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, October 30, 2013

True Refuge...


This magnificent refuge is inside you.
Enter…
Shatter the darkness that shrouds the doorway…
Be bold.  Be humble.
Put away the incense and forget
the incantations they taught you.
Ask no permission from the authorities.
Close your eyes and follow your breath
to the still place that leads to
the invisible path
that leads you home.

St. Teresa of Avila

She was an Anchorite
living in a *sealed* room
inside a medieval cathedral.
In a sense locked away...
Thus the strength of her words.
Usually there was only a small
window in the opening of the
sealed wall with which to
converse with visitors and
monks...


~

True
refuge
is
embedded
in
our
own
Being

When we sense the
silent,
inner wakefulness
that is here,
we
come
home
to
a
boundless
sanctuary



Tara Brach
From: True Refuge



Monday, October 28, 2013

The Unknown Self - John O'Donohue...

“So much of what delights and troubles you
happens on the surface
you take for ground.

Your mind thinks your life alone,
your eyes consider air your nearest neighbor.
Yet it seems that a little below
 the heart
there houses
 in you an unknown self
who prefers the patterns of the dark,
and is not persuaded by the eye’s affection,
or caught by the flash of thought.


[This “unknown self”]
enjoys contemplative patience
with
all
 your
 unfolding
 expression…

is never drawn to break into light
though you tangle yourself in unworthiness
and misjudge
what you do
  and who you are.

It presides within like an evening freedom
that will often see you enchanted by twilight
without ever recognizing the falling night.

It resembles the under-earth of your visible life:
All you do and say and think is fostered
deep in its opaque and prevenient clay.

It dwells in a strange, yet rhythmic ease
that is not ruffled by disappointment:
it presides in
 a
 deeper
 current
 of time

Free from the force of cause and sequence
that otherwise shapes your life.

Were it to break forth into day,
its dark light might quench your mind,
for
 it
 knows
 how
your
prrimeval
 heart
sisters
 every
 cell
 of
 your
 life
to all your known mind would avoid.

Thus it knows to dwell in you gently,
offering you only discrete glimpses
of how you contruct your life.

At times, it will lead you strangely,
magnetized by some resonance
that ambushes your vigilance.

It works most resolutely at night
as the poet who draws your dreams,
creating for you many secret doors,
decorated with pictures of your hunger.

It has the dignity of the angelic
that
 knows
 you
 to
 your
 roots,
always awaiting your deeper befriending
to
 take
 you
 beyond
 the
 threshold
 of want,
where all your diverse strainings
can come to wholesome ease…”


© John O’Donohue
“For The Unknown Self”
From: Bless the Space Between Us

Check out her unique artistic expression!

~
~

Note:
I took the liberty of reconstructing the format for emphasis…
The brackets on the line [This “unknown self’] indicate my
paraphrase of the original line… “It is a self that”….
 What O’Donohue speaks of as “an unknown self”
 I understand as our True Self, or Divine Nature,
not a separate self residing within;
but of course that is my interpretation.
J

I also find it interesting that he gives “it” a location in the body
”a little below the heart.” ?
Would love to have been able to ask him about this…
 
In any case, the poem spoke to me
and wanted to post it.
J
Hope you enjoy it too…

~
~
~

Photo:

A ribbed glass container
catching the mid morning light…




Thursday, October 24, 2013

Solitude...

“Solitude is the furnace of transformation.
Without solitude
we remain victims of our society
and continue to be
entangled in the illusions
of the false self…”

Henri Nouwen




“The great omission in American life is solitude;
not loneliness,
for there is an alienation
that thrives most in the midst of crowds,
but [it is] that zone of time and space,
free from outside pressures,
which is the incubator
of the spirit.”

Marya Mannes




“Awareness of the Divine Essence as our
innermost true Self requires silence…
It is turning toward what lies hidden within -
to the internal - the all-embracing totality
of Divine Being.
It is the way of meditation,
the way if inner silence before Spirit.

Remaining quiet before Spirit is a prayer of silence,
through which we listen to that which secretly speaks
to us in the inner room of the heart.

What is hidden deep in our innermost being
lies in silence and stillness,
and in the silence of the deep
springs the eternal, inexhaustible, orginal
source of all being.

Where words fall silent,
the everlasting begins…

Wolfgang Kopp
From: Free Yourself of Everything


“Spiritual joys come only from solitude.
A little while in your room
will prove more valuable than anything else
that could ever be given…”

“To be one with the truth for just a moment
is worth more than the world and life itself…”

Rumi

~
~
~


PLEASE NOTE:
  I am not suggesting that we all live a cloistered life of solitude and silence!J 
I don’t think I could even do that! 
 But it is about being with our deeper inner Self/Being,
 listening and hearing the deeper Voice of Silence
 and responding to the inner movement of That.
  We can be in solitude while cleaning or creating.
  And sometimes that Voice speaks to us through the voice of
others, as these quotes here did for me,
 and as so many of you do through your blog posts. J 
 I merely wish to point out that
 part of the angst and entropy we are experiencing in the world
 is due to a lack of spending time in solitude and silence,
 becoming aware of and getting to know our deeper,
 mostly unknown, Divine Self/Spirit/Beingness…



Saturday, October 19, 2013

Entropy...

The shadows have come to roost
and
 *everything*
 is
 collapsing
~
~
~
~

The tides and ripples of entropy will continue
until all is returned to Source again ~
the Primordial State:
Pure Life Energy…

Entropy is not necessarily a bad thing.
It is the way of Existence.
It is a

T

E

L

E

S

C

O

P

I

N

G

 of everyting that is,
back to its original Source/State;
a re-homing of all that was created in form,
the conceptual structures,
so that only
the Eternal
Essence
 remains


Do not be alarmed by the seeming destruction
of what you have *believed* to be real.
The false must be released, shed – like dross.
In this there is a sense of chaos, destruction, loss, and death;
the crucible affect;
a state of alchemy,
the refinement of all things in existence
to its Original Nature.

Nothing is lost in the process.

All is coming Home.

The
Divine
 Outbreath
Has
 Been
 Re-called.

Bring your awareness to the place of Stillness within.
Don’t try to create order in the chaos.
But be still and let the chaos pass.
”Order” is found in the Stillness,
in returning to deep Stillness

The healing of mankind
is
 in
 the
 *recognition*
 Of
 The
 Truth
 of our Eternal Essence -
Infinite Beingness…

Entropy is the crucible of that healing…

Allow it…

~

The invitation
 is to expand our view of reality
and return to the *awareness* of
our Eternal Being…



Mystic Meandering
taken from my
Meditative Writings
written between
 2004 and 2006

~


Photo:
A pan with grease blobs
zoom blurred...



Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Go Deeper...

You have to become more interested in the silent background
than in the foreground of phenomena;
thoughts, feelings, emotions, experiences…. etc.

Most people are focused on the forground…
but the Self is discovered in the background.
The Self is the source from which the phenomena spring
and the ground in which this display of phenomena
is happening…

When you rest in the background,
you can taste your Self.

You just give yourself up to it.

Adyashanti






You must want to know your Self more than anything…

Discovering your Self beyond all concepts,
what remains is Infinity in all directions….
our true nature….

Learn to be quiet inside,
allowing the entire Cosmos to
effortlessly express Itself…


Sally Ross





Go deeper
Past thoughts into silence.
Past silence into stillness.
Past stillness into the heart.
Let Love consume all that is left of you.

Kabir

~


Bottom Photo:
Bottom of a cup of tea




Sunday, October 13, 2013

Job/No-Job Roulette...

Yes folks the wheel has turned again and we are in a “no-job” transition once more - after a mere 5 days! J  I won’t dwell on the drama of the details, except for the following brief paragraph – and then shift the paradigm. J

“They” said they really liked B, that he fit the culture there, and had the technical expertise that they needed.  The first day there he solved two technical problems that they had been unable to solve, and was gaining a reputation as the “go to guy” – but by the 4th day upper level management (whom he had never met) had made “a business decision” (on paper) and decided they wanted a “credentialed scrum master” to run the team’s multiple daily meetings.  Whoa…  That was never mentioned in the job description, or the interview.  He thought he was hired for his technical expertise… Instead they wanted a *certified* meeting leader…  (A “scrum master” is a term used in the Agile system of project management for conducting meetings.)  He did find out that three people had given notice within the last two weeks, one being the hiring manager who interviewed him, and told him on the outtake on the 5th day, that this might all be a blessing!  Evidently it was a company in chaos.  She also mentioned that they hired him quickly because they “needed to fill a quota” – what kind of quota she didn’t say – maybe for elderly employees. J lol

And so here we are…

Shifting Paradigms…

 Not surprisingly we were stunned and have been in shock – trying to maintain an “awakened” view of “reality”, recognizing that every experience is an *invitation* to see reality differently.  No matter what the circumstances what is important is to constantly return one’s awareness to the inner space of Beingness, the ever-present Awareness that is our True State – that which is right here *in* this moment.  And - to recognize THAT which is within us that is Aware, untouched and non-reactive to life events….   It’s not even about being in the present moment, as there really is no “present moment” because that is merely a construct of time. (A paradox, I know :) There is only the continuous Flow and ongoing unfolding of the Stream of Life – the Eternal NOW - undivided.  It’s about bringing our awareness to THAT - that which is truly Present in the moment – that which is our Eternal Presence that transcends the “present moment” - THAT which is looking through our eyes, and experiencing our experiences.

All of life events and all of our experiences are just occurring in the Stream of Life; are waves in the greater Ocean of Consciousness; ripples on the Primordial pond of Ultimate Reality.  The mind wants to grab for “answers” and explanations, to make sense of it, to interpret the event and try to give it special meaning and significance, based on our cultural and spiritual influences, but life is just happening, playing itself out.  How that plays out doesn’t really matter to the greater Reality – to Consciousness ItSelf.  The Universe is completely neutral and impartial.  We are not “entitled” to have life work out the way we had envisioned, or “intended” –  just because we have worked hard, or because we believe a certain way, or practice certain practices.  As B said - this “job event” is a mere stick in the stream of Ultimate Reality floating by…  It’s all a drama being played out for the ultimate purpose of our awakening, for remembering that Awakened Eternal Essence within…  And so we move on and refocus, continuing to flow in that Stream of Life – remembering Who/What we really are – beyond job, beyond role, beyond identity…

I know that none of what I just said is “new.” J I am just reiterating what the wisdom sages and contemporary spiritual teachers teach.  I just wasn’t able to recall it at the time.   It emerged once again through my discussions with B over the weekend.   It evolved as I moved through the feelings and stages of shock, denial, anger, and acceptance, and a few glasses of wine. J lol…  And – through time in Silence today – remembering…

~

“You don’t play the game,
the game plays you…

The answer is not always
what you think it is…”

Author Unkown
~


Top Photo: Water dish for birds
zoom blurred






Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Colors of Change...

I took myself and my head cold out for a photo excursion today
and discovered the brilliant colors of change.

"Life is this simple:
We are living in a world that is transparent
and the Divine is shining through it
all the time."

Thomas Merton



"Through our eyes the universe is perceiving itself.
Through our ears the universe is listening to its harmonies.
We are the witness through which the universe becomes
conscious of its glory, of its magnificence."

Alan Watts


 "Reflections don't affect the mirror.
There is only Existence that is unaffected
by our experience."

Bentinho Massaro 



"When I  run after what I *think* I want,
my days are a furnace of stress and anxiety;
if I sit in my own place of patience,
what I need flows to me
without pain...

From this I understand that what I want
also wants me, is looking for me
and attracting me.

There is a great secret here..."

Rumi

~

Unfortunately the sky was not its brilliant blue
(the top photo was taken last year).
We had cloud cover today because a storm is coming in tonight
with wind and rain,
 which means the leaves will be gone tomorrow.
And normally we don't get the brilliant reds and oranges!
An unusual year...


Monday, October 7, 2013

The Journey of a Lifetime...

The Journey of a Lifetime
© Paula Finn
Blue Mountain Arts, Inc.

“You’re on the journey of a lifetime…
A journey no one else will travel
and no one else can judge -
a path of happiness and hurt,
where the challenges are great
and the rewards even greater…

You’re on a journey where each experience
will teach you something valuable
and you can’t get lost,
for you already know the way by heart.

You’re on a journey that is universal
Yet uniquely personal, and profound
yet astonishly simple ~
where sometimes you will stumble
and other times you will soar.

You’ll learn that even at your darkest point,
you can find a light – if you look for it.
At the most difficult crossroad,
you’ll have an answer – if you listen for it.

Friends and family will accompany you
part of the way,
and you’ll walk the rest by yourself…
but you will never be alone.

Travel at your own pace,
There’ll be time enough to learn all you need to know
and go as far as you’re meant to go.
Travel light.
Letting go of extra baggage will keep your arms open
and your heart free to fully embrace the gifts
of the moment.

You may not always know exactly where your’re headed,
but if you follow the desires of your heart,
the integrity of your conscience,
and the wisdom of your soul…
then each step you take will lead you to discover
more of who you really are…”


© Paula Finn



Saturday, October 5, 2013

Transitions...

We are in the season of transition, both seasonally and personally.  My husband starts a new job on Monday, after 8 months of no work.  We are preparing for the adjustment to a new rhythm of life again, tentatively breathing a sigh of relief.  We’ve been through this several times in the last 10 years – these seemingly endless endings and beginnings, beginnings and endings - endless transitions, always “inbetween.”  We thought we’d be used to it by now, but each time it’s an adjustment after long periods of no work and the intensity of continuously trying to find work in a deteriorating economy – along with the antics of politics that take precedence over the “common wealth.” J But we won’t go there…

It was really sudden how it all unfolded – the job that is – not the decline of government. J  He received a phone call at 8pm on Thursday night from a recruiter for a company that had seen his resume and was interested in him - could he interview the next day...  There was literally no time to prepare!  He had a terrible head cold – but…   The interview was scheduled for Noon on Friday.  He was notified less than two hours later that he had gotten the job and would be starting on Monday! Wow!  Immediate transition!  We’re both still a little numb.

It is a 3 month contract-to-hire job.  We’re hoping for the “hire” part J…    This is how a lot of companies are employing their workers now - contract jobs through recruiters. That way they don’t have to provide healthcare or other benefits, or give a reason to let you go at the end of the contract period if it doesn’t work out for *them.*   Each time we go through this it is an adjustment – either beginning or ending – trying to find a new rhythm with life – and catching up financially…  There *is* no “retirement” on the horizon – only the continuous cycles of life being lived, season to season…  Cue Lion King music… J  Although this has been a “radical shift” in only a matter of days, B feels it will be a seamless flow ~ that we are always in the ongoing stream of new beginnings.  Just call him Rafiki – the wise monkey. J



And I too seamlessly transitioned this weekend into my 64th season of life; the timeless, unborn Self moving through time.   The conceptual mind is relieved –  not that I'm 64 - about the job, yet still hoping it will go longer than 3 months.  The mind can get really preoccupied with uncertainty when in perceived “survival mode” J - challenging me to stay open to the larger Truth of Existence…  I told my husband several weeks ago, after so long without work, that the best birthday present would be for him to have a job by my birthday.  It was said off-handedly.  Talk about down to the wire!  I’m still gobsmacked that it all unfolded this way!   Maybe the Universe really does listen… J lol



So we press on into the unknown, cautiously embracing life that is turning once again, providing yet another new beginning and opportunities for expanded awareness of the Mystery of Being - knowing deep in our Being that all is infinitely well...

WooHoo! J




Wednesday, October 2, 2013

How We See Reality...


I am posting this beautiful piece from the Moon Mountain Sangha Newsletter on how we see reality by Spiritual Director Dorothy Hunt.  It is something I have been contemplating lately…

Moon Mountain Sangha Newsletter 
Volume 71, October 2013

Using the mind to look for reality is delusion.
Not using the mind to look for reality is Awareness.

--Bodhidharma
from The Zen Teachings of Bodhidharma, transl. Red Pine

"The mind of separation imagines it sees reality when, in fact, it is only seeing through its own conditioned filters, the “virtual” reality its mental constructs, interpretations and judgments create.  Look at anything in the room you are sitting in right now.  Look at it using your mind.  It will tell you the name, color, shape, whether it is pleasing or not pleasing to your conditioning, whether the moment seems boring or interesting.  The mind will deliver its opinions, and probably quickly move attention on to other thoughts that tell you how you really should clean your desk, or answer another e-mail, or have a cup of coffee.

Now look at the same thing “not” using the mind.  What is the experience?  For one thing, when the mind stops moving, stops telling itself what it sees, stops reacting--even for a moment--we become deeply present.  We see from a different dimension. When we are simply aware, it does not mean we lose our ability to remember names, shapes, and colors.  It means that we are seeing from the dimension of our being that is undivided, that does not place a “self” between the seeing and the seen. We become aware that the name is not the thing, and neither are our beliefs about it. The moment becomes more vivid and “alive,” more mysterious, and our experience more intimate.  Awareness itself is free of self and free of division. It does not “think,” yet is the light that illumines thought.

Look at the reality of “you,” who you take yourself to be.  Using conditioned mind to look, you will find many ideas and images of a self, a self you like or do not like, a self that is always the focus and center of your attention. There are many things about this self and the world it sees that your mind judges, resists, denies or attaches to.  Awareness, our own awake essence, sheds light on conditioned consciousness, sees it for what it is, but it sees without judgment, without separation, and without a need to escape a single moment or a single experience.  The reality it sees is simply an expression of its infinite ways of Being.  There is a seeing that is timeless and indefinable.  And in this clear seeing, there is freedom to respond to any moment from Openness.

Conditioned consciousness is not our enemy.   It just does not happen to define us. Conditioned mind has been programmed to think, feel, and behave in particular ways, some of which have been very useful in surviving and thriving, some of which bring great suffering. Conditioned mind cannot be avoided, as we are born conditioned humans in a conditioned world.  However, conditioned mind cannot free itself from itself.  

At some point, if we are looking for reality, for the freedom of our true nature, the egoic mind that thinks “it” will be the liberator, has to realize the futility of its own struggle.  We have to open to a power, a seeing, an awakeness, a compassion, a love, a grace beyond what the mind can produce or even fathom.  Whether we call this the grace of Truth, Awareness, or the Divine, it seems to appear when we have surrendered our demands on reality, our intellect’s insistence on its views, and have opened to the Unknown. In those moments, we may discover that we are the abiding reality we have sought, and that our mind is simply a phenomenon."

© Dorothy Hunt, 2013




Photo: Raindrops on screen,
 digitally colored