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, May 30, 2018

Awakening From Awakening - Jeff Foster


This is a true story from Jeff Foster

Once, at a conference, I watched a spiritual teacher addressing
a grieving woman whose precious young son had just died.  Her
world had just collapsed.  An old reality had shattered.  She said,
"My heart is broken and raw."  He told her, "Your heartbreak is the
activity of the separate self, and therefore illusory, based in ignorance.
When the separate self dissolves, there will be no more suffering.
In Awareness, there is no death.  Awareness has no son."  He told
her she needed to 'wake up.'  She needed to recognize herself as
'Pure Awareness' - that she was pretending to be a victim, that
she didn't know 'who she truly was.'

And in that moment, I saw a deep sickness and inhumanity at
 the heart of much our contemporary spirituality.

The invalidation and shaming of trauma, the false promises,
the power games, and most of all, the suppression
of the divine feminine.  Making our grief, anger, fear and joy a
'mistake' or some 'sign' that we are not awakened enough, not
spiritual enough, not 'divine' enough in our embodied humanity.
The pathologising of our wildness.  The shaming of our fragility,
our sensitivity.

Friends, if this is 'spiritual awakening', I simply have no interest.
Let us [embrace] our fragile, vulnerable humanity!  Not run from it!
Let us bless our precious broken hearts!  Not pathologise them!
Let us infuse our deepest human experience with empathy.
  Send a curious, warm awareness deep into
the wounds.  Not to mend, not to fix, but to feel!  Not to 'awaken',
but to penetrate and be penetrated by Love.
The awakening of the heart
The remembering of the magic we knew when we were very
young.  Let us embrace our painful feelings.  Not see them as a 'sign'
of our spiritual failure, or our inability to manifest, or our ignorance,
or lack of strength.

Let us wake up from the old *concept* of  'awakening'.
Return to the sacredness in our humanity!

and

Meet each other in the fire of living.  Be present with each other,
instead of trying to fix [correct/dismiss] each other.

Jeff Foster
[A Non-dualist with a Heart:)]
[brackets mine]


Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Inside the Fairy Tale - Matt Licata


It's not so much that we need (or even can) get out of the matrix,
the developmental-cultural-historical lens through which we have
come to perceive what we call "reality."

Instead, begin to see it clearly, in all its nuance, subtlety, and
dream-like luminosity.  How am I imagining myself, others, and
the world?  What is the myth in which I am living, through which
I am seeing?  What is the story I'm telling, who are the gods and
goddesses I am traveling with?

Am I willing to take the risk to dream a new dream?  To differentiate
from the voices I have inherited from a world that has forgotten the
mysteries.  To listen to the new poetry as it pours out of the stars.

While we may never be able to fully step outside the matrix and
 report back as a neutral observer and "detached witness"
(another fantasy of modern consciousness), we can play within it,
dance inside and around it, allow ourselves the freedom to
 hide and seek, and the imagination to get lost and to be found.

We can get messy, fall apart, be vulnerable, fail well, fail with heart,
forget and remember, dissolve and come back together. And set aside
the fantasy that one day we'll come to some safe, secure, knowing
resolution to the wildness of love and its contradictory, untamed,
and relentless activity.  That one day we'll become a "master" at life,
wiggle into some invulnerable/untouchable state, tucked away and
protected from the reality that the rug can and will be pulled out
from underneath us in each unfolding moment.

To fully participate in the dream without falling into trance. And
even if we fall into trance, to dare to see it, too, as none other
than "the Beloved" in disguise.

It's really like being a character in our own fairy tale, with all the
mythical and archetypal beings by our side, curious as to what the
crazy love-struck boy or girl is going to do next, in awe of the
human form and the inseparability of matter and spirit.



~

Photo - via No Mind's Land
You May Dream Dreams


Thursday, May 24, 2018

Unknown Territory - Matt Licata


At times, our reference points will be taken away, revealing
a shimmering, pregnant, endarkened void.  What were so
clear about just a few days ago is nowhere to be found.  The
inspiration in our spiritual lives, our deepest insights and
realizations - recycled in the activity of the vast - somehow
no longer reachable.

The solid ground [of beliefs] we once took refuge in has
disintegrated underneath us, sending us into unknown
territory.  We were so sure were beyond breaking yet again,
that we finished all that, but the Beloved is not interested in
maintaining the status quo.  It is the nature of all form to
disintegrate, so that new forms may emerge.

Between the worlds.....longing for an end to the contradictions,
we find ourselves in the liminal, but how do we rest there? How
could we be asked to surrender more?
It can seem that we are falling apart, but were we ever together
to begin with?  Is that even the right lens from which to attempt
navigation? Or were we always something more whole?
Today may not be the day for answers, but to let your heart
break open to the vastness of the questions.

Something is longing to be born, in you, as you, as the poetry
of your life and as the gifts you will share with others.  Lay
your hands on your heart.  Listen.  Receive.  There are blues
coming into existence that have never made their way into this
dimension.  Oranges, reds, yellows, and purples that have been
sent to remind you of the rarity and outrageousness of one human
heart...

Stay right here.  Don't move from this moment.  Open your senses.
Step into the Mystery.  See through the veil.  Everything that has
ever happened and everyone you have ever met, has led up to this
moment.  Trust in the fires of disintegration and renewal, and in the
timeline that is written within the cells of your heart...



Monday, May 21, 2018

Multiplicity and Oneness - Kripal and Licata


Each human being is two, that is, each person is simultaneously
a conscious constructed self or socialized ego and a much larger
complexly conscious field that normally manifests only in
non-ordinary states of consciousness and energy, which the
religious traditions have historically objectified, mythologized,
and projected outward into the sky as divine, as "God", or
introjected inward into the human being as nirvana, brahman, or
located in some sort of experienced paradoxical state that is
neither inside or outside, as in the Chinese Dao...

Jeffrey J. Kripal
Professor of Philosophy and Religious Thought

via - Markings

~

We are neither "separate" nor "one", but the erupting holding
field in which the energies of "separate" and "one" interpenetrate
and dance the relative into being.  The allies of multiplicity are not
at war with oneness, but fellow travelers with them on a journey of
wholeness. While we may have a bias for oneness over multiplicity,
it would appear that Love does not share this bias and is ready at all
times to employ either equally as its envoy here.  The freedom we
 are longing for will never be found in the eradication of the
unwanted, but only in attunement to the Love
and the information it carries.

The goal is not to eliminate multiplicity and scramble to replace it
with oneness, but something a bit messier, more creative, more fertile,
more earthy.  A bit more risky, not as clean, white, solar, or safe.

When we become too literalized in our fantasies of unity and oneness
 - and also in those of multiplicity and separation - we lose touch with
the mystery that these concepts can only point to...

We can play in the mountain peaks of unity and oneness, and also
in the rich, lush generative meadows of separation and multiplicity,
without taking sides.  Willing to fully participate in each,
as equal expressions of the Beloved.

Matt Licata

~
photo - Face Reflection Mandala
2013







Friday, May 18, 2018

To Let the Light In - James George


What I'm coming to lately is an end-of-life conviction that
there is more to consciousness than what is produced in my
little head, or yours.  Both of us have the capacity, at times,
mysteriously, to get beyond whatever this small
consciousness is doing and telling us.  When we are able,
when we are sufficiently still and relaxed - letting it happen,
not doing it - we can receive a resonance from a greater
Consciousness.

...am I open to something that could be quite new, that is not
really coming so much from me as from this 'source consciousness'
that many traditions have called "I"?

I'm referring to the consciousness that manages to see what
things are, what I am, and to not get caught in the next reaction
or judgment or association - because all of these are functions;
and Consciousness is not a function.

Interviewer: When I experience an echo or hint of that
Consciousness, there's a distinct experience that something can
move through me.  And I even begin to feel impotent without
that sense of connection to a greater knowing.

JG: I think our entire culture has been rendered impotent by its
disconnection from that Consciousness, from anything that
we could really call sacred.

Without being in love with Consciousness, we can't reach it.
and it can't reach us while we're preoccupied with all that is
going on in our ordinary thought, our ordinary bodily habits,
sensations, movements, and our ordinary emotional reactions.
These are what I am calling functions.

It's as if we have two natures: a functional nature and what
many people have been calling a "spiritual nature" or soul.
But the language is suspect these days because we have been
so careful the last couple of centuries to separate from the
superstitions of the past that we have involuntarily cut
ourselves off from the sacred...

Like you, I am searching for who I am, and by now I know I am
not going to find an answer in my functional machinery, ticking
away automatically, but in my essential mind, just aware attention...

It is so important to understand awareness as a connector to
something greater than me, to my source, really.  My presence
is the doorway to that, even at the moment that I acknowledge that
I don't know who I am and see I my lack of presence.  But that is the
beginning of a real wish for it, a wish to Be...

And when I have that wish, then maybe something can reach me
that is of an absolutely different quality.  I may perceive it as an
axis of Light running down my physical body, which has a
different origin.

We have such resistance to even the theoretical idea that we
could, right now, be breathing an air charged with omnipresence
of Consciousness, the omniscience of Consciousness.  We've all
had, perhaps rarely, a direct experience of a moment when I knew
everything at once and I was aware, not just of what I'm calling
this present moment, but of past, present, future as one eternity.

These are just words at this moment.  But I remember it wasn't
just a word, it was a flash of light, of electricity from the top of
my head to my toes.  And it changed something in my cellular
structure that persists today.  I feel that now.

We really need to see ourselves as we are - not trying to change
anything...  How do I include all of me: mind, body, feeling?  All
the functions have to be integrated.  It's not a search to escape
from this altogether wonderful system of functions...

For a moment, stop thinking, start sensing and feeling, so as to
integrate all the parts.

When the mind becomes aware, there is clarity,  When the body
becomes aware, there is the sensation of life.  And when the
feelings become aware, there is the presence of Love.

So I let go, sense and listen, until something relaxes enough to
let the light in from a crack in my shell...

It's not a mental conception, but a deeper conviction that could
draw everything and everyone together...


James George
Excerpts from: To Let the Light In, A Conversation with
James George
in Parabola Magazine
To read the whole article click here.

James George is a retired Canadian Diplomat who served as
High Commissioner to India, and Ambassador to Nepal and Iran.
He has known many important spiritual teachers of the 20th century.

~

Photo - Light coming through the fingers of my hands
held together.  Photo turned on its side.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Soul's Rhythm - John O'Donohue


We should not force ourselves to change by hammering our
lives into any predetermined shape.  We do not need to operate
according to the idea of a predetermined program or plan for our
lives.  Rather, we need to practice a new art of attention to our
inner rhythm of our days and lives.  This attention brings a new
awareness of our own human and divine presence.

It is far more creative to work with the idea of mindfulness than
with the idea of will. Too often people try to change their lives
by using the will as a kind of hammer to beat their life into proper
shape.  The intellect identifies the goal of the program, and the
will accordingly forces the life into shape.  This way of approaching
the sacredness of one's own presence is externalistic and violent.
It brings you falsely outside of your own self and you can spend
years lost in the wilderness of your own mechanical, spiritual
programs.  You can perish in a famine of your own making.

If you work with a different rhythm, you will come easily and
naturally home to your self.  Your soul knows the geography of
your destiny.  Your soul alone has a map of your future, therefore
you can trust this indirect, oblique side of your self.  If you do,
it will take you where you need to go, but more importantly it will
teach you a kindness of rhythm in your journey.  There are no
general principles for this art of being.  Yet the signature of this
unique journey is inscribed deeply in each soul.  If you attend to
your self and seek to come into your own presence, you will find
exactly the right rhythm for your life.  The senses are generous
pathways which can bring you home.

John O'Donohue
from Anam Cara



Saturday, May 12, 2018

Choice/No Choice - Jeff Foster


It's not that you have no choice.
Rather, the 'chooser' is the fiction.

It's not 'you' who chooses or doesn't choose.
It's life itself.  You are inseparable from life itself.
Undivided from the totality.

A star explodes.  The grass grows.  A mother gives birth.
A war begins, ends, begins.  A relationship breaks down.
People come together, fall apart.  An old wound heals.
Hearts open, close, open.
Like breathing.  Like the ocean tides.

We believe that we have a choice,
or we believe that we don't.

The planets spin.  The rain falls and stops falling.
Did we choose, or were we chosen?

Could it have been any different?
Can the rain fall backwards?
Can we un-say what we have said?
Can we un-read this poem?

Choice, no choice.  Those thoughts fall away too.
Into silence.  Into stillness.
Into the vastness of Being.
Into...

Beyond choice or lack of it, you are.

And you take the next step, or you do not.

Or you take the next step
of not knowing which next step
you will take.

And out of the not knowing,
the path becomes clear
if only
for a moment.

And then the Universe
begins again.


~

photo via No Mind's Land


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

A Collective "Spirituality" - Matt Licata


At some point we will be invited to revision the concepts
which have guided us along the way.....dissolving what has
come before, and starting over, as if it were the first day.  To
illuminate the lenses through which we are seeing self, others,
and world...

[Spirituality] is not a state where we become liberated from
feeling, but freer to experience it more fully..... Not transcending
 our vulnerability, fleeing into a state of power and untouchability,
safely hidden away in some protected spiritual cocoon.
We will never be fully alive by embracing only those feelings and
those dreams that our families, societies, and teacher claim are
worthy and valid.  But only through the courage and mercy
required to touch it all.

To partake of the entirety of the spectrum of this human experience,
with as much curiosity, soul, and kindness that we can discover.
To give ourselves permission to care, to take a risk in allowing
another to matter, and tend to the heart it inevitably breaks in
response to suffering, disappointment and despair.

To see for ourselves to what degree the unconscious quest for
power, mastery, certainty,and invulnerability may be an
expression of fear, not love.

To realize how little we know in the face of the mystery [of life].

~

A collective spirituality is not going to be subtle, nuanced, or
creative enough to meet the longing within.  The way to direct
revelation and embodied experiential discovery is not the easy way.
It's not the path of five-steps to empowerment, manifestation, or
thinking our way into permanent happiness, abundance and bliss.
It is a humble journey, heart wrenching at times, as we compassionately
[embrace] the disowned parts of ourselves that surge for re-union.

It is unlikely we'll fully understand or resolve the mystery of self and
other, of separation and union...  But we can break open into the
questions as beginners, as amateurs, and as servants of the mystery.



Sunday, May 6, 2018

Nothing is Just One Way - Joan Tollifson


...No words or concepts can capture reality.  Maps are useful,
but they can only describe and point to the territory itself.
Eating the meal is what nourishes you, not reading the menu.
Take what resonates and leave the rest...  Don't believe
anything you read, but instead, question, look, listen, feel
deep into, and see for yourself.  The book that wakes you
up one day may lull you to sleep the next.  Always be ready
to see something new and unexpected.

...stay open to the possibilities, to seeing things in a new way,
to questioning assumptions and conclusions.  ...this living
reality is no way in particular.  It is ever-changing, evolving,
dancing, vibrating, unfolding...  It never resolves into some
final package, some ultimate formulation.  There is no
finish-line on this pathless path, no definitive model or map
that captures reality.  What all true pointers are pointing to
is the living reality, and the living reality is ALIVE - fluid,
spacious, open, ungraspable.  It is not frozen or solid or
only one way.  It can't be pinned down.

Sometimes everything opens up when we hear a teacher say
that there is nothing to do.  Sometimes we need to hear
there is no choice, and sometimes we need to hear that
there is a choice.

Nothing is just one way...



Thursday, May 3, 2018

Our Concept of "Reality" - Bohm, LeShan & Brunton


Reality is what we take to be true.
What we take to be true is what we believe.
What we believe is based upon our perceptions.
What we perceive depends upon what we look for.
What we look for depends upon what we think.
What we think depends upon what we perceive.
What we perceive determines what we believe.
What we believe determines what we take to be true.
What we take to be true is our reality.

David Bohm
Quantum Physicist

~

The trouble is we have a basic commitment to the *idea*
that there is one true, valid concept of reality
(ours, of course) and that all others are primitive,
childlike, mythological or pathological.
[or false].

Lawrence LeShan
Psychologist
From: Landscapes of the Mind:
The Faces of Reality

~

There is no single path to enlightenment.
Life itself is the great enlightener.
Do not submit to the pressure of those who say
there is only a single way.....the way they follow
or teach.  Do not let the mind be trammelled or
narrowed.  The truth is that the ways are many,
are spread out in all directions, and are individual.

Paul Brunton
Mystical Philosopher



Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Inquire Into Truth - Adyashanti


By inquiring into truth, we are led ever deeper into the
unknown, beyond beliefs and ideas, to the very core of
who and what we are...  This inquiry challenges us by
taking us out of our heads and into the heart of our deepest
experience of being, which is beyond limitations of body,
mind and conditioning.  Telling the truth is the secret of
all true spirituality, and in order to tell the truth you must
find out what truth is.

We are in need of a practical mysticism that reveals not only
the deepest core of being, but also addresses how to relate
from that core in the event called "life."  We do not need
another set of how-to instructions, which are so popular
within our modern consumer culture of quick fixes.  What
we need is an ever-deepening inquiry into how spirit
dances *as* this very life, for what we call life is but an
expression of spirit and therefore fully spirit itself...
manifesting as *all* of life and beyond.