Missing the Mystery of Life: The Last Page of the Book

bookDo you ever read the last few pages of a new book, just to see?

For most of my past, I would read the first few chapters of a fiction novel, get really engaged in it, and then read the last few pages to see how it all ends.  Then I could just relax and enjoy the writing and how it unfolded.  Otherwise, I was too anxious and would wolf down every page to see how it goes.

I found that my approach to spirituality was a bit like this, too.  When would I become enlightened? How do I ascend? Am I falling behind? Who is the guru I need next? Or what teaching do I need now?  My mind was asking the questions from anxiety, and not letting truth surface.

“Be in touch with the part of you that is not afraid of the bigger questions of life, the ones that underlie everybody’s life.  What am I really? What is true in this world of illusion? What is real? What is authentic? What is reality? What is God?  Those deep existential questions that orient you into the mystery of being.  It is not necessarily satisfying if you get a quick and easy answer to these questions, from a book or a teacher; those deep questions that pull our attention into the mystery of being rather than trying to explain the mystery, and awaken our sense of wonder.  Sometimes we are taught to be oriented in a way of thinking that conceals our wonder and all we have is anxious questions.  What is going to happen? Is it all going to work out? All are a manifestation of anxiety.  Deep questions are questions of wonder.  They are looking for an experienced or a revelation, not simply an answer.”  – Adyashanti, satsang at Asilomar, December 2016

In meditation and spiritual practice, we reach into ourselves for an experience to the mystery.  For example, no answer or idea can fulfill you when you yearn for love.  You aren’t satisfied with a theory on love.  You want the experience of it.

I find now that I don’t run from the deep questions of life, the deep experience of being.  I am more aware that deep experiences lead to resolutions of these questions within us, often wordlessly.  We have a profound experience of being, a shift in our experience and perception of life.

Read the whole book, don’t skip the pages or devour them, and enjoy.

Belongingness

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As a practicing Tantrika, one of my blessings is to belong to kula. Kula is a spiritual community of Tantrik yogis. It is family, it is self-contained and it is about absolute connectedness.

My kula partner and I have worked together for a year now. It is one of the safest relationships I have. He is able to relate to how I experience life, particularly the aspects of consciousness and spiritual philosophy. In most respects, we are quite different personalities but that adds to our practice. It is not a romantic practice nor is it sexual. It is very intimate, especially energetically, however.

This week I have felt restlessness, fueled by the full moon, the coming eclipse, and other planetary movements. When I sink into my practice, the restlessness is worse, not better. Some of what is surfacing is a desire for belongingness. My kula mate has felt that too.

It is ironic to be in a practice of connectedness and union, and to share in the feeling of not currently belonging.  This is not new to me. I have spent most of my life not feeling a sense of belongingness,  and those moments in which I did became an energy that I grasped at, and grasped for.

Today, Matt Licata shared words to which I am returning to ride my way through this wave of shifting energy:

“Something happens and you get triggered. Someone says something or ignores you, or doesn’t show up in the way you want and need. You quickly become convinced that no one will ever see you as you are. Others are not on your side and the world is unsafe. And there is only one explanation at the root of it all: you are unworthy of such contact and something is fundamentally wrong with you. 

In these moments, you are totally hooked. Your emotional world is on fire and you’re falling apart. You are shaming, blaming, and raging in all directions. The old voices remind you of how wretched you truly are. The energy is hot and surging through your heart. There is a panicky nauseous feeling in your stomach. Your throat is starting to constrict. You are about to collapse. Here we go again.

But wait. Breathe deeply from your lower belly. Touch the earth. Feel your heart beating. Return to your body and the aliveness of the here and now. See if it really is as urgent as it seems, that you need to disembody and find relief.

Give yourself the gift of sacred pause. This is no ordinary moment. The harbingers of integration have appeared. While you may never have much control over what thoughts, feelings, or emotions arrive in a moment of activation, you have a choice as to how you will respond. This choice is the threshold of a new world.

Depending on your early strategies for meeting overwhelm and dysregulation, you flow into motion. While these responses are wired in to your neural net, they are open, plastic, translucent, and awaiting reconfiguration.

No matter what is happening in the inner and outer landscape, you can start right now – you can lay down a new pathway. Slowly, over time, you can replace the aggression with kindness. You can replace the abandonment with holding. You can replace the rejection with curiosity and fiery compassion. You can develop a new relationship with your feelings, your emotions, and with the beliefs which have become the lenses through which you have come to see your life.

While the old narratives and emotional strategies emerged as the best ways you knew to care for yourself and to somehow make sense of empathic failure and a misattuned holding environment, you are the artist of a new world. Your canvas is the entirety of your embodied vulnerability, the tenderness of your heart, and the brilliance of your creative psyche. You can rewrite the story, rewire your nervous system, and find new meaning. No, this is not easy, and will take everything you have… and more. But it is already written inside you.

While it may seem hopeless at times, you have capacities that you did not have as a little one when the original pathways were formed. Call on the seen and unseen worlds to assist you. Open to the holding and the wisdom of the mountains, the oceans, the stars, and the blue rose inside you.

You are surrounded now by the heartbeat of the earth. Feel the new pathway emerging. Allow the new template to come online now. The template of love.” – Matt Licata

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.

Off the Cliff

I met Cliff yesterday. He was quiet when we were introduced. I was one of many people he would meet this day, each day, in his job. We knew this relationship would last no more than a day.

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But for that day, we implicitly agreed that I would respect his instinct and strength. He would take care of me, show and teach me things that I had not seen or done before. I would learn strength and harmony and balance, if I was willing to hand over control to his know how. If I could trust.
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And I did. I surrendered. We silently moved together in flow. When I lost the rhythm,  he would patiently correct me. When I was not in balance, he would compensate for my body with his own.

After several hours, my body ached. My muscles rarely worked this way.  How many years had I lied to myself, limited myself, saying I had bad balance? Cliff disagreed and didn’t bother to fight it – he just stayed in flow.

I will probably never see Cliff again.  It wasn’t that type of connection. It was more about moving me past myself.

It was about falling from the precipice of my self illusion, a cliff made from my own dull sleep. And it was about surrendering to trust, in the form of other.
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Magic Words

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When I “priestess”, the most common question I get is How: how do I let something go, how do I stop feeling upset by triggers?

I have three practices that lead to peace and freedom in me. They are my magic words.

Who am I?
When I am upset by something, I ask who I really am. I feel my heart open and I sink back into a deeper sense of truth. Whatever is arising emotionally in me moves away.

Is it true?
When something triggers me, I identify the belief that is being energized. Then I ask if its true. Truth is something I feel in my stomach and my heart. As soon as I recognize something as not true, it dissolves.

It is absolutely OK if I always feel this way
When I invite a feeling to be loved and accepted, it begins to dissolve. In the total acceptance of what is, the energy flows through and away.

What I find is that no matter the circumstances, the universe is providing an opportunity for me to experience peace and freedom. These magic words help me recognize that. I wish you peace and freedom as well.

Being Gentle With Myself is About Freedom

hand-2I am told to “Be gentle with myself” quite often.  It irritates me (don’t be offended – YOU don’t irritate me, just the idea does) and so I am exploring that now.

To say I am a perfectionist would be true at times.  I have very high personal standards, but they are meant to be in service of what I am capable of being.  My standard is about being loving, awake, in truth, accepting, surrendering, and living from consciousness.  I have very little problem in looking at my egoic bumps and lumps to release them.

But sometimes, I feel disappointed or like a failure when the same conditioned reactions arise in me over and over.  I feel even worse when I act from them.  I think at times, I even feel proud that I am telling you about them – see how responsible I am? See how awake I am? I own my stuff with pride!

Possibly, that is a subtle form of ego. If nothing else, when I am busy doing that, I am unconscious, so it goes against my own desires.

“A thought or emotion emerges, you notice it, and it passes by because you allow it to.  This technique of freeing yourself is done with the understanding that thoughts and emotions are just objects of consciousness.  Wen you see your heart start getting anxious, you are obviously aware of this experience.  But who is aware? It is the consciousness, the indwelling being, the Soul, the Self.  It is the seer, the one who sees. The changes you experience in your inner energy flow are simply objects of this consciousness.  If you want  to be free, then every time you feel any change in the energy flow, relax behind it.  Don’t fight with it, don’t try to change it and don’t judge it.  Don’t say “Oh I can’t believe I’m still feeling this.  I promised myself I wouldn’t think about that car anymore.” Don’t do that; you will just end up going with the guilt thoughts instead of the car thoughts. You have to let them go.

But it’s not just about letting go of the thoughts and emotions.  It is actually about letting go of the pull that the energy itself has on your consciousness.  The disturbed energy is trying to draw your attention into it.  If you use your inner will power to not go with it, and just remain seated within, you will notice that the distinction between the consciousness and the object of consciousness is like night and day.  They are totally different things.  The object comes and goes, and the consciousness watches it come and go.  Then the next object comes and goes while the consciousness watches it.  Both objects came and went, but the consciousness didn’t go anywhere.” – Michael A. Singer

My resistance to “Being gentle with myself” is that I don’t want to identify with a self.  I want to return often to that awareness of consciousness and act from there.  I can celebrate that I return to that place more and more quickly – minutes now, not hours or days.  I can also celebrate that it hurts and feels uncomfortable when I act in a way that is out of alignment with with my Being.  I know it will take time for inner energy shifts to show up and dissolve old patterns.  I want to be aware of them, without energizing them when they occur. 

So, next time you want to support me, and you tell me to be gentle with myself, I am going to remember that you want me to be free of myself, my guilt, and my ego.  And I will be very grateful. 🙂