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, May 30, 2012

Goosey Goslings ~ ~ ~


Feeling a little lack-luster this week, I decided to cross the bridge today at a local park to see if the gardens were in bloom, only to find this lovely surprise - no flourishing gardens – but Canadian Geese and their goslings!  


Truly, we live with mysteries
 too marvelous to be understood.

How grass can be nourishing in the
mouths of lambs.
How rivers and stones are forever
in allegiance with gravity
while we ourselves dream of rising.

How people come
from delight
or the scars of damage,
to the comfort of
a poem…

Let me keep my distance,
always,
from those who
think they have the answers.

Let me keep company,
always,
with those who say -
”Look”
and laugh in astonishment,
and bow…


Mary Oliver
from Evidence





When we are free of mental concepts
and our senses are awake,
the sounds, smells, images,
and vibrations we experience
connect us with all life…

It is not my aliveness
but simply
life…
unfolding and intense,
mysterious and beautiful.

By meeting the changing dance
with radical acceptance
we discover our intrinsic
belonging
to the whole…

Tara Brach
from: The Buddha Is Still Teaching
by Jack Kornfield




Friday, May 25, 2012

Listening to Life...


Sitting at the open window of Life,
wide open Awareness,
listening to Life’s Symphony
on a raw, cold, wet day
in May…

The chill in the air
touches my skin
caressing me,
 welcoming me,
allowing me to feel Life’s
Presence…

A canopy of lush green leaves
holds a chorus of birds
chattering and chirping.
Mourning Doves coo.
Blue Jays screech,
warning of impending rain…

The sound of rain hits
the leaves
in sharp pitts and dull plops
and splashy splatts
that barely rustle
in the light wind

The sound of cars pass on the street
leaving the crackle
of wetness as tires ride
over rain-soaked pavement -
which I find strangely comforting…

The brilliant blue, white and black markings
on the wings
of a Blue Jay
capture Awareness
as the Jay swoops
from fence line to fence line,
swiftly cocking its head around
looking sharply with each landing,
then moving beyond view...

Being takes it all in,
through these eyes…

A rabbit sits in the rain,
as if sitting vigil…
Big, black-pooled eyes
stare - watching…
ears cocked,
listening…
Being content to Be…

Beneath the “human noise”
of cars, and planes, and engines
There is just Life’s Presence,
Its inherent Aliveness
Its Awakeness…

Buds and Blossoms
bounced about
by rain and wind
nod - whispwering yes...

I exhale,
and mind lets go,
deeply listening
to Life;
deeply aware of
Life’s Presence;
communing
with the
Essence of Nature
deeply living…

Life living ItSelf…


Despite our busyness,
our harriedness,
our distractions,
LIFE lives…
holding it all,
allowing it all,
awareing it all.


Window sitting is my favorite meditation.
Aliveness flourishes in the deep silence of
listening…

Life watches ItSelf play ItSelf out
through my eyes...

silently gazing through
the open window,
while the music of Life
plays ITs own Symphony.

How intimately magical Life is…
How whimsically Life plays…

How do we miss such an enchanting spectacle…
How did we forget,
become blind and deaf,
to Life living ItSelf;
needing the kiss of a
”Prince Charming”
of Truth
to awaken to Life’s
beauty once again.

Life calls:
Are you awake?
Or are you still asleep -
pricked by the poison of ignorance -
waiting to be kissed…
to be enlivened…

Thunder rolls in,
louder and sharper.
The wind picks up,
blowing rain
 through the screen.
The chill is chillier,
coursing a deep shiver
through this body.

Life’s lusciousness
runs through the veins
and beats the heart…

Be kissed…
Awaken…



Mystic Meandering
Meditative Writings
May 23, 2012



Sunday, May 20, 2012

Listen From The Depths...

In Deep Silence
In Deep Rest
In Deep Quiet
In Deep Awareness
Deeply listen...

Deeply unwind
the wounds
the dramas
the stories
that
create
your
pain


Sit
 in the *depths*
 of the Silence
of Existence
and
listen

suspended
in
Pure
Awareness


Touch and be touched by it -
this Sacred Silence,
this Awareness
that holds your
stories,
your
woundings


Listen deeply,

in Silence,

from Silence,

to the whisper of The Wound

Touch its depths
and
unwind The Wound
into the liquid flow
of Life
again…
resting in
the Depths
 of pure Being ~


Come fully and completely
into the Silent Flow
 of the
 depths of Life
within


Thrive
in
the Depths

the
depths
of
the
Silent
Rhythm
of
Being


Be *absorbed* by
IT…

Keep vigil
 from this space
of
 Sacred Silence

From here all things
are made
clear…


This is the key –

To meet life from the Depths of Being ~

To listen from the Depths of Being ~

To not be afraid of what you hear
whispered in the Depths ~

To listen to the Heart of Being
from the Heart of Being ~

And speak what you hear
in the Depths…



Mystic Meandering
Meditative Writings

May 4, 2012

istock photo





Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Awareness and Joy Of Being...

“Inside everyone
is a great shout of joy
waiting to be born…”

David Whyte
From: The Winter of Listening
The House of Belonging




Open awareness
changes us…

There is magic in deep listening,
in open awareness,
in Silence.
There is a subtle
but utterly reorienting shift
of perspective…
One finds oneself, locates oneself
as Here and Now and This.

It is only in those times of
deep listening, awareness
and Silence
that I know who I really am.

This Silence,
this deep listening,
is what we have been
looking for,
for a long, long time.

Remembering the stillness
at the heart
of our own lives
reunites us with
everything…






“To be awake is to be
unconditionally
open
to all that is.
To stay awake
is to surrender
totally
to unedited
and
unrestricted
awareness…”

Scott Morrison
Daily Dharma




When you become
very open and relaxed,
you can suddenly
be aware that
something else
is occupying
your body-mind.

Something else
is looking out from
your eyes,
listening from
your ears,
and feeling
your feelings.

Awakeness is inherent
in all things
and all beings
everywhere,
all the time…

You realize that behind
all your desires
was a single desire:
to experience
each moment
from your
true nature…








Friday, May 11, 2012

Perspectives on Pain...


I spent the early part of this week in intense back pain.  Evidently I twisted my back while out pruning, weeding and raking last weekend.  The pain didn’t emerge until Sunday late afternoon, when suddenly the muscle along the spine on my right side went into spasm - and radiated around my ribs.  It was relentless.  I could not find a comfortable position.  I was able to reach around for a little self-massage to get a little relief at first. But I believe in all the twisting and turning of yard work a rib “popped” out of place, which was the main pain culprit..  I discovered that no matter how I tried to maintain perspective, pain changes you and your perspective.  It puts you in a seemingly unenlivened grey place that takes control of your life.  And I once again realized how fragile the body and life are, how quickly my settled, comfortable views about life and “self “ change, and how shadowed my “knowing” becomes when pain comes to call. In pain everything is moment to moment. 

The body does what the body does.  I have had chronic health and body issues since birth, so I understand the very real limitations of being in a physical body that doesn’t “work” the way I’d like it to :)  Fortunately I haven’t been in chronic pain.  But this recent experience with pain made me realize, amongst other things, that pain in the body is not a mental construct. There was no use in playing with the words when going through it, trying to convince myself of the difference between pain and suffering, and that suffering is only of the mind. My experience and awareness was that this body was in serious pain - “struggling” - even though I know that what we really are is beyond that pain.  I found myself automatically and unconsciously resisting it, and therefore in more pain, trying to find ways to alleviate it.  I’m no masochist :) I applied ice, heat, went to the doctor, took Advil and Ativan and tried to remember to breathe into the pain and relax, while at the same time wanting to escape the pain – a natural response.    

I can’t imagine that anyone who is in pain, or seriously ill, does not feel some sort of “suffering” in their body, as conscious and enlightened as they may be.   The body labors to live.   How easy it is when in pain to fall down that slippery slope of fear - suffering in the mind.  In the midst of pain “practices” like following the breath, being with the pain, going into the pain, embracing the pain, or telling myself the famous non-dual cliche that there is no one here that suffers, seemed like band-aids in light of the pain experienced.  In that moment there was nothing beyond that moment of pain.  I now feel greater compassion for those who have chronic physical pain – and how debilitating that is on every level.   I had all I could do to remember to ride the pain with a sense of awareness, and not fall down the mental and emotional sink hole of despair; although I had my moments – sliding back and forth between conscious and unconscious suffering.

I noticed that pain unmasks all the wonderfully comfortable mental ideas and beliefs that suffering is optional. Who ever said that!?  Maybe what is optional is the mental and emotional suffering.  But any explanation feels like a mental construct, a consoling lens through which to see pain from a conceptual point of view.  Sometimes “we” can get lost in lofty “spiritual” constructs.  Our personal and collective constructs of why suffering occurs can actually separate us from the pain that we and others experience by trying to put a rational explanation on “suffering.”  That is not to say that we need to fall down the rabbit hole of drama with our pain, but I see now that we need to call it what it is and acknowledge ours and each other’s suffering.  I am aware that The Buddha said suffering happens because we do not see the true nature of our suffering; the true nature of ourselves.  I understand this in terms of how our ignorance of our True Nature can cause unnecessary suffering.  But physical pain and suffering still happens.  It’s part of the mechanism of the body-mind, of being human, the fragility of the body and human existence – as I see and experience it anyway.  And in the pain anxiety automatically arises in the body, as if in response.  It is so subtle.  It is a body response, and I suspect a neural response to the pain.  And trying to see the experience differently had no affect on it. 

In the pain there was a dream-like sense of separation from awareness of the Truth of Existence – that there is no separation.  Pain became like a shield that separated, seemingly impenetrable.  And in that state of pain it was realized that we are all really living on the threshold of awareness, building constructs like ropes trying to save ourselves from our fragility – from our vulnerability – from pain – from death – from perceived separation that doesn’t exist… 

Humans suffer.  Understanding that who I really am is more than my body-mind does not necessarily help.  Being aware of my True Nature does not seem to help.  Knowing that I am not a separate “self” from Pure Awareness, and that it is That Awareness which is really experiencing this does not help. Understanding that there is a difference between pain and suffering does not help.  “Knowing” the Truth doesn’t relieve us from life happening as it does.  The only thing that relieves suffering in the experience of pain is the compassionate embrace of unconditional love from someone who knows what pain is like; not theories and constructs of why we suffer, or that there is nothing here that suffers, but someone who can help hold the suffering with you, in true compassionate intimacy.

So, in my spare time this week - :) - I have been pondering these perspectives on pain, noticing the effect of pain, waiting for the pain to stop.  And gratefully it did – Thursday.  The veil of pain lifted, opening a new perspective on pain and suffering…

I’m curious…  What is your perspective on pain?



Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Wise Cows...

“Animals do not spend years inventing and constructing burdens
 for themselves.
You do not walk into a field and encounter a cow who is seriously self-analyzing
and in deep turmoil because she is failing to connect with her ’inner Cow.’

It is highly improbable that you will ever meet a cow who is seriously
swamped by the fact that her project of self-improvement [enlightenment]
has unleashed this huge ancestral cow thing in her life,
and now she can hardly walk because she knows she is

 carrying all the cow karma of her ancestry.

As far as we know cows are not burdened in this manner
by ultimate questions…”
 

John O’Donohoe
Eternal Echoes


Maybe we should sit satsang
with the Cows!


Top Photo - istock photo


We found this sign on a cattle gate while out riding several years
 ago and couldn’t help but laugh.
  Smart Cows!
The owner just leaves them a sign to remember to close the gate!

Kind of reminds me when I was a kid and didn’t close the door.
My father would yell after me – “what’a ya live in a barn?”


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Who Would You Be If You Weren't Who You Think You Are...?

Okay, so maybe I’m taking the “spiritual path” a little too seriously…  I don’t know.  It seems all the sages and “spiritual teachers” that I read and listen to have taken their path very seriously, which is why they are where they are – and why we follow them, emulating them.  But, am I being too serious...

Over at ZenDotStudio, Carole is following the path of Joy, which sounds a whole lot more fun than the one I’ve been on lately.  :)  I mean she is really enjoying life!   In my last post I didn’t mean to imply that the “spiritual path” could not be “fun” when I said there’s no getting comfortable on the “spiritual path” because it seems there’s always some issue to attend to, to look at, that needs pruning, etc..  Or that we need to constantly be working on our issues…    It’s just that some of us seem to have a harder time accessing Joy.


I commented on a friend’s blog post yesterday, who was dealing with feeling stagnant, in a kind of off-hand humorous way, that sometimes it helps me to see things differently when I use my imagination, to be playful, to take on a different role, or persona, say of someone I admire – like snoopy the dog for example in his scarf, goggles and flying cap.  You may remember that image. :)  Just the mere act of wrapping a scarf around my neck makes me feel more lighthearted and free.  Or, as my blogger friend suggested, wearing long, striped socks like Pippi Longstocking!  Yes!  I remember how much fun and freeing it was to play dress up as a kid.  Wearing a mixed match of clothes somehow put me into a different, more playful place, an imaginative place.  As a kid I didn’t think about it, it was just spontaneous and authentic fun.  There was no rightness or wrongness to it…  It was just innocent child’s play…

I had a Buddhist therapist one time who asked me about the people I admired and why, and then had me pretend to be them talking to me to find out what they would say to me.  Interesting exercise actually – although awkward – but it made the point.   Pretending to use the qualities that I admired in them, only to discover that I had those same qualities too…   And another therapist said that the clothes we wear make a difference in how we feel about ourselves.  So – maybe I need a change of costume…  Where did I put those goggles and flying cap…

And interestingly I had a conversation this morning with my husband about how we see our selves is only a glimpse of a larger story; how we limit ourselves by how we perceive ourselves, and not seeing the bigger picture.  And how we can use our imagination, play, roles and personas to go beyond who we think we are.  “Christine” is a persona, a fabrication of the self, a mental construct based on upbringing, conditioning, and who I have come to believe myself to be.  So why not use my imagination to play different aspects of the self – as children do – without constraining myself to an idea of who I think I am.  If self is just a mask for the pure Beingness that we are, then Beingness is free to take on any persona, mask, self, role, personality that it chooses, right?  And since there are so many aspects to this self that we have come to believe in, then why not use one that reflects more clearly, more transparently the essence of our Being.   Even “spirituality” can become a mask we hide behind… 

When Byron Katie asks, “who would you be without that thought?” we think in terms of – being happier, being calmer, more accepting, being freer.   But to put a humorous twist on it, why not think in terms of personas!  Who would I be without my thoughts that life is hard, stressful, lifeless, directionless, that I’m a failure, etc.   Of course the answer is supposed to point you to your True Self, and not another character, or persona.  So what would my True Self/Beingness look like without these thoughts, or these personas?  Or better still – how would I see life differently if I pretended to be who I really am - Beingness ItSelf…  I think I’ll try that one on for size and see how it fits.


WHO am I when Beingness is seen and recognized to be what is looking through these eyes?   I feel lighter already… :)


Photo

I couldn’t sleep one night
and did this piece at 2am.
I call it The Blue Cocoon :)


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Still Clearing the Dead Wood...

I’m still pruning and clearing the deadwood here. :)
And I thought I’d share my observations.

As with stepping back and looking at the tree to see where it needs pruning, it seems I have to keep stepping back to look at myself with the Light of Awareness, to see what needs pruning - or else life will show me through situations and events :) like it just did in the previous 2 posts – here and here - showing me the dead wood of ignorance, and the branches of self-delusion that I have become entangled in recently.  Pruning sometimes requires surgical precision.  And sometimes the dead wood practically falls off by itself once the clear seeing of Awareness occurs. 

Clearing the dead wood, as I’m discovering, is also a process of stepping back to discover the Life that is already Here; that which is living this life called “me”, seeing beyond the dead wood to what thrives within, and what is experiencing this life being lived in every moment – Consciousness ItSelf…   But for some reason I keep clinging to the dead wood, erroneously believing what the mind tells me, with its emotionally habituated responses, in some kind of perpetual relationship…

This pruning and clearing away of the dead wood is an internal process of clearly seeing the beliefs, the mental concepts, emotional reactivity, the conceptual frameworks and structures that I have lived by, even “the spiritual paths” I’ve traveled down, that no longer reflect the Truth, that don’t allow Aliveness to thrive, that no longer allow flow with the movement of Life.  They must be seen through to the spaciousness of Truth ItSelf…

I recently heard a definition of ignorance as the inability to see clearly the Truth of who we really are – our True Nature, our Beingness – the simple Silent Awareness that is not reactive to any life situation but sees and allows *every* situation (and also allows for action when needed).  But somehow I keep forgetting to see life with this Light of Awareness and I get all hung up on the deadwood, living from the place of ignorance, identified *with* the story of the “bad” neighbor, or irritating husband, the failing economy, the unfairness of life, the dysfunctional needy family, or my emotionally fractured self, etc. – all stories that reinforce the inability to see clearly, leaving me veiled to the Truth of my Being.

It’s an ongoing cyclical process, this pruning and clearing.  It always seems to come around as life spirals onward to new awarenesses, new openings of Truth – revealing ItSelf.  It’s a natural process actually.  Who I believe myself to be is pruned away in order for the Truth to be revealed.  There’s no getting comfortable on the “spiritual path.”  It seems “the path” is about staying open and aware, pruning what is no longer needed, what no longer allows the Truth to be seen, and allowing the bare bones Truth that is already there to be intimately known; not arriving at or attaining any special state of “enlightenment” as a one time event that we can claim for ourselves as yet another identity – but being continually opened by Life, to the Heart of Being, and allowing the Truth that is there to unfold in and through us.  In doing so we are pruned – until we see beyond the deadwood of ignorance and self-delusion.

If I ask – Who/What am I really?  What is really here?  Or, what is the Truth in this situation? – in a meditative way - not looking for answers in the mind, but in the Heart of Being - I see that paradoxically I am both the story *and* Aware Consciousness in which this story of “me” plays out.  Not either/or, but one and the same.  In some ways “the stories” we find ourselves in become “the teaching” if we’re paying attention and not being absorbed and defined by our stories – as I was just recently.  Often what we dismiss as story shows us where we most need pruning, where we need to see clearly, in order to thrive in the Truth.  And sometimes the best teaching comes out of our own failings to see clearly – once we see…

And it is then seen that thriving in the Truth of who we are is really a matter of recognizing the living Truth that we are, the Spaciousness in which the story of our life occurs – like the clouds that are suspended in the spaciousness of the sky. In spending time in meditative Silence, in the Spaciousness of Pure Awareness, I recognize that the Truth is so much vaster and clearer than the stories I’ve been telling myself *about* “the situation.”  The Truth of Pure Beingness that we are always sees clearly…  It’s where we thrive…