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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...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Accepting the Storyline

This past week, being with my mother as she recovers from her eye surgery at home, has been an interesting experience in “no resistance”, being in the present moment, and acceptance. The outcome of her surgery did not go as she expected, as she can’t see well out of that eye. However, it’s evidently not that unusual in diabetics. She is required to have eye drops every two hours, but she is unable to give them to herself, as she can’t see the bottle and how close it is to her eye. This requires my presence 12+ hours a day to give eye drops. This is also an unexpected outcome for me.

Being present here, in this experience, I have seen more cooking shows than I ever realized existed! There is no opportunity here to slip off by myself. It’s a total emersion in a foreign land, where there is constant TV and talking, talking, talking about TV, and listening to criticism of the people on TV, and tales of my father’s old war stories. I am not used to so much stimulation 12+ hours a day. I do not stay overnight as she doesn’t require eye drops during the night. Thankfully.

I am in dire need of quiet, silence and space!

Even as I sat trying to handwrite this blog post a couple of days ag0 - in the living room, with TV on - my mother was trying to hold a conversation with me! Until the phone rang, after which she resumed talking to me…

It took me 3 days for the internal resistance to this particular present life experience to subside. I am present, but there has been internal resistance to what is being asked of me, of where life is going at the moment – this particular storyline in the fabric of Reality. And surrender is not necessarily volitional, I discovered. It just happens out of necessity – when it is realized that there is no other way.

In one brief moment on one of the programs on TV I saw Pema Chodron being interviewed on a local news station. I perked up. At just that moment the phone rang and most of what Pema was saying was drowned out by my mother’s – talking. Timing… But from what I gathered Pema was saying something about not creating stories about what was happening in our life. And the interviewer commented: Even if the storyline is true, because sometimes the storyline is true. Pema agreed. Sometimes the storyline *is* true… When I heard that, some of my resistance around this situation relaxed. I think on this path we get so concerned about whether we’re creating “stories” that we often can’t accept that sometimes the storyline is true! What is happening is happening. It is life being lived. So I’m trying not to create “story” by resisting the storyline that is happening here. And I have found that the “storyline” is often the vehicle for awareness to emerge – if we are aware and open to it.

And what has emerged in this present storyline, is that I feel very little sense of the presence of Awareness! You know – the Stillness of Awareness that just is. Oh I know it’s always there under all this – like the back-light behind the silhouetted clouds at twilight - but I can’t *feel* it, and I miss the *connection* - the felt sense of Presence in this particular situation. I miss having time to be quiet during the day and just resting in the place of Stillness, where I *feel* the connection. I am so over-stimulated during the day, and physically drained from little sleep, that even in the silent 25 minute ride home, I still can’t *feel* this larger sense of Presence… The world has gone numb…

And an awareness has emerged that there seems to be a difference between being in the present moment, and being present to the moment from Presence, or Awareness. I feel the difference. “I” can be present *to* the present moment, participating, engaging – at the surface of life – living life as it is. But the deeper sense of *relating* from Presence is missing.

I miss this sense of personal intimacy with this felt Presence. Just like any other relationship that you cultivate, it seems this primary relationship with Presence needs just as much attention as anything else. What we put our attention on flourishes. That’s why I meditate. That’s why I enjoy the space of Silence – to just listen. And for some reason this week I am being asked to completely surrender this to life as it is… The white flag of surrender has not been raised. However, there is a growing sense of acceptance to the way things are at the moment – acceptance of the storyline that is playing itself out here – without creating “story” through resistance – holding myself open to this particular weave of the storyline.

~*~


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

"All We Are, we are..."

I realized yesterday that the second layer of this “resistance” that I have been experiencing comes from a contracted sense of “self”, a sense of separateness – which comes from fear. It is the mind fixating on the little things, resisting them – forgetting its True Nature and the simplicity of just being – just living. I tell myself that I “shouldn’t” feel this resistance. I shouldn’t be resistant to life as it is – after all, Life moves the way it moves – right? I feel badly that I still resist, despite this awareness, knowing that there’s really nothing to resist! So I resist the resistance.

On the way to the grocery store yesterday I asked to be shown what I needed to see here. The grocery store offered up its wisdom. :)

Walking through the isles, I listened and watched for what might be revealed, but nothing was apparent. And then waiting in line at the check-out, I heard the words of a song being played on the PA system. The words I kept hearing were: “All we are, we are…” lyrically repeated over and over again. I couldn’t make out the other words in the other verses, only the chorus: “All we are, we are…” And for some reason the rhythm of the words drew me in: “All we are, we are” – of course! How could we be anything else? As I stood listening to the words, I was looking around, in a relaxed state of waiting, and my eyes suddenly landed on a word over in the far corner from where I was standing that was printed on the side of a display shelf. It said: “Inclusive.” I just stopped – eyes glued to the word.

And I realized - there it was:

All we are, we are…
Inclusive…


Nothing is excluded – no thought, no feeling, no emotion – even resistance. We can’t be anything other than what we are. We are who we are… All of it – not just the parts we like, but even our hidden parts, the “darker” parts; the depression, the anger, the anxiety, the restlessness, the doubts, the uncertainties, the insecurities, the resistances… All of it is the Self – being who we are– expressing ItSelf as us – authentically.

I could feel tears welling up with this recognition – with the acceptance that everything is included – life as it is – me exactly as I am. There is nothing “wrong” with any of it! It’s all embraced as an experience of Being. It is all expressions of the Self – the waves of the Ocean rising and falling back into ItSelf – over and over again. It’s inclusive of the hard times and easy times, not separating out the good and bad experiences or emotions, as I tend to do – still – *believing* the distinctions in my mind, “complexifying” (I love this word!) my life, creating stories. Being sees everything inclusively – expressing this “me” *as* ItSelf – all of me; not the perfection of me. Being embraces everything – enfolds everything to ItSelf - our pain, our stories, our drama – as it is – without hesitation – without resistance. Everything is allowed. I know this, and I forget this. Everything unfolds the way it does, including this “resistance.” And so I continue to whisper softly in its ear, as if to a frightened child: “No resistance – all is well…"



All we are, we are
Inclusive…


Humbly

~*~


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Resistance

This is my mind on resistance – cluttered. I know all who are therapists, or those who have had therapy, will have a hey day with this picture. It is my “work” space, where “creativity” is supposed to happen – and does. And yet, the space has become crowded over with the clutter of resistance. I am even resistant to de-cluttering it… And no, the rest of my house does not look like this – thankfully. Oh it has its little piles of things here and there that need to be put away – like clean laundry on the love seat – instead of love - and dirty laundry on the bedroom floor. We won’t go into those metaphors. :) And piles of books waiting to be read, or papers of interesting information downloaded off the internet stacked – waiting to inform me. The rest of the house is fairly sane looking. Especially my meditation space – the clearest place in the house! It’s only this particular space that is rather insane at the moment. (Well, except the basement, but that’s my husband’s domain.) Everyone has their space where they stuff their clutter it seems. And yes, the outer does reflect the inner. :) There is a part of me that is deeply cluttered, resistant and “insane” – ie: lacking clarity, wisdom and peace. And all that is bubbling to the surface this week – kind of like the oil in the Gulf – thick and gooey and not easily cleaned up - ugh. I haven’t seen these dark spaces within in quite a while. So it appears I’ll be bringing the light of awareness into the depths for a look see. But I already feel myself resisting that too…

It seems my awareness the other night about “no resistance” has become a portal into – resistance. Into seeing just how resistant I am. This week there have been several revelations in this area. And my “space” seems to be where it gets dumped, where I can deal with it later. Heh,heh, heh. Except, as it appears, it never really gets dealt with.

So what is this resistance…

There are several things I am resisting this week. My mother’s upcoming eye surgery next Weds for one. I’m dreading it, already feeling “responsible.” It is a day surgery in an office building “surgery center”! No more overnight hospital stays. She’s 82 and a diabetic. I’m already feeling resistant to having to take responsibility for her care right after surgery, which includes staying overnight at her house – which means little sleep (which will impact my own health issues.) I don’t mean this to sound uncompassionate. It’s not. It has more to do with my own fears of being “responsible” for others – which comes from being given responsibility way too soon in life. And the conditioning that if I was *responsible* I got approval and kudos from my parents. I was a latch-key kid before the word became popular – taking care of my 2 younger siblings at the age of 11. Even now I think, oh my god, so much could have gone wrong! I was thinking that back then, believe me. I was always thinking of what could go wrong and that I wouldn’t be *responsible* enough to know what to do. I became a little parent – and fear became my companion. I learned to try to control what I felt out of control with – which was most of life at that time! (And of course some things never change :)) Eleven! What was my mother thinking! And so resistance emerges now… What if something goes wrong – I’ll be re-spons-ible… clutter, clutter, clutter…

There’s another resistance that arose this week. As many of my regular readers know there has been some serious family drama with my husband’s family. Well, my husband decided, in the spirit of Aikido, after consulting with a couple of lawyers, that he didn’t want to resist what was happening (in a legal way). He wanted to try to reconnect with his sister, and meet her “half way” in New Mexico somewhere… My immediate reaction was resistance! Oh you better be careful. Are you sure you want to open that door again? Well *I’m* not opening that door! What if it doesn’t go well… yada, yada, yada. And of course he decided to meet her on Weds of next week. So there was the resistance that said – You’re not going to be here to support me! What about me! What if I need you! Oh dear – 11 years old again. I’m totally responsible and there’s no one here to support me! :) You get the idea… clutter, clutter, clutter…

So – what *is* this resistance…

Well, the first layer for me is fear. That seems quite evident as I write this. Fear of risks, uncertainty, fear for my safety, fear of being taken advantage of, fear of vulnerability, fear of the dreaded “r” word – no not resistance - Responsibility… :) Fear is the fuel that feeds resistance. I see this now…

So I get to practice “no resistance” big time this week – and this is just the first layer, the first plume of thick, muddy oil spewing out of the well within… As I mentioned in the previous post, just *saying* “no resistance” softly to myself brings me back to the awareness of that clear, clean space inside; to the present moment; to seeing that from this space of inner Presence I can pierce through all the mental clutter that’s built up, and *begin* to swath a path through the thickness to the light of clarity again – to sanity… The first level of environmental clean up has begun! I just need to remember to return to this clear, clean space of Awareness by whispering – “no resistance.” Of course, resistance still rises – that plume is still spewing its contents - but I can meet the resistance, the fear, with no resistance… Maybe. :) I’ll let you know how it goes…


~*~


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

"No Resistance"

I was mulling over life’s challenges at 1am this morning – our usual bedtime - feeling an inner unsettledness about many of our life situations at the moment. I know many of you can relate. :) As I lay there I brought my attention to the inner awareness underneath it all – the awareness of Awareness. I felt the pulse and flow of this alive, inner Presence running through my body. Some call it “resting in awareness.” But as always – this “other” awareness of where life is going, or not going, kept arising – and the resulting inner conflict because of the thoughts *about* that.

My husband and I discussed what little we know of Aikido in relation to our life circumstances. It’s actually a martial arts practice that can be applied to any conflict situation. It dawned on both of us that practicing the principles of Aikido – presence and fluidity - doesn’t have to be about a particular conflict with a particular person or situation, but can be applied to life in general.

As I settled in for the night the words “No Resistance” arose in me, like a clear, clean breeze. I could feel my body immediately relax its tension and I took in a deep breath. It was as if the phrase deeply resonated in my body – and had a physical impact - particularly the ‘No.” “O” is a very open letter – it allows and embraces all that is contained within it – which seemed like a good metaphor for life last night at 1:30am. I understand the concepts of “radical acceptance”, “resting in awareness”, and living “life as it is”, but there is no inner *resonance* with these words. They are nice mental concepts to me - *ideas* of how I *should* be doing things. But for some reason I had a felt experience of “letting go” with the words “No Resistance.” So this is my current mantra, my practice. Today when I started to feel inner mental and emotional conflicts about life, I brought my awareness to “No Resistance” - and something relaxed in me and I moved on. I also began to see just how resistant I am! I was actually pleasantly surprised by this today, as I sensed a shift beginning in my orientation towards life…

“Noooooooo”, which we normally think of as being negative, is really such an open word, I surprisingly discovered. When you say it internally, like a whisper, and prolong the oooooo sound – it opens something up. It’s not really a resistance word. Same thing with conflict. We are so conditioned to believe that conflict is negative, that there shouldn’t be any conflict in our lives, externally or internally, and we resist and fight it to regain a sense of peace and equanimity. And yet, conflict just is. It is just energy, patterns of energy that can be met just like anything else – with awareness. I see that if I’m just *aware* of what comes to me, and my reactions to it, without *seeing* it *as* “conflict” – as opposition, as preventing me from living the life “I” want :), as interruption, as something to resist, this changes how I meet it. I can *see* it as just an energy flowing through. The conflict *and* resistance to it are just energies… Seeing this changes my relationship with life. This is a principle of Aikido.

Aikido teaches the philosophy of acceptance, of embracing rather than trying to get rid of conflict. It is a blending *with*, a dance *with* the energy of conflict, which creates a new form of energy. By dancing with the energy of conflict with “no resistance” a flexibility arises which allows a response, rather than a reaction, to the new form that conflict takes. By going with the energy, struggle is avoided and the energy gets re-directed – seems almost magical. I’m a beginner in this area of “no resistance.” It seems I have tilted at the windmills of the challenges that have been presented to me my whole life, so changing this inner paradigm may take a while. :) I still feel a reactiveness underneath the surface. But by turning inward and acknowledging – “No Resistance” – it allows me to stay aware in the moment, and feels like a soothing elixir, relaxing the old, irritated, over-reactive neural pathways, and redirecting the signals to be in harmony with the way things are…


~*~


Friday, June 11, 2010

The Space of Silence

Today while cleaning I became acutely aware of this inner, fluid space of Silence. It was so palpable. It is similar to that inward “sensing of Being” that I felt last week – yet slightly different in quality. I stopped what I was doing, and paused to listen, to *feel* it - to acknowledge the Quiet Presence within. I felt as if I was being drawn in by the Absolute Stillness of a reflecting pool. I wanted to wade in, to experience it, to immerse in it – to bathe in the clarity of this fluid Silence. I acknowledged Silence’s Presence, as one does in a moment of silence for those passed on, and continued with my cleaning, checking in from time to time to see if it was still there, hoping it would wait for me to finish and be still - which never happened. A lost moment. And yet, it was still there, offering its invitation in muffled tones – come be with me, come and be still.

It’s the feel of the Eternal Pull of Presence within… This “pull” or “longing”, I realized, is really just an invitation to what is already there – waiting; what Colleen Loehr over at A Window is Where the Wall is Absent calls being “reeled in by the attraction of the invisible heart.” Yes, that’s it! It is the invitation of the Eternal Silence, like a homing call.

It’s the feeling of something unborn, yet making Itself known - in little whispers – letting me know It’s there... This whisper of this still, silent Beingness within - calls for our attention even in the midst of “noise”. This space of Silence is not the *lack* of sound, but the absence of external stimulation - or “noise:” thought, emotional agitation, mental restlessness, as well as the interruptions of external influences that bind my mind to them and redirect the flow… It wants to be met. It wants to express, to feel, to BE… But “I” have become entangled in the externals of life - the surface clutter – and find excuses to avoid surrendering completely into the space of Silent reverie of complete and utter Stillness.

In this invitation today I was reminded once again that this space of awake, aware, enlivened Silence is the Primordial Womb of Being from which all things are birthed. It is what everything rests in, what everything is made of: the song of the bird, the noise of the traffic, the buzz of the weed-whacker, the hum of the plane, the rustling of the leaves, the rippling of water. It’s where everything rises from and falls back into. It is the ground of Being ItSelf… It is Pure Awareness that just IS. The boxcar named “Emptiness.” The No-thing-ness. And the “train” to “nowhere.” It is the felt experience of our very Beingness. The Silence that isn’t silent. And yet, even with this knowing, this seeing, it seems – well, unavailable at times – like a child playing hide and seek, hiding behind trees and rocks, yet you know they’re right there in front of your face… And maybe it’s me who’s hiding, playing hard to find! Ah-HA! :) I also realized that this longing of the Heart doesn’t mean that there’s anything really missing. It’s just the Silence revealing ItSelf, reminding me of Its Presence, like an old friend that shows up and says – hey, I’m still here. Come sit with me, come and be still. Or, wanna go to lunch? How bout’ weeding the garden? What about organizing that closet, painting that picture… You get the idea… It’s always there - inviting.

So this longing for “Home” – the longing of the Heart that I’ve been experiencing – is really an invitation from this primordial space of Silence to follow Its whisper back to ItSelf - the Silence of the Heart…


“…all moving is from the mover. Every pull draws us to the ocean.”

Rumi


“There is the Pure Awareness that is with you all the time,
just waiting for your recognition.
The Self will pull your ego into the Heart.”

Robert Adams – Silence of the Heart


~*~


photo - Christine

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Riding the Rails...

There is such a longing in my heart for the space of Silence – THE Silence that is the space of “Home.” Not that I *feel* “separate” from “It”, but it’s like living in a house where you never really get to settle in and enjoy it, because of the distractions of living. You never really get to just *be* at Home. Consequently there continues to arise this deep call of Silence – meaning – there continues to be a deep longing of the Heart for the abode of the Silence of the Self.

My challenge has always been how to honor that inner call/longing for “Home” (the call of the Self for ItSelf) without getting distracted, derailed, or sidetracked.

Does this mean the “me” is still “seeking”? I don’t think so. Yet I keep riding the rails of life like a hobo on a freight train going nowhere, past graveyards of past incarnations of beliefs that rise up now and again like ghosts, sometimes thinking I need to get off this train to nowhere and find a place to “be.” So I start rattling around the graveyards of old beliefs, looking for old identities and old connections that might give me a *sense* of being *somewhere.* But again and again I “wake up” and realize that it’s not there either: these old stones with their names and dates and their stories. They are not what I really want. They are not “Home.”

“I” want to go “Home.” WHO wants to go “Home?” The Self – Being ItSelf? And where is that? Does it have a location, a name? Does it exist? Can it be found? Does the train actually go there? – I wonder. Curious, I hop on a boxcar named “Emptiness” and settle in to its No-thing there-ness and ride some more – hoboing through states of mind and dream states, and newer belief states – spending some time warming my heart in the light of each of their campfires – but never really feeling at Home. There is still this haunting, no-name space of Silence that keeps calling… It knocks on the door of my heart in the silent spaces before sleep and rising. That’s when I feel it the most – this incandescent light of Silence in my Heart.

Fellow hoboes say this space of “Home” is right here, right now – you are always there/here in this present moment space. And I know that’s true. They say all you have to do is *see* it, *experience* it, be *aware* of it. Well, I know that’s true too. I have “seen” it, experienced it, and am aware of it - and yet, and yet – “It” still deeply calls to me. So I continue to ride the rails, following my Heart, enjoying the scenery, knowing that the destination is not at the end of the line in some mountain village somewhere far away – but in the inner caverns of the Silence of the Heart. Choo-choo ~~~~~

~*~

istock photo (Canadian Rockies Freight Train)


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

More "Coyote Medicine"

In the comment that ZenDotStudio left on the “Coyote Medicine” post, she asked what my spontaneous, personal “hit”, or interpretation, was on this Coyote sighting at the time that it occurred, and not just what “the books” say the symbolism means. I really appreciate her asking, as it gives me the opportunity to gaze a little longer through the window of greater wisdom.

In reflecting on this encounter it has been interesting to see the synchronistic flow and timing of this sighting that has created yet another “opening”… In a sense a *seeing* that has helped me to once again trust the universal Flow of Life that touches us all.

Shortly after we left my mother’s house my cell phone rang. It was my mother letting me know that I had left our left-overs on the counter. So we made a quick U-ey, and she met us in her driveway with the bag of goodies. This probably only “delayed” us about 2 mins. Heh, heh, heh… If we had not gone back to get the left-over food we would have missed this opportunity to see the Coyote! Goose bumps anyone?

We continued on home, which takes about ½ hour, nothing in particular being felt about the day – except to both comment to each other that “that went well – considering.” We were a mile from home, stopped at a traffic light at an intersection, when I spotted the Coyote at the opposite diagonal corner, just standing there *waiting* - dead prey in her mouth. I pointed “her” out to my husband with a few jabs in his upper arm, pointing, and exclaiming: look, look, look! :) The first thing we both thought of was the cartoon series “The Road Runner” which we had both watched as children. One of the characters was “Wile E. Coyote” – who was always strategizing on how to get the “Road Runner”, which in a humorous way speaks to the Coyote’s character: cunning – as in skillful…

So what was Coyote showing me beyond the pre-scripted symbolism?

What struck me the MOST about seeing “her” was how she just waited there at the corner under the traffic light, as if waiting for the signal to change, to say “go.” In fact, she even looked up *over* her shoulder at the traffic light beside her!, which I marveled at, at the time, like she knew to wait and watch for the signal! Maybe she could hear the light mechanism as it clicked through its cycle, I don’t know. But as soon as *our* light turned green, *she* stepped off the curb and proceeded across the street. It was if she was waiting for the “right time”, waiting and watching for the signals. Great wisdom in any circumstance! Wait and watch for the “go” signal before “stepping out” into life…

The fact that she was at an intersection, “at a crossroads,” says to me that it’s time to look at the ways I move through life. It seems it’s certainly time to make some changes in my relationship with my sister, family and life in general. In my family I seem to take on a lot of responsibility that maybe I don’t need to take on. Although I no longer *feel* angry regarding my sister’s words, something did click inside that said – “enough:” I no longer *feel* a self-imposed sense of responsibility for taking care of you emotionally, for trying to make you *feel* better about your life situation. If you want to wallow in self-pity, feeling victimized, that is your choice – but I will no longer dance this dance with you. Internally I resolved to relate and engage from a different space: from Presence without the emotional investment of the “self.” This may be challenging considering the family dynamics. The symbolism of the Coyote “at the crossroads” is really allowing me to *see* what is actually already taking place internally: a needed shift is taking place with regard to how I move through life – with awareness - not sustaining primal patterns of behavior.

And then - as Ms. Coyote crossed the intersection, continuing into the empty parking lot, I noticed that she kept looking back over her shoulder as if to “watch her back” – to protect herself. It is unfortunate that we need to do this, but I think this is one of the “lessons learned” here; not to leave myself too vulnerable to becoming prey to others, but to use more “cunning” ways (skillful means) of “protecting” myself, rather than the passive-aggressive Darth Vader reactive response. Woosh. In other words, it’s not about using defensive “protection” – as anger is – but “protection” through *awareness* - through *seeing* what is going on around me, and taking right action at the appropriate time.

And finally --- What I noticed as the Coyote crossed the street was that she was so determined to stay on her path. She was undeterred. She just kept going – which is what I intend to do – just keep going, undeterred and undistracted, taking care of myself, doing what needs to be done, making changes where needed – staying open to the Flow of Life…

So that is my personal take on the wisdom of Coyote. I’m also open to hearing your impressions, if you have any insights that you’d like to share. I welcome your input!

~*~


istock photo

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Coyote Medicine

I spotted a Coyote on the way home from my sister’s birthday dinner today, which went well by the way. :) The anger I experienced yesterday had blown through. Nothing had been held onto. There was a sense of meeting the day and my sister with openness and acceptance, without even a twinge of residual hurt or resistance, which surprised me. There’s been growth here evidently that I’m not even aware of… I just automatically moved on, so-to-speak.

We were only about a mile from home when I spotted the Coyote at the corner of an intersection where we had stopped for the light. There are fields there, amongst the high rise office buildings in this suburban setting. The Coyote had prey in her mouth. She was standing at the corner as if waiting for the light to turn, even looked up, as if she was looking to see if it had changed, which I found amusing. My goodness, even the Coyotes know to wait for the light! Then just as our light turned green, she stepped off the curb at the opposite corner and crossed. Evidently she’s color blind. We waited as she pranced across on her little paws and made her way into the parking lot on the opposite corner. She kept looking over her shoulder as if worried that somebody might be following her. I watched as long as I could as we passed, and as she disappeared off to my right. I remembered that Coyote means “trickster” in Native American folklore, and wanted to look up more in the books I have about what meaning the indigenous people give to these animal symbols.

I know that “Spirit”/The Mystery/The Universe manifests Itself and speaks to us in many different ways, and I am always in awe of how this happens. So I knew there may be a message in this sighting today, especially in light of the intense feelings I experienced yesterday. There was probably something that I needed to pay attention to. Of course, isn’t there always!

“The books” say that Coyote medicine will teach you a lesson about yourself – Uh-huh, definitely got that. That within the trickster medicine is the cosmic joke not to take your self too seriously. “All your self-mirrors may shatter.” Yep, my self-image as “Yoda the wise” (said tongue in cheek) was definitely shattered as Darth Vader emerged… The book advised that I needed to go directly beneath the surface of my experience and ask what am I really doing and why, as I may not be conscious of my own pathway of foolishness. No, really!? :0 I know I took a rather deep nose dive into the pool of unconscious folly yesterday… Certainly indulging in the Darth Vader persona was a bit of hyperbole to the situation… Maybe that was it - an overblown reaction, taking myself and my hurt feelings a little too seriously. I read on: “The medicine is in laughter and joking so that new viewpoints may be assumed.” That is definitely true – the ability to play the jokester – bringing humor and lightness to help bridge the gap in a situation that could have been very tense. It goes on to say that Coyote’s message is also about balance, which I interpret to mean finding the harmony in a situation, finding the flow again between people in difficult situations; which, it says, has to do with being adaptable and flexible. Check.

Then it says: "If a Coyote has appeared, you are at a crossroads.” (Interesting that the Coyote we spotted at an intersection…) “It is time to trust what is right for you. Maintain your childlike poise amidst the chaos around you. Keep your sense of humor. Become again as a child, following your heart and trusting your childlike perceptions.” Ah, there it was – the medicine. It was saying to me: Be open and innocent, like a child who is spontaneous and takes things as they come, not allowing the hurts to poison your heart… The anger of a child in a sense is that way too, it seems. It is spontaneous, expressive and blows over. Then they’re off on another adventure. So I’m facing the folly of my anger, and moving on to new perspectives, looking at life with fresh eyes again. Sigh… Feeling better already…

And so I humbly bow to Ms. Coyote in gratitude for bringing me the needed “medicine” today…


~*~

istock photo

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Darth Vader Strikes Again...

Today I came crashing back to Earth, and in a flash I experienced “the dark side” again. I discovered just how much anger is still here. Whoa. Get ready for the laser show folks. It was triggered in a flash by ignorant words spoken from frustration. This I know in my Being, but my reaction came from my own old wounded heart. I saw exactly how it gets triggered in me, and how it spreads like wild fire when unchecked. It’s a little embarrassing, but thought it would be therapeutic for me to blog about it here… And maybe you can relate too. And just when I thought the non-duality cosmic light show was getting pretty spectacular too… Darn… Anything to keep me humble. So it’s story time… Oh c’mon, you know you still like a good story! :)

I called my sister today, as it is her birthday tomorrow and we were planning a little get together for her to help celebrate how far she’s come since her “accident” March 3rd when she broke her back and injured her neck. I called to make sure that everything was still on for tomorrow and to find out what else, if anything, she wanted for her birthday dinner, (which is take out btw. Short order cook I’m not. My family doesn’t like the kinds of foods I prepare. You know, the “good” stuff. So take out it is!) Anyway, it was clear that my sister was not in a good space, so I did my usual song and dance routine about look how far you’ve come – trying to encourage. But that wasn’t good enough. I maintained my composure as she went on about how bad everything was for her: the heat, the air-conditioning that wasn’t working right, her life that isn’t going the way she wants it, etc. Still, I was trying to put a good face on it. (Maybe that was my problem.) I tried more encouraging words, and empathy. I asked if there was anything in particular that was causing her to feel this way. It was met with the statement: It’s just my whole f-ing life in general. Where have you been for the last three months!? (Said sarcastically, as if I didn’t know how hard her life has been – and not just for the last 3 months.) And of course I was the one who was there for her, who kept her secrets, her lies. I was there for her physically and emotionally, despite my own physical and health difficulties, for 6 straight weeks, until she was more capable and independent enough to be on her own. And I’ve still been available to her as needed for the last 6 weeks as well. I mean, last I checked I was there. Maybe she just didn’t *see* me… But maybe that’s the issue – it’s all about “me.” Ooops.

Her words cut deep. Her excuse was that she was hot and cranky. I got off the phone as quickly as I could, before the eruption - ready for a rant.

It surprised me the level of anger her insult brought; the level of hurt. That’s where the anger comes from – being hurt - wanting to protect against the pain that only family can inflict. And it’s not about being appreciated. But I certainly didn’t anticipate being insulted either, even if I know that she acted in ignorance. Evidently there’s still a strong sense of “self” here. The “me” was offended. The mind kicked in – creating a story: How dare she, after all I’ve done for her… I reached for my laser gun under my cape. I made a phone call – no chanting or meditating here – oh no. It was time for the light show! I sputtered and fumed, waving the laser wand in huge sweeps of angry reactivity, wiping out those little birthday candles on the cake with a few choice words of my own. It still didn’t make me feel better. In fact, the amount of reactivity surprised me – as I indulged. I could not muster compassion. I could not step away from the story, the hurt, the emotion. I just had to allow the anger to run its course… However, I don’t recommend venting. It involves people you don’t really want to involve and it doesn’t really solve anything constructively. It relieves a little steam, but then there’s still the gaping wound. Even if I rationalize that she acted in ignorance, from a place of unconsciousness, and she can’t help herself – the wound is still there. And just because I may be on a “spiritual path” doesn’t mean I have to accept rudeness and insult, especially from someone who has a history of mowing people down verbally when things don’t go her way. Or so the “me” tells itself.

Interesting emotion Anger is. It has been a life long companion of mine; the twin of Anxiety. I *know* what triggers it: the “self” feeling slighted, insulted, misunderstood, abused, not heard, dismissed, disrespected, disregarded, unattended to by significant others in my life; fear, frustration and pain. Shall I go on… :) Yes, this is a familiar “friend”, and I don’t expect she will be leaving any time soon. So little Darthie still has a place at the table, except, I didn’t expect her to show up unexpectedly today. Like she was going to notify me first!?

So here I sit with “anger” – the Mystery as Darth Vader playing itself out in the shadow side of life. Little Darthie has tucked the laser gun under her cape – for now. It is safe to approach.


~*~

Friday, June 4, 2010

Sensing Being

Monday I found myself at different times of the day being aware of Being – internally – the inner fluid flow of Being (Buddha Nature, Self, Awareness, Spaciousness, Stillness). It was as if I was being pulled inward, as I was *doing* things – like preparing a meal, doing the dishes, working outside. I would feel this inward turning to inner stillness. I have experienced this before – this turning of awareness inward and feeling this still Presence in the middle of “doing” – not just in the stillness of meditating.

As I sat reading that evening, I couldn’t focus on the words, so I put the book down and just allowed Awareness to take me where it wanted to go – seeing life through my eyes. As I looked around the room, and the things in the room, I realized that “things” aren’t just “things” in this field of Awareness. I experienced that *everything* is Being taking form. “Awakening” is the *seeing* of this; seeing the still, alive fluidness of Being in and as everything – even the inanimate car across the street! :) And - “Awakening” is seeing what is seeing; that innate awareness that sees, knows and revels in the seeing of it all. Consciousness revealing ItSelf to ItSelf.

I also sensed that this Being that we are is inherently *aware* – aware of Itself *as* “things”, as “us.” Only it sees no distinction as things, us, etc. It sees only ItSelf. As I saw that, I also experienced that everything has awareness - is Awareness. It’s in the molecules. It’s the stuff of space – of life. Everything sings with innate aliveness. I’ve known this all along, but it seems to be waking up again. “I” seem to keep falling back into the trance of separation – of not seeing – but Self keeps calling me back to ItSelf – if I’m listening. And apparently even when I’m not particularly listening It calls to me…

And so this has been my practice this week: this sensing of Being, this recognition of inner Being, inner Awareness, as well as awareness of Being in the surrounding environment, and in the ordinary “doings” of life. Awareness awaring ItSelf…

I have also found this week, so far, that it is relatively “easy” to experience this sense of inner Being inwardly, relatively “easy” to *see* it in Nature, the environment, but where I seem to get hung up is *seeing* Being *in* people. I have noticed on several occasions that there *seems* to be a veil there between us human beings that *seems* to obscure the view, unless one is *really* looking – really *seeing.* I have tried to *sense* Being in the people I have met this week, but usually all I see is the “trance of separation” in their eyes… I know that people see that veil here too at times – hopefully not all the time. It’s a veil that we hide behind, that keeps “us" from deeply recognizing Being in ourselves and one another. It’s the wound of separation. It’s hard seeing through this veil at times, into what’s *really* there – the inner space of Beingness behind the trance. No wonder “peace” is so illusive… We’re not really *seeing* through the veil into Being – into the Spaciousness that we all are…

Thursday morning at the hair shop, while waiting my turn, I watched the people to see what I could see. There was a lot of chatter but no connection - no sensing of Being. Everyone was going through the motions of pretend connection – without the *awareness* of inner Being. And then one woman brought her white-haired elderly mother in for a hair-do. The woman left to do an errand, while her mother waited, and returned before it was my turn. She was flipping through a hair fashion magazine, showing me the pictures, humorously commenting on these rather unrealistic, extreme hair fashions that only models can wear – not women in their 60’s. In her eyes I sensed a sparkle of light, not the dull veneer of trance…

After my haircut she was still seated in a chair by the door. As I stood up she kindly commented on my new “do.” I paid the hairdresser and turned to walk out the door. As I did, I felt the fleetingness of the moment and wanted to say something to her, so I paused, bent down, and said: “Bye – nice to meet you.” She looked at me with a sparkle of surprise in her eyes, smiled and said: “Nice to meet you too!” Seeing beyond the veil opened another crack in my Heart. Yes, Virginia – there is a radiant Being in there - in everyone. You can sense it, feel it and see it - beyond the veil… Look deeply…


~*~

istock photo

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Reflections on the Movement of Consciousness

In times of stillness I can often internally feel myself “step back” into the larger inner Stillness, or Silence,” in a *conscious* movement of awareness going inward, settling in. I become aware of Awareness Itself – the vast, alive Field of Awareness within – or Beingness – or Buddha Nature… It is an experience of fullness – not a dead zone. The other morning I experienced it as a wave receding back into the Ocean – as if “I” was just gently rolling back into the vast depths of the Ocean: the wave receding back into Itself essentially – or curling back on itself… It’s like the wave of “self” falling back into Self – never separate entities in the first place – only a *movement* of the Ocean of Self/Awareness/Stillness/Consciousness – rising up to meet life and then receding back into pure Essence. You could say it’s a movement of Self-Awareness; Awareness becoming aware of ItSelf – over and over again…

In “meditation,” which for me is a deep communing with this vast Oceanic “Stillness” – the Aware Awake Presence of Being - there is the awareness of the movement of receding into the depths of Stillness; not as a separate “self/me” receding into anything – but as the Ocean Itself receding back into Itself, folding back on Itself - recognizing ItSelf. It seems the waves of the Ocean are a *natural movement of the Ocean.* What we call the “me” or the “self” is really just the wave of the Ocean rising and falling within Itself… Consciousness rising and falling within Itself. Except that *as* the “me” Being seems to have forgotten that, only focusing on Itself as the “me”-wave…

To say that there is no “me to step back” – as some do - is only partially true – in my experience. There is no *separate* “entity” of a “me” *from* the Ocean itself . The “me” is actually a movement *within* the Ocean that creates a wave of Itself that rises from (not out of) the Ocean to dance, to experience, to play with the wind and the shore - with life. So to focus attention on whether there is a “me” that exists or not is to become focused on only a small part of the movement of Consciousness, and not recognize that the underlying movement *is* Consciousness Itself – the Ocean-Self. There is no distinction. It’s just the rising and falling of the Self *as* Its “self” (as its wave-self.) Or, said differently – Being gives rise to the “self” to interface with life.

To espouse that the “me” is only an appearance *in* Awareness *assumes* the appearance of the object is somehow different from the field of Awareness that it’s supposedly appearing in. This just creates more separation. So to state that there is nothing but appearances is just word games. There is nothing but the movement of Consciousness *in and as* all appearances! The wave is the Ocean as well as the wave… It’s all Itself…

To say that everything is “just an appearance”, or that nothing exists except appearances, doesn’t mean that the “appearances” aren’t *real*, which seems to be implied in this kind of supposedly non-dual lingo. They (the appearances) are all the *substance* of Awareness/Consciousness being Itself… It doesn’t mean those things don’t exist, and should not be dismissed as not being real. It’s just *seeing* that the form is *really* the manifest Stillness, Emptiness dancing – the field of Awareness *appearing as form * - not *separate* from form. Emptiness is form and form Emptiness.

A “person” is a wave of the Self – living, moving, as the “me.” When it is said that there is no person, that there is nothing but appearances, that creates distinctions in Awareness. It’s the mind still trying to explain Reality by breaking it into pieces of this and not this – creating separation that isn’t there in the first place.

To say that there is no “me” is to say there is no wave – but there is. To say “we” do not exist, that there is no “me” is like Being denying the Existence of Itself. And I don’t think that’s what Existence had in “mind.” :) Don’t ask me how I *know* this, I just meditated and this is the wave of awareness that arose…

So all the wranglings with words in a lot of the contemporary (non-Buddhist) “non-dual” blogs seems like a lot of mumbo-jumbo to me. It sounds impressive to those who are “seeking” – but it’s just a play of words. I like the direct experience myself… Or, is it that Being likes the direct experience of Itself appearing in form… :) So “I” just “step back” into the Stillness of Awareness and *experience* It: the movement of Consciousness… Consciousness experiencing Consciousness; the Self seeing ItSelf; Awareness aware of ItSelf - awareing… :)


~*~


istock photo