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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...

Monday, August 30, 2010

Window "Pain"

After my foray into the “Egoless” Forest, a couple of posts back, with its lush green foliage, it appears that there are still some dragons lurking in the shadows there. Where are those knights when you need them!? And I thought they were here to protect and defend. Ah – but it appears that the lady of the castle must face her own dragons and apparently it is time. No “spiritualizing” of this lingering shadow-self is allowed here in the Egoless forest.

It was inevitable in window sitting that these shadow orphans of the self would come out of hiding from behind the trees to be seen and heard. That’s really all they want, like the rest of us. They are the parts that have been avoided; the parts I’d rather not deal with; the ones that are still hurting, still in pain, still not seeing who they really are. Experiencing our Essential Self more deeply actually opens the window to seeing more deeply all that has been avoided – through seeking enlightenment, through using “spirituality” as a cover to hide behind. Experiencing “True Self” is not the end, it’s the beginning. And each time I experience an “awakening” into this Natural State of Being, it seems a deeper awareness opens up to these hidden aspects that want to be known.

So it appears that I’m going to be exploring these more hidden spaces during “window sitting.” It’s already started. These little gremlins keep throwing rocks at the castle window, trying to get my attention. Which is strange, because the window is open and the screens are on – but I can hear them knocking. :) So I’m getting to reflect on all the ways I am still attached to “me”, especially in relationship. The sign of attachment seems to be the level of anger, frustration and irritation that I still feel in those relationships and with life in general. There is also a noticing that there is still a need for this “me” to defend, argue, correct, to speak out against, to judge – oooo – really? Maybe I don’t want to see this! Too late! I see that I am still playing out the unconscious dramas in relationships with family and my husband. This unconscious drama is like some kind of unspoken language of emotional triggers and reactions – deep neural pathways of pain that are engrained and habitual. I won’t regale you with the details, or go into the personal stories, but having to spend inordinate amounts of time with my family over the last several months has triggered a lot of old habituated patterns and suppressed feelings.

It has been my experience that in this process of awakening, enlightenment, or however one calls it, it is discovered that there is an emotional investment in hanging on to this sense of “me” with its fears, playing prescribed roles. In some unconscious way we seem to get attached to the “me’s” way of seeing – through pain - and therefore get emotionally invested in hanging onto our pain; to *not* seeing who we really are, because it’s too threatening to the ego. We cling to this suffering “me’s” way of seeing because there is a pay-off somehow. We get to stay stuck – and complain about it. We get to avoid what we don’t want to see and hide within this phantom “me.” We get to stay identified with the “me” that we believe we are - tenaciously hanging on to our sense of me that doesn’t *want* to see who it *really* IS, and doesn’t want to give up its role – causing suffering.

So I continue window sitting, curiously pulling back the curtain and seeing through the window “pains” – the places where pain still lives – not wallowing in pain mind you, not fixated on it, but allowing the resident orphans their say and meeting them with deep compassion and presence – welcoming them Home.

~*~

I did this picture back in 1991 as part of an “Inner Child” exercise.
She is the vulnerable child, in hiding.

~*~

PS: This does not mean that all my posts from now on will be about
"pain" or the shadow self.
I will continue to write about whatever shows up at the window...


Friday, August 27, 2010

A "me" story Window

Once upon a time there was a “me”, and apparently there still is:) And this little “me” evidently still likes to run stories…

Sitting at the window the other night, the house next door was dark and quiet – thankfully. Eventually I saw lights come on, and one of the dogs was let out the back door, but not the other. I noticed that this was strange as they are usually let out together. The dog seemed anxious, turning and standing right back at the door, like he really didn’t want to be let out. He paced a little, never leaving the porch and kept returning to the door as if it would magically open. He seemed unsettled. I then became concerned because I thought that something might have happened to his companion. I sensed that the dog was afraid to be out alone – like separation anxiety… I know the feeling :)

I began to feel disturbed, unsettled and anxious myself *thinking* there must be something wrong at the house next door, because of this unusual activity – no lights all evening and now only one dog. I lingered a little longer at the window, to see if the dog would be let in, but all the lights went out and the dog was left on the porch. My heart sank. There are coyotes out there in the dark night! I know, because I hear them yipping and howling while window sitting. In fact this particular dog was bitten by one several years ago right in his backyard. My heart could not bear for him to be out all by himself, vulnerable and alone. Would someone please let me – ah, the dog – in!

The ”me” story was birthed. The me-mind took off, creating this incredible scenario that something had happened to his female companion. Maybe she got injured and was at the vets; maybe she was injured so badly that she had to be put to sleep; maybe she got into something and got sick… My mind went from story to story. There *must* be something “wrong” over there I conjectured. And on it went as I watched out the window. So much for sinking into the Stillness… The me-mind contracted around its story, believing it, which simultaneously led to a contraction in the body that followed the thoughts being generated. The opening of spacious Awareness contracted down - perspective and the wider view were lost as the “me” became preoccupied with the story…

I headed to bed, and expressed my concern to my husband, building my story, creating more contraction. This contraction of the “me” around its story became a visceral experience that led to unease and a sleepless night.

The next morning, when I got up, I still felt the contraction in my gut. I went to the window to see - and there she was! My story had been completely erroneous! I realized I had needlessly created a story based on my assumptions of what I *thought* was true… I had created a mind story out of my own beliefs and projections, from not seeing clearly. I clouded the window of Seeing with my own assumptions and interpretations…

And now for a little window washing…

~*~


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Egoless Window

The past couple of nights the neighbor’s house has been dark and quiet – thankfully. Only the bright moon light lit the yards. On these nights the theme of “me” arose… I scratched some notes out on the windowsill in the moonlight:

“Window sitting”, like meditation, takes the focus off the “me” and puts the focus on awareness and what is Aware… Awareness unwinds the “me” – slows it down – gives it space.

Worrying about whether there’s a “me” or no-me is tedious and keeps one focused on the “me” as if the “me” is arguing its own existence. The thought arises that the tree does not argue whether it is a tree or not… It just “bes” the tree. (Yes, that is what I wrote :)

The so-called “me” is like a lens through which “I” (the Essential Nature of Being) sees the world, sees life, how the “I” engages with life…

It seems “we” have to lose focus through the lens of “me”, in a sense. We have to let go of our narrow focus of “me” and open the aperture. We need to allow the “me” to blur – to not *know* - to not focus so much, to take in the larger view, to not fixate on *things*, thoughts, ideas, feelings, circumstances, people, etc. We have to soften our gaze… And realize that there really is only the soft gaze of the Eternal – Seeing through the “me.”

“I” became aware in this moment, sitting at the window, that “I” really am not a “me.” There is no clear sense of a “me.” There is just a fluid sense of “Selfness”/Isness/Beingness (the only way I know to describe it) – but no clear cut definable “me” that can be painted in with numbers. There is no sense of identification as a “me”, as a label, a title – no clear cut focal point. And the question arises: Is it true that there is no solid me? What arises is that in allowing our focus to blur, to widen, the *attachment* to ego/me becomes less and less. There is a blurring of the “me” that actually allows for greater vision.

The sense arises that the “me” is a *function* of “I”-ness, of Awareness; a practical function. Like thought function, or body function, there is a “me” function, but there is no definable, distinction of a “me” from this “I”-ness (Beingness/Awareness).

If this is true, then the “me” cannot be free! The “me” is not ME! It is only a function of this egoless “I”-ness. The “me” can never be free because “I” is already free and the “me” is just a function of that “I”, like a trained function, a trained dog – habituated to perform in certain ways. The “me” gets used to this function and believes it alone exists, because it appears to have a primary function in the system. But the “me” is just a phantom – a shadow of the “I.” All there really is, is I–Awareness – the Essential Nature of Being…

~*~


Monday, August 23, 2010

Irritation Window

I love my “window sitting” practice. And I love sharing the experiences here. I have not missed one night since I started on August 2nd. It nourishes me and provides needed insight and awareness – more so than regular “sitting meditation” for some reason, and I find that interesting. The small wood chair at the window in my “office/work” space has become my sanctuary, my sacred space, more than my meditation space (in another room in the house). I normally approach the window with a sense of anticipation, curious as to what my experience will be for the night. But last night I approached the window with irritation.

Our neighbor next door has been doing some major remodeling in his home. Friday night he was up till after midnight pounding on walls and carrying the debris out to a huge metal dumpster in his driveway, which creates a rather loud, piercing echoing sound when he throws large chunks of wall into it – startling me just as I slip into stillness. Fortunately I got a reprieve Saturday night. But last night he was at it again. The back porch light was on as well – lighting up the whole back yard. I come to the window to sit in the dark, to experience the night and the silence of the night, which gets me in touch with the inner Stillness, and allows me to feel the Heart of Awareness. I’ve gotten used to my quiet space and I don’t want it disturbed. I am feeling a little territorial – and irritated – and am tempted to yell out the window: Hey you, knock it off! Do not keep a tired, grumpy woman from sitting at her window! It seems I have taken ownership of the night as “my space.” But of course, the night belongs to everybody, I cannot claim it as my own, and this is evidently part of the experience…

I purposely waited til 12:30am to sit last night, thinking that surely he would be done by then… But no – he is a night owl like me… I’d sit all night if I could function the next day… So I sat, disturbed and irritated, jostled by every sound, feeling like this was never going to work! Then I stopped focusing my attention on the distractions *outside* the window, and brought my attention inward – to the inner window - and was able to find the thread of Stillness that runs through there. I think maybe that’s the point in sitting, whether at window or on zafu. It takes the focus off the distractions and irritations, and the stories I tend to create – like how dare my neighbor disturb my nightly ritual! - and brings me back to inner Awareness – to the pure, delightful, alive River of Stillness within.

And now to the window… We’ll see what tonight brings :)


~*~


Let us take this moment
to dive beneath the cultivated veils
or our misperception.
Let us embrace
what the heart knows without knowing,
the eyes sense without seeing,
what the ears hear
without hearing…




Sunday, August 22, 2010

Contentment Window

Last night, during “window sitting”, there was only the sound of a single cricket without the background chorus of fellow crickets. He was singing all by himself – content to sing his song.

There was the delightful smell of moisture, of wet earth, after the rain earlier in the evening: grass, leaves, vegetation from the neighbor’s garden. They were all content too, to just be what they are…. (Don’t ask me how I knew this :)

I felt the cool night air wafting through the window – which always inspires me. And I felt gratitude for friends arise for some reason, along with a myriad thoughts, feelings and awareness of body sensations and discomforts. Then I began to settle, and there was the usual awareness of the breath, then a deep breath, and deeper settling into that innate sense of the womb of Stillness that is content…

Suddenly the realization came that I am comfortable with myself! Oh my, can this be?! I felt somewhat shocked, to the point where I shifted in my seat and became acutely aware of this strange feeling that filled this space of “me.”

It was an awesome feeling to be at peace with myself. I never remember feeling “content” in my life. But here it was – contentment sitting at the window – saying welcome – here I am – just feel my presence.

And it was understood, in that moment, that “I” is always content – the Essential “I” – even if the sense of “me” isn’t. Contentment is a natural state of Being. It was also understood, sitting in the window, that contentment is not based on the absence of thoughts and feelings, or life going well, of having or not having. It’s a contentment of Being - just Be-ing – as the River of Stillness runs through – untroubled, untouched – leaving the face of contentment shining through…


~*~

Can you see the face in the cloud?




Friday, August 20, 2010

Creative Window

I started this collage about a month ago, and finished it before my “window sitting” practice began in early August. Interestingly it reveals another window of seeing, expressing what matters to me most – the whispers of the Heart that call to me - and that evidently wanted to be expressed creatively – in this case through art collage.

After setting the initial pieces of the collage out on plain poster board paper, I decided to dig out a piece of my “Fun Qi Art”™ that I did ages ago with Cray-Pas oil sticks and use that as background. I collected pieces of quotes and pictures from my “collage files” that spoke to me. Particularly there were 3 quotes that resonated. The first one, in the center with ripples around it, is an Emerson quote that became the central theme. It says:
“Our life is an apprenticeship to the truth that around every circle another can be drawn; that there is no end in nature, but every end is a beginning, and under every deep a lower deep opens.”
The second quote, in the right upper figure of a meditator, is from Franz Kafka and says:
“Just become quiet, still, and solitary, and the world will offer itself to you to be unmasked. It has no choice. It will roll in ecstasy at your feet.”
And the third – the little blurb under the little oval picture of sail boats on the ocean at the bottom - is from someone named Andre Gide that says:
“One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.”
In the finished collage there are themes of imagination, wonder, opening to life, movement, opening and listening to the Heart (and the stars :). There is a strong theme of deepening, and sitting in inner Stillness where Mukti – Freedom – lives – where the “truth” reveals itself – the “truth” about mySelf, the world, and Existence… There is a stargazer, a meditator, and maybe even an adventurer, although I don’t see myself that way. I have a hard time letting go of the shore :) Yet, there it is, the invitation to let go of the shore and discover new lands, new ways of being and seeing… There’s a big ocean curl wave with the words “primordial experience” in the center – symbolizing the pull of the Primordial Womb of Life – the deep Stillness of the inner Heart of Being.

There’s a woman sitting at the edge of the ocean, as viewed through a window (!), with the words: “Days that pass simply and quietly…” Ah yes… another whisper of my Heart – to let go of the complexity that I also create and come, sit and be joyfully still - just BE. And then there’s little picture of a small cabin in the woods, surrounded by water, pines and mountains with a fluid aurora borealis overhead. It found its way into the piece as another whisper calling to me – a call to living simply in Nature.

Underneath all of that are the squiggles of color that in some places appear entangled. At first they spoke to me of chaos, maybe an inner chaos, or a level of chaos underneath that keeps me entangled – as well as the emergence of creativity through chaos, and the presence of Stillness in chaos. Sometimes I also see these colorful, unending, interconnected lines underneath it all representing the thread of Beginnings and Endings that run through life, as well as the unbroken thread of the fluid Rhythm of Beingness that is the ground of all existence.

There are so many ways to look – to see through this creative window that offers a glimpse of what calls to my heart every night through “window sitting”: Imagine, Listen, Deepen, Let Go, Open, Stillness…. Freedom…


~*~



Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Heart Window Opening


We all need a little inspiration now and then,
and a reminder to just be who we are;
to know that we are loved the way we are...

Click on the link under the picture for a heart-opening video :)




Sunday, August 15, 2010

Multi-view Window

“Window sitting” calms me. It seems I am more aware, not only of what is happening all around me, but there’s more awareness of what is Aware within me, of what is seeing through these eyes with night vision – and day vision…

“Window sitting” keeps me “sane” – meaning - it enables me to meet the day with equanimity. It allows me to see life through a different lens – the lens of awareness; a multifaceted lens, like the fresnal lens of a lighthouse that allows for limitless light reflection over greater distances. And – it allows me to see through multiple windows as well, like a lighthouse with a 360 degree view through different panes of glass. This multi-view window of awareness keeps me sane in the sense that it seems to be keeping me from being swallowed up by story, by drama, by others, by thinking, by life circumstances… This window of awareness gives me a broader view, one in which the story of a separate “me” is beginning not to matter anymore…



Listening
inwardly and outwardly,
simultaneously.
Awareness
within and without,
simultaneously.

Just sitting
Just listening
Just aware-ing

Just Seeing…

New portals of awareness open up…


~*~


The picture is from a calendar we once had.
The photographer is unknown.
It is the Haceta Head Lighthouse in Oregon.



Friday, August 13, 2010

Raising the Window...

In window sitting, late at night, in the dark, there seem to be many questions that arise out of curiosity, like: Is Consciousness/Awareness aware that it is aware? Can Consciousness/Awareness be aware of ItSelf? Is it true that Awareness/Consciousness is all there is? After all there *are* apparently “things” here… I mean I see trees, and houses, and plants, and animals, and people driving cars while sitting at the window every night… Then there was a “question” posed to me yesterday from a fellow “window sitter” who emailed me and said: “Sometimes in these meditations it seems there can be this seeing of this space identical with divisionless existence… but there is still the experience of something ‘other.’”

I gave a preliminary, rambling answer and then pondered a while.

And later, what arose was this:

The “seeing” is the recognition that there is no “thing” *separate* from the Essence or Essential Nature of Being; that certainly Beingness ItSelf – Spacious, Awake, Aware Presence - can and obviously does manifest ItSelf *as* many different “things”: trees, people, animals, thoughts, flowers, music, art - dark and light, pain and joy. And yes, even our personalities, our egos are not “other” than, not separate from this essential Nature of all that is. It’s like seeing that there’s an alive flow of energy through it all. And so the *idea* of separateness, of “other”, of duality, doesn’t really matter anymore, because you realize that what you see is this all-pervasive Beingness morphing ItSelf into many forms. And – it is realized that there is only a *sense* of ‘other’ that isn’t essentially real…

Later that night, during “window sitting” I couldn’t help but continue to ponder this. And once again the window of Seeing was raised, or is that the blinds: Being-Self sees ItSelf in and as everything. It Sees ItSelf as tree, as cloud, as us – no separation - as everything that exists… Being ItSelf has no sense of “other,” has no concept of separation, or duality. It only sees ItSelf…

~*~


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Window Pull

Body settles more easily…
Entrainment with the Inner Rhythm,
more natural…

I feel a pull, pulling me into the inner depths,
to an inner window,
an inner Awareness.

Thoughts drift
Noises fade
Awareness arises:

When I don’t *want* anything to “happen”,
I relax into this inward pull…

When I don’t *need* anything to “happen”,
I relax into the way it is…

Kind of like life…

“Life holds no promises,”
wafts through my head.
A reminder to hold onto nothing;
to expect nothing *from* life;
that there is nothing in it for the “me”…

The pull of the inner window
reminds me to just relax,
without turning away from the window – the seeing…
without turning away from life – the experiencing…
without turning away from
the depths of Awareness…

~*~



Monday, August 9, 2010

Silent Window...

Last night I found myself feeling disappointed during “window sitting” because nothing was “happening” – no great insight, or wisdom – just Silence. As I discovered, sometimes Silence is truly silent… Imagine that! I was hoping for the bells and whistles – a juicy story *about* the Silence. However, as It showed me last night, It cannot be contrived, or demanded – only met, on its own terms… And last night It appeared to be hiding behind a veil – or was that me….

And of course the “Silence” that I speak of is not an “It’ – an object, a persona, a “something” to be objectified, achieved, grasped, owned, something to be made into an experience. It just is… So I’m trying to be conscious of not creating “story” around the experience, and focus on just be-ing there (here) – aware - *allowing* the experience to be what it is each night – learning to *rest* in this silent Stillness that cannot be named – except I do try to name it by using allegories and metaphors. I try to give it substance and meaning. Like this: By Stillness/Silence, with a capital “S”, I mean the inner alive Stillness/Silence that is our true Nature, which of course is also found in Nature, because it is LIFE Itself. This “essence” of Life is pure Aware Stillness/Silence. It is what animates everything and what everything arises in and from – like thought, feeling, story, creativity, mind… They all find their origins in the Aware Stillness/Silence that just IS. They all fold back into that as well… And – that’s also not IT. Like the Tao says: “The Tao that can be named is not the Tao…” It’s just our *idea* of it… It’s my *idea* of Silence/Stillness – and so my *idea* didn’t show up last night. You get the idea. :) After an hour I schlepped to bed feeling a bit like a five year old who didn’t get her bedtime story… I was a bit pouty…

As I’m discovering, my “window sitting experience” sometimes brings a deeper awareness of THE Stillness that permeates everything, that connects everything through the energetic “thread” of Silent Awareness that is aware - and evidently sometimes it doesn’t! Kind of like any meditation - sometimes there are deep, profound insights and sometimes the mind fidgets the whole time… One of my challenges is not to get caught in anticipating an “exquisite experience”, or a consistent experience. The other is to not judge the experience because I couldn’t feel it, or experience it the way “I” wanted to, because there were no “goodies” for my mind to wrap itself around. Sitting with Stillness is not about entertaining the mind- or satisfying the ego’s need for experience. It’s about just being with what IS…

THE Stillness just IS. It is what the stillness of the night exudes, what Nature dances to. It is the Sacred Silence that sings… And so I sit in the window each night to remember this – even when it appears to be absent – which of course I know it isn’t… How could that which IS be absent… I just sometimes don’t see beyond the veil of my own expectations…

I still look forward to coming to the window. It humbles me, makes me aware, and continues to show me a new way of being, even when it is silent: being still and just listening; not projecting my ideas of what the experience is supposed to look or feel like - just allowing the Silence of Life to come to me in its own way – simply sitting…

~*~

“Are we willing to be still, go deep, and listen to the Silence… The eternal is indeed at home within us. Wisdom is not acquired through learning about ideas – but arises from the depth of Silence. Being awake means being here for what is here, not there for what we *hope* to experience… As soon as we stop struggling against…we discover the Stillness that is perpetually present. It is the Timeless dancing *as* time…”

~*~

“There is a field beyond ideas….. I’ll meet you there…” Rumi

~*~

Trusting in the simplicity of Stillness
let Life come to you…
Resting in the simplicity of Silence
Life will find you…

MeANderi

~*~

photo - Christine

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Spacious Seeing Window

Cloudless Sky
Sacred Silence
Uncontrived
Unsought

Just Silence…

There is only Sacred Silence,
a fathomless, infinite depth of Light…

And everything is That…

Clear
Tangible
Alive

Spacious Being...

Spacious Seeing…


~*~


“If the doors (windows) of perception were cleaned (clear)
everything would appear to man as it is, infinite…”

William Blake



“You do not have to go away outside yourself
to come into real conversation with your soul (Self)…
The eternal is at home…within you.”

Meister Eckhart



”This universe is not outside of you.
Look inside yourself;
Everything that you want,
you are already that.”

Rumi


Photo - street light through tree branches



Saturday, August 7, 2010

Window Whispers...

Tonight I feel more like an indigenous native, becoming familiar with my surroundings, sitting in my tree house high in the trees, waiting for a night adventure, rather than the lady of the castle sitting in her turret window, waiting for her lover… “Silence” appears in many disguises…

The night is still and muggy. There is no breeze. There are the usual sounds and noticings.

Mind has figured out what we’re doing here, so it’s anticipating the experience, like a dog looking for mischief, seeing what it can get into. This is not what “I” had in mind, but I’m willing to play along for a while to see if this dog-mind will wear itself out. And like any good spotter dog, there is a new noticing. The back bedroom lights of the house diagonally behind us through the trees are on – blinds closed. I have not noticed this light before. Dog-mind is captured by this. The light goes off. Then it goes on. Then out. Then on. This goes on several times and dog-mind thinks – WHAT are these people doing!?

I coax dog-mind in from its distraction by focusing on the breath and, once again, cup head in hands on the window sill, and try to focus my energies on listening with my whole body. This is more difficult than I expected. Dog-mind is relentless in its need for adventure. I fidget and move and squirm, trying to find just the right position… In frustration I nearly call it quits prematurely…

Settling happens…

Stillness arrives and awareness arises with it…

In the stillness of the night I am aware that inner vastness and outer vastness are the same. That what I am waiting for is already here. I begin to lose the sense of inner and outer, of mind and Stillness, of me and night, of physical me and Spaciousness, of “other.” There’s no sense of boundary. It’s all the same – unbounded and uncontained. My sense of inner spaciousness and outer spaciousness is really one Spaciousness. Only my elbow on the window sill reminds me there’s a physical body sitting at a window (a hole in a wall) in a chair. Only my elbow and my mind remind me of solidity. But – there is no solidity, no inner and outer, only Spaciousness – all encompassing Vastness – unencumbered by definition or experience or feeling or sensation. Just Isness.

Suddenly cool air rolls in through the window and touches me gently on the arm, making me aware of its presence. Another awareness arises: If you sit long enough, with no agenda, or expectations, without giving up, Silence makes ItSelf known. It touches you through the window, through the opening in whatever wall we have constructed, and whispers its message on a gentle breeze in the night.

~*~


Friday, August 6, 2010

Window Sitting - Night 3

I now eagerly look forward to my time at the window each night! I hope you all aren’t getting bored… I am just having way too much fun sitting each night, and writing about my experiences!

Night 3 is a Fall-like night with temps dropping into the low 60’s and a strong breeze that makes it feel chilly. So, in anticipation, I dawn my holey sweater – that is holes, not holy - :) and my holey socks for my midnight tryst.

I approach the window at the appointed hour with anticipation, wondering what awaits at this new found portal of awareness – like a clandestine rendezvous with a secret friend. Dare I say “lover.” Well a secret friend-lover that everybody has, that is. You know, the One called – “Silence” – the Vast, Spacious, Ubiquitous One…

It takes me longer to settle in for some reason. There is a restlessness and an angst rising in my gut. I fidget, trying to get comfortable in my seat. The sky traffic is heavy tonight. There are many blinking lights overhead, and the sound of a helicopter cuts through the night air. Three cars and a truck pass on the street. I can hear the rustle of the leaves in the trees more strongly as the wind blows more fully now. The smell of wetness fills the air from the rain earlier in the afternoon.

“Silence” is not readily apparent tonight. It eludes me – as vast as it is. So I put my elbows on the sill and cup my face with my hands and shut my eyes. I breath deeply – listen – and wait.

The wind blowing strongly through the leaves sounds just like the waves of the ocean – like the rising and falling sound of the waves as they crash onto the shore and then slide back into the sea. There is a similar rising crescendo that fades as the wind waves through the leaves…. I am mesmerized by the sound.

There is a lot of inner noise tonight as well. I am aware of sensations, feelings and discomforts rising in the body – like waves. There is the noise of “fear.” Imagination begins to create stories… Will there be a coyote? Will it jump the back fence? What was that shadow I just saw? Could there be somebody in the back yard? What if “Silence” doesn’t show up!? Ah – it’s just that boogieman - the mind. It likes to hide in the shadows and scare me…

I sit back into Stillness again, waiting for the entrainment with “Silence” – allowing my mind to drift.

Listening outwardly into the night becomes a deep inner listening for the sound of Silence within - listening for the footsteps of this silent lover on the stairs; waiting for the felt sense of the inner spaciousness of Love’s Presence. Sitting with heightened awareness, I notice the winds die down – externally and internally. Sinking below thought, feeling, and sensation I fall into the embrace of “Silence”- who has been waiting for me all along. I feel the Rhythm of Its breath like a breeze through the window of my Heart. Sitting back in the chair, I lean into the embrace, leaving the externals as they are, and find the familiar solace in “Silence” who has always been there – waiting for me to surrender. Awareness comes to rest within ItSelf.

Content, I give in to the call of sleep, and glide down the hall to bed…


~*~


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Open Window - Night 2

I am now committed to coming to the window every night – to experience this depth of Silence that fills the air, that fills life – that fills me! It just seems more palpable at night – when the world around me is quiet – when the Silence is more accessible.

Tonight seemed to be about just noticing – just seeing. After a few minutes of sitting in the open window, smelling the pungent, cool night air, I became aware of what I was noticing – just aware-ing. There was so much out there to notice! So much to *see* in the dark… Everything comes alive in this wonderful Silence! – including the Silence!

There were green apples on our neighbor’s apple tree that over-hangs into our yard thatshown like little pale green lights in the glow of our back light, like little green specks of light.I had never noticed this before, and I marveled at them – just hanging there - of course, that’swhat apples do! :)

Crickets chirped in the background and there was the sound of a faint wind chime tinkling…

The two octagon windows that flag either side of the chimney on the house next door werelit up like 2 eyes looking back at me - seeing me, me seeing them – just seeing each other -
seeing the night…

Clouds were highlighted bright white against the night sky.
I wondered *how* - why were they so bright…

Stars twinkled in the in between space of the clouds – inspiring a moment of magic:“twinkle, twinkle, little stars – more wonder…

Light and shadow danced everywhere...

There was so much more! I was just taking it all in, as if actually seeing for the first time -or maybe just seeing in a new way, with wonder and innocent eyes…
Now I know why cats love to sit in windows!

And then, sitting in this exquisite Stillness, an internal invitation arose…

It was as if the Silence wanted to play, wanted to dance.
It was inviting “me” to enter – to engage – to play – to delight in its Existence!

There was a joy to this Stillness, the ‘This’ that permeates the nightthat I haven’t felt in a very long time.There was a recognition in me of this Stillness – this Aliveness –
this Playfulness that wants to play and laugh.

There was an acute awareness that this alive Stillness is the backdrop/backgroundfor the play of Consciousness that plays ItSelf out here every day.Nature knows this, is on to this. “We” apparently just don’t “see” it, don’t notice –are not aware – until the Silence beckons…

And in this recognition I realized that all my stories are non-issues!

Silent laughter arose within…

There is only laughter at what I think is so serious about life…
There is only playfulness with life here in this Silence…

I hate to say goodnight to this - this palpable aliveness of Silence…

But I know, *I feel*, that I am held by the Silence… The Divine Embrace…

Goodnight stars, goodnight clouds, goodnight crickets, goodnight night…

All is completely well…

~*~


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Open Window Meditation...


After my 3 am rendezvous with the deep Silence of the Night last week, I decided I wanted to try this as a meditation every night, just before bed. So I moved a bookcase and placed this chair at my window. Monday night, at about midnight, I came to sit, after the house was quiet and there would be no interruptions.

I turned to face out the window, leaning on the window sill, pressing as close to the screen as possible, breathing in the night air and the silence. What a delightful experiment this has turned out to be! Gazing out the window into the night is calming and soothing, heightening awareness of the Stillness, the Silence that permeates everything. It opens me, expands me. Of course there are street lights, and distant building lights and backyard lights and lights in neighboring windows, and the sound of occasional car that passes on the street – but there’s Stillness in a way that is tangible – almost magical.

In the faint light I tried to make a few notes on a scratch piece of paper of what I was aware-ing.

Nothing in nature is struggling…
Everything is at peace…
Everything in nature is the Silent stream of Peace –
the Eternal Stillness…

The trees are peaceful.
The plants in the neighbor’s garden are peaceful.
The grass is peaceful.

Everything is exquisitely peaceful…

I feel myself returning to what I know to be true –
to the authentic Stillness within,
allowing myself to be touched by the Stillness…
Befriending Silence…
Recognizing this deep space of Silence within.

There is a feeling of intimacy,
as this still Silence wraps itself around me,
embracing everything that it is,
infusing everything…
It is so palpable, so real…

Basking in the Pure Silence of the night –
just listening,
just experiencing,
just Be-ing - Stillness…


~*~

Mystic Meandering
copyright
Aug. 4, 2010