Monday, August 29, 2011

All It Can Do Is Collapse

I just find for myself that when a structure lacks integrity, all it can do is collapse in on itself, and that's more how I see what's going on.
Lynn Barron

She was speaking about social and political events, but I took her words quite personally. And I looked to find more of what she might say to me, to me personally.
Why, because I feel this collapse occurringand I am having trouble putting the experience to words.

Last week, a friend sent some words and I started this whole quibbling in my mind.
I argued logically, until I discovered I was arguing for my own Un-enlightenment.
I thought of Adya asking us to watch, “How is it you un-enlighten yourself.” And I could see it in my actions, in what I had just written:

In trying to define things like “where you are,” you end up describing experiences on a checklist. My experience is that experiences come and go. What might seem like awakening or Unity might not be there tomorrow.

I can not say just what it was, but this observation, these words, felt somehow deeply wrong.
Part of the “wrongness” was its insistence upon “I am still not there.”  While I cannot say, "I am there," strangely it felt wrong to conclude the opposite.  It didn't feel honest.  The argument lacked integrity.
…when a structure lacks integrity, all it can do is collapse in on itself

Thoughts can be like that. No integrity. Something in the belly finds this quite revolting.
Some gentleness within the heart finds it almost unbareable.
… all it can do is collapse in on itself.

That’s not so bad. But, it’s also not so easy. You have to give it space and time and silence.

So, I watched Lynn Barron meditate and noticed that she gently rocked in the subtlest of circles.
I know that energy. It rocks me every day. Gentle energy trying to transform the blockages or simply stirring up a migraine. I know longer clearly differentiate.
But there she was rocking in the silence
and when she came out of meditation, this is what she said:

Now there are these four lights in the heart that are to be lit,
and one of them is called the light of submission.
And so when you sit in this way you place yourself in submission.
To be receptive to the bounties and blessings that come from Allah into your heart.

Yes, submission, that’s another way of saying sweet collapse. It’s not so much what I must do, but rather, can I be quiet enough to let Nature takes its course. Hands off. Mind off. Will off.

[The next] practice is called accompaniment and you do this practice with someone who knows the way because you're trying to go into your deep heart.
And so there is another light that is to be lit, and it's called the light of faith.
…faith is acceptance by the heart of the truth of God's revelation.
Now, this revelation has been streaming forth in consciousness since the beginning
but for some reason your heart hasn't really been able to accept it as the truth
and so you have a lot of doubt and uncertainty.
So this is another light that is to be lit in the heart.

I was crying with these words, as I knew their truth.
Despite all the experiences I’ve had, years and years and years and still, I cannot accept.
What more do I want?

The third light that's to be lit in the heart
is the light of gnosis
and this is the witnessing of the real.

I understand witnessing. There is so much of that. I understand Real and unreal. I feel like I do not have to worry so much about this light.

And the fourth is the light of unification.

Bam! With that word my heart broke.
Unity, I just don’t get. Even though I’m beginning to suspect, I walk around positively dizzy with the physical denial. I walk around within the ocean waiting for it to swallow me up, or perhaps desperately thrashing in the water like some fish upon the land trying to remain separate.

Last year about this time, Adya told me that I needed to learn to “witness from the heart”… and that I’d have to discover how to do this for myself. He couldn’t tell me how. But, he added, think of those picture of the flaming heart of Christ – the heart with those hands ripping it wide open.

…one of the intentions of doing practices
is to bring light into the chest
so that this particular quality of knowledge of God can come directly to you
so you won't have a teacher telling you what it is any longer.
You will actually know what it is because you will be having the experience of it
in your heart in a way that is very unique to you
and that you will understand in your own way
so that you can continue to travel deeply…

it's the interior teacher that's now guiding you.
I have one story that might help you when you get to that place.
And it's from the 14th century Egypt, and it's from a desert father.
A monk came to see Abba and said
Abba, I observe fast. I pray. I maintain stillness.
I try to keep my thoughts pure.
What more can I do?
The old man stood up, invoked,
and his fingers became like ten burning lamps of fire.
If you wish, he said, you can become all flame.

So, there you go, kind of full circle in a year. When better to finally collapse.

Lynn Barron shared one more thing:
When you're going into the deep heart, you'll reach a point
where a great deal of fear comes upon you
And I'm going to read something from Rûmî that may help.
Rûmî asks what is there to be afraid of:

Don't be afraid of nonbeing.
If you want to be afraid,
fear the existence you have now.
Your hopes for the future,
your memories of the past,
what you call yourself
are nothing.
So nothing is being taken from nothing, and
a nothing is being absorbed by a Nothing.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Writing Poems

Omega garden by Seeking Tao
Omega garden, a photo by Seeking Tao on Flickr.
Say it again
Say it again I didn’t hear.
I could not understand.

And so, once again the sun rose
through the trees
illuminating translucent leaves
and the most delicate of tendrils, just so.

Just so I might hear.

Yesterday, while having breakfast on my back deck and mostly sitting quietly, this poem came to me. I just noticed hearing it as I was looking at the woods.
I liked it a lot and jotted it down.
It helped me notice there's such patience and love within Nature's mechanics; patience and love as aspects of that ineffable being, the Light, that shines through your eyes and mine sometimes so brightly.

Today, I came across these words.
Once again, such perfect timing:

At one time I was composing poems.
Poems used to flow out of me and, in this flow, I just added Nisargadatta.
I was reveling in composing poems until my Guru cautioned me, "You are enjoying composing these poems too much; give them up!"

What was he driving at?

His objective was for me to merge in the Absolute state instead of reveling in my beingness…
When this beingness goes, the Absolute will not know "I Am".
Appearance and disappearance, birth and death, these are the qualities of beingness;
they are not your qualities.

Consciousness and the Absolute: the final talks of Nisargadatta

... ok, I was going to stop here, but let me take this a bit farther as I seem to have many friends thinking about death these days.
Nisargadatta also has this to say:

the knowledge "I Am" must go back to its own source.

Now, consciousness has identified with a form.
Later, it understands that it is not that form and goes further.
In a few cases it may reach the space, and very often, there it stops.
In a very few cases, it reaches its real source, beyond all conditioning.
It is difficult to give up that inclination of identifying the body as the self.
I am not talking to an individual, I am talking to the consciousness.
It is consciousness which must seek its source.
Out of that no-being state comes the beingness.
It comes as quietly as twilight, with just a feel of "I Am" and then suddenly the space is there.

In the space, movement starts with the air, the fire, the water, and the earth.
All these five elements are you only.
Out of your consciousness all this has happened.
There is no individual.
There is only you, the total functioning is you, the consciousness is you.
You are the consciousness, all the titles of the Gods are your names, but by clinging to the body you hand yourself over to time and death—you are imposing it on yourself.
I am the total universe.

Many of these words link up to experience for me. 
When things shifted back in 1975, I found the space. 
I saw how air, fire, water and earth arise as movement starts.
"No individual" is becoming more and more apparent.
And yet, overall, mostly I live in "and there it stops."

Still, I do know from experience of a place beyond all conditionings, all words, all mentation.
And as Nisargadatta says, "the consciousness is you" and "consciousness must seek it's source."
Otherwise, we impose time and death and suffering upon ourselves.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Enlightening the Shadow

Practice begins with enlightenment.
Suzuki Roshi

Until one has tasted the essence of what we are, none of it’s going to make sense.
Jon Bernie

So, having tasted. Now what? (And, if you’re here, surely you’ve had an inkling.)
Or, perhaps it’s more than merely a simple taste. Perhaps you’ve swallowed the whole meal. Now what?

Wayne Liquorman gave some nice definitions in his interview at BATGAP.
Saints embody the highest ideals of human behavior.
Sages have realized their true self.
Traditionally, we seem to have blurred this distinction. We want our sages to be saints.
Now those who have awakened are telling us, “Not so.”
And sometimes I think, well then why bother.

In his Ordinary People interview Jon Bernie got me thinking about the shadow although he never mentioned it by name.
Posted just below Jon is an interview with Scott Kiloby and Scott speaks directly to the point. He speaks of deeply realizing “no-self” and still, something had to shift.
In speaking with other teachers on non-duality Scott noticed they, like he, were actually feeling quite conflicted. Turns out, “no-self” can create a shadow just as easily as a “separate me.”
That’s one angle to my point here. But, I have another much more personal.

Sometime ago a friend asked me, “What happens if you never decide if you are awake?” I still can’t answer that to my satisfaction. But, I think it leaves things unfulfilled. I have had so many tastes, and still something needs to be resolved.
I really liked how Scott talks about walking the middle way: sometimes no-self, sometimes me. In fact, every time I open my mouth to speak, I will be a me.
Can I be comfortable with that?

I recommend listening to Scott.