original

Photographer Credit: Jena Vignola

Way before I began delving into Advaita Vedanta and nondual teachings of all sorts, I often had a thought – an idea – a feeling,

What if I AM really infinity? Holy shit, how horrifying.

It’s a scary thought … to imagine that you’ll exist forever.

Who wants to live forever? (Not here anyway)

On the other hand, there’s the human fear of death.

Holy shit, I’m going to die. I won’t exist anymore.

Which is more terrifying:

living forever or not existing at all?

Over a decade of existential introspection and contemplation, I’ve never found a concrete answer.

In fact, I don’t think that the purpose of IS-NESS is to find an answer to anything.

This HUMAN BEING is the only ‘thing’ we’ve got.

It appears as a hard cold fact. Skin and bones. But, for sure, this solid ‘thing’ ain’t anything close to IS-NESS. This concrete form is like a Xerox duplicator for the Mind. You think, you imagine, and Voila, it shows itself! The mind is the duplicator, the body is the copy.

Which Mind is the Original?

The closest I’ve come to feeling intimate with knowing the “Original” was when I briefly experienced a merging of Subject and Object during meditation. And everything in time stopped. And the meaning of One Mind became clear. (still not an answer, only an intuitive feeling)

The other time was when I was like 10 years old walking home from school and suddenly observed myself as the observer –  I turned my attention back on attention Itself. I was only 10 so I didn’t really comprehend the depth of that experience, but I never lost the perfume it left on my consciousness.

At the present time, I’ve got this cancer thing going on. And, naturally, I’ve contemplated the reality of not living in this body anymore. I’ve wasted a little time wondering why this thing called cancer exists, and what it really is. But the inquiry usually leads me nowhere.

Thinking, thinking

Subject – Object

A vicious cycle. For a non-existent answer.

So now, let’s contemplate this … the photo that inspired this contemplation. (thanks to talented photographer, Jena Vignola)

There’s a background, an All-ness, the neutral-colored wall in the photo above.

There’s a pink sink and pink mirror frame. Let’s imagine Original Creation is the neutral-colored background Wall. The pink sink and mirror frame are the Objects floating in a sea of it’s Creator’s all-encompassing neutrality. But there’s a mirror. There’s an opportunity for even the Creator’s copy to look into the mirror to see it’s object self and contemplate, What am I?.

The Object and the Subject have never really become separate from one another. That’s the illusion.

Why? Why would Creation play such a ridiculous game?

Does it want to keep BEING itself and SEEING itself and FEELING itself again and again and again? …….

Is it’s devotion to ITSELF an INFINITE, never-ending and unfathomable experience to the lowly OBJECT it has created?

Why?

Again, no answer. Just an intuitive imaginative image:

The OBJECT is only a thought in the MIND of GOD. But even those words are insufficient.

Maybe just the photo suffices … a splash of color showing itself on the background of neutrality.

It only wants to experience ITSELF… and look back to see what it looks like.

You heard that I said to you, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you. If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, for the Father is great than I am’. John 14:28

unlocked

Today’s Contemplation:

is your heart and mind like a locked box?

are old beliefs locked inside and new beliefs locked out?

what if you could unlock your heart and mind?

allowing the old conditioned ideas to be released

accepting the possibility that those ideas/beliefs were never really true

Now new ideas and possibilities can enter

Leave the lock off

Leave the box open

Now the hearts True Voice can be deciphered.

Now the mind is open to resonate with the heart

the heart’s innate ability is to choose each action in the present moment without attachment to outcome

Today’s Prayer:

Creator of Life Itself

I open my heart and mind to your True Voice

I offer my ignorance up to You and humbly request your True Wisdom

to inform my action in the present moment

Help me to remember to leave the lock off

Unlock my heart and mind

To receive your Infinite Presence and Truth

And to serve Life through That Wisdom

Show me the way to serve in each moment

I’ve unlocked the box for YOU to enter

The pull of God

This time-stream I’m witnessing on planet earth feels kind of like the worst movie I’ve ever seen.

Like when you’re watching a movie and you want it to horrify you, enrage you, confuse you …

I wonder … Could it be that deep within our collective unconscious we want this scenario that’s seemingly happening?

And because we thought it, we desired it, we feared it, we imagined it,

it has to play out?

Anything we can possibly dream up – the most auspicious and the most ominous

Sooner or later it’s gotta show up – Every potential will be manifested

What the hell is going on here?

Are we lost and hopeless? Is there anything that we can do? What on earth is happening? Is anything true? Is this all a concocted game of insanity without purpose? What the hell am I doing here?

Then I relax. Breath. Close my eyes.

I feel alone in my uncertainty.

I hold the moment of silent inward connection.

Through what feels like my heart’s voice, I can feel what I intuit to be God’s (Absolute) pull.

It pulls so strongly at my heart that I can’t help but feel Certain that this pull is the most important thing to place my attention on. It’s voice silently informs me that I should spend every waking (and sleeping) moment in Time in devotion to Serve Its purpose, even though I don’t understand it.

This pull wants me to Trust It’s Certainty.

It says, Don’t ever stop contemplating my mystery and my omnipresence. This is your highest purpose.

And even when I forget, and feel lost in uncertainty, this pull of God continues to yearn for me to remember.

…you should no longer go on walking just as the nations also walk, in the futility ( emptiness; vanity) of their minds. They are in darkness mentally and alienated from the life that belongs to God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the insensitivity (dulling) of their hearts. (Ephesians 4:17, 18). Let a rotten word not come out of your mouth, but only what is good for building up as the need may be, to impart what is beneficial to the hearers (Ephesians 4:29)

I am pulled to remember that this paper world is not Real. We have forgotten how to connect with nature (God) and our materialism has become the only God we know. Of course, it looks bleak when we place our trust in what is Not True.

I feel the pull …. I feel the pull … I feel the pull of my heart strings.

only God exists

In the garden

I dig into dark dirt

Implanting greens and garden flowers

all the while listening

To Air that’s filled with beautiful Bird sounds

And the tender toll of wind chimes

and the crunch and crackle of brittle leaves

from rampant rushing chipmunks and squirrels

Is this Heaven?

I wonder … I contemplate … I yearn

To hear God’s gracious voice … again

The one that said

Nothing Real can be threatened

Nothing unreal exists

I resonate, I vibrate, on hearing this

and my gentle soul senses peace

again

on remembering that

Only GOD is REAL

NOT GOD, does NOT exist

So there is nothing to fear

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?”

Divine mystery

“If there’s no sense of the sacred, then there’s something we’re not paying attention to.”

Adyashanti

When I was a child, about 4 or 5 years old, I developed a fever.

I can actually remember that day. Sitting on the top stair of our new suburbia high ranch home. I recall the sense of being deliriously on fire.

Eventually, I guess the fever subsided but I can’t remember the details.

And then the seizures started. My body would convulse – like electric jolts from the center of my spine out through my legs and arms.

My poor parents thought I was possessed. (It was 1964).

Many doctor visits later, and no conclusive diagnosis, my parents resorted to a hypnotherapist to evaluate me. I remember that day vividly (but this is a story for another forum … ).

Finally …. someone with medical knowledge must have suggested a spinal tap and brain encephalogram …

and the diagnosis was eventually revealed to my parents:

Your child has encephalitis. She must have contracted it from a mosquito bite on your recent family visit to the Jersey shore.

This was the story given to me which would remain in my head for the next 56 years. How I wish I could go back in time and ask the doctors:

“DO YOU THINK MAYBE THE LOAD OF PRE-SCHOOL VACCINATIONS GIVEN TO MY 5-YEAR-OLD SELF MIGHT HAVE SOMETHING TO DO WITH SEIZURES AND ENCEPHALITIS?????!!!!”

Recently, I googled the required vaccinations for preschoolers in 1964, and this was listed as the required immunizations:

Smallpox, Diphtheria*, Tetnus*, Pertussis*, Polio (OPV), Measles, Mumps, Rubella (* Given in combination as DTP)

I’ll never know what vaccines I actually received. I have no records. However, I do remember Mom taking me to the school gymnasium to get the dreaded “shot” in the arm.

Actually, the point of this story is not my anger that a childhood vaccination may have caused encephalitis and seizures.

The point is …

Whatever happened to me in 1964 … as awful as it may have looked at the time for my worried sick parents – as horrific it may be that a vaccine potentially could have killed me –

Was the Sacred present even in that life event?

Is the Sacred ever NOT present?

I am finding this line of inquiry helpful, especially now …

It reminds me to pay attention to what is unseen but Always Present.

All things that have been a source of pain, discomfort and disassociation, when brought into service to one power-which is the One Power-will then become vehicles of expression serving a greater purpose.

Marshall Vian Summers

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…

Logos

When I received “Man’s Search for Meaning” (a book by Viktor E. Frankl) I immediately dove in – my dear friend, Zahara, had gifted me with a copy and informed me she would be reading it along with me.

Well, I should know better. My sensitivities to the horrors of Auschwitz always feels like I had been there in a past life, and just reading about it – I seem to re-live the events all over again.

For the first 40 pages, I thought, I am NOT going to get through this, this unimaginable, unthinkable, suffering.

I hoped that the eventual fruit of this torturous reading would be worth the trauma.

It was.

And no better moment to receive this wisdom – stuck in my own psycho drama … questioning life’s meaning … ready to throw in the towel and give up treatment … feeling loss of purpose … a mere Guinea pig for the cancer cartel. Thoughts like, I can’t go on like this anymore …. blah, blah, blah.

And what does life place in my lap? This gift from a man born in Vienna 1905, his meaningful message. His wisdom reaffirms the treasure my soul is quietly holding for me, patiently awaiting my recognition.

Below, an especially lovely excerpt that filled my heart with meaning:

“Let me recall that which was perhaps the deepest experience I had in the concentration camp. The odds of surviving the camp were no more than one in twenty eight, as can easily be verified by exact statistics. It did not even seem possible, let alone probable, that the manuscript of my first book, which I had hidden in my coat when I arrived at Auschwitz, would ever be rescued. Thus, I had to undergo and to overcome the loss of my mental child. And now it seemed as if nothing and no one would survive me; neither a physical nor a mental child of my own! So I found myself confronted with the question whether under such circumstances my life was ultimately void of any meaning.

Not yet did I notice that an answer to the question with which I was wrestling so passionately was already in store for me, and that soon thereafter this answer would be given to me. This was the case when I had to surrender my clothes and in turn inherited the worn-out rags of an inmate who had already been sent to the gas chamber immediately after his arrival at the Auschwitz railway station. Instead of the many pages of my manuscript, I found in a pocket of the newly acquired coat a single page torn out of a Hebrew prayer book, containing the most important Jewish prayer, Shema Yisrael. How should I have interpreted such a “coincidence” other than as a challenge to live my thoughts instead of merely putting them on paper?

A bit later, I remember, it seemed to me that I would die in the near future. In this critical situation, however, my concern was different from that of most of my comrades. Their question was, “Will we survive the camp? For, if not, all this suffering has no meaning.” The question which beset me was, “Has all this suffering, this dying around us, a meaning? For, if not, then ultimately there is no meaning to survival; for a life whose meaning depends upon such a happenstance-as whether one escapes or not-ultimately would not be worth living at all.”

Man’s Search For Meaning, Viktor E. Frankl

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.

Mystery

There I was sitting in the diner, sipping my coffee, when it happened.

I could come up with a million explanations as to why I may have had this experience. My state of mind after 4 days of being away from home; chemotherapy treatment; blood-building injections for 3 days after treatment; climbing the mountain behind Todd’s house; meditating on a rock above the world; the magnificence of autumn colors …..

Maybe all of the above, maybe none.

I quietly observed one of the servers/waitresses from afar. She was unaware that I was staring. Simply going about her routine, checking her station orders, fully attentive to the job and the moment. I could almost feel her attentiveness to her own inner thoughts.

However, something even deeper was revealed to me while watching her.

There was an aura surrounding her, in fact, it was enveloping the entire space of the diner. Not only could I sense it, I almost could see it.

It felt and appeared as connective tissue, but translucent tissue that morphed and flowed in wavelike patterns. Like being under clear water and seeing the forms floating in it.

In that moment, I was assured that this web of existence is just that. An intricate, unseen Web of Life. A complete mystery that we will never see with these eyes.

Yet I was graced with the experience to glimpse at it.

In only a few short moments of earth “time” the universe revealed its infinite connective eternity to my consciousness.

Pouf. Tah dah! Here I AM, and I AM That!

The miracle. The Mystery. In a diner of all places.