“That little one never made it”

Who we are

Adyashanti shares an interesting story.  I am paraphrasing from memory, but this is the gist:  A spiritual seeker tells him–I want what you have.  Adya appears puzzled.  What do I have?  The spiritual seeker says–I want to be enlightened, to be awake, to be realized.  I want what you got.  Adya replies something like–oh no, I never got anything.  That young man never got anything.  That little one never made it at all.

This story comes back to me at times.  Like this morning.  Sitting here on the couch, thoughts appear in the background.  They keep referring to a “me”, to a Kathy.  They continue to reference a solid separate person with certain characteristics.  The foreground of consciousness watches them appear and disappear, appear and disappear.

I sometimes want to explain to my friends and blog readers here on line.  To tell them what happened, what shifted, how the outgoing blogger and social media participant dissolved–poof!–now you see her, now you don’t.

I want to make up a story telling you where the person went. “This is what happened,” I will say, craftily spinning a tale, pretending that there is an actual person who can come and go, arise and fall, create stories and fall silent.

But the stories can’t really be told without fabricating more creative non-truths.  I can’t tell you anything about me without shape-shifting into a me.  (Which is perfectly OK if that’s what the Universe wants to do in this ever-changing moment.)

Sometimes, like this morning, there’s a nostalgia which arises for the person.  Oh, that little one, that one, where is she?  I almost want to create her this morning out of sticks and stones and a rib from Adam and some grinning amusement from Eve.  To craft story after story to make a solid character who acts predictably in certain ways, who is dependable as the heroine or villain of the tale.  Or who loves acting unpredictably!

(And some days she returns–oh here I am, darling!  Let’s play today.  What character do you want to be?)

But it doesn’t seem possible right now.  It’s as if the old characters have fallen away into the snowy woods, a snowman melted away, the archetypes empty icicles gleaming in the weak January sun.

Matthew of Biblical fame says it this way:  For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.

The fullness that remains when one dies while still alive! Wow!  What appears in place of the stories is truly amazing in the most ordinary way.  Fingers typing, can you imagine?  The wood stove humming?  Thoughts and stories appearing? To enjoy encounters with people more than before, but without needing anything in return?  All without reference to a central character, a separate person?

Perhaps it was Adyashanti who said that you may lose the separate self but what you gain is the whole world. The whole darn world!  Can you imagine that?

When Awareness plays as a separate self

One vase, two profiles?

All perspective

In the last week–for two full days–Awareness decided to play as a separate self again.  The “I” seemingly forgot everything and slipped into a dream of itself.  It thought it was a separate person in a separate body with a separate mind and separate feelings making separate choices and doing separate actions.

Oh how that little self suffered when it forgot!  The contraction of identifying as a separate self–with thoughts and feelings fused as an identity–can feel so excruciating.  Unlike the wide-open radiant sense of inclusiveness there is a sense of tightness, obligation, worry.  There is a horrible conviction that one must make the right decision, do the right thing, act in a right way, save oneself.  The little self actually contracted into thinking she was in control and needed to–well, she wasn’t sure what she needed to do.  She just wanted to get away from the contraction of her little self and didn’t know how.  So she kept struggling to regain balance, to regain the Absolute knowing.  To fix herself.

After two days of chaotic feelings and thoughts, Awareness seemingly decided to remember itself.  To awaken from the dream of the separate self once again.  It sat on the couch and prompted the small self to look around…to truly see.  Was there a separate self here?  (The separate self shouted YES!  What the heck could you possibly mean?)  Is there a separate doer here?  (The separate self said:  Are you insane?  Of course I’m the doer. Who else is the doer except this person in this body?)

The separate self literally could not see or remember anything other than its own perspective.  I remember thinking that Awareness was literally crazy with its prompts and inquiries.  That there was no other way of viewing reality than as a person in a separate body with separate thoughts and feelings.  This feeling was absolutely sure.  It was as if I had never heard of absolute awareness before, and it was totally impossible to imagine or reach.

I continued to sit on the couch, looking, looking, peering around the edges of the small self who was so conflicted and contracted.  About twenty minutes in physical time passed.  And then–all contractions ceased.  It was utterly clear once again!  Oh my stars.  Only freedom.  No boundaries.  No exclusivity.  No separate self.  No terrible obligation or decisions to be made (or not made). Now contractions could rise and fall naturally and easily without resistance, without identification.

Simply this Oneness.  The little Kathy felt embarrassed.  Really?  How could I fall head-long into this game yet again?  And yet it was seen clearly that it was only awareness playing, playing, playing, no need to fuss.

It’s Awareness choosing to play–a simple thing, really.  And Awareness choosing to return to itself.  This seeing relaxes the body/mind so fully and deeply. And the whole world arises in itself, as it always has.

 

 

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…

 

The trouble with non-existence

What nothing reveals

What nothing reveals

Here’s the trouble.

You talk to people about non-existence and–darn them!–

they have nothing to say.

What’s there to say about nothingness? the mind thinks

how boring, how mundane, let’s turn the page, keep moving, pour the

next cup of coffee, spill the beans somewhere else.

You want to shout:  But, no!  Don’t turn away, don’t leave, don’t allow

that shackle of mind to ditch emptiness, to turn it into something unappealing, yesterday’s ho-hum, what’s interesting here anyway?

I want to shout:  but nothingness is everything!  It’s everything we’re dreaming about as we buy, buy, buy

as we seek entertainment, fun, happiness!  As we seek and peek

for Santa’s next gift it’s been here all along, all year long, in eternity.

What’s nothingness?

It’s peace so peaceful you relax into holy communion.

It’s love so compassionate your heart accepts everything, even the

unacceptable.

It’s song so clear, so pure, so full!

It’s embrace of your dearest beloved, your bitter enemy.

It’s allowing every quibble, lonely tear, angry fist without

condemning quibble, tear, fist.

It’s joy so sweet the sense of you shatters into a million hugs.

 

Yet, I’m not telling the truth.  Toss this poem into a muddy ditch!

Nothing can describe the nothingness our mind imagines.

Anything uttered is not that, not that, not that.

Don’t be intimidated by a thought that says the lake is too unfathomable, too deep.

Jump in!

Only if we want to get wet, to realize we and the water are the very same amazing nothing

we’ve been running from in so many stories we tell about only

fleeting sparkles of something.

Bliss

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?

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,