Friday, August 31, 2007

Sometimes I Forget

Wrong side of the bed
Originally uploaded by Mark Griffith
There are some things that I have accepted as true,
yet I don’t directly perceive them.
So, sometimes… I forget.

I thought a checklist might be helpful.
Something to review today, since I may have gotten up
On the wrong side of the bed.

So, until it’s all a living reality, some points from Byron Katie:

When you argue with reality, you lose — but only always.

Personalities don’t love — they want something.

I am the perpetrator of my suffering — but only all of it.

An unquestioned mind is the world of suffering.

Anything you want to ask a teacher, ask yourself. If
you really want to know the truth, the answer will meet
your question.

The worst thing that has ever happened is an
uninvestigated thought.

Sanity doesn’t suffer, ever.

The teacher you need is the person you’re living with. Are
you listening?

I don’t let go of my concepts — I meet them through
inquiry, then they let go of me.

Reality is always kinder than the story we tell about it.

What is is. You don’t get a vote. Haven’t you noticed?

There are no physical problems — only mental ones.

The direct route is: “God is everything; God is good.”

Reality is God, because it rules.

Still not clear?
Then here are the first two paragraphs from Katie’s little book (free for the download.)

What Is Is
The only time we suffer is when we believe a thought
that argues with what is. When the mind is perfectly
clear, what is is what we want. If you want reality to be
different than it is, you might as well try to teach a cat
to bark. You can try and try, and in the end the cat
will look up at you and say, “Meow.” Wanting reality
to be different than it is is hopeless.

And yet, if you pay attention, you’ll notice that you
think thoughts like this dozens of times a day. “People
should be kinder.” “Children should be well-behaved.”
“My husband (or wife) should agree with me.” “I should
be thinner (or prettier or more successful).” These
thoughts are ways of wanting reality to be different than
it is. If you think that this sounds depressing, you’re
right. All the stress that we feel is caused by arguing
with what is.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Small Deaths: The Kiss

the kiss
Originally uploaded by Seeking Tao

How can dead birds kiss?
Kissing is for the living. What moment more alive?
Yet, here they do
To powerful effect.

From the blurb:
Small lives end every day —
the unfledged bird fallen from its nest,
the unwary lizard caught by a cat
— as unnoticed in dying as they were in living.

Australian, photographer-artist Kate Breakey has been photographing found animal remains
creating stunning, oversized, hand-colored images
that — paradoxically — glow with life.

In the ongoing series, "Small Deaths"
birds, flowers, lizards, and insects
are vividly preserved

"freeze it in time, suspend it in space, immortalize it
so that its beauty and its death are memorialized."

This reminds me of an Andrew Wyeth quote I found a long time ago. Something like...

Most people come to my work through the realism and then discover the abstractness.
A sea shell lying on the sand is frozen in time, eternal.

And I have been hearing the echo of a love song
I just died in your arms tonight
It must've been some kind of kiss

And I have been thinking of something I wrote here,
“I am a habit waiting to be dropped.”

I am no more than that.
A habit
raising to the highest power Her simpler yearning for
“a soft place to land.”
To be held, to be kissed,
and finally to die,
to let go
into Dissolution.

A perfect uniting of opposites –
the Nothing that is Everything.

Everlasting Inheritance

Soft Breast Sharpe Talons
Originally uploaded by Seeking Tao

An Unfinished Poem by Adyashanti

Listen now, or lose your life,
for what I have to say is what you have imagined in quiet moments
but have failed to realize in full.

Perhaps you were too timid or astonished at the critical moments,
or couldn’t find the courage to step through the veil of your frail life
when the door was opened for you.

Or perhaps you wanted to keep your life as your own,
and chose to hold onto a few pennies
when you could have had gold.

No matter,
for yesterday has passed into the dust of remembered dreams,
and tomorrow’s story is yet to be written.

Which is precisely why you and I are now here together.
You and I.
You and I.
Oh, the sheer mystery of it—how could anything be more grand?
Stand with me here at the precipice and take my hand in yours,
for I am good company to those ready to depart familiar ground.
If not, then let loose of my hand now
and take that of a more familiar companion.
For where we stand is known,
but our next step will not be—nor the one after or the one after that.

…Let us not waste any more time on discussions or debates;
you have surely been caught in those tide pools too long already.
Too much talk is wearying to the soul
and evades the spirit of things.
Longing is the true measure of a man or woman
and alone has the power to draw us out of ourselves
and into the vast air of eternity.
But we shall not rely only on the winds of longing,
for they can be fickle
and unpredictable.
We shall also need the fire of intent
—that fine-tipped arrow of courage
flying true and straight to its goal,
piercing through the fabric of our dreams as it goes.

It is time to begin watching your steps, dear companion.
For you have already wasted the goodness of too many days
stumbling along with the unconscious drove.
Today I bid you to place no foot upon the earth without feeling
the sinews, skin, and bone of your feet with each step.
How awake you are to the least of things
will determine how awake you become to the greatest in due time.
For in the play of time, the great and manifold diversity of things
in the end proves their unity.
And it is toward the end that we are headed,
for it is only by means of the end that we arrive here,
on this spot, free and immortal.

I can see in your eyes a fear and confusion.
All this talk of endings brings a tremble to your bones.
But fear not,
for I do not speak of death or chaos
except to point out
that you have already fallen prey to both.
I talk of awakening from the death of sleepwalking in dreams and veiled imagination. Beyond the veil all is well, and more well than I can attest.
Within the immortality of what you are,
there is a contentment and peace born only of your true identity.

…I seek only to remove untruth from your mind
so that you may be restored to the unitary vision
which is your everlasting inheritance.

I have abreviated this and changed the line alignment.

You can read the full unedited version for your self. Right Here. And I have used one of my own versions of Small Deaths, by way of illustration, scould you want to click of the picture here. Namatse

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

As kids some fifty years ago, my brother, sister, and I spent hours playing a game of our own invention that we called, “Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch.” We used small blocks and Lincoln Logs to build ranch houses and had little rubber cows and chickens, and some furniture from doll house use. Sister Sandy, as the oldest, always got to be our best and most elegant, plastic figure, Roy Rogers. I, as middle child, was the more roughly crafted, turd-brown, bronco buster, yee-haw guy. And Andy, as the youngest, got stuck with one of the generic, very bow-legged, blue cavalry soldiers. By way of compensation he insisted that his fellow fly everywhere, rather than ride a horse as others did - a behavior I found most irritating.

I am not sure how we came up with “meanwhile, back at the ranch.” It was probably something Mom suggested. But, I think that even then I understood it to represent taking a break from the major drama running to disaster before your eyes - a reprieve invoked during Saturday matinee tensions.

This morning coming to the lab I felt very much in need of just such a break. So I decided to check out a poetry/sacred text website I’d bookmarked awhile ago, yet never gotten to.

I liked what I found, and just thought that I would share.

Because, from time to time we all could use a break back at the ranch – to a time when our buddies could fly.

The flower invites the butterfly with no-mind;
The butterfly visits the flower with no-mind.
The flower opens, the butterfly comes;
The butterfly comes, the flower opens.
I don't know others,
Others don't know me.
By not-knowing we follow nature's course.

Never put anyone out of your heart...
Neem Karoli Baba

People will do anything, no matter how absurd,
in order to avoid facing their own soul.
Carl Gustav Jung

You must understand the whole of life, not just
one little part of it. That is why you must read,
that is why you must look at the skies, that is
why you must sing and dance, and write poems,
and suffer, and understand, for all that is life.
J. Krishnamurti

Outside ideas of right doing and wrong doing there is
a field. I'll meet you there.

And then, I was simply amazed. They were offering the words of Louis L’Amour:

There will come a time when you believe everything is
finished. That will be the beginning.

So, there I was, full circle.

Happy trails and tales to you.
… til we meet again.


(Don’t know Louis? Go here.)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Heart Can be a Fossil

The Heart Can be a Fossil
Originally uploaded by Seeking Tao

More stories, people.

1) Whatever you do, she said, don't wait too long or you'll have to start from the very beginning & those new bodies are always kind of a crapshoot.

2) This is a lighthouse that only warns you if you're likely to pay attention because you've been told the world is a dangerous place before.
( StoryPeople )

Actually, this is an approximately 320 million year old Brachiopod fossil I found when I was 12,
in an abandoned strip-mine behind my cousins’ farm in southern Illinois.
We were playing hide and seek. But I had run so far and hidden so well, I kind of ended up all by myself in this other world.
I started finding all these fossils and
Suddenly, I knew there used to be on ocean over Illinois.
History had depth.
Where I walked, once had a totally different look and feel.
It was another world.

Just like that, there was so much mystery and beauty lying all about me.
I resolved to come back the next morning while the others still were sleeping.
I’d come back by myself.
I’d bring a bag
maybe a shovel.

This fossil was a very delicate specimen, different from any other I have ever found, composed of a fine, white crystalline material.
The other side of the shell had cracked away - and the whole, little, soft-bodied fellow
who once lived inside had also become fossilized.

So once I got it home, I lift the body from the shell, and embedded the two specimens
in separate blocks of polymerizing plastic for protection.

They've been like that for over forty years now.
Sometimes, I overlay the two blocks so I can see just how, originally, the soft parts
Lay within the shell.
I perfect their alignment, shift the blocks back and forth, like one might shuffle cards.

I like the blocks, but sometimes I regret what I did
So long ago.
No air, nothing living will ever get past all that plastic.
I can’t really touch the treasure I discovered as a child.

But it’s been safe all that time.
And it catches the Light falling on it so remarkably that
its beauty can rivet my attention from across the room.

So, from time to time, I try to take a picture that really does that Light justice.

I never quite get it right.
Not yet.

It's hard to say the right words without practice, I said & she whispered in my ear, Say them as many times as you like & we practiced late into the night.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Mystery has no Steering Wheel

Originally uploaded by Pippo 05

I’ve been trying to keep Becky informed of the latest events, but things seem to be changing by the hour, and while I was trying my best to steer a sane course, I discovered that the Mystery has no steering wheel.

She laughed and said StoryPeople must have a squib on this and she’d scroll through to see what she could find… but the email was still shaky and some ISPs were not getting through.

So, I started my own search. Here goes:

1) Leaving a trail of destruction behind her even though her current affirmation is happy happy joy joy.

2) Start here & go until you die, he said. What's so complicated about that?

3) I spent a long time trying to find my center until I looked closely one night & found it had wheels & moved easily in the slightest breeze, so now I spend less time sitting and more time sailing.

4) What do I get for this? I said & the angel gave me a catalog filled with toasters & clock radios & a basketball signed by Michael Jordan & I said, But this is just stuff & the angel smiled at me & swallowed me in her arms. I'm so glad you said that, she whispered to me. I knew you still had a chance.

But this is the one that fits the best.
This is the one that brought the tears.

5) This is a tree on fire with love, but it's still scary since most people think love only looks like one thing instead of the whole world.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Thinking too Much

Pear & Butterfly II
Originally uploaded by Jack Hindmarsh

I’ve been thinking a lot lately.
Making lists of reasonable reasons, if not on paper certainly in my head.
There’s this and this and this and this…

Then, yesterday I received an email from a Nick Forrest, which didn’t make any sense to me at first. It read

Subject: agatha defuse animate

bard bolshoi, chromatography conception bloomfield, defrock combine. compactify allure babyhood actinide dakota bureaucratic conveyance. bottommost capillary dobbin cancelled amos casualty astrophysical chairman cane burette chambers armenia. baxter alexander cruelty boeing angelic bloodstone browne

What is this? It makes no sense.
And then I realized.
This is "asemic poetry."

I’ve got this little asemic connection ,via my painting, to a group of artists round the world doing stuff like “concrete poetry” and this Nick Forrest must be saying hello in his own asemic manner.
That was it.

And then I recalled the poem I posted about a week ago. Yeah, I brought this on myself
probably with that bit of poetry that is actually an instruction on the lab’s centrifuge.

Now, it all was making sense and so I read again what Nick had sent.
And I began to get the feel... to understand.

So, I wrote Nick back:

Well, I really like "bottommost capillary dobbin," but the rest doesn't really help me make sense of a life that seems to be getting stranger by the moment.

“Cancelled amos casually.”

And I don't know if it’s good when it begins to fall into place. But, "Yeah."
“Angelic bloodstone browne.”

I really meant that, “Yeah,”
And was feeling pleased with making yet another little contact out there in radio-land,
When my email system sent a "failed delivery" notice.

Apparently, “Nick Forrest” is some kind of obfuscated computer dead-end in the UK.
And I had been carrying on, happily conversing with, even finding meaning in, the non-sense of some spam generating computer.

"You have gone too far!"
Coyote, you’re hanging in the air and the cliff edge is over there.
Get back, Honky Cat!

Sometimes non-sense is just non-sense…
Unless the intellect/intellectual gets a hold of it and starts thinking WAY too much.

So, (Good Buddhist that I am) from now on I am going with what’s right in front of me,
With That which simply Is.

... (In fact, I’m doing that right now) … (look. No hands) ... (Doing it.) ...

Well, Dang!
I find I still really like the phrase, “bottommost capillary dobbin.”
How very curious and

How wonderful!

It all works out
even without a brain churning away.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

In Flanders Fields

What with Sunday’s “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” I seemed to have stumbled into my military issue(s).
It brought to mind something I wrote a few weeks ago, but that I held back not wanting to expose others to some of the darkness that I carry.
But – again, it may be useful, and you might even like it…

I had dinner with a friend last week.
She’d gone to a psychic for a reading. Her presenting question was a rather perennial one for her, “Shall I go or should I stay, and if I go, what will I do?”
(Yes, that’s really two questions, if not three. But, that’s how the mind does anxiety.)

She was thinking of her marriage.
And of course the psychic didn’t give a clear cut answer.
Instead, the reading addressed the original intention of my friend’s soul,
her intention for this incarnation,
and how my friend was now feeling the pressure of living up to that.

So, I asked her how was she feeling in regards to her soul?
At first, she didn’t understand. So I elaborated.
Have you followed through?
Do you feel you’ve let it down?
The more I tried to explain, the less I seemed to strike just the question I intended.

Then suddenly, a line of poetry sprang from memory:
“If ye break faith with us who die, we shall not sleep…”

It had been years since I’d thought of the poem, “In Flanders Fields.”
And, I couldn’t recite it all just out for her right then.
Still, there was that line so clear.

I had learned it when I was twelve,
assigned to read a poem of my own choosing to the class.
I’d searched for something short, yet, something that I liked.
When I found “In Flanders Fields,” by John McCrae, I was totally transported.

I would come back to it for years.
Stare and stare at McCrae’s photo (shown here),
then recite the words like some sacred chant.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place;
and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead.

Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved,
and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep,
though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

It seemed ineffable mystery to me.

All I knew were the dates of McCrae’s life.
He had not survived the War.

I’d look at this poet’s face, study the belt of his uniform,
every detail I could make out, and know that soon
he was a dead man.

Then I would read the poem again.
Yes – kind of strange behavior for a twelve year old girl.
Even then, I knew it strange.
But that was all part of the mystery.
The pull. What was this?

So, forty-five years later, I am sitting in a restaurant eating Pud Thai, asking my friend how she feels regarding her soul – and these words spring into my head with such urgency…

“If ye break faith with us who die”

That was the heart of the matter: keeping faith,
keeping faith with our souls.
Such an obligation.
Such honor and courage are required.
Not to others, but to our selves.

This is me soldiering.

You and your soul had a deal.
The soul’s heavenly job was to learn, and plan, and finally incarnate.
And it has kept its side of the bargain.

It came to earth.
(and from Spirit’s point of view incarnating is a death
just as surely as the Body’s drawing last breath is a dying.)

And now, as Body, it falls to “You”
to keep your side of the deal.

… the torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep
though poppies grow…

It’s up to you.
The soul can only whisper now
and try to keep you honest.

So my friend, How are you doing with your soul?

…And have you noticed that throughout this discussion,
You don’t seem to be even the same thing as your Soul?

That’s got to call you deeper.

Background to the Poem

In Flanders Fields
Originally uploaded by alspix
I have learned some things since I was twelve and could not remove my eyes from the face of John McCrae.

For One, the internet provides a background absent from my volumes of the World Book Encyclopedia.
So first, let me share this info.

On May 2, 1915, in the second week of the Second Battle of Ypres- the battle where poisonous gas was first used - Lieutenant Alexis Helmer was killed by a German artillery shell burst. He was a friend and former student of a Canadian doctor, Major John McCrae.

Helmer was buried in the little cemetery outside McCrae's dressing station, and in the absence of the chaplain, McCrae performed the funeral. The next day, sitting on the back of an ambulance parked near the dressing station McCrae composed a poem. In the cemetery, he could see the poppies that sprang up in the ditches. He spent some twenty minutes scribbling in a notebook, watched by a young soldier by the name of Allinson, who was delivering mail that day.

"His face was very tired but calm as we wrote.
"He looked around from time to time, his eyes straying to Helmer's grave."
When McCrae finished, he took his mail from Allinson, and without a word handed his pad to him.

"The poem was exactly an exact description of the scene in front of us both. He used the word blow in that line because the poppies actually were being blown that morning by a gentle east wind. It never occurred to me at that time that it would ever be published. It seemed to me just an exact description of the scene."

…Just an exact description… No story, just what is.
It’s as if McCrae wrote from the clear consciousness that Byron Katie teaches:
the event stripped of story.
Simply the Truth.
That’s what is True.

And in this case it created one of the most powerful war poems ever written.

Memory and the Emotional Body

soap bubble
Originally uploaded by Fulvi0

And I think I now know why my twelve year old felt such a mystery tied up with this poem.

In 1976, I was five weeks into a six-week advanced training for TM teachers.
We were meditating a lot.
I had had a smooth and enjoyable time.
Then one evening, while simply walking down the hall, my belly felt very strange.
Within moments I collapsed into a combination seizure and flashback.

I was a soldier charging across a World War I battlefield. Out of the trench, then run.
The exploding shell caught me right in the belly.
Instantly, I was engulfed in a black Void.
On the "other side" Iheard the battle raging on.
In the Void, a maelstrom of chaos and terror, were the screams of all the dying souls.

I also felt the most curious ripping – like grass roots parting with the soil – as my spirit disengaged from the “ground” of my own flesh.
Or rather, that soldier’s flesh: He, who I had been and now once again was.
I wasn’t in the least upset by my death.
I was simply a calm observer, the one silent consciousness in all that black, chaotic Void.
All the others were horrified and gripped by terror.

Their screams flowed out my gaping mouth.

I understood why mankind believes in Hell.
I knew it to be an archetype of our own making.

And finally, I felt a hand upon my shoulder shaking me.
Someone was calling my name.
“What’s wrong?” she shouted. ...Did she really shout?
“I’m dying!” I screamed back.

So they dragged me up off the floor.
Got me into bed and I lay there for another hour or so, totally rigid.
Unable to talk.
My body arched in a bow, drew my head backwards leaving me staring wide eyed at the ceiling.
The bedside nurse asked, “What are you looking at? Do you see an angel?”

I was looking at the ceiling – not an angel.
But, I could not speak. Though I wanted to put her mind at ease.
My head was clear and calm.
But to the others, I was gone.
I was simply stuck there, locked up. Waiting.

Eventually, I did relax.
The nurse cleared out, and I spent the remainder of the night sitting on the toilet, peering out the doorway into the room.

The battlefield, in transparency, overlay my bedroom: crater and ditch, destroyed trees existed right along with dresser, overstuffed chair, and draperies.
I would have liked to lie back down on the bed,
but the sheets were clearly soaked by the dying soldiers blood.
I couldn't lie in that and so settled on the floor.

The next day I was told I had to leave.
I was “disturbing others.”
Get on the phone and make arrangements.
So soon, I was standing in a phone booth with absolutely no idea at all of how to make a long distance call.

A couple days later I was in Florida, at my brothers.
That night, Carolyn sat by my bed as I tried to go to sleep drenched in sweat and thrashing.
Flashbacks: charging cross the field, rifle in my hands, the bombs, the exploding shell catching me right in the belly.
It all replayed over and over.

The flashbacks continued for ten years.
Longer really – it all depends on how you count things.
In time, I stopped meditating.
Pop called it kundalini burn out.
I called it PTSD from a war I was never in.
It became my shameful secret.

And I had Friends that stuck by me.
Friends who could lead me out of movies when the visions started up,
Friends who could laugh if I suddenly ducked and covered in the middle of a meeting.

What we couldn’t laugh about was my taking up of cigarettes and alcohol.
And know one ever knew about the drugs.

In1976, Maharishi didn’t have any help to offer.
We were ten years out from the Grofs coining of the term “spiritual emergency.”
So despite my family and friends,
I was on my own because none of us really knew a thing.

It took seven years of psychotherapy with someone who didn’t want to hear about WWI,
and whom I am absolutely sure saved my life.
It toook maybe another seven years of simply resting without any spiritual practice,
It took another seven years of Taoist Sum Faht practice to finally make peace with all the wars.

(And beyond and through all this, for twenty years, I had a wise and loving partner who was brave enough to accept me as I was.)

But all in all,
This is one reason why I’ve been attracted to the teachings of Adyashanti.
He explains that it’s actually after Awakening that the real work begins.
He says this is actually the most delicate time when guidance is most required.

Why are things so delicate and difficult?
Because after Awakening, which occurs on the level of the intellect,
transcendence has to descend into the heart and belly.
It’s here that “energy in the emotional body” is released.

Such a euphemism!

What this can translate into is all Hell breaking loose.

Adya says that some people then choose to go back to sleep.

That’s exactly what I did.

And my twelve year old knew all along, that those memories were there.
She knew.

And she did not break faith.

(It just took so very long to work it out.)

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Battle Hymn – another strange entry

Let me begin by saying, “I hate jazz,” though hate is perhaps a bit strong. “Anything but” is more accurate.

However, H. Johnson's "Jazz Classics" radio show, heard every Saturday night from 9:00 to 2 a.m. on Atlanta’s PBS station, has become something of a routine and companion – the only one there on some pretty lonely nights.
And the best part of the show is the introduction, Father TomVaughn's version of Battle Hymn of the Republic.

Born Thomas Wade Vaughn, in Kentucky, he began music around the age of eight, attended Yale University, and in 1965 entered the Episcopal priesthood. That same year he sat in with Gene Krupa's quartet in Detroit. As a Jazz pianist Ftaher Tom recorded several albums the total quantity of which is unknown, because most (if not all) of these records have been out of print for many years. After his final album, "Joyful Jazz" (which includes the Battle Hymn), Father Tom remained under the radar despite a handful of great recordings. … of which I think the Battle Hymn of the Republic is a most powerful expample.

So, I thought I’d buy a copy and went on line.
I discovered the above facts – this musician was really a priest. (H. Johnson is such your consummate “cool cat” I thought when he said “Father” Tom Vaughn he meant it like “brother” or something I wasn’t quite following.) But the man really was a priest.

And I discovered that you can’t buy or download his music.
But, I did find the Battle Hymn on YouTube.
And that’s where this whole story turned so strange, or allegorical (?).

To me, Battle Hymn is about the noble and the holy part of this nation’s psyche.
I had No Idea that it’s got this connection (apparently, if I interpret the YouTube entries correctly) to the University of Georgia’s football team.

There is a clip of a lone bugler, high above a packed Stanford Stadium peeling out the opening notes. And everyone falls hushed. So, one confusion to me is why, why is an old Dixie school so enamored by a song about the “Republic” – didn’t Georgia want to secede?
(Or am I just bitter, being educated and liberal in a state whose flagship educational institution proudly boast, “Hunker down hairy dog, hunker down.”)

But, this is not what really got me.

What really did it was Father Tom Vaughn’s Battle Hymn used as the cover music for some UGA football clips. A pass from the end zone and a spectacular 92-yard run by Lindsay that wins the game 26-21, and the crowd goes wild.
Mixed in over video and Father Tom is the sports commentator. This guy apparently breaks his chair during the play and then proceeds to rave joyously about how all over Georgia tonight "property will be destroyed" as it’s all part of “the worlds greatest cocktail party.”

It’s strange.
It’s all confused.
I can’t really untangle it or think it through.
But somehow, in all this, I think there lies one way we subconsciously indoctrinate our young. We convince them of the glory in going off to war. We reassure parents that nobel sacrifice is a sufficent compensation. And it's all a lie.

Yes. There are things worth dying for. Cheerleaders wiggling their butts and drunks smashing furniture are not on the list.
Or are they?

See what you think.
But better, enjoy the music. Ignore the ignorance.
(OH, look! – ignorance and ignore are the same root…interesting.)

... how I do this: I write some entry and then go to Flickr and find a nice photo. Please click on this one and read it's entry. As Paul Harvey would say it's "the rest of the story." This teaching young people to go to war, goes very deeply into our fibers. And it's twisted!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Little Fella

I hope Bennie doesn't get jealous. But Little Fella was just too cute. So, I adopted him. Try clicking the mouse button in addition to moving the mouse. He will gobble down the steak!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Found Folded and Stuffed

Originally uploaded by Parthiv
into my briefcase, is a note I made shortly before going on retreat.
(You may be surprised to learn that I actually try to self-censor the stuff I post.)
This seemed inappropriate to share.
But, now I think, “What the heck?”

Something can be learned from this.
Two things actually: 1) Mahavakyas are “great sayings” or teachings. And I think, one goes like this (or have been combined into this) – “I am That. Thou art That. All this is That.” And 2) After all is said and done, you’ll see that it actually takes more energy to remain asleep than to Awaken.

This second point was made by Adyashanti. And I hope its meaning becomes obvious below.
The first point Maharishi used to illustrate the steps involved in awakening:
Step One – realize the Self, “I am That.” Witnessing consciousness arises, as the Absolute Self is separate from activity and the world.
Step Two – realize that any primary object of perception (thou, tree, cloud, bird…),“Thou are That.” Maharishi called this stage God Consciousness as perception viewed the most subtle beauty of each object.
Step three – duality drops off and Unity Consciousness is lived, “All this is That.”

So I came back from retreat to find crumpled in the side pouch of my briefcase/bag a good example of how abstract teachings can play out in real life.
It reads:

I almost went to the hospital today. I was at work, 5pm with chest pains, weakness in my arms, nausea, and confused thinking. Felt like I was about to faint.
But, I didn’t go- it wasn’t really a heart attack.
[Or so I bet.]

I see now it is “me” tearing up my body, breaking my heart, as I refuse to let my consciousness shift.

I am witnessing horrendously – whatever that means.
I’m not looking closely enough to come to a true accuracy in words.

Horrendous witnessing is when your eyes tell you nothing, nothing is Real.
And yet, it’s all out there and moving and the laws of physics apply and have to be respected.
Visual perception is across this GAP.

I cannot find myself…
“I am That, Thou art That, All this is That.”

Horrendous witnessing is seeing, “All this is That” and That is Nothing.
“Thou art That” and That is not real.
No, it’s REALLY Nothing
[rather than not real].

And I refuse to admit, though I can see it – “I am That.”
[Seems like I have got the three steps backwards. This worried me for awhile.]

If I were to really acknowledge this, I would no longer have it backwards.
Immediately, there would be this whole inversion of Creation.
I would be the God from which all Creation springs.
… And I am afraid to let that happen.
And my body is collapsing.

So ends my note to myself.

Adya hung a sign in the back of the retreat hall. It said, “Resistance is futile.”
It’s futile, for one thing, because it takes such energy.
Resistance just makes the changes harder to negotiate.
Resistance shifts the whole process up an octave towards hysteria.
Resistance gives you migraines and chest pains.

It really isn’t necessary, unless you want to do it.
… cause, what ya gonna do? Resist resistance!

If you don’t have a sense of humor now... you will.

PS - click on the monkey and read his story. It's nice.