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, February 26, 2014

"I" am LIFE...


“I” am LIFE existing here…

“I” am the Essence of Life
 living ItSelf out
 here...


I cannot say that I am “Christine” -
nor a Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu,
Sufi, Buddhist, Non-Dualist, Taoist,
or Mystic…

Mother, daughter, sister, friend,
or wife…

nor a dream,
or an illusion…


“I” am simply LIFE ~ existing ~
playing all these roles...

Suffering happens when
I try to claim
and
maintain
a
separate
identity,
a
separate
sense
of
"me"


~

”I am a

f
e
a
t
h
e
r

  on
 the
 breath of God,”
Hildegard of Bingen
says -
and even the
identity of a
”feather”
is
too
heavy
~
It’s only a metaphor
~
~
~

I follow the breath
to its
Source,
the
Silence,
and
realize
I am being
breathed
~
~
~

The “task” then
is to surrender,
to
 the
Infinite
breath of
 LIFE
that
”I”
am
~
~
~


Mystic Meandering
Feb. 25, 2014

~

Photo: “Explosion of Life”

CrayPas Oil Pastels
2012


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Insights from the Land of the Mundane...

Last week was challenging getting ready for an appraiser to appraise the house, as we are attempting to refinance…  It was like trying to do a major Spring cleaning that would normally take me a few weeks in only a few days, and I only made a dent. At first there was excitement and enthusiasm to be clearing through the dust and debris that had accumulated, but after 3 days I was physically exhausted, emotionally drained, overwhelmed, and spiritually dry.   I felt like I was living life according to a foreign rhythm, an artificial rhythm, imposed by the external demands of the house – not according to a deeper inner Rhythm.  Not getting enough meditative Silence, the mind took over.

Over 17 years the house has become an albatross, a task master, weighing me/us down.  It no longer suits our needs, or lifestyle.  And yet life has not afforded us the opportunity to move on.  In getting caught up in this “doing, doing doing” mode, I felt like I was on automatic, waking up everyday with the to-do list running in my head, and under pressure to get it done.  My life energy became cluttered, and I lost a felt sense of the inner Spirit of Life that pulsates underneath all the “doing”, leaving me feeling hollow and empty.

The mind, however, loved the external focus of all this doing, and became a “doing machine.”  The body just followed along with what the mind determined needed to be done; a body-mind mechanism that was on automatic, except the body was getting worn out following the mind, instead of its natural rhythms.  And so at the end of 5 days I had to let go of the “doing” and be in the Quiet – to drop into that Silent space of the Source within and *feel* the Presence of the Divine again.  And yet, the mind still continued to tell me what I should be doing – running its “to do” lists incessantly – the real task master…   

Let’s just say that through this mundane experience I have found out how I *don’t* want to live, not letting the house (or the mind) dictate the flow of my life, because, as I discovered, if one is *only* focused on the mundane, one can get lost. I am not a deva by any means.  It’s just that my priorities are different.  I delight in the Inner Life.  I thrive there.  I *need* the Silence out of time to *hear* and *feel* the Inner Rhythms of the Divine music in life. 

Without the sense of awareness of this Divine Presence life is empty, lived on automatic, going from one end of the day to the other.  No wonder we get lost in the latest technologies – dependent on our devices, rather than our inner Life.  We stay attached to our electronic leashes that seemingly “connect” us to the world because we are afraid that life without them holds no “meaning”, no “substance”, no “connection.”   We, as a culture, have lost a sense of Divine Presence, and so we numb our minds with technofog, with our ipads, ipods, iphones, internet, facebook, twitter, and yes, even blogging, J trying to make an illusive “connection” – avoiding the *real* connection to Life – losing touch with the *Essence* of Life ItSelf, cutting ourselves off from the Source. What does this have to do with house cleaning you may ask.  It’s a deeper issue.  It’s about whatever numbs us to The Mystery of the pulse of Life – for me it is getting bogged down in the practical tasks of living that do not feed my Spirit… 

I have felt the burden of this house for many years, feeling the need to move on and lighten the load.  And so the house is becoming an agent of change, as I live this experience and ask myself - what is absolutely necessary here?  In other words, why am I doing this ? – My resistance only reflects the need to defy the assumptions of my role and routine - beyond the apparent surface reason of the moment – ie: the appraisal.  What is important?  What is my priority?  What do I *really* want?  For me, it is doing that which enlivens my sense of awareness of the Inner Rhythm of the Divine, and letting that be what determines my life’s movement and give my life meaning and purpose.

The real “task” then became to let go of the daily tasking, to stop the “doing” until internal harmony was restored.  There is a Taoist saying: “In the not-doing, everything gets done.”  When I stopped the tasking, the tasks got done, freely and intuitively as *part* of the daily flow. And were no longer seen as a *chore.*  And yet I know I still need to find a way of living that supports the internal Divine Rhythm *without* the accumulated trappings of life that clutter my life.  Ultimately knowing there is nothing but “The Mystery” of Life being lived Here in the every-day-ness of life…




“A house can become a little self-enclosed world.
 Sheltered there, we learn to forget the wild,
 magnificent universe in which we live.
 When we domesticate our minds and hearts,
 we reduce our lives.
  We disinherit ourselves as children of the universe.

  Almost without knowing it, we slip inside ready-made roles and routines
 which then set the frames of our possibilities and permissions.
  Our longing becomes streamlined.
  We acquire sets of convictions in relation to politics, religion and work…
  We parrot these back and forth to each other, as if they were absolute insights.
  Yet for the most part these frames of belief function as self-contructed barriers,
 fragile clich├ęs pulled around our lives to keep out the mystery.

The game of society helps us to forget the unknown…
  The control and ordering of society is amazing: we comply so totally
with its unwritten rules.
 We show up. We behave ourselves.
  Meanwhile, almost unknown to ourselves,
 we are standing on wild earth at a crossroads in time
 where anything can come towards us.
  Yet we behave as if we carry the world and were the executives of a great plan.
Everywhere around us mystery never sleeps.
 The same deep nature is within us.
 Each person is an incredibly sophisticated, subtle, and open-ended work of art.
  We live at the heart of our own intimacy, yet we are strangers to its endless nature.”


John O’Donohue
From: Eternal Echoes



Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Cosmic Play...

Don’t you just love this face – the curiosity in the eye, the willingness to connect – yet tentatively open and receptive, not knowing whether to trust, whether to stay or run, with just a pane of glass between us…

Much like we humans, only “the glass” is the ego, or the personality, that keeps us tentative and attempts to protect and defend  our vulnerable sense of self; that keeps us from really opening, really meeting each other - Being to Being – Heart to Heart - seeing *through* the glass…


It’s been a challenging week here in the “Cosmic Play of Life” with some new insights and perspectives gained along the way, which I will write about in another post in a few days.  But I thought I’d post these photos of my new friend – “the Cosmic Gymnast” – who offered moments of play and comic relief.  Or is that “cosmic” relief. J   We hung a birdseed bell on this pole several weeks ago, waiting for the birds to show up.  Instead after it had been out there about a week, “the gymnast” showed up one day and entertained us with a variety of antics.  We don’t know *how* he got up there, shimmied the pole I would imagine, although we caught him one time trying to figure out how to jump from the nearest tree branch to the pole, giving up and going back up the tree… 

After our initial meeting – above photo – where he chattered and whipped his tail at me through the window, he then gave me the inquisitive eye – looking at the camera lens.  Undeterred, once he knew he was safe, he then went directly to the business at hand – apparently oblivious to my presence, yet cautiously watching for any sign of movement. I made the mistake of tapping on the window to get his attention, as I wanted more connection, and he clamored down the pole.  I imagine in his animal brain he thought it was an act of aggression, which ended our “connection” – now he won’t even look at me… LOL

Seems that happens with humans as well, don’t you think…   We want to love, to be loved, to connect, to be friends, but we don’t always speak the same language, or play life the same way… J  Instead, we fear each other’s differences, criticizing each other’s words or path, indirectly, because it’s not like ours.  Our hearts close down, or we chatter and whip our tails into a frenzy, puffing ourselves up…  We mis-interpret the “sign language” and get offended, causing all kinds of problems – personally and globally.

But I digress - here’s a little light entertainment from the cosmic gymnast feasting at the Play of Life…



Getting into position



The Hang



The other side of the hang



Preoccupied

Enjoying the Feast


The next time we saw him, he brought a friend – a bigger squirrel - whom we think could not climb the pole, instead sat on the ground waiting to eat the seed droppings.   We had hung a different kind of birdseed bell, which did not hold together as well.  At one point I looked out and it was completely gone, and there was at least half of it left!  I looked out and there was his friend eating what was left of it underneath the tree.


 Sorry the photo isn’t good, the limitations of my camera, but you get the idea.  Even those of us who don’t climb the same pole, or play the game the same way, or even play the same game with different intentions, still ultimately win the cosmic prize in the play of Life, with a little help from our cosmic friends of course. J LOL



May your days be filled with the *awareness* of the Divine Play of the cosmos that is taking place here – The Divine playing in its own game…




“You are here – life exists…
the powerful play of life goes on,
and you may contribute a verse…”



Walt Whitman



Friday, February 14, 2014

Postcard from the Heart...

"There is some kiss we want
with our whole lives,
the touch of Spirit...

Seawater begs the pearl
to break its shell.

And the lily,
 how passionately
it needs some wild Darling!

At
 night,
 I open the window
and ask the moon to come
and press its face against mine.
Breathe
 into
 me.

Close the language-door,
and open
 the
 love
window


The moon won't use the door,
only the window."

Rumi


And what if the moon should silently whisper…

”I want to know what your heart aches for,
and if you dare to dream of
meeting your heart’s longing…

Remember…
you belong to the Sacred…
You are an embodiment
 of the sacred Mystery,
surrounded
and
held
by
The Beloved.”

Oriah


We are loved beyond measure…

~

Photo: The Kiss of Spirit



Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Winter's Jewel - Mandala Art...


The flame of Consciousness is the Essence of your Being…
Recognize that the flame of Truth is yourself…
Discover directly, for yourself, the jewel
that is alive within you.”

Gangaji
excerpts from:
 The Diamond In Your Pocket

~

“What if the task is simply to unfold,
to become who you are
in your essential nature….

which is not dependent upon
discovering a better method
of prayer,
or technique
of meditation;
not dependent upon
reading the right book
or attending the right seminar,
but upon really seeing
deeply…

…spiraling down into the ache
within the ache,
reaching inward and opening
outward
to feel
the kiss of the Mystery…

Dance with me in the
infinite pause

~
before the next
great inhale of
the breath
that is breathing
us all into being.”

Oriah Mountain Dreamer
excerpts from:
The Dance


~*~

The above mandala looks 3-dimensional
but it's all one flat surface and
was not digitally enhanced.
The design has the affect of
of rising out of the darkness
from using the black paper...


~*~

To see some of my other mandalas
click on the links below





Saturday, February 8, 2014

A Pathless Pilgrim...

I continue to walk a “pathless path” (read here) – and yet there is a focus…  I am not “called” to any particular “spiritual path”, although I have meandered down many over the course of my life.  I am no longer “seeking” anything “out there” – not “God”, nor even “enlightenment.”  And still, there is a sense of a contemplative “pilgrimage” of sorts – an exploration of the vastness of the Divine inner landscape, a deepening into The Mystery of the Divine, The Mystery of Existence, plumbing the depths of The Mystery of God-Consciousness and seeing how IT unfolds within me - what IT is calling me to…   It is a way of life actually, a continuous unfoldment, a “returning” to the core of Being, what I now refer to as “the God Space”: the silent, still core of Infinite Being from which everything arises and emerges into being…  For what is “God” but the Eternal OM – the Infinite Sound of Being, the Infinite “Emptiness” of the Cosmos that *isn’t* “empty”, the Silence that isn’t silent, the Stillness that isn’t still, but pulsates with the Rhythm of Life that flows within us and through Existence.  It is the genderless spaciousness of Pure Awareness where there is no separation *or* union, just the Isness of Being – Divine Essence – Innate Presence - our True Nature…

~*~



“This moment in time and space is an eggshell,
personal identity is a sheath.
The breath of God is breathing through it…

Remember the deep root of your Being.
Give yourself to the one who already owns
your breath and your moments.”

Rumi




You must always keep in mind that a path is only a path.
Each path is only one of a million paths.
If you feel that you must not follow it,
you need not stay with it under any circumstances.
Any path is only a path.
There is no affront to yourself or others in dropping a path,
if that is what your heart tells you to do.
But your decision to keep on a path or to leave it
must be free of fear and ambition.
I caution you: look at every path closely and deliberately.
Try it as many times as you think necessary.
Then ask yourself and yourself alone this one question:
Does the path have a heart?

All paths are the same.  They lead nowhere.
The only question is: Does this path have a heart?
If it does, then it is a good path.
If it doesn’t, then it is of no use.

Carlos Casteneda




“Wanderer, your footsteps are the road,
and nothing more;
Wanderer, there is no road.
The road is made by walking…

By walking one makes the road,
and upon glancing behind
one sees the path that will
never be trod again…

Wanderer, there is no road –
only wakes upon the sea…”

Antonio Machado





“The Self is like a powerful magnet within us.
It draws us gradually to ItSelf…
It is the [Divine] magnet
that is pulling us towards ItSelf.”

Ramana Maharshi


~
  ~
   ~
Surrender
    ~
   ~
~






Top Photo taken by my father
1952/53



Sunday, February 2, 2014

Dancing In "The Mystery"...

I can’t help myself. I must write what calls to me.

What I now call “God” is not the God of my childhood: the religious “persona” with a long white beard sitting in the clouds, belonging only to one religion, making judgements about who goes to heaven and who goes to hell (if there are such places).  Now I experience “God” as an open, spacious, fluid, alive energy, or Consciousness, or Awareness – that reveals ItSelf as a *felt* Presence.  It reveals ItSelf to be a vast, expansive, infinite, sometimes intense movement of energy, yet compassionate and delicately intimate.  I am (we are) immersed in THAT.  I experience the Silence of Its Vastness…  I want to *feel* Its Presence continually – until all else falls away – all the egoistic veils and mental constructs that keep me from deeply experiencing and *knowing* this Presence, and *seeing* clearly that this *is* who we ARE – Divine Essence.  I want to dive into this delicious Mystery, and be absorbed in its silent Music.   I am unapollogeticaly a “mad woman” who’s Heart is *finally* dancing! J 

Although I have experienced this “energy” for many years, only recently have I been experiencing a “new” sense of the Intimacy of this “Reality”, after my “Epiphany” in early November; experiencing more clearly that all there is, is this vast, aware Presence whom some name “God”, what others call Emptiness or Nothingness, and what I have also called The Mystery, or The Beloved, or The Divine, or The Infinite, or Silence, or Awareness, or Beingness, or Pure Consciousness (among other names.)  It’s all the same…

One night last December I noticed the Full Moon and realized that the moon *reflects* this Mystery back to us every night.  On the surface it’s just an “orb” making its way around the earth, as earth makes its way around the sun – which can be scientifically explained of course. J  But seen from a larger perspective it is mirroring the Vastness of Infinity in which it is suspended.  I am just now comprehending the immensity of this Mystery!  We reduce Reality down to words, to names like Mother Moon, Father Sun, or Mother Earth, and Father Sky, or “God”, living in the stories we apply to them, rather than the *immensity* of the Ultimate Reality that is actually taking place right before our eyes in Infinitude.


When I allow myself to contemplate it all, there is nothing but awe and wonderment that we even exist here – supposedly an illusion, or someone’s dream, supposedly my own – but I’m not so sure anymore.  Instead, I see “The Mystery” everywhere manifesting ItSelf – continually dancing *within* ItSelf - *as* ItSelf – *as* “just this.”  But we *miss* this Mystery because we focus only on “just this” – the immediate moment, the immediate experience, our little dramas - our eyes only focused on the here and now instead of the “The Mystery” behind the here and now – that which animates the here and now - which is actually the Eternal Now without limits of time and space.  I know some of you will not agree with this J and that’s okay… I am merely pointing to the larger Reality *behind* the present moment – the context for the present moment. Like looking beyond the clouds to the vast sky in which the clouds are suspended, while the clouds come and go…  We are suspended in that vast spaciousness as well – mere clouds that appear and dissipate…

There is only The Infinite – Light years and Light years of Infinity - that we cannot possibly comprehend, and so we create religions, belief systems, philosophies, and mythologies to try to make sense of it.   Our *minds* create finitude, like “here and now”, or “just this”, and “we” become imprisoned in the *belief* that there is only “this” – mis-interpreting the meaning and implications of the word “this.”  What “this” could there ever be besides the Infinity in which we float!?  Aka: the Infinite Dance of Existence that we dwell *within* - not as a separate, individual entity, but as Infinity ItSelf, manifesting as us – as “just this.”  Kind of gives one pause and perspective…

I live in awe and wonderment of THIS – this Mystery.  I want to be ever *aware* of Its Eternal Presence that is dancing here – waiting for us to recognize IT – although IT never was and never can be *separate* from who we are - our Eternal Beingness - or our experience right now… 

I am falling in love with “The Mystery” again and again – like Rumi with Shams of Tabriz; like Hafiz, like Kabir, although I have hardly read these poets  - these ancient Mystics who *knew* “The Mystery” intimately, as Friend, and danced *in* ITs celestial tune – embraced *by* The Rhythm…  Such wonderment is beyond any personal sense of “me…” J

Pardon me while I dance… J



Woman Dancing In The Fire

~

“Enlightenment is not about words and thoughts and concepts.
Enlightenment is always Here.
By ‘Here’ I don’t mean this present space.
Here is somewhere within where mind cannot reach.
Presence is always Here and you are always That.
This here is not the opposite of ‘there.’
This ‘here’ is your Heart.
All the cosmos is but a speck in your Heart.”

Papaji
From: The Truth Is

~

“The joy of being human is uncovering the core
we already are…”

Coleman Barks
The Soul of Rumi

~

"Fold within fold the beloved
drowns in its own being.
The world is drenched with
that drowning."

Rumi

~

“…what is empty turns its face to us
and whispers
’I am not empty. I am open.”

Tomas Transtromer
translation by Robert Bly

~

Top 2 Photos:  This is what I “see” internally when I *say*
 the name “God” now;
not these color specifically, and more “billowy”,
 the energetic sense of fluidity.
I did these with CrayPas oil pastels in 2011

Photo 3: Woman Dancing in the Fire

CrayPas oil pastels – 2012