the vow …

A Mother's Day contemplation

You have a role to play

You were Created to fulfill a Purpose

But it gets confused in the pseudo reality of your perceptions

In the separated mind – a place of make-believe

Wouldn’t it be devastating to face that you’ve been living a lie?

Living in a world where a separate, analytic, human, egoic mind createdTruth”?

Can you tap into your intuition on this one?

What CREATED you?

Is the CREATOR, CREATION, CREATING occurring simultaneously while appearing separate in time?

If you don’t know, then how can you claim anything else as True?

If the CREATOR is ONE inexorable, ubiquitous Mind (GOD)

Then that’s the Only (Source) in which Knowledge Exists

Could it be that simple, could it be that unfathomable?

Why would you make a decision to fulfill a human LIFETIME in a body ignorant of Purpose?

Are you willing to LOOK OUTSIDE your separated mind?

Are you yearning to LOOK INSIDE your heart’s One Mind?

Could a momentary glimpse allow you to SEE THROUGH time’s illusion

and the make-believe ideas we humans have created?

Can you STOP making conclusions because you call it science?

There is not a scientist on earth who KNOWS what LIFE IS.

How can he/she speak True Knowledge?

Why would you place your Trust in that?

Are you a player in this charade without PURPOSE?

Without Meaning?

Can you accept NOT knowing?

Can you TRUST the VOW that INFINITELY connects you to CREATION?

Are you willing to INQUIRE and CONTEMPLATE on these questions …

“Where do I place my attention in each moment?”

“How am I fulfilling the never-ending VOW to CREATION’S PURPOSE?”

revelation

Outdoors

In the sunshine

At the park

Near the lake

Touching water

Later at home

A cup of coffee

And a quiet contemplation

With God … Experiencing LIFE …As ME

God Becomes ME

To experience Consciousness

God comes through LIFE

Human Forms, All Forms

And Exists

To have an Experience

An Infinite Potential of EXPERIENCES

God gives its ESSENCE to ME … To LIVE as I choose

God’s Existence is profoundly neutral

Finding Purpose … IN … and AS … and THROUGH

Each and Every Life Form

Ease and Joy became present in my deeper knowing of this. It quickly fluttered, but I script it here for remembering later.

Mystery of God

Think for yourself.

Did we forget how to do that?

Question everything.

Look inward for the answers.

Stop TRUSTING the assumptions of “experts”

YOU are the only one who “knows” the truth.

TRUTH buried under eons of indoctrination and lies

But IT is THERE

Your breath – the blood in your veins – your spirit – your purpose

YOU – a Mystery – God’s Creation

Finding ONE CORRECT ANSWER to any of Life’s happenings

Is simply a human egoic desire

There is not one correct answer

LIFE IS ….

INFINITELY UNFOLDING MIRACULOUS POTENTIALITY

I AM … The light of the world

A spiritual anarchist by nature, I find joy in exploring the potentiality of language to make attempts at expressing God’s Infinite Presence. Recognizing one’s true nature is our path to peacefulness. This true nature exists within all of us, just waiting for that holy instant to be seen or heard or felt – once found, this peacefulness transcends all fear.

“This consciousness literally IS a light to the world.

It lights up one’s whole experience of Being.

In the same way that awareness or consciousness is not an experience but allows ALL experience, consciousness is a light, a light that sees all the lights of the world but is not itself a visible light.

That’s why when I say consciousness lights up the whole world, yes, but it’s a different kind of light.

It innately transcends experience, good, bad, happy, sad.

That’s why in the east they would often talk about emptiness.

You are an intangibility at your essence, your core.

You’re here, and we think that I am here as an entity, but actually if we really look closely – the sense of I am here, I exist, there really isn’t a fixed, stable, entity to it. That image can exist within your experience, of course, but there’s something more primary. Its ungraspable.

You are not a thing.

This thing-ness happens, of course, but YOU – when you really follow it right into that immediacy – you just sort of disappear into intangibility. There’s nothing graspable there, and yet you are.

In the bible when God was asked to give an accounting of himself or herself, ‘WHAT ARE YOU GOD?’

All God would say is, I AM, I AM WHAT I AM

And that’s sort of the expression or the confession of your true nature.

I AM.”

Excerpt from Adyashanti, March 14, 2020 broadcast: 1:02:28

dream

An auspicious day, Friday, March 13, 2020.

A download in the predawn hours came to my subconscious knowing

However;  upon awaking to the conscious state of mind I couldn’t recall the details

Only that I KNEW something was received … in some way I don’t understand

The only words I recall hearing clearly were:

Hold the space for love

And

Bohemian rhapsody (LOL, WTF?!?)

What a beautiful spring day today turned out to be

I have never felt closer to Divinity as I do this moment.

There’s a certainty

A foundation

That no virus could ever penetrate.

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?

Caught in a landslide, no escape from reality

Open your eyes, look up to the skies and see

I’m just a poor boy, I need no sympathy

Because I’m easy come, easy go, little high, little low

Any way the wind blows doesn’t really matter to me, to me…

Living Non-Duality

A surge of anger, discontent, pain, disappointment, misunderstanding, judgement, has seemingly overtaken me. Who me? I ask myself in disbelief. Yes, me. I answer myself irrefutably.

What’s wrong with me? (This is not my typical emotional behavior).

Not so long ago I reached what felt like a pivotal moment in time – seeing through the illusions of separation, seeing myself in the dirt beneath my feet and the bark of the tree. I was able to perceive the unconditional Loving Presence, in it all, regardless of the circumstance. I was actively practicing in each moment, How can I BE this love?

How did I forget the wisdom of my heart?

  • The state of the world, politics, the insanity of the collective consciousness seems to have won in pulling me down with it.
  • The discord in my own family/intimate relations has won in rearing my judgemental expectations.
  • Cancer’s aggressive reappearance has suceeded in making me fear a painful death.

Today, an angel seemingly landed gently on my shoulder. She said, No, you will not forget the foundation of your inner stability. What has sustained your understanding for all these years is ever-present. You’ve just fallen away from remembering.

Among shelves and shelves of books, my eyes landed on just one. I pulled it off the shelf, and opened a random page. My inner knowing was gloriously reignited.

Glory, glory hallelujah, the Truth is marching on …..

“Here in our Western culture, where we are accustomed to attempt to exert maximal control, it is difficult for us to bear in mind that things are always unfolding in the way that they are bound to do.

As could be expected in a culture which so emphasizes the value of human life (as, for example, over the value of other species’), this tendency is particularly evident in our reaction to the manifestation of chronic or terminal illness – in us, or another person.

If the condition of health changes for the “better”, we can accept that. If it changes for the “worse”, we can’t accept that. The only unfolding of life events that we meet with equanimity are the positive ones. The implication in our attitude toward negative changes is that they must be met with resistance.

Sooner or later, every fact in life must be accepted.

Each of us will do whatever it is that we do, when the time comes. And nature will do whatever it is that it does, regardless of whatever it is that we do.

Yet notice the implication in the reaction to a change in health: if you are ill, you shouldn’t be: if you are not anxious about your condition, you should be.

‘The dark threads are as needful, in the Weaver’s skillful hand, as the threads of gold and silver in the pattern that shall stand,’ if I recall an old poem.

Can we relate to what is, as it is-for ourselves and others-even at the most pivotal junction?” (Living Nonduality, by Robert Wolfe)

And then I read on and remember… This clarity feels most true to my heart – It’s all unfolding as the Self experiencing it’s self:

“The creator (the formless) and created (the forms) – as well as the creating- are the same thing, an indivisible (no “parts”) whole.

Because the created, creator and creating are all One immediate actuality, there is no ‘creation’ in the sense that a plan or design has been culminated. There is no ‘intelligence’ APART from all these manifestations that has (prior to manifesting) desired or decided that what is ‘will be as it is’.

All of the ‘creating’ is going on at this very moment, moment by moment, without having to be accounted for (as a ‘purpose’) to anyone or anything. The formless, being WITHOUT a separate ‘self’, need not even justify what is unfolding to its own ‘self’. No matter WHAT happens-without an ‘intent’ – nothing can go wrong, as far as the formless actuality could be concerned. The formless IS the unfolding, in these forms.” Robert Wolfe.

Photo Credit: Annette Adams

it lies in the knowing of one’s own being as it truly is

In my silent sitting (and silent listening) this evening, I was inspired to record these Infinite verbs:

  • Sense, Feel, Realize
  • See, Touch, Know
  • Discern, Empathize, Care
  • Listen, Embody, Act

Speaking, reading and hearing these words felt healing and comforting, as if providing a needed pathway.

As if they hold a secret key to a truer way of being.

Although I don’t think there’s really any secret. As my beloved Adyashanti so wisely states,

“Here’s the secret spiritual teaching: The secret teaching is – THERE IS NO SECRET TEACHING because there’s nothing that can take the place of you or I taking that continual plunge into the unknown inside of us. Nothing can take the place of that.”  

Well I’ve been taking some deep plunges. It was an emotional day (maybe post chemo induced, maybe sheer compassion for the people in my life who are suffering).

Why is it that witnessing the suffering of others saddens me more than my personal suffering?

Is it because I feel so helpless about it?

None of us are exempt from experiencing and/or witnessing suffering: Our own suffering, our parents , our children, our friends, our mates, strangers.

Can I fix, repair, resolve, heal someone else’s suffering?

I certainly want to.

Is sincere love for another being a valuable antidote for their suffering?

I do trust that love has more powerful effects than we have yet come to realize.

But even with our love offerings, as heartbreaking as this realization is, I intuitively trust this as innate truth:  

The “moment” a separate-self-consciousness is thinkable, the misunderstanding of who and what you are generates inescapable suffering.

And so many of us have realized this cycle of suffering for what it is –

So why do we continue to perceive/believe/endure this suffering?

(What would the masters from our ancient scriptures say? -Buddha, Jesus, Lao Tzu, etc., etc.).

Adyashanti brings some clarity to this question:

“When Buddha was asked what he obtained from his supreme enlightenment, he said ‘I have obtained absolutely nothing’. What does that mean? Clearly, something for him had changed, something very fundamental.

He called it nirvana. But he also said he hadn’t obtained anything. He had means of finding out the truth for himself. Didn’t really have a doctrine to take the place of whatever we think we know. It was really a means of realization and a means of living it. (And I’m not trying to propagate the Buddhist teaching). There’s something in human being that searches for knowable, conceptual terms, and feeling secure and solid and stable, yet it never works out that way.

Because living from a place of certainty and stability is destabilizing us. Because every moment of life is a flow. You never know what’s coming at you. If we’re living with a rigid conclusion, to that extent we’re not really flowing … there’s not You and Life … There’s just LIFE.”

Aha ….. So Buddha realized the Truth, but he had to be able to LIVE it: Listen, Embody, Act.

I am feeling less sad and more empowered already.

So can I Discern, Empathize, Care without the need to control the outcome?  

Okay, it’s way past my bedtime. Enough mind chatter – let me end with some wisdom from Rupert Spira:

“It takes some time to understand that the essential cause of our suffering is the fact that we have overlooked who or what we essentially are.

Most people feel that the source of peace and happiness is to be found in the acquisition of some kind of objective experience, however subtle that experience may be. Most people need to be failed a number of times, over and over again, by objective experience before they are open to the possibility, either intuitively or by the suggestion of a friend, that the peace and happiness for which they seek doesn’t lie in objective experience but lies in the knowing of their own being as it truly is.

Now what is it that makes some people open to this understanding as opposed to others who no matter how much they suffer are still not open to  it, I don’t know. Of course, the theory of reincarnation explains this but for some people they only have to really suffer once to realize I have invested my happiness in this object or this relationship and its let me down. Every object and relationship, sooner or later will let me down.

Some people only need to taste that failure once or twice before they are open to this new possibility. Other people suffer bitterly throughout their lives, and they’re not open to this possibility even when it is made available to them.”

This post dedicated to you, Dom, my beloved step-grandson. I love you.

Nishprapanchaya Shantaya

Last week I went Christmas shopping. Having purchased not a single gift up till now, this was a huge endeavor seven days prior to the holiday. But I braved the 17–degree temps.

Probably not too wise of a decision.

I thought, I should be nurturing my immune-compromised blood levels during “week-off” chemotherapy

But I’m resolute; I gotta bring gifts for the grandkids and family members.

My habituated determination …. I recognize it. It’s laughable. Hard to change lifetime convictions.  

Thankfully, the opposite pole of persistence arose simultaneously, and the desire to self-nurture endured.   

A 30-minute drive to Milford, PA ahead, I decided to lose myself in a podcast. Its auspicious title beckoned my attention, “The Search for Enlightenment” by Rupert Spira.

Kind of ridiculous having heard this talk a gazillion times in every imaginable form – from Nisargadata to Ramana to Krishnamurti to Adyashanti ad infinitum …. As if I might hear something new.

Unexpectedly, Mr. Spira’s articulation on this topic smashed my heart open – in an exceptionally beautiful, frigid, sun beaming off icicle moment on a country road in Northeastern PA.

Perhaps my lowering WBC count assisted in opening my heart a little deeper this time?

Who knows.

I bawled like a puppy for her mother. You know when you’re alone in the car, and you can sob so loud it hurts?

Ranks right up there with an incredible orgasm.

Here’s the part that broke the dam of uncontrollable tears:

15:47

Rupert: You’ve recognized that who you essentially are now is ever-present, never hurt or tarnished by experience, never disturbed, it needs nothing.

What more do you want?

Questioner: (I can’t trust that the wanting will stop)

Rupert: What are you wanting?

If you have found that in yourself which is inherently peaceful and has no sense of lack, what are you lacking?

Questioner:  (There’s nothing I lack)

Rupert: The wanting will only stop when you recognize that you ARE what you WANT.

End 17:01

The Anusara invocation I have chanted for a decade reverberated in my heart, and I recalled how near this knowledge is, how it has remained engrained in my heart.

Om Namah Shivaya Gurave: I honor God, the Nature of Being, The Teacher within.
Satchidananda Murtaye: ITS essence is Truth, Consciousness, and Bliss.
Nishprapanchaya Shantaya: IT is always present and full of peace.
Niralambaya Tejase: It is completely free and radiates from the heart with a divine luster.

(my interpretation)

Enjoy the video, tissues recommended.

I got my dreams back

I keep a dream journal.

It’s about a decade since the practice was first suggested by my yoga teacher, Gail (my very first teacher/guru).

I don’t think she’s aware how valuable that suggestion turned out for me.

I even created a website, The Yoga of Dreaming, where I document my dream/awake life happenings with intent to inspire a community of like-minded dreamers to participate.  The website is a work in progress, on hold at present, but I’ll return my energy to it when the time feels right.

Interestingly, about a week ago I noticed a long lapse of no dream recall. Like 3 or 4 weeks – no dreams!

What’s going on? I wondered. Could it be that Dream Tincture from the Columbia Care medical marijuana store?

The “pharmacist” at the medical marijuana store carefully selected just the right “medicine” for me based on my evaluation:

I’ve read the research on CBD’s anti-inflammatory qualities. But I hate smoking pot … I get paranoid and can’t shut my mind down … the smoke hurts my lungs … I’ve tried the chocolate marijuana and had the same problem …  I need my rest at night, and what I’ve tried so far isn’t helping.

So he prescribed the Dream Tincture liquid:

A liquid drop each night before sleep – start by taking the smallest dose. A drop under the tongue, hold in mouth for a minute, swallow and you’ll be off to a night of sweet dreams.

After about 3 or 4 weeks of religiously taking my nightly dose, I noticed that I was indeed sleeping like a baby again. Quick to fall asleep, no tossing and turning.

But no dreaming …  WTF?

Hey, if this CBD is supposed to be healing for my inflammatory breast cancer that’s great – but if I’m never gunna dream again, fuck that!

So I stopped taking it.

My husband was flabbergasted by my decision. “You’re actually going to stop taking something you believe is healing for your cancer so you can remember your dreams?”

“Yes.” And exactly 3 days later my dream life resumed.

And the dream was a gem.  

I titled this dream Overcome with Joy:

               I witness what looked like a grocery store for elderly folk. I’m inside, observing the shoppers pushing their carts. I’m sensing the feeling of community and kindness among the customers. I watch my mother as she pushes her cart. Another shopper “finds” something and places it in Mom’s cart. I am aware that this item is something “special” and it is intended to be given to me as a gift. It’s a dish of food/dessert (?) with cellophane wrapping and a ribbon. I watch from afar. I know it’s for me. I can feel Mom’s thoughts. It’s a humble gift, but she looks forward to bestow this gift upon me and feels happy that she is able to do so. I begin to cry, at first uncontrollably, then with a smile and a feeling of overwhelming joy. I say to myself out loud through my tears, I am overcome with so much JOY!

There are really no words for the depth of love this dream imparted on my consciousness. Whether it was a literal “gift” from my mother’s consciousness to mine or a message from an unknown level of existence assuring me that this is the love that is the Reality of Life – and this is what it feels like.

I don’t know. And it doesn’t matter.

What matters is that I will never forget that feeling. And it was given as a gift in my dream.

Magic green carpet

There’s a statement by Mahatma Ghandi that remains implanted in my mind. He said, “If anyone is to find writings of mine, please use the latter on the same subject.” 

For me, this token of wisdom affirms that our ideas and opinions have an infinitely changing nature. What we perceive through the mind has the unlimited capacity to change.  

Over a decade ago, I wrote about a mind-altering experience while sitting in meditation:

My interpretation of the experience was being in infinitely big space (like being in outer space). It was completely dark, as the vast night sky with no stars. The silence was so huge that it was beyond anything my imagination could create. The feeling was like having no body, no time, and no words. And so I couldn’t process this, having nothing to compare it to. I didn’t even know where to begin, so I kind of just let it go. I knew it “happened” but I couldn’t relate to any of it through my cognitive mind.

In my memoir, which is presently a work in progress, I wrote about this again and revisit the experience within context.

CHAPTER __:

 The Magic Green Carpet

I had already lived 46 years when I met Gail. It was a time of transition for me, and I felt called to do something in my typical way – unexpectedly. One day, the inner voice simply made its choice to be heard, and the body felt compelled to pursue its direction.

Sitting in my office at a desktop computer, I stared at the monitor’s screen jam-packed with the medical notes I had diligently transcribed. All of the words that I had typed became blurred.  I removed my earphones, stopped typing, and placed my attention on sitting quietly and listening to a feeling sense that arose out of nowhere. It sounded like my own voice to my thinking mind, but I recognized a quality of deeper resonance than the usual mind chatter.

It said, “You need to study yoga. It’s time to train as a yoga teacher.”

The idea appeared out of nowhere, but I didn’t question it. My mind complied, and I made a silent agreement just like that, Okay, I’ll choose a place to get my yoga certification.

My friend, Inga, often spoke about Ronda – a yoga teacher at Yoga Mountain.  

Decision made. I’ll call Yoga Mountain and apply.

The Yoga Mountain dwelling was a residential space that had turned commercial, and it looked pleasant enough, humble and welcoming from the outside. A small glass door entryway led to the reception area where I would be directed to go upstairs to the yoga studio. A narrow spiral staircase led to the studio upstairs. This struck me as wholly symbolic – a mysterious new pathway into the unknown.

At the top of the stairway what appeared to be a closet door led into the yoga studio from the rear.  I opened the door, and allowed my eyes to adapt to the dimmed lights.

A woman sitting cross-legged at the front of the room looked up, “Hello, welcome. Please come in and sit down.”

In that instant, from that 15-foot distance across the room, I could feel her immense warmth, kindness and loving presence. I knew I was in the right place.

It perhaps had not even been a full year when my yoga teacher, Gail, instructed, “It’s time for you to teach”. Her belief was, there’s no “right” time when you’re ready to teach yoga. Her method was, throw the student into the water and they’ll learn to swim- to teach what they know – from their heart.

That’s when she chose me to take on a private student. I was a new teacher, very inexperienced, and still studying with Gail for my 200-hour certification. But my foundation was strong with Gail’s guidance, and I grasped the magnitude of the breath and meditation. Though my confidence often wavered, I trusted that I possessed something of value – something I could share with another person.

The only information I was given about Dawn was that she was a 30-something year old mom who wanted private yoga instruction. On the day we met for our first yoga session, it was her timid nature that affirmed for me her reluctance to attend a group yoga class. A fair-skinned, blonde with blue-gray eyes, she was soft-spoken, a gentle soul, and I could clearly sense her fear of not being good enough. She wasn’t ready to try something she didn’t know how to do in a group setting.   

As I guided Dawn through the most basic of stretching and strengthening postures, I encouraged her to be less judgmental about the right way and the wrong way. Then I invited her to sit down. The studio had a tight-weaved wall-to-wall carpet, a dark shade of green, which was almost dowdy but strangely soothing. I stacked two folded blankets, placed them down on the carpet, and asked Dawn to sit down.  Then I placed my blankets directly across from her, and I sat down. We sat face to face.

I invited Dawn to explore a breath I had studied called 3-part breathing, also known as dirga pranayama, which can be translated as complete, or long or deep breathing from the low belly all the way up to the collar bones. We practiced the breathing together until I sensed the student had reached a deeper relaxation, and I said, “Okay, let’s return to normal breathing, close our eyes, and sit together in silent meditation”.

That’s when it happened …

Within moments of sitting quietly with my own breath, the observer (me) disappeared, and all there was to be experienced and observed was NOTHING.

Time and space completely vanished.

Yet somewhere, like an infinitesimal spec of light, the observer (me) was able to witness this huge, black, ENDLESS space with a silence I had never imagined could exist.

Then I actually MERGED with the dark, silent, space.

That is, until the spec of light that could observe this space reappeared. And that’s when the spec of light spoke.

It said, “You have to teach yoga now.”

On hearing those words, my mind became alert and aware of the physical space my body was occupying.

I wondered, How much time has passed?

I looked at Dawn. Her eyes were still closed. Everything seemed completely intact. But I had no idea how much time had passed, if any at all. I glanced at the clock on the wall – it was almost 10:30 a.m., precisely the right time for our session to conclude.

As astounded as I was over this inexplicable state of consciousness I had just experienced, there remained a calm grounding presence that continued to guide me, and so I resumed my role as teacher and gently directed Dawn to deepen her breath and slowly open her eyes.  

I ruminated, “Could she possibly know what just happened? Don’t be ridiculous, that’s impossible. She seems perfectly fine.”

But I knew something immense had occurred. However, I had no understanding what it was or what it meant to me.  

I would spend the next decade delving into every aspect of yogic esoteric knowledge to help me process what this experience could possibly mean. I studied the classics, the Vedic and Tantric philosophies, the Sutras, Taoism, Zen Buddhism, the ancient yoga masters, and the new age masters.

At the time of this writing, I persevere in recognition and gratitude that this was a moment of grace. The reality of no-time was given to me, just a glimpse, enough to spark the light of wisdom within me. I was graced to witness the reality of non-duality prior to my conditioned and learned understanding of such an idea.  It was a foresight of everything I would come to learn, study, and experience through the mastery of the yogic path.

As I write this now, I am reminded of the unchanging quality of that magic green carpet experience.  Simultaneously, I’m reminded how my understanding of it holds the potential for infinite evolution.  

As Gandhi wisely advised, “If anyone is to find writings of mine, please use the latter on the same subject.” 

Photo credit: Annie Brightstar