Universe dancing

Sept 5(2)

Waves and rocks dancing

Almost every day I cock my head and listen.  Does the Universe want to say anything through Kathy in the blogging world?  Does it have anything to say?

It’s odd when one begins operating through a sense of listening to Universal direction, rather than relying on thoughts and desires to compass one in the next unfolding moment. It’s a different orientation, a different motivation.

You never know what’s going to happen next.

Sometimes you find yourself habitually listening to commanding thoughts again, but it seems to actually hurt.  So you stop in this fresh new moment and simply notice.  Ah ha, THIS is what I am.

I can remember getting annoyed with friends who behaved in ways that irritated me.  There was a definite belief that there was a separate “me” and separate “other”.  That the person was separately independently making decisions that seemed wrong or unjust.  Now it often usually appears as a dance with no unique separate self at the helm deciding definitely to do this next.  Instead it’s a seamless interconnected Universe simply dancing.

Shimmer, shimmer, wave, rock.

You never know what’s going to happen next, and that seems to transition from fear to fullness as the ego relaxes its fierce grip.  What relief!  We don’t have to know.  And so we listen for the symphony’s next movement…and the dance continues…



Emptiness AND fullness



Just wanting to share an excerpt from the book “Shift into Freedom:  The Science and Practice of Open-Hearted Awareness” by Loch Kelly.  This book is amazing!  It’s really about (in my opinion) how the rational logical mind can participate in realizing awake awareness by bridging into a new way of being.

Here is what Adyashanti says about the book:  “In my many years of knowing and working with Loch Kelly I feel that he is one of the clearest expressions of authentic awakened freedom and love that I know. This book is a shining gem in the modern spiritual landscape. One that invites you, challenges you, and requires you to fully participate in your awakening to truth and the embodiment of love.”

Here is a random passage in the book that makes my heart sing with recognition:

“We often associate the head with thoughts and the heart with emotions.  When nonconceptual awareness becomes fully developed and embodied, we operate from open-hearted awareness, a subtler way of knowing that includes both thinking and feeling, head and heart, and being and doing–and goes beyond them.  Open-hearted awareness has a quality of knowing that is completely different from dualistic thinking.  One reason people often have difficulty transitioning to awake awareness is because it’s an intelligence that uses paradox.  Our everyday, conceptual minds can’t really understand two seeming opposites as simultaneously true; our conceptual minds are designed to use the dualistic thinking needed to judge if the streetlight is green or red.

This way of knowing may initially feel paradoxical or slow compared to the fast-moving dualistic mind.  In my classes, people answer the question:  “What does open-hearted awareness know?” One person will say “emptiness,” another will report “fullness,” and a third will exclaim, “I agree with both of them:  emptiness and fullness.”  Then the first two say at the same time, “Yes, that’s it!  Emptiness and fullness.  That is what I meant.” The linear logic of our trained, dualistic knowing could say, “That’s illogical.  It’s either empty or full.  It cannot be both!”  But it is both, and the awakened heart perceives and embraces what looks like a paradox to the linear mind.”


Bliss is the whole picture, not just the bubble

Bliss is the whole picture, not just the bubble

One of the side-effects of spiritual awareness or realization is that one can sometimes experience delightful states of bliss.

The heart opens, the mind feels clear and relatively quiet, the body relaxes.  Ahhhh, bliss!

I used to think that bliss equaled a state of spiritual “arrival”.  I also thought that it would stay forevermore, the ending of a happily-ever-after story.

What seems to happen is that a pervasive feeling of joy does exist beneath the busy planning, judging, figuring-out mind. Joy does seem to be what *aliveness* feels like.  When the preoccupation with “me” quiets or ceases this natural state often surfaces.  It’s the spark of life moving, shining, illuminating, loving.  It feels like happiness, but it’s really not associated to external circumstances.  It’s an inside job, a shining flashlight of awareness, illuminating everything internal and external.

When the “me” story lessened, even for a short time, I used to experience a sense of deep peace.  Other times it felt like ho-hum emptiness.  Kind of boring.  Kind of like nothing joyful was arising.  I often pondered:  Where was the joy?  C’mon, bring on some Yogi Juice!

Sometimes a glimpse of uncaused joy would arise, but it never stayed around.  It was seen that the joy was Life itself, moving in the stillness of awareness.  A sense of BEING life accompanied it.  It flooded the body with bliss.

And then it would move on to something else.  Life isn’t stagnant. One moment it’s joy. Then it’s despair, peace, what’s-for-dinner? and maybe a flash of anger.

Last week bliss visited for the entire week.  Joy set itself as the background.  It felt amazing. This time, though, the mind didn’t think:  Can this last forever?  It knew that something else would flow into the next undulating moment.  Maybe it would feel good; maybe it wouldn’t.

What seems to stop the bliss?  An unexamined thought.  A belief which isn’t true.  A mental and emotional story filled with shards of pain or rejection.  Pushing away of the moment.

So, in the next moment, the spiritual journey becomes meeting this arising thought, belief or story.  Ahhh, here you are, dear little girl who still seems to want or need approval.  And that’s the next moment.  That’s what is important to be with. Not to cling to yesterday’s bliss, but to say “hello” to what is arising next, whether it be death or injury or sad tears.  To accompany the little girl without falling into yet another story of her inner tragedy or blaming John,Sue or Sally for her woes. To feel her pain without medicating it with compulsion.  (And, if I choose to medicate it with too much email or cookies–being with that in an open-hearted way.)

It’s all life.  And what are we but life?  The “I” is just beginning to relax into this, the turning of the wheel of karma.  Life breathes.  It opens, it closes.  It’s as wide and blissful as an ocean, then it’s as narrow and constricted as a fussy grandma in a wheelchair.  It’s breath flowing in, then flowing out.  It’s a bubble in a stream and–pop!–it’s gone.

What’s next?  Who cares?  When delight or curiosity in the next moment exists (even if it’s the hardest moment of one’s life) then that’s Presence realizing itself, isn’t it?

Diamond of who we are

Who we are

Who we are

It’s possible for Life to lead a mining expedition into the heart of ourselves.  We travel deep, deep, deep into the caverns of our interiors to discover what we truly are.  At the base, at the very apex of ourselves, we may realize our essence.  Then we climb back out of the cave into the light of day to walk as what’s been revealed.

What exists at our apex, that which is both the deepest and the highest?  (And, some might smile and add: it’s completely available at our shallowest and lowest, as well.)  Peace.  Well-being.  Love.  Joy.  Completeness.  Fullness.  Enough-ness. Diversity and Oneness co-existing in a single dance.

Everything for which we’ve been searching our entire life (and that includes the happiness which seems to result from a chocolate chip cookie) shines within us.  Always.  It’s never left. Never dearly departed.  Always the light which shines in any seeming darkness of any shadowed moment.  It’s with us in tears.  With us in death.  With us eternally, endlessly, ever-present.

But is the journey over when one discovers the peace, the light?  For some rare birds, perhaps it is.  Life illuminates itself, and the person Knows.  The force of the dynamite explosion destroys the ego-self and reveals the diamond within.  (Think of Eckhart Tolle and Byron Katie and their deep dark repressed energy which apparently provided enough fuel to blow their former worlds to smithereens.)

Those of us without dynamite still might discover the diamond of ourselves, but parts of the personality might remain intact. (By personality, I mean the both the image of self and the ego-apparatus of desire and aversion which fuels us humans and keeps us securely in our character roles.)

Both the quest into the mountain and the walk back into one’s life often involves the same clearing and polishing motion. The diamond is obscured by dirt and rough surfaces.  The One has also been hidden by ego-self.  So the polishing involves bringing trapped or unconscious energy to the air and releasing it.  Don Juan, in Carlos Castaneda books calls this “recapitulation”.  He utilized a breathing/remembering technique to release the energy which binds the small self.  Hundreds of other techniques abound, as spiritual adepts describe what has worked best for them.

What is the separate self except energy compressed by beliefs?  We humans are bundles of tight beliefs, spinning ourselves into existence with every breath.  If the beliefs are penetrated, they might reveal themselves to be untrue, empty, not in alignment with the diamond at the depth.

So our journey both into and out of the mountain involves utilizing awareness to see through the imaginary character Life has so painstakingly created and cultivated. It’s also revealed that Life itself is the one seeing through its own patterns, the divine polisher of its own diamond!

So does it all “end” when one discovers what one truly is?  So many miners say no.  It’s just a beginning.  So many patterns and beliefs and desires and fears still beg to be seen, to be penetrated, to be revealed as shams, as charlatans, as something other than peace and joy.  Every day brings a new opportunity to see through.

This “seeing through” can be revealed instantly, but often takes multiple seeings.  The self/ego wants to remain unseen.  It utilizes cunning means and tricks to keep itself intact.  It uses the fuel of desires and fears to further cement itself. Any time we react to cravings and contractions without awareness we continue the belief that there is an “I” who desires or fears.

“Seeing through” often involves a combination of body, mind and spirit. It is an effortless noticing, not an egoistic effort-full doing creating more karma. (In fact, when the doing comes from ego/self, it’s usually simply another desire/belief which reveals itself to be simply more suffering.)  It includes sitting with raw physical/emotional sensations without our ego story, as well as allowing insight to penetrate the pattern.  One truly must eventually see that the belief or pattern is NOT who one is.  When that is deeply known, the pattern releases itself.

The dirt around the diamond falls away.

What exists–always, evermore–shines brighter than one could ever imagine.

Perfect, imperfect

The curve of the moon

The curve of the moon

I want to meet you in the blood & guts of where you are right now.

Broken, unlatched, unhinged,

clay cracked forgotten pot at the dusk of your life.

With all your heroin needles and cigarette butts and too-much-coffee.

I really haven’t had the courage to meet you there before.

Before I wanted you to realize how the moon shimmers just a millisecond away.

How you might reach your hand in the sky and caress her curves.

How insights flood the body with tears of joy, how

the greatest ugliness transforms in the sunlight of awareness.

I still sang the refrain of later, later, later,

just six steps away from now,

begging you to come closer to yourself,

please, change how you think, how you see

this bright beautiful broken world.

How might it look if we allow the fistfuls of chocolate chips, searing judgment, endless running away, extra fat?

The sodden way we don’t listen to ourselves, don’t heed the inner broadcasts of should, should, should.

Not simply allow it, but hold it close, cradling it?

What if we crooned, “Yes, you, you’re here, my child and you

don’t have to change, don’t have to quit, don’t have to turn yourself

inside out into a new incarnation.”

The new incarnation will come without our pottery wheel mudding something

brand spanking new.

To trust you that deeply, to witness what you’re creating with

tools of bone and blood and dancing electrons.

I accept you, warts and pimples and wild hair,

gambling on too much chocolate cake or not enough trust.

I want to accept you.

To accept even my non-acceptance.

To embrace the cracked pot of myself, all seven billion perfect imperfect cells,

Learning to love the lost children

Empty chairs

Empty chairs

So many parts of ourselves exist!

The controlling part, the angry part, the loving part, the spiritual part, the part that loves munching popcorn, the part that wants to recycle and save the planet, the part that feels inferior, the part that thinks someone else has it “all together”, the part that makes snap judgments against you, you, you.

We’re composed of parts, aren’t we?  Those parts all join together into a conglomerate we sometimes call a “personality”.

We’ve squelched some of those parts, sent them underground, perhaps because their effect proved too painful.  We banished them to underground caves in the psyche where they languish and hopefully die.

Yet they don’t, oh they don’t.

Those lost children of ourselves–the ones filled with anger and hate and despair and vulnerability–shoot arrows into our everyday living.  They quiver forth, ruining the best laid plans.  They detest the “parent” who refused to love them, who locked them in the basement and threw away the key.

Thank goodness they refused their death sentence.  Thank goodness they wreak havoc in our lives.  Thank goodness they did not heed the controller in the mind who insisted life be this way, the perfect way.

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