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

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

oh my sacred dream time

“Enlightenment is not seeing everything through the distortion called egoic state of consciousness. That’s why it’s called natural state;  It’s perception without a lens. Ultimately that’s what enlightenment is: Perception without distortion.” Adyashanti

The dream state is a lustrous gem

here’s where all of the distortions are revealed

In perfect living color, form and sound

Because in TIME

I only see through the lens of my perceptions (distortions)

But when sleep time comes, the TIME perceptions dissolve

Now I can see through it all

My dreams show me what I know in a way I can’t really comprehend
It would be too jarring for my indoctrinated left-sided brain
So my dream time gives me truths incognito

I am learning to unlock the symbolic coding

and it’s beginning to shine crystal clear

OH MY SACRED DREAM TIME

 

 

 

Seed inside a circle

Had a dream last night.

RECOLLECTION ….. an image of a seed inside a circle

FEELING …… amazement at how it could come to BE without having been in the earth’s “ground”

Which leads to deep contemplation today on so many levels……

Like, Are we asking the real questions?

Like What is TIME?

Just love this Watts Wave from Akira. I think it says it all ……

here are some highlights below, but so worth listening in entirety:

Why are you talking?

For the same reason the birds sing and the same reason that the stars shine! I DIG IT!!

I DIG IT!!   I DIG IT!!! I DIG IT!!!

Why do you dig it?

Well, I could go on and on but …..

explaining things by the past is really a refusal to explain them at all!

All you’re doing is postponing it again and again

it explains NOTHING

What does explain things is the present.

WHY DO YOU DO IT NOW?

It all starts RIGHT NOW.

Just as the sound comes out of silence, allness comes out of nothing.

All of LIFE suddenly emerges out of space BANG right NOW!

What are you doing NOW?

Freedom from being a puppet of the past

That is liberation

from the ridiculous situation of being a dog wagged by its tail.

TIME      TIME     TIME     TIME     TIME    TIME 

 

A flower story

There were so many flowers.

They were like an infinite carpet of color.

In the Age of All Colors, the flowers were every color of the rainbow. Not only the full spectrum of rainbow colors, but also every imaginable shade of each color! Some flowers were multi-colored with spots, some with straight lines, some with curved lines, some with abstract shapes, some with geometric shapes.

The rainbow-colored flowers were very wise in this ancient Age of All Colors. Their perception was as vast as the scope of their palates, and they knew that reality was as unlimited as their potential to be beautifully colored.
Because of their all-encompassing vastness and infinite potential, they were fully aware that ALL possibilities existed. Even the possibility of limiting their own perspectives and narrowing their own perception. They knew anything was possible, even forgetting the Truth.

In time, the Age of Forgetfulness began to flourish, and the flowers began to divide into two different groups. What distinguished one group from the other was their vision (perspective, point of view).

One group evolved as the YELLOW flowers. It came to be that they began to look similar (yellow-colored) because they all saw through a lens that filtered out the ability to see all of the other colors of the rainbow.

The YELLOWS believed that everything True was yellow, and they saw the world of yellow as the only right and intelligent way to Be.

The other group of flowers similarly began to look and think alike – MAROON was their color, and they saw everything through a maroon-colored lens. Any other point of view/perspective that was not MAROON was shunned as ridiculous and absurd.

The MAROONS fully believed that the YELLOWS were wrong in their perception of what Life should Be.

MAROONS could not “See” YELLOWS,
And YELLOWS could not “See” MAROONS.

Both groups truly believed that ONLY their beliefs were “right” and that the other group was “wrong”.

The individual flowers of each group began to think so much alike that one flower could no longer think for Itself. They became so comfortable blending into the YELLOWS or MAROONS that they were indistinguishable from each other – blending into a sea of yellow color or a sea of maroon color, being ignorant of the possibility of looking through another colored lens. It was an innocent misunderstanding.

On a remote island, there still existed some of the ancient rainbow-colored flowers.

One day some of the rainbow-colored flowers had an idea that they would attempt to mingle and socialize with the YELLOWS and the MAROONS, allowing their seeds to be carried into those communities.

Both the YELLOWS and the MAROONS thought that these rainbow-colored flowers must be insane!

They appeared to be spiraling out of control with their absurdity of multi-colored-ness!

The YELLOWS and the MAROONS rejected and feared the rainbow-colored flowers.

But the rainbow-colored flowers did not force their seeds to be accepted, and trusted that whatever seed might succeed in growing could potentially inspire even one of the YELLOWS or MAROONS to remember how to see outside their limited colored view.

The rainbow-colored flowers understood the challenges the YELLOWS and the MAROONS were facing. Neither group could remember that opinions can’t be TRUTH and that their PERCEPTIONS were only personal distortions of the TRUTH.

The rainbow-colored flowers knew that the YELLOWS and MAROONS had to find their own way through the myriad of their own beliefs until they re-cognized their own color-blindness.

If only the YELLOWS could see that their view was just as limited as the MAROONS, and vise verse! That their ideas were just two sides of the same flower!

If only they could remember that in the Circle of the Flowers their opinions are simultaneously right AND wrong, and neither right OR wrong and see how silly they appear from the all-encompassing rainbow flowers’ aerial view.

But until the YELLOWS and MAROONS came to this understanding, one individual flower at a time, each in their own time, the rainbow-colored flowers remained neutrally tolerant, patient, compassionate, loving and wise.

This rainbow-colored neutrality was NOT passive, it was full of the innate power of wisdom> they took action by allowing their seeds to drop without manipulating where the seeds would fall or attaching to the outcome.

In their infinite wisdom, rainbow-colored flowers knew that TIME was only a creation of the color-blind flowers in order to work through their evolution of reconnecting with the rainbow of colors.

THE END

the joy in your heart

The Waters of March
(aka Aguas de Marco)
by Antonio Carlos Jobim

A stick, a stone, it’s the end of the road,
It’s the rest of the stump, it’s a little alone,
It’s a sliver of glass, it is life, it’s the sun,
It is night, it is death, it’s a trap, it’s a gun.
The oak when it blooms, a fox in the brush,
The knot in the wood, the song of the thrush.
The wood of the wind, a cliff, a fall,
A scratch, a lump, it is nothing at all.
It’s the wind blowing free, it’s the end of a slope,
It’s a beam, it’s a void, it’s a hunch, it’s a hope.
And the riverbank talks of the water of march.
It’s the end of the strain, it’s the joy in your heart.

The foot, the ground, the flesh, the bone,
The beat of the road, a slingshot stone.
A fish, a flash, a silvery glow,
A fight, a bet, the range of the bow.
The bed of the well, the end of the line,
The dismay in the face, it’s a loss, it’s a find.
A spear, a spike, a point, a nail,
A drip, a drop, the end of the tale.
A truckload of bricks in the soft morning light,
The shot of a gun, in the dead of the night.
A mile, a must, a thrust, a bump.
It’s a girl, it’s a rhyme, it’s the cold, it’s the mumps,
The plan of the house, the body in bed,
The car that got stuck, it’s the mud, it’s the mud.
A float, a drift, a flight, a wing,
A hawk, a quail, the promise of spring.
And the riverbanks talks of the waters of march.
It’s the promise of life, it’s the joy in your heart.

A snake, a stick, it is John, it is Joe,
It’s a thorn in your hand, and a cut on your toe.
A point, a grain, a bee, a bite,
A blink, a buzzard, the sudden stroke of night.
A pin, a needle, a sting, a pain,
A snail, a riddle, a weep, a stain.
A pass in the mountains, a horse, a mule,
In the distance the shelves rode three shadows of blue.
And the riverbank talks of the promise of life
In your heart, in your heart.

A stick, a stone, the end of the load,
The rest of the stump, a lonesome road.
A sliver of glass, a life, the sun,
A night, a death, the end of the run.
And the riverbank talks of the waters of march
It’s the end of all strain,
It’s the joy in your heart……………………

Time for me to bitch and moan about daylight savings again…..

Control freaks that we are ……. trying to manipulate time to our advantage.

I’m WIDE AWAKE when the clock says it’s time to sleep.

I’m DRAGGING when the alarm goes off in the morning.

WHY do we still do this??????  

Well, regardless of my time-change frustration,

absolutely NOTHING could change the NOW moments of BEAUTY on a day like today,

(MY POEM’S RHTHYM WAS INSPIRED BY THE WATERS OF MARCH)

The blazing sun……. the family fun …….. the walks outside ……. the trees and the sky

The smiles and shares …….. the food and talk of bears …….. the word games in the car… and being silly as we are …….

and the grandson’s joy of winning monopoly …….. and knowing time is as free …..

As THE JOY IN YOUR HEART.