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...

Monday, February 28, 2011

Tea with Ang Ziety

Maybe you know Ang Ziety? She hangs out a lot with me. She’s like an undercurrent hum of an electrical buzz – the neurons on overload and over-stimulation, misfiring, creating havoc in this body… She’s been with me all my life actually, you’d think we’d be in better relationship by now. But, she’s unpredictable and neurotic so I never know what to expect. And I tend to try to keep a lid on her, relegating her to the underground so she won’t spiral out of control. But she refuses to stay there, which actually is a good thing.

I have had tea with her many times before, befriending her. I danced with her in the shower, and met her in “The Cave.” I have used a variety of techniques to address her throughout the years: Byron Katie –Loving What Is - the 4 questions work (read it 3 times); Tara Brach’s wonderful book – Radical Acceptance; Pema Chodron – The Places That Scare You; Richard Moss – The Mandala of Being – love this book; Debbie Ford – The Dark Side of the Light Chasers is a particularly good book for understanding and working with shadow aspects. And then there’s always the “inner child work” books, and so forth. And, I’ve had lots of “therapy.” :) I know there is much debate out there on the efficacy of “the psychological approach” for what ails mankind – I found it helpful. All the teachings, techniques and therapies seemed to help when I was working with them – easing the angst of anxiety for a while, but never really “curing” it. What I mean by “cure” is a deep abiding shift in perception and a re-identification with our authentic Being. Anxiety, despite all my insights and practices has not significantly shifted. The anxious mind still wreaks havoc like a child with ADHD, constantly needing re-direction and re-focus. So there must be something deeper that needs to be addressed.

Over the years I have developed my own ways of addressing her. I do not presume to tell anyone how to work with their demons. We each have to find our own way. I am just sharing my experience here. When I’m not frightened by my little gremlins of fear, I see them as little orphans who just want to be acknowledged, embraced, fed and loved. Their underlying issues have been disowned, roaming out on the streets, homeless. They need to be brought home to the Womb of the Heart again. So I welcome them by recognizing their presence, dialoging with them in my journal, holding an energetic space for them to be here, and introduce them to the Heart of Being once again.

Anyway, Ang and I sat last Wednesday.

Initially I ask a few general questions like: What is the truth of this anxiety? What is needed here? Or, more specifically - what does Anxiety want/need – sometimes giving her a name. I mindfully ask questions until the “right” one resonates from within. And then I sit, waiting for the “answer” from within. It became clear that the “answer” this time was that she needed a sense of security and stability. I could not offer her those biscuits at the moment. Life just isn’t that way right now.

In sitting with Ang, acknowledging her fear, feeling her in my body, moving with her, the image of a hyper child, or a hyper puppy, experiencing separation anxiety emerged. Over the years I have discovered that Ang needs lots and lots of reassurance to *not* feel separate, abandoned, or threatened by life’s changes. She needs to learn to trust that she is in fact not separate from Source at all, and that she will be supported by That… Convincing her is not easy however. Life is pretty groundless at the moment.

Each time I sit with Ang and look into anxiety I discover the same root cause of Ang’s angst: a deep sense of separateness from that which I *know* myself to be – the True Self – Being – pure Awareness. Ang somehow feels “disconnected” from this felt sense of the deep Stillness of the Inner Being – our True Nature - and can’t seem to find her way back Home. She is like a frightened child that, once separated from the womb, did not develop a sense of security, stability and trust in her inner Knowing Awareness. It also became quite clear that “I” had identified with Ang, with anxiety. “I” became her. “I” bought into the identity of being an anxious, separate person, developing a kind of attachment to anxiety. And when “I” *believes* her thought streams “I” feels separate. I can’t explain it, it just happens this way – despite *knowing* that we are never separate from Source. Separation is evidently a very deeply engrained neural pattern in mankind.

Tara Brach says something to the effect that it is harder for people who have experienced serious trauma early in life to trust their inner Being, to trust that “The Beloved”, is there for them. That is - seeing “The Beloved” inside themselves - *as* themselves – knowing That is who they are, and trusting That. I understand this…

I end by asking: How does Being want to relate to this anxiety? The answer is always – with compassion, gentleness and love – not trying to get rid of her, or make her behave, but seeing what the deeper need is and addressing that – the wound of separation. And evidently what Ang needs is some experiential re-programming from within. Ah-ha!

Ultimately, what I understand over and over again is that it all comes down to – “entrainment” – entrainment with Being. By that I mean experiencing a *felt sense* of Inner Beingness – beyond training the mind in methods and techniques – an actual, felt experience of the Stillness of Being that we are. This comes through a willingness to sit with That which we are – our Beingness/Source – until we are fully established in That; re-identifying *as* That which we are. The only way I have found to do that is to actually get a felt sense experience of what “That” feels like. So the more I relax into Being, meditate on what this BEingness that I am feels like - becoming aware of the Spaciousness of pure Awareness - the more I entrain *experientially* with that which “I” is – eventually *re-cognizing* a seamless intimacy with That.

So Ang and ”I” meet in “the chair”, at the Pool of Awareness, bask in the beautiful Stillness beyond stillness, and relax into Beingness. It is the true Elixer for what ails the wound of separation…


~*~


Meditating is not the only way to experience our True Nature – Being.
There are many ways to relax into this Space.
Massage, Music, Nature, Contemplative Dance,
Contemplative Art and Photography…
Qi Gong, Tai Chi,
Energy work – given and received,
Mindfulness in daily living,
awareness of what in us is Awake and Aware – Being.



Wednesday, February 23, 2011

0-60

I don’t understand how this happens really, how I can go from O-6O so quickly. I had 3 wonderful days of Liquid Life, “Nirvana”, profound Peace, Bliss – Zero point – suspended in the Womb of the Heart last week. The tangible, expansive, felt sense of “The Beloved” was so deep and undeniable that I thought, wow, *this* is what all the spiritual teachers are talking about – the deep, incredible profound space of Absolute Awareness and the Peace that passes understanding. And now I’m steeping in anxiety again… Go figure.

I could feel it begin to rev up again uncontrollably a couple of days ago – life stuff you know – the usual stories – the mind latching onto them. And before I knew it my mind was like a race car speeding around that same old track – fixating on form once again – and everything blurred. Darn. I thought once one had slipped into that nirvanic womb all the old patterns just magically washed away. That happens to some I hear, everything just drops away – depression, fear, anxiety – whatever has ailed them dissolves into the liquid womb, and “they” are forever changed. That does not seem to be the case here – at least not permanently - which always leaves me feeling lacking, adding to the pain of separation – that strange mind malady; the pool of separateness that the mind likes to bathe in – the mud bath, which makes that speedway thought track a little messy…

So it’s back to “the chair” for extended R&R at the pool of Awareness again. Actually I’ve been sneaking away to “the chair” more lately – resting, deeply relaxing, turning my awareness to “The Beloved” as much as possible, basking in the deep Womb of the Heart – until Ms. Anxiety arrived. So now I will invite Ms. Anxiety to join me – she’s here anyway – idling her engines, raring to go. So I’ll take a look under the hood and see what her issues are this time. It’s always somethin’…

In the mean time I have my little reminders posted on the kitchen cabinet door for the forgetting times like these; reminders that underneath the blur of anxiety is still a peaceful depth of pure Silence that flows...





~*~

Top Photo - Blown glass ball radially blurred



Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Womb of the Beloved


Every sound is Your vibration…
Every heart is Yours beating…
Every experience is Your experience,

felt in the Womb of Your Heart…

Every heartache is Your heartache…
Every pain is Your pain,

felt intimately in the Womb of Your Heart…

Every gesture of kindness and compassion
is Yours as well…

Every awareness is Your Awareing
from the Womb of Your Heart…

The Womb of Your Heart
is the liquid pool of Life
from which you
morph YourSelf
into form…

Liquid
Life



Mystic Meandering
copyright

Feb. 17, 2011


~*~

Photo – a clear glass sphere
sitting in a bed of glass pebbles


~*~

“The Beloved” that I speak of is not an “It”,
not an object, a persona, or
some-thing to be objectified,
achieved, grasped or owned.
It could also be called:
The Unknown, The Mystery, Emptiness,
Isness, Beingness, Formlessness,
True Nature, True Mind, Deep Mind,
Awareness,
The Heart,
Life ItSelf,
That which lives this body,
the Nameless “I”


~*~



Friday, February 18, 2011

Fixated on Form

This week I have been fixated on the body, which has been in pain. Last week it was emotional pain. As I discovered there’s no difference really. Both are very visceral experiences actually.

I tweaked my back on Sunday and by Wednesday I was unable to find a comfortable position. Laying on my left side for 24 hours seemed to bring the most temporary relief. I felt like a wounded animal in survival mode, needing to find a safe place to heal. In the pain it was noticed that both emotionally and physically I felt a sense of “disconnect” from my “core” – by that I mean that I felt unable to be in the “core” of Self. I became fixated on the pain – both emotionally and physically. Although I was conscious that I didn’t want to wallow in the experience of pain, admittedly I got sucked in by the vortex of pain and there was “suffering.” No real drama, no spiraling out of control, just an experience of pain and suffering – in form.

Yesterday I found respite sitting in my “meditation chair” in “the Cave” (my meditation space). It is a small, old swivel-rocker chair that I can tilt back with the help of a foot stool, which allows my back to be fully supported so that the muscles can relax. Ahhhh – sweet relief. This became my healing space yesterday and today – my “womb cave” while I was held captive by my predicament of pain.

As I deeply relaxed, an “opening” occurred in body, mind and spirit, and it became apparent that in both cases – with emotional pain and physical pain – there was a fixation on form; especially with physical pain. The emotional pain was able to slip through this realization last week. But they are both the same really. When there is pain of any kind it is difficult to be aware of anything else. The mind fixates, awareness fixates on the pain, the discomfort, and needs to find relief, which is obviously part of the body-mind mechanism. But I was surprised at how quickly I lost awareness of the context of Spaciousness and became narrowly fixated on form; how easily I began to feel separate from the Space of Awareness (the “core”). And in *feeling* separate I fixated more on the pain, the body, the feeling, etc., which kept me solidified in a separate sense of self – hurt and wounded.

As I sat there, my back fully supported by the chair, hot pack at my back, I found myself experiencing a sense of fluidity, a sense of the “liquidity” of Life: every sound I heard was liquid, every thought and feeling were liquid-like vibrations – ripples of liquid; even the pain and the body had become quivery liquid gel. And no, I was not taking pain medication. :) In a sense, once the *fixation* with pain, with form, had subsided, I could remember that this life, this experience of pain is just an occurrence *within* the Liquid Pool of Existence; that Liquid Life morphs itself into these forms we call body-minds with its pains and frustrations, physically, mentally and emotionally. This sense of me is really Liquid Life from which I cannot separate. This “me” arises as a liquid story that occurs in the Liquid Womb of The Beloved. We arise, have form, and melt back into Liquid Life again and again… Our thoughts and feelings and pain are liquid as well – gelatinous “mutations” if you will, suspended in a Womb of Living Liquid… Yet we take ownership of the thoughts, the feelings, the lives that we live and fixate on them as if they exist independently of the Liquid Life from which they arise – but from which they can never be “disconnected…”

And in this liquid story the pain becomes a messenger. Like the little brown duck in the photo above, pain comes and disturbs our idea of what form is supposed to look like and how we are supposed to experience it, reminding us not to fall back to sleep in form. In her own way, pain wakes us up from our fixations on form and calls us back to the fluid liquidness of Life…

In deep gratitude to the “pain ducks"…


~*~


Monday, February 14, 2011

The Heart's Nature...


Love is a subtle vibration,
shared moments of softness,
just being there…
speaking Heart to Heart…

~*~

Love is knowing that
you are the Heart of everyone,
and everyone is the Heart of you,
hidden behind transparent walls…
In seeing through, there is
a deepening compassion for our fragility,
our vulnerability, our wounds,
because they are the same…

~*~

In the deep Womb of our Heart,
there is a song…
It is sung with tenderness
for every heart that aches
from its imagined separateness
from The Beloved,
the root of all suffering…

~*~

The True Nature of the Heart is deep compassion;
the Rhythm of Love…

Sit in deep Quiet and listen
until you hear It…


~*~


Heart Hugs to all my wonderful Heart Friends!


Mystic Meandering
copyright
2004/06



Photo ~ I resurrected this photo from a 2009 post,
which some of you may remember.
It was sent to me by a friend.



Thursday, February 10, 2011

Welcome The Heart Arrows

For several weeks now I’ve been feeling a very intense emotional kind of “heartpain”… No particular event, trauma, or wound comes to mind – just a generic kind of universal human experience wound of the heart. Arrow arriving in the fence nearly two weeks ago was a timely metaphor for looking at this pain, and seeing through the wound into the womb of the Heart…

In the exuberance of opening to the Heart, as has been happening here, there is now an opening and “outpouring” of the wounds that have been held here – the wounds of this life experience that have been hidden in the heart. This does not mean that I am “suffering” with any kind of victimization, or wallowing in old wounds, lost in the memories of old betrayals, and arrows. None of the wounds needs to be identified or rehashed. It’s more of a natural process of release of the accumulated “pain of life” as a whole. As I acknowledge this deep pain, these wounds and their subsequent armoring are being relieved of their duty to guard and protect this heart… But I didn’t realize the process would be so “painful” – requiring such mindfulness not to fall off the edge into story again – to not fall into the unconscious pit of pain…

Last week I just happened to pull Pema Chodron down off the shelf. I like to keep her handy. :) As I scanned through her pages my eyes fell on a few sentences here and there. One phrase in particular was rather timely I thought. She said: “Get in touch with the arrow in your heart and *relate to the wound.* Feel the wounded heart… If someone comes along and shoots an arrow in your heart, it’s fruitless to stand there and yell at the person (or situation). It would be much better to turn your attention to the fact that there’s an arrow in your heart and *relate to that wound.*” Wow – okay – heart begins to twitter… She says that by coming face to face with our wounds and relating to them, actually allowing ourselves to *feel* the rawness of them, the heart actually opens more, and we find the spacious tender heart of bodhichitta – the awakened Heart - underneath the pain. She says that every arrow, every wound is an opportunity to open to this deeper space of the Heart – and relate to That… She does not say to suppress them, or deny that we have them, but to face the wound directly and *it* will lead you to the tender Heart of Hearts underneath… Okay, sign me up for another Heart excursion… I’ll bring the bandages and tape…

However, it appears I’m already on one – and have been for a long time… It is not something I remember consciously choosing to do, or planning to do; it is just happening. Life circumstances have provided the opportunities - the arrows… Maybe ultimately this “outpouring” is happening now because many years ago my desire was to live with an open heart, and I think I thought it was going to happen easily and automatically – maybe even create a by-pass around those clogged arteries. You know, just put in your wish and the magic happens – you awaken and pour out gobs of love and bliss. My life hasn’t worked that way… I didn’t know what “heart opening” would entail, or feel like, and I don’t think I brought along the right gear… No matter, this heart is apparently opening anyway, whether I’m prepared or not, revealing its accumulated contents, and the tender Heart Womb beyond the wounds. I’m in labor here - birthing into the womb of the Heart… Geeze this birth canal is long and dark and there’s no air!

Interestingly, at the end of January I experienced a rather intense period of “heartpain.” So I went to “The Cave” and sat with this “heartache.” I breathed *into* the “pain”, deeply and consciously attending to it. I faced into it internally and took a good look… There was the sense that this “deep pain” was some kind of encasement around the heart, protecting a deeper more vulnerable space. Within the encasement of pain there was a deep light, although I could only see its faint glow. Through the encasement, which was transparent, I could feel beyond the solidity of the pain to a tenderness, a gentle space – the soft heart as Pema calls it. There was also a sense that the pain was also a “gate”, an opening into something unguarded and untouched. I realized that the experience of pain, no matter what the cause, is really an invitation, not an obstacle or barrier. It’s an invitation to open more to the Deep Heart. It’s not enough to just meet the pain, one must follow the pain all the way through into the Womb of the Heart…

It turns out that Arrow in the fence was a messenger of sorts, not only to relate differently to my neighbor, but to welcome the arrows of the heart, to deeply attend the wounds, and allow the light to come through them – the openings that life’s arrows have left behind…



~*~

Check out this piece of prose from Ameeta at Self discovery self


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Winter's Heart Magic...




Winter left me a gift of the Heart this morning in Jack Frost's
icy artistry...

Can you see the Heart? :)




Monday, February 7, 2011

Arrow

“I shot an arrow into the air, it fell to earth, I knew not where…” (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow).

Well, I found it! And it’s not cupid’s arrow either!

On Sunday, January 30th, before the snow came, I looked out my back window and saw this arrow stuck in the back fence… Hmmmm…. I had a certain sneaking suspicion where this errant arrow had come from. But I just left it there, waiting to see if its owner would own up to its ownership – or better yet, come into our locked, fenced-in backyard to try to retrieve it when we weren’t looking… He did not…

Initially I was quite p.o.’d by the sight of this arrow in the fence and marched out to take pictures, just in case. Earlier that morning I had been out in the backyard in the approximate area of the path of the arrow… We live in a residential area. There are no acres of land separating houses here. We are basically in each others' pockets, so-to-speak. So an arrow stuck in the back fence is serious business, especially when two little toddlers live on the other side of that fence where the arrow was headed…

I was tempted to pull Arrow out of its landing spot and march to suspected neighbor, arrow in hand, and give him a piece of my mind. Maybe that would have been a good idea – to give away that piece of mind that was p.o.’d. But I thought better of it and kept my mind to myself. He is the same neighbor with the two dogs – you may remember from previous posts. Last Summer he decided to play target practice in his backyard with a bee-bee gun late at night when he thought we weren’t watching… I was “window sitting” so I saw everything. :)

So what to do about Arrow, and the evidently irresponsible neighbor who thinks target practice with bows and arrows and bee-bee guns are acceptable in residential neighborhoods. I knew this was an opportunity for me, but I didn’t quite know how to approach him, being p.o.’d and all. So I waited, just waited for that inner voice to say something. But nothing. There were no directions forthcoming. So for 4 days Arrow sat in the fence, and I pondered Arrow and its metaphors. I knew it was there to say *something* - besides the fact that my neighbor was not cupid, but stupid. So I inwardly listened. (More on this later this week).

Then last Friday morning, while standing in our driveway, taking photos, after snow the night before, my neighbor came out and we unexpectedly met – across the yards. We looked at each other, said hello, nodded, no usual niceties. I turned around to continue taking pictures, thinking should I or shouldn’t I – approach him that is. Now, I had basically rolled out of bed, not showered, was in sweats and coat, hair amiss, etc., etc. Nah, not good timing.

I heard him say something under his breath and start to walk towards me. I thought - here it comes, he’s going to own up to Arrow. And then he said: “I had a dream last night.” Oh really? I replied – thinking now I’m going to hear the story of how the arrow got in the fence. Instead he narrated that in his dream his two dogs were barking really loud and it really bothered me. He wanted to know if his dogs were bothering me. I was shocked. I thought - are you serious? Do you think I dropped off a turnip truck or something! I know that you know about the ARROW! What about the ARROW! I want you to own up to ARROW! But I smiled and went along with his little dream story. Oh no, they are fine, no bother. Are you sure, he said… Yes, they’re fine. (Their barking has been an issue in the past and both now have bark collars on, so very little barking occurs – anymore.) He evidently felt we were finished and started to walk away. Not so fast cupid…


I then said: Well, I had a dream last night too. (I thought two can play this game). Oh? he said. Yes, I dreamt that an arrow flew through our yard and landed in the fence. Would you happen to know anything about that?

Yes, I would, he said… His son (about 13 yrs old) thinks he is Daniel Boone, and his mother bought him a bow and arrow… But cupid, I mean stupid, now agreed that it was “not a good thing” to be doing target practice in the backyard– and would reign his son in. “Daniel Boone” has now been relegated to the fields beyond the park two houses away – not in shooting distance of any houses. I’m still nervous…

Anyway – After the fact, pondering our little conversation, I thought the way my neighbor approached me was rather skillful actually: indirect, focusing on the dream, the story, not confrontational – although not admitting to anything, not taking responsibility until “found out” – which was rather bothersome. But - it was an interesting repartee where what was needed to be revealed was revealed in its time. It gave me an opening to address the issue and we could both walk away “unharmed” – no anger, no conflict, no blame, no judgment – issue resolved. I could meet him in the dream, in his story – and he in mine. Wow – I thought, how simple, why didn’t *I* think of that… Now I will.

I returned the arrow – unbroken…

I love this opening: “Say, I had a dream last night…”

Can we meet each other in the dream? Sure we can. It’s really kind of fun… Wanna play? :) Your dream or mine…



Friday, February 4, 2011

'Strange Peace'


There is a stranger that arrives sometimes
in these mid-winter days…

In Her presence
everything settles…

everything lets go…

everything becomes still…

everything rests,
not lifeless – just rests…



When She arrives
everything feels strangely

~ peaceful ~


When She comes
life is allowed to be as life is,
as I listen deeply to
Her whispers…


She feels ‘strange’ to me
only because She
has come as a surprise,
unexpected,
and is larger than life;
beyond mental understanding…

Yet, I know I know this “stranger.”
She is strangely familiar…
I’m sure we have met before…


I welcome Her in...

She gives me Her mantel of Peace
and wraps it around my heart…

The Fire-Light within begins to brighten
because She is Home...


Mystic Meandering
copyright

February 3, 2011


Photo ~ March 2010




Thursday, February 3, 2011

Hibernating Land...


Frozen Earth bound in time,
preparing for the thaw,
allowing flow and movement
to regain rhythm and rhyme…

Frozen streams of frosted glass
crystallize the sun;
forming lances of light to illuminate
the path,
through this natural prism,
opaquely wrapped.

The silence of the hibernating land
speaks in loud whispers
through the trees;
crying soul-callers of the sky
fly in comfortable bands,
sounding the homing call,
kindredly clanned.

Come Home
Be Free...



Mystic Meandering
copyright

January 1998


photo - sun through frost on window
Feb. 2010



Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Imbolc: Fire-Light


I am re-discovering the Fire-Light that wants to come to life here;
that wants to express, to give voice,
and not be constrained by “spiritual” conundrums.
The Light that Lives –
without mentations and cogitations of words and concepts
that cloud and dim its Light…

~

Interesting that this is arising for me at Imbolc –
the cross quarter day between the Winter Solstice
and the Spring Equinox.
Celtic tradition has it that Imbolc is celebrated
in preparation of “giving birth”,
in anticipation of the birth of Spring.

~

I’ve actually been feeling this inner Fire for a long time –
pushing through, coming alive, wanting to thrive,
threatening to consume “me;”
creating a combination of excitement and apprehension…

It’s a threshold kind of feeling,
like Imbolc, the threshold of “re-birth”,
of rekindling the inner Light;
the intuitive inner compass Light of the Heart;
the inner Fire-Light that is the expression of Being ItSelf...


I see a spark of light shining…
Alegria!


In the meantime, I intend to in-JOY the remaining days of winter,
tending the faint light until it ignites into the Flame...




Warm Winter Blessings!


top photo: sun through frost on window
bottom photo: street light through frost