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...

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Way of Rest - Jeff Foster


"Oh, sweet little boy, beloved little girl,
 you are so overwhelmed by life,
 I know,
 by the enormity of it all,
 by the vastness of possibilities,
 by the myriad perspectives available to you.

 You feel so pressed down sometimes,
 by all the unresolved questions,
 by all the information
 you are supposed to process and hold,
 by the urgency of things.

 You are overcome by powerful emotions,
 trying to control,
 or at least influence,
 everything and everyone around you,
 trying to hold yourself together,
 trying to make it all ‘work out’ somehow,
 trying to get everything done ‘on time’,
 trying to resolve things so fast,
 even trying not to try at all.

You are exhausted, sweet one,
 exhausted from all the trying
 and the not trying,
 and you are struggling to trust life again.
 It’s all too much for the poor organism, isn’t it.
 You are exhausted, you long to rest.
 And that is not a failing of yours,
 nor a horrible mistake,
 but something wonderful to embrace!

 For the exhaustion is pure intelligence,
 and it says, let go, let go! Stop trying so hard!

Stop pushing for answers right now.
 Allow everything to rest right now.
 Take a sacred pause.


 Allow questions to remain unanswered, for now.
 Allow space for yourself to breathe today.
 Allow everything to fall out of control today.
 Allow yourself to not be able to hold it all up today.
 Allow yourself to not know how, to not know at all.
 Allow the heart to break, if it needs to,
 and the body to ache, and the soul to wake.

 Everything is so okay, when you get down to it.

And know you are loved, little one.
 Know you have always been loved,
 long before you were named,
 long before you were even born,
long before overwhelm came to show you the way."


~ ~ ~


Photo: Dry leaves on paper and table
color inverted…



Thursday, May 22, 2014

Thrive in Sacred Silence...

The Sacred Silence of the night calls to me in the hours between 12mn and 1am – when the noise of life has settled.  It beckons me to the window to sit – in a kind of mystical communion with “the Divine” *through* the open window – a metaphorical opening to a larger Reality – that brings awareness of a larger Reality and shifts my paradigm while breathing in unison with the Breath of Life that breathes me - *aware* of a Sacred Presence.

My *Being* craves this Sacred Silence, as if craving ItSelf.  It is the same Sacred Silence that is within all things; the deep Rhythm of Silence that permeates all life.  And so I sit at the open window allowing myself to be breathed, to be touched by Silence, to be known by Silence…  The air is still – no sounds – no breeze – so quiet, only the smells of the night.  But the earth is not sleeping, it is alive with Sacred Silence!

In my experience there are “layers” of Silence that blend and merge (for lack of better words to describe what I experience).  Sacred Silence is not the same as being silent, or still, or the silence of doing quiet things that quiets the mind into stillness, even though these can become portals to a deeper awareness of Sacred Silence. Time in silence or stillness everyday without agenda is very therapeutic, clearing the mind and energy field.  But there is a deeper layer, a deeper space of Silence that brings awareness of the Sacred, and a direct experience of the Rhythm of that Silence that fills us, that feeds us, that nourishes one’s Being – and - is recognized *as* one’s very Being – one’s Divine Nature…

The Sacred Silence is my sanctuary, my sabbatical, and my sanity - the place where I lose my sense of self/me – my persona, my roles, my self-identities, my mind meanderings - and become truly Aware of what is really occupying this space called “me.”  I *need* this deep Sacred Silence to *thrive.*  In the deep Silence I can *hear* the silent voice of the Cosmos whispering in the night - instead of the “noise” of the requirements of daily life driving me…  At the window the veil opens to reveal a communion with The Sacred that is already taking place…  All I need do is show up – and surrender into “The Silence…”




Monday, May 19, 2014

Divine Immersion...


“Perhaps today is not a day for answers
 and unshakable certainties.
It is a day for bird song and staying close to the questions
as thy walk us down familiar paths
on Spring mornings.”

Jeff Foster



This morning after rising I went out to leave a pie pan of birdseed for the Mourning Doves (and squirrels) who could not feed from the Finch feeder, but ate the sparse seed droppings on the ground.  The Doves cooed their familiar song in the branches above, waiting for me to bring the plate. 


I noticed a lovely shadow of a dragonfly garden ornament on the mottled grey patio and went back in to get my camera.



The morning air was gentle, quiet and soothing, an early Summer smell on the breeze drew me on to the scraggly, yet to be finished back garden across the yard…



I stood silently in the garden, aware that I was immersed in a kind of sanctity of Divine Silence.  The day noise had already begun: the highway traffic, several airplanes, and the noises of daily living: dogs, birds, voices, lawn mowers, construction noise in the distance…  A small Monarch butterfly flitted in, catching my awareness, alighting briefly, and then flitted away just as quickly, seemingly unaffected by the noises of life – immersed in the Divineness of its own Being.  Such delight I can only imagine – being immersed in one’s own Divine Being…

There is so much to be done this time of year that it sometimes drives me through my days.  I always feel like I’m trying to keep up with life! – as it is being lived…  But I don’t want to be a slave to life’s “doings”!  I’d rather stop the doings - and enjoy Life – the Divine Beingness of Life ItSelf – unaffected by the noises of life’s requirements.  I want to be “driven” by/immersed in the Divine Being that I am, allowing Inspiration to drive my day.  So everything went on hold – for today anyway - except for experiencing the Divine Rhythm of LIFE!


~ Divine Immersion ~





Thursday, May 15, 2014

Journey of Discovery...

"Discovery is a place that doesn’t know,
doesn’t evaluate,
and is willing to see what is.

Discovery sees beyond conflict
to an open realm of possibilities.

Discovery enables us to let go
of the filters of our past
and the blinders
of our expectations.

Discovery perceives
no right or wrong.
only inquiry
and
creativity.

Discovery turns
frustration
into
fascination
and work
into
play."

Thomas Crum
The Magic of Conflict





"Your soul knows the geography of your destiny…
It will take you where you need to go,
but more important
it will teach you a
kindness of rhythm
in your journey.”

John O’Donohue





"It is a journey towards simplicity,
towards quietness,
towards a kind of joy
that is not in time.
It’s a journey that
takes us from primary
identification
with body and psyche [mind],
to an identification with God,
and ultimately beyond
any identification."


Ram Dass


Thursday, May 8, 2014

On The Exit Ramp...

B took an unexpected trip to see his nearly 91 year old mother last weekend at the Care Facility in New Mexico, near her daughter, where she has been now for more than a year.  She is what he calls – “on the exit ramp.”  She is not “dying” at this moment in time – although we weren’t sure, as she had recently been hospitalized, the body possibly shutting down, and we thought this might have been it.   Still, she is clearly on the exit ramp of life.   She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s several years ago.  She still recognizes her son, and remembered who I was, even though I was not there on this trip.  But there was no enthusiasm in the recognition as in previous visits this past year… 

The first day he just sat with her at her bedside for hours as she slept.  The staff would get her up to eat her meals in the dining hall – via wheelchair, but she kept her eyes closed – not engaging.  There is no emotional expression anymore, except a look of confusion or worry.  She appeared to be on automatic, as if blank, withdrawn into herself.  Sometimes there were glimmers of understanding, sometimes not…  And yet, she seems to be *aware* at some level.  She cannot hear, has a Cochlear implant – which helps, but not completely.  She would occasionally open her eyes to see if he was still there – but was otherwise unresponsive – less engaged; although, she has learned some simple sign language with a couple of members of the staff, and seems to respond to them, which was surprising…

And we wonder, has she truly reached the end of her life, or does she have many more years living like this… Of course nobody really knows…

In one of B’s communiqués to me, in response to my question about how he was feeling about all this, he wrote:

Acceptance of her present place and behavior on the exit ramp.

Yes, of course, acceptance of where she is, and whatever behavior she is displaying on the exit ramp, without trying to *make* her respond, or converse, or be what *he* wants her to be.  And so he sat, quietly, in her wheelchair next to the bed, just being present, silently reading his Kindle as she slept…  The only question she asked: Are you going to be here?  We think she meant, when she woke up.  Maybe this is why he wanted to go alone.   So he could fully *be* there, be fully present, without distraction…

On the second day she was roaming the halls in her wheelchair when he arrived. He was quickly in tow, following behind as she walked the wheelchair, until she was ready to go back to bed.  In the photo below she is taking a break and seems to have fallen asleep again… Yet, we aren’t sure if she is truly sleeping, or just turning inward – disengaging from the world…  “But where does she go?” – my sister-in-law asked…


B continues to amaze me with his wisdom in this situation.  I don’t know why it amazes me, it just does.  Perhaps because it’s usually what *I* need to hear.  He reminded me through this visit with his mother that it is about learning to see how life plays itself out from the perspective of the Eternal Being that we are – that embodies the body; that is non-reactive to, and non-judgmental of what is happening, but is just Aware…  And this is the key, to always return to this internal space of *Awareness* of the Eternal Being that we all are.  That no matter what life dramas/events we are entwined in/with, we can return to that place of Silent Awareness within.  Our Eternal Being accepts every situation and others with a sense of openness and curiosity, with a sense of compassion, with no need to “fix” it/them – *allowing* everything.  I know this is true…  I just need reminders…  And it doesn’t mean that one doesn’t *feel* anything about what is happening either.  Even the feelings are allowed to play themselves out.  I learn so much when I actually *listen* to him. J  When I’m on the “exit ramp” I want him sitting by my side to usher me across the threshold…  But of course, we’re all already on the “exit ramp” aren’t we… J - some just further along than others…


Monday, May 5, 2014

Divinely Human...

My mind wants to tell me that ‘just sitting’
- sitting meditation in Silence – is not enough.
But my Heart/Spirit knows that
’just sitting”-
in Silent Awareness
is exquisitely enough…

It is
communion
with the
Infinite
Beingness
of all
life

It is the “medicine”
for every ailment…

It is the Light that brings awareness
to all hidden places…

It is the Spaciousness
from which all knowing
and all needed action
arises
with
clarity

Heart says:
Spend as much time as possible
’just sitting’
in the depths
 of Silence
communing
with the
 inner movement
of
    Eternal Being…

experiencing intimately
 the embrace
and intelligence
of what lives us;
not resigned to
”just being human…”
not settling…

But being aware
of our Humanness and Infiniteness
as One Rhythm,
playing together…
The Infinite manifest as finite,
the formless in form:
The Truth of Existence…

Humanness infused with
such Suchness
that we are enlivened with
a Life
much vaster
than
”just”
our humanness…

Can we truly embrace
that
enlivened
Life
as
who
we
are

The
Pure
Conscious
Awareness
that
breathes
us
into
e
x
i
s
t
e
n
c
e

Can we allow ourselves to remember
what we *really* are,
beyond
disturbances of the mind,
our insecurities,
our thoughts,
our feelings,
our beliefs,
our
self-image,
our self-identities
our roles and labels…

Can we allow ourselves
to see/sense/know
The Infinite Presence
that
we
are
behind these eyes,
behind this persona,
animating this body:

The Heart of Being
that
we have longed
to know
all our lives

Don’t settle…

Can we quit pretending
that “we’re only human”
that we can’t know…
Can we
take off the shadowy masks
that blind us,
and
SEE

the
Infinite Conscious Awareness
that we are…

That we are Divinely Human…

You don’t have to wait lifetimes…
It’s right here, right now -
everywhere…

Just be still
’just sit’
in
Silence
and
listen

Open the eyes of the Heart
and
SEE

Our “Divine Essence”
 has always been here

Feel IT
Experience IT

Don’t settle…


Meditative Writings
original -August 2012
reworked May 2014

~

“Divine Essence” is also:
Buddha Mind
True Nature
Infinite Consciousness
Pure Awareness
Eternal Being
Presence

~~~~


Photo: Yin-Yang Lotus Mandala
May 4, 2014



Thursday, May 1, 2014

Gearing Up to Gear Down...

My inner Spirit calls me to a quiet life, to long periods of Silence, wants hibernation and repose.  Evidently it doesn’t know that it is “Spring” on the calendar and I must “gear up.”  My “surface life” requires me to “gear up.”  And I am having trouble reconciling the two; being faithful to one and responsible to the other.  Sounds dualistic I know, but it is the way of things here, trying to find the balance and flow, the Yin and Yang of life – the harmony between doing and being…

There is “Spring” cleaning and repairs that have been long needed on the house – like roof and soffit repairs, requiring researching roofers on line, making phone calls, leaving messages for call backs that keep me tethered to the phone, and being available for on-sight estimates.  And then there’s yard work - repainting garden chairs and planter tubs.  I think a nice Red Salmon color, or Cinnamon, or Terra Cotta would be a nice change. J   And then weeding out winter’s waste – and pruning trees – and….. and….. and….





And yet, the chamomile is blooming already


 and the tarragon and catnip are rising, despite the fact that the tubs have not been painted.
 But there is no thyme growing this year – interesting play on words, don’t you think… J


The lovage replanted itself over here by the fence in the rocks.

But “Spring” is not the only reason we are “gearing up.”  We are “gearing up” because we want to “gear down” – to simplify our lives, to rid ourselves of the physical clutter that has accumulated over 35+ years of marriage and 17+ years of living in this house.   And so I have to start somewhere!  And this seems like the best place – in the basement - often likened to the sub-conscious where our inner clutter lies… J  This should be fun…

There is a neighborhood garage sale mid-May where we will try to sell a lot of this “clutter” stuff, which means cleaning out the garage.  Then we will start an e-bay store to try to sell the more “valuable” clutter. J  In the mean time it means several rounds of decluttering - deciding what to throw out, what to give away, what goes to garage sale, and what goes to ebay. It’s a daunting task – at least from my current perspective.  When I *think* about it all I start to feel overwhelmed.  So much for meeting life events as they come – they are coming too fast, and I am feeling a little out of control. J  So as you may have gathered I am resisting.  Like writing this blog post instead of digging into the rubble of my life J 

I discovered that the mind loves the “busyness,” finds it soothing, because it has a focus, “to do” lists, going from one thing to the next on the list, which doesn’t leave much time for meditative Silence and time for just Being – which I need a lot of.  I’ve not had a quiet day yet this week – and I can feel a case of the crankies coming on. J  But I took some time perusing what needs to be done in the back “garden” today, snapping photos, and felt the Presence of Silence in the solitude there.  I’m thinking this is where I’ll start – scraping planter tubs and chairs, and weeding out the detritus…  Very therapeutic… J

Part of the reason I want to gear down is to have more time for living what truly matters, not burdened with house and chores, which means letting go of the clutter that tends to take up the time - and dam the Life Flow... This requires listening to a deeper Flow - the deeper internal, intuitive Flow of Inner Being that runs through me, and through life; paying attention to the Spirit of Life within – to what *feels* right and what doesn’t; getting the priorities straight – waiting for the “yes” – putting the Inner Flow first.  Letting myself sink into those Silent depths within for only a few minutes a day reminds me of the deeper Flow that remains undisturbed by the chaos of life events, the Flow that actually carries me through the day…

~


“We are all innately aware that
 a deeper truth exists within us
than our day-to-day existence
and mundane concerns…
We must live life from
this more encompassing
state of Being -
and understand our
divine nature -
giving us
a means
to
enliven
a
truer identification
with
 the
 stunning
 beauty
 of our
    Being.”

Dennis Holtje