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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...

Friday, October 29, 2010

"Letting Go" of Control Window

Sometimes what we need to see comes through the window of life itself, not just “window sitting.”

As I mentioned in a previous post, there are still “patterns of the me” that are emerging in awareness here. Control appears to be one of those patterns, and was brought home to me recently through interactions with my mother. As I have heard several teachers say: If you think you are enlightened, spend time with your family. For some of you this post may constitute “story." However, I often find that what is considered “story” can be a great teacher - allowing me to step back and experience the Dharma in the situation.

My mother is 82 years old and getting ready for eye surgery Monday after a failed first surgery 4 months ago. I have tried to be “helpful” in the preparation for this upcoming surgery – meaning: I feel the weight of responsibility to be “on top of things” in an attempt to make sure everyone is on the same page, that all ducks are in a row – which has not been welcome by my mother. It has been met with resistance and with irritation at me for at least trying to make sure everything is understood and the appropriate questions are asked to the appropriate people – without actually “taking over” – meaning not taking the control out of my mother’s hands – trying to respect her and allow her to make her own decisions and ask her own questions. But when I see mental acuity failing, I feel a need to step in. Confusion has been created because she has been told different things by different people. The more I try to make sure that everything is in place, the right questions asked and understood, and urge her to get clarification, the more she resists. It’s a dance that my mother and I have danced many times. And I no longer want to dance this dance.

So I’ve had to recognize that my need to be on top of things, to be responsible, is my subtle way of trying to be in control, trying to make sure everything turns out “right” – under the guise of “caregiving” – by taking on the role of “responsible daughter.” It is also indicative that there is still a *belief* in a separate “me” that can control life and its situations… This pesky little me…

How I function in this “responsible mode” – stressed, anxious, insecure, controlling - is not helpful to anyone. Attempts to control through instructing her on what to do, correcting her misperceptions, prodding her like a child to take responsibility and so forth only serve to alienate. I know this. But those hardwired neurons keep misfiring, sending me the fear messages that I need to be in control. I ignore them as much as possible and offer my mother encouragement and subtle, supportive suggestions instead – giving her a sense of control, a sense of “rightness”, rather than “wrongness”, which seems to be more “helpful.”

But can this “me” really willingly “let go” of its need for control? (And it doesn’t help to tell myself that there is no “me.”) My experience is that I cannot will myself to “let go” of anything – even the sense of “me.” It has to come through relaxed awareness – and trusting that life is as it should be. Through being aware and bringing awareness to a situation, there is a natural “letting go.” Stepping back into the greater context of Awareness is what allows a “letting go” to occur. It allows the pattern of “me” to be seen. Once the “pattern” has been seen, recognized – found out – so-to-speak, its grip loosens. It is no longer “me” trying to “let go” – another form of control. It lets go on its own, as it is no longer able to hide in the shadows of my mind. *It* lets go *by means of* the awareness that is brought to it - by letting the light of awareness in, and by how willing I am to actually face it, as many times as I need to.

And there is another aspect I had to look at as well. For me this “letting go” through *awareness* is an ongoing process of relaxing into a deeper sense of the all-encompassing Beingness that we actually are - and allowing That to be my focus. By continually bringing awareness to what is Aware, and not trying to figure out how to let go, or how to control the situation, noticing what it feels like to be in this space of Awareness, a “letting go” occurs on its own. By bringing awareness to what is Aware, “letting go” is no longer an issue – there is just a subtle dissolving of control, and acceptance of the way things are. From this space of Awareness I don’t get into struggle with the *concept* of “letting go” – or with my mother. I don’t follow the *thought* that I need to let go – or that I need to be responsible. It’s more of a space of allowing, of letting things, life and people be what/who they are. This does not mean that I do not take the necessary actions in the care of my mother – when needed - but it is not a fear-based need to be in control of how things go and the way they may or may not turn out. From this space of Awareness there is a softening of old patterns and a more genuine, open-hearted presence that emerges.

Although, I have to admit, there is still a lurking sense of fear-based responsibility for my mother’s well-being and the resulting anxiety… And so it is…


~*~


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Nature's Window


Golden Silence


whispering in the wind


the song of living death...


A beauteous leaving...


Die into Life again and again...

~*~

"Die while you are alive..."
Shido Bonan
Japanese Zen Master



Friday, October 22, 2010

Noticing Thoughts Window

Every night at the Window is a different noticing it seems. Lately I’ve been noticing the movement of thoughts.

Initially when I sit I usually notice a tangible sense of Calm and Peace, as was the case a couple of nights ago. Then I noticed that “I” was being distracted by thought, accompanied by a subtle visceral sense of contraction in different places in the body – fear thoughts here, anger thoughts there. When I became aware of this, I would bring my awareness back to the space of Calm and Peace and then once again notice that over a matter of a few minutes thought had somehow pulled my awareness away again. This happened several times in a slow rhythm of awareness from one to the other. This was even noticed in the movement of the eyes as I sat with eyes closed. When I was *resting* in Calm and Peace the gaze was inward. Sometimes it was towards the window to my left, as if listening to the Calm at the window – “out there” – external. When I became aware of thought, it was noticed that my eyes were directed upward and to the right – as if thinking was “up there” somewhere.

A thought became a chain of thoughts, which then became a “swarm” of thoughts (this word borrowed from a friend, but is also what I experienced.) And it was noticed that I had no control over these thoughts. I could not stop thinking, as some teachings suggest. This is what the mind does. It thinks. All I could do was bring my awareness back to the Space of inner Peace and Calm.

It was experienced that there is a pull of Consciousness, the *Space* of Calm and Peace, and a pull of thought in a subtle rhythmic movement as awareness seemingly shifts between the two. Attention gets focused on thought, then, with awareness of that, there is a shift in awareness to Calm and Peace. But I had to consciously keep bringing the focus to the space of Calm – and not get entangled with thought.

In this *natural* movement it was realized once again that thought cannot be stopped, or controlled. I had to consciously choose not to follow thoughts out into infinity, to not indulge in speculation about the future, or resentment and regret about the past. I had to continually bring awareness to the inner space of Calm – the only Now there is. Some nights were more successful than others.

The “trick”, if there is one, seems to be to learn to rest the awareness in the internal Space of Calm (or however you want to call it). Just be there - *aware* of the movement of thoughts and feelings; aware of what is awareing this; allowing - not trying to wrestle oneself from the mind, but gently bringing awareness to this aware space of Eternal Rest again and again - entraining with this Still Space that is only Now…

~*~

“By ‘Here’ I don’t mean this present space.
Here is somewhere within where mind cannot reach.
Presence is always here and you are always That.
Here is not the opposite of there.
This here is nowhere.
It is your Heart.
…it all comes back to the Heart.”
Papaji



Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Pull of Consciousness Window

For the last month I have been experiencing a huge pull from within; an intense version of the “Inside-Out” experience that I referred to in the “Inside-Out” post. It is what a friend called “the pull of Consciousness.” I have described it in my journal as a “pull to Freedom.” It’s as if Consciousness ItSelf pulls ‘self’ into ItSelf, essentially reclaiming Itself. Consequently there is a sense of collapse of the ‘outer’ into the Inner, or the outer dissolving *in* the Inner.

This “outer” expression – self - is losing its sense of separateness from the “Inner” and seems to be collapsing *into* that which doesn’t have a name: into Unknowable Beingness - into the Mystery - into the NO-thing-ness - into Existence prior to expression; sinking into the space of Awareness – dissolving – falling into Freedom, the recognition of the Freedom of Awareness. Well almost. :) It feels a little like alchemy. There’s a process going on here – a process of recognition, of Seeing how things really are: That it is not that *I* am ‘That’, but that *That* is all there is! – undisturbed Aware Consciousness… Whew, what a ride!

Although this may all *sound* wonderfully blissful, this “pull of Consciousness” vortex actually feels like a death – a death that is also a birthing. There is a *deep* sense of surrender – of succumbing actually - to this inner pull of Awareness; not necessarily to the “present moment”, or to “life as it is”, but to the Tao – the Flow – the movement of Aware Consciousness within, and how *It* wants to Flow. There is a willingness here to move with this pull of Consciousness on a day-to-day, moment-to-moment basis; a willingness to not be able to see where I’m going or how I’m getting there; to not seek relief – but to just be with this experience and allow it to go where it does until it pulls ‘me’ (Itself) all the way through...

And it’s not so much the death of ‘self’ (me) as it is death of the *perception* of self – a dissolving of orientation, of thought patterns, of identities, of attachments. It’s a “surrender” - a “succumbing” - of all that was held in this system of separation before. It is not “awakening,” it is a dying into Reality.

This “death” is like the famous metaphor of the wave sinking back into the Ocean - finding The Rhythm again, finding the calm resonance within the Rhythm of the Ocean of Awareness – Home. The wave cannot move *except* for the Rhythm of the Ocean within. So I follow the pull into quiet Awareness – most of the time :).

For brief moments, here and there, there is a dissolving of perceptions, where I recognize that I am not the body-mind. But patterns of the body-mind, of the “me,” are still working themselves through. They are rising to the surface. And there is a tendency to want to suppress them. But the need to be swallowed up by Awareness – to fall into Freedom is greater – most of the time :).

Abandoning the *idea* of a separate ‘self’, the scaffolding of the ‘self’, for THIS, this spacious Awareness that dances *through* conceptual reality is Freedom. Yet, there is not the *sense* of being freed *from* anything. There is only the recognition, however brief at the moment, that the pull of Consciousness is a pull to Freedom – inner Freedom. It is recognizing that Awareness is Freedom; that Consciousness aware of ItSelf is Freedom.

~*~

“…pure Consciousness will pull you back. It is not that you will enter it… but when It pulls you It has made the choice to pull you Home…..This is Home, the holy company of the Self. The most holy association is to be as you are [the Self] – this is Freedom.” Papaji


~*~


FunQi Art™ - Christine

I can’t take full credit for this art looking like it does.
The original is a beautiful shade of blue,
(which I will post on the next blog post). When I took the picture,
with a light shining on the picture and the flash of the camera,
this is the way it came out! Almost ethereal… Amazing…
I was awestruck. My husband explained the science of it:
The picture is only a mirror of the light that shines on it.
It can only reflect the light that comes to it…
Hmmmmm….


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

"Awareness Never Changes" Window...

This little piece below came this morning through Non-Duality Highlights (link below) – a “newsletter” sent out regularly with articles, quotes, and sayings from traditional and contemporary “teachers” of Non-Duality; as well as many others who are just sharing their experiences of Non-Duality and Spirituality. It offers another “window” with which to see and experience That which Is…

Sometimes their writings speak directly to my experience. This was one of them, so I have reposted this here to share with you… In *essence* this is what I was speaking of in my last post, “Abandon Everything.” It is the ‘This’ that I was referring to, and what I am becoming more and more aware of as I steep in my “Inside-Out” experience from last week – but Richard Miller captures the essence of it here with much more simplicity and clarity… It is entitled: "Awareness Never Changes."

~~~~~~

Beyond the moving mind lays a background of Stillness that never changes.
The mind must come to know the Self as this pervading background of Stillness.

Realize that nothing observed or experienced is you.
Nothing experienced binds or obscures you.
Take no notice of what is not your Self.
Nothing observed is ultimately who we are.

Be aware of being aware.
Be aware deliberately and consciously.
Broaden and deepen this field of awareness.

You are always conscious of the mind.
Now be consciously aware of yourself as being aware.
Be Awareness.
In this there is no separation of observer and observed.
Look upon the objects of the world.
See that all objects are extensions of Awareness.

There is only Awareness.
There is only Presence.
There is only God.

*Words Richard C. Miller


You can visit the blog site called Non Duality America blog where many writers contribute at:
http://nondualityamerica.wordpress.com/2010/10/12/awareness-never-changes/

The Non-Duality Highlights newsletter link is: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights/


Photo – The inside of a large earthen flower pot
taken by my husband…

~*~


Monday, October 11, 2010

Abandon Everything Window


Abandon everything for ‘This’


Abandon
all ideas, thoughts, opinions,
concepts, stories,
judgments, resistances,
relationships…

You are not obligated to anyone, or any thing…

Abandon every thing for ‘This’ –
for the truth of ‘This’…

Abandon everything for intimacy with ‘This’:
That which is Aware…
That which is Awareness ItSelf…
That which just Is – just ‘This’…

Abandon everything and just be ‘This’ -
’This’ that is your True Nature…

Abandon the concepts of ‘self’ for ‘This’ -

Abandon all false ideas and strategies -
all attachments of the ‘self’…

Abandon self-imposed constraints
of the ‘self’ – of living from the ‘self.’

Abandon reliance on ‘self’ –
the construct of ‘self.’

Abandon the sense of ‘self’
and open to the Vastness of the pure Awareness of
just ‘This’…

Everything that exists, exists within the Vastness
of ‘This’

Succumb to ‘This’ –
the pure Awareness awareing…

Everything is held in ‘This’ -

Just ‘This’…

Live with abandon to ‘This’


~*~


Mystic Meandering
copyright
Oct. 11, 2010







Friday, October 8, 2010

Inside-Out Window...

I’ve recently been fascinated and very curious about this sense of ‘me.” Why there is a *sense* of me. Is it only in perception? Is the “me” really just an appearance, a myth, a dream, an illusion, or a mask of Being – a veil of some kind. Is it really a construct of the mind, conditioning, or is it a necessary function of Being… If it’s all One – then “me” *cannot* be a separate entity – but must *be* this One-Self, Conscious, Aware, Being that just IS – the same, yet different…

Now it’s not that I haven’t sat with this sense of self before. The notes from yesterday’s post came from Journal notes written in 2004. And I wrote “The Face of the Self” – a little blurb in the right hand margin – also from my journal notes in 2008-2010. And several weeks ago I wrote the post “Egoless Window” where I had a brief moment at the Window, where I realized that there was no separate self. I have had moments when I’ve realized that life is not about “me” and then I fall back into the dream of “me” – the drama of separation – when I *know* there is no “separation.” I catch myself in the dream of “me” all the time, looking at life through habituated and conditioned prisms that distort the View – that inhibits true Seeing. So it appears that there is something to See here…

Two days ago I spent a significant amount of time in Nature – kind of like “window sitting” – only at a much larger window :). I asked: What is the Truth about this sense of me that I sometimes experience as separate?” And this is what I saw as I sat in the landscape of Nature – True Nature...

When “I” looked at the landscape, this “sense of me” did not actually *feel* separate! It was not seeing as if separate from Inner Being. Oh really! Wow! I felt inside-out if you will. There was no felt sense of separateness really… Ahhhh - I found this very interesting. As I looked around at the hills and trees and water and houses and people there was really no sense of a separate me who was doing the seeing… hmmm… Could this be? It was another “same yet different” feeling. I *was* the landscape, I was the *Seeing*, not a separate me *looking* at the landscape as if separate from what was Seeing – or what was being seen… hmmm…

Ultimately, the question of whether there is a “separate self” or not does not even arise, when *seen* from the space of Consciousness Itself. There is no *idea* of a separate ‘me’ that is not “awake.” This sense of me is one with Consciousness. It’s not even an “appearance” of “separateness” because it’s all just seamless Consciousness. Everything is enfolded within Consciousness – a seamless Self that makes no distinctions about its own manifestations. Everything is seamlessly “enveloped,” if you will, in this Conscious Awareness – like an inner landscape of ItSelf. There is no *idea* or concept of “other,” or “separate” within this space of Inner Being Landscape….

It’s like Consciousness Itself *delights* in this “sense of self” because “IT” knows that it is not separate – IT knows that it’s all Itself. Whatever is seen, is seen to be Itself…

It seems then the “issue” is with the label of ‘self’, or ”me” – an “ownership” of this sense of “me” - that creates disparity. It seems it’s all a misperception.

It’s like the lining of a coat. The coat and lining are in embrace – interfaced with each other. They are the same, yet different. The lining is part of the totality of the experience of the coat. The lining does not have a separate consciousness *from* the coat, even though it appears to be separate from the ‘outer’ fabric. It appears as if there are two pieces, yet it functions as One – one coat – one Self. The inside and outside are *essentially* the same… If the coat is turned inside out the lining shows, is expressed, but it is seamlessly still the coat – only a different face is showing…

Yesterday, as I was driving, I realized that the separate sense of me is an *assumption*. I *assume* there is a “me” that interacts with life. Ah-ha! But I noticed that there really is no *sense* of a separate me either - wow. It was realized that it’s all Self Seeing Itself as Self - all the same, yet different. It’s all part of the totality of experience. And so it seems moot to inquire about this “me”, as if it was separate. It’s all the landscape of Inner Being – inside out, or outside in. It’s all just the Landscape of Love – loving Itself…


~*~

Picture - "The Landsacape of Love"
2003



Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Shadow of Separation Window


I resurrected this from a previous post, because it is something that I’m revisiting again at the window: the felt sense of separation, and how it continues to cycle back into view, creating a shadow. So it appears it’s time to take a look and explore this phenomena again… More posts to come!




The “original wound” of humanity is a
*perceived separation* from the Essence of all Life,
from Source, from Self, from our True Nature…

Healing this universal wound is a
healing of the consciousness of separation –
The imagined “split” from the Consciousness of the Heart
that became the shadow…

This wound of separation is just a consciousness
spawned from the *belief* in separation.
A *belief* in separation creates a consciousness
of fear and darkness – a shadow.

It is only a *belief.*
It is not real.

You are caught in the net of separation again,
*thinking* it is real.
Awaken from this shadow self.
Recognize the presence of your True Nature - again,
the Beingness that you are…

See life through the eyes of this pure Seeing of the Heart.
Find your internal “Home” in the sense of this Beingness.
Remember this Infinite Consciousness within you – that is you.
It is the place of un-wounding.
The place of unwinding the wound…



Excerpts from my journals – 2004

~*~

“Addiction to belief in a separate me is the root of all suffering.”

Miriam Louisa
This Unlit Light