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...

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Back To The Garden...

"And we've got to get ourselves back to the garden..."
lyric from "Woodstock"

I took a little trip “back to the garden” last week to relieve my myopic view of life, to feel a little spaciousness and gain clearer perspective; to “slow down to the pace of my soul”/spirit/Being. (A phrase coined by Ruth at Washed Stones).  I hadn’t been back to the Garden since May - a public garden, like a botanical garden…  This time it was a delightful damp Fall day.  We haven’t had many of those here this Summer/Fall.  I thrive in the damp coolness of wet earth, subdued skies, and the quiet aloneness with Nature under a still lush canopy of trees that have not yet displayed their colors.   I wandered, through this partially man-made “forest”, meandered down different roads, and paths, listening to silent Intuition lead, waiting for the Voice to speak, to draw my attention to what it wanted me to see - following It’s path…   This is what Intuition found…  Enjoy the view!


Coming around a bend, down a slight hill, I came upon a gaggle of women delighting over Dahlias, which for some reason moved me to tears, internally, to see such joy and excitement being expressed in adults, who were just as excited as children discovering something for the first time!  They spontaneously let their inner spirit come out to play.  Something I needed to do as well, after being bogged down in the bogs of the mind.  I had actually never seen Dahlias before. They *were* wondrously, magically HUGE, as if from Alice’s Wonderland – and their multiplicity of color I had never seen in flowers before!  Only got this one picture though, because the gaggling women were hovering over each long stemmed bloom with a camera, and I had to wait my turn, trying to be obscure– slipping in and slipping away – so as not to intrude… J


Moving on I came across the Pumpkin Patch, as if abandoned to some forlorn landscape away from the Garden… They were HUGE pumpkins – obviously well fed and watered…  I wondered, what do pumpkins think, Charlie Brown… Can they hear the trees talking across the path…  Are they *aware*…  Ah, here it comes, the playful spirit. There was a break in the mental fog…



Intuition led me away to the serenity, silence and stillness of the Lily ponds.  Those big round pads that look like large pizza pies fascinated me (photo below), how they effortlessly just sat on top of the water – tethered somewhere deep beneath the surface, waiting for who knows what – just open and waiting, in silence…  receptive…  Which is what I was trying to be in that moment – listening, awareing with my whole Being…



I passed by this sculpture nestled amongst the evergreens that reminded me of two monks bowing in deep regard for each other, a deep acknowledgment for the *Life* in each other.  Even the statues exuded a certain silent reverence, held in the embrace of the Spruce, and sung to by the whispers of the Pines…


I continued on the winding trails, taking in the smell of the dampness of earth and dying leaves – the smell of change and transition; hearing the gravelly sound as my feet walked on minute crushed rock.  Letting go of mental obsessions, I noticed the sound of rushing water, and followed…  It took me into an enclave of bushes and trees with benches and a lovely little cascade of water over rocks.  Pure, clear fluidity…  The water cascades over the rocks to the right. Wish I had remembered to turn the video on instead…  But you get the idea…  Maybe next time… Gives me a reason to go back, to let my spirit out to play again…



There now, doesn’t that feel better J 




Walk Slowly

“It only takes a reminder to breathe,
a moment to be still, and just like that,
something in me settles, softens, makes
space for imperfection.  The harsh voice
of judgment drops to a whisper and I
remember again that life isn’t a relay
race; that we will all cross the finish
line; that waking up to life is what we
are born for.  As many times as I
forget, catch myself charging forward
without even knowing where I’m going,
that many times I can make the choice
to stop, to breathe, and be, and walk
slowly into the mystery.”

DannaFaulds
From: Go In and In



Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Divine Drama...


I'm feeling a little myopic posting about my struggle with my creative process again when the world struggles in so much pain, unrest and violence.  And it seems that those of us on a “spiritual path” can sometimes get cloistered and self-absorbed in this way, as if we don’t see anything but our own path, our own struggle. Partly that is true…  And partly everything begins to be seen in context, within the context of the Divine Drama that is being played out here, that we are all a part of whether we realize it or not.  And so I speak of my experience with the creative process as part of the Divine Drama, as it seems a universal metaphor….
 
I am still “struggling” with this new creative process - although that is too strong a word.  I’m experiencing the creative tension between spontaneity and limitation, as Rollo May calls it.  I’ve been trying to pin-point what it is that I am “struggling” with or against, resisting and avoiding – and why…  For some reason what I paint and how I paint doesn’t feel like - me – my essential Self – doesn’t feel like it’s coming from an open, authentic place…  Maybe that’s what happens when one steps outside their comfort zone, and explores something new, one contracts - at first, even when one wants to open to the process. But maybe I should speak for myself.

What I want most is that which is Real in me to emerge – the Essence, Spirit – to express ItSelf – on canvas.  Instead, I feel like a sea anemone on a rock at the shore at low tide - vulnerable.  When being poked and prodded by a curious inquisitor - it closes.  I continue to feel like I am *trying* to paint, instead of being curious and playful and allowing – although I had a somewhat surprising breakthrough with that today.  But I’m still painting from my conceptual mind that wants to know what to do and how to do it and where it is going and how it will turn out – afraid to risk…  Painting does not flow naturally from somewhere deep within as I had anticipated it would, like it did when I “painted” with Craypas oil sticks.  As one dimensional as that was, I felt connected to something beyond my self…  It is safe to say that I have not found that Rhythm with laying paint on canvas – yet… I anticipate that will happen.  But it seems I have hit my edge early on… 

I expected everything would just flow easily, that art would be a vehicle to tap into that deep space of Inspiration – that deep well of Inner Beingness that *wants* to express, to create…  But I’m still waiting for that authentic expression to emerge – although I am beginning to see glimpses of it.  I realize that this is all part of the process – awareness of what’s going on internally, noticing how I approach creativity - and life: with anxiety, with a sense of fragmentation, vulnerability and protectiveness – which can only come from a fragmented mind; a mind set of separateness and alienation from the wholeness of my Self – and life - and “other.”  It gets reflected in the creative process – art reflecting life…  In that sense it has been an eye opener, and I need a different lens in order to see through the veil of separateness and fragmentation that causes so much unrest in “the system” - both individually and universally…  When we see life with a sense of separateness there is unrest, frustration, confusion, and struggle…

I read from Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee’s book (Fragments of a Love Story) one morning this week where he refers to a story he wrote several years ago about his spiritual journey.  He says: “it (the journey) is fundamentally the story of a fragmented self struggling to find something, to uncover and claim a deeper meaning.  But – it is also the Divine story (however you call the Ineffable), finding ways to bring ItSelf into consciousness.”   Interesting...  The Divine Drama *is* our story...  And our "story" is the Divine Drama...

What a paradox this art work is – adding layers of paint to a canvas, waiting for “The Mystery” to reveal ItSelf, while at the same time “uncovering” layers within myself that keep me from seeing “The Mystery” that is there…   For some reason that resonated with me as the “struggle” I am having with the creative process, which reflects the universal struggle with life - uncovering the layers of conditioning in order to see the Real within...

The ego-mind is beginning to lose its moorings – which is actually a good thing - but is also creating this struggle to maintain its hold, its grip on the process… But what is there to struggle about?  After all it’s really the Divine Drama playing ItSelf out, whether on canvas or in life. The mind evidently doesn’t know this. 


“The real mystery
is how IT unveils ItSelf
within us;
how the Beloved
makes ItSelf known
to ItSelf
in the fragile container
of the human being.

And in the midst of
the Divine Drama
there is a human story
to be told.
But it’s all ‘God’s’ story
being lived in human form.”

Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee
From: Fragments of a Love Story




Note: When Vaughan-Lee speaks of “God”
he is speaking of the Nameless, all-pervasive
Mystery that is everywhere, at all times,

 not a persona or image we have of ‘God’
separate from us that we normally associate
 with the word…


Photo: Just a little corner piece of a painting I’m working on…


If you are curious about the e-course I am taking,
it is Bloom True with Artist Flora Bowley.
It is a wonderful course, presented very well.
My "struggles" with the *process* are not a reflection
on the course, but of my own internal process.




Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Heart's Journey...


I still feel at a loss for words lately. Although I seem to have found some here. :)  But there is a kind of dormancy of articulation as well as a sense of internal eruption and disruption going on at deeper levels that defies articulation. Turning on the right brain, seems to have turned off the left...  The art experience seems to be a catalyst for this - which has nothing to do with the above video. :)

Ironically, the art experience is also taking me out of my comfort zone.  There’s a lot of confusion and frustration, tapping into old insecurities because of a disparity between how the instructor does things, her style, which is wonderful! (see her art here) - and my own spontaneous, intuitive creative style that wants to emerge, creating a sense of inner conflict for me – like I’m not doing it “right” -*trying* to “get it” right…  She assures me there is no right and wrong, and that it is about finding our own style, our own way, our own creative expression.  It turns out that that this art experience is not so much a heart opening experience into a warm, fuzzy place of love, rather it is an awakening to those things that block the Heart’s true expression – becoming aware of the veils that keep me from the Heart’s true journey…  In that sense it has been an experience in awareness and holding the heart open as things are revealed through the creative process, which I did not expect, but which seems to be taking me where I *need* to go, not necessarily where I anticipated going. Like life…

The same day that I started the on line art class I received a book by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, a Sufi Mystic, (video above) called Fragments of a Love Story, about his own journey of the Heart.  When I opened it and read the inside flap and introduction I knew I had found what I needed to hear.  It was as if opening a “Holy” book that would show me the way Home again – into the depths of the Heart.  Vaughan-Lee calls it – the journey of the *Heart’s* awakening.  He says The “spiritual path/journey” is really the journey of the Heart’s awakening, not the personal awakening of the ego-self, but dissolving the personal “I” into the Ocean of the Heart and opening to the Rhythm of the Heart…  It is “The Beloved” that wakes up in us, he says - and we are absorbed by Love…  I haven’t gotten beyond the introduction yet – obsessed by painting :) - waiting to lose my mind - er - be absorbed by Love...

And how interesting when the Heart has felt particularly empty these last few weeks, that love should arrive at my door in the disguise of an e-course and a book…  One I signed up for back in July, and the book I ordered more than a week before the class started, but they both “arrived” on the same day…  Granted I chose them, but had no idea they would come together as they did – nor what the theme of either one would be:  Holding the Heart open and going into the depths, following the Heart’s Rhythm and seeing what wants to emerge, what wants to be discovered and expressed… 



“Everything,
every particle in creation
is surrounded by
and infused with divine light.
We do not see it because we
are veiled by our own
darkness and forgetfulness,
but it is the light of creation
remembering
the light of the [Absolute’s]
own self-expression -
the brush stroke of the Great Artist…”
~
“It is our own unique journey,
our heart that is being broken by love,
our own sorrow and bliss.
It is called the journey
”from the alone to the Alone,”
because we are left alone
with the cry of our heart
and the places it takes us,
both terrible and beautiful -
places where there are no books,
or stories,
no words to comfort us,
except the story of
our own heart,
our confusion, longing and love…”
~
”Love’s journey brings
many scars,
often scars of the heart,
and they do not all fade away,
even if their drama has lessened.
They tell us something about
what it means to be human,
to stand at the place where
the two seas meet…

And yet,
because in the moments of real
experience there is no time,
just the instant that is,
these stories do not belong
to any past;
they are simply
a part of what is…
a part of the deepest
knowing of our self.”
~
”Why can I not allow this 
unending love to
live within me?”



Llwellyn Vaughan-Lee
Quotes from: Fragments of a Love Story


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Emergence...


For some reason I’ve “gone dark” as they say – meaning – the words are just not there.  Perhaps I have found another means of expression…   Monday I started a 5 week intuitive painting class on line by Bloom True with artist Flora Bowley that has daily lessons 6 days a week, and two “painting days” a week.  In the first day’s opening introduction I knew I was on a journey of Emergence *through* painting.  She talked of embracing the Heart’s Wisdom, and opening to the Heart and painting intuitively, listening to what wants to emerge.  I knew right away that it was going to be much more than just an “art class.”  It is about really listening deeply to the Inner Voice *through* painting.  And – for me - so far - it’s been about uncovering deeper and deeper layers within that I hadn’t realized were there.  It’s been a very emotional process, and I’ve only just begun!

Her process is about building layer upon layer of paint, one on top of the other – allowing it all to intuitively emerge with each layer. It also includes meditations, journaling, self-awareness, intuitive exercises and a body-centered approach to connecting with the paint and canvas through music and movement – a body-mind-spirit connection.  Flora says, “when we disconnect from the Heart’s Wisdom, a more ego-based intellect starts to run the show.”  She also says that “what your issues are will emerge right away.”  I am experiencing that already in my first ever attempt at painting on canvas – the mind wanting to control what is happening, anxious of the uncertainty, wanting to get it “right” the first time, instead of just allowing what wants to emerge to emerge.  It has actually been “nerve wracking” experience this first week as I step into this unknown territory, not knowing what to expect, and feeling like I *should* know what to do…  Ah, there it is - the emergence of a life long pattern – fear of the unknown, of what will emerge if I open up and just let go of control…  I can see there will be many opportunities for opening and letting go through the creative process - opening to deeply held emotions, opening to intuition, opening to the Heart, opening to the depths of Being - *trusting* the process.  As I’m discovering art, like life, is about getting in touch with different layers of experience…

I call this first one “Emergence” – for obvious reasons I think. J  As I experimented with paints what emerged were long stems with what appears like fingers reaching upward… The photo above is only a partial picture. Unfortunately the photos of the whole painting didn’t come out well enough to post, but this gives you an idea of the colors and image.  It has a very metaphorical feeling for me, as once again I find myself in transition from one form to another – emerging from the depths, reaching into the unknown... 



Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Exquisite Silence...


Sitting in my chair in “the study” (what used to be the dining room) this morning, eating breakfast, there was a spontaneous awareness of an exquisite Silence that permeated the room *despite* the noises of the refrigerator, and airplanes, and dogs barking, and cars passing on the street, the food being eaten.  It was a tangible Silence that permeated even the noise and pulled me inward – inviting me into its intimacy - in what felt like a spontaneous “meditation” – being absorbed by Silence.  And then mind reminded me of all the things that needed to be done – creating a disturbance.  Mind said: the broken faucet in the kitchen sink leaking into the cabinet below needs to be fixed, gotta go get a new faucet. Silence silently said: Follow Me…  Mind said – there are several piles of laundry needing to be done.  Silence said: Be absorbed by Me…  Mind said: clean your house.  Silence said:  Be undisturbed…

And so I sat with Exquisite Silence – undisturbed, absorbed, at peace – communing with Silence – sensing it, tasting it, feeling it, experiencing it…  Delighting in the Silence of Being… Like the way of “the ancients” – who knew the intimacy of the Rhythm of Silence…  Like old lovers who know each other’s “real” name…

Experiencing Exquisite Silence is being aware of the *presence* of Pure Awareness – awareing – which is never disturbed by thought – even though thinking is occurring simultaneously…  It’s just Beingness being what It is – Silence – touching you, whispering to your Heart to come and be still - to listen… (See poem “The Whisper” in side margin).

Exquisite Silence is the thread that runs through everything – permeating all life, all of us…   Following the Silence is like following that thread to the Eternal Ocean of Being, where Silence absorbs ItSelf – the wave dissolving into the Ocean – aware that it *is* the Ocean.

What a delight to be absorbed by Silence.  Just This…  I didn’t want to move from my chair, but to move only as Silence moved me…  Everything gets done – when it’s needed to get done – which was not necessarily today. J  Although DH is fixing the faucet as I write…   How sweet it is… J



“Let the mind be the mind…

Behind its restless activity,
just one layer deeper is stillness,
and beneath even that,
is an ocean of mystery and truth.

Swim in this eternal sea
until you know yourself
to be infinity,
and bring that knowing
back into your day.
Why struggle to be what
you already are?

Let the mind be the mind,
but don’t bind yourself
to its limited reality.

Trust your experience of vastness.
Trust the truth that never
loses potency
or disappears
in fear.

Let the mind be the mind
and identify not with thought,
but with silence…”


Danna Faulds




I have tried to find a link for Danna Faulds,

 as she is becoming one of my favorite poets.
 I could only find this description on Amazon:
  “ Danna Faulds’ poetry comes from the heart of her

 spiritual practice – Kripalu Yoga and meditation.
She writes: “…I had long since given up any rigid notion of an
 anthropomorphic, judging God, yet here I was in intimate dialogue with something
bigger than myself.
Over time I uncovered a remarkable fact:
 the very act of personally addressing
the Infinite opened me to a different experience of self and other,
one in which I sensed divinity as an interior part of all things.”
(A woman after my own Heart!
J)

There is also this link for her website,
 which says it is a “work in progress”
and only offers one poem…



Monday, September 3, 2012

Blue Mooning...



We were out Friday night to watch the “Blue Moon”
to see if she would reveal herself.
I managed to snap a few photos
and added some quotes from Oriah under each one.

Enjoy…


“…show me how you reach
 inward and open outward
to feel the kiss of
 the Mystery…”


 “We will never truly be able to
live and love fully
until we find our way of
living from an awareness
of the deep stillness
at the center of
what we are
- our essential nature...”



“Look at your own life
from within that sense of quiet
stillness that you are.
You will see this inner essence,
this innocence,
like a bright thread
woven throughout the
center of your life.

Living it consciously
is why we are here…”


 “At the edge of restful darkness…
the sacred life force calls to us,
asking us to remember…

We feel the longing to go home
to what we are…

It is the impulse of the
life force within us…

Surrender…”


  “…remember…
you are an embodiment of
the sacred Msytery,
surrounded and held by
The Beloved…”


  “What if your task is simply to unfold,
to become who you already are
in your essential nature -
gentle, compassionate,
and capable of living fully…”


 “…dance with me
in the infinite pause
before the next great inhale
of breath that is breathing
us all into being…”


~~ 



The quotes above are from 3 different books
by Canadian author and poet
Oriah Mountain Dreamer
 The Invitation (1999)
The Dance (2001)
and The Call (2003)


~~


Photos taken with my little Kodak Easy Share
A little grainy but not bad... :)




Saturday, September 1, 2012

"Go In and In" - Danna Faulds


Go in and in…
Be the space
between the cells,
the vast,
resounding
silence in which
spirit dwells…
Be sugar dissolving
on the tongue of life.

Dive in and in…
as deep as you can dive.
Be infinite, ecstatic truth.
Be love conceived and born in union…
Be exactly what you seek,
the Beloved,
singing Yes,
tasting Yes,
embracing Yes
until there is only essence,
the All of Everything
expressing through you
as you…

Go in and in…
and turn away from
nothing
that you find…


Danna Faulds
From: Go In and In
2002



Photo: This was a “mistake.”
The camera went off
and I have no idea
what it was aimed at.
Amazing…