, I try to be supportive without using a dismissive statement like: “I know you can handle it dear” – patting him on the head and sending him off into the fray again. Or, without being reactive or offering explanations about not getting involved in the drama, since that has already happened. Like a good novel, I start to get into it myself and my tarnished crown begins to shine a little. I try to ignore the excitement of the drama, to see from the place of Self/Presence – because I *know* that Self doesn’t get drawn into drama, doesn’t care about the drama, only the dream self, the mind, is attracted to the drama of struggle and emotional pain and hurt feelings, the need for control and blame and all of that… But the spark has been lit with the statement: “Ever since you married Christine you’ve been different with the family.” Translated: I haven’t been able to control and manipulate my little brother ever since you got married – the themes of the dream world. I can feel the reactive response rising within as the dream self buys into the story being told. The dream self *believes* the story and doesn’t like being maligned and wants to defend itself. Caught in the story I can’t even muster any compassion for DQ and her need for constant chaos and addiction to drama & deception. This is such a very old game and I *am* really getting tired of playing it. And maybe that’s a good sign. Maybe that means the draw of drama is losing its pull. Say yeay!

But then there’s this issue about not *feeling* compassion for DQ who is obviously steeped in the unconscious, and who seems to do such a good job at triggering it in both my husband and me. I wish I could ooze compassion from my heart, but it’s not something that’s manufactured from the dream self. How is it that I can feel such deep compassion for an elderly lady in a grocery store – a stranger – and feel *nothing* here…. Once while sitting in meditation, in a deep place of still Presence, I was able to meet her and did feel a sense of compassionate love for her. I could see that there is only Love here. Yet - the drama of the dream continues.

It seems that the key to compassionate living is abiding in Presence, not short excursions, but living *as* Being; stepping back from the drama and resting in pure, awake Awareness. So the challenge for me then is to stay clear, clean and *conscious* - to stay awake. But I’d have to give up all that ooey-gooey sweet, dark unconscious chocolate that is oh so tempting living in the nutty dream world… Decisions, decisions… :) A no-brainer really….


No folks that's not me with the pot on her head, it's i-stock photo :)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Serenity's Sanctuary - Primordial Presence


There is only Primordial Presence.
Being manifesting Itself –
waiting for you to recognize the Being that you are –
the Primordial Presence that spawned you.

This does not require anything.
You do not need to stop the mind, stop your thinking or emoting,
erase your ego or thoughts.
Just sit back into the Primordial Presence that you ARE and
recognize the Self – Isness.

When you recognize the Self, then all that you have been trying
to “transcend”, transmute, transform, or otherwise manage,
control, or get rid of, will fall away, will dissolve into Presence.

Allow this to happen – naturally – on its own,
without trying, without the gymnastics,
just the calm and quiet sitting back on the lap of Being.

~

Appearance is not what you are.
It is you that gives it a label.
See behind the label, the image, into the Stillness.
Re-direct all thoughts into Stillness (Presence).
Re-direct all energies into Stillness (Presence).
BE the Stillness and just let It Be: suspended Isness,
without a need for activity, label, function.

~

There is no “awake” and “unawake” – no “awakening.”
It’s all just Consciousness playing Itself out in form.
There is only Awakeness.
“Enlightenment” is like turning the light on,
turning the switch on and seeing that which is already there –
already Awake.

~

Suspend in Beingness/Presence
Just Be It…


Sweet Serenity...

~

Mystic Meandering
Meditative Writings


Funky Art :)



Friday, October 16, 2009

Wide Awake Fluidity

Over the last 10 years I have experienced many “awakenings” or “openings,” glimpses beyond the veil. For the last couple of months I’ve been experiencing a “call”, if you will, to “deepen”, although I have not understood what this means – deepen into what? Then last Saturday I experienced what Meg Hitchcock calls a “reality peel” – where you see beyond this reality into Reality. (See her posts: Brick Wall, William James & the Reality Peel, Further Musings on Enlightenment). And yet, it’s hard to put into words. So I’ve been waiting for the words to arise. At the very least it will make for an interesting blog post. :)

Internally I have been feeling as if I am in suspended animation, despite all the outward chaos going on in my life. In this suspended “state” it has felt as if I have been “waiting” for something, although that’s not quite the right word either. It’s a feeling of dynamic, restful suspension, as if I am waiting, but not like a person waiting for a bus to arrive, just an inward sense of waiting in Stillness, with no expectation, no anticipation, no *needing* for anything to happen, just feeling this pull into something deeper internally, while the surface chaos around me continues.

This past weekend there was an understanding that this “call” is a call to “return”, if you will, although it’s not really a “return” in the sense of two separate entities, one returning to the other, but more like something falling back in on itself, coming back around to itself, like coming full circle, being seen by itself. I remembered a phrase I’ve heard several times: “Enlightenment is really just the Self calling the Self back to Self” (or Itself). I resonate deeply with this. “We” are being called back to That which we inherently are! The Self becoming aware of Itself. Awareness aware of Awareness. It feels like the movement of the Self, waking up to Itself – the wave “returning” to the Ocean, and realizing that it *is* the Ocean. It’s a movement that just happens. It cannot be summoned, or created. It’s like all that is being lived outwardly is being called back to Itself – the in-breath after the pause after the out-breath. And in this there is deep rest. In this suspended “state” all the issues that my mind wraps around don’t really matter anymore: Mother issues, basement issues, Duality/Non-Duality, Enlightenment. They all become transparent, fluidly rising and falling within this spacious awake awareness. I have felt this before and yet the conceptual scaffolding always comes back into play – as it did this time.

For the past couple of weeks when I *look* at things they don’t seem like what they are. A window doesn’t *seem* like a window – although it is. It’s just an opening in a wall that is called “window.” As I sat in the living room Saturday I looked over at the couch, and that’s when the “reality peel” happened. I didn’t seek it, wasn’t meditating on it, was just sitting there and everything looked a little “different.” I realized that the couch *appears* as a couch, but it’s not really – a couch. The couch didn’t actually morph into something else, but there was a *sense* that it exists within a larger context of Existence; that there is a greater energy existing there/here. There was the sense that the things that we *see* are really a reality within Reality – within this Greater Context – not separate from It, but as *appearances of* It - appearances in/of the field of Awareness that *contains* everything that It is. It’s as if this field of Awareness, this Mystery, sees Itself *through* the seeing of this, through the awareness of this…

Every *thing* (including us) is really fluidly suspended in this Greater Context. From this perspective “things” are no longer seen as just objects, or just things – but appearances of Reality. Everything is surreal. Nothing is what it seems. It’s as if a sensory shift has taken place. It is a recognition of the fluidity of Being. It’s right here, behind what we *believe* in our minds to be real. Thought, feeling, emotion, objects, people all exist in a fluid dynamic of Oneness. And, it’s as if this Self/Being/Oneness *wants* to reveal Itself, wants to be *seen*, wants to be known – intimately – through the scaffolding.

Sweet Serenity ~~~~~

"What has been calling you throughout time.....is the flame of Consciousness
that is the essence of your being. When you meet yourSelf...
you are fulfilled, you are home.... to be home is simply to be here....
....discover directly for yourself this jewel that is alive within you."

Gangaji
The Diamond in Your Pocket

Funky Art :) - Christine

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

GSW - Cranky On Sale, Limited Time Offer

Welcome to another edition of Grocery Store Wisdom :) I haven’t written one for the last couple of weeks because there wasn’t anything that arose, or emerged, or made itself known to me.

And no, “Cranky” is not a new product that they are offering at the grocery store these days :) It’s actually how I felt when I awoke this morning. Well, that’s not exactly true. I awoke in my usual way, which is to lay there for a few minutes, consciously resting in a felt sense of Awareness, Being, feeling the pulse of Being run through my body, which allows me to feel the Spacious sense of Presence before rising. However, as I lay there this morning “Cranky” came for a visit and decided to stay… She is kin to “Froggy” here. I was not happy that “Cranky” showed up, in fact it made me cranky :) I really didn’t want to feel this way, but there it was. So I cranked my body self out of bed, did the usual routine and went to the kitchen for breakfast, showered, and then was off to the grocery store wondering if I would receive some wisdom, or insight on what to do with my friend “Cranky.”

I was curious as to what I would experience with “Cranky” as my companion – hoping she wouldn’t make a scene. The day was overcast, but I like this kind of weather, so it didn’t make me cranky. In fact, I don’t know why “Cranky” crept in and hung around. Like the foggy weather, it was just there, hanging around me. But I managed to stay open enough to try to *see* what needed to be seen beyond the frog – er fog. And maybe that’s one too many “crankies” for you :) Is for me too…

As I made my way through the produce section, I brought my awareness to my surroundings. As I observed, I saw a woman coming through with a huge bouquet of colorful balloons. We made eye contact and I couldn’t help but grin, and she grinned back, then spirited away with the balloons floating out behind her. Somebody was going to be surprised today, gifted with joy maybe, I thought… My heart sighed and lightened a bit to see that Joy was in fact still there too, along with you know who… And so I continued, thinking, well this may not be all that bad after all, and wondered what else there was for me to see…

As I turned down one of the isles there was a very frail, elderly woman standing at her cart with a box of rice in her hand, studying it. I wasn’t able to get around her in the isle, so I calmly waited a little. “Cranky” didn’t get cranky, which surprised me. Within seconds the woman realized she was in the way and excused herself in a very fragile sounding voice, and I was able to move through. Feeling concern for this obviously frail woman, I turned to look at her and couldn’t help notice how utterly frightened she looked. The look in her eyes was one of sheer panic, although she wasn’t making eye contact. I wanted to reach out to her and ask if she needed help – but it didn’t appear that she was in trouble… Her eyes belied that fact, and I could see that on the inside she must have *felt* like she was in trouble. I wondered if there was no daughter who called on her to help if she needed it, or did she have mother/daughter issues too – creating distance. Compassion welled up inside for this woman who appeared to be struggling with life. And then I realized she was the same woman I wrote about in a previous blog post Grocery Store Wisdom – Tomatoes. She had the same ghastly look on her face, as if life had just overwhelmed her one too many times and she was just hanging on for dear life. I can relate. She touched my heart so much I nearly cried… As she didn’t appear to be in any kind of distress, I moved on – haunted. My heart had broken open, I could barely hold back the tears… “Cranky” was no where to be found.

As I moved further down the isle I could hear the music playing in the background. They were playing country-western today. It was an old Kenny Rogers song, called The Gambler. I began humming along with it, as if Innocence had just shown up – like a child humming a delightful tune – feeling playful all of a sudden. My steps lightened.

It seemed my friend “Cranky” dissolved somewhere along the way as The Mystery played itself out today. I didn’t choose for “Cranky” to come, neither did I choose Joy, Compassion or Innocence. They just showed up, rising and falling in the Greater Spaciousness of Being as life was lived, all bringing their own gifts for softening the heart and seeing with new eyes… And oh yes, now Gratitude has awakened and is making her appearance…

With Heart Smiles….



Sunday, October 11, 2009

Serenity's Sanctuary - Allowing


All old paradigms, perceptions, perspectives and judgments
don’t matter anymore.
It is time to see things new – through Innocence and Love –
despite the pains and frustrations, wounds and traumas that are
emerging through the physical body and the collective body.

Embrace it all in Innocence.

This is the lesson:
To see Love in everything.
It is the Divine Truth of all things.

~

Compassion is the embrace of what is;
seeing what is, clearly and cleanly, without a need to fix.
Just embrace. Just hold.
Just suspend in what is.
See what is and embrace it without changing it.
That is compassion.

~

Accept the “wounds” as arising in the field of Being,
as part of your fabric, your dance of Life.
Just move with it.
Don’t try to figure it out, or analyze it.
Just let it all be what it is.

~

All that is required is allowing.
Allow Being to Be.
Just allow whatever moves to move, to be.
It’s just Isness Be-ing.
Let the “me” function rest.
What happens when you let the “me” function rest
and just allow?

~

Being breaks through the confusion, the illusion, the mind.
Being breaks through for union with Itself…
Being wants to break through, to come Alive,
to Express.


Sweet Serenity...

~


compilations of insights from the Heart of Being

Photo by Bill Kennedy



Friday, October 9, 2009

The Belly of the Beast

No, this is not a post about the Apocalypse :) It’s related to our latest preoccupation with the issue of the odor in the basement crawl space – that belly of the beast - belching its odorous dankness. It’s interesting to me how life keeps presenting these little issues that have to be dealt with, that cannot be ignored, that rob my attention from other more delightful experiences. And of course I can usually find a metaphor in them, some revelation that I need to see about my own life and how it is being lived. My husband “descended” into the belly of the beast yesterday, as I stood outside its mouth, waiting for the objects to be passed out, so we could get rid of all things paper that might be absorbing dampness from the dirt and possibly emitting this fragrance – Eau de Must.

Now these objects that you see here in the picture are primarily my husband’s – things he didn’t want to have to deal with. Yes, you see where I’m going don’t you.... :) They include boxes and boxes and boxes of old books that he didn’t know what to do with, boxes and boxes of old receipts, boxes of junk, and boxes of electrical equipment that somehow miraculously disappeared from the basement a couple of years ago. There was also our old vacuum, old light fixtures, an old fan, and old computer equipment. You might say we have started our own landfill… He told me he had put “stuff” in the crawl space, but I had *no idea* how much *stuff* there was in there! So the great purge has begun. I will have to say, after I got over the initial shock of just how much “stuff” there was in there, it was exhilarating to be purging, although the boxes are now piled *in* the basement, needing to be weeded through – by guess who. Who knows what I will find.

Anyway, the obvious metaphor here is that what we don’t want to see or deal with we stuff deep down into the belly, the dark areas, the hidden areas and close the lid. And sometimes we forget that they’re there until an (emotional) odor starts to arise from the pit that we put them in – like anxiety, anger & depression… And then we have to open the pit and let it out. Interesting that none of the “stuff” was mine, although I have my “stuff” in other areas of the basement – more accessible. :) However, after the initial purging yesterday, today I tapped into a truck load of grief. Ah-ha, something *was* there for me to see. I mean deep, heart-wrenching grief, which initially seemed to be about the passing of our 18 year old cat in August. I had grieved some when he first passed, but not to this depth. And yet it felt like I was grieving for far more than the cat.

Grief arises in me from time to time, a kind of existential grief that I can’t quite get a handle on. When it arises there has been no death, no obvious loss, nothing to point to and say – yes, I am grieving for such and such. But there *is* this deep-seated grief that emerges from the depths. Today in meditation it arose again, which was probably facilitated by the memory of Yodi. So I descended into this pit of grief that contracts my gut and heart to take a look. And there still was no obvious revelation. So I just sat with it…

While sitting I remembered hearing some time ago that when we grieve it is not for the loss of the person, but for what might have been with that person. And maybe it was lunch with my mother this week that began to pry the lid off this pit of grief. In many ways I grieve for the relationship that we never had – the mutually loving, supportive, trusting relationship that never was… And it’s possibly this “loss” that I grieve, along with many other subtle losses of life that keep me wishing that life could have been different. And maybe that’s the seeing here – the grief is about wishing that things could have been different, instead of embracing the way that they actually are. I know this is based on a belief in separation, believing the story that something should be happening other than what is happening – that life should have gone a different way - instead of how it actually is, which sets up the need to try to control and change things instead of living life as it is, being present to what is, as it is.

What I also saw this morning was that when we *see* from the eyes of Wisdom all is infinitely well - as it is. When seen through the eyes of Being, the contraction around the emotional pain is released from the belly of the beast. The *living* Consciousness absorbs it all back to Itself, and all is well – no struggling, no regret, no resistance to what is – just *living* what is, consciously – including all the emotions that sit in the pit. It seems so simple when it’s said, when it’s heard, but it seems the beast sometimes doesn’t want to be seen. As Adyashanti says: You have to have “an unflinching willingness to *not* look away from anything that causes the illusion of separation (which causes suffering). You have to look inside, to look at it with silent scrutiny” – and just see.

When I looked into the belly of the beast this morning, it wasn’t the monster that I had anticipated it would be. With some light and a little ventilation it belched and spit out its contents - releasing its emotional odor. And all was seen to be well, as it is…


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Lunch with Mom...

I don’t talk about my mother much because this is a sensitive subject. Maybe you have mother issues that are still being worked through, like me. Others may have good relationships with their mothers. I am not one of the fortunate few. However, this is not a blog to rat on my mother, or complain about our wounded relationship. So I hope my readers and fellow meanderers will not hear any of this as judgment or criticism or complaining, or just the reiterating of yet another “story.” I see it as the continuous unfolding of two lives intertwined by birth, life, and the wounds of living. And hopefully I can bring some conscious awareness for myself through the writing of it.

The relationship with my mother can be strained and awkward, or it can be funny and humorous, as we navigate the wound-filled landscape between us – trying to avoid the deeper potholes. I admit I don’t spend a lot of time with my mother – on purpose – although I talk to her on the phone at least once a week to “check in.” Today she arrived after her Wednesday Bible Study group at her church for a planned lunch together. When we got to the restaurant she made a point to tell me that they discussed “not being judgmental” in the group this morning, and how much she believes in not judging others. You would have to know my mother to know just what a contradiction this is. Almost in the next breath she started criticizing a certain member of the congregation that wasn’t doing things the way *she* thought they should be done. Already I’m thinking, this is going to be a loonnnng lunch… Of course I tried to humorously point her back to what she had just told me about the not being judgmental discussion, to which she heartily agreed. Go figure. I think she doesn’t think that what she is saying is being “judgmental.” And in fact, after a little more complaining and “judging” on her part, and a little more humor about that fact by me, she said: I’m not judging, I’m just evaluating – to which we both laughed… I remember well my mother’s “evaluations” of my flaws :)

What she said made me think of how conveniently I give more subtle names to things so I don’t have to look at them, or myself, so I don’t have to admit that I am doing exactly what she is doing, or to not *see* something other than my self-constructed image. Like when I criticize my husband for some flaw (I learned well :) and I say – I’m just trying to help you! Yeah, like who am I to evaluate my husband’s behavior so that he can improve himself. Or as he reminds me, so I can get him to “perform” better. That’s still judging no matter what word I want to use to make *me* feel better… But this kind of awareness seems to elude my mother and she continues.

So I try to change the subject when there is a pause in the conversation, and I ask about one of my childhood memories, which was being sent to a woman for elocution lessons and also to what was called “finishing school” – lessons on how to walk and sit the “right” way. The proper etiquette if you will. So that, at the ripe age of 10 or 11, I might enjoy tea with white gloves and raised pinky with my friends??? Hello. Now if you knew me (and my family) you would know how laughable this is. And what a waste of money that was. We were a semi-professional working class family, not upper crust society. So why the speech and walking lessons I wondered. Her answer was revealing: So that I would know how to “act.” So that I would “fit in” and feel comfortable expressing myself with others (scripted on what to say). And I’m assuming that I would *look* “right” as well – in my black Mary Janes, matching purse and crisp petticoats. Oh yes, I remember. We went *grocery shopping* this way! Can you imagine!

My brother and sister also endured these elocution lessons and we practiced in unison: “RRRRRRollll on thou deep and dark blue ocean, roll on…” I’m sure my parents meant well, but it was interesting to hear what was important to them back then – looking and acting right, fitting in - the seeming foundation for their children’s well-rounded life, successful “careers,” and emotional stability – not. She will never know how utterly unprepared for life I have felt most of the time, because it wasn’t the acting or speech lessons, or “fitting in” that was needed. It was love, support and acceptance, not living up to an image of what I “should” be. Isn’t that really what we all want, what the “spiritual search” is really about – finding authenticity, finding out who we *really* are, and being seen for who we really are with complete and total acceptance, without judgment. But she has no clue that unwinding this conditioned construct has been a part of my life’s journey.

And so I commit to bring more conscious awareness to this learned habit of *unconsciously* commenting on the perceived flaws in others, wanting others to conform to the way *I* think they “should” be, or should behave, subtly trying to control life, and calling it something else. A lot of this has already dissolved, but there are remnants, especially with the people closest to me – like my mother: wanting her to be different than who she is, wanting her to genuinely see and admit her own flaws rather than judging everyone else’s, to somehow become conscious and quit deluding herself. But – that is the task that I have taken on for this lifetime, not her.

We actually had fun today, laughing and overlooking each others flaws, reminding me to just accept the way she is… At least for today…

Heart Smiles…

Monday, October 5, 2009

Heart of Wonder

Today we took a little trip into the mountains to get away from the house and the basement issue for a while. We felt like Jeremiah Johnson, the character in my husband’s favorite movie, where he leaves the life he knew to find a new way of living in the rugged Rocky Mountains. In essence to escape, and ends up with more adventure than he bargained for, as well as a new perspective on life. Part of the lyrics to the theme song go: “Jeremiah Johnson made his way into the mountains, bettin’ on forgettin’ all the troubles that he knew…” We decided we needed a little forgettin’ of house troubles, at least for a few hours, and so we escaped into the mountains for some fresh air. It was actually overcast and rainy today, but it was exactly the kind of day where the pungent pine odor was very strong because of the wetness. It was a welcome relief from the musty odor we’ve been inhaling in the house.

You may be wondering what all this has to do with the picture of the angel holding a little gold ball. Well before we left for our little outing, my husband presented me with this little gift. The outside of the box said: “Angel of Wonder.” I curiously opened it, with anticipation, and pulled out this little figure as my husband explained that it was symbolic of remembering to look at life with wonder. When I looked at it for a few minutes, what I saw was the “face” of curiosity, and the phrase from one of Pema Chodron’s books popped into my mind - be curious instead of afraid. Now my husband may not be a handyman around the house, but he knows how to touch my heart – with wonderment. He has such a heart of wonder himself. He sees life totally differently than I do – which has been a good thing for me. He is very curious and adventurous, where I like stability and security. So sometimes we are like oil and vinegar, but today we were like honey and warm tea on a cool Fall day – just perfect together. And that was good for us too, to see that there is still a heart connection there. The heart of wonder still beats in the relationship, allowing us to appreciate each other, despite being at odds with each other over house issues, life issues, and all the other stressful issues that have been sending us down the rapids lately. It was a wonder-full respite as we spent time in the wonder of nature, smelling the fresh air and pine. I got lost in the moment without the usual worry about life’s circumstances, enjoying my partner’s company and conversation. Escaping into the mountains brought a fresh perspective. Seeing life with a heart of wonder opened me to seeing with present moment awareness, with curiosity, instead of fear and fret. Life feels workable again. Ahhhh….

The end of the theme song for Jeremiah Johnson goes: “The story doesn’t always go the way you had in mind.” My husband gave his perspective on what has become our own theme phrase lately. He said, as we’re driving the winding mountainous roads: “That doesn’t mean that it goes “bad” – it just goes differently. And looking at life with wonder gives you the courage to renew your life from a new perspective…” Wow – now there’s some wisdom for you! I admire his innocent heart of wonder and wisdom. It gives me the courage to see life with that same sense of wonderment – with curiosity – with awareness – with heart wisdom.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Serenity's Sanctuary - Ebb & Flow


Be like the ocean that ebbs and flows –
rhythmic movement that rests,
that is without effort,
just ebbing and flowing.

Allow yourself to be carried by the ebb and flow,
the rhythm,
the ebb and flow at the core of Being.
You must learn to live there.
Practice allowing the ebb and flow to caress you,
to overtake you.
Do not be afraid to let go into the Silence of the Divine.

Find the harmony in this space of Silence,
and allow it to dissolve you;
the you that you think you know.

It is time to live from Being – the tides of Being.
The Ebb and Flow of Existence.

Surrender into the Heart and Rest.


Sweet Serenity...

~


compilations of insights from the Heart of Being

Photo by Bill Kennedy
The inside of a large earthenware flower pot

Saturday, October 3, 2009

New Poem - The Dark Side of the Moon


I have gone to the dark side of the moon – again.
Slipped just outside the light – unseen, unnoticed – lost contact.
Whirling through the darkness unable to see.
Houston, is there a “problem?”

How does this happen when one has intimately Seen?

How does the One forget that it is One – believing two?

Makes me doubt the Seeing,
holding only a glimpse…

How can there be so much darkness
when one has Seen what is –
that there is only One living Itself
in the many forms – in all the experiences:
The Truth of Existence…

Life continues on the dark side of the moon,
eventually returning to the Seeing – to the Light –
with no agenda of how the trajectory should go.
Just life completing its orbit…

Simply living.


Mystic Meandering
Copyright - April 2009




Friday, October 2, 2009

The Vortex of Fear

For the last couple of days I have been experiencing the vortex of fear, completely and fully sucked into the vortex - Samsara – the endless cycle of suffering. It’s been interesting to say the least. Not much conscious awareness going on while in it, or presence to it, but a lot of resistance, as in not wanting to feel it, or experience the situation that is causing it. It all seems to revolve around this musty odor now permeating the house from the crawl space (which is ½ of the basement), and the lack of knowing “what to do” about it, since my husband and I are the Frick and Frack of home maintenance. We both don’t know what we’re doing. I made several calls to various people trying to find the answer. I am getting various answers, but the common thread seems to be ventilation. As in open that sucker up and ventilate it. So that’s what we did yesterday. This whole experience seemed to open the fear vortex as well. I find it an interesting metaphor here that the crawl space is a dark and dank place that you don’t normally visit, or hang out in. Yet, having to deal with this place of darkness and dankness seems to be what I am faced with, within.

My fear over the years has been based on many things – fear of the unknown for one – and currently, not knowing what to do about this situation that has presented itself. And it’s based on the *assumption* that this could be something terrible that is going to require a huge chunk of money and professionals to solve, and why is this happening, and why doesn’t my husband know what to do to *fix* it, as he conveniently occupies himself in his business – avoiding the situation – hoping I’ll take care of it - yada, yada, yada – defaulting to my core story of victim of life. This victim lens means that I am not staying in the moment with it, but finding my own little ways to avoid the experience and the feelings that it is generating, wishing it would all go away… But I’m a big girl now and I know that isn’t going to happen… Once upon a time I was somewhat independent & self-sufficient, and then I believed the fairytale of husband take care of wife story. But after many years I finally woke up from that fairytale… So it’s back into my Kayak for another ride on the rapids.

But before I continued on my adventure down this particular life stream, I decided to have Tea with “Z”, my friend who invites me to see beyond the circumstances and the stories. (Also see Bring Your Attention to the Embrace.) While my husband opened up the crawl space openings and turned the fans on, I went to sit with my friend; not to specifically talk about this issue, but just “things” in general - like – why am I not experiencing the fluidity of life?, where is the evidence of the Divine revealing Itself?, and why am I still seeing through the lens of separation type questions. But “Z” wanted to know the specifics. I couldn’t just ask the general, ambiguous life questions. So I told him the story of the car, the heat ducts, and the musty odor in the basement (Rapids and Turbulence). He listened, and then invited me to look inside and actually *feel* what I was feeling, the rawness of it, instead of staying in my head, telling the story about what was happening. “Z” gets to the nitty-gritty whenever he can. And so I felt my body squirm and fidget as I attempted to look inside. I did not want to look at it. I resisted as much as I could, internally, and then I finally opened that dark, dank space and just looked. And that’s when I saw it, this life sucking fear vortex. It was just a little thing really, spinning in the greater Vastness of Awareness, but very powerful, creating quite a disturbance – and a lot of discomfort. The feelings were very raw as I looked into this fear vortex. I stayed with it as a long as I could, but this is going to take a few more viewings I’m sure, more conscious openings of the crawl space within, to see what lurks there until it’s fully seen through.

“Z”, noticing my discomfort, fidget and resistance, offered me the invitation to just be with it, to feel the rawness and discomfort of it, to not try to run from it, quite a feat when you feel like you’re being swallowed whole. But I held my seat as long as possible and felt the faintest of relief in the seeing of it. But just like the ventilating of the musty crawl space, this may take a while. And the tendency, the habitual pattern, besides the fear, is to resist seeing it, to hide from it – not only hide, but run screaming like a banshee who has just foreseen death, that’s how fearful “I” am of the fear vortex – that is – the “i” that fears its own death.

And did you notice in my little “process art” picture above, (I did this more than a year ago) that from the apex of the vortex tunnel there appears to be a little figure emerging? I did not draw this, it just appeared there and was noticed. Somehow this little figure, with its hat, emerged unscathed from its walk through the tunnel of fear… This gives me courage that the cyclical pattern of fear that has entrapped me for so many years may possibly be broken through the capacity to just sit with it, to *see* it, to allow it, as it arises again and again with each life circumstance.

And finally “Z’ offered this: Feelings are a portal. In the willingness to feel them, to just see them, to be with them, to allow the rawness and the discomfort of them, they open us into Consciousness Itself.

And with that I will slip back into my kayak, and paddle like hell as I keep moving through the fear vortex, with my eyes wide open to the experience, consciously seeing. :)

Heart smiles…