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, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

May nothing but benevolence
and blessings
get past your door
tonight…

Happy Halloween!



Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Narcissus Way

While I don’t consider myself a “narcissist” by definition, i.e.: I am not enamored with myself, with my thoughts, opinions, or perspectives about life, I find myself living on Narcissus Way where ego-self is preoccupied with itself. Through my inner window I have seen how this narcissistic self is a remnant of self-identification and ego function. Sometimes we can best see our own ego through the ego reflection of others, particularly those closest to us. This has been the case here on Narcissus Way for several weeks now. In the past several months, as some of you know, I have needed to attend to family more than usual. I evidently bought a ticket for a front row seat at this little ego drama.

So I wanted to share a kind of “day in the life” on Narcissus Way. I hope I don’t bore you with my meandering story, but it is life as it is here at the moment, and I find it hard sometimes to step out of the story – so I write…





Monday morning I arrived at my mother’s. TV is on, like it always is – game shows, cooking shows, talk shows -24/7. Mom is sitting in her chair flipping through catalogues and ads that come in the mail. When she turns to look at me I see that the eye that she had surgery on nearly a year ago appears bloody – not just blood-shot. She evidently had a severe coughing spell the day before and that morning that must have put too much pressure on her eyeball. I encourage her to call the eye doctor, she reneges. I felt the contraction between us. I evidently raised an issue she doesn’t want to deal with and she self-protects. I move on to something less threatening.

~

I climbed the stairs to my sister’s room – door is closed. She has not emerged yet. She was still in bed, her TV on. Her back and leg pain had returned, as evidently she overdid it the day before by being up too long, doing too much; even walked around without her back brace on – not even 4 weeks after surgery. Hel~lo... But her pain is also emotional. She desperately wants control in a situation that she has no control over, and so she gets very, very angry, trying to control through anger. My “ego-self” remembers this pattern all too well. I attend to what is needed and tactfully withdraw from her lair, not engaging – but feel my ego react to her anger, as it feels invasive.

~

I check with them both to compile a list of grocery items, and get vague answers. No one is capable of clear thinking of what is needed, even with prompt questions. I head out to the store, feeling irritation rise, and the self-centered thought that this may continue for the rest of *my* life! And how am I going to do this! My ego balks at the idea. I ask my Self - what is my real role here? What is the real need? - as I’m not seeing clearly.



I return to find my Diabetic mother eating cupcakes. She says she has eaten a salad already for lunch. I check her eye and encourage her again to call the eye doctor. She obviously doesn’t want to, and brushes me off, not wanting to be controlled – wanting to make her own decisions. I respect that. I find I am no longer interested in power struggles, so I move on. I do tell her that she probably shouldn’t do a lot of bending over – then later find her bent over looking for something in a lower kitchen cabinet! I turn away, not saying anything, resisting the ego’s need to correct, to control.
~

I find a partially written list on the kitchen counter of other items that I was evidently supposed to pick up at the store – but no one told me it was there. I also found another list of things I needed to do – like bring the hoses in, and fix the shower head in my sister’s bathroom, which neither mentioned. My ego-self has been sufficiently aroused to elicit the anger response. My mother knows nothing about the lists. She is unaware – evidently about a lot of things. And I am irritated at her unawareness, and the general lack of coherent communication – wishing that we could all communicate better without the ego walls that are between us. I find it interesting that we are all in the same living space, but no one is *really* home – internally home. Although, the unaware, conditioned “me” is very much “at home”/comfortable in this environment, thriving in unconsciousness, and unawareness; thriving in cycles of long held patterns that have blurred over time…



I head back out to the store, because we discover that my sister’s cat does not have enough food. No one remembered that before. I begin to feel myself numb out and go on automatic; another ego defense mechanism on Narcissus Way.

~

After doing the chores on the list, while my sister supervised to make sure I did them “right”, my mother announced that her blood sugar was only 68, and we head towards a possible crisis. She’s been a Diabetic for 26 years and still doesn’t eat right – is still in denial… We quiz her for her food intake that day, which she didn’t like – too invasive - because she couldn’t hide her eating habits. And now we attempt to play catch up with her blood sugar to get it back to normal… She eats a banana and pours herself a glass of OJ. Her blood sugar rises to normal levels, and we all move on… I feel the need to withdraw, to find silence, solitude…and rest.



My practice over the last few weeks has been to bring a greater sense of conscious awareness to this situation and to maintain an inner awareness of Beingness; to step back from self-centered me-ing, drop into the space of the Heart, and experience what it is that is actually experiencing this little drama; who is seeing through these eyes, hearing through these ears, as this ego story continues to play itself out… Noticing all the while that there does appear to be a “me”, and I begin to seriously question the concept that there is no “me”/no self, because I am sitting with “me-s” who *believe* they are only “me-s”, separate from one another – drowning in their “me-hood.” And my me is going right along with their little “me-s.” Three “a–me-gos” on Narcissus Way, reflecting each other’s “me-s”, creating a distorted reflection of Reality.

I trust that underneath all this ego drama there is Love – not “family love” but Divine Love; that this drama is really just the play of “the Beloved;” that Love lives in the midst of it all – embracing our little “me-s” until we remember our true reflection. And maybe the real need is just to be there – not out of a sense of resignation, or self-sacrifice, or responsibility, or obligation – but just BE there – authentically - staying open to and aware of the dynamics as they unfold, allowing Love to work Its Way…



Saturday, October 22, 2011

Life Blossoms for Its Own Pleasure...

We are in full Fall foliage here, and this year is turning out to be pretty spectacular. For the last couple of weeks, as I have traveled back and forth to my mother’s house (a 30 min drive), bogged down in the practical of life, I have watched the leaves turn into their brilliant radiance, peak, and fall. And of course didn’t have my camera with me – or the time to stop and enjoy. So today, grabbing some time for myself, I went out on a short excursion, just a few miles from where we live, to “Fiddler’s Circle.”

I walked the circle and managed to capture some of the beautiful color and scenery; although I lost the bright sunlight almost immediately with cloud cover. But still, Life had blossomed for Its pure pleasure and I wanted to be in it; a Colorado Fall in one of our most spectacular years ever!

Leaves were raining as the winds picked up, making their rustling noise as they fell. The smell of Fall in the air was fragrantly ripe. Unfortunately the photos of mountains didn’t come out too sharply, partly because of my little Kodak camera, and partly because of the light conditions. I find that true of myself as well. Because of the lens of thoughts, feelings, frame of mind, and perspectives that I see life through, and my own “light conditions,” I sometimes can’t see clearly the brilliant radiance of Life that is everywhere - just being - for Its own pleasure – and ours too… :)



Enjoy the View!








Everything comes full circle…
Nothing really dies…
Life, the Light, is always within…
It only changes form,
changes expression.
Nothing can kill IT.
IT rekindles ItSelf
from formless to form,
and back again…

~

“The form of the formless.
The image of the imageless.
It is called indefinable
and beyond imagination.
Stand before it and there is no beginning.
Follow it and there is no end.
Stay with the ancient Tao.
Move with the present.
Knowing the ancient beginning is
the essence of Tao.”

Lao Tzu

~

“Observe the wonders as they occur around you.
Don’t claim them.
Feel the artistry moving through.”

Rumi

~

Everything calls you back to the Truth…



Sunday, October 16, 2011

Turn... Turn... Turn...


Turn
inward
towards Me,
”The Beloved;”
the Face of your Self;
the Light in your Heart;
the space of Pure Awareness…

Turn from the voices of the unconscious,
- the land of the living dead -
the voices of confusion, hatred, violence;
the ones who distract
you from *knowing*
the Truth…

~ Turn ~

~

~ Turn ~

Turn and listen

in
deep
Silence,

in
the
Chalice
of the Heart

until you hear
what needs
to be heard
in your
heart.

~

Turn inward from the stimulation
of life being “sold” to the masses;
with its false delusions of the Real;
including the “spirituality” vendors,
who sell you their “frameworks”
to keep you seeking, striving,
believing you need more,
leaving you empty…

Come – sit with Me.

Sit in solitude
with Me…
Hearing,
Seeing,
Aware-ing,
Knowing Me.

Silently
listening
within

where
“I”
thrive
in
the

S
i
l
e
n
c
e


~ Turn ~


“I” am Here…

~

Mystic Meandering
copyright
Oct. 16, 2011

~

Photo ~

In looking for a photo for this post
I found this one in my files.
It is a picture of the September Full Moon
through the skylight.
What captured my attention
when I saw it in my files
was the reflection of what appears
to be an “inner window” or door.
I did not notice this
when I took the photo,
but only saw this afterward,
and after turning the photo :)
In a sense it is what this poem
is about – turning and going inward,
metaphorically through the inner
window/door.
Just sitting, turning towards Silence,
and meeting that spacious Awareness
that is always there…



Thursday, October 13, 2011

Waking Up - again...

After what feels like *months* of contraction around “family tending”, family dysfunction, and the resurrection of unconscious emotional baggage, I woke up yesterday morning to Awareness again… Meaning – I became aware of that vast field of spacious Awareness that is the ground and function of our Being; a spacious stillness that is just there/here, aware-ing life, *being* life… It was like realizing something I already knew, as new – and my body-mind relaxed. Interesting. I felt the weight of the present circumstances lift. I felt lighter, fuller, taller, thinner (heh-heh) and Aware… The energy of Beingness hummed through my body like a familiar pulse. One could also call it Chi, the Life Force, Buddha Nature, Christ Consciousness, God-Consciousness, Supreme Intelligence, Inner Being, Nowness, Presence, Awareness, whatever your particular frame of reference is. The awareness of ‘This’ that we know as our Being is a very grounding feeling; a feeling of “connection” – of knowing that Life is being lived through the body.

When I physically woke up yesterday morning, I felt the usual angst about, and chaffing against, the day. I also had the thought – I’m tired of waking up like this, of going through life like this… I then remembered a breathing practice I used to do each morning before getting out of bed and started breathing into the Lower Dantien, (or Hara). As I did, my angst settled, and the internal Life energy started to move. Beingness “woke up” inside. Something inside was aware of every sound, feeling, sensation and thought, *without* immediately contracting around it in some kind of reactive response of judgment, or dislike. Even thoughts about family were just noticed to be thoughts. Awareness of this inner awake, aware Presence became my “goal” for the day. Part way through the day I lost “consciousness” :) (lost the felt sense of awareness of this ever-present field of Awareness) but - the awareness of un-awareness was just noticed too. I was just being/doing what was called for in each moment and being okay with whatever arose. It was a totally different orientation than the last several months – and totally welcome – finally…. Something so simple as awareness can seem so difficult when one is entrapped in the chaotic mind.

I also realized that this was probably one of the “gifts” of the Owl that had shown up for 3 days last month – the reminder to be still and aware – just being aware of the presence of Life flowing within, the presence of Presence, etc…

I recognized that my Inner Being/Spirit thrives through awareness of this field of Awareness that we all are: The awareness of our True Nature – the awareness of the Silent, Still, Awake, Aware Presence within - our Divinity, our Aliveness, however you know that to be. I rediscovered again that ‘This’ is where I really thrive – in the Breath and Pulse of Awareness.

~ ~ ~ ~

There are so many ways to wake up to and thrive in our Beingness. I so appreciate all of my blogger friends who shared how their Inner Being/Spirit thrives in the previous post. It helped bring me back to awareness of that Beingness, and how we nurture That. Here are highlights of the “thrivers” that I put together from everyone’s comments:


Time in places of Natural Beauty and quiet…
~
Listening to Dharma talks
(satsang/spiritual teachers)
~
Time to contemplate, be still and listen…
~
Connection with, and supporting others…
~
Love
~
Kindness and Compassion
~
Being authentic
~
Being in touch with ones wild nature
~
Paying attention to the senses
~
Lots of free time
~
Meditation
~
Exercise and Music
~
Cappuccinno - really? ;)
~
Creating/Creativity
~
Following the Breath
~
Awareness of Beingness
~


May we all sense our Inner Being thriving!

~ ~ ~

Photo: Last night’s Full Moon
as seen through a dirty skylight window
creating a “moon shadow.”

Nice effect – eh? :)





Monday, October 10, 2011

Thriving...

Fall in Colorado, before “the Freeze”, is really a melding of Summer, Fall and Winter. It’s as if Nature isn’t really ready for the change of season. The natural cycles and rhythms of Nature can seem to be a little out of sync. One day near 90, then a dip into the 40’s with rain/snow mix leaving a wisp of white, and then back to Fall with its crisp Autumn night air, flashes of color, and “Indian Summers” – and hooing owls :). Yes, she is still in the neighborhood! Ya hoo! :)

It’s a playful mix of learning to live in transition with no clear delineations or definitions, just a fluid movement of all 3 seasons blending into one before “the Freeze.” Blooming Impatiens expand, overflowing the limitations of their container with full exuberance, while the Maple leaves overhead begin to turn yellow, although I found this one with a touch of red.

The first snow is Nature’s signal of a new season to come, leaving a brief taste to tantalize the senses. And then a melting of the mantle to allow Fall to finish her song – to thrive once again before the hibernation of nature begins.

After the first snow – a show of endurance from the Petunias reclaiming their life color in one more flare before the hard freeze. In my being there is this same blend: an exuberance - felt as restlessness and erratic energies; an excitement for the shift from Summer heat into colorful, cool Autumn. Thoughts of hot chocolate, apple cider and popcorn waft through, as well as the feel of fatigue and an inward pull to start settling in for Winter’s inner hibernation.

These signals of Nature remind me that I need to pay attention to my own cycles and make some changes in order to live according to my Natural Rhythms, to thrive according my True Nature. But recently that has been my dilemma: How to honor my natural rhythms – while life and the needs of others pull me away from those rhythms. I find myself asking: What is needed for my Essential Nature to thrive… What is It pulling me to… What environment allows Being-Spirit to thrive… Or, is it really just a matter of attitude, just accepting life as it is? Am I still attached to a personal me who just wants her way? That is what I am looking into…


“What environment do you thrive in?
Plants need different conditions to thrive in
and when you try to grow it in a different environment –
it can’t thrive.

It’s not about 'preferences',
or about 'accepting life as it is' -
but knowing what you need for your spirit to thrive.”

“This is about the recognition of what it truly is
that lives, thinks, sees and breathes,
through and as [the person].
It is the One substance – Presence Awareness…”

“…preferences, likes and dislikes are recognized
as some of the countless ways the One appears
to ItSelf…”

Leo Hartong
from his book: From Self to Self


How about you…
What allows your Spirit, your Inner Being, to thrive?



Saturday, October 8, 2011

First Snow...

Woke up to a touch of Winter this morning, and the sound of wet snow plunking on the roof. Managed to snap these pics before rain set in melting it all away. Fall is not finished yet (as you can see by all the green still on the trees) but the first snow is always welcome here, as it signals a time for slowing down (hopefully :). There is a pull to “hibernate” – to move inward, to be still, to rest, to be in silence – to go deep and just listen…




“Winter is a time for death.
Do you think death is a bad thing?

The ultimate death is nothing to do with the body.
It is the death of your self as separate from God.
You are standing at the edge of the ocean of Love.
Plunge below the surf of separation.
Dive into the mystical depth.
Dissolve yourself into that sea.
Like a moth around a candle,
be irresistibly drawn to the light
until you are engulfed by flames
in an inferno of communion.”

Rumi



Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sacred Signals...

Last week we were visited by an Owl three times in 4 days. I cannot tell you the feeling of sacredness that it elicits in me to hear the sound of an owl hoo-ing overhead at 12:30 am in the silence of the night. One night it sounded as if it was sitting on our roof, or at least in one of the trees that overhangs our roof.

Last week was particularly challenging – and continues on into this week. I reached a low point emotionally and spiritually due to the pull of the unconscious family dynamic (despite dancing squirrels and chirping crickets) and found myself praying for some “assistance” – dare I say for a “sign.” Oh dear… a sign?! Fatigue had settled in, and the felt sense of Divine Presence within receded. Sometimes the unconscious seems to drown it out. I am amazed at how easily I fall back into the sea of unconscious habituated patterns and cycles. And in doing so there was an emotional “surrender” of sorts, where I knew I couldn’t continue to rely on my own ego-strength, all those wonderful coping mechanisms I constructed over the years, but must give in to the workings of The Sacred Mystery. I’m discovering that is actually a good thing, as painful as it is, as it returns my awareness to a more authentic place of “openness” – not just in words, or theory, but in the depths of my being; not that I am at peace, or without fear and anxiety. I continue to deal with these latent tendencies on a daily basis, but… How do I explain… There was, in that moment of surrender last week, just a simple sense of allowing everything to be as it is. And in that moment of surrender, there was a sense of relaxation - noticing that everything *is* the way it is anyway. Life just lives – just unfolds. I mean, if you look at nature you see that Life just lives ItSelf. I know I’ve mentioned this before. I begin to see this more clearly - and then I lose sight of it again.

I couldn’t help but feel that the Owl showing up was my “sign” - a kind of sacred signal, if there is such a thing– like when we find little stone hearts along our path, or we hear or read just the right “teaching” that addresses an issue we are struggling with, or read an inspiring blog, or find a feather. Maybe there is a Supreme Intelligence that hears – maybe Existence cares deeply and compassionately for life – hears every sound, sees every movement, like the owl - and answers. I would like to believe that, rather than the belief in an impersonal, uncaring Emptiness. But my beliefs don’t really matter. I’m just interested in seeing how Life communicates with ItSelf – because everything we encounter is Life communicating with ItSelf…

The Owl came two nights before, the night before, and the night after my sister’s surgery last Thursday. It was as if “The Beloved” ItSelf had shown up to sing Its sacred song… It was a haunting, yet comforting sound as it echoed through the night; crickets singing backup.

As I listened to the patterned “hoos” (not hoots) I thought of the owl just sitting up there, watching, observing, listening, hearing, seeing *everything* in and through the darkness, illuminating the darkness with her in-sight; seeing the totality of everything from her vantage point. Good metaphor in these hectic days of feeling more contracted than expanded, needing a little objectivity, needing to see the bigger picture, needing equanimity, needing to wait on inner wisdom from a deep place of knowing before acting. It reminded me that I *can* find that place of inner Stillness within, again and again, if I get really quiet and listen to it. I know I *know* this, but with each life challenge it’s as if I have to find it all over again.

Hearing the sound, my heart felt cocooned in the echoes of the Owl’s Sacred song… It was as if it was calling me to drop into the Heart of Being and wrap myself in the Mantle of the Mystery, to remember this space and “stabilize” there (was the word that came), deepening into the sense of the Silent Knowing within again. I hope she comes back… Am sure I’ll need more reminders…

I thought I’d share a little of the Owl’s song. We had to shorten the intervals between hoos because they were too long. Her hoo-ing lasted an hour.





~

“Trust that a thread of Love operates
in everything
and listen deeply for this Love…

Existence listens
when we connect
from the Heart…”

Adyashanti

~

Just be available
unbounded
unfettered
unencumbered
(a post-it note)

~

“Love lurks in the white water”
(of the rapids of life).

Leslie Read

~

“There is a spontaneous and
benevolent power
behind the unfolding
play of the world…

Whatever you are pushing against
flows in effortless harmony…”

Mooji

Read an interview with Mooji

~

Photo: I have no idea what bird this feather
is from. If you can identify it, please do!