Come meander with me on the pathless path of the Heart
in these anecdotal,
sometimes inspiring, sometimes personal meanderings of the Heart's opening in the every-day-ness of life...

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Creating A Heart Tree

Our beautiful 30+ yr old River Birch, the centerpiece of our front yard, is in trouble. It only leaved out on its lower branches, although a few small branching cascades of leaves managed to find their way up a few of the higher branches. She did this 5 years ago as well, and we managed to save her. With a severe drought this winter, and a dry winter the year before this aging tree didn’t have the oomph to fully leave. She didn’t completely “wake up” from her winter slumber. Even though we have had record breaking rain this May, it was not enough to help her thrive. Sometimes I feel like that too – not fully leaved, not fully awake, no oomph, not thriving, worn out from the droughts of life. So we called the “tree man”, asked his advice, which was the same as we got 5 years ago - a 50/50 chance treatment would work. So River Birch has been deeply fed and treated for bugs. She will need some dead wood pruned, but nothing too drastic as we don’t want to shock her anymore than she already is. Too bad I can’t call a “tree man” for what ails me! I need deep root feeding and debugging!

I was inspired by a recent post on ZenDotStudio about a “Heart Tree” she discovered beside the road, and decided to create a Heart Tree out of River Birch - *for* River Birch. I had some stone hearts that I have found in our back yard and on walks over the years and laid them at the base of the tree. I sprinkled a little sage at her base and solicited a little help from the Faerie Kingdom with a little wee-folk door laid up against the trunk, and some metal garden faeries dancing nearby… Hmmm - Imagination, Inspiration, Fun, Creativity and Love – good for what ails me! I am getting too bogged down in words, thoughts, beliefs; in the distractions of life, the needs of family, and yes, even the “spiritual path” has somehow suffocated that spark of Life within – that passion for Living, Creating, Being.

So I’m curious to know – what enlivens the flow of Life within you? What deeply feeds the core of your Being? What allows the *Life* that you are to come alive?

If you would like to contribute a stone heart that you have found you can email me at mysticmeandering@gmail.com and I will send you my address.


Monday, May 23, 2011

"twisting reality into words"

You know there is something that you must pay attention to when the words “pop” for you, such as the title of this post did for me. I read these words while perusing some blogs that I don’t follow, finding the links on other blogs that I do follow. This particular quote comes from a blog called: The Dalai Grandma. If I understood the context in which she was writing this she was saying that she felt like she kept “twisting reality into words” instead of just living reality.

I’ve been feeling this lately myself, although not for the same reasons. I have noticed that almost everything I experience I reference back to writing a blog post. In the middle of the experience I am thinking about how I’m going to write the post! The experience immediately becomes words, and I fall out of the experience itself. I fall out of being in the moment, not giving myself the time to just settle and be *in* the experience. I immediately reach for the pen and paper, trying to twist reality into words, instead of just being in the reality of the immediate experience. I love to write, but it seems the words might be getting in the way of fully experiencing Life directly!

In the ‘non-dual/advaita community’ there also seems to be this “twisting [R]eality into words”, in a little different context. When I read the plethora of the non-dual blogs that are out there, there seems to be a conundrum of words being used in trying to express the Wordless… And I have noticed that some of these die-hard non-dual folk also have a need to correct other people’s words; questioning other people’s direct experience of the Wordless and Inexpressible – as if some of us aren’t using the “right” words. Instead of seeing the *essence* of the words being used, the heart of what is being expressed, the words themselves are focused on. Since when do words become the indicators of so-called “enlightenment” – or measurements of one’s level of “non-dual awareness.” Now there’s another twisting of Reality into words. What *is* “non-dual awareness” anyway? Is there such a thing as “dual awareness”? Just asking… I thought there was just Awareness – just BEingness. And isn’t this creating duality by “twisting Reality into words”? - creating distinctions, differences - creating “other” (which of course I realize I’m doing here. :) And isn’t this need for word games, and to correct others’ words, the “me” that they claim does not exist? Oh dear… You can see the rabbit holes that we can fall into with words…

Rupert Spira, a well known non-dual teacher, added some clarity for me when I read an excerpt of his book on line, called The Transparency of Things: “Do the words themselves affect [Awareness]? Does it matter to [Awareness] what is said in the words? Does the content of each experience affect the awareness in which it appears? Every experience only expresses Awareness… Awareness is the open Unknowingness on which every experience is written. This open Unknowningness, the source, the substance and destiny of all experience is" [all there is.] Yes!

And then I came across this wonderful quote, which seems to sum it all up. It is from a blog called The Vibrant Heart.

“Spiritual concepts and non-dual language cannot…penetrate the protective walls around the heart. [Words] are like mental arrows storming the castle walls of the ego-mind that just bounce back. Love is the great dissolving agent... It breaks the trance of the mind…”

And so, I’m going to be more aware of how I twist reality/Reality into words, of how I jump into words to describe my experience, reaching for the pen, instead of deeply listening to, and sitting with Reality, the Essence of Life… And when my mind moves to correct someone else’s expression, I will try to remember that every expression is Love expressing ItSelf in all ITs forms of expression… Love just living reality…


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Space of Grace Window...

Sinking into stillness comes easier now
as I feel the closeness of Beloved Awareness ~

The rhythm of Awareness is like a lullaby,
holding me in the splendor of Grace…

Awareness awareing me ~
me awarening Awareness…
The River of Awareness flowing as One…

Not two ~ just Awareness,
awareing ItSelf sitting at the window…
An embrace of One…

Awareness, The Beloved, is right here,
right now,
as close as the breath.

The pure open space of Grace
allows everything, welcomes everything;
Awareness ItSelf inviting ITself to Be…

The purity of this
vast space
is clean and clear,
drawing me in;
inviting me to surrender;

Pure Grace…


Mystic Meandering
May 2011

Friday, May 13, 2011

Rainy Day Walk

Yesterday morning I woke up – content… Surprised me actually. I almost never wake up feeling content with life, or life situations. The mind was evidently still asleep, which was fine by me! PLUS - :) it was raining for the second day in a row. That always brings contentment and a sense of aliveness to this being… We’ve been in extreme drought conditions here, the worst in years, so I was particularly enlivened to see rain for two whole days! I wanted to be out in it!

I grabbed the hooded winter parka and camera and drove about 10 mins to my usual walking place, that I haven’t been to yet this Spring, delighting in being out in the pouring rain, snapping pictures. And then I realized the camera was getting wet, and that I was out on the path all alone. The mind woke up: What if I’ve ruined the camera! I’d better be more vigilant about my surroundings. Check for keys and cell phone in pocket. I kept walking, occasionally looking over my shoulder – snapping photos for almost an hour. A lone jogger passed by. He looked safe enough. We said hello, and I watched to make sure he kept going.

On the way home in the car I realized I was so busy taking pictures that I never stopped to be still in the rain; to feel it’s splatters on my face, or hear it’s patter on my hood, to *really* listen to the Silence of Nature all around me. I sensed It in the background, but didn’t stop and revel in It. I was narrowly focused on the path, looking for things to take pictures of, but not really *seeing.* I considered going back to do the walk again, but I was already soaked. It reminded me that this is sometimes how I go through life – narrowly focused on a particular task, event, or circumstance, with a particular lens of interpretation, with some kind of filter in front of my face – like fear, anxiety, worry, caution, disgruntledness, judgment, anger - never really *seeing* Life; never really opening completely to that sweet child-like innocence of play, of enjoyment, even contentment. I felt a twinge of sadness with this realization, and stuck it in my awareness folder for next time: “Be sure to be fully *aware* of Life.” “Just stop.” “Be still.” “Listen.” “Really SEE Life.”

So here is a small montage of a walk in the rain through the camera lens. Hope you enjoy the rain as much as I do. The opening photo for the post at top was actually taken out my “sitting window” from Wednesday evening. Those below are from the walking path…

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

"Window Sitting" Has Resumed!

For any of you who are recent readers of this blog let me explain “window sitting.” It started last August as a change in venue for meditating. It became a way of deeply listening to the Silence of Nature late at night when the house was quiet, window open, leaning into the night air. It was a “new” way of rendezvousing with deep Silence – the space of pure Awareness – that I often refer to as meeting “The Beloved” – even though “The Beloved” is not “other” than… It’s a space where I become more *aware* of the Inner Landscape. I scribble notes on scratch paper in near darkness when Silence sings to my heart. Or if Silence is silent, I bask in the Rhythm of Silence.

I also started “window sitting” because I sometimes have trouble sleeping and I would come to my desk and *feel* the Silence calling to me in the breeze blowing in the window and in the night smells. Every fiber of my being swooned for this delicious Silence. So I moved a bookcase and added a chair by the window where I now purposefully sit, weather permitting. The weather is warming again, which is allowing me to sit at the open window again. Sometimes it is an exercise in awareness, in noticing, in paying attention. But it is really about being intimately aware of the Silence that is Life - the Nameless Unknown within…

Here’s a scribble from Sunday night...

Perfect Pulsing Silence

Perfect pulsing Silence.
Utter Stillness.
Breath-giving Life.

This is what I come to the window for -
to sit in utter and complete Silence – the pulse of Life;
to smell, feel and sense Silence;
to feel Its Aliveness;
to hear Its Song…

Not “knowing” puts one in a place of really listening,
with no agenda or expectation,
leaving the space open for Silence to speak,
to calm the mind and
sing Its song to the heart…

I listen deeply for the song of Silence…

A breeze touches my arm gently,
feels cool,
smells refreshing;
inviting me to be aware…

I gaze inward
to the Silence within,
that is mirrored out the window,
in the silence of the night.
It’s all the same Silence…

The Rhythm of Silence begins…

I sit back in the chair
listening to the pulsing Silence
within and without,
feeling Its familiar Rhythm
feeling the dance of intimacy begin again…

Nothing disturbs IT
Nothing disturbs the depth of IT
Nothing prevents Its song
from being sung…

In this intimate Silence I am reminded that
everything occurs within this Silence;
all life, all breath, all death, all movement
occurs within this vast space of Silent Awareness
that we are…

In the silence of the night
at the window
I return to
the Silence
of pure Awareness…

In the Silence of just awareness
I know that everything is living according to ITs
natural order – is following ITs natural order,
including this life I call mine…
All life is being lived…

All is the pulse of Silence…
The pulse of Life…


Mystic Meandering
May 2011

Friday, May 6, 2011

Spring's Furry Fuzzies

Connect with the Essence of Nature:
Innocence, Purity, Simplicity…

Let them
speak to your heart
and guide your steps…

Love supports you in every moment…


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Land of "I Don't Know..."

The land of “I Don’t Know” is a very humbling place to be. Everything I thought I knew is not available or accessible anymore. All programs have been dumped, including the one called “knowing.” This land is where one has seemingly “forgotten” all former “realizations”, “awakenings” and “knowings” - and questions everything one has realized about what it thought it knew about anything of a “spiritual” nature, or even the Nature of Reality Itself. You know, like, WHO you really are… Interesting…

It’s like having had the inner landscape wiped clean. You know you aren’t in Kansas anymore – but you don’t recognize where you are. You wonder where the “knowing” went, and if that too was all made up – just a projection of one’s imagination. This “I Don’t Know” space feels rather blank, like absolutely nothing – and I don’t mean the vibrant, alive spaciousness of Infinite Aware No-thing-ness. No, this is different. It’s challenging terrain to navigate and articulate.

Like the rabbit in the photo above, I find myself prostrating before “The Oracle” wanting answers, hoping for a “sign”, but there are no signposts along the way to assure me of my path – no definitive “answers” forthcoming. The Oracle is silent as well…

So all I “know” at the moment is that I really don’t know. And I am willing to not “know” – to be emptied out of all assumed knowing - but the mind doesn’t like it much. It wants to find something to “know” – a nice juicy spiritual concept to wrap itself around so it can say: Ahhhh, yes, I “know”, and I have the lovely words to prove it – so I can relax and rest in the certainty of my “self-knowing” again. The mind doesn’t seem to like word games either – like: Who is the one who doesn’t know, or is there any me here to know, or who is the one who knows, or is there anything to know? “I don’t know.”

So I’m learning to be in the Land of “I Don’t Know” – being open, keeping my gaze inward, listening, paying attention, remembering to turn to that space of Infinite Awareness, which doesn’t rely on what I thought I knew, or what I have experienced – or my thoughts, beliefs, and opinions about It - but is simply and always There, available in every moment.