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...

Friday, November 30, 2012

Keeping Perspective...


My husband and I had an interesting conversation last weekend that I thought I’d share, as it gives perspective to the craziness that I wrote about in my previous post on “The Crazy Season” that I wished I had remembered this week.

This is the part that I remember he said: We have to recognize that life is all a game of personalities, and not get ensnarled in it.  We are just players in “the game” and everyone has their role to play.   And sometimes we feel we are constrained by “the game”, by life circumstances in the moment, even though we know on some level that we are not “the game” – we are not “the story” that is occurring, or the role we are playing at any given moment.  But we must always use our awareness to remember this – and see that it’s just a game – a story; to see that Beingness (Consciousness) takes a journey through the game of life (as us, as personalities.)  It’s all about the awareness of that…  Keeping perspective depends on how you *see* things. 


Also see these related posts - Divine Drama and, Life is a Sand Fantasy



Photo: Shadow on the wall,
but if you look at it with soft eyes
you can see an elongated face
with a feather on its head,
or a candle with a flame...
Perspective is always changing...




Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Crazy Season...


We have officially entered the crazy season…  You know – that time of year when human kind reverts to its animal nature and competes against each other for the best deals, the best gift, who gives the most - even though they say it’s the thought that counts – and when evidently we love the sport of fighting each other over ipads, and iphones, and toaster ovens – camping out overnight in front of retail big box stores to catch the “best buy.”  Really!?  Seems we are regressing…  I could not in good conscience give a gift that I had to fight someone else for. 

It’s not my favorite time of year, as you may have gathered.  Being a sensitive soul I find the “Holiday Spirit” a bit taxing – over taxing.   Just call me Mrs. Scrooge.  I expect to be visited at any moment by the spirit of Christmas showing me the error of my attitude.  But – this year DH has been working steadily for the last 9+ months so I am not re-gifting but actually *buying.*

I ventured out on my first shopping excursion this week to buy for my nearly 90 year old mother-in-law, whom we have not seen in several years, as she lives with her daughter and son-in-law out of state – with whom we are hardly speaking.  Long story – never mind.  Ho-Ho-Ho… Tis the season. J  I took off in the sleigh – uh, car – and arrived at “mecca” - aka – “the mall” and entered with trepidation expecting to see wall to wall elves shopping.  Thankfully most people had already shopped Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday on line, so I was delightfully surprised to find that I – and my pet reindeer - could maneuver through the store with ease.  I wandered down the main isle of the store I had chosen, followed it around and ended up in the Women’s Dept.  I had my “order” from my sister-in-law about what gift to get.  Right before my eyes was a beautifully soft, cuddly floral printed jacket-like zipper top.  I mean it couldn’t have been more perfect – and in her size too!  Wow – how did that happen!  But I was supposed to buy a “sweater.”  So I continued to look around and found a very soft cardigan *sweater.*  Bingo!  I had another OMG moment.  I bought both J and was in and out of the store in less 45 minutes – and no waiting at the cashier!  Unheard of.

I then decided to be brave and try another store, at another mall.  It was nearly empty!  How is that possible…  My kind of shopping. J I don’t buy on-line as I like to actually *see* the product I am buying.

Next week I take the sleigh out again and venture out with my sister to buy – yes – a Toaster Oven for my mother. J  Since my sister does most of the cooking I needed her to pick it out.  It was supposed to be a gift for her too, but she is very particular about what she wants, and I didn’t want to get the “wrong” one.  Who knew that buying for some could be such an ordeal!  But we don’t want any pouty faces on Christmas morning do we now…  No we want those faces to light up with joy and pleasure getting just exactly what they *wanted*!  Yeay – the true spirit of giving – right?

Oh, but there could still be a problem because we’ll be able to give more this year because we can for the first time in a long while, and that will upset them.   My mother will feel guilty that *she* didn’t give more… And I will hear:  “This is too much.”  “You shouldn’t have.”   “I feel badly that I couldn’t give more this year.”  Comparison - the other true spirit of giving...  What happened to a simple thank you...

Is there something wrong with this picture, or is it just me… 

I know – I know - it’s all a matter of perspective J - and remembering to keep coming back to the *awareness* of the True Spirit of giving behind the fa├žade of the Holidays; giving what is *needed*, from the Heart, all year long, that which is not attached to dollar signs: OurSelves…



Monday, November 26, 2012

Plumb The Depths...



Do not be afraid to
 plumb
 the
 depths
of your Being,
of Truth;
to question
everything
you
have
learned



Take the journey deeply inward
to your beginnings – and endings;
to the Silent hum
 in the Heart
of all Life
that sings,
and
see
for
your
self.




There are many caravans to follow,
those aspiring to enlighten you
with their words,
left like firewood to light your way,
along the road…


But only in Sacred Silence can the journey be made
to the Heart of Being;
to discover the depths of Being ~
of That which you are;
That which wants to
 *live*,
express,
and love
Here


Do not let fear stop your descent
into the inner Vastness:
the
 deep Ocean
 of the awakened
 Heart…


Be still,
 and open…


Follow the plumb line
of your breath,
past the Furies and the Sirens
into the soft ebullience
of Love
and quiet Joy
waiting for you,
like ethereal
 liquid pools
 of Light
drawing
 you
 in



Rest Here



In
the
depths
of
this
Alive
Silent
 Spacious
  Awareness

Listen to the endless
 Rhythm already
holding
you
in the cradle
 of the Heart…




Feel
 the
pervasive
contentment
of Life
Here
in
the
depths of
 Sacred
 Silence,
that animates
every cell,
every atom,
every sound,
every thought,
every feeling ~
until you *know*
THIS
*as*
 your
self


Simply Living…




Mystic Meandering
©April 17, 2012

Art: Craypas Oil sticks
©2010



Saturday, November 24, 2012

Do I *Really* Want To Love...?


That was the surprising question that arose as I was watching a documentary called “Cultivating Loving Awareness” on video the day after Thanksgiving.  The question for me means:  Am I willing to surrender to what Love asks of me?  I *say* I want to be a presence of Love, but I continue to *react* with frustration to the challenges of family dynamics and living life – wanting it to be different than it is.

The video is essentially about unconditional love.  And while watching it, after the usual frustrating Thanksgiving family experience, it hit me that I really am unable to love in that way – unconditionally; not able to see very clearly with the eyes of the Heart. There wasn’t a lot of that growing up.  We were wired to be critical, to judge, to be opinionated, to correct others we deem wrong, to defend our sense of self, to want things to be the way we want them, to get *others* to be the way we want them to be, to hold ourselves separate from “others”- and to fight others to maintain that sense of separateness.  You know, the typical American family, which sounds a lot like the world we see right now. J  Our minds and hearts have been wired by fear, not open-hearted unconditional love – mainly because most of us didn’t receive that kind of love growing up, but were raised by fearful beings who had no clue what unconditional love was like themselves!  But it occurred to me that my family dynamic, as it is now, has become the vehicle for unconditional love to be learned, for this crusty shell of a heart to break open – by being presented with challenging family/life situations – and - being *willing* to be opened by them.  It means giving up my mental images and expectations of how I want “family” (or the world) to be.

But do I really *want* to love unconditionally - to allow Love to open me?  Or - do I just want to continue to complain about how it is, and play my role in the drama – which is much easier to do… Loving unconditionally takes awareness and consciousness, a break in the personality patterns, a willingness to want to step out of the usual dynamic of relating.  And I am at a point where I am really looking at this, as it doesn’t appear that “unconditional love” is suddenly bestowed like fairy dust just because one *wants* to be loving, or because one is on a “spiritual path” – even though I know that’s where it leads.  For now, it seems that *opportunities* are being presented to open the heart *through* navigating the difficult dynamics of family and life.  At least that’s how I see it this week J

Recently I caught myself in this little mind game of wanting someone else to *do* something *about* her life situation, so the rest of us don’t have to suffer the consequences of her choices.  I have not been able to just love this person unconditionally, just allowing her to be who she is, but want her to conform to what *I* want her to be, or to do – so that her life doesn’t impact me (and others) in a negative way; a self-centered motivation that only keeps me spinning my wheels - and suffering.  And of course, I am getting nowhere with her either in this way.  She continues to be who she is, to do life the way she does, and I continue to want her to be something other than that.  And nothing is happening.

It also occurred to me, after watching the film, that maybe all she really needs is to be loved as she is…  Isn’t that what we are really looking for – this unconditional love – this all embracing acceptance for who we are – warts and all – being seen, and loved anyway; the full monty of open-hearted LOVE!!!   But opening the heart fully to another in this way feels scary and vulnerable when one is used to hiding their heart…  But that *is* the path…

So I guess the real question is:  Am I willing to surrender and let go into Love?  Am I willing to be opened to that Love… What if I knew my Self as loving awareness?  What would that feel like?  I don’t know… But maybe it’s worth finding out…


“We affect others by loving them.”

Ram Dass



Photo: Yes, those are little heart leaves :)
Cottonwood tree leaves are heart shaped...



Thursday, November 22, 2012

Sharing the Love ~ ~ ~


To my blogger Friends and readers near and far…

No matter where you all are today,
or how you are spending your day,
or what your life situation is,
or how dysfunctional your family is,
J
or whether you celebrate the Holiday or not,
may Love and Grace be at your table…


~*~


 Don’t be afraid of where Love might take you,
or how it will change you.
Allow the Flow of Love
to show you the way.

Mystic Meandering
circa 2004-2006



 Deep change comes through
the confluence of Love within you…

Listen to its Flow,
its music,
its message:

‘There is nothing but Love…’

Mystic Meandering
circa 2004-2006



 Be with Stillness,
with Sacred Silence,
where the ripples of
Luminescent Love
form and expand…

Mystic Meandering
circa 2004-2006



With gratitude for your presence here…




Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Intimate Mystery...


Life is the movement of
”The Mystery.”
Life is the manifestation of
”The Mystery.”
Life itself is
”The Mystery”
in movement with ItSelf,
*as* ItSelf in form;
The Formless in form…
”The Mystery.”

We are held in this intimate embrace of Oneness -
”The Mystery.”


“The Mystery”
is all there is – here – at all times;
everywhere,
*in* everything, *as* everything.

”The Mystery”
wants to be known and recognized.
It wants to play in the *seeing* of ItSelf;
seeing ItSelf reflected in ItSelf –
in us...
“The Mystery.”


When looking into
”The Mystery”
there is only a sense of deep intimacy;
and only deep, deep Love looking back…

We are held in the intimate gaze of
”The Mystery”,
like the intimate gaze of lovers
seeing *into* each other,
seeing *beyond* each other,
seeing beyond the persona
into the *depths* of Being.

”The Mystery”
seeing ItSelf…

We are continuously held in that loving gaze…

“The Mystery”
loving ItSelf…

~

Meditative Writings
from January 2009
written in poem form
Nov. 13, 2012


Photo: A clear glass ball sitting in a
bed of floral pebbles
in a crystal glass dish,
backlit.


“The Mystery” could also be called:
Pure Consciousness,
Pure Awareness,
Sacred Silence,
The Nameless,
The Beloved,
The Infinite,
Life ItSelf,
God,
etc.



Thursday, November 15, 2012

Repose...



“In reality only the Ultimate is…
The rest is a matter of name and form.
When you understand that names and shapes
are hollow shells without content,
and what is real is nameless and formless,
just pure energy of the life and light
of Consciousness,
you will be at peace -
immersed in the deep Silence of reality…”

Nisargadatta

Sweet repose… J


Photo: Shadows of a glass
and two little wooden houses



Monday, November 12, 2012

The Eternal Joy of Deep Silence...


Devote your life to the eternal joy of deep Silence,
to the *awareness* of the deep,
 eternal Silence of the Cosmos -
the hush of The Mystery -
that enlivens your Heart from within…

Let this Silence be your resting place.
Abide here.
It *is* your Home…

Allow the Sacred Silence to carry you -
sustain you -
uphold you –
with its Silent Rhythm…

Do not be deterred from this Sacred Silence,
the warm flame of Eternal Presence…

Wrap the Quiet of Silence around you,
like a soft mantle,
and be still in your Heart…

The deep Silence is your comfort;
is the Presence of The Mystery ItSelf,
infusing and embracing you simultaneously…

Everything is THIS -
this Sacred Silence
that animates and illumines life from within…

Come Home to the deep hum of Silence,
the OM of Silence…
Let it expand your Heart
and sing its Joy…

It is the Eternal Joy of the Heart.

Do not be distracted
as you enter the abode of
The Infinite…


Mystic Meandering
Meditative Writings from Silence
Novermber 12, 2012


Photo: I have no idea what this was supposed to be.
The camera went off by mistake and left this mysterious image…

~*~

The “Silence” that is spoken of here
is a deep meditative Silence,
that brings one into
communion with
the Infinite,
with Home.




Saturday, November 10, 2012

Mis-step Mishap...


Almost two weeks ago, Tuesday, Oct. 30th, at 4:20 pm to be exact, I fell coming up this short, steep flight of stairs, landing on the tile floor at the top.  It was one of those strange mis-haps.  I wasn’t carrying anything, wasn’t rushing.  I merely mis-stepped.  Meaning, I couldn’t remember whether I had one more step to take or not, and in that flash of a moment, looking down at my right foot to check where it was, I stumbled, twisted to my right and landed on my left side with my left arm tucked neatly underneath me.  Slam dunk, there I was, surprised to be on the floor.

I knew I was falling, I just didn’t realize HOW I was going to land in the split-second fall.  It was the sudden blow to the ribcage, the weight of my body compressing my arm into the ribcage that startled me.  I heard myself make that exhaling ooff noise when one has received a blow to the ribs.   I sat up quickly and assessed.  No severe pain, just a funny feeling in that spot on the left side.  After standing there was no real “pain” either. I moved every which way I could to test it, and thought maybe I’d gotten through my mishap unscathed.  But not so.  The next day the pain began, that unrelentless hot pain of injured ribs being splayed open by a swift compressing blow that radiated across the left chest.  Thunk…  And there began a nearly two week sojourn (so far) with pain, unable to find a comfortable position, the spine jammed up.  

I managed the pain pretty well for the first week with over the counter pain killers, energy work, rescue remedy, sitting in chairs part of some nights to sleep, being cautious with my movement, sitting in Silence *with* the pain, breathing into it, feeling like I could make it through this.  But after a week another, worse pain caught me by surprise on the right lower rib cage, and across the back. A kind of hold your breath pain.  I could feel its stuckness.  I tried a few things I knew to do, but nothing relieved it.  I was reduced…

I was brought to my knees, reduced to a puddle of pain, losing all perspective – aware that I had lost it - forgetting to turn to the Source of my beingness, unable to meditate, forgetting about “energy work” to get the flow going again. I needed a handy Shaman to pull out of thin air! J There was no reasoning mind that said, this is only your body, which really does not exist.   All I wanted was freedom *from* the pain.  And in that desperation I went to the medical profession for help, and thus started the Russian Roulette game with medication.  When one is desperate for relief, one is tempted to try anything. I am very sensitive to medications. And have many “sensitivities” making it stressful to try new meds, as I have had many “reactions.”  I only need the lower dosages, usually.  I was given a muscle relaxant – 800 mgs worth.  I broke it in half, and still it knocked me out for more than 3 hours, but did not relieve the pain.  So another night of pain, another call to the doctor, asking for a simple pain killer.  I was reduced.  Pain does that – reduces us to a primal state, our rawness, nakedness and vulnerability, and in some instances emotionalism – which spawned the “A Week of Pain” post – empathizing with those in pain, needing someone to help us to relieve the pain, to be there for us, to take care of us, to support us in our vulnerable state.  At least that’s how I experienced it.  I was given a low dose, strong pain medication.  Ahhhh – relief from severe pain, which still took a couple of days to achieve – and only 3 pills. J I was cautious in taking it, as it too tended to knock me out and make me durffy – but it also brought relief.

And then yesterday, finally, I called out – to the Unknown – surrendering as I paced with the pain – fearful that it had gone on for so long.  It was a good conversation – a release of emotion and fear – a re-establishing of the awareness of the ever-present Source of Being.

And when I awoke this morning – not using the strong medication last night – it was the first morning that I awoke without severe, limiting, reducing pain.  I am still quite sore, levels of intensity of pain come and go, and am still limited in movement, but I can feel the fluidity in the spine returning.  And I am grateful.  Tentative, but relieved – cautiously moving through my day, surrendered to and surrounded by grace…



"There is a secret medicine
given only to those who hurt so hard
they can't hope...

Give up to grace.
The ocean takes care of each wave
till it gets to shore.

I need more grace than I thought..."

Rumi




Photo: Blinds (?ribs) with sheer curtain draped over them
Photo is on its side…




Monday, November 5, 2012

A Moment of Beauty...


 “The path takes one into the depths of the heart,
into the abyss and endless love that one finds there.
It leads you from the known to the unknown,
and then further,
into the unknowable,
into a darkness brighter than any light.
Nothing can prepare you for the heart’s journey,
for the places it can take you,
the depths and the heights,
that are within you.

One awakens to the simple
fundamental truth
that there is nothing but
God.

Even the idea of the path
is an illusion:
there is nowhere to go
and nothing to realize,
because everything is God.”

Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee
Sufi Mystic


“What is form in the presence of reality?
Very feeble.
Reality keeps the sky turned over
like a cup above us, revolving.
Who turns the sky wheel?
The universal intelligence.

There is no reality but God,
says the surrendered…
who is an ocean for all beings.”

Rumi
~*~

Photo #1: taken by my husband tonight as he left work.

Photo #2: Different sunset, different night.



Friday, November 2, 2012

A Week of Pain...


The imagery on TV of people on the East coast left broken and broken-hearted – calling out for assistance, as if they have been abandoned - has touched my heart, touching that same feeling of abandonment deep within myself somewhere.  And I wonder, how could I live in a contemplative bubble that I am wont to - and close myself off to what is happening in the world, under the guise of “spirituality”?  I can’t.  There’s no either/or.  It’s all one Life living ItSelf out here – just as it is…  Pain and Peace… And maybe it’s really that I want to protect myself from feeling my own pain. That’s what global pain does.  It gets us in touch with our own pain, our own vulnerability, our own helplessness to know what to do for a hurting world, let alone our own pain.  And ironically, the more time I spend contemplatively in Silence, listening within, the more of the world’s pain I seem to feel, as well as peace.

I saw a woman on TV helping in the clean-up effort in her own coastal town – crying – saying – “I want to go home, but there is no home.  It’s gone.”  I turned away and cried silently in my heart.  I can’t imagine the devastation to the psyche that no amount of religious platitudes of non-attachment, or non-dual refrains of, there is no “me” who wants to go home, can assuage.  It is a deep wound of the heart to lose one’s sense of “home” – to *feel* that sense of separation.  I’m sure we have all felt that in one form or another at some time in our lives, whether it was a loss of a physical place, a person, or an emotional/spiritual sense of “home” – that led to a sense of deep “homesickness” of the heart.

And a lot of us know people in our daily lives who need our empathy and our compassion, who have lost their sense of “Home”, feeling abandoned by “God” – adrift in their lives.  It is a deep wound.  I know such people in my family.  And it is a helpless feeling not knowing how to help them.  It’s as if some people’s pain is so deep that it cannot be mended.  It is not a tangible “fix” on a practical level, or seemingly a “spiritual” one either.   It is a deep pain of the psyche.  It is a loss of “Home” - that sense of eternal Beingness – a loss of internal bearings of the Spirit; an insatiable pain that no one and nothing can fill.  I’m sure you’ve met them too.  The ones whose hearts cry the cry of desperation in a dark wilderness of the mind, like sleep deprivation, leaving a deep hollow hunger within.  How do we help these wounded wanderers?

It all trickles down, pain upon pain – or maybe I sound too morbid - too dramatic…  But it’s true.  We are all impacted by the pain of others, by the global pain of a wounded world.  One person’s pain affects us all.  And yet, many times, as I have discovered, we are helpless to end their pain, and so we distract ourselves from their pain, and our own, by shutting out and shutting off; by pretending this is all an illusion.  I have done it too, not wanting to experience their pain.  But their pain ripples out anyway - through humanity.  How can we *not* be affected – how can we not allow ourselves to *feel.*

I once read a story online.  I believe it was a story of an African man who when asked how he was said he was “unwell”, even though he was very well.  The story went that his grandmother was not well, and that when one member of the family was unwell, they were all unwell.  And I knew what he meant.  I experience this myself in my own family.  One family member’s unwellness of being affects the whole family, and we are all “unwell” - we are all in pain, until that person becomes whole again. To some that sounds “co-dependent”, but it is energetic; an energetic vibration felt throughout the whole.   

Their pain *is* my/our pain.  I don’t want it to be.  I want to ignore it, or blame them for their choices that created their own pain…  But there it is.  It’s all a reflection.  And lofty beliefs and words are not helpful, because it cannot be heard, or received by those caught in the deep pain of the unconscious…


There is nothing I can offer
that buffers the pain,
that softens the heartache,
or heals the wounds -

for my sister, my mother, or the world…

And yes, at times I want to hide from their pain,
to not feel their pain,
because it is often too overwhelming…

And because I have my own pain.

And what to do with that as well…

I sit with it and let it speak,
let it cry,
let it take me to the “mothering”
womb of Silence of all Life,
and rest there – waiting;
petitioning the Cosmic energies,
 neither male nor female,
 to intervene;
on behalf of my sister,
my mother,
myself,
and a suffering world.

Sometimes
that’s all I can do…

When the “practical”
fails to touch the soul…

We pray…

And that is our offering
of love…



Photo: A piece from another canvas in progress…