Saturday, October 27, 2007

Fear, Grief. Ego, Self.

Falling leaf
Originally uploaded by dbl nautilus

I may have excerpted part of this before (from Adyashanti’s, The Impact of Awakening), but it’s worth repeating.
And it moves me deeply.

…the human condition contains within it the unconscious need to struggle. Why? Because by remaining in a state of constant struggle we maintain the boundaries that create the sense of a separate self… And even more shocking is the discovery that… we want to remain separate… by remaining separate we maintain the sense of being someone different, special, and unique…Struggling only ceases when you passionately inquire into who and what you truly are…

With nothing to oppose, the false sense of self evaporates into nothingness… Your identity is cut loose from all that is familiar and known, and you find yourself floating in a vast expanse with nothing to grab hold of. This groundless expanse is the foretaste of liberation, but few choose to remain in this unknown territory…

This is not the liberation that most people envision when they start out… most people envision a freedom that they can attain and possess…What I am describing is the experience of Self void of any sense of selfhood, a timeless and uncaused condition which is constantly birthing manifest existence into form.

To have a glimpse of this profound freedom requires very little, but to live it requires the destruction of every concept of self you have ever held…

And it was these last words that must have rung so true to me, for here, I burst into tears, that ultimately reduced me into a cramping belly full of grief and sobs.

What is the truth you truly want, yearn for, desire to tell yourself?

We are back to that word I spent yesterday in vain trying to recall: “yearning.”
That was Allan’s word last week for me at meditation group.
He said that I had done so much, but still there was a “yearning.”
“Longing” was what Adya spoke of and I blogged just a bit ago.

I look inside to see what it is that I so long for.
What is it
that my belly aches for and for which my heart’s on fire?

I look inside and I see nothing.

How very strange: to ache into complete collapse, for absolutely nothing.

One of these days I shall have to just
let go.
And go.
Into nothingness.
How impossible
How absolutely terrifying.

Long ago, Marianne and I stood silent, holding our insect collection box.
We had caught a butterfly and popped it inside, then waited for the mothballs to take affect.
Came the time to peer inside and as she carefully lift the lid
in a whisper and with awe, she uttered words I had never heard before:
“death grip”
And I knew Immediately and was chilled.
The butterfly, in those last moments, had wrapped its legs desperately around a twig
as if by holding on with all its will would
alter the inevitable.

Seems I recapitulate those efforts
every moment now.
I hold on, grasping at my self
in my own version of a death grip.

I thought (having read–up on the process) that that was the ultimate in barriers.

But now,
right there is also such deep, deep grief: to lose my self,
to lose “She who I do love”…
yes, Love
even if in ignorance.

No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.
I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid.
The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning.
I keep swallowing…. For in grief, nothing “stays put.”
One keeps on emerging from a phase, but it always recurs.
Round and round.
Everything repeats.
Am I going in circles, or dare I hope I am on a spiral?”
C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed.

Whom do I grieve?
What do I fear?
“She who has been with me all along”
“She who I have been this eternity?”

The loss of ego,
The loss of Self?

The pain of incarnating- Self becoming lost in self?
The pain of awakening- self giving way to Self?

I think it must be both.

And am I going in circles, or am I on a spiral?

Let Katie Describe It

Double Nautilus
Originally uploaded by dbl nautilus
When you start to realize what Truth is, you recognize that Truth is not an abstraction, it is not out there at a distance from you… You discover that Truth is who you are without your story or script, right now… It’s not something you prepare for or earn or deserve. Awakening is a radical shift in identity. You think you’re you, but you’re not. You are eternal being.
Adyashanti, Emptiness Dancing.

A “radical shift in identity” those are the operative words I’d like to point out just now. Adya says you don’t prepare for this, but I think that in some sense you must.
How else to describe the ego’s flight in terror?
How else to explain the grieving process?
Something in you can get a glimpse.

And the rest of this consists of excerpts from Byron Katie’s little book, Question Your Thinking Change The World, found in the chapter on Self Realization.

It’s common for me to speak from the position of a personality, from the position of mankind, from the position of the earth, from the position of God, from the position of a rock.
And I’ll call myself “it,” because I don’t have a reference point for separation.
I am all those things, and I don’t have any concept that I’m not.
I’ve simply learned to speak in a way that doesn’t alienate people.
It leaves me benign, unseen, unknown.
It leaves me in a comfortable place for people.

I would kiss the ground I walk on – it’s all me.
But to kiss the ground would draw attention to itself.
That’s what the first three years after I woke up looked like.
It’s subtler now, more invisible.
It has matured.

As closely as I can describe it in words, I am your heart.
I am what you look like inside yourself…
I am no one.
I am just a mirror.
I am the face in the mirror.

I am your heart.
I am the depth you don't listen to: in your face, from here.
It had to get louder, because your beliefs block it out from there...
I am the voice so covered up with beliefs that you can't hear it inside yourself.
So I appear out here, in your face –
which is really inside yourself.

I experience everything frame by frame.
It’s like looking at the comics…
each frame is a universe in itself, not connected with any other…
There is literally no time and space, no past future or present, even, no one coming, no one going…
There’s no meaning to it, no motive in it.
And finally you get to a place where nothing moves.
That is home, the place we all long for…

People ask how I can live if nothing has any meaning and I am no one.
It’s very simple.
We are being lived.
We’re not doing it…
Without a story, we move effortlessly, in perfect health, fluidity, freely, with a lot of love, and without war, without resistance…

The reason this speaks is because it does.
If I thought I was doing it, I wouldn’t be such a fool.
My only purpose is to do what I’m apparently doing…
if someone asks me a question, my purpose is to give my experience through my answer.
I’m an effect of their suffering…

It’s personal and it’s not personal.
It’s personal in that the whole world is me – a mirror image that I am and love.
Without it, I am bodiless…
On the other hand, it’s not personal, because I see nothing more than a mirror image.
Until God – reality- moves, I have no movement.
Every movement, every sound, every breath, every molecule, every atom is nothing more than a mirror image of God…

Whenever you speak, it’s God speaking.
When a flower blooms, it’s God.
When Hitler marches, it’s God.
I see only God.

Every word is the sound of God.
Every word is the word of God.
There is nothing personal here.
And everything is personal.
If the moon rises, it’s for you.
You’re the one watching it! (And that’s just a beginning.)

There is no this soul or that soul.
There’s only one.
And that’s the last story.
There’s only one. And not even that…

Even so-called truths eventually fall away.
Every truth is a distortion of what is.
The last truth – I call it the last judgment – is
“God is everything, God is good.”
Ultimately even this isn’t true.
But as long as it works for you, I say keep it and have a wonderful life.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Originally uploaded by

Some people still may be gripped with the grace, in many ways, of longing.
And like any longing, any longing you have at all,
the energy of it starts here:

“I”… “long”… “for”… whatever it is – love, enlightenment, God.

It matters not.

It’s the energy of the longing that starts here. And you can feel it.
What I want.
What I long for.
So generally that’s the direction we go,
for as long as we do. We go that direction.
Cause that’s the way it seems to be moving.

Because the mind interprets longing in terms of desire:
“What I want,” as opposed to, “What I long for.”

I can want to have chocolate ice cream.
But, I’m probably not going to long for it.
They are two different experiences in a way.
But the mind turns longing into desire, “What I want.”

Longing is not really the same as wanting or grasping although it is almost always addressed that way.
Longing is really a call.

That’s what longing really is.
As if the Self is calling to Itself.

And what would you do, what do you do when someone calls your name?
If they’re behind you and they call your name, their energy is also starting from their mouth and going right past you right in that direction.
Just imagine if every time someone called your name you looked in the direction the voice was traveling, rather than in the direction the voice came from.
We’d never meet anybody…

And yet with longing that is the relationship one has.
It starts here, the energy goes out here, and we go right with it.

But instead, you just trace it back.
Don’t take it as desire so much as a call from the Self to the Self.
And you go to the source of the call.

Instead of I want - whatever it is.
It’s whatever you want.

And that last step is crucial, that last step before the longing arose.
That’s the source of the longing.
Once you come back, longing disappears.
So all of this is really the backward step…

Spirituality in large part, in actuality, is the backward step.
Not grasping for what you long,
but listening from where you long.

Backwards, backwards.
Not using awareness so much as turning and seeing with awareness,
so that Awareness recognizes itself…
That’s Awakening.
That’s returning to our Self.

July, 2007, at the Omega Institute.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Just for a moment

Light on rock, II
Originally uploaded by Seeking Tao

Everyone is busy
But I am not.
Everyone is called somewhere
But I am not.

I am alone
But I am not.

There is a broom by the
There is light
upon the stones.
A breeze runs through the
tree tops.
And golden leaves fall to earth.

Just for this moment.

like that the light is gone
in no more than a shutter snap

The light is gone.
The breeze is still.

Once more
I am alone.

the next moment
is a train
is a bird
is a breeze.

I am sitting alone
But I am not.

a poem for you all, by P.Bralley (I wish the formatting would work. Some lines are indented (ideally- or was it just for the moment?))

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Wei Wu Wei

leftover drops
Originally uploaded by Steve took it
There is something backward in how a blog is written and then appreciated. Thus, you will probably read this before you read the brief introduction I made earlier regarding Wei Wu Wei.

You may enjoy a website of his writings and background. He was apparently one of the quietly enlightened. Living in the West, writing from 1958 to the 70's.

From 'Why Lazarus Laughed':

When you give a shilling to a beggar
- do you realize that you are giving it to yourself?
When you help a lame dog over a stile
- do you realize that you yourself are being helped?
When you kick a man when he is down
- do you realize that you are kicking yourself?
Give him another kick - if you deserve it!
... ...
Living should be perpetual and universal benediction.

Or, if you prefer to look at things from the other side of self:

From 'Ask The Awakened':

Why are you unhappy?
Because 99.9 per cent
Of everything you think,
And of everything you do,
Is for yourself -
And there isn't one.

Myriad Bubbles

On the Bubble
Originally uploaded by Terretta

I have come across the writings of a Buddhist -Taoist by the name of Wei Wu Wei. Actually Irish in origin, he chose to write anonymously, living with his wife in Monaco.

I like how he puts things.

A myriad bubbles were floating on the surface of a stream.
'What are you?' I cried to them as they drifted by.
'I am a bubble, of course' nearly a myriad bubbles answered,
and there was surprise and indignation in their voices as they passed.

But, here and there, a lonely bubble answered,
'We are this stream', and there was neither surprise nor indignation in their voices,
but just a quiet certitude.

Wei Wu Wei

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Plato’s Dialogs

When I was in sixth grade we had to make a notebook on Greece.
It consisted of our gleanings of Greek influences that we found around us right there in Decatur, Illinois in 1961.
What we discovered was that the impact of Greek thought was huge and mostly totally unnoticed.
Our houses used Doric, Ionic, or Corinthian columns to set off their doors.
Words in the Herald and Review Newspaper often were of Greek origin.
And on the radio came the name repeatedly of our States Attorney, Basil Greanias, father of Bill, a boy I went to school with.

We snipped and noted occurrences for months as we read aloud in class each day the Iliad and Odyssey.
Mastering the complex genealogy of those tales required that our readings be abruptly interrupted as each character appeared.
Someone would be called upon to stand and recite from memory things like, “Agamemnon: Son of Atreus, husband of Clytemnestra, brother of Menelaus.”

But, for all our studies of the Greeks, we were never told the allegory of Plato’s cave in which prisoner’s are bound so that they can only see the shadows cast upon the wall from a fire lit behind them.
They think that this is all there is and that the shadows are real.
And even if released and forced to turn around to see the fire and the puppets, they become bewildered and unhappy.
Only a few can bear to realize that the shadows are not real and undertake the journey towards liberation out of the cave into the real world.

Nor, were we told that if Plato wanted to use symbols from our time he would have replaced the cave with a movie theater and the shadows with the pictures on the screen.

Or that the cave is a metaphor for mind
and that outside of the cave is the pure, transcendental realm of what Plato called, the Good.

Nor, did I suspect that one day I would come to see for myself, that this world that we call real is nothing but a three dimensional projection of images upon an all pervading ocean "screen" of Nothingness.
And that the Ocean of Nothing is not only what is really Real
but also what is Good.

So a few weeks ago, as I sat in the library,
stunned motionless by the vagarities of love,
and my eyes fell upon Plato Unmasked, The Dialogues Made New,
something seemed
to slowly


Eventually I got up,
pulled the volume from the shelf
and returned with it back to my seat.

I flipped through the pages.
It felt good.
I could almost hear Piggy Bop and the Cat’s Meow running renditions of some of the dialogs.

So, Plato has been hanging round in the back of my mind for a while now.
And last weekend I returned once more to the library
resolved to take yet another look.

(Here’s a long PDF on Consciousness. For the Cave allegory, scroll to page 17.)

(Here’s a link to the UVa course on consciousness and source of the Plato stuff – looks interesting)

Chariot of the Soul

Feather Shadows 5
Originally uploaded by Seeking Tao
I found this story that I liked.
It’s from Plato’s Phaedrus, a fable Socrates once told.
Take it as a story.
Just a story.

Except, that curiously, a chariot and wild horses also gets used in Bhagavad Gita commentaries.
Here, the horses are taken to be the senses that pull the chariot along the roads of desire when the charioteer possesses an undisciplined mind and cannot tame his senses.

Which makes me think that all this really boils down to teachings on consciousness,
and that Advaita Vedanta, the Platonic Good, and Byron Katie share more things in common than you might expect.

Gift from the gods
It’s said that those who fall in love become insane. So what? Great blessings come from madness, if sent as a gift from the gods. There’s the madness of the prophets; …the madness of poets …last, there’s the madness of love a gift from the gods that brings us the greatest happiness. But to understand how this gift works, we need to consider the nature of the soul.

Fable of the chariot of the soul
First, it’s immortal. Second, its form is like a chariot with two winged horses. Now the souls of gods are different from those of humans. In their souls both the charioteer and horses are noble. But for human souls, one of the two horses is a bit of a nag and difficult to control. Also, the steeds of the gods never lose their wings, but those of human souls do. And when this happens the chariot goes into free fall, landing on a body that it occupies and turns into a living being.

An obvious question is why a soul’s horses would lose their wings. It is the desire of every soul’s charioteer to join the chariots of the gods in heaven and stand on the edge of the universe and look beyond to behold every truth in its pure essence, without shape or color, and grasped only by the mind.

Souls that reach this place, and hold their spot, rotate with the universe and after a complete revolution they have seen every truth there is to know. Then these charioteers stable their steeds and live forever in the realm of the gods.

But most human souls do not fare so well. A few reach the edge of the universe and gaze upon the truth for a time, but constantly have to look away to manage their horses, the unruly of his two steeds lurching and rearing and straining at the bit… The rest of the charioteers, who are the majority, are unable to manage even this much. Their team of horses is completely out of control. Chariots collide, tattering or breaking off horses’ wings. During this melee these charioteers shout back and forth, asking whether any of them has seen the truth. Those who have reached the edge of the universe then fallen away tell of the little they have seen. This passes from the lips of one charioteer to the next, a spreading rumor that is constantly distorted in the retelling. Putting together these bits and pieces, each charioteer weaves his own erroneous view of reality until their horses have finally lost their wings and, one by one, chariots begin dropping out of the race and fall back to earth. …

Which brings us to love’s madness. During a reincarnation, objects on earth will remind a soul of whatever portion of eternal truth it captured on its ascent to heaven … The easiest to recall is beauty, for it is seen directly with the eyes, which are our sharpest sense.

It is this recollection of beauty that causes love’s madness. For a soul with only a brief and unclear perception of eternal beauty during its ascent to heaven, the madness takes the form of a crazed sexual urge. But souls that recollect eternal beauty clearly sense they are gazing upon something divine. …When in this state the soul pulsates, as if its lost wings were suddenly sprouting new feathers. This is the joy of a soul sensing its own divinity…

And what about the love object, say a beautiful young boy? How will he react to this reverence and attention? Cautiously at first, but once he realizes the reverence is genuine and not a disguise for base passion… a remarkable thing will happen. The boy will begin to see his own beauty reflected in the eyes of this lover. Inspired by this beauty, his own wings will begin to grow.

Same Wings and Eternal Love
Now such a love affair is unlike any other. For even when it is over the two will remain good friends for life, having shared something divine. And it is a law of the universe that when any soul’s wings begin to sprout, that soul will never lapse into evil… And imagine the glory that day when these two souls are given their wings and discover that their plumage is identical – testimony to their earlier love. It will link them together forever.

This, of course, is not a non-dual teaching where-in “What you see is your Self.”
But, who’s to say where You drop off and Divinity begins.

And I like it.

And I post it on what would have been Our Twentieth Anniversary,
and give thanks for what I have glimpsed through love.

Friday, October 12, 2007

And Chickens too

Behavioral Genetics, 1 of 3
Originally uploaded by *CA*
Blogger's rules sometimes thwart me.

But, here are some chickens that would go very nicely with a red wheelbarrow.

I think.


And it doesn't have to mean a thing.
"The no Lesson here Lesson."

How nice!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Red Wheelbarrow

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white

William Carlos Williams

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Who Says

When you wake up in the morning, you may notice that by the time you realize you're thinking,
you're already being thought.
Thoughts just appear.
You're not doing them.

Wherever you go, whomever you're with, the voice in your head goes with you, whispering, nagging, enticing, judging, chattering, shaming, guilt-tripping, or yelling at you.

Most people think that they are what their thoughts tell them they are.
One day I noticed that I wasn't breathing—I was being breathed.
Then I also noticed, to my amazement, that I wasn't thinking—that I was actually being thought and that thinking isn't personal.

That voice in my head, isn't it me?
Don't I think my thoughts?
You can answer this for yourself.
If the voice in your head is you, who's the one listening to it?
Byron Katie, many quotes

Rumi, of course, put this whole discussion regarding the source of thought into wonderfully poetic terms.

Who Says Words With My Mouth?

Night Buddha II
Originally uploaded by

These are Rumi's reflections regarding where thoughts come from.

(and once again I wrestle with Blogger formatting...)

Who Says Words With My Mouth?

All day I think about it, then at night I say it.
Where did I come from,
and what am I supposed to be doing?
I have no idea.
My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that,
and I intend to end up there.

This drunkenness began in some other tavern.
When I get back around to that place,
I'll be completely sober. Meanwhile,
I'm like a bird from another continent,
sitting in this aviary.
The day is coming when I fly off,
but who is it now in my ear
who hears my voice?
Who says words with my mouth?

Who looks out with my eyes? What is the soul?
I cannot stop asking.
If I could taste one sip of an answer,
I could break out of this prison for drunks.
I didn't come here of my own accord,
and I can't leave that way.
Whoever brought me here will have to take me home.

This poetry. I never know what I'm going to say.
I don't plan it.
When I'm outside the saying of it,
I get very quiet and rarely speak at all.

Rumi, trans. by Coleman Barks

Two Kinds of "I Don’t Know"

In the last few blogs you may have noticed that people are wrestling with the simple thought, “I don’t know.”
The blogs have actually described two very different types of “I don’t know.”

First, there is the "I don’t know" arising from what Buddhists call conditionings.
Adya describes these thoughts as almost like little computer programs
that just whizz round and round. They may have, at one point in our lives, protected us from being burned.
But, mostly now, they just whirl along.

Here, is Eckhart Tolle’s description of such thinking patterns:

…after two ducks get into a fight, which never lasts long, they will separate and float off in opposite directions. Then each duck will flap its wings vigorously a few times, thus releasing the surplus energy that built up during the fight. After they flap their wings, they float on peacefully, as if nothing had ever happened.

If the duck had a human mind, it would keep the fight alive by thinking, by story-making. This would probably be the duck's story: "I don't believe what he just did. He came to within five inches of me. He thinks he owns this pond. He has no consideration for my private space. I'll never trust him again. Next time he'll try something else just to annoy me. I'm sure he's plotting something already. But I'm not going to stand for this. I'll teach him a lesson he won't forget." And on and on the mind spins its tales, still thinking and talking about it days, months, or years later. As far as the body is concerned, the fight is still continuing, and the energy it generates in response to all those thoughts is emotion, which in turn generates more thinking. This becomes the emotional thinking of the ego. You can see how problematic the duck's life would become if it had a human mind. But this is how most humans live all the time. No situation or event is ever really finished. The mind and the mind-made "me and my story" keep it going.
Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth.

It is this whirl of thought found in all the worried, “I don’t know” and
“I am not sure.”
In Tolle’s teachings these thoughts are just the pain body stirring up some drama.
In Maharishi’s teaching it was called “un-stressing.”
Byron Katie calls it “a un-inquired thought”
or the “story” that you’re going to go spouting
as you refuse to accept the reality of
What Is.

She Who is Really Good with Not Knowing
simply called it “Yackety-yack.”
Meaning that she recognized it as story
and could largely witness it as Tolle would suggest.

But… there is a second kind of
“I don’t know.”

Both Adyashanti and Byron Katie have made it very clear:
We don’t really think our thoughts.
Because they come,
unbidden really, from “somewhere deep inside,”
as Maharishi would say.

This is the second kind of thought.
It comes from somewhere deep inside, from Silence, from Truth.
Or, as Adya says,
They come right out of the Nothingness of “I don’t know.”
(If you'd like to read about the wet prayer flags go here.)


So, recently I was trying to figure out,
“How did I ever get myself into this situation?”

My situation?
Well, the tether broke some time ago. (see, here, I say.)
And I have been swept up in forces Way Beyond my control.
Or perhaps, was it a conscious choice…

I let go about the time I recalled
A story Maharishi told us many years ago.
He told us how once he had been bothered by a reoccurring thought.
Finally he had been told,
“It’s time you get rid of this thought.”

So, I thought it might be nice to share the story.
An illustration of the second kind of “I don’t know.”
A thought that comes from the Silence deep inside.

In 1953, when Maharishi’s master died, “it was if a magnet had been turned off.” So he retired to the silent caves of Uttar Kashi in the Valley of the Saints, deep in the Himalayas.
After two years, he began to have a faint idea, a thought of going to Rameshvaram a temple in the extreme south of India.

"I quite remember, there was absolutely no purpose attached to this thought of Rameshvaram. I didn't know myself why this thought was coming up."

But the thought kept coming to his mind — go to Rameshvaram, go to Rameshvaram. And this was not a polite thought to be harboring.
For, to the yogis dwelling in the Valley of the Saints, merely mentioning the south of India was somewhat akin to speaking in obscenities.

But, acceptable or not, the thought kept coming.

Finally, another yogi of his acquaintance offered an opinion.
He said, “It’s time you get rid of this thought.”

So, Maharishi (he was simply Mahesh, then) did the only thing he could.
Mahesh made the long journey from the Himalayas to the southern tip of India.
After three weeks at Rameshvaram a new idea began to take form in his mind:

"Coming from the Himalayas, I had the thought—it was very fresh in my mind—that it is not necessary for man to suffer. The Vedas say, ‘All this is bliss. I am bliss, infinite, unbounded, eternal, non-changing.’ But where is the reality of this in the day-to-day life of the people? The natural feeling that was deep in my mind was that something should be done so that people don't suffer, because there is no reason to suffer."

This too was just a thought.
Then, just as he was preparing to return to the Himalayas, Mahesh was approached by a man in the streets.
The man asked him, "Do you speak?" Or had he taken a vow of silence?
Mahesh said, "I do, but do you mean lecturing? I don't."
The man said, "You seem to be from the north. Where are you staying?"
Mahesh told him, and about three o'clock that afternoon the man knocked on Mahesh’s door.

"The knock at the door surprised me. Who can that be? And here was that man. I opened the door. He said, 'Seven lectures have been prepared for you.' I had absolutely no idea of lecturing or lectures or anything. Then he wouldn't wait for my reaction. He continued to say, 'Now I have to give them the seven titles on which you'll be speaking. And this will be a one-week program.' It was strange. Absolutely strange, completely out of the blue it came. It just came like a very natural flow, one step after the other. I dictated to him seven topics, not knowing what I was going to speak on the topics. He started to go, and I said, 'Leave a copy with me.'

"So I went and sat there and talked to the people. The press caught the whole thing up. Every day the audience doubled. I was completely unaffected by anything, because this was sort of passing time before I was to go. The whole thing was so gentle and gradual and automatic, completely automatic—just as the river flows, and it doesn't have to make an effort to flow because the slope is already available to the flow. It flows just like that, effortless flow of life."

And this is how Maharishi started teaching meditation
Over fifty years ago.
There never was any grand plan.
If was more like a river flowing...
It was simply time to “get rid of a thought.”
If you'd like to read about the prayer flags go here.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Silly Dog

Originally uploaded by Carrie Patterson
This is a YouTube Video entitled "Stupid Dog." I hope you can view it, as it had me laughing out loud. Silly little dog chewing a bone doesn't know that his hindfoot is his own foot. So he gets all freaked when he sees his own foot approach the bone he is chewing.

Had me Laughing and Laughing... until I began to wonder
How often do I do this very thing?
How often do I scare myself?

All the time.
Since, just like the little dog
I am not sure
Who I Am.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Not Knowing and Oshun

Originally uploaded by
Seeking Tao
The door to God is
the insecurity of Not Knowing anything,
Bear the grace of that insecurity,
and all wisdom will be yours…

The impulse to be free comes from outside of the mind, and because of this, it makes the mind feel very insecure. Most spiritual seekers move away from this insecurity by seeking and striving for a distant spiritual goal. That’s how they avoid feeling insecure… in an attempt not to directly face the Unknown… the ego creates a spiritual seeker… You are not the seeker; you are the sought. …

You have to become more interested in the silent background than in the foreground, the phenomena: thoughts, emotions, sounds, smells…
the Self is discovered in the background.

Adyashanti, from The Impact of Awakening.

I received this email, sent from a small town in Mexico, at the foot of the volcano, Popocatepetl, from She Who’s Rather Good at dealing with Not Knowing.
I’ve edited a bit, but basically She said:

I've been a little alarmed the last few days by Not Knowing.
Being down here feels so much like being in the current.
Usually it's a surrendered being in the current,
but every once in a while I freak.

It feels like so much of my "self" has already fallen away
and what if MORE falls away?
What if clients stop coming to me?
What if people stop referring to me because I'm gone so much?
What if I stop being able to do what I do well?
What if...

Yackety-yack, but still alarmed.
Silly, really, but still present.

And meanwhile, all is really well here.
We went out into the countryside a bit with Catherina and Alita yesterday.
Stopped at the river that's the home of the Yoruban goddess, Oshun
(the river runs off Popo)
and did something that felt an awful lot like baptism,
only better.
And then had wonderful trout at a nearby restaurant.

It had been windy, so the air was incredibly clear and
Popo looked like you could touch Him.
There was one spot we stopped at to look at Popo,
and there in the foreground was an astonishing red bird
which Isobel thinks was a white winged tanager.
Stunning to see him in the foreground
and the brilliance of Popo in the background.

It was an amazing day.
I was there, knee deep in water, tossing out five oranges
to go along with various prayers to a Yoruban goddess
in water cold from Popo
thinking that I could never have mapped this road.

In the meantime, Isobel and Alita are plotting the purchase of a camionetta (an SUV)
so we can explore independently a little more,
and we're planning a longer December stay.

And at this moment I'm down in our dining room
in our house full of windows.
We bought these amazingly sweet-smelling flowers (unfamiliar to us)
along with batches of sunflowers.
The house smells of the flowers and of the beans that are cooking
(at this altitude it takes beans ALL DAY to cook...)

Silly, with all that, to be
grabbing at the reeds at the side of the river.
But, there you have it.

Monday, October 01, 2007

"I Don’t Know" Redux

I received an email late last night that went like this:

These days all I can hear myself say is "I'm not sure” and "I don't know."
A friend told me to stop saying that, as she thinks I know quite a bit.
The jury is out on that one!
Do you want to have tea sometime? Where did that come from?
"I don't know."

To which I replied:
You do know. We all know.
It's just that it has to come from a place of Silence
and our entry into That is often blocked by fear or grief or shame
or any other strong emotion.
Any agitation that stirs the mud up makes it seem like we do not know.
So, before you can sit with your knowing, you have to sit with the emotions.

If you don't want to run away from others, stop running from yourself.
Just stop.
Just sit quietly and feel what's going on in your body.
Have tea with her.

This approach of feeling What Is in the body is what Eckhart Tolle or Adyashanti might recommend.
The body knows.
It remembers.
It serves us warnings when we wander from the Truth.
Sitting and being with What Is inside may very well bring out the pain body.

(Pain body? Here’s a good definition – I have no idea who “John” is and this is NOT to be taken as any kind of endorsement of his work beyond – good definition.)

But, continuing to sit with the discomfort, will let it be soothed and healed.

This is one way forward, via the body.

There is also a more cognitive approach: accepting What Is in the mind,
as found in The Work by Byron Katie.

Sometimes it’s easier to work with in the body.
Sometimes it’s easier to work with the mind.
One approach does not exclude the other.
In fact, one leads eventually right into the other.
After all, it’s called “mind-body,” right?

So, here are some Katie quotes to get you rolling, if that be your preference.

Katie-Isms (are the words in bold):

Thoughts aren’t personal. They just appear, like raindrops. Would you argue with a raindrop?

Thoughts appear; beliefs create.
(Very much like Adya, yes?)

You either believe what you think or you question it. There’s no other choice.

There’s only one thought to question: the one appearing now.

There are no new stressful thoughts. They’re all recycled.

Stress is an alarm clock that lets you know you’ve attached to something not true for you.
(Such an important clue! Listen to the body.)

All sadness is a tantrum.
(I really like this one! Once you learn to catch yourself secretly enjoying your misery, trouble dissolves So Much Faster, because you have learned to recognize your own self-indulgence.)

Mind needs the drama to stay identified as a "you" and mind is NOT you.
(Often AKA the Pain Body pitching a fit.)

Everyone is a mirror image of yourself—your own thinking coming back at you. (So, why am I getting these midnight emails? “The Self unfolds Itself, by Itself, to Itself.”)

You see only what you believe. Nothing else is possible

Nothing you believe is true. To know this is freedom. (Adyashanti’s “thief in the night. … and still Nothing I believe… how very radical – I’m not there yet.)

We suffer only until we realize that we can’t know anything.

“I don’t know” is my favorite position.

If you want to see the love of your life, look in the mirror.