Hide and seek

Who are we? The person? The witness of the art? The trees? The snow? All of it?

Yesterday Monica commented as a response to this poem called One, indivisible:  It seems I struggle with this concept all the time by intellectualizing about it; trying to understand it (I’ve had the most success understanding by referring to the Native American worldview). But really, how often do I experience it? I can count how many times on one hand, all uninvited, all a momentary flash in the pan…

I read her words and agreed, agreed, agreed.

How many times do we attempt to intellectualize Oneness?  How many times must we fail?

Yet, if we’re lured toward Oneness like a silver-finned trout toward flashing bait,  how can we not attempt to realize it, figure it out, wear it day in and day out?

We’ve caught glimpses.  We’ve seen, we’ve felt, we’ve touched.

We know we’re not defined by our seemingly-separate seemingly-individual selves.

We perhaps once dissolved into a sunset.

We perhaps once lost boundaries, merging with fat ripe raspberries.

We perhaps once lost our entire self–where did it go?  where did it go?–driving amazed down a familiar road engrossed in the color “yellow” and “that sign” and “oh, look, a curve toward the swamp!”

We long to bring back that lost experience, the exquisite feeling of freedom, don’t we, don’t we?

When boundaries drop away like silken lingerie toward the nakedness of the moment, life hushes, pauses.  It’s all gone, gone, except this.  This magnificence, this arising!

So perhaps we pant after it again, like a dog in heat.  Perhaps we lap up teachings like a thirsty kitten.  Perhaps we follow gurus, touching the hem of white robes as they pass.  Perhaps we sweat in Native American lodges feeling prayers dissolve into a star-studded sky.  Perhaps we sit on a stump, eye to eye with a coyote, and suddenly there’s no you and no coyote, and perhaps never was.

Perhaps we decry teachers and teachings.  Perhaps we snub our nose at spiritual materialism and the way folks parrot dead words.  Perhaps we bay at the moon, begging, begging the moon to come closer.  Perhaps we don’t concern ourselves with the other, preferring instead to bring the human to its best-lived form.  Perhaps, perhaps…

Perhaps we meditate.

For a thousand years we watch the arisings and disappearings.  Perhaps for sixteen thousand lifetimes we watch ourselves birth and die.  Perhaps sixteen billion times we witness a thought appear, and then, where is it, where did it go?

We wear clothes of a personality, and straight-jacket ourselves into who we think ourselves to be.  We won’t allow any skin to show, revealing ourselves to be Everything.

We’re tighter wrapped than a bandana.

We’re tighter squeezed than a corset.

And yet, and yet, sometimes air succeeds in penetrating, moving through cloth, revealing it to be a marriage of air and linen, perception and disappearance.

How do we–those of us who long–proceed?

When it’s impossible to do anything, because anything we do takes us back into our personalities, our clothes?

How can we not do anything, because we’re likely to die wedded to our habits like the personality-addicts we truly are?

Whatever thoughts and beliefs and ideas arise merely feed the illusion that we’re a Kathy, Laurie, Elisa, Robin, Dana, Monica, OM, me, me, me.

Beneath the thoughts lies a river, a river of life.  Thoughts effortlessly pass on swiftly moving rapids, flotsam and jetsam of liquid movement.

To access the river we discover what lies beneath the story of ourselves.

What flows beneath our little play.

What sings beneath our daily song.

What dances before we waltz.

We look:  here, now.  This room.  Outside the window.  That chair.  This person at the computer.  The clock.  Washing machine churning.  Snow falling.  Thought arising.

What encompasses this all?

Only awareness.

This is what we are.  Perception. Everything.  We.  Perceive.

Are we simply thoughts, feelings, Kathy-person, main character in our musical?

Or are we this, this, this and THIS and this evermore?

To truly embrace this knowing that we are everything and that it’s seamless, One, indivisible… before the personality arises and shakes its disgusted head and claims itself again and let’s have a chocolate cupcake, please, because it’s never enough, never has been enough, never will be enough, and its mouth is endlessly hungry to create, to do, to be…anything…more than what appears.

How do we fully realize this?

How do we fully surrender to what is larger than our mouse-eyed perspective?

As a being who still believes she moves in and out of this realization, I cannot answer with authority.

(The good news for that which thinks it is me and you– We only appear to move in and out of this realization because what we truly are has never ever left what we are.)

Lately it seems that Oneness reveals its ever-presence through everything.  Because we see, how can everything we see not be One?  Because we hear, isn’t every sound Itself?  Because we touch, oh yes, it’s YOU, beloved awareness.  Because we smell, oh how delicious.  Because we move, oh yes, I see you, you can’t play hide and seek forever.

We won’t play hide and seek forever.

This is our great glad news now and always.




15 thoughts on “Hide and seek

  1. “Beneath the thoughts lies a river, a river of life. Thoughts effortlessly pass on swiftly moving rapids, flotsam and jetsam of liquid movement. To access the river we discover what lies beneath the story of ourselves.”

    Amen. And amen, again.

  2. I read a wonderful passage yesterday in a Michael Pollan book. He referred to “closing the eyes of the mind in order to open the eyes of the body”. As a recovering academic, I find myself stuck in my thoughts all too often. I think it would be an interesting image to hold during meditation: closing that gigantic, intellectualizing mind’s eye and allowing the eyes of the body and the senses to slowly peer open…

    • This feels like a useful image, Dana. Another one I just read: let our eyes soften; view the world with “soft focus”. Let everything enlarge, open. See expansively, without trying. Thought relaxes… Opening with you, dear friend.

  3. Poignantly written, Kathy – you have a beautiful, connecting, way with words, with metaphors… Words fail me when I catch those uninvited glimpses. Thank you for sharing your words of oneness…

  4. Oh Dana…I too, am a recovering academic, trusting my mind over my heart. I like how you named that syndrome! Even pleasurable novels I read too fast, habitually scanning important sections as though I’m working on a thesis.

    • So true! It’s been years since I finished my MA degree, but I still haven’t managed to break out of the academia mold completely. All in time, right? (I hope?)

    • Monica, I’m a fast-reader and fast-eater and fast-liver at times, too. Isn’t it a relief when we slow down and soften our gaze and truly see the Oneness instead of simply the parts? Thanks again for the inspiration.

  5. We’re tighter wrapped than a bandana.

    We’re tighter squeezed than a corset.

    lol! Great lines and post Kath!

    We are conditioned to put all our trust in our thoughts and experiences until… we see they are transient and don’t consistently deliver the promised goods.

    Even making thoughts, the personality, and seeking for new experiences “the problem” didn’t work here..Awareness contains permeates all of these things.

    The reason these “supposed” glimpses of oneness felt like experiences here is there was such a contrast between the vastness of the “oneness” state and everything else. But then I found… it is not a state. It includes all states.

    So it is helping to relax the conditioning so what never leaves us can be seen. It doesn’t even take time out to smoke a cigarette, so it is totally reliable.

    It takes time to learn how to relax into that. Our brains are hard wired for survival to look for what is missing or wrong… The amygdala is the spot light scanning the prison yard. It was programmed for our survival. It helped me to learn that. So, higher education can help in some ways.

    The greatest benefit of the Balanced View group is that they teach short moments of relaxing the body and mind whenever it comes up to do so. They call it taking “short moments”. It is all you have to do. Basically, short moments teaches the body\mind to relax so Awareness can appear as primary and we can see thru our conditioning. Over time, the glimpses begin to integrate with daily life, and that special oneness is just what is. What they call afflictive states can come and go, but Awareness is primary.

    Here is a really good video from Nina. She is Norwegian if you are wondering about her accent. These people tell it straight that they were tired of living the same old way. I also recommend listening to Pippa, Kathy, Jochen, and Anat. Others are good as well. Pippa steals my heart with her honesty like Nina. They tell the truth of what we have all experienced living in survival mode much of the time.


    We are not the problem. Oneness is not somewhere else. It just takes some gentleness with ourselves to relax the conditioning and be it.

    We are not far away, and it isn’t about our flaws and trying to fix them. I promise. These are real people just like us, and we are no different or any more or less special. I write this for myself as much as I do you.

    Relaxing feels good, and relaxing those thoughts that we use to bother ourselves is mind blowing once you get the hang of it, but it takes time to find that out. Nothing wrong with that. The openings are endless and that becomes a really comfortable process.

    Love You All!

    • Good words, Ben. Relaxing, allowing ourselves to open into the Openess which we are. No special state or experiences, simply that which surrounds us–is us–at all times. I listened to some of these talks before. Will listen to Nina, as well. Liking again what you said: It just takes some gentleness with ourselves to relax the conditioning and be it.

      May we all be gentle with ourselves…

  6. Kathy, I’ve been away from this lovely space for a while. I’m not sure why but do know it is so good to be reading your words and thoughts and poems in this moment. My heart opens with gratitude…..

    Love Colleen

    • See, Colleen, you haven’t been back because the Universe is playing hide n seek–through you! I am smiling in delight because you’re found back at Simply Here with your open heart.

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