Dying A Thousand Deaths

death1Death is happening all the time — when we physically die, that event has actually been foreshadowed by a myriad of “mini-deaths” of all kinds. We lose our hair, our lover, our strength, our vitality, our money — or we lose our poverty, …our weakness, our impatience, our headache, our tooth, our memory… you name it. A careful look at our life shows that death or impermanence is a constant companion. Because we are out of synch with how things are constantly changing, we cling to things, ignore impermanence and thereby create suffering. That’s the basic Buddhist analysis. – David Nichtern

If the above is true, I have lived a thousand deaths. Many of those deaths have occurred in relationships. The relationship with the greatest deaths has been the one with the Magus. We are in a death right now.

The Magus was away for a week, and the connection and communication we shared while he was away was beautiful. Instead of just staying in touch, we managed to grow closer. With an Aspie, you need to look for emotional expression differently than in an NT, so when he looked back four times while he was in the security line at the airport to see if I was still waiting and watching, I knew something new had evolved for us. I have dropped him off at home for years after a night out, and he doesn’t look back. He has been away before and hasn’t been able to figure out how or why to stay in touch with me. This time, he sent me messages about things he wanted to share with me, and was intensely interested in my days and my emotions. He supported me in a recent healing ritual from a distance.

So it was not too surprising to me to wake up on Sunday and find he had changed his Facebook status, from not having a status to “In an Open Relationship.” Except for the bit aboutdeath2 Open Relationship. I struggled between the deep meaningfulness of him acknowledging the relationship publicly, to the dismay that he selected Open Relationship. I tried unsuccessfully to just let it be, and all my fears and insecurities were triggered (which was predicted in a dream just the night before). We have had this conversation, and I had hoped we had agreed to certain boundaries: it is not an open relationship (which suggests I agree to him having other similar relationships and that we have negotiated what that will look like). To me, it is a relationship for the purpose of love, learning, growth, spiritual development, and greater levels of consciousness. We are both free each minute to choose the relationship or not. There is only the “now” anyway. Instead of basking in a beautiful gift from the Magus, I was presented with my growth opportunity. Groan.

I believe that my spiritual practice occurs through relationships. Jackson Kiddard says “The purpose of relationships is to be happy, to learn, and to co-create a life together.” A part of me wants to say I have failed miserably at that: I have been in two long-term committed relationships which have ended. But, the relationship with Bhikku has evolved into something beautiful and healing and balanced, and I cherish it. I could not be the person I am today, in the life I have today, without him. I am blessed with the most loving Spiritual Partner in that man. Truthfully, in many ways, he and I are now happy, learning, and co-creating together…not a life together though, but a family and a business.

It is the Magus with whom I had hoped to build an intimate life. I envisioned sharing a home, sitting down to tea, watching a movie. Maybe working side by side on stained glass in the garage some nights. Gardening on Sunday mornings. Reading quietly, and occasionally sharing quotations with each other. Cooking dinners. Going to bed. All the normal aspects of sharing a life together.

But he is an Aspie, and he has his own fears and issues to work through. He clings to the belief (learned from his parents I believe) that the more he gives me, the more I need or want. He needs time on his own (I know this) and is sure he cannot have what he needs in my vision. He has not expressed his own vision – rather he always reacts with a Yay or a Nay to mine. He is less likely to explore how he can have his needs met at the same time as my own…and blah blah blah. We have done this script before, and we are always both unkind, unloving, and what we say in this script is often untrue of the other, but very true of our fears. (He may be wise and compassionate as a healer but he can be insensitive and rigid as a man. And I know I can be a bitch!)

death3I know from the work of Susan Page: “In the Old Model, you make progress by talking thing through together, using relationship communication skills. In Spiritual Partnership, you make progress by choosing spiritual actions–by yourself. In the Old Model, your goal is to solve your problems. In Spiritual Partnership, the goal is to outgrow problems by achieving a new level of consciousness. In the Old Model, the goal is to improve the relationship, to move from dysfunctional to functional, to thriving. In Spiritual Partnership, the goal is for each partner to grow spiritually. In the Old Model, you solve problems by encouraging your partner to change. In Spiritual Partnership you encourage yourself to change.”

So, I began my usual process of recognizing how hopeless this relationship is: he is more drawn to an Open Relationship because that can be a non-continuous relationship, he is not interested in sharing a life and co-creating with me…so what am I doing here? This is hopeless, I can’t change to be ok with what he wants, he is an Aspie and has physical limitations, he prefers a relationship through text because there is space and distance in that…and I just want to be held at night, have someone love my body, mind, heart, and soul. Impossible, so let this relationship go and start creating what I want.

I have done that a thousand times already. This relationship dies on a regular basis, and a new one rises from those ashes. And it is time to do this differently. It is time to hold consciousness that a new truth will be revealed, a deeper one. To hold consciousness knowing that I am done with whatever beliefs I have manifested in the pattern this relationship has taken. To know that I am the consciousness it takes to be happy. I refuse to be the consciousness that cries at night because I am alone. I have what I need, in balance with my partner.

Some people may question my sanity. One truth in psychology, and I am at my core a psychologist, is that past behaviour predicts future behaviour. He is an Aspie, and that will govern who he is and how he behaves and of what he is capable of expressing and experiencing. I am an anxiety ridden recovering co-dependent, with a history of serial monogamy. I have better odds at the Blackjack table than we have for this relationship to change…except there are deeper spiritual truths that I hold in this moment. Maybe we are done, but my growth is not.

One Buddhist or Tantric or Hindu or Sikh principle is impermanence and change. All things change, just wait.death4

“Take for example the life of an individual. It is a fallacy to believe that a person would remain the same person during his entire life time. He changes every moment. He actually lives and dies but for a moment, or lives and dies moment by moment, as each moment leads to the next. A person is what he is in the context of the time in which he exists. It is an illusion to believe that the person you have seen just now is the same as the person you are just now seeing or the person whom you are seeing now will be the same as the person you will see after a few moments.

Even from a scientific point of view this is true. We know cell divisions take place in each living being continuously. Old cells in our bodies die and yield place continuously to the new ones that are forming. Like the waves in a sea, every moment, many thoughts arise and die in each individual . Psychologically and physically he is never the same all the time. Technically speaking, no individual is ever composed of the same amount of energy. Mental stuff and cellular material change all the time. He is subject to change and the change is a continuous movement.

Impermanence and change are thus the undeniable truths of our existence. What is real is the existing moment, the present that is a product of the past, or a result of the previous causes and actions. Because of ignorance, an ordinary mind conceives them all to be part of one continuous reality. But in truth they are not.” Urban Dharma

death5And all this gets back to hope. The relationship has changed so much (ironically going from him saying I was framing him in saying he acts like we are in a relationship to him telling the world we are in an open relationship!). We change every moment, even at the cellular level. We are not our limitations. We are our consciousness – in fact, we are the One. So anything is possible. Happiness is possible. Learning is possible. Co-creation is possible. The future is not limited – it is the product of the consciousness we bring to this moment. So I will be as Thich Nhat Hanh says: “Live your daily life in a way that you never lose yourself. When you are carried away with your worries, fears, cravings, anger, and desire, you run away from yourself and you lose yourself. The practice is always to go back to oneself.”

Whether this journey is with the Magus, or not, I am Myself, the One-self.


The Secret Language Of Angels


Ok, I officially needed to start a category for poetry that moves me.  This is such a beautiful emotional imagery.

The Secret Language Of Angels

You moved in me

at first as one cell in my heart that vibrated
to a distant tuning fork an infinity away
then as my heart whole gave way as a symphony
as waves upon the waiting shore,
you sang within me

We inhaled the secret language of angels
and leapt from the edge of the world
into the spinning darkness
clutching tightly to each other
knowing we were the wings that
would never land

We embraced with human arms made of light
and became the torch
that set fire to the stars
and gave greatness to the skies

you and I,
we always both knew
we were never a random

Copyright © 2012 Paul Matsumoto. All Rights Reserved

Fear of Conception – The Death of the Feminine Divine

Mother%20GoddessThe other day, this message showed up in one of the Facebook feeds, and I had a profoundly intense connection with the ideas in it. In my exploration of the Triple Goddess motif, I cannot help but acknowledge that the fear of pregnancy dominated most of my reproductive life, and the grief I felt when I was no longer able to conceive was more profound than I expected.

“The Hidden Collective Feminine Grief

There is such a deep grief in the collective Feminine that we have lost full Communion with our Lunar cycles and Wisdom – and with that disconnection, have also lost the natural gift of Conscious Conception. In our Original Blueprint women had the choice in full consciousness to conceive a baby or not, and could communicate this to the intelligence centre of their ovaries and Womb. No baby was ever meant to enter this world unexpectedly. No woman was ever meant to be in the agonising position of conceiving a life she felt she was not able or safe to bring into this world. This wound is written large across humanity.

When we lost the ability to consciously create within the temple of our bodies, the Feminine psyche also fragmented – sacred sexuality NOT for conception became difficult and tinged with fear. We polarised into the maternal white river of our sexuality, and our erotic, wild dark sexuality, most naturally abundant at Dark Moon Menstruation, became illicit and forbidden. ALL women hold the grief of this in their Womb, and as our budding sexuality was growing and blossoming, we faced the choice between artificial contraception we knew was not natural to our Feminine selves, or an ‘unwanted’ pregnancy.Anu

This fear and powerlessness is laced deep into our sexuality and Wombs, even if we are not aware of it. How many women have had sex or made love, worried about getting pregnant? Or taken heart-stopping pregnancy tests? The orgasmic, ecstatic gift of sexual communion became laced with fear. The gift of consciously bringing a new Soul into the world, at just the right time, with just the right person, so that Soul could thrive in this realm, was lost – and the very creation of human life became entwined with powerlessness.

This grief lays heavily on men’s hearts too, as they could no longer be a conscious co-creator, choosing to bring new Life into the world. It created a deep fear of responsibility, and powerlessness and disconnection from the shared role of conception. Many men have much grieving to do for this loss.” –www.thefountainoflife.org

mgI reflect back on years of worrying about birth control, the desperate remembering to take my pill every day, and the worry every month about if the pill had been effective. I recall the horrible moments of shame in buying a pregnancy test, and waiting to relax enough for my body to release into menstruation. I recall struggling when I finally chose to be pregnant, and how strange it felt to be happy that I was pregnant. I wanted to keep it a secret. I told people it was in case I lost the baby in the first trimester, but I think part of that was the inability to celebrate the goodness of conceiving.

I have no answers to this, and I really want to have insights. I have a daughter and this WILL NOT be her experience, if I can influence that. This week, she engaged in the normal exploration of the body with another girl at school. With incredible pride and excitement, she told me about how she and her close friend were learning about their bodies (they are studying the body at school) by showing each other their bodies under their dresses. I knew I had to let her know that there are varying norms and levels of acceptance about body consciousness and I had to do it in a way that did not elicit shame for her. I remembered in a huge flash how much shame I have had about my body, and how taboo any aspect of sexuality was as I grew up. I remember the fear my sister had in her first menstruation – she thought she was dying. I at least had the benefit of a pamphlet.

Sexuality, power and control are so closely linked. Michel Foucault, in the History of Sexuality, articulates very well how our views about sexuality have been closely tied to politics and social change. As controls on the male power to take life became more stringent, controls over the female power to give life became stronger and stronger. In that process, we have lost the Feminine Divine, and the role of the Divine Masculine has been perverted into dominance and machismo, if one looks at the most extreme definitions of masculinity in society.

I believe I internalized this to such an extent that I lived almost exclusively in my masculine energy, the energy of the head. It was the birth of my child that opened my heart chakra, and brought me to search for sacred sexuality. I recall being complimented in business by men who tell me that I am great to work with, because I think like a man and I look like a woman! Hmmm…and today I received a huge compliment from a union leader who valued the humanity I brought to the labor relations aspect of my previous job. Now THAT is the compliment I will hold on to. tumblr_lsbm2zi5ts1r38gkho1_400

My journey will continue to own and honor my Divine Feminine. I am on a journey of exploring sacred sexuality as I reclaim my own power, and heal my consciousness of the female divine. I am a soul having a human experience, and that soul is both yin and yang. And I know that all this is as it is meant to be; I studied Foucault over 20 years ago, and today it is relevant on my journey. The Triple Goddess has woven herself into my healing meditations, and the need to repose in the Divine Mother has been a longing for many years. It is all so beautifully connected, and I am grateful for the Divine Intelligence weaving the threads of my journey.

Celebrating Manifesting: Look at the birds of the air

gratitude21I have been having the most wonderful week as I embark on my next steps in my career.  I am filled with gratitude, and want to share a bit of that with the world.

Several weeks ago, I shared my mini vision board, in a blog called Vision Board.  I focused on Soul, Relationship, Family, Business, and Exploring. In each of those areas, I have had incredible manifestations of my creation.  I want to share it, both to bolster your own knowing of the truth of our power to create, and to express my gratitude in that knowing as well.

With respect to Soul, I had a chance encounter with a yogi.  I have wanted to study with a yogi since I was 13 years old.  At that age, I bought really intense books written by Indian yogis, and wanted to travel to India as I thought that would be my only way to meet one to study.  And instead, a yogi moved to my city.  We have spent time together, and continue to do so.  gratitude

With respect to Relationship, I am accepting more and more that my relationship with Bhikku has changed, in good ways. I am reconciling the changes, as it feels difficult to be at friends’ homes or at our church at the same time but not together. My relationship with the Magus feels like it is taking quantum leaps.  Every day he offers me a new expression of love.  Every day I celebrate growing in intimacy.  I am blessed by the presence of this soul, his wisdom, his laughter.  The more of him I know, the more of my capacity to love is revealed, for him and for the universe.

In Family, I am blessed with total unrelenting commitment from Bhikku, as a father and co-parent and business partner, in ways that I simply don’t remember seeing in the past.  We are better friends now than ever.  There is an intimacy that was never possible before our forgiveness, and I see the beauty of him for who he is.  I can celebrate the spiritual partnership we have become.  He is doing amazing things, and he is supporting me in doing amazing things too.Mandala_033_Gratitude_12x12_o

In Business, I have had clients show up in the first week. I am lining up work in every conversation I have.  On my vision board, I have used many pictures of lofts.  I would like to live or work in a loft, and with my child and dog, it is unlikely I will live in one.  I told that story to a client with whom I was meeting, who has loft space, and I was instantly offered free space to come and work with them. OMG! As if it wasn’t cool enough to just work with them on projects…

Exploring will take some time as I build my economic strength, but I am planning a trip to see my family this summer, and another trip with the Magus to Kelowna and Victoria.  He is there now, and has been sending me an itinerary of joythings he wants to show me.  How blessed I feel…

But guess what I forgot? I forgot to vision about me! I went to see my amazing counselor yesterday, and we did some muscle testing and some healing work on my body.  In my vision, I forgot to vision for my healing and release of old patterns that no longer serve me.  And right there is an old pattern in and of itself.  It is not surprising in some ways, as the muscle testing showed I am not completely willing to release the trauma in my body.  That will need some work, I think.

And yet, that is also something for which I am grateful. Even when I forgot about me, the universe did not.  Thank you, thank you, thank  you.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life ? – Matthew 6: 25-27


Lifting the Veil


I love poetry that gives a voice to my experience and my desire. I’m grateful when it shows up and want to share it like an excited child pointing at a new wonder. I hope you are touched by this one too.

Lifting the Veil

Will you hold me in my pain,
my fear, my vulnerability, distortions and anger?
Hold me, not fix me, nor judge me,
without concern for making anything better, easier.

Embrace me, devoid of your ego, devoid of all concerns
that you are not being enough, doing enough, loving enough.

Will you shield me, from myself… from my desire to stay contained,
my veil, for you to love me in the perfection I feel you seek?

Will you gaze into my eyes so deeply, so openly
that you feel the tremble of my wounds as I reveal them,
exposing my darkness from a depth yet to see light?

Will you meet me…
Will you kiss my lips with raw purity,
without fear, without repulsion, without altering yourself in any way
to be the man you think I need you to be?

And will you stay…
Will you trust yourself to know the immensity and depth of your
beautiful soul, touched by the unyielding love and gratitude I feel
for you in this beautifully sacred moment?

– Janine Marie


Forgiveness and Freedom and Love, Oh My!

On my Practical Priestess Facebook page, I have been posting quotations about forgiveness, and about the meaning of Namaste, and about the connectedness of everything.  They seem to be my inspiration today.  I am seeing the connections between some seemingly random things today…


In yoga, we always ended a session with the ritual greeting of Namaste.  I always associated it with gratitude, but I have learned the deeper experience of it.

“Namaste: My soul honors your soul. I honor the place in you where the entire universe resides.  I honor the light, love, truth, beauty and peace within you, because it is also within me.  In sharing these things, we are united, we are the same, we are one.”

Recently, I shared a  deep day of love and energy and connection with the Magus.  He attended a kundalini yoga class with me, and spoke at some length with the Yogi Amandeep Singh.  As the day progressed, we kept talking, relaxed together, and moved into a space of energy.  Neither of us planned it nor said a word – it was simply a natural flow from where we were into it.  In that space, I felt my edges melt, and I could blend into him.  And what was there was the truth of Namaste. I experienced the Oneness of seeing Me in Him, of seeing Him in Me, and ultimately feeling that same blending into All.


“The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize at the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit, and that its center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.” ― Black Elk

Today at the Centre for Spiritual Living, we heard about the visit of the spiritual leadership to see John of God.  We heard about the feeling of being in a state of higher consciousness, ofamandeep transcendence, of Oneness with the divine and with each other. And in that moment, I realized I focus too much on the dynamics and experience of relationship when in fact what I have wanted, always wanted, is to move into a state of loving consciousness most of the time.  I have found myself looking past the surface of human interaction and only seeing or engaging with the Divine spark in those moments.  Today Reverend Patrick spoke about how we love people, and that we can fall into a place of hoping that our love with heal or change another.  I realized how many times I act as if my choices are driven by another person’s choices.  And they are not.  It is me, and my choice to be in a consciousness of Love or Ego and Doubt.


I have struggled with forgiveness.  In the past, I have not known how to forgive, and recently my biggest lesson with Bhikku has been forgiveness.  It feels so good to just love him and see him for him, instead of the pain from the past.  Today I realized that forgiveness is a lesson in the death of the ego.  If you hold on to pain, you are holding on to fear and doubt.  You are not being in your divine consciousness.  You are not love.  You are pure ego, believing in what appears on the surface.  If I can forgive Bhikku, then I can forgive my parents, and anyone else who was my teacher on victim consciousness.  That means I can be my truest expressions of love around them, in my way, in my time, and without any concern of what is reciprocated or not.  Freedom…forgiveness…same, same!

So today…

I_remember_OnenessToday I chose to live in a consciousness of love.  How can I be of service to you? How can I unconditionally support you in your journey?

Rumi poem on Intimacy


I want to see you.

Know your voice.

Recognize you when you
first come ’round the corner.

Sense your scent when I come
into a room you’ve just left.

Know the lift of your heel,
the glide of your foot.

Become familiar with the way
you purse your lips
then let them part,
just the slightest bit,
when I lean in to your space
and kiss you.

I want to know the joy
of how you whisper

― Rumi