Called to Silence

wpid-2014-02-03-23.39.13.pngI have been a person who defines herself in relation to others.  My needs are usually put second to those around me, like my daughter or my siblings.  At some point, I realize how bad an idea that is, but it is often prompted by anger.  I have learned that anger in me always means that a need I have is not being met. (It also means something that is happening is making me feel like I am not enough, which tends to intersect with my needs not being met.)

I own all of that.  It is mine to change.  So lately, I have been changing that, actively.  Like any new choice or skill, it takes practice.  I have run the gambit from doing it so badly that I needed a lawyer, right up to graciously taking time to reflect and find my silence.

In fact, I am called to silence more and more.  I was a woman who liked to get out and do things – try new restaurants, travel, go to concerts, see a play, work hard, keep my house to a standard.  I was a perpetual motion machine!

Now, as I begin working on my vision, listening to the source is more important than going to a menu of options and trying to set goals.  If I look at my creation lists of the past, they are more like wishes than they are reflective of the flow of the current of consciousness.  Some of them I laugh at now.

If I listen to my silence, it is longing for more silence.  I have joined a new community, and what draws me is the silence.  We sit and meditate.  We connect, but it is not over the mundane.  I look at my work, and I create silence in issues as they are shared with me.  In that silence, the next thing that is needed arises.  From the silence, all that needs to be arises.  It does not need me to force it.  It does not need me to be its stick.

This poem speaks to the insight that is coming to me.

 

The waves of the mind
demand so much of Silence.
But she does not talk back
does not give answers nor arguments.
She is the hidden author of every thought
every feeling
every moment.

Silence.

She speaks only one word.
And that word is this very existence.
No name you give Her
touches Her
captures Her.
No understanding
can embrace Her.

Mind throws itself at Silence
demanding to be let in.
But no mind can enter into
Her radiant darkness
Her pure and smiling
nothingness.

The mind hurls itself
into sacred questions.
But Silence remains
unmoved by tantrums.
She asks only for nothing.

Nothing.

But you won’t give it to Her
because it is the last coin
in your pocket.
And you would rather
give her your demands than
your sacred and empty hands.

**

Everything leaps out in the celebration of mystery,
but only nothing enters the sacred source,
the silent substance.
Only nothing gets touched and becomes sacred,
realizes its own divinity,
realizes what it is
without the aid of a single thought.
Silence is my secret.
Not hidden.
Not hidden.

Adyashanti – Emptiness Dancing

For A Thought: Justifying Fear

I am not really that political. I don’t volunteer for candidates at election time. I don’t vote for one party consistently.  I am more of a social leader. I challenge values like sexism, ageism (young and old), and support environmental issues, albeit inconsistently and not ascribing to any one movement.. Mostly I define myself as a humanist. 

Yet, as I watch the American election, one I cannot vote in as I am Canadian, I can easily get riled up. I feel compelled to challenge people to examine their beliefs and mental models. I feel compelled to do something to combat the insanity I see. 

How easy it is for us to begin to feel threatened and fearful over someone who doesn’t think as we do. How often do we see violence or murder, just for a thought that is different than our own? 

Consider Malala Yousafzai. As a young girl, Malala Yousafzai defied the Taliban in Pakistan and demanded that girls be allowed to receive an education. She was shot in the head by Taliban gunman in 2012, but survived and went on to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. (Wikipedia) Despite political violence, her stance is to promote non-violent dialogue and greater education.

“I started thinking about that, and I used to think that the Talib would come, and he would just kill me. But then I said, ‘If he comes, what would you do Malala?’ then I would reply to myself, ‘Malala, just take a shoe and hit him.’

But then I said, ‘If you hit a Talib with your shoe, then there would be no difference between you and the Talib. You must not treat others with cruelty and that much harshly, you must fight others but through peace and through dialogue and through education.’

Then I said I will tell him how important education is and that ‘I even want education for your children as well.’ And I will tell him, ‘That’s what I want to tell you, now do what you want.”  – Malala Yousafzai, I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliba

Just as relevant for all countries is this view:

“He believed that lack of education was the root of all of Pakistan’s problems. Ignorance allowed politicians to fool people and bad administrators to be re-elected.”  – Malala Yousafzai, I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban

More clearly than ever, this is an opportunity for awakening. Politics are a siren call for our highest collective consciousess to shine. Politics triggers our fears and unexplored ego issues.

When is it more clear than in politics for us to ask if what we believe is really true? When else are we more clearly called to live our values? When else do we as individuals show as clear an image of how easily we become fundamentalists?

And we do it all for a thought.

A thought.

Thoughts change. Thoughts are ego chatter. Thoughts are lenses that obscure reality.

And for a thought, we allow violence in our words and actions. We allow violence in our energy field.

Today, ask yourself what happens when you believe your thoughts. Who would you be without those thoughts? What would change in the world?

Human nature as spiritual practice

If you read my blogs enough, you could get the impression that I am always kind and calm. You could get the sense that I don’t lose my temper or never say mean things.

I sure do try to be that way. I tend to beat myself up when I am not kind or calm or lose my temper. I also see those moments as times for me to look at what belief was surfacing. I now see them as gifts that focus my awareness on awakening.

“Some people enter spirituality thinking it will help them address everything in human life. Their pursuit of enlightenment is that if they can have the right realization then all of their difficulties will be solved. It almost never works out to be that way. We have to look at spirituality with more mature reasonable eyes. We exist on multiple dimensions of experience and perception.

People try to see life as an unimportant dream state and that is why there is tremendous sense of freedom. But if you hold yourself there you are doing it out of fear, out of avoiding your human nature. Human nature will pull anyone down into humility. It is hard to be human and grandiose at the same time.”
~Adyashanti
From the Nisargadatta Webclass Nov 2014

I don’t want to deny my human nature.  I am not trying to be a saint. I am not devaluing this existence. It is a joy.

I will continue to live and love from my place of truth. Sometimes circumstances will make it more likely that I have fear triggered and I will work through those.  In that moment I will see the truth. And more and more often, I will let go of beliefs and live what is real. It happens now.

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Facebook Flashbacks and Emotional Freedom

Facebook has started posting flashback moments in order to prompt content. “One of Facebook’s greatest strengths is its practice of regularly adding new features and functionality to its site; this both ensures it infects new users and also makes sure existing users don’t become immune to its charms.” –BBC news

Love it or hate it, you will inevitably face posts from the past that trigger painful memories. For me, it has been a benchmark of how much I have changed.

I was reminded this weekend of some of the most painful times in my life.  And as Abraham Hicks reminds us: “What can be more exhilarating than to find a dream from the contrast, to fixate on the dream and let it give you pleasure as it grows, and then to watch Law of Attraction bring it into manifestation while you help with your action? Does it get any better than that?”

But this isn’t a post about how looking backwards gives you hope because it will all work out in the end. That would be a story. It would support only being open to what makes you feel happy and devaluing all the rest of life.

This is about the fact that when Facebook elicits an emotion, it is an energy – intense or subtle. Goodness or badness, painful or joyous – the freedom is in not identifying with it,  not energizing it with a form of meaning, and being with the energy. The energy of this Life is so amazing.  Be in the flow of the emotions without making it a story, giving it meaning and it is like immersing yourself in an awesome movie for two hours – a powerful, beautiful  experience but that’s all.

Freedom from attachment to emotions and from meaning is openness to the richness of all of life. And I am so grateful to finally be open to life.

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Falling into the Wind

There is an indoor skydiving center that I went to in Las Vegas. It uses a jet propeller to approximate free fall. You get on the net in a suit built like a flying squirrel, the jets turn up and you float.

To stay in the stream requires surrender. You must give yourself over to the experience. 

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Life requires that same surrender.  If I get against what is, I suffer. If I fight against what was,  I suffer. When I surrendered,  like falling into the Wind…I found spacious happiness.

How many years did I spend in a battle with what is only to be followed by a battle with what was? How incredible is the grace that has shown me this and moved me to surrender?

This isn’t about giving up or glossing over what is. When you fight what is, you narrow your options. When you surrender to what is, you are open to all possibilities. You can respond from a wise and loving place.

Every moment led to this moment. Every moment is part of the Divine flow. Every moment leads to awareness and awakening.

Falling into the Wind…now…and now…and now.

Indulging the Ego

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It is good to reflect on experiences and see what they point to on your spiritual journey. But when does inner inquiry turn into indulging the Ego?

It did not occur to me that the work I do looking for insights can subtley become a way of indulging my egoic self. We are told that the ego can try to co-opt the journey of awakening. And like any good egoic consciousness, I was sure that couldn’t happen to me, especially being forwarned.

I have found myself ruminating on one source of pain for some time now. I have done The Work (Byron Katie) so I have moved alot of the underlying thoughts related to my suffering. But I go back to scenarios and moments, as if there is something more to milk from it. I justify the returning thoughts as my exploration of what may be unfinished.

Yet, there is nothing new. If anything, I see I am creating a story called “What am I not seeing?”, to justify what is just an egoic groove. I have ruminated on this issue for some time, and I have many triggers for it. So it is natural that it will take a bit of practice to not become enamoured by settling back into the familiar self righteousness and suffering that this set of thoughts creates. 

What I am really doing is indulging the ego. I am saying things like “There must be more to this” or “I am not done with that lesson”. More accurately, I am breathing life back into the ego.

“You breathe life into your ego in the form of emotional addictions. Emotion is the very life-force of ego. So the point of detachment isn’t to detach from things, but to detach from your emotional bonds with things. And you don’t simply let go of emotional bonds; you burn through them with investigative awareness. You see them for what they are: prisons, false structures holding you in spiritual infancy. ” -Adyashanti

Every time I recognize something like this, the release is so sweet. It is like taking your shoes off and wiggling your toes in the sand. It is one more piece of freedom.

The blood moon lunar eclipse represents final closure on things that have been lurking in your shadow.  I celebrate that my ritual on Sunday set this awareness in motion. Nature so happily shows us how to be awake.

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