oracle

I’ve been using the I Ching along with the Wisdom of the Oracle for many years. I ask a question (even though I recognize that within myself the answer is already there) and then surrender my linear mind’s knowing to allow the deeper Divine Knowing to reveal itself to me.

It is quite miraculous to witness that the answer revealed to me is ALWAYS exactly what I already know, but it’s symbolized and shown to me in a way that is crystal clear for my linear mind to understand.

It always feels most urgent to access spiritual wisdom when life challenges arise and our path is unclear.

At those times, despite my inner knowing that no matter what path I take, it will always be the correct path for me; nevertheless, I find myself wanting to ask the question. Something about the affirmation allows me to feel, ahhh, see, I was right!

Here in northeastern PA, it’s been a long winter. Spring has just revealed its precious light in the last two days, and I am resonating with nature’s calling to be NEW again. With that, comes change, big decisions, deep introspective reassessment of my life.

And so I turn to my beloved Oracle, and I ask the question:

Am I listening to the true voice of my heart?

I shuffle the card deck. I choose the card. The Oracle answers:

Card #21, upside down (a protection message):

CLEAN IT UP!

“Is it possible you may be focusing too much on other people right now?

Trying too hard to be helpful?

Perhaps you think its your calling to relieve people of their burdens, but what is the cost to you, and to them?

Don’t clean up someone else’s side of the street. You’re not helping by freeing him or her of responsibility. You’re also not doing yourself any favors, and you might just be adding an even greater strain.

You are loved as you are. You don’t need to be needed to be loved.”

Whack! Just what I needed to be told, to really hear, to own. I know all this. Yet, its message is one I continue to struggle with.

It says, Janet, you know exactly what you have to do.

There is never more or less of life

There’s a poignant recollection that comes to my mind after completing the last chapter of The Most Important Thing (Adyashanti).

Many years ago, I had attended my Aunt Dolly’s funeral service. One of her closest and beloved nieces, Wendy, who happened to be a devout born-again Christian, was conversing with me about Aunt Dolly. When Wendy mentioned how happy she was that Aunt Dolly was in ‘heaven’ I felt compelled to say, “No, I think she’s right here, right next to me, in the very fabric of my sweater.”

Wendy did not reply, and from her expression I sensed she had no idea what I meant.

At that time, neither did I exactly know what I meant, but something deep within me knew it was true, and I felt obliged to express it in that moment.

This week, I’ve been thinking about my mom who died 5 months ago. I’ve been feeling her. This feeling of mom brings on emotions that come from so many conditioned responses to my own memories; sadness, guilt, disappointment, and even joy and deep love.

But more important than the emotions that arise, I notice how my perception of life as always present has enhanced my ability to feel mom.

It has been such a reward to have read this book which acknowledges this feeling I’ve always sensed but have not found the words for:

“If you have ever been with someone who is dying, you know that the changing of the form, the moment of death, is discernable. Even if in that moment when it happens you have your eyes closed, you know; it is a powerful moment.

It is an honor to be present when someone passes, as it is a profoundly deep and moving experience, but death is experienced differently when we know that life does not disappear as the form disappears.

This is why people can lose a loved one and suddenly feel their loved one everywhere.
We think of that as a poetic experience – the human imagination projecting the memory of somebody we’ve loved – and as something we do with our mind and our ideas, but there is also a reality to it beyond the ideas.

That person always was life, and although the form life took has disappeared, the life itself is everywhere.

To feel that someone is everywhere is not merely a romantic comfort created by those who are grieving. It touches a fundamental reality; the forms change, and there is a definitive moment of the changing of the form, but there is no more and no less life.

This is why when we awaken, when we are realized, we know there is no birth or death in some essential sense; there is the changing of forms, but not the beginning and the end of one’s existence. So in Zen, when they say the real reason for the whole spiritual endeavor is to resolve the Great Matter of birth, life, and death, they mean it.

As long as we are caught in the realm of acceptance and rejection, believing and disbelieving, we are living in a world of abstraction. That is what spiritual teachers mean- at least it is what I mean – by saying we are living in a dream. Therefore, believing or disbelieving is not the point.

The real instinct for enlightenment or awakening or God comes from a kind of dissatisfaction – from no longer wanting to live an abstracted life, no longer wanting your life to continue to contribute to the world of sorrow, and paying attention to the desire to have a rich and deep experience of being instead of one created by what you believe. This is the real enlightenment impulse.

Trust the quiet spaces within, because they are the ultimate sutras of existence”.

The Most Important Thing, Adyashanti, (bold, italics supplied by me)
PHOTO CREDIT: “Angel Wings” taken by my dear friend, Annette Adams

 

 

 

 

Ode to Opossum

On my front porch stoop, I sit
cold February day, but sun-lit

Petting Goldie, my feral cat
she’s behaving strangely, I can sense that

Lady, can’t you see?
she urges me

Below the stoop to the left, I glance
to view a dead opossum, by chance

Innards half eaten, and frozen stiff
a raccoon, or a coyote, I wonder if

His spirit still there?
does he sense that I care?

I fetch the shovel to carry away
the petrified corpse, now free from affray

Far behind the house I choose the plot
frozen leaves and branches, I clear a slot

I make a blanket with sticks and dried leaves
to cover his corpse that no longer grieves

Now you are free from the body cage-jail
I honor my dead friend with the prehensile tail

It has been such an interesting week. I have had so many synchronistic occurrences, and I’m noticing more and more how every single thought manifests itself through form (a body). I recognize more deeply how Father Time veils our wisdom, hiding the reality that it’s actually all occurring simultaneously. I think I’m learning something new, but it’s actually what I know already. Thankfully, my dream time opens up my mind again, at least while I’m in deep sleep. But damn, that illusive “time” covers it over with ignorance when my morning alarm goes off.

It has become obvious to me the meaninglessness of the labels we get stuck to. But they’re sooooo energetically sticky, like Superglue.

Vegan/ Carnivore
White/ Black
Nationalist/Globalist
Christian/Jew
Left/Right
Straight/Gay
Theist/Atheist
Human/Alien
Elite/Blue collar

We get stuck to the label, and then BELIEVE IN the label, and the mind closes up!
None of it is true. We don’t even know what consciousness IS.

“You can’t be open-minded when you label yourself with anything!” Freedom Fighters Florida

unknown

It’s often the simplest seeming gesture or word/idea that serves as a deep awakening.

As I’m reading The Most Important Thing, (Adyashanti), I’m reminded ….

How we IDENTIFY with a thought about absolutely anything can create either suffering or happiness.

This has been so helpful for me to re-cognize, again, simple as it is.

Further grace dropped into my consciousness while I was revisiting my old dream journals, as I’m preparing to work on my new project, The Yoga of Dreaming.

I was reminded of a teaching at a silent retreat that served a deep awakening for me, at that time:

“You will NEVER find TRUTH looking through the MIND”

Why is this SO important to re-cognize?

Because the Mind’s nonstop evaluation of its perceptions are occurring in TIME (in this dimension of reality)

We already know Time is an illusion, right? But in Time the only thing we can actually KNOW through EXPERIENCE is the present moment

Everything else is the UNKNOWN

The unknown = FEAR (most of the time), especially the unknowing about death

Which leaves 99.99999% of us living in FEAR (aka anxiety) pretty much all of the TIME

To eliminate this constant state of fear, our only hope would be to let go of identifying with the MIND’s obsessive compulsion to make up stories about everything – and then believe it’s TRUE!!!!

Sounds simple enough.

But it’s not simple. Why?

Because the UNKNOWN will always be the only thing that is TRUE.

Our MIND cannot accept that.

What can we do?

Sit still. Be quiet. Observe. Listen. Feel. Laugh. Watch nature. Trust. Open your heart to gratitude. Take Action without attaching to outcome. Be YOU, authentically.

KNOW that you will never KNOW.

Remind yourself every day.

Even this writing is not true.
It’s just an attempt to express the ineffable……..

suggestions welcome

fierce grace

I am the Way and the Master who watches in silence
Thy friend and thy shelter and thy abode of peace
I am the beginning and the middle and the end of all things;
Their seed of Eternity, their Treasure supreme
Bhagavad Gita 9:18

If I didn’t know any better, I’d think someone slipped a chemo pill into my wine glass at the Lake Region Fitness holiday party.

The next morning I awoke with a sore throat, but I bull-headedly forged ahead to work obligations and appointments, and 24 hours later the effects kicked in; fever, chills, body aches, nausea, diarrhea.

I haven’t felt this way since chemotherapy, was my initial thought.

But I also intuit that it often takes a fierce grace to bring our soul into alignment with our truest journey. This bout with a viral infection afforded me:

• Time to rest.
• Time to contemplate.
• Time to have no responsibilities to others.
• Time to accept discomfort on the deepest level.
• Time to fast.
• Time to be fully present with myself.
• Time to sleep deeply and dream.

So I write this as a Reminder to Self that the innate wisdom of our highest path is so beyond our understanding, so outside our limited perception, ineffable ….

I remain humbled in the Mystery.

honest spirituality

Excerpted from “Authentic Spiritual Practice” CD from the Woldingham UK Retreat, Adyashanti.
(bolded and italicized words are my own modifications)

“From the ordinary standpoint, which is where we all start out, spiritual practice has a quality of being a goal-oriented activity. We’re doing it for a particular reason. We’re hoping for a particular result. We hope it will help us to awaken or reveal the truth to us, or help us find peace or freedom. That’s entirely understandable. It’s a way of relating with whatever our spiritual practice is that feels honest. That’s a conventional view of practice, whatever the spiritual practice is.

The most important part of any spiritual practice is its authenticity, its honesty. And that’s something that’s often missed. The spiritual path is an embodied form of being really true and honest with yourself. That’s not an easy thing to do, especially at the beginning.

To be aware is to be confronted with whatever the reality of your condition is at any particular moment. That can roll off the tongue very easily, but when you go to do it, it can be very challenging to really show up in your life authentically for whatever’s unfolding at that moment. We’re always trying to change what is, or explain it, or justify it, or anything other than a direct encounter with the raw reality of our condition at any given moment.

It’s not easy for human beings to be really honest with themselves. It’s one of the most stringent, demanding practices that there is—to not knowingly, intentionally deceive ourselves or others. Just start with yourself. That’s enough for any given day. It’s what needs to be informing our spiritual practice.

Spiritual practice becomes effective and powerful in direct proportion to how true and real and honestly it’s undertaken. That’s authenticity. And so much of being honest and real with ourselves is realizing what we don’t know. Knowing that we don’t know takes a lot of honesty. A space opens within the mind and even in the body when we start to know that we don’t know. We open to uncertainty: “I’m not so sure anymore. I don’t know who I am. I don’t know what enlightenment is. I don’t know what God is. I don’t really know much of what I thought I knew.” Sometimes that can be tremendously liberating, when you let go of a painful idea or belief or opinion that was really burdensome. That can be very freeing, just to get that far.

From the standpoint of realization, practice looks very different. Practice is actually an expression of the state of realization. It’s an embodied statement. At first, we can see something like meditation as a means to an end: “I hope this helps me get to where I want to get to.” But from a realized perspective, meditation actually becomes an embodied expression of that realization. It’s not the only expression by any means, but it’s one embodied expression. So then the practice and the realization become the same thing.

The underlying attitude that needs to inform our spiritual approach is basic honesty, sincerity, and truthfulness. To whatever extent we can become honest, truthful, and sincere right from the beginning, we’re actually participating in an embodied form of realization. So we can actually utilize aspects of realization far before we’re even realized.

From the viewpoint of realization itself, not only is practice an expression of realization, but it’s also simultaneously a way that realization explores itself, that reality explores itself. Again, it’s not a goal-oriented activity, because realization itself is infinite.

Realization itself has no borders. It has no boundaries. Reality can always be realizing more of itself. When it’s reality doing the realizing, there’s no goal. There’s no end. There’s no anxiety. Strictly speaking, there’s no seeking, because there’s no goal orientation. How could you make something that has an infinite capacity into a goal? Because if it’s infinite, by definition, you’re not going to get to the goal.

So practice can been seen from this other orientation, the orientation of a deeper realized state. And we can utilize some of that orientation, even if we don’t think we’re realized yet. We can use some of that attitude, you might say. In fact, it’s essential that we do use that attitude, because spiritual practice itself actually isn’t confined to specific spiritual disciplines. That’s another mistaken idea of spiritual practice, that when we’re meditating, listening to a talk, or inquiring, we’re engaged in a specific spiritual practice. But spiritual practice actually transcends all of those particular forms. It expresses itself through those embodied forms of spiritual practice. The forms are embodied expressions, but what informs all of those forms is something else.

What informs all of those forms of practice is the commitment to realization itself, which goes back to honesty, sincerity, and truthfulness. These are the primary spiritual practices. In that sense, they’re not limited to any particular form. They’re not limited to a time of meditation. You can practice honesty, sincerity, and truthfulness at any moment of your life, in any situation you might be in. Literally, these are the fundamentals of spiritual practice.”

pre new year gratitude

So many gems in this video, especially for alchemy/astrology lovers.

However, I really resonated with the reminder to be aware of what I’m putting out there, and to recognize how what I am putting out there actually becomes part of the fractal we call our (world). 

The simple, profound pearls I received today paraphrased:

26:45:

This thing is a fractal, and when you put something out into this universe, it takes it and repeats it.

So the more that we complain, the more that we whine, or anything negative – its just gunna repeat that pattern.

But if we say I’m grateful I’m breathing, I’m grateful for the small things, it responds to us. But we’re acting the wrong way.

Be grateful for the little things in life and then you’ll watch your life change.

Here’s what changed for me: I don’t have a weight on my shoulders anymore. I didn’t even know I had a weight. But it’s gone! Instead of whining about what I don’t have, I am grateful for what I do have.

I feel lighter, it’s strange to explain, but it’s very freeing, I feel very alive.

I realized I was burdening myself down with my own complaints. Like carrying a bag of rocks on my back and every complaint a new rock was added to the bag. And I didn’t even know I was carrying it, like it became a part of me.

Now that bag of rocks I was carrying is gone, and I’m just floatin down the street now, I’m sprouting wings.

(Much gratitude to you, Lavette)