The flame is yourSelf

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Garrison, NY retreat 10/15/16

I believe in all that has never yet been spoken

I believe in all that has never yet been spoken.
I want to free what waits within me
so that what no one has dared to wish for

may for once spring clear
without my contriving.

If this is arrogant, God, pardon me,
but this is what I need to say.
May what I do flow from me like a river,
no forcing and no holding back,
the way it is with children.

Then in these swelling and ebbing currents,
these deepening tides moving out, returning,
I will sing you as no one ever has,

streaming through widening channels
into the open sea.
~Rainer Maria Rilke

—from Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God, by Rainer Maria Rilke / Translated by Joanna Macy

The discovery that peace, happiness and love are ever-present within our own Being, and completely available at every moment of experience, under all conditions, is the most important discovery that anyone can make. 
                                         -Rupert Spira, from The Ashes of Love
My experience this week on retreat has been a deep unfolding of who I am.  The nature of Awareness shimmering.  Moments of stillness, tears, laughter, intimacy,  peace. A knowing of Love as the heart of my Being.  So grateful for this time of rest and revelation.
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Through the wound, be whole

“Through the wound, be whole.”  – J.K.

When the notion of “through the wound, be whole” was initially shared as a path to healing, I found it slightly unsettling and a mysterious notion.  I was more accustomed to navigating life with an aim to avoid discomfort and escape from painful and complicated thoughts and feelings.  With new growth and an awakened heart, I’m learning to not be as afraid with life as it is.   A willingness to be with myself, under all conditions, allows me to be with my woundedness in a loving way.

Staying fully present in the moment, even when it’s hard, can be a portal to deep communion and peace.  This was my experience recently and I am changed by it, in ways that continue to unfold.  Through the wound, be whole…

Curiously, everything lately appears brighter, sensual, pleasurable, limitless and life affirming. Connections with people are more spontaneous and boundaries more permeable, resulting in openness.  It’s easier to trust in the inherent goodness of people. Love heals. 

Pema Chodron says “The path of the warrior is a lot more daring; you are cultivating a fearless heart, a heart that doesn’t close down in any circumstance; it is always totally open, so that you could be touched by anything.”  She goes on to say, “As you become more fearless, your bodhicitta will ripen with each day of your life, which will be of great benefit to others.”

As always, I am profoundly grateful for a gentle, wise spiritual teacher who helps reflect back my own inner knowing.  I see my true essence more clearly in the light of this relationship.  Spiritual beings on a shared path…this is real. Being what we truly are liberates us. 

I notice a gentler, softer, stillness within me emerging.  This leads me to wonder how I might serve to help others living in the world to grow and know Love.  Miracles happen. 

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Lincoln Center 10/1/2016

 i thank You

i thank You God for most this amazing

by E. E. Cummings, from 100 Selected Poems.

i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any—lifted from the no
of all nothing—human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

Wednesday morning…woke from a dream of being shown an opening in the barb-wired fence surrounding the area I was in, by a mystical young girl standing silent and still, on the outer edge.  I breathed gently.  There were no words exchanged as we gazed at each other.  I found the way out and she disappeared.   A bit later while pondering this dream, as if led by Awareness Itself,  I rediscovered this poem by e.e. cummings.  Great poets have a way of finding words for the inexpressible.   And i thank You God for most this amazing reflects my heart’s experience.  Today, deep gratitude “for everything which is natural which is infinite which is yes.”  i feel fully alive.

 

Love flies on its own wings

“Love flies on its own wings and knows no laws.  It is the emergence of grace to wrest us from the hypnosis of separation.”       – Francis Lucille

What does it mean to live an awakened life?  On some level, I believe it means living in this world with an open heart, in union with divinity.  This is happiness. When I’m at ease, the beauty and tenderness with which I relate to myself and the world can radiate positive energy, creativity and a quality of presence that merges with the present moment. I am Love.

However, as we all know, as life unfolds, there are challenges and difficult situations; some predictable others unexpected. I’m facing some of both right now. My heart is heavy.  I wonder what lessons there may be for me to learn in relating to painful life experiences?  Who is the one that feels inadequate, sad and undesirable?  These sorts of emotions are raw and sometimes overwhelming.  My body is speaking as well, in ways I am yet to understand.

The way of a bodhisattva is to be willing to stay present and live out of this place too. Pema Chodron teaches that we need to go beyond our aversion to pain. Avoidance keeps us stuck in an imbalance of attraction to pleasure and aversion to pain and discomfort.  Is it possible to be at home here?

We are never alone.  Having an enlightened teacher helps me stay the course, to have courage,  be authentic and to live from my true essence.  To experience Love with another person is to know God.  I believe my awakening is channeled through this relationship.  There are no boundaries or separation in Consciousness and I am deeply aware of a transformative experience underway.  This is real.

From a nondual perspective Francis Lucille shares, “We don’t love the other, we love the love in the other.”   There is beauty in the unanswerable questions too.

Undiminishable

“We are certainly blessed to be enveloped in love because the resulting happiness, confidence, sensitivity it produces benefits not only us but our attitudes and connections to others in our world.”  –Shirley Kimball

While sailing at sunset tonight, the wind was quiet, the sun sure of itself, and a sliver-shaped moon effortlessly appeared with its borrowed light.  After a long week of thinking too much, I found that it’s my heart that knows the way home.  Just as being close to natural beauty can help point us back to the Source, so the realization of Love as our shared being, divests us from the limitation of separateness.  Awareness is undiminishable.  Like the moon that is illumined from the sun, living with Openness and waiting without waiting for anything…is freedom.

Living takes courage

Learning to be comfortable with uncertainty and impermanence are fundamental to spiritual growth.  I’m drawn to Buddhism and aspire to these principles; this path resonates with me. However, learning about these intellectually  is different from engaging in a practical, messy, deeply felt experience. Recently I was presented unexpectedly with a difficult situation that oozes with uncertainty. So many emotions…sad, lonely, helpless, embarrassed, disappointed, and confused. There are many thoughts that arise, some of which are dark. I read somewhere, staying “present” isn’t for wimps. I’m keenly aware of my life story unfolding as it is, which includes the painful experience of loving someone with late stage Alzheimer’s Disease.

Do I have what it takes to stay open to that which can never be lost, broken or fail?  Do I have the courage necessary to stay with the beauty of impermanence when a tricky egocentric mind would have me feel entitled to want to control life and death?  How do I relate to myself and others during times of adversity?

Consciousness welcomes going deeper. “There’s more to learn…”

I believe that self-righteousness  veils the light of knowing.  I can be arrogant.  when I over think.   It’s a sneaky spiritual ego that masks itself as transcendent and untouchable, just as the going gets tough.  As I sit and listen in silence, there is an ember within that lights up a hallowed space. This is effortless, except for surrendering to the present moment.

True freedom seeks no escape.

So, I gently lean in.  Breath.  There is no closing a heart that has been cracked open.  Know this moment, in its magnificence. Without judgment. Be tender.  Laugh a little, write a little.  Dream. Swim. Be authentic.  Trust in Love.  Live the yes.

What is it in me that never changes?  What is the nature of who I am that is undisturbed by the unexpected?   I am aware of that there is an essential part of me that is undisturbable and imperturbable.   There’s ample room in Awareness for every thought, feeling, perception- even ones that I’d rather avoid.  (Maybe especially these).  This life,  my life and all that I experience comes from Awareness. From this vantage point, there’s nothing in me or in anyone else to fix.  There’s nothing broken. I am deeply ok.

Sinking deeper into my heart I am Grace, Lena, Ken.   May I know humility and accept the entire experience of life, right here, right now; be one with it.   Resting with uncertainty and impermanence are sacred paths for the Bodhisattva.  Stay curious…stay alive.

Such sweetness

A poem from the heart …

such sweetness emerges

           unto ever-present love

or do we merge

            you and I

                        (no matter, all the same)

deep desire penetrates

            our space of being

                        humanity and divinity smile

free from lack

            there is no longing

free from fear

            experience eternity                

                           be knowingly this Presence

 in a benevolent universe

               never not now

-mjs