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, December 31, 2010

On the Threshold...

Coming to the “end” of another cycle of time, another wrinkle in timelessness, I am feeling like I’m on the threshold – of what I don’t know – just that feeling of “something” intangible, unknowable, where everything stops for a moment in time – the still-point – before allowing “me” to move, to take the next step more deeply into the “Mystery” - however we all know that to be for ourselves…

This year has certainly provided many opportunities for looking more deeply into my heart and mind, and all the baggage that has been packed away there. And more opportunities to see the thread of Awareness that runs through them, that I must admit I did not always *see* - but instead got caught up in the waves and stories of life as they crashed through my nicely erected walls, trying to break through the veils of illusions that confined me.

There were many things that knocked on this door this year that were not welcome visitors, but ones which I had to let in anyway and offer them my time and attention as they each offered me an invitation to open to The Heart more and more. I can’t say I was successful in the least, but cracks opened in the walls allowing more light to get in. Isn’t that how the light gets in, through the cracks and crevices that life events tend to leave behind? Or so Leonard Cohen says.

Everyone in my family experienced life changing events this year - little cracks in their walls. It started with my brother nearly being killed in a skiing accident in February. Then just 2 and ½ weeks later in March, my sister broke her back as she jumped off her second story balcony to escape domestic violence. She is nearly fully recovered by the way, physically and emotionally, and is now living with my mother, hoping to find employment in January. My mother underwent two eye surgeries this year - leaving this strong willed woman dependent, requiring my presence nearly 24/7 until my sister moved in. These life events challenged me in ways I never expected physically, emotionally and spiritually. My old issues of being the rescuer, and feeling responsible for caretaking everything and everyone emerged for a look-see. Many freeing opportunities there.

And last, but not least, my husband’s consulting, web development, videography and video editing businesses were unable to keep us afloat and the ship sank leaving us bankrupt. Now that was a crack I could have done without. I thought those cracks were supposed to let light in, not water! But there it was, life as it is – sinking, cracks opening wider and wider – the light, or should I say, the waters gushing through the crevices. And all I could do was let go of all my ideas of how life was supposed to turn out. I’m still learning to live life as it is… This is a harder opening…

And then there were the softer openings that opened this heart to more Light: the “Window Sitting” and all the wonderful insights that came through the Window. Yeay! I can hardly wait for Spring to come so I can get back to the Window. And of course, “The Cave” for the winter months – where I am learning to meet the deeper, darker spaces, like fear, anger, and uncertainty. And where I’m also deepening into Silence, Stillness, the Light of Awareness, and the Heart of the Cosmos - some nights better than others at this point. And, best of all, getting to know new blogger friends sharing this Path – or no-path as the case may be – as we follow the Stream of Life, in whatever ways we do…

I am especially grateful for my blogger friends. You have inspired me with your blog posts and comments! Sanity in a sea of insanity. Reminders in moments of unconsciousness. Inspirations that lifted me and allowed me to *see.* Wonderful Heart Openers you all are, and I am so grateful for your Presence! I know many of you have also faced some really deep challenges this year as well, surfing the waves of life. I admire each of you for your courage and openness to the way things are, in the face of the unexpected directions life tends to take… You have been the invitation to open this heart to do the same.

And just a note on the picture here. :) I decided to post the picture of the mouse in the maze again (from the Freedom post) because it reminds me of the way life feels sometimes, like an endless maze. We try to find a way out, to find that one opening that will set us free and end our suffering. But sometimes instead of following the well-worn pathways that go nowhere, we have to lift our heads up and look over our self-created walls, and see that what we wanted (The Big Cheese, Enlightenment, The End of Suffering, Awareness, Love, Freedom, Life) is already right there, just waiting for us to notice – even if it doesn’t look the way we expected it to. I’m still learning this one!

Heart Hugs to you all!

~*~



Monday, December 27, 2010

Here I "go" again...

Here I “go” again – or maybe not. :)

I originally posted this picture on the “In Transition” post, and since I’m still kinda in that space and I liked the picture, I thought I’d post the picture again as I meander on my way here.

I’ve been in a kind of mental/emotional fog for the last week or so, bumping into things in the dark – like anger, and sadness, and grief… Not the usual holiday fare. I am also acutely aware that I need to deeply attend to the Silence of Being within; to that “Pull” that I keep experiencing. Yet the holidays do not lend themselves to retreats of contemplative Silence – at least not in this family monastery… This creates a kind of discombobulated feeling in this mind and body, as well as the strong need to find the Silent inner Rhythm and just retreat, as life as it is at this time of year requires an external flow that feels contrary to my Nature.

I also find it ironic that no matter how much of my ‘self’ I have given through out the year, in small and not so small ways, in subtle and emotional unnoticeable ways, the holiday gift giving of *things* seems to be what matters most. It becomes the measuring stick of how much we love and care for our loved ones, an “exchange” of this fuzzy, nebulous thing called “love”… So if we are “exchanging” this commodity in a transactional way is that really “giving”? Strange custom that our inherent nature for “giving” is dictated by a date on a calendar and the giving of *things*, as a culmination of all that has *already* been given in the months before in more practical ways. What’s up with that? Is what I do all year long not a *symbol* of my love and giving nature as well? But pardon me, I digress… ech-hem…

So now that the hub-bub of the holidays is over I can breath again… No more expectations, obligations or wish lists to fulfill, no comparing, no out-doing, no one-ups-man power play giving, no family baggage. Just following the Stream of Being – as IT wants to Flow - which right now appears to be - no-where. Ahhhh – sweet no-where, no-thing…

Just before the Solstice I started experiencing a “still-point” – a coming to a halt inwardly. It felt like a turning point within, interestingly coinciding with the turning of the season. It was the sense of collapsing into zero-point, the silent, still Awareness drawing me to its core, like a great cosmic tide emptying me out into Silence. I found here a deeper space of not-knowing than I was in before, a space of “waiting” - for the breath to be breathed; the in-between space. The place of not being defined by anything, of not having a framework of interpretation, or reference point to measure life, or myself by. And I kinda like it actually. Just the open space of the hum of Silent Awareness… The hum of Being Alive… But the fog rolled in...

I want to *live* this luscious Silent Aliveness unendingly as a way of life – not moments of meditation in “The Cave”… In this space there is no mental confusion about which direction to take, or where I “should” be going. All one can do here is – stand still – and listen; not focusing on direction, results, outcomes, achieving, acquiring – or the measure of gifting. It’s just about being still – at the still-point of Being – living from the still-point of Life – the Stream of Being. Listening to what this deep Silence of Being has to say and where IT wants to go…

In the fog this morning, waiting for clarity to return, waiting to *feel* this hum of Silent Aliveness of Life within again, I happened to read a blog post that was about a young Japanese poet girl who decided to become a Buddhist Nun. It said that she became a Buddhist Nun, “not in order to renounce the world, but out of a desire to teach her heart to be like the clear water which flows night and day.” That’s it! (No, I’m not running off to the nunnery.) It was the inspiration, the in-breath of clarity that was needed to clear the fog. And you never know where it’s going to come from. It made my Heart sing. Yes, that’s it - learning the ways of Silence. *Living* in such a way that this Silence of the Heart, these clear Waters, can flow day and night – consciously. A song in my Heart has been rekindled… Now we shall see where that goes… The Silence has ITs own ways…

How about you, what makes your Heart sing?

~*~



Friday, December 24, 2010

"Liberation"


We are the grace of Love fulfilled,
the shimmer of Sacred Light,
lustrous uniqueness in a field of
multidudinal Divine Shimmers
in glittering oneness…

We are the twinkle of liberated luminosity
radiating from the Heart Pulse of Love
within the Stream of Life
in continuous unfoldment.

We are created, and create from,
the glowing embers of the
furnace of Love’s fire.

Receive the molten flow of golden translucence
that forms you in the fire of Divine Love.
Let it infuse you in every micron of consciousness.

Golden Light turned fluid
flowing incessantly from the Primordial Heart.

Receive Love’s Presence, and Love’s presents:

*
Peace,
Integrity,
Awareness,
Acceptance,
Authenticity,
Contentment,
Transparency,
Light and Love.
|

Love of Love
Light of Light

Love experiencing ItSelf as Love
in every breath,
in every form…

Liberation…

~*~
Winter Solstice
2001



Tuesday, December 21, 2010

"Solstice"


I have conversed with the Universe,
commiserated and cogitated;
ascended, descended:
polarized, conceptualized and spiritualized:
dis-membered and re-membered ~
and still I find no “plan” ~

Only vastness and immensity
beyond theory, framework and perception.
The Greatest, Grandest Mystery
in an ever unfolding nebula;
procreating itself in billowy clouds
and golden streams of stardust in an
endless infinity;
a golden thread weaving through space
without beginning or end:
creation beyond creation;
sound beyond sound;
light beyond light -

Matchlessly weaving its glittering thread
of exquisite expression through timelessness,
into time, and space beyond time,
with one theme braided into its
unending spiral, through
dimensions, distortions, dysfunctions -
~ Love ~

From this divine, mysterious weave of love
we create our reality,
and dance the dance of duality;
our light and our dark;
one thread within this cosmic
fabric of Divine Embrace…

~*~

Mystic Meandering
copyright
Winter Solstice
1999


~*~

Photo – The Sombrer0 Galaxy
A galaxy within a galaxy
From – The Invisible Universe
by David Malin



Saturday, December 18, 2010

Confession of a Mystic

I have a secret that evidently “spiritual” types are not supposed to have. And lest you think I spend all my time floating in the ethers of “cosmic bliss,” I am telling my secret – which is - I get angry – a lot. There is a deep stream of volcanic anger that has continuously run through this body-mind since childhood. It erupts more often than I like to own up to. It has become an automatic way of perceiving and feeling that I have managed to avoid facing. But, as I have opened more to the beauty of “cosmic bliss,” a window is opening, allowing me to see more clearly this dark thread of anger that has woven itself through my life.

Right now life is extremely challenging on many levels. And I must admit that my default emotion is anger when life gets too frustrating, or too scary. Just ask my husband. :) And as much as I would like to believe my self-image as a peaceful “spiritual” mystic, I must also embrace “ugly oogla”, as my husband calls her. So I am coming face to face with her, instead of ignoring her and trying to shovel her lava back in the hole when she erupts. Cleaning up her messes has become burdensome.

Now one might say this chronic anger is because I am not accepting life the way it is. Yes, that is true. And one might say it is because there is still too much “me” – that may be true as well. And one might say it’s only the mind *believing* that life is difficult. And that too may be true. And, it is also true that it is an old habituated defense pattern learned in childhood living in a very angry family, where it was learned that anger was power as well as a protective mechanism. And I also see that anger is a messenger bringing me a much needed message – like all feelings do. So it’s time to let that angry cat out of the bag, so-to-speak.

There are many reasons why anger arises here, trying to fight its way out – in particular at the moment, life continues to fall apart, which ultimately could be a good thing, but “ugly oogla” doesn’t know that. Within this collapse uncertainty abounds, leading to fear, frustration and anger. And yes, there is evidently still a belief in a separate me (“ugly oogla”) who might not survive the fall and doesn’t like it when life doesn’t go the way she dreamed it would… There are definitely a lot of reasons on my “why am I angry list” – most of them are “me” reasons – the “me” not getting what she wants – the “me” not being heard, understood, paid attention to, loved and respected by a certain significant other. And oh yes, there is her cousin blame who wants to pin the tail on the donkey who got us into this life situation in the first place. Big practice opportunity with that one, but we’ll start with anger first. And yes, I have read all the anger books. This has been a life-long process of discovery and awareness.

Lately I’ve noticed that anger and frustration also arise as a result of not living in attunement with the Natural Rhythms within. I keep getting distracted, disturbed by and preoccupied with the survival needs of life as it is at the moment, and this gets in the way of my *idea* of how I “should” be living. You know, a life of Sacred Harmony with seemingly no problems - or so I tell myself. So I spend time in “The Cave” – which allows me to *feel* those inner Rhythms, and where I realize that life as it is at the present moment is impermanent – whew, what a relief! When I follow the anger I see that despite all my reasons for anger, it is really only energy, like all other feelings, and eventually dissipates. It only feels more intense, more “unspiritual”, more embarrassing to admit to this darkness that runs through here. And following “the pull” of the Natural Rhythms, at least for me, lets me know that there is *something* “beyond” this vaporous anger. So I look to ‘This’ for inspiration.

I sit in “The Cave” of Awareness, not to escape, but to listen. I listen to this voice of anger that festers and seethes and erupts. I befriend “ugly oogla” – give her a hug and listen with curiosity as she fumes and sputters about life events. And – at the same time I deeply attend to the space of Stillness, listening for her Voice as well – and she does speak. In the process of listening I feel myself returning to the space of Silence, the Awareness that embraces everything, even the anger. I realize that there are no magic pills for life’s challenges; that the only way out is through. And I begin to wake up from this dream of “ugly oogla” and her anger with life; her imagined slights, her need to protect, and her stubborn resistances to life’s challenges. When I follow the thread of anger that has woven its way through here, like when I follow “the Pull” that beckons me, it takes me back to the same space – Awareness – Silence – Home. In the fiery molten life force energy of anger there really is only this Light of Awareness – I merely have to pay attention to it, to feel it, to follow it and not get caught in the sludge.

And no, this doesn’t mean that anger has magically disappeared from my life. She is still here. But I keep meeting her in the Silence of “The Cave” until she recognizes that she is loved - that underneath ~ she *is* Love ~~~~

~*~

Photo – Center of the Trifid Nebula
from The Invisible Universe
by David Malin

“The long, sometimes violent creation
of stars happens in the secret, dusty places
and is at first detectable only as heat,
not light…”



Thursday, December 16, 2010

Paying Attention to "The Pull"

I have been feeling “the pull” of the Cosmos lately, in case you hadn’t noticed. :) Don’t know why. It feels similar to “the Pull of Consciousness” that I wrote about while window sitting. And of course since everything *is* Consciousness, I imagine that’s what’s knocking at this door again – saying, “pay attention.” I feel immensely drawn to and curious about this pull of “the Cosmos.” I even checked out the series “Cosmos” by Carl Sagan from the library this week and started watching it to satisfy this curious “longing” for the spacious Cosmic Ocean. In watching it I feel at home, I rest internally – as if “I” recognize something. A sense of innocent aliveness wakes up in me again – interesting. And, I am learning things about the universe that I don’t remember learning before. It’s as if I’m hearing it for the first time, and I am like a child listening in awe, wanting to soak it all in…

Last weekend it occurred to me that this pull has something to do with the pull of the Natural Rhythms, the Cosmic Tides of Consciousness, which I haven’t been paying attention to lately. I have been feeling out of sync with Life, with the Sacred Harmony - unable to hear, or sense The Rhythm of Life Itself because life circumstances keep drowning out the music. And yes, I know, there is “just this,” “life as it is” – and its all Awareness… And yet, and yet - this “pull.” How does one explain this “pull…” A conundrum. I’m sure there must be Cosmic Buddha’s that could explain this… :) If you’re out there give me a ring!

What would happen if I followed the pull, I wondered? Where would it take me? No particular “answer” arose in Consciousness. Only the sense that I need to pay attention to the pull. So I went about ordinary life this week, in ordinary ways, listening, sensing, feeling it - p-u-l-l-i-n-g.

There were even little quirky messages in the everydayness of life saying “pay attention.” -

One day this week, as I approached a stop sign, a young male on a cell phone, carrying a duffle bag of some sort, waved at me with two fingers as if to motion to me to stop, like I was a taxi of some kind. I shook my head no, indicating I was not going to pick him up. But of course he was at a stop sign and I had to stop. A few tense moments ensued as he ranted and flailed his arms at me through the window. I quickly flipped the automatic “door lock” switch, while I waited for the busy traffic passing in front of me to clear so I could move out. Whew. Now there’s a “pay attention” moment if I ever felt one!

And then, while walking through a small crowded gift shop full of things, and people, trying to navigate through the maze with a package to get to the post office counter in the back of the store, I had to circumvent a woman standing looking at things at the front counter. As I smoothly passed behind her, she evidently moved away from the counter, and plowed right into me, sending me sailing into a display case. I was abruptly stopped. If the display case hadn’t been there I would have been splayed on the floor. Another rather strong “pay attention” moment.

Sometimes the little “stories” in the everydayness of life are like messengers. The ‘Mystery’ speaks through everything. And clearly the message here was to stop and pay attention…

So – today I stopped. I sat in “The Cave” and paid attention to this pull… It was experienced as a very deep pull to Silence, to Zero point – the still point; a pull into the hush of the Cosmos – the Symphony of Silence. It was experienced as a pull to stop, be still and rest… It felt like a giant unseen cosmic tide of Silence drawing me to its core; a magnetic pull, continually pulling Itself back to Itself… As I “allowed” the Cosmos to pull me (there was really no allowing, it was just happening, and I was just along for the ride on the Cosmic Waves) there was a sense of being pulled to a deep internal space, an internal “home” – if you will. There was a comfort in the Silence and a deep relaxation, as I “let” it pull “me,” collapsing into it, “letting” it swallow me up… There was no intent and no cause. I do not have any intellectual understanding of it – none is needed. This “Pull” is just happening – ongoing - present tense – always there – the Natural Rhythm of Life. It requires nothing - except maybe stopping and paying attention.


~*~

Photo - Bill Kennedy
A paper weight




Saturday, December 11, 2010

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star...

Sitting in deep Silence in “The Cave” – Awareness flows. By Silence I mean the deep space of Awareness, the space of Existence in which existence exists – The Emptiness, Consciousness, the Primordial Womb of Stillness that is beyond the sense of “me”, beyond the mind of fear and trembling, beyond construct, label and concept. It is the knowing Stillness of ISness. It is the deep space where everything that is, is just allowed to be. It is the space from which life and life experiences spring… It is the space of True Mind, True Nature, The Great Mystery, Love, and Light beyond light… And in this Silence you know yourself as That…

In deep Silence everything exists in suspended animation within deep knowing Awareness – all of it originating from and reflected in Its Emptiness – like some grand reflecting pool. The “me”/body-mind that we believe ourselves to be exists (ephemerally) within this context of this Space of Aware Knowing, like a cloud that exists within the context of the sky-space. The cloud is suspended in the spaciousness of the sky, and is not just an “appearance” appearing *on* it, as if super-imposed on the backdrop of sky, as if the sky were a flat screen, but is actually suspended in the depth of the sky – surrounded by sky-space. During the day the sky *looks* flat, except for the clouds that also appear to be flat against the sky. At night it become obvious that there are many stars suspended *in* space. It becomes obvious that the sky-space has dimension, has substance – has life. Space is literally full of ItSelf. :)

Several years ago my husband and I went to an observatory late at night out in the middle of a forest. We both were awed when we realized that what we can actually see with our naked eyes is only a fraction of the multitude of stars and planets that actually exist in this spacious Space of deep Silence. Deep Space is *alive* with millions and billions of light-generating substance. This realization is enlivening. Nothing is flat. Everything is suspended in Spaciousness. What we see and experience is only the surface. Remembering this now has brought home to me how I live, for the most part, only at the surface of life, at the edge of Reality – unaware of Its depth; unaware of the *Life* that is at the *depths* of Being – just being.

In deep Silence it becomes obvious that life is not a movie against a flat screen. We are not flat “objects against a backdrop of Awareness.” Awareness is not a “backdrop”, not a flat movie screen on which a movie of life is projected. Awareness is alive spaciousness that flows through as Life – a generative Aliveness. Everything is being lived. Life/Awareness/Presence is living ItSelf here *as* this life, *as* this existence, as this “me” – evanescent as it is. Life is not “just this” – in the sense of just what you can taste, touch, smell, see, hear. It is ‘THIS’ – this Alive, Conscious, Awareing Silence - the life blood of “just this.” It is the Intelligent Living Awareing Reality that “just this” is. Do I hear heart giggles echoing in the distance? :)

In the deep Silence, Existence (capital E) sees/knows/recognizes everything as ItSelf. It does not see separate objects floating within itself. Everything that exists is in suspended animation - Life suspended in ItSelf – like the stars, planets and clouds mysteriously suspended in space. And it’s not that Awareness “sees” like some objective distant observer out beyond the universe, but is intimately aware of its own existence, its own expression, as this expression is happening within ItSelf – as Itself - like a hologram – reflected out into Infinity.

In the deep Silence, Pure Awareness has no concept of “duality” or of anything being other than ItSelf. Non-duality and duality are concepts that only exist in the mind, in comparison to each other. Everything always was and is an expression of One Aware Consciousness. No comparison is made in the expression – as the *expression* is not seen as something *separate* from ItSelf. The conceptual framework, the structure through which we *see* becomes confining and needless – except to the mind of course. And yet we continue to play our duality/non-duality game – making distinctions where there are none…

I read recently that after a long period of deep Silence, when the Buddha opened his eyes and saw the morning star on the day of his enlightenment, he realized that he was the star he was seeing – he realized that he was the same pure nature as the star, and that all beings are endowed with this pure, radiant brilliance… A Mystery. We are the stuff of stars. Twinkle, twinkle…



~*~

Photo ~ From The Invisible Universe
by David Malin

~*~



“The Void is a mirror…
Creation is an image…
Man is as the eye of the image,
reflected in the mirror.
The One who is reflected in the image
is hidden in the pupil of the eye.
Thus ‘He’ sees ‘Himself’…

What you see around you is
not other-than-you.
All and everything is the existence
of the One…

See ‘Him’ in everything
as yourself
and the non-existence of yourself.
This is Truth.
There is only the One/Self/Essence…
The reflection of man in the mirror
is the same as that
which is being reflected -
and the words of the image
are the reflected words of
the Real One.”

From the writings of
Sufi Master Ibn’ Arabi
From Grace Is Now



Sunday, December 5, 2010

"Cave Writings" - Sacred Flow


Aliveness
constantly flows,
emerging as every day life
from its primordial womb of Silence.

This Flow curls and swirls
constantly transforming Itself,
constantly renewing Itself,
constantly unfolding Itself.

Recognizing ItSelf
in the face of another,
in the voice of another,
in the eyes of another…

…as the Essence of all life…

It is the Natural Rhythm of Life,
unfolding Itself into form…
Thriving…

…a palpable inner Rhythm of all that exists…

In the luminous Sacred Flow
everything is real,
vibrant and fluid ~
a living, breathing
Reality of Aliveness…

And we, like curious discoverers and explorers,
try to find this Natural Rhythm,
to experience its Harmony,
to hear its Flow
and follow its Sound ~
Not seeing that this Mystery is here,
pulsing in us…

Effulgent Flow ~

…in the everydayness of living…


~*~

Mystic Meandering
copyright
December 5, 2010



Photo ~ Fun-Qi Art™ ~ Christine




Wednesday, December 1, 2010

"Cave Writings" - Leap


The heartache of humanity
ripples through Consciousness
with its pain and fear…

We stand at the precipice of
Love’s eternal abyss.
Yet, we are hesitant to jump ~
to fall into that Love,
to listen to the Voice of Love
calling to us…

We are totally free
~ to love ~
to *feel*
our collective pain…
our grief,
our fear,
our anger,
~~~ rippling through ~~~


We are free to experience it all,
to express it all,
to embrace life experience completely…

We are totally free to Be ~
just as we are…

And we are free
to empty ourselves
into Love any time…

”The Beloved” awaits…

Listen and Leap,
and keep leaping…

We are loved beyond measure…

~*~

Mystic Meandering
copyright
Dec. 1, 2010



Photo ~ refrigerator magnet

Monday, November 29, 2010

Simplicity...


Trusting in the simplicity of Life,
let what comes, come to you…

Resting in simplicity,
all things will find you…

Trusting Life ~
The Heart will open…


journal notes 2004


Photo ~ glass lid in the morning light ~ 2010



Sunday, November 28, 2010

"Cave Writings" - Freedom

Everything that happens
is an invitation to

Freedom…

Every life experience
is an invitation -
to rest in the ground of Being -

Freedom…

Everything is an invitation to
see differently,
relate differently,
engage differently,
function differently,
from the foundation of our Being.

~ to see beyond habituated patterns ~

Freedom…

It’s all an invitation
to see how life really “works;”
to see how the dream works,
and to remain unaffected by the dream…

Freedom…

It is an invitation to see
that only Love lies beyond
the wall of “me” –

to see
beyond the maze of the mind:
thoughts,
feelings,
beliefs, ideas, struggles,
illusions
of
separateness,
and stories…


Freedom…


~*~

Mystic Meandering
copyright
Nov. 28, 2010



Photo – a picture of a mouse in a maze
on a poster for “Career Transitions”
taken by my husband…




Friday, November 26, 2010

An Owl Story...

There’s something about hearing the hoo of an owl at night that makes my heart coo…

Around 5pm on Thanksgiving evening I was sitting at my desk, reading blogs :), when I heard the gentle, rhythmic hoo-ing sound of an owl. I could tell it was close. My curiosity got the better of me and I went from window to window to see if I could find where the sound was coming from. I thought for sure it must have been on the roof. B thought it was in one of the neighbor’s trees. We felt like we at least located the general direction it was coming from, so like a couple of kids, we decided to go looking. We went around to the side of the house where the hoos echoed between our house and the neighbor’s like an echo in a canyon. As we walked, the dry leaves cracked under our feet. We were afraid we’d scare it away, so we stopped and just listened. Again we heard the strong, rhythmic hoo-ing sounds. In the distance we also heard the faint hoo-ing of 2 other owls. All three calling out to each other in the darkness… Magic was underfoot… Well that and the cracking leaves… We tried again to move closer to the sound…

I’m sure the owl spotted us, even though we couldn’t spot it, because the hoo-ing stopped. Darn…

In our curiosity and need to pursue it, we evidently scared it off. If I had just stayed “inside”, silent and listening, I could have enjoyed the mysterious sounds a little longer – but the innocent desire to attain the *experience* called me out of stillness… Hmmm – interesting…

Pondering the experience in “The Cave” last night produced this…


Song of night,
the mysterious owl’s gentle hoo,
echoes its call:
pay attention,
listen,
don’t move…

In stillness
the owl *sees*,
acutely aware of
the slightest move,
the faintest sound;
everything perceived…

Silent in its night flight,
only the sound of its call,
dissolving in thin air -
appearing and disappearing…

Awareness, awareing it all…


This morning at breakfast, B said what he heard was a pattern in the hoos of the owl. Morse code to be exact… Yes, the Mystic and the Analyst – both poetry in motion, heard differently. He said in the rhythm of the owl’s hoo-ing he heard the Morse code sounds for the letters: E-U-T-T, which he translated for himself to mean: Experience Ultimate Transformational Tranquility… In other words, he said:

Be at Peace…

The call of Nature…

~~~~~~



Monday, November 22, 2010

Sacred Harmony

While transitioning, out of curiosity, I watched the documentary film by Prince Charles of Wales called “Harmony.” Now I am not an activist, or environmentalist, but I was deeply moved by this film. In fact it is partly what broke this cycle of fear that I have been in. There were many tidbits of Dharma – which actually surprised me. For instance, Prince Charles said: “…we have the ability to be connected to the inner patterns of nature, to the inner patterns of the natural world…to be in relationship with the Sacred.” A Dr. Shiva from India was interviewed and she said that in order save the environment “we need to recognize our non-separable connection with life; recognize our mutuality, inclusion, and solidarity with each other, and have a deep awareness for the role that everything plays; that when we have the awareness that every day life is based on the Sacred we have harmony. Basically the film’s message is that when we recognize and work with the patterns of nature, seeing everything as Sacred, we find the answers to our environmental problems.

Many of us know this already of course, but I don’t remember any “environmental activist” saying it in quite this way before. If this is not true, then pardon my ignorance. I’ve been in “The Cave” listening to the Voice of Stillness, not angry environmental activists shouting their in-your-face, fear-based message. Even our own Al Gore had a rather alarmist message that the sky was falling, despite his rather demure and dry delivery. No, I don’t recall hearing the message ever being delivered so – gently, so heart-based, so “spiritually” before. And by a Prince!? So it caught my attention. In the end Prince Charles said: “We must look to the abandoned wisdom, knowledge and understanding for a new paradigm.” By “abandoned” I believe he meant the “ancient wisdom” – the wisdom of the ancients who knew that the movement and sustainability of life is based on a primordial Harmony found in nature.

I don’t know why this film moved me in the way that it did. But the words and images awakened a deep longing to *live* this Harmony, to live the Natural Rhythm of Life; to re-ignite the spark of this ancient wisdom and live an authentic, “awakened” life in congruency with The Sacred – our Beingness. I didn’t feel the need to “save the planet.” There was no sudden urge to become an “environmentalist.” Yet, it awakened a remembrance of The Sacred in life, a recognition of the Sacred that *is* Life ItSelf. As the spark ignited again, a kind of excitement for life arose, and I seemed to remember that we live in Sacred Harmony with Life by deeply knowing our Essential Nature – our Beingness; not by forcing a change in the way we live or manipulating the environment – but by becoming deeply aware of our Original Nature – The Sacred Harmony that we are; knowing that we are inseparable from The Sacred. Of course. Ancient Wisdom… This seemed to be the subtle message in the film as well. And whether you believe the planet needs “saving” or not is not the point of this post. It’s really that when we *recognize* and live *as* our Original Nature, we thrive - harmoniously…

I had forgotten this wisdom. I haven’t been *living* it, wasn’t *seeing* everything as Sacred, as “connected.” I have been in the delusion of separation once again. Transitioning out of the experience of fear however, has left this very open and curious space that just wants to be aware of and absorb The Sacred that’s in everything - to experience the Harmony of the living and breathing Essential Nature of Reality.

And now back to “The Cave” to explore the vastness of Sacred Harmony… :)


~~~~~~~

You can watch “Harmony” online.


Photo – “A Spiral Galaxy in Hydra”
From the book: “The Invisible Universe”
by David Malin


~*~

“…surrender to the Mystery that moves life.
The wholeness of Being sees itself as whole.
When we are deeply touched by something
it is the Mystery stirring in its human expression…
How each of us is aroused to awaken
comes in many forms.
But the deep longing for Truth, Self, [the Sacred]
comes from within Itself, your Self.
Nothing is outside your Self -
not a leaf, a galaxy, longing or love…

For a time we may bow before an idea, an image,
a form, a picture, a deity, a teacher, a guru, a mountain,
imagining that is divine and we are not.
Eventually we discover it is
the divine that sees the divine;
…buddha that sees buddha.

…a life lived in harmony with Reality
does not refuse the moment-to-moment unfolding
of life.
[It is] being intimate with the moments of your own experience;
paying attention to those that seem to touch you in some
deep, unknown, mysterious place.”

Dorothy Hunt




Saturday, November 20, 2010

In Transition...

Yesterday morning was the first morning in a long time that I have awakened *without* the underlying feeling of fear, but with a depth of clarity and stability in meeting the day - a welcome change! There is more of a sense of mindfulness/awareness of what's beyond "the fear dream" that has a quality of curiosity and gratitude - which is also very welcome!

I seem to have "transitioned" into a "new" place, a new way of seeing, which I am unable to articulate at this time. And yet, I’m still in a very deep place of “not knowing” – a deep place of “emptiness” - knowing that it doesn’t matter what I “know” ,or don’t know for that matter, or whether I can articulate what “I” know (which is only what I *think* I know) as there are no words that can articulate “IT” anyway - except that it has something to do with *experiencing* life in new ways, seeing “The Sacred” in everything, and honoring the "Natural Rhythms." There are many changes/transitions underfoot here in many areas of my life – creating a feeling of groundlessness and directionless-ness – which I have come to accept. The release of fear has created a very open space, which seems to be preparing me for new explorations and discoveries :) Future "Cave Writings" I'm sure! :)

All is infinitely well…

There is a love that lives beyond the veil of “me”,
beyond the veil of fear…

~*~


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Dreaming The Fear

Just days after entering “The Cave” and meeting the fear I started having nightmares. Am not surprised actually. When you “decide” – that is, when you have been nailed to the cave wall by your fears you have no other choice than to meet with your demons, because the demons show up. Funny how that happens. Anyway, I thought I’d share this dream, not so much for its possible interpretations, but for the metaphor and Dharma it provided with regard to the fear that is moving through here…

In the dream I am laying in bed, just as I usually am while sleeping. A voice in the dream said: “Maybe you need to take care of that before B gets home.” There was a sense that “the voice” motioned to the window. So in my dream I looked at the window across from me, and it appeared as if there was someone behind the curtain panel on the left, as there was a protrusion of the curtain in the shape of a body and head. I kept looking, trying to see more clearly. As I attempted to look more intently at what this was, an eye appeared in front of the curtain panel to the right, with the faintest outline of a face – the emphasis being the eye; a rather large eye – just staring back at me. In the dream it freaked me out, triggering the nightmare. And I evidently did my usual warbling routine that I do when having nightmares, waking my husband up. I then heard B saying in my ear: “It’s okay – you’re dreaming – it’s just a dream – it’ll be okay.” That woke me up from the dream just enough to allow me to realize I was dreaming, and that there was no boogyman behind the curtain… Whew!

What came to me in the moments after, when I was trying to fall back to sleep, was – “Fear is a dream.” It was as if a switch went off in my head – bing.

This led to the insight that “fearing” during waking hours is also dream. It’s a dream of fear in Consciousness/Awareness. The *mind* of this mechanism called ‘me’ evidently gets freaked out by life’s make-believe boogymen behind curtains. Fear apparently happens when we focus on the construct of the ‘me’ and not the greater context of Self that is really living here.

I also noted that in some ways Fear has become a mask, a persona with which I have met the world. And that construct is collapsing evidently - hopefully. Five days before I had the nightmare I passed a kidney stone – the release of frozen fear. Fear is being released from this body-mind in many ways, and it appears that the “me” structure that has carried this fear all these years may be collapsing with it, as there is a growing recognition of its emptiness – revealing that this mask of fear, this fearful “me” is really a dream veil – hiding the real Self…

In the dream I *believed* I saw “the boogyman” hiding behind the curtain. I *believed* I saw an eye staring back at me. In the dream they were real to me, causing fear. But they were just dream figures rising from the mind, or psyche. And the only thing that *broke* the belief was being told that it was only a dream and waking up to the fact that it was only a dream. Hearing the words, “it’s just a dream,” spoken in my ear - the dream and the belief in its realness dissolved….

Somehow this should translate into waking life as well, don’t you think! There should be this amazing “enlightenment” that life is just a dream – a construct of the mind – with resulting joy and bliss at this realization. As of yet, this hasn’t fully happened. This sense of me evidently still believes the dream figures that appear from behind life’s curtains like a habituated dream machine. But I seem to know on some level that these fears are only dream ghosts from past beliefs, from repetitive, reactive responses to life’s events. The awareness is there – that the fear I experience is just that, an experience, created by how I *see* or what I *believe* about what I see. In this sense I seem to be slowly awakening from the dream machine.


~*~

“You dream your experiences.
You dream that you are (afraid, fearful, anxious)
Look at experiences as insubstantially transient
and related to mind projections.

When we think of experiences as only a dream,
it is less real to us.
It loses its power over us -
the power we gave it -
so it can no longer disturb us…”

Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche
The Tibetan Yoga of Dreams and Sleep
Quote taken from ZenDotStudio blog

~

So where is the experience actually experienced?
In Awareness…
There’s only Awareness
experiencing Itself as energy.
This sense of ‘me’ floats within Awareness.
It’s all Awareness – dreaming…

Author unknown…

~~~~~~~

Photo – the face of my drum


Monday, November 15, 2010

Drumming the Fear...

Several days ago I was inspired watching a man play a “Hang Drum” on a You Tube Video posted on Simply This. It reminded me that I could *drum* the fear I have been experiencing – that I could feel it and drum the feeling. So I got out my old Buffalo drum from way back when, sat in my “Cave” and started drumming. Initially I was banging on the drum with my hand, banging out the feeling like you would expect a drum to be drummed by a two year old. Bang, bang, bang… Beating it loud and hectic – matching the intensity of the fear that I felt inside – each beat crescendoing (is this even a word?:) into the other - louder and faster. And then the banging stopped – not the fear. I found myself actually *playing* the drum with my fingers – resting it on its side in my lap up against my chest, holding it with one hand and playing it with the other – hearing tones in each subtle movement.

The harsh banging sounds spiraled into soft sounds of my fingers tapping out inner rhythms as the fingers spontaneously moved. Surprisingly they weren’t “fearful” sounds. They were comforting sounds; sometimes single little taps, sometimes rhythmic taps, sometimes little scratching sounds with my finger nails, and sometimes a blend of them all producing a somewhat lyrical expression. As I leaned in to the drum, listening more deeply, I heard faint echoey distant “music” emerging as the drum gave voice. I was mesmerized by it, caught up in the sound of the tones – losing my “self.” Listening to the song of the drum, the mind and its fear disappeared into a softer hum in the background. A moment of sweet repose…


The drumming sounds became the opening, the doorway into the deep Silence beyond the fear. Drumming opened the door to meeting the fear and just Being. I know this is not new – indigenous people use drumming as a doorway to Consciousness all the time. The drum and its song transported “me” (my awareness) to the depths of Stillness within – where fear does not dwell. Drumming became the Rhythm of the Deep – gently playing to my fearful heart. I leaned into it…

The waves of fear on the surface became less and less. It wasn’t that the fear was totally gone. It was that the Singing Silence within was greater…


~~~~~~

You can view another Hanging Drum Music Video
at Akasa Wolf Song's Blog
Heart Songs...

~~~~~~

Photo – scrapbooking paper



Friday, November 12, 2010

Meeting Fear in "The Cave..."

I knew this is why I entered “The Cave.” I keep getting chased down by anxiety and fear. And so I knew - it is time to stop running, get still, listen and meet this debilitating fear – again. I have carried it all my life and I am exhausted from carrying it. I have tried many times over the years to lay this fear down, to trick it, to manage it, to numb it, to be aware of it… But awareness of it is not enough. It must be faced full on – in all of its disguises. But first, I had to experience the Silence of deep Rest in “The Cave” to prepare the way, to be open to meet Fear, and allow myself to experience it all the way through. I am not yet “through” the fear, but the journey has begun - with trepidation – but no longer resistant…

“The Cave” serves several purposes. It provides the physical space, like a holding space, and is the inner space of deep Silence that is the foundation for seeing with clarity, for entering into the exploration and investigation of the hidden shadows of the self in the safety of the deeper space of Awareness.

The first night that I sat with fear in the “The Cave” I was amazed that Awareness curiously moved towards it, entered it, and experienced it. It was not afraid of fear, but was compassionate towards it. A small opening of light came through. I began to relax and allow the fear to be.

The second night I sat with fear I became aware that I am somehow invested in it, although I don’t understand why or the dynamics of how that happened. But I realized that there is an attachment and a familiarity with fear that makes it hard to just “let go of” despite the pain that it creates. It is such an ingrained, habituated pattern that in a sense it has become the default position in my psyche.

In sitting with fear I became aware that fear is the mind’s view of things. It’s the view through the lens of fear that I am somehow attached to… I “know” intellectually that fear is based on a belief in a separate “self” – but that knowledge is also not enough. Something needs to be seen more deeply here, but at this point I am still blind to it.

The third night I realized that anxiety traumatizes the body. Fear is very visceral, releasing all kinds of fear hormones and bodily symptoms that wear out the body… There was the understanding, once again, that fear is triggered by thoughts believed to be true, to be real, creating this physical trigger – the body-mind’s response to a mental state of mind – a biological response to the mind’s view. The body-mind mechanism automatically defaults to anxiety with its resulting physical felt experience of trauma. Even the *thought* of facing the fear creates fear. It is so uncomfortable physically that is it hard to face this construct of fear without spiraling into panic.

And I realized - once again - that despite many “awakenings”, much of the time my life is fear driven by this underground electrical current – short circuiting everything in its path. Anxiety has become an entrapment, a prison - a private self-torture of the mind…

I have seen all these insights before and yet there is still “fearing.”

What is the remedy then I asked…

These words emerged from within: Follow the Fear. Let it take you deeper. Deeply attend to it. Explore the tendrils of it. Allow yourself to *fully* experience it. Watch how it plays itself out; where it goes, what it tells you, where it leads the mind and body. Trust where it takes you.

Oh sure, I thought… Easy for you to say – whoever “you” are! And yet I know this is “right.”

And so in the depths of Inner Silence I continue to meet Fear again and again. This time I am willing to stay with it, to see it through, to walk hand and hand with it deeper into “The Cave.”


~*~


“In order to transform our fears
we must be willing to enter the cave
of the Blue Dragon.
There we come face to face
with our despair
and all aspects of the mind…

Standing at the mouth of the cave
of the Blue Dragon
and yelling ‘I’m not afraid’
is not the same as entering it
with compassion for who (what) we will find.”

Genju – 108zenbooks


*


“It takes exhaustion to stop running…
to surrender and be led within,
deeper and deeper into this journey,
the dazzling dark journey into ourselves…”

Ameeta – Self discovering self


~*~

photo - scrapbook paper




Monday, November 8, 2010

Entering "The Cave..."

For the last several nights I have been able to enter “The Cave” and just relax. By “The Cave” I mean the deep caverns of inner Stillness. The physical “cave” of my meditation room serves as a metaphor for entering this space within and just sitting in Silence – being aware of Awareness and whatever else arises in this space. By Silence I mean the deep space of Awareness – in which existence exists – beyond the sense of “I am”, beyond the sense of the individual “I” existence – beyond form. Here is a writing from “The Cave.”


~*~

Entering “The Cave”
the place of deep awareness and
knowing Stillness…

Relaxing…
Listening deeply for the Inner Voice.
Following its sound.
Finding its Rhythm in the fluid, instinctive
inner River of Awareness.

It is the space of “The Beloved.”

This aware, awake space is curious and unafraid,
wants to engage, to see,
to know, to experience ~

and be experienced…

The Beloved is deeply compassionate,
deeply open,

…and is waiting to be known…

Pure Awareness
flows through here ~
the life blood of The Beloved.
It flows around the obstacles of my mind,
and moves toward every disturbance,
filling every mind-made crack and crevice,
wanting to meet, soothe, comfort, and embrace.

In “The Cave”
there is only patience, waiting, and listening
in deep rest…

There is refuge in this space,
this Cave of Awareness…
The Cave of the Beloved…

The Cave of the True Heart…

Home…

~*~

Photo - specialty scrapbooking paper



Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Change of Venue

Like the season, I seem to be transitioning. I am in a place of “not knowing” at the moment.

Because of the change in season and the colder night weather, I have had to change venues for “window sitting.” I have had to return to the comfort of “the cave” – my regular meditation space. It has been a difficult adjustment. There has been a lot of unexpected restlessness and unsettledness in changing spaces. I miss my window. But I don’t like sitting there with the window closed, as the open window has been a big part of my experience – leaning into the Night – smelling the fresh smells - hearing the sounds of Nature. The pull of the window is no longer there. This pull has been missing for a couple of weeks now, which I interpret to mean that there is a need for change. So I am being available to that change, to the awareness of what needs to change, to where the pull of Consciousness wants to go…

I have tried “window sitting” in the morning at a different window, sitting in the sun. But it’s not the same. I’ve tried “the cave” at different times to see if that made a difference. But no… It’s as if the “window” has been closed inwardly as well… And I’m beginning to feel a little alarmed. Maybe this change of venue is about a change in “seeing” – in the way I *see* that needs to change. And maybe this restlessness and inability to settle in to “the cave” is resistance – resistance to going deeper, to entering more deeply into the cave within. Maybe it’s resistance to seeing those remaining hidden shadows that continue to dance on the walls of my mind – particularly fear. It’s a very deep neuronal groove in this brain that needs to be deeply seen and met.

So I’m trying to nest again – to settle into “the cave.” I find lately that I just like sitting there, in the dark, sometimes only a candle on, (floor cushion is no longer an option) – just sitting in the cave of Silence, deepening into the breath and the space of deep inner Stillness. It seems to be just what is needed at this time.

And what is noticed is that there is also a sense of transition in my “spiritual experience” as well. I recently realized that I am tired of all the “structures,” the conceptual structures of being, even the so-called ‘non-duality’ conceptual structures. There is a need to just be in the Spaciousness of Existence – absent any kind of construct – constructs of philosophy, religion, belief, words language, mental and emotional constructs, and frameworks of interpretation; just sitting with awareness of what is Aware, in the fluidity of not knowing – exploring “the cave” and seeing what might be written on its walls…


~*~


Friday, October 29, 2010

"Letting Go" of Control Window

Sometimes what we need to see comes through the window of life itself, not just “window sitting.”

As I mentioned in a previous post, there are still “patterns of the me” that are emerging in awareness here. Control appears to be one of those patterns, and was brought home to me recently through interactions with my mother. As I have heard several teachers say: If you think you are enlightened, spend time with your family. For some of you this post may constitute “story." However, I often find that what is considered “story” can be a great teacher - allowing me to step back and experience the Dharma in the situation.

My mother is 82 years old and getting ready for eye surgery Monday after a failed first surgery 4 months ago. I have tried to be “helpful” in the preparation for this upcoming surgery – meaning: I feel the weight of responsibility to be “on top of things” in an attempt to make sure everyone is on the same page, that all ducks are in a row – which has not been welcome by my mother. It has been met with resistance and with irritation at me for at least trying to make sure everything is understood and the appropriate questions are asked to the appropriate people – without actually “taking over” – meaning not taking the control out of my mother’s hands – trying to respect her and allow her to make her own decisions and ask her own questions. But when I see mental acuity failing, I feel a need to step in. Confusion has been created because she has been told different things by different people. The more I try to make sure that everything is in place, the right questions asked and understood, and urge her to get clarification, the more she resists. It’s a dance that my mother and I have danced many times. And I no longer want to dance this dance.

So I’ve had to recognize that my need to be on top of things, to be responsible, is my subtle way of trying to be in control, trying to make sure everything turns out “right” – under the guise of “caregiving” – by taking on the role of “responsible daughter.” It is also indicative that there is still a *belief* in a separate “me” that can control life and its situations… This pesky little me…

How I function in this “responsible mode” – stressed, anxious, insecure, controlling - is not helpful to anyone. Attempts to control through instructing her on what to do, correcting her misperceptions, prodding her like a child to take responsibility and so forth only serve to alienate. I know this. But those hardwired neurons keep misfiring, sending me the fear messages that I need to be in control. I ignore them as much as possible and offer my mother encouragement and subtle, supportive suggestions instead – giving her a sense of control, a sense of “rightness”, rather than “wrongness”, which seems to be more “helpful.”

But can this “me” really willingly “let go” of its need for control? (And it doesn’t help to tell myself that there is no “me.”) My experience is that I cannot will myself to “let go” of anything – even the sense of “me.” It has to come through relaxed awareness – and trusting that life is as it should be. Through being aware and bringing awareness to a situation, there is a natural “letting go.” Stepping back into the greater context of Awareness is what allows a “letting go” to occur. It allows the pattern of “me” to be seen. Once the “pattern” has been seen, recognized – found out – so-to-speak, its grip loosens. It is no longer “me” trying to “let go” – another form of control. It lets go on its own, as it is no longer able to hide in the shadows of my mind. *It* lets go *by means of* the awareness that is brought to it - by letting the light of awareness in, and by how willing I am to actually face it, as many times as I need to.

And there is another aspect I had to look at as well. For me this “letting go” through *awareness* is an ongoing process of relaxing into a deeper sense of the all-encompassing Beingness that we actually are - and allowing That to be my focus. By continually bringing awareness to what is Aware, and not trying to figure out how to let go, or how to control the situation, noticing what it feels like to be in this space of Awareness, a “letting go” occurs on its own. By bringing awareness to what is Aware, “letting go” is no longer an issue – there is just a subtle dissolving of control, and acceptance of the way things are. From this space of Awareness I don’t get into struggle with the *concept* of “letting go” – or with my mother. I don’t follow the *thought* that I need to let go – or that I need to be responsible. It’s more of a space of allowing, of letting things, life and people be what/who they are. This does not mean that I do not take the necessary actions in the care of my mother – when needed - but it is not a fear-based need to be in control of how things go and the way they may or may not turn out. From this space of Awareness there is a softening of old patterns and a more genuine, open-hearted presence that emerges.

Although, I have to admit, there is still a lurking sense of fear-based responsibility for my mother’s well-being and the resulting anxiety… And so it is…


~*~