Stuck in emptiness once again

Cougar in forest


Sometime in late May the ego seemed to dry up and disappear again.  One knows it because the wanting and desiring and craving fades.  At first it felt soooo peaceful and relaxing and wonderful.  Like the peace that passeth all understanding.  Feelings (both positive and negative) came and disappeared.  Thoughts of all kinds arose and fell away.  The space of awareness held everything, all was allowed, welcome all you vagabonds!

A sudden desire to meditate on emptiness appeared.  I usually feel no desire to meditate any more, so this felt surprising.  OK, emptiness, here you are.  The body relaxed deeper, soothed by no-thing-ness.

Suns rose and suns set.  The days meandered by.  Personal will seemed gone.  Emptiness simply moved through the mornings and evenings, occasionally jarred  by sadness, anger, or whatever human emotion the body-mind produced.  Nothing ultimately disturbed.

We split and stacked our wood for next winter.  I ran the wood splitter and we both lugged the firewood into the truck.  Eventually we unloaded the pickup.  It all felt good and flowing.

The body was ill, as well, during that time.  A dull ache permeated from the underarm to beneath the right breast.  The emptiness allowed it all.  In the midst of the discomfort I called the doctor and scheduled mammogram and eventually ultrasound.  An inner thought wondered if this was it–dread disease, come to inhabit and take the body.  I remember fear and then thinking, “OK, yes, if it’s time, that’s OK, too.”

The body breathed and breathed and breathed.  We split wood, I did diagnostic tests, and hurt while feeling peaceful and flowing.  Emptiness surrounded.

Then I noticed another feeling arising. Almost a light depression.  A hollowness.  A feeling of being stuck.  A frustrating sameness to life.  No ups, no downs, no joy, no real fear.  Just this over-arching emptiness at the base of all things.

Suddenly I felt a desire to listen to Adyashanti, one of my favorite spiritual teachers.  So often his teachings truly change things at a deep level for me.

He spoke of fixation and how our point of view can fixate in any state.  We can fixate in emptiness, fullness, oneness, separate self, or divinity.

The minute he spoke I KNEW what had happened.  I was stuck in emptiness once again.  (Not the first time, and probably not the last…)

How subtle–that even a point of view can fixate like that!

As he spoke, the fixation shifted and changed and dissolved.  And now it’s all brand new.

Now the heart feels full once again.

And, joyfully, the body received a diagnosis and the pain seems to be dissolving.  Turns out I have an inflammation of the cartilage in the rib cage–probably caused from lifting wood too high to throw into the truck.  Now I can remember lifting a log and feeling a pressure under the right arm…before the discomfort spread all around the rib cage.

And life continues to change…empty, full, and who knows where next?






Consciousness after slipping out of the womb

This.  Here.  Now.

This. Here. Now.

Pretend you just slipped out of the womb.  You peer around at the glaring hospital lights, feeling a cool breeze on your naked belly.  Faces appear before your interested gaze. (Unless, of course, you’re annoyed to be here, frustrated and uncomfortable, wondering what the heck just happened.)

You look around.  You have no words for anything.  It’s all shape, movement, texture, energy.  A world sparkles around you, an entire dream filled with the five senses and consciousness.

Consciousness is!  It looks out your eyes and envelopes the entire room.  It doesn’t create a separate self yet.  Everything dances together and apart.  It’s all simply presence, or now.  It isn’t really aware of itself AS awareness.  It’s undefined, non-conceptualized, simply what is, without boundaries, without limits.  It’s free.

Now imagine yourself fifteen months later when Mama has called, “Annie!” or “Susan!” or “John!” sixteen thousand times.  Every time you’ve focused on Mama’s face and lips she’s pointing at you and calling you a name.

That’s when a kind of pretending starts.  Something dawns:  “Ahhh, when she calls Annie she means ME!  She means this body, these thoughts.”

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Waking up


I will tell you what happened earlier this week.

Because the telling is the same as the receiving.

Because someone asked.


I sat in meditation, a solid person, thinking “I” was a solid person.

Somewhere in the meditation, in the inquiry which demanded “What am I?”, in the inquiry which saw the space as alive, as real, something shifted.

In that shift everything shifted.

In that shift, “I” became everything perceived.

The drilling woodpecker, the hum of my husband’s voice, the refrigerator’s motor.  The desk, the table, the carpeting.

“I” am it all.

“I” am nothing.

In that moment, laughter arose.

Of course.

We know who we are in every moment.  We are everything, everything, yes everything!  But we limit ourselves to a certain human perspective, a certain association with body or mind, a certain cutting away.

Later, it all blurs. 

I am an individual again.  Back in a body.  Thinking a self exists.

Dreaming a no-self exists.

What is real?  What is dream?  What beckons beyond self, individuality, humanity, laughter, reality?

If I could tell you, this blog would chuckle. 

This blog would guffaw.

This blog would grin.

But I can’t tell you–can’t tell you anything–and therefore you must look at yourself and determine if your solidity makes dinner tonight; if it catches a glimmer of moonlight before you fall asleep in between your shifting sheets.

The power of not-me


Suddenly you discover it’s really true.

There is no “you”.

It’s the greatest con-game we’re playing with ourselves. 

It’s  a smash Broadway hit.

It’s a high school play.

It’s a drama, a comedy, some war-time action, a mystery.

We’re so identified with our characters we forget it’s a play.

Until we start to wake up.  Some people say that sentence is silly.  Either you’re awake or you’re asleep.  If you’re asleep you think you’re a person.  If you’re awake you know you’re– 

And here’s where it all stops.  Because if you think one more word you’re back in personhood.  You’re back in the play.  You can’t say anything.

And yet you do. 

When you’re awake you don’t exist.  So you can never awaken.   The personality can never awaken.  Kathy can never awaken.  But something–which is already awake before Kathy dreamed she could or should awaken–moves to the forefront.

The movie gets more intriguing.  Nay, not more intriguing…more alive.  Vibrant.  Shimmering.  Fascinating.

Please do not believe anything I say.  I am neither awake nor asleep.  Ooops, sorry, every word in that last sentence was not true.  Forget the word “I”.  Forget the conceptual labeling of sleeping and waking–how ridiculous!  A Mind must have made that up.

Even to discuss this is a bust.  Others–who don’t really exist either–will suddenly want to wake up.  And their wanting will be a journey into the deepest suffering because it’s wanting, wanting, wanting, strengthening the dream-character.  Yet if you don’t want, you may also think there is a you pouring your tea, running outside to get the mail, typing on your keyboard, reading this non-existent essay.

So why would you toss words like bits of fish food to silver and blue and golden fish?  Because they’re hungry?  Because you’re still hungry?  Let the fish be the fish!  Or let yourself say these words because they’re coming, they’re arriving unannounced, they’re leaving their trail of crumbs to feed the hungry, to kill the hungry, to do whatever words and crumbs do.

I watch the person die and resurrect, die and resurrect, daily, hourly…except, wait a minute, time doesn’t exist when you’re not even a person so how can you say that either?  One minute there’s a person telling a story and thinking she’s telling a story and the next minute

there is woodstove humming, light streaming through window, trees against yellow sky, cold feet, soft fingers, breathing, breathing, listening, keyboard clicking, none of it me, all of it me and suddenly, without another thought, the blog ends.