“Don’t try to find a cause of happiness or moments of fulfillment. There is no cause. As long as you look for, and give a cause, you turn your back on the fullness, the message of the moment.” – Jean Klein
Infinite, unchanging Consciousness is Love. Happiness is another name for the same. A glimpse is enough for a life time. That which is true and unstainable, resonates deeply in my heart and in my daily ins and outs. There’s a movement of my inner orientation to life. Attention calls me back to Awareness; to rest here. And action pulls me into a flow of life that is fully alive and engaged, albeit somewhat mysterious. Awareness sees Itself, merging with people and places, free of restrictions of time and place. How is this possible? Ways of seeing and knowing are expanded. Stay curious; stay alive. Question, ponder, explore, dream, pray, love without hesitation and accept everything as it is. Live the yes.
A new sort of freedom and peace abides, characterized by the absence of longing and seeking. Fear no longer relates as an obstacle. I’m humbly aware of how non duality pervades my identity and relationships. I hear gentle words of wisdom to “listen to your heart”. This holds meaning for me.
Life is fragile with a very thin space between here and now and life beyond. Is there a life unlived, yet to be lived? What am I called to do with my awakened heart? Can I be a teacher? What is my purpose in being here? An emerging is underway. I am filled with gratitude.
“It’s a transformative experience to simply pause instead of immediately fill up the space. By waiting, we begin to connect with fundamental restlessness as well as fundamental spaciousness.” -Pema Chodron
I love this woman. It’s simply amazing how her words of wisdom tend to surface exactly when my questions and ponderings are most murky; when I feel edgy. Her teachings are like bright crystal light beams…that my spirit and heart recognize as truth.
In his book, The Joy of Living, Youngey Mingyur Rinpoche highlights that “feelings are not facts” nor are thoughts, perceptions or physical sensations. However, our attachment to these can vary, based on the quality of our “restlessness or calm” at any particular time. He goes on to make an analogy that made me laugh, because it is so oddly familiar and surprising to read from a Buddhist teacher.
First, a little background. Over the years, I’ve traveled some. About 10 years ago, I discovered that one of my favorite experiences is sitting in an airport observing fellow travelers. Surprisingly, most of the time people don’t seem aware of being watched. Only one time that I can recall, did I notice another voyeur. And we smiled at each other knowingly. I love imagining who people are, where they’re from, where they’re going, what their relationships are like etc… Maybe it’s the mystery of our uniqueness and the recognition that we are all One.
Anyhow, I smiled reading Rinpoche’s analogy of how the “momentary expressions of the infinite possibility of emptiness” are like people passing through an airport on ways to various destinations. He says “If you asked them their intentions, they’d tell you that they were ‘just passing through'”. Each of us, with our stories that feel so real, are merely coming and going; temporary manifestations of Awareness. To the extent we accept the impermanence of our finite thoughts, emotions, perceptions we know ourselves as only Joy!
This is from Pema’s July 2016 calendar…fitting I think.
“Rather than letting our negativity get the better of us, we could acknowledge that right now we feel like a piece of shit and not be squeamish about taking a good look. That’s the compassionate thing to do. That’s the brave thing to do. We could smell that piece of shit. We could feel it; what is its texture, color, and shape? We can explore the nature of that piece of shit. We can know the nature of dislike, shame, and embarrassment and not believe there’s something wrong with that.”― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
How can holding discomforts close, as close as breath, aspects that aren’t charming or inspiring or blissful, be healing? Is that a path of the Bodhisattva? Can humility be a portal to the heart? Shame? Sometimes, the raw edges of life weep with dark thoughts and emotions that feel heavy. The worst of these are ugly. My inclination is to dismiss them as inconsequential. Believing that I can bypass my fears and doubts is the stinkiest shit around. Having a teacher with deep knowing of his own dark places, who offers compassion and staying power, inspires me. A little humor always helps too. Intuitively, I recognize that “never not now”, means a universal yes to all experience. I can be brave, a little at a time.
My spirit guide gently encourages me to “…stay curious and stay alive”. She reminds me we are never alone. So, following my curiosity, I returned to explore Brooklyn this weekend. There’s a mysterious sense of belonging. It’s interesting how comforting a place can be that feels familiar, even when it isn’t. There may be some purpose for me there…time will tell. This experience certainly makes life interesting.
At the end of the day, although there is much left unresolved, everything merges into gratitude. I feel blessed. Another way of sinking into the heart…
if strangers meet
not poor not rich
i not not you
deep our most are
(and so to dark)
I’m not exactly sure what E.E. Cummings intended to convey in this poem, but this is one of many from his Complete Poems 1904-1962 collection that points to his knowing of the mystery of becoming in relationship. The beauty lies in its brevity and the space he creates between the lines for us to discover our own meaning; it touches my heart in some way.
I think that “(once like a spark)” means that every moment has potentiality; the possibility to become a life-changing experience. There is a richness to life when we relate authentically in our relationships. There is freedom in my being who I am and you as you are. If strangers meet and let go of preconceived ideas of the other, they can touch one another deeply and be changed themselves forever. So, love wholly and without hesitation.
“…relax into the utter not knowing, unraveling in the warm embrace of mystery, sinking deeply into the moment, savoring it fully, in all its uniqueness and wonder.” -Jeff Foster
Awakening to the nature of who I am as ever-present, timeless, unstainable awareness is…a miracle. Here there is no longing or lacking. Presence feels wide open with the capacity for any and all experience. As I explore how this recognition informs how I live my life and relate in the world, there are ups and downs and many questions to ponder. Some days more familiar or conditioned ways of relating, thinking and feeling appear. Integration of what I understand to be, may be a little harder. Glad to have a compassionate, loving teacher. There’s a strong emotional piece in mind/body that is rooted in separateness. I’m learning that it’s not urgent to figure everything out right now. Longing, sadness, loneliness come and go, when gently held with compassion. These feelings aren’t comfortable. A friend recently shared, “I try not to take myself too seriously.” I aspire to that as well. And good thing, since I fell off the bow of the boat at the start of sailing class at Long Shore on Sunday. (LOL)
Another discovery.. it’s ok to linger in the “warm embrace of mystery.” Intimate, sensual experiences of pure intimacy make my heart race…not unlike going to the limits of your longing. Groundlessness is the new normal. In Awareness, time and space have no boundaries. Consciousness doesn’t share the dimensions of humanity, nor is communication limited to words. There are other ways of listening and knowing. Love recognizes Itself. This is my experience. Perhaps it is by “sinking into my heart”, I live more fully alive.
“I cannot tell if the day
is ending, or the world, or if
the secret of secrets is inside me again.”
– Anna Akhmatova
The best I can come up with is that there’s a shared sense of co-creating sacred space…experiencing together the presence of God.
How do I reconcile the expansive nature of Awareness, which is limitless, spacious and wants for nothing with a contrasting experience of aching, desiring and longing for another? The former feels like pure freedom; the latter, an organic, transient yearning. Sometimes my perception of these is blurry within the intimate places they share, in the space of me. Mystery and unanswered questions make for good company.
Desire is made of Awareness. Here I am no longer the seer who longs, but the Seeing. Some things can’t be figured out with the usual ways of knowing. My teacher practices the presence of God. Humble. Authentic. I feel immense gratitude for our relationship. It can be simply a word or phrase, or look, or silent pause that draws me deeper into knowing myself. I imagine this might have been the kind of awe that Jesus’ disciples experienced as their hearts and minds were opened. What we share lingers in my heart and inspires me. It’s holy ground. This kind of Love breeds courage for me to sink into my heart.
It is for this Love that I live, not for any person, for this Love is me.
I feel inspired to live without hesitation. Poetry of Rumi & Mary Oliver, non-duality and Rupert Spira, exploring new career options, attending the ballet, relaxing deeply into even the uneasy questions that surface, lead to creative energy. I’m more optimistic, gentler with myself and others. Those closest to me notice I laugh often and out loud. Like diving deep in the mountain lake, I am refreshed.
God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.
These are the words we dimly hear:
You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Flare up like a flame
and make big shadows I can move in.
Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.
Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.
Give me your hand.
Is it possible to know our purpose or destiny in a life time? If through grace or the mysterious synchronicity of experience, a reason for our being in the world is glimpsed, is that what we call a miracle? Gratitude emerges when one’s spirit recognizes its purpose.
From my experience I know that Awareness or Consciousness expresses itself when opened, awakened hearts join unconditionally, selflessly alive in the moment. This is Love. This is Oneness. Once known, this kind of Love can never be unknown. Seeking is no longer necessary, as there ceases to be a you and a me. This kind of love manifests as boundless creative energy. To go to the limits of our longing brings us closer to our essence.
Intuition and spiritual guides provide ways of seeing and knowing beyond the usual senses of perception. Listen, it’s as if Consciousness is drawn to Itself.
On Saturday, I went to the ballet at Lincoln Center and saw La Fille Mal Gardee (Eng. trans: The Wayward Daughter). I find the wordless expressions of Love and physicality of ballet enchanting; happiness unveiled. I laughed, smiled, felt surprise, longing, suspense, humor, desire, passion. In the end, the lovers embrace and dance off the stage hand in hand. On this day, I felt the aliveness possible in what Rilke may have glimpsed in his sensitivity to the divine in our midst: “You, sent out beyond your recall, go to the limits of your longing.”