Water

I checked my phone for the weather in Lackawaxen.

“No rain for the rest of the day, just cloudy,” I said to my husband. “Let’s take our walk.”

We got about half-way around the big U-shaped dirt road. It started raining. Slow at first, but then real heavy. We laughed and tried to shelter under tree branches.

At least I had my hiking rain jacket with a hood, so I didn’t get as soaked as Frank, who was wearing shorts and a cotton shirt.

Lesson learned …

Maybe we’ve all been programmed to rely too much on technology? (LOL, no kidding!)

Although the science of weather forecast, observing, analyzing and predicting, is one we’ve been able to get better at – it will NEVER suffice to know what’s beyond our control and understanding.

Like the Nature of Creation.

Creation is way beyond our real understanding. We can only use symbols to allude to its unfathomable and infinite BEING.

As I laughed and sang in the rain, I contemplated …

How awesome is this Creation?

How amazing is our Creator?

A Creator Always conspiring to open our hearts to God’s Truth

Everything in Nature is showing us that God is the Only Truth

As I laughed and sang in the rain, I prayed .;..

May we find remembrance and remain hopeful that we’ve not gone so far into forgetfulness that we’re beyond return.

May we remember that Science is about measurement and predictions of matter but that God is the Source of Matter.

May we never forget to honor the Mystery of Divinity in every waking moment of our lives.

May we remember the Divinity of Nature and always be in Awe.

May we remember to laugh and to sing in the rain.

The Spiritual Meaning of Water:

sun light

Something about the day

the way the chilly air was warmed

by bright sun

my clothing’s violet color

the alignment of the stars and planets

A memory surfaced

just one of the many spiritual oddities I’ve experienced over the years

A spectacular moment

imprinted in my psyche

reappeared on my memory screen today …

It was probably around 2008 – a silent retreat weekend at Garrison Institute with Adyashanti. The weekend was held in complete silence throughout it’s entirety with a rigid schedule of 5 or 6 daily seated meditation sessions that were held in a spectacularly sunlit meditation hall (formerly the chapel). In the evening, Adyashanti would present a spiritual dharma talk on the chosen topic of the weekend (which I can’t remember).

However, what I do remember was The Moment … so brief that it seems ridiculous it would have had left such a deep impression.

In the midst of my practice, my eyes opened to observe my surroundings … the backs of the heads of hundreds of meditators – their spines held upright from their wooden pew – rows and rows of serious meditators

then it happened

I recognized the nature of reality in a brief second – in a way no words could describe. But my response was an overwhelming desire to burst into hysterical laughter. Before the laughter began to erupt from my belly, I became aware of the need to suppress it. But still, the inner laughter revealed to me what I needed to know. It freed me from the suffering of my own mind (and everyone else’s mind in that room) for the most ecstatic, orgasmic moment I have ever experienced in my lifetime. There were no words or ideas or beliefs associated with the laughter – only freedom – and a sense of seeing through all of the silliness of the serious work we were all pretending to do.

In that moment, I knew without a doubt, that EVERYTHING was as it was and should BE … no matter how many hours we meditated … no matter how much we wanted to know God and be enlightened … there was an underlying meaninglessness to the solidity of our form in the most light-hearted way – as if I could suddenly see through matter and know that the Spirit world was the only thing that was True about this Life.

I was FREE. For the briefest moment. The sunlight was real and the rest was only shadow.

Perhaps, then, the sunlight faded, and I returned to my solidity as Janet.

But today I was graced to remember.

natural

NATURAL

A picture memory appears in my mind…

The movie Mrs. Doubtfire. When the bus driver notices her hairy knee and says, “Natural, healthy, just the way God made ya.”

As I take my morning bath, I observe the soft hairs growing on my shins.

I’ve lost ALL of my body hair so many times through endless chemotherapy infusions. But after a deliberate 2-month chemo holiday my hair is finally growing back.  I’m grateful to see my body’s ability to grow hair again! I sense a feeling of natural health, just the way God made me.

(Simultaneously, I know that my well being is not dependent upon the state of my physical body).

After a few deep breaths I contemplate the question,

What is NATURAL?

And I notice my mind’s tendency to want to find an answer; but I know from a deeper level that the answer doesn’t exist through my thinking process.

In fact, I also know from a deeper level that NO ANSWERS exist through the thinking processes. So why do I keep going there?

A few more deep breaths. I contemplate the deeper knowing that shows up as an intuitive feeling, and I simply open my heart to listen …

Something informs me … IT Says,

You are a sacred Being.

Every part of your body, even the cells that your human eye cannot observe.

And there is no separation from what is within to what appears to be outside.

This sacredness is the Only quality that comes close to an accurate understanding of the word Natural.

And when you remember and feel and honor and acknowledge that sacredness – down to the last hair on your body  – you are in a state of connection with God as you are made to BE.

Why would you want to alter/change/improve upon/fix/intellectualize this Natural and sacred state of Being that you are?

What could you possibly Know more than this unfathomable Force of Creation that Made you?

That is the question I want you to ask yourself every time you get lost in thought and indecision.

Remember and recognize that through your intellect you have the ability to control and manipulate and profit and alter Life to your preferences  – but you also have the ability to seek action based on the higher purpose of what is Sacred and Natural, to serve something other than your own personal mind’s agenda.

Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God.

Matthew 6:32-34

the ocean

I was graced with the gift of travel to sunny Florida. I flourished in the JOY of Being in its glorious sunlight and even its warm rains.  During my morning walks along the beach , I had the grace of leisure to sit and just look … and wonder …  and listen … and talk to the ocean.

I’d ask her,

WHAT are YOU, really?

Does anyone actually know WHAT this mirage of water below blue sky IS?

Why can I stare at you for long minutes and completely forget time exists?

How is it that you are able to pull me in and spit me out?

What is the magical recipe of your salty sting?

Does your sound come from inside or outside?

Who first discovered you, swam in you, drowned in you?

And I’d wonder …

Why did humans stop contemplating the nature of this Reality?

Perhaps we forgot how to ponder, ruminate, imagine?

Someone taught us that you’re an “ocean” and we accepted that we know what you are.

And we stopped really seeing you.

Maybe that’s why we’re in the mess we’re in … here on this body we call earth.

Our modern Indoctrination and religion of “science” has been our demise.

We’ve forgotten we’re all little children – because we placed our faith in intellectual adulthood …

And we lost the Keys to the Kingdom of God.

I pray I will never pretend to know what an ocean really IS.

***

A favorite song from childhood memory … Mom’s transistor radio serenaded me each morning while getting ready for school … a time when joy and innocence and mystery was still ALIVE ….. hope you take a moment to enjoy:

You can find it, my dears

This delightful man, who looks like Santa Claus graced me with his words today.

Here are just some of the sparkling word gems he shared that brightened my spirit, and confirmed what I know to be True, what he defines as,

This eternally present invisible presence – that which of course is completely unshaken by the dramas of this world.

In the bible there are 365 references to don’t be afraid, fear not, one for every day of the year. The Bible is full of clever things like this.

When you’re sure of your identity with the Eternal, when you discover what man really is, which is Spirit, then the worries about the flesh they diminish. The Spirit gets stronger until you really just laugh at it.

Compared to bad thinking, all the chemicals and plastics in the world is peanuts.

This world is a shadow of Divine origin, it comes to pass just like a nightmare. It has no reality of itself. Its only real as far as we believe in it. That is the fact. When one person even has the foggiest notion of this, it somehow raises the general level of consciousness. Those that recognize it more fully help to raise it even more.

Those that fully realize the infinite nature of man, they lift the whole world.

You can find it, my dears. It’s well documented. I’m one of many, many who have realized it and I’m pleased to share it.

me-dia (my god)

When I was ready to graduate high school I had to choose a quote to place under my yearbook photo. Always acting from a strange intuition that I never questioned, I chose lyrics from ‘Stairway to Heaven’ (It was 1978).

There are two paths you can go by, but in the long run there’s still time to change the road you’re on.”

I wasn’t so sure what it meant at the time.

There are many interpretations of the famous song; but one of them is that you can’t find happiness, peace, truth, God, light here in the material riches of the world. I think I’ve always known that; although my paths to recognizing it’s truth has been varied. I’ve changed roads many times.

But this single road has always been calling to me. What road is this?

It’s the road that is NOW (past, present and future), aka, the middle pillar (the third eye, aka, ajna – sanskrit for perceiving, light).

The ONLY path there is.

We can’t see it with our physical eyes or hear it with our physical ears. Yet, something within always knows it’s there.

This world’s insane great divide that appears on our black screens to tell us what’s happening wants to divide us into two separate paths. One of them appears to be technocratic control and transhumanism. The other appears to be freedom from control and government/medical manipulation.

However, upon close contemplation, this is a fraud. The only REAL freedom exists through the ONE middle pillar. It is not of this world. It has nothing to do with this world’s corrupt government options.

It is the path to Truth and Light and Happiness that is Everlasting (regardless of the pain and suffering and tears one may endure while in the physical world).

It is a place where the mind finds stillness.

As a wise woman of alchemy and linguistics, Lavette, says, “The word media actually means mi – dio (my god). And unfortunately, we’ve allowed the media to be our god. It is guiding us further down the path of deceit and corruption.

So how do we live in this world?

Look deeply.

Be still to gather your inner knowing, and sit with it.

Use your breath to quiet the chaos.

Know what you’re for (instead of dwelling on what you’re against) and take action on that.

Trust the Middle Pillar (the inner knowing) and the guides will appear.

I’m prayerfully asking this NOW for me,

for humanity,

and for our beautiful planet’s real potential to exist as heaven through our conscious mind that is ONE with God.

Namaste.

Enjoy this lovely woman’s wise soulful words:

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

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?”

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