Welcome...

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...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Dog Whisperer "Window"

Yesterday morning I looked out the window to see that one of the next door neighbor dogs was outside of her electric fence perimeter. She and her companion dog wear electric collars to keep them in their back yard - supposedly. But K’s was evidently not working. So she was sauntering through the neighbor’s garden – outside her limits – roaming around, enjoying her freedom.

I looked away from the window, thinking to myself - I did *not* see this - I don’t *want* to see this – because seeing this means I need to do something about this – this dog. (This has happened before – K getting out – me rescuing). I went to take my shower and got ready to do my errands. I opened the garage door and there was K – across the street in another neighbor’s front yard rummaging around – unbeknownst to the neighbor. Now I could have gone on my merry way, knowing that K would be roaming the neighborhood, getting into trouble, getting lost, or worse, getting hit by a car. But my heart would not let me do that. So I called to her and she immediately came. Now what. I brought her into the garage and closed the garage door. Now what. I got her water, and called her owner at work – got his voice mail- and waited – a half hour. After about 10 mins of waiting it dawned on me that our backyard was fenced in, so why not let her out there, as there was way too much stuff that she could get into in the garage that could harm her – plus now I couldn’t get out. So I led this hyperactive, panting, anxious dog through the house and out into the backyard, where she proceeded to get into everything that she could. We are not dog proofed here. I vigilantly watched her while waiting for a call-back from her owner, which never came. I called again and left another message – and waited another half hour – becoming more anxious about what to do with this dog. So I stayed out in the back yard with her. She loved the attention… The two dogs whimpered and cried to each other through our fence… My heart strings played their sad tune as well…

While waiting I thought – hey why not try connecting with the dog. I made eye contact with her and spoke softly to her – Being to Being. She responded. I became dog-whisperer. I stroked her while she panted and did her anxiety thing of pulling away and nervously circling the yard – running to me, running away from me. I finally got her to lay down on the patio while I rubbed her belly and laid my hands on her to hopefully help calm her. Once again she responded. And as I calmed her, I calmed too. I made eye contact with her over and over, telling her it would be ok, that she was ok – more for myself I think. We were both going to be okay. I was doggie bonding.

Not hearing back from the owner in an hour, thinking that K had settled enough, I left my husband in charge while I went off to do my errands. Kind of like leaving a husband in charge of a new born. He has no experience either and left her in her crib – the back yard. By the time I got back, a couple of hours later, the owner had retrieved his dog, apologizing profusely to my husband. (We’ve had a lot of dog problems with this guy.) It seems the “workers” at his house, helping with his remodel, had shut the electricity off so they could do the electrical work – and voila – K made her escape. Her companion had been so trained not to go beyond the electrical fence that he stayed. Hmm there must be something in that to see: What beliefs keep me in my pre-conditioned parameters – keep me from being free… hmmm… And am I willing to risk going beyond my self-imposed perimeters in order to be free… I need to look more deeply at this one!

I noticed other metaphors as well… Everything is a window, life is a window, an opening – inviting us look, to see, to experience, to join in the adventure of living and not shy away, no matter what the experience brings, or requires. But sometimes I do turn away from the window of experience, from the moment, from the seeing, because I don’t really want to participate, to pay attention to what is really needed to deeply attend to each situation, to respond to life as it is.

And the other metaphor? Well, how often do I make a Being to Being connection with others… How often do I look directly into the window of someone’s eyes and see the Being that is there – the Spaciousness… It’s easier with animals. They are so open, so willing to be met. Do I really meet others and *see* them… Do I actually *see* the Being that’s looking back. And do I allow myself to be met - Being to Being. Self seeing Self. Self whispering to Self: It’s all okay – all is well…

Everything is a window – a whisper to see, participate and respond…

~*~

There is a wonderful blog to check out called An Appropriate Response



Monday, September 27, 2010

Peace Window

Peace is at the window tonight…
It is tangible.

There is just a sense of well-being in the night -
a sense of calm…

I feel into The Rhythm of the Inner Wave
through the breath more easily.

The eerie sound of a lone coyote howls,
but doesn’t break the peace…

Momentary thoughts pull me away from the window,
and The Rhythm,
until I realize I’m in my head – thinking.

I bring my awareness back to window –
the opening of Awareness;
to the feel of the air at the window,
the sound of the crickets,
the Spaciousness,
the experience in the moment,
the felt sense of peace
that is right here…

The window, awareness, is an invitation
to settle into The Rhythm…

Aware of thoughts.
Aware of peace.
Aware of feelings.
Aware of peace.

like the rhythm of the in-breath and out-breath…
automatic…

Thought – no thought.
Feeling – no feeling.

Only when thought and feeling are grasped,
held onto, believed, identified with
do they get stuck, frozen…
Otherwise they just pass through – like light waves.
They just rise and fall like the breath,
in the deep Internal Rhythm
of Stillness…

Let them dance…

Peace….


~*~


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Inner Wave "Window"

Wednesday I did the “Inner Wave” video by Gabriel Roth as my “exercise.” It was a video I had stashed away in my cabinet, in the same stack with Richard Simmons… The back cover says – “Surrender to the Dance” – “With ‘The Inner Wave’ you will investigate stillness, the mother of all rhythm, through a meditative dance journey with this pioneer of ecstatic dance… As you surrender to the dance, exploring and improvising with every part of your body, you will experience how ecstatic dance can clear your mind and open your heart, and allow you to touch the stillpoint within.” Oooo, my kind of exercise!

I cleared the den of clutter and coffee table, put the video on and stood waiting – poised. As soon as the video started playing I *knew* intuitively that this was what I was meant to be doing. You intuitively know when something feels “right” for you. Emotions stirred from within.

As soon as I started moving with the music there was a huge emotional release, as if years of stuffed feelings and stifled life let go. Feelings of grief and sadness broke free from the body, mind and heart, along with feelings of longing for the Divine. I know, here’s that separation thing again – but this was my experience. The movement immediately got me in touch with the *flow* of emotions that were just waiting under the surface. As I moved, I emoted. As I expressed I felt my heart open and let go of its contents in torrents and waves of emotion – washing through me from deep within – releasing pain, grief and sadness. It was quite intense, and very freeing… No drama, just pure expression…

It was a natural dance, rising up from within: a natural, spontaneous movement of life and a natural expression of the feelings that had been trapped in the body and heart - being stuffed with food… They were now moving through - dancing them out, letting them move me, and moving with them.

Maria, from Liminal Light, left a comment a few posts back that said in part: “Feel the movement of the emotion. Pay attention to the movement of emotion.” The dance physically allowed for awareness of this inner movement of the emotion… Ecstatic dance gave spontaneous expression to what’s inside, which ultimately turns out to be the Aliveness within – the alive, aware, awake Stillness that moves all life. Through this creative and artistic form the Formless is met and feelings are danced out in natural rhythms that rise and fall from the space of Origin; danced out from the space beyond ideas, concepts, feelings and compulsions – the field of Awareness.

The music that played in the background was a gentle pulse of drums called “Bardo” by Gabriel Roth and the Mirrors. How appropriate – taking me to the in-between space, the place of alchemy, dissolving the “self” and just purely Being… One with the movement. One with the moment. Sweet Ecstasy…

There is nothing that could be more symbolically suited for me at this time than this dance exercise. It felt deeply spiritual, like a Divine Dance with The Essence of all Dance, as well as the shadows of the “self” – in an alchemy of movement. It was like returning to an inner Flow – the Tao – the Inner Wave - as the sense of self dissolved in the Dance, and each movement became the expression of the deeper Rhythm.

However, in my exuberance I over-stressed this aging body with its chronic kidney and health issues. I haven’t felt well for the past few days. It has affected me internally. I’m sure I opened a few meridian points and channels, releasing blocked energy. So there’s probably a little cleansing going on as toxins leave my system, both physically and emotionally. Consequently my “exercise” regimen is on hold for the time being until this body re-harmonizes itself. Honestly I’m a little bummed because I love this form of “exercise!” - dance as "spiritual practice." But I continue to watch the video as there is something that moves me within even watching it….

~*~

You can view a small portion of “The Inner Wave” with Gabriel Roth on YouTube. The first couple of minutes, as she is speaking, is especially moving :)

Gabriel Roth’s website is: http://www.gabrielleroth.com/


May we all dance in beauty…
May we all dance in peace…
May we all dance as One…

In Stillness let your dance be...

Gabriel Roth

~*~

Fun-Qi Art™ - Christine



Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Food and Feelings "Window"

Sometimes “spirituality” can become a kind of mask that we hide behind – another persona. This has been true for me in the past – hiding my feelings. Even now I have to catch myself sometimes and ask: Am I being real here... What am I really feeling… Am I just believing convincing spiritual jargon, and spewing out all the “right” words, “spiritualizing” my way through my feelings… Or am I being authentic. There is something authentic in *allowing and expressing* feelings – the truth of life experience. Feeling the feelings allows me to be more open to others, more compassionate, more engaged, more available, more vulnerable, and less detached. Feelings open the heart.

So – with my food fetish recently I am looking into the inner window of what the feelings are behind the Food: why I indulge, why I use it as a drug, what feelings am I trying to stuff, what am I trying to suppress, to medicate, to avoid, what are the holes that I am trying to fill, what is not being satisfied, what pain am I trying to soothe… Food actually has become a practice in awareness. At this point I am still on the outer fringes of awareness, but I am aware that something is not quite whole here – something needs to be seen, felt and acknowledged… And so I’m beginning to listen, to not resist the feelings, and see what they have to offer.

My first pass at *seeing* the feelings behind the food produced this list:

Food is resistance to what is.
Food is avoidance, denial, repression, suppression, self-gratification.
Food is anger, anxiety, frustration, grief, self-denial, self-sacrifice, unmet emotion, unmet feeling, unmet life.
Food is security, and insecurity, self-doubt, and neuroses of all kinds.
Food is distraction, disappointment and dissatisfaction.
Food is numbing.
Food is false control when I feel out of control.
Food is consumed in order *not* to face things that need to be faced.
Food is a way of fighting the fear.
Food is about not being good enough.
Food covers a deep pain, a deep grief, and temporarily fills a deep hole.

When I looked into this hole of pain and grief, I recognized that it is the old wound of separation – the original wounding of mankind - that spawns all religions, the search for Truth, for wholeness, for “Oneness.” Intellectually I know this mental *idea* of separation cannot be true… But, evidently it is still *believed* somewhere in this system. There is a very *deep* sense of *feeling* separate from ‘The Beloved’ – that no amount of intellectualizing or spiritualizing can assuage. This feeling is like being torn and gutted. It is torment and an extreme longing for relief. Food evidently offers that relief – like any other addiction – physical or spiritual. In fact, the feeling of “separateness” from the ‘The Beloved’ is probably the basis of all addictions.

The feeling invites me in, to see, to come to face to face with this sense of separateness that I continue to *feel* in my *being,* despite “knowing” otherwise: That in truth, this Primordial Beingness (‘The Beloved’) is intimate with and inseparable from all life, and all life experiences. I know this and yet evidently I don’t… And the closer I get to this gaping hole, the more I want to eat!!!! There is an overwhelming compulsion to consume every time I approach…

But I am willing to at least look over the edge, to feel this feeling of separation, to befriend it, to honor it, to *see* it, to stop avoiding and resisting it, or trying to cover it over with “spirituality.” Oh yes, almost forgot – and with food. I can’t *deny* its presence. It is too visceral – too intense. To hold it and give it space is freeing… ‘The Beloved’, through awareness, embraces everything, receives every feeling, every emotion back to ItSelf with deep acceptance and deep compassion. In the embrace the sense of emotional “pain” in this body begins to relax - because it has been seen, acknowledged and welcomed home.

The seeing of this, and the embrace of it, is not the end of it, however. It’s the beginning. It’s the beginning of living authentically, living mindfully, living fully awake and aware – with feelings and food… It’s an ongoing discovery.


~*~



Monday, September 20, 2010

Exercise Humor "Window"

Okay my “spiritual friends”, it’s time to pull my head in from the window and do a little exercise… After gaining 20 pounds or more in the last 6 months and turning 61 next month, I decided it was time to get serious about shedding this tonnage rather than go into the next size pants, which would only allow me to expand more. Any of you who have weight issues will appreciate this.

This year with all my family crises, financial failings, and personal relationship shipwrecked, I have not quite lost my sanity, but I have lost a sense of will power, discipline and direction. I have lost “the fire” that once ignited a life here. And yes, I have been indulging in emotional eating… For some reason “spiritual practice” has not been enough to keep the internal fire burning, or keep the hungry ghosts at bay. Yes - I know, medieval gluttony has reincarnated itself here.

You may remember Richard Simmons, the humorous, gay exercise nut? Well it just so happened that I had two of his VHS tapes hidden away in a box from a previous life. I pulled them out several days ago and left them on the counter to remind me that it was time to do something about this self-indulgent food fetish – from a physical perspective. Exercise is a good beginning. I also know I need to look through the inner window…

This morning I woke up and said – today is the day. Richard here I come dahling… I love Richard. He has helped a lot of people who have become muddled in the pig pen – like me. I chose the video entitled: “Richard Simmons and the Silver Foxes.” It was made in 1986. It says it is for people in the years after 50. Most of the people in the video appear to be in their 70’s – which means they are probably dead by now, exercise or not. So of course I thought – piece of cake! No sweat! Nice way to get started – with, as the video says, “a warm-up session, a low-impact non-stress aerobic workout and a 3-minute relaxation exercise.”

We were to take our *resting* pulse first. Mine was already up to 90 – oops. And then it began. Within 10 minutes I was sweating. What happened to piece of cake, no sweat aerobics for the over 50 crowd! I think I’d rather have the piece of cake at this point, but I realize that would defeat the purpose and I keep going… Richard has us take our pulse again half way through: 128. Well I’ve certainly reached the aerobic level! And we keep going. I can feel the heart pounding. I keep sweating. And we’re hardly doing anything! I mean these 70 year olds on the tape are smiling and bouncing to the music like it was nothing. I’m thinking, how many more minutes does this last! At least I’m not gasping for air - yet!

My brother’s nickname for me as a youngster was “Crisco – the all purpose fat in the can.” You may remember that commercial as well. Well I hear that in my head and I know I must keep going. I’m sure from behind I am beginning to look a little “Crisco-ish” – so I push on, trying to melt the fat. I think we are about 15 minutes in and I’m ready to lay down. Another 10 mins and it’s finally over! My ending pulse is supposed to be the same as my “resting” pulse, but it is 100+ – another oops. Boy we are really out of shape here. And then he went on! This next phase evidently was the relaxation exercise with chair. My body said – Nope, sorry. I’m just going to *sit* in the chair and cool down. And maybe next time I’ll start with the “cool down” chair exercise first!

And what does all this have to do with spirituality and enlightenment – or window sitting? I have no idea, but if you see the connection, please let me know what it is! I am much more suited for the contemplative life. But I don’t want to be 300 pounds by the time I’m 80 – if I live that long. And doing this kind of workout may actually prevent that – living till 80 that is! Munchies anyone?

I’m going to try Gabriel Roth’s “The Wave” next time…. Dance as “spiritual exercise” – bringing awareness to the *movement* of Life within. That ought to melt away the fat cells in a way that suites my “mystic” nature…

See Grabriel Roth’s “The Wave” on You Tube.


~*~




Saturday, September 18, 2010

"Awake" Window


In my last blog post one of the questions I said that I was going to pose during window sitting, to bring a greater sense of Awareness, was: What would it feel like to be fully awake? These are the reflections and “answers” I received over a period of three nights…

~~~

What would it feel like to be fully awake?

There is a sense of deep inner calm.

There’s a sense of just being Aware –
aware of everything that is occurring…

Being aware of *life* - life living itself…

The sense of Being the Awareness…

There is the sense of the world just being as it is…

And just being aware of the world as it is…

Everything, everyone, is just being -
just being the way they are….

~~~

What would it feel like to be fully awake?

A sense of innocent curiosity arises -
a joy of living…

The sounds, smells and sights of the night are experienced
with a sense of curiosity.

They are not experienced as “distractions.”

They are just the “happenings” in this field of pure Awareness
that I sit in – that “I” is…

Beingness/Awareness is curious about how life works…

It is a feeling of being undisturbed and untouched by anything…

It is a sense of open receptivity, clarity, and deep awakeness to life…

A deep awakeness that just sees
and delights in what it sees…

~~~

Crickets chirp in unison – like a pulse – the pulse of Life singing in the night…

“No agenda” wafts through my head…

“The only thing that separates is *thought*” wafts through my awareness…

I’m beginning to really *feel* this sense of “no separation” here at the window,
a blurring of the boundaries…

Yet “Oneness” doesn’t seem to be the right word…

It’s more like inseparable, indistinguishable, indiscriminate…
But these are only words too…

I ask again: What would it feel like to be fully awake?

I know I have already received the “answer”….

And then, as if an afterthought, I heard – “Live as if…”

Live as if…you *are* Awake…

~*~



Btw – I welcome all of your comments. And I love that all of you share your insights and sharings in such positive, supportive, loving and respectful ways. We all hold a flashlight for each other on our way…
With gratitude…



Wednesday, September 15, 2010

3 Practices Window

Besides my window sitting practice, and my sitting meditation practice, I have 3 other “practices” that I practice for a greater sense of awareness of the Awareness/Buddha Nature/Self/Inner Being – that enlivens this body-mind-being – that I thought I’d share.

The first one I do every morning before rising. As I come out of sleep mode, and usually just before the mind kicks in, I rest in that spacious place, breath into the lower dantien, and repeat the words: “I am Awareness” or just “Awareness.” When I say this, an amazing sense of energy runs through my body from head to toe – an aliveness that feels like all my cells are “aligning” or harmonizing in some way. There is a sense of being a part of the entire cosmos, like a “cosmic intimacy.” It brings a sense of alive Presence to this body-mind-being. It’s quite delightful actually, and actually grounds me, as well as gives me a sense of inner aliveness with which to meet the day.

This second one I haven’t done in a long time, but remembered to do this just the other evening, and will continue to do so. In Zen they have a saying that says: “step back until you step into the Looking ItSelf” – into seeing what’s Seeing through your eyes. Several years ago I tried this “stepping back” as an experiment. I sat on the cushion in meditation and figuratively, inwardly, “stepped back,” or in this case, sat back until I *felt* what was Looking through these eyes – until I *felt* what was embodying this body. It was very visceral. I felt this body actually sink into this sense of Inner Being. It opened a sense of curiosity in me and I later tried it while watching TV. I “sat back” internally & energetically, and actually felt a shift *in* the body. A sense of Presence opened up and I had a sense of sinking more deeply into the body. Whenever I do this, whether in the shower, or when doing dishes, or when driving the car, it brings a sense of alive awareness *and* a sense of groundedness – embodiment. It gives me a visceral sense of the Beingness that animates this body that experiences this life, that sees and knows from the place of deep Awareness, deep Aliveness. It is a sense of Oneness with That which is Awake and Aware - the Aliveness that we all are.

I’m sure most of us have all felt the sense of separateness from our True Self at one time or another. It’s what sets many of us on our spiritual journeys – seeking for this Beingness that we are. So how would it feel to know that we *are* this Being that we long for? The third “practice” may or may not be considered a “practice.” It is more of a question. It’s one that I intend to start asking myself: What would it feel like to be fully awake? Or, said another way – What would it feel like to really know that I am this Beingness - how would that feel… I will probably ask this one at the window, and see what happens.

I’d be interested to hear what practices help you to have a greater sense of inner awareness of your True Nature/Buddha Nature/Self/Inner Being – your Aliveness! What practices give you a sense of being the awakened Presence that you are?


~*~

Self is what you are…
Fathomless in which experience and concepts appear…
Self is the Heart…Emptiness.
It shines to Itself, by Itself, in Itself.
Self is what gives breath to life.
Only Self is…
Self is the indweller of all Beings.
Enlightenment is always Here.
Presence is always here,
and you are always That…
It is your Heart…
…all comes back to the Heart…

Papaji ~ The Truth Is

~*~


Monday, September 13, 2010

The "Phantom Pain" Pane

Window sitting has become an exploration of the deeper caverns of more intense feelings; sitting and breathing into these hidden hold-outs; moving through these feeling portals into greater awareness. But it has not been easy facing these phantoms of the night - trying not to push them away from the window. They seem to create a barrier reef, keeping me from the harbor of Stillness.

My friend “D” (from Shadow Dance Window) came back with intensity this weekend – and not just at the window. She kept tugging at me throughout the day, requiring my attention - like a needy toddler. It seemed the shadow dance of awareness the other day was not enough. It felt more like I must actually *sit* with her, pay attention to her more closely, listen more deeply, and allow her to be *felt* and heard – like a toddler. It was quite an intense dance with this shadow-self.

Sitting with “Depression”, or any feeling for that matter, is not about “suffering” or wallowing – in fact it alleviates “suffering.” Suffering is what the mind does when it interprets the feeling as pain, as bad, as wrong. In dropping the labels for feelings, however, there is just the experience of the feeling. I am not depression, I am “depressing” or angering, or fearing, etc. - as one would say, I am understanding, or I am feeling. Feelings are not our identities. Feelings are ripples or waves in the larger context of Being. And when we “sit” with them, I mean that we sit *as* the Beloved, with awareness – seeing, holding, experiencing the feeling.

When I sat with “D” I discovered that what I call “depression” is really a bolus of many feelings: sadness, grief, anger, frustration and anxiety. I sat with this bolus of emotional turbulence several times over several days and allowed it to reveal its contents – through journaling and meditating. It was actually very enlightening – and visceral - feeling this bolus of emotional pain in my gut as energy, as vibration, as sensation. I willingly went deeply into the bolus to explore it with an innocent sense of curiosity, like a scuba diver on a dive. The deeper I went, the more intense the experience and the more I resisted. I had to keep reminding myself to come back to the breath as I followed the feelings.

In these patterns of anguish that were felt and experienced, I noticed that there is a thin line between conscious feeling and unconscious feeling; between noticing and indulging – becoming entangled and entrapped within feelings; between allowing the feelings and being controlled by feelings. And there was a tendency to get caught up in, or fixated on the feeling – making a story of how I suffer. But it was recognized that these patterns of feelings are phantoms of the “me” function that are part of the totality of Existence. As I allowed myself to *see* these feeling phantoms the intensity lessened.

It was noticed that if all there is, is Being-Self, Buddha Nature, Awareness, Consciousness,- as the spiritual teachings say - then no feeling has to be denied or suppressed, as nothing is separate from That which always IS. Everything is allowed within the context of Beingness. There is total freedom to feel and experience everything – authentically - feeling the feelings without censor or judgment.

Thr0ugh this experience it was understood that we *are* Being living life! - feeling life - being touched by life - expressing life -- through feelings. Beingness ItSelf experiences life through this “me” function that senses, that sees, that touches, that feels and expresses feelings! They are one and the same – inseparable. The Ocean and the wave. The wave cannot be a wave except for the movement of the Ocean.

In seeing this, there was release, and a realization that these feelings will continue to come and go as part of life.

We are all Beingness experiencing ItSelf – otherwise known as “persons” – as “mes.” We *are* the experience of the One Being – feeling it all – experiencing it all – being it all.

In seeing this there was a return to the Harbor, into the Stillness that is Home.


~*~

The ‘me’ organism is not other than an expression of Consciousness.
Consciousness is the thinker, [the feeler].
Life is expressing *as* the ‘event.’
The Source and ‘substance’ is Life.


~*~

This post is not meant to imply that there are simplistic solutions
for serious mental health conditions that require medical treatment and therapy.
It only reflects my own recent experience with “feelings.”

~*~



Sunday, September 12, 2010

Mystery Dancing Window

Life is the Formless,
dancing in form…

There is always an invitation
to dance with this ‘Mystery’
in whatever form it comes in -
through feelings,
through the body,
through the mind,
through the heart.

Every feeling, event, circumstance,
relationship
is an invitation to Dance
in the mystery of Life.

Everything is an invitation
from the Heart of Awareness,

to see beyond the barriers of beliefs,
beyond the shadows of the “self”,
beyond the veil of “me” ~

to open the window
and Dance…



~*~


“At the still point of the turning world,
neither flesh or fleshless,
neither from nor towards,
at the still point, there the dance is….

…Except for the point, the still point,
there would be no dance.
And there is only the dance…”

T.S. Elliot

~*~


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Shadow Dance Window

I actually wrote the first part of this post near the Full Moon in August, penning it in the moonlight on scratch paper while window sitting. It apparently didn’t want to be posted until now.
~

I notice that the moonlight on the house next door brightens and fades as clouds pass in front of the moon, like veils that diffuse the light; like moments of awareness and clarity, mixed with moments of “not seeing”, or unawareness, that come and go. The light of Awareness brightens and fades depending on the veils of perception that are in place at any given time.

This rhythm of light and dark is a continuous movement, rising and falling within Awareness, revealing everything in its own time, through its own movement in our lives. It’s a natural Rhythm, a natural movement of Being. Sometimes the bright light of Awareness reveals things hidden in the dark – our shadows. And sometimes these dancing shadows of the self seem to hide, dancing in and out of awareness.

This dance of duality is the natural rhythm of life – the shadow and the light dancing together. One does not oppose, or resist the other. They are both the natural rhythm of living. It’s all a playful dance of light and shadow, as if Awareness is playing, amusing ItSelf with the light and the dark – being neither, being both. It’s an undulating rhythm, not an either/or rhythm. One does not totally occlude the other. Duality is how Being expresses ItSelf in form – but nothing is *essentially* divided. Everything is the one Rhythm – playing and dancing – the formless as form.

Window sitting is like pulling back a curtain on this dance – seeing through the veils – seeing the fabric of Reality as a weave, a blend of many threads – the light and the dark woven together…

Today (9/9/10) I danced with “depression.” Her sister, anger, was there too wanting to cut in. Sometimes I let them dance together and just watched. I allowed “D” in – got a feel for how she dances – letting her lead, instead of trying to push her away, dismissing her as just the mind, just a thought. I decided to dance with her and embrace her. It wasn’t so bad… It didn’t take me to despair. It just took me to awareness – to seeing – to just being with what is – the thoughts, the feelings, the emotions. No clever words or methods were used to deny or change the feeling. It was recognized and felt. It was allowed to play itself out – in full acceptance.

Recognizing Being – our True Nature - the pure Awareness that we are, does not negate our feelings. Life is painful sometimes and the only way through it is to feel it – to dance with the shadows that want to dance. If we do, they offer us their wisdom and their awareness and their light…

I welcome the dance.

~*~

Another related post

~*~

Fun-Qi Art ™ - Christine

I did this picture with CrayPas oil sticks over the weekend
with no intention of what it was to look like,
or connected to any particular blog idea.
My husband came into the room and said: “That looks like a shadow dancing.”
Out of the mouths of “babes” :)



Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Soft Heart Window

Window sitting is having a rather subtle but welcome affect on this Heart of mine. There is an opening and a softening that just wants to take life in, with more of an in-the-moment, spontaneous, moment-to-moment existence – and – wants to express its softness, its gentleness, its kindness.

This Heart softening, I’ve noticed, seems to “allow” a lot more than it used to. People and the circumstances of life are given more lee-way, unopposed, unresisted. There is less of a need for argument – well sometimes. I notice that being loving, being compassionate, is really just meeting people where they are… Just accepting and embracing people and life circumstances without agenda, without preconceived ideas of how it ought to be.

The realization that there is a loving, compassionate Nature that lives inside this Heart softens this sense of “me”, makes it more transparent. It usually felt a need to guard itself from others with anger, criticism, judgment, cynicism, and suspicion – even humor.:) And then of course there was also apathy and detachment. For a long time I have felt there was a hole in my Heart where love should be, but I recognize lately that love lives deeply inside the hole, and often comes out unexpectedly – particularly in the moments of other people’s suffering – the collective human condition. I realize that feeling compassion for “the collective” is safe. It allows me to *feel* those Heart strings play, which may be the entryway into a more personal expression of the Heart one-to-one. This hidden Heart that deeply feels has always been here. I seem to remember her when she was young and innocent, and expressed more easily. But she went into hiding. And sometimes she surprises me (and everyone else) when she comes out! Who *is* this that *feels* this – this – “love” ?! Oh my – the Heart is shining through! Quick I need some sunglasses!

I have noticed her coming out several times lately – especially with my blog friends who will always have a special place in my Heart. Then last week, when I was leaving a parking lot, I noticed there had been a rather bad accident at the entry/exit driveway, which necessitated my finding a different exit. As I wound my way through the parking lot I kept looking over to see what I could see – a lot of people milling around in no apparent distress, a police car and fire truck, and a car that had been broad-sided by a pick-up truck – ouch. I was surprised by the well-up of emotion inside. My Heart opened and I felt compassion for the people involved. It was uncontrived and undemonstrative. It was a spontaneous Heart response to the experience of people in fear, shock and trauma.

Now, just so you don’t get the wrong impression, I am not oozing love here. This Heart softening somehow hasn’t yet embraced certain unnamed family members who still manage to push my buttons. But hey, one step at a time, right? I mean, I’m no saint – or yogi – or guru – or…. There are people who, and situations that, still irritate, chafe and send me into the gnarly-snarlies… But we won’t go into that right now. I rather enjoy this Heart softening at the moment, feeling the freedom that is beginning to dance here. There is a living inspiration here in this Heart that opens softly and gently to touch and *feel* life dance in all its forms – loving it!


~*~

“Your task is not to seek for love,
but merely to seek and find
all the barriers within yourself
that you have built against it.”

Rumi


~*~

The photo is the center of a quilt wall hanging that my mother made.
It reminded me of a window with 4 panes…
A Heart quilt window…



Sunday, September 5, 2010

Window Call

Silence called me to the window again.
She beckoned me to come and be still,
to listen….

She waited for me to settle,
to be quiet… Waited as I
deepened into Her Stillness…

No agenda, She whispered…

I listened…

Put everything aside and just breathe, She said.
Be aware of My Breath, breathing you…
Experience My Presence,
Feel My Fullness,
Sense the Intimacy in every cell…

From the depths of Stillness I heard Her call again,
calling me back to HerSelf.
Like the Ocean pulling back the wave on shore,
back into Itself…
The wave giving in to the pull…

In Silence She called HerSelf back to HerSelf,
the silent rhythmic intimacy of wave and Ocean,
one and the same.
Self embracing ItSelf,
knowing only ItSelf.
The Eternal Embrace…

Come – She whispered.
Follow the pull…
Give in…
Come Home…


~*~


FunQi Art™ - Christine


Friday, September 3, 2010

Vigilant Window

I find it interesting that the word “vigilant” contains the word “vigil” – which means “a watch kept during normal sleeping hours. A period or act of observing.” It is the sense of wakefulness. This is what “window sitting” is for me, what it has become - a vigil of wakefulness. Not a vigil *for* anything in particular, but just a period of silent meditative awareness, both outwardly and inwardly – just listening. I don’t know what to expect when I sit, what the vigil will bring, so I just wait and see. And something usually always presents itself to be seen.

The last few nights at the window the dogs next door have been out, providing both a source of amusement and distraction to my window vigil. They have been particularly vigilant, exceptionally watchful, waiting for their owner to come home and let them in – whimpering. They appear to be very anxious as well, frantically running from one end of the yard to the other – fearful, reactive to every little movement, barking at shadows - hyper-vigilant, running themselves ragged. A chorus of coyotes yelps and howls from the field just a couple of houses away when the dogs bark, which spooks the dogs and makes them more hyper – and gives me the chills. I can feel their fear. And my heart feels for them, for their fear, for their obvious suffering. I want to take them in, to tell them they are safe and protected. I wonder if their owner is even aware that they suffer like this when he is gone – obviously not… Do any of us really know how another suffers unless we’re paying attention…

As I watched them I knew there was something to be seen here. They reminded me of how I used to be – vigilant, fearful, anxious about life, constantly anticipating what was going to happen – anticipating attacks – being on guard – suffering inwardly. And I remembered, vigilance wants safety and control, wants life to be predictable and tries hard to get it that way in order to avoid the messiness of life, the chaos and uncertainty. The mind on vigilance, like on some drug, is constantly running scenarios of fear - feeling out of control - and uses vigilance as a false sense of control. But it is draining to keep a vigilant mind. A vigilant mind becomes a critical and judgmental mind – never satisfied.

Keeping vigil, however, is peaceful, calming, restful, life sustaining instead of depleting life with nervous energy. Keeping vigil at the window, this period of inner meditative wakefulness, has provided a new perspective, a new view – a new sense of conscious awareness that is different than vigilance. There is less of a sense of responsibility for others, of needing to be on top of things, trying to control what others are doing or not doing, or how I am performing. There is a softening towards myself and others, and an openness to the way life is going; a wait and see approach – like sitting at the window… Little by little I’ve noticed that in keeping vigil at the window, the vigilant mind is settling into a new rhythm, and life is feeling more joyful. Imagine that…

~*~


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Frustration Pane

I look forward to the feel of my left elbow on the windowsill each night, window sitting, leaning into the night – feeling the night air and smelling the night smells – waiting for the entrainment with Silence to begin. The night has become like a close friendship: welcoming, embracing, receiving…

Unfortunately the next door neighbor’s back porch light was on – again. So I closed my eyes and listened to the sounds of silence – the sounds of the night.

I became aware of the feeling of frustration in my body. She is a frequent visitor these days. Her presence is like an undercurrent stream in my life. She has been the one throwing stones at the window for several nights now. I have been agitated by her presence, wanting her to go away. But tonight I finally stopped resisting, stopped trying not to see her. I gave in and looked through her window pane.

I asked her what she needs, what she wants, why she is here. There was no immediate answer, just a sense of her presence, and a visceral feeling in my body. The feeling is like something that wants to burst out but can’t. It feels like stuck energy looking for an outlet, like a bottle neck where the energies can’t flow, or water that is dammed up. Frustration is the feeling of being trapped and not being able to find a way out – like a holding in, a holding back, of energies that want to be expressed. There’s a great force behind it, trying to break through. It’s a feeling of being bound... And when I feel her I want to consume food - to suppress her, to soothe her agitation and irritation; to avoid feeling the intense sensation.

As I acknowledged this frustration, however, something relaxed. Feelings just want to be recognized. Feelings just need expression, and to be listened to - like a friend. I know this, although I don’t always pay attention. So I gave it some space, met it as an energy of frustration – not a “me” who is frustrated, or a me who is resisting – but just an energy. I sat with it a while and asked it some questions. And it allowed me in.

The sense was that frustration wants freedom, freedom from constraints, constrictions and limitations; and there are many these days: physical, fiscal and familial.

I then asked: what is your gift – your wisdom?

And without hesitation she answered: “the impetus for change, the impetus for freedom. Follow the frustration.”

So I asked: what is behind the frustration? The answer again came: the drive for freedom, as if I hadn’t heard her the first time. And I wondered, is there an innate drive for freedom in the system we know as “me”: the mind, the feelings, the body? Is it built in so that we move towards freedom in all we do? I tend to believe this is so. It’s what propels us on the path. A friend calls it “the heart’s hunger for unconditional Freedom.” She calls this hunger “the underlying movement of life.” And this frustration feels like a tide within the Ocean constantly pulling at me. She is calling me to change the way I dance with life, the way I engage and interact. She is calling me into a new way of Being.

The feeling of frustration let go on the breeze for the night. I consciously brought my attention to the rhythm of the breath again. I understood that I need to continue to consciously and mindfully pay attention to this tide of frustration when she pulls at me and calls me to Freedom.

~*~

(the picture is from an old card)