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

Tree

I contemplate how I’ve always known the underlying truth

And the way it always felt even more “special” for me in some way

Because I actually knew IT was underneath all the layers of costume

And as long as I acknowledged, on occasion, the memory of IT

I could accept this life of the costumed “person” with (meaningless) opinions

In this instant – I am fully cognizant that

Attachment to a belief/opinion/perspective

Is the demise of Truth.

One cannot ever know the truth.

It’s an unspoken language.

The way a tree exists.

Well we’re not trees

but can we behave as if we were?

Recognizing and practicing our innate qualities of resilience

Yielding in all directions while remaining fully rooted to our foundation

Even being uprooted, and being okay with that too

When we’re so sure that our leaves are green, we need to remember that too can change

I used to meditate while observing a tree in my back yard through the window

It was as if the soul of that big old oak tree was placed in my view just for that purpose

To help me remember how to BE

the unknown and true healing

Having had so much time for contemplation, under different circumstances than usual (now that I’ve been diagnosed with an “incurable” illness), I am given opportunity realize the power of the unknown.

Now more than ever.

I wonder, do we all get that moment? To realize life’s infinite potential for the unexpected? I suppose I should feel immense gratitude for being given the opportunity to recognize, to revisit, to place all my attention, to value the absolute power of Life (God, Chi, Prana, Source, Brahman, Tao, etc.) and its ability to infinitely Create limitless potentiality.

So I begin to look back at my daily routine, only about 6-8 weeks ago, which would consist of morning breakfast, (after feeding the cats, of course), a lemon squeezed in my water, fresh blueberries and Kefir laced with Chia and flax seeds, along with my toasted slice of Ezekiel bread and a schmear of chunky almond butter. Coffee, of course. AHHH, pure heaven! Breakfast was always my favorite meal of the day. Then my home yoga practice, meditation, daily contemplative reading, stretching, and always a handstand to get the adrenaline flowing. And finally off to teach my yoga classes for the day ……..

I took that simple routine for granted. Not that I didn’t practice gratitude. I certainly did, as this was part of my work as a teacher to live and impart this knowledge. But truthfully, it’s not until one is faced with the reality of losing something that the actuality is available to knowing how valuable that something was. Now its REAL.

Loss, unexpected change, trauma, illness, is always a wake up call. Some may call it fierce grace. Whatever one chooses to call it, it kind of feels like losing your house to a tornado, and some of the neighbors houses are still standing. You wonder, Was there purpose in this for me?

Now, I have been given the opportunity to learn a new routine. I am awakened in the morning by pain, and I reach for the pills at my bedside. Then I hobble to the toilet, cringing at the stabbing, burning pain enveloping my entire right chest and armpit.

I have found that once I get the pain managed with pills, I’m able to conjure up the strength, slowly, to continue that morning routine of cat feeding and my breakfast. Now, I REALLY value this even more because it’s so difficult to achieve.

Then I spend time in contemplative reading, meditation, dream journaling, and admiring the scene of summer’s nature out the window. I know I won’t lose the ability to engage in these practices unless I should lose consciousness, and for that I am so grateful. The pain is less at this point after eating breakfast, although I’m very weak – the chemo has begun to do its job of killing my blood cells. There is no longer any ability to perform a physical yoga practice, unless walking very slowly can be considered my new asana.

There is no more driving. The painful rash and swelling enveloping my chest has created a limited arm movement that makes it unsafe to drive. It’s a loss of independence.

There is no more teaching yoga, floor or aerial, or home practice. It’s like losing a dear friend.

There is no more physical intimacy with my beloved the way it used to be. A reminder, the physical sensation of youth is temporary.

There is no more cleaning and vacuuming, cooking and grocery shopping on my own. Time to let go of control.

I have learned a few things from all of the unexpected loss and change:

I need to take strong pain medicine to have any decent quality of life. I will never harshly judge another who may have abused narcotics. We don’t know the reason for one’s sense of need to manage their pain.

I can only move my body in very slow motion to avoid any sharp pain. This has provided me with a deeper sense of gratitude for practices I’ve learned, such as Tai Chi, that enable slow graceful movements that feel energetically powerful.

I cannot hug anyone or lie on my side or lie prone. It is actually uncomfortable to lie down at all without strong pain medicine. But I do enjoy holding my husband’s hand, squeezing it during my chemo treatments, and looking into his loving eyes.

Of all the seeming loss this inflammatory breast cancer has caused, there is just as much gain in many aspects of new awareness.

As I took a slow walk outside today,

I listened more closely than I have in a long time.

I smelled the summer blossoms and country air.

I felt my emotional body and God’s presence more deeply.

I cherished nature’s beauty more sincerely.

I loved each moment’s opportunity to be a witness to my own awareness.

I forgave myself for all of my mistakes, misunderstandings, and wrong judgements.

I recognized that the potential for true healing has little to do with a physical body and that true healing is a mystery which is unsolvable by a human mind.

I sensed that true healing has infinite possibility to be experienced through the human heart.

morning meditation

Light moves in and out water dropping from sky

It looks like rain 

but it’s just the wind shaking water off the leaves

I’m awake to see through my eyes

Quietly

I’m Aware

I contemplate, Where am I?  …..

Am I Really?

Until I know that

I know nothing

It’s just seeing trees, rain, birds, sunlight, out my window

Nothing is what I think it is

It’s beautiful

Everything is so much more than what
I think it is

But really I know nothing

Somehow I know everything 

Plasma

“Fixed constructs keep us from experiencing the fluidity of reality which contains the abundance and connections that we long for on this journey.  You must ask yourselves in each moment, What am I programming?” Jenny Schiltz
 
My contemplation in the garden was insightful today.

I felt the plasma-like substance that Jenny Schiltz talks about in her recent blog post.  Yes, indeed. I do agree, this plasma is programmable.

But this is what I saw today:

This plasma is YOU and ME.  (you can substitute the word God for plasma if you prefer)

It is the very fascia of our being and all of what we perceive as planet Earth.

Who programs this plasma? YOU and ME.

Our thoughts program the plasma.

Think of a fractal. The way it is infinitely the same above and below, a spiraling infinity of as above so below, but there’s really no separation of above and below. We just can’t see above and below.

We only see the level of our own conscious awareness in each moment – which is reflected into the plasma that we perceive as outside of us.

But this plasma is already programmed for eons to hide the reality of this fluid movement of energy so that we are unaware, unconscious, and disbelieving of its power within each of us.

Can we un-program our plasma, or re-program it?

The infinite layers of stuck and programmed ideas, beliefs, and indoctrinated behaviors is the plasma that’s playing the current movie feature called Life on Earth.

YOU and I create this.

How did I envision this today?

I witnessed the natural behaviors of the living things;

Kale grown from tiny seedlings
Ants creating pathways through the dirt
Deep-rooted grass weeds, so hard to pull
Soft clover yielding easily to my touch.

IT knows. Life showed me. IT pointed directly to the nature of reality that I AM, and I listened.

Simultaneously, I felt the burning pain in my right breast from the Shingles virus, a condition I’ve manifested over the past several months. 

This stinging pain said to me,
You are transforming, Janet. You are always becoming and always being. Forever connected to truth, even when you don’t see it clearly. This body will only show you what your mind thinks. Good or bad.  It will always mirror your thoughts.

I AM plasma.