THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM

 

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It’s hard to ignore. It’s always there. Lately, it seems to have taken on its own individual consciousness, become a self-aware, self-determined entity. Race. The idea that we are somehow inherently, and completely separated by the hue of our skin, our culture or religion. This soon led to the idea that we are genetically predisposed to a life with or without privilege, rights or dignity allotted to others of “normal” predisposition. Then came the belief that some are “human” while others are “less than human”. Even the term, “race” implies competition or a subsequent hierarchy inherent in the human species. Is the idea of “Race” a form of consciousness? Is it something that arose of itself or something that we breathed life into? Perhaps it is both. Perhaps it is a consciousness or an aberration thereof that we have allowed to flourish. In light of recent news events perhaps its prevalence is yet another alarm bell, an awakening siren, beckoning us to evolve a consciousness that has been stagnant for a millennia. What if the day comes when we finally realize that race is an idea that we created and in the grand scheme of things really does not exist? What if we finally realized that the only race is human, and that we have been killing ourselves all along? What if we developed true empathy, which extended beyond the idea of race, culture and religion? How would the world change?

 

For centuries, it seems, man has found one reason or another to annihilate himself. Land, money, power, fueled all sorts of horrors for the corporeal pursuits that lead to the elevation of self and ego. Later the pursuit of money became the virtue of the centuries. Empathy, however, could never be a part of this process. If you truly saw yourself in someone else, much like you see yourself in your child’s eyes, you could not destroy their way of life. One could not kill another’s child if they too had a child, right?. How could they? Well, I guess they could if their empathy bubble only extended to their child. If I were a sociopath my respect for life would only extend to my nose. You would be no more than a walking piece of meat, one that I mastered interacting with but could kill with no emotion. Sounds psychopathic? I guess it would depend on the extent of my empathy. What if my empathy extended past my nose to my family, kids, husband, but only that far? Is everyone else a piece of meat? Ok, then, how about extending it out to everyone that looks similar to me? That would mean I only valued another’s life if they looked similar in some way  to me. Is that psychopathic, or is it only psychopathic when it extends to just me? Are there degrees of crazy?

 

Maybe it’s not degrees of crazy but degrees of evolution. Maybe at one time in my evolution I was only able to extend my bubble to myself. Then later to my family. Then later to those that looked similar to me. But, what’s after that? Perhaps it would extend to those that are human. Then to all entities that are consciously, (no matter the degree), aware.  Then maybe go even further, to that which does not even resemble my idea of a life form, say the planet. How would the world look to one such as me? Would I be cool, with say, a zoo? Would oil spills concern me? Could I discern between a criminal and a bikini clad 15-year-old girl? Would I rush to shoot an unarmed teenager to death if first I saw myself in him? My child in him? Would I applaud the curing of a dog with Ebola while others were dying awaiting that cure? Would I allow Ebola to be a problem at all if I had the means to prevent it?  This lack of empathy appears to play a central role in most of the planets ills. This inability to connect, to see the connection to everything passed our noses is more than a psychosis; it’s an evolutionary stumbling block.

 

It seems to me that all the eco systems of the world survive by relying on their components cooperation.  Each member of that system works in harmony with the next.  It is only when something comes in and dominates the resources, hoarding them from the rest of the system, that the system suffers and dies. It’s as if the eco system is aware of its existence and the species within it are innately aware of their connection. When I look at the world today I see a lack of this connection, mostly on the side of the humans. I see a planet once teaming with species suddenly in the grips of an extinction.  I see a blatant disregard for our place in the ecosystem, or maybe an unrealized place.  I see an ever-present blindness to the lives of other people by people for no other reason than “those people” sit way outside of their empathy bubble.  I see an inability to discern, based in this blindness, that leads to the death of innocent children, unarmed men, and helpless homeless people.  I see a preponderance of fear generated by the inability to see ourselves in ourselves.  I see  spiritually un-evolved man.

Consciousness evolution, I believe, is mans next evolutionary step.  In order to achieve this, however, we must first realize that we are un-evolved, making us unaware of our unified consciousness.  Race, sex, and religion are all carefully manufactured labels, giving us the illusion of separateness.  We are each other, and  we are a part of a living entity;  the planet we occupy. It is easy to see that we have not evolved in this way for thousands of years and the planet and its inhabitants have suffered greatly because of it. Our technology is evolving much more rapidly.  Perhaps it was not diverted from its evolutionary path. Some say in the future our technology will become consciously aware. I wonder what that will be like. It’s already connected.

Namaste

QUANTUM POSSIBILITIES

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I admit, I’m no mathematical whiz kid, or even a scientific genius, but I do have the hobby (if you could call it that) of reading and studying the theories of quantum physics.  I guess my interest stems from my need to know the truth about the reality we live in, particularly since most of my life I have not quite looked at things the way I was taught to look at them.  I have always thought, for lack of a better phrase, “outside of the box”, as it were.  For example, many scientists have said that aliens visiting our planet was an impossibility due the vast distances and amount of fuel they would have to expend to get here.  Most people agreed, but I thought of it quite differently.  Why couldn’t they travel vast distances? Perhaps they know of a way to shorten the distance, or perhaps propulsion is not their means of travel.  Maybe fuel, at least the kind we use, is not even a consideration.  Maybe they glide on gravity much like our airplanes glide on air, carrying them the vast distances and allowing them to hover like magic over our planet’s surface.  I mean, look, we live on a gigantic orb hovering in an ocean of nothing!  That, by definition, makes anything  possible, right? To say that something isn’t possible because I cannot conceive of it is an insult to my very existence.  Quantum physics for that reason fascinates me, as it opens a door to possibilities and dimensions that are not readily seen ‘inside the box’.

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One particular theory is my favorite.  It’s the one involving the two slit experiment.  Yeah, I know.  Countless scientists, metaphysicians and, spiritual gurus have pondered this enigma arguing over the validity of their inferences calling them ‘pseudoscience’ or ignored spiritual epiphanies.  I make no such inferences here.  I merely offer up a laymen’s possibility, which considering that everything seems to exist as possibility, makes it a quite possible-possibility.  I mean, if the sun just hangs in nothing, then nothing should be discounted as impossibility—right?

Anyway, in the two slit experiment scientist found that a particle of matter could act as both particle and wave.  How the particle behaved seemed dependent on one thing; a conscious observer.  It seems that the conscious observer collapsed the wave into a particle, causing it to behave as such.  When not observed it behaved as a wave.  This intrigued me, because I have ideas about reality myself that alludes to this finding.  I believe that everything is in vibration.  Whether we can interact with an object it or see it depends on whether or not we are vibrating at or about the same range of the object.  We can see smoke, we can interact with it, but rarely can we feel it. We can feel wind, but not see it. We can see the rapidly vibrating molecules of water in vapor,  we can also interact with it and feel it. The degree to which we can do these things depends on our own vibration, and whether or not it resonates with the vibration of the object.  We also have many dimensions that we can and cannot see or interact with.  Perhaps they too are grounded somehow in vibration. Some say that the varying dimensions hold varying possibilities; perhaps in one dimension I am this and in  another I am that, but I exist in all, as do all possibilities. We are therefore multidimensional. If all this is true perhaps in the two slit experiment we collapse the wave by our consciousness vibration.  Whatever level or range we are vibrating at is what we see; that which is vibrating within our range of discernment. All else are possibilities that exist in other dimensions or vibratory levels.  Thus, the observer would in fact collapse the wave in his or her vibrational range or dimension.  Look away and all possibilities are present as they always have been.

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What does this mean to us as lay people?  To me it means our level of consciousness, which may correspond to the rate at which it vibrates, dictates what we see.  Look out at the world, what do you see?  You see where you are. Can you discern beauty, love, or do you see something else all together.  What of the ‘wave’ of vibration?  Scientists say they have been trying to connect quantum physics with the physics of the large in a kind of unifying theory,  but this is apparently difficult to do since physics and quantum physics work by different laws.  Perhaps not.  Perhaps consciousness is a wave.  Perhaps our group consciousness is a wave moving in one direction. On closer inspection we appear as individuals with individual choices varying in possibility. Step back and look from a higher perspective and we too act as a wave, contributing to the overall movement of the whole….consciousness.  Which one of us does the observer resonate with?

Cool food for thought.  For me, quantum physics encompasses a combination of both science and spirituality.  Maybe they were never meant to be separate.  I hope more thought goes into quantum physics, unbridled thought.  I hope they are bold in their discoveries, forgoing trends and prescribed patterns of thinking.  Outside of the box, though, can be lonely at times, but I feel there is no other way to see the true reality unless your willing to step out of this limited one. What if we could change what we see by changing our consciousness?  What if what we see right now is the result of our collective consciousness?  What if our collective consciousness was manipulated? Would we be forced to see what our manipulators wanted us to see?

And Down the rabbit hole I go…

Namaste

The Wink

God the Father 01Who is God, or better yet, (and even more profound), ‘what’ is He?  The other day as I sat on my deck contemplating the meaning of the present moment, I thought about my first glimpse at ‘something’ that unbeknownst to me at the time, would be the starting point of my spiritual journey in later years.  I didn’t know it then but what I experienced was a ‘wink’, a hint of things to come, things that at that time I had not even begun to contemplate.  That one moment changed the way I viewed my existence, and over the years validated my latent awe at something, which prior to that seemed so trivial.  Why I received the ‘wink’ then I am not sure, but I remember it often when I find myself caught in the drudgery of a material based existence, and frustrated with my identification with it.

I was young.  Not that I am old now, but younger at that time.  My son was maybe 3 years old and I was living in a small 2 bedroom house with my mother in the city.  Our lives were hectic.  I worked ungodly shifts at the hospital while my mom tried to make a comfortable home for me and my son.  Money wasn’t a problem since our expenses were relatively low, but time was a commodity.  Mom sometimes worked as a substitute teacher and tutor for math so she kept a lot of math materials around the house.  One day she brought home this gigantic poster of numbers; the multiplication table, starting with 1 x1 and ending with 12 x12.  The numbers were a bright orange on a black background of tiny stars.  She hung it on the wall of our computer room, which was more like an unused hallway lined with book shelves, a tiny desk, and of course a computer.  At night when I couldn’t sleep, I would go into the tiny darkened room and web surf.

Multiplication

One night, I got up to do my usual surfing when the computer suddenly went down, (the blue screen of death they called it), so I turned it off to reboot.  Awaiting the reboot I swung around my chair and stared up at the wall behind me.  There, in the darkness stood the bright orange numbers of the table, appearing to hover in space.  As I looked at them, I noticed immediately the pattern that emerged. The numbers complemented each other in every direction; up, down, left, right, they seemed to add up and form a pattern no matter how I looked at them.  I forgot about the computer and stared at the table in awe of the patterns and how the numbers interacted so logically.  Now, I know I had seen this many times before, but this time I saw something different.  This time I saw intelligence.  My mind shifted.

You see, the numbers weren’t really what I was looking at.  It was the “that” behind them.  The numbers themselves were not ‘things’. Sure they could apply to things; cars, apples, oranges, but they themselves were not ‘things’.  Yet, they had a pattern, a direction, and a ‘formlessness’ that I had never seen before.  Though they applied to everything, they weren’t anything.  My body went numb. Wink!

I think of that moment often, and search for it even more.  I saw something, something real, yet not a ‘thing’ at all.  Something unimaginable for me at the time, but a little closer to me now.  The labels we apply to ‘It’ may be our way of relating to ‘It’, or pointing to ‘It’ from where we are. We even try to personify ‘It’, quantify ‘It’, and attribute things to ‘It’, but what ‘It’ is still eludes us.  All I know is that ‘It’, ‘God’, ‘Consciousness’ only points the way, never describes. You cannot name, describe, or quantify that which is not a thing, yet how then can we know ‘It’?  I guess we have to look closely, step outside this material box, and recognize the wink.  Trick is, you can’t always see it  just by looking with your eyes.  The formless you intuitively glimpse, then feel, like a breeze brushing your soul.

Namaste

A Nod and a Wink

Blood Cell Mediation

Seven Chakras

I was talking to a friend the other day about the current state of affairs regarding human conflict, the big ones, that have lasted generations.  She appeared quite upset, sighting a more recent event that belied her faith in humanity as a whole.  She wanted to vent to me about it, and after revealing both sides of the dispute, asked my opinion, or rather, which side I would most likely take.  I thought on this a moment ‘cause I knew my answer could be misconstrued by one so passionate.  Then I told her that I would take neither side of the dispute, as to me both arguments were mute.  She didn’t take that very well.  She began to argue the point from the perspective of the victim and challenged me to find any argument that would justify my ambivalence.  She felt I had to see the wrong that was done regardless of my spiritual beliefs, and she couldn’t believe that this did not upset me.  I told her that though it appeared so, I was not ambivalent at all. I was upset, but not for the reason she thought.  I saw the wrong and the right in the conflict, I just found their points to be mute in the larger context.  Her dubious look told me I had to explain another way, so I told her what I felt was a kind of joke, though I’m not sure if it helped…

There was this guy who went to the doctor’s office after a long period of illness.

“Hey, Doc,” the guy says. “I’ve been sick for a long while and can’t seem to shake it.  Can you help me out?”

Doc says, “Sure.  We’ll run some tests and find out what the problem is.”

Guy says, “Fine”.  He goes to the lab and they run some tests.

Later the Doc calls him back into the office.  “Well,” the doc says, “it seems your red blood cells are attacking your white blood cells.”

The guy looks at him a minute, then smiles.  “Really? Is that all?”

“Well…yes” the doc says, a little bemused.  “Why are you smiling?”

“Because!” he says, “The problem is solved!  All we have to do is get rid of the red blood cells, right?”

“Well, no”, the doctor says, “You can’t do that.  You see, the red blood cells are a part of the body and have a specific function.  Without them the body dies”.

Consciousness Awakening on Vimeo by Ralph Buckley

Consciousness Awakening

The guy looks a little confused, then smiles again. “No problem, then Doc!” he says. “We just get rid of the white blood cells and again, problem solved!”

The doc starts to become a little annoyed. “Absolutely not!” he says. “The white blood cells are a part of the body too.  Why, without them, and their specific function, the body will also die!”

“Can we mediate?”

“Between who?”

“The cells of course!”

The doc stares at the guy a moment. thinking maybe he has a certified nut in his office, then he tries again.  “Look…” he says, “mediation is mute for obvious reasons.  What we like to do in this situation is to determine the disease or dysfunction that is causing the fight, then find ways to destroy that.”

The guy for once is speechless.  After a long moment of silence he says. “Gee doc, you’re a genius! But tell me, why didn’t the other docs tell me this in the beginning”

“Simple…,” The Doc says, “You have no insurance”.

 

Of course I found the joke a little funny.  My friend—not so much.  She said she was still a bit upset, though not for the reason she thought.

Namaste

Statuesque

A Spiritual Eye

Helix nebula

When I was a kid, I had a big problem, at least I thought it was.  You see, I thought that I lacked some innate ability to read people, that I could not adequately assess a person’s hidden motives like everyone else could.  People seemed to know who to trust, who to prefer, and who to punish  just on their initial observation or momentary interaction. I found this uncanny as I was always stumped.  It was not that I wasn’t told the things that the other neighborhood kids were told, or that I didn’t believe what I was told. It was just that I could not treat someone differently based on what I was told, especially once I met them.  Once I looked into their eyes, something there would immediately erase all the gossip, the warnings and the teachings told to me about their presumed disposition.  It was as if something familiar looked back at me, something that I connected with that would not allow me to treat them differently, regardless of what the neighborhood kids were saying.  Needless to say, this caused me a great deal of stress as I was expected to treat them with disdain as everyone else did. Eventually I would just avoid the situation all together and feign my disgust, ensuring that I wouldn’t be the next to be ostracized.  I felt a great deal of guilt for doing so, but the fear was too great for me to do otherwise.

As time went on my handicap continued.  Even if I knew that a person couldn’t be trusted, or perhaps didn’t like me too well, I still saw that familiar glint in their eyes, that “something”, that precluded me from launching a preemptive attack.  Of course, I wouldn’t put myself in harm’s way, but I also wouldn’t treat them with the common disdain that most people did.  What was it that I saw? What held me back from what most people deemed as quite normal behavior?  Only now am I beginning to realize what it is, and that perhaps I’m not handicapped after all.

In my lifetime, and due to my profession, I have met a great number of people from all walks of life;  different colors, multiple nationalities, all shapes, sizes, and ideologies, all at one time or another.  I have listened to preconceptions about them all, to their preconceptions, and to the media’s preconceptions.  I have gone into them with this information imbedded in my thoughts, only to be eclipsed by that familiar “glint” present in them all.  This “glint” I believe is so familiar to me because it is a glimpse of my true self.  I see me in everyone I meet.  I see the hopes, dreams, and ideals, but mostly I see life.  A living, breathing, intelligence that permeates all beings and is all beings, staring back at me from everyone I encounter. No matter what form it takes it is still the same everywhere I look, and being me, I simply cannot harm it.  I don’t know if I knew this as a child, but I felt it, and for some reason the eyes were my window.

Oscar, eyes aglow

In light of the recent events in the news, I wonder what would happen if people everywhere had this same sight or view?  Would many of the horrors witnessed now in our world be avoided?  If each of us could see themselves in the other, ( I mean, really see themselves), would they be so quick to harm or judge?  I tell you they would not.  I know, it sounds like hopeless guru rhetoric, but believe me, I see it and I’m no guru.  I look into the eyes of my dog and laugh because the “glint” stares back at me! (Different area of awareness, but the “glint” all the same).  We are, in fact, everywhere.

Again, as I have said, the media is a powerful tool.  There are others who see as I do–many of them.  Unfortunately their stories are never told.  They are not news worthy, as it were.  No one wants to hear about the Israeli-Palestinian peace marches; instead the conflict is foremost in our thoughts, dominating our collective consciousness. One tragic incident can be magnified, towering over the millions of other positive interactions, giving us the impression that the world, (our overall collective consciousness) is this way, when it is not.  Differences, (which on a universal scale are profoundly subtle) are magnified in our collective psyche and lauded as significant and ripe for disdain and division , when in actuality variation of form should be held in awe, and celebrated, but no one alludes to this.  Makes you wonder who’s in charge here.  Who benefits from the division and conflict?  Certainly not us.

Eye galaxy

I went for years thinking that I lacked something, that I should be able to see everybody as ‘other’.  Now as the years have passed I think maybe society lacks something, and has painstakingly taught us to forget it.  Given our technological evolution, we have to remember.  Our spiritual evolution has got to catch up.  Our survival depends on it.

I dont know why I see this so blatently, but I do know that it causes me pain.  Looking into the eyes  of another I can also see when they do not see me.  It’s as if a veil is pulled low, hiding me from view.

“There’s only one of us here…..”

Namaste

Manifesting Reality

Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls

Sounded really bazaar to me at first.  How a person could manifest their reality based on thought and intention.  I’ve read from countless spiritual gurus on how this was possible, and even researched the possibility scientifically.  Quantum physics points to the fact that reality is only real if a conscious observer is present to observe it.  Could this be true?  Are we, every day, manifesting our own reality?  Through thought and intention are we creating our experiences and our life on this planet?  If that is the case then reality is much more peculiar than we imagined.  Perhaps everything we see and experience is the product of our consciousness, or better yet, collective will.  Perhaps we do create, as we are born in the likeness of, as many religions state, our father.  I had an experience that caused me to look deeper into reality, seeing the obvious that was always there trying to reveal itself.

As I said in my last post, I had the opportunity to go on a nature trip on which I saw the most magnificent forms of nature this planet has to offer.  Before I went on the trip I researched it, coming across countless pictures of the area that I was to visit.  One picture held my attention.  It was the picture of a waterfall, and the paved path that led to it, giving the hiker an astounding view.  I was in awe of this picture hoping to someday stand on that path and feel the spray of the water.  I would walk on my treadmill for 30 minutes every day anticipating the hike to the waterfall and picturing it in my mind.  As I pictured it, a particular song would come into queue on my headphones lulling me into the cascading water, the picture taking on a kind of life.  I thought of being happy and with my family as we walked the path.

A month passed and we were finally on our way.  I didn’t know the name of the water fall I had pictured, nor did I know the name of the one I was beginning my hike to.  It turns out we hiked up the back road through a forested area that ended with the falls.  They were two tiered, emerging first from high in the cliff then again from a lower point.  It was spectacular.  After viewing them for some time, we descended the front trail taking us to a paved path leading away from the falls.  My headphones on, they began playing the song.  It was then I turned.  I stood exactly where I had imagined on the treadmill a month ago, the song lulling me into the spectacular cascading view I longed for.  I was there, with my family, happy and laughing.

Did I manifest this reality?  One could say, of course. You planned the trip and made it possible. However, it wasn’t that easy.  Many events took place prior to the trip that belied my going.  My choice to go despite what appeared insurmountable made the trip possible.  I chose to see myself and my family there.  As one of my favorite songs says “..like it was made for you”.

English: The Antennae Galaxies in Collision, H...

What if it’s all made for us?  What if we manifest all that we experience and see, that nothing exists without our conscious observation?  Many a guru has alluded to this and so does quantum physics.  What if together, as a collective consciousness, we made that waterfall or perhaps perpetuated it based on the initial conscious viewers perspective?  If this is true, then the world does not have to be as it is now. We do not have to be victims of a world outside of us, for we can change at any time what we see.  The media, then, is a strong tool.

I stepped outside of myself for a moment, and saw something miraculous.  I stood there at the base of the waterfall and sensed that I had somehow created it.  My perspective, intention, and choice working together to create that moment.  What other things in my life could I create, or have created?  We are more than what we think we are.  We are more than outsiders to this reality.  We are more than reactionary beings responding to a world disconnected from us.  We are creators, very much a part of what we create.  A shudder struck my body as if a door opened, just a crack.  The song continued to play in my ear;

”…I can show you how many moves to checkmate, right now”

One Republic

Namaste

meditation

THE JOURNEY HOME

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I recently took a trip, a vacation to a distant part of the country.  It was a long awaited respite that I needed to rejuvenate my spirit and reconnect with nature.  Oddly enough everything seemed to come into play to keep me from this trip, literally hindering me from going.  I had been called, you see, by many a serendipitous occasions to go, leading me to believe that the trip was meant for my spiritual development.  I was then determined to make the trip regardless of the seemingly unyielding circumstances that belied my going.  I soon realized that circumstances are merely that, and that one’s choice despite the seemingly insurmountable can change the course of one’s life.

Two days before the trip, a loved one, my grandmother, passed away quietly in her sleep.  Being the only living family member it was my duty to make the appropriate arrangements, which seemed daunting at best.  In addition my job was requiring only just recently that I attend some training sessions and there seemed to be a position being made for a “person in charge” that everyone was vying for.  Needless to say, personalities where beginning to emerge themselves from their ego hideaways to slash and gnaw at anyone who was thought to be considered.  My trip, however, had been preplanned and requested.  Everything was paid for with no hope of a refund.  I felt trapped and annoyed by circumstances well out of my control, but was determined, despite my grief and anxiety to make the venture.  So I made the arrangements, timing them for my return, and scheduled my sessions for then as well.  I didn’t care much about the position, as the mechanics of politics often eluded me, and the idea of lauding myself at the expense of others, though considered an acceptable practice, has never set well in my stomach.  Thus, off I went to see what the universe had in store for me.

IMG_0083It was a nature trip.  I had dreamed of seeing the magnificent “sequoia giganteum”, a mountainous tree of epic height and unfathomable girth.  The first thing I did was to find these majestic beings and stand in awe at their feet.  Some 300 feet high and 40 feet in diameter, these majestic beings live for over 2000 years, impervious to rot or bug infestation.  They have limbs as large as 6 feet in diameter and if they don’t fall, which appears to be the only thing that can kill them, they continue to grow, climbing to dizzying heights.  Their roots are shallow and spread maybe a mere 100 feet from their base, anchoring them to the soil.  Even if they do fall they are indestructible, never rotting or succumbing to insects, they just remain for another thousand years in repose.  Fire is even a necessary caveat to their survival, releasing their seedlings, allowing them to reproduce.  Few succumb completely to fire as their somewhat fire retardant bark hinders this, although neighboring trees whose tops skirt their lower branches can set aflame their leaves and rarely their demise.  Deep within the forest nestled in the bosom of God they grow, quiet, austere and majestic.

I saw nature in all its glory; granite peaks jutting out from mountain ranges cut by glaciers hundreds of years ago; deep winding valleys bordered by towering pines and graceful waterfalls; narrow rivers and streams trickling through dense rock to become a tumult of white rapid spray soon swirling into large expansive lakes high in the mountain valley, and each creature large and small, an intricate part of this magnificent dance of nature.   All just being.  I watched as people clamored from all over the world to see that which was neither manufactured or mimicked.  Snapping pictures in awe of the planet that they lived on, but was disconnected from.  All soon to return, like myself, to the manufactured, metal and cement lives that we live.

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I stood at the base of the majestic sequoias and thought, “why do I live as a caged bird?”  Why do i live a life that I have never felt was my own but dictated by the circumstances and expectations heaped on me by society?  Unlike the mighty sequoia, I can choose which of the neighboring trees skirt my branches and like the sequoia I can grow and grow until the day I topple over and even then I will continue.  I guess I don’t want nature to be a novelty that I take pictures of once a year,  I want to join the dance that I have always been a part of.  Perhaps therein lies my disconcertion.  Perhaps I was meant to live among the beauty that is nature, foregoing the manufactured facade that I was conditioned to strive for.   The mountain ranges, the waterfalls, and the mighty sequoia all beckon me home.

On my return, I took care of the funeral, went to my training sessions, eventually, and watched abjectly as my colleagues positioned themselves for a couple of more dollars an hour.  Deep within me the sequoia stood, waiting and watching, silently beckoning me to return to myself.  I have decided that I will.  I know it will be a daunting task to uproot a life so well manufactured, (mental chains included), but I think it well worth the effort.  What is life if not lived?  I have no way of knowing what’s in store for me, but I know what lies behind me.  That in itself is a catalyst for change.  I have learned that if you listen closely the universe will speak.  How you respond is your choice.  What a wonderful gift.

Namaste

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My Noisy Meditation

Sometimes I yell at myself.

Meditation has always been a problem for me.  Finding a quiet   place. Sitting comfortably.  Breathing and quieting the mind of all the days clutter.  Big problem.  Not the finding a quiet place part, the freeing or quieting of the mind part.  It seems my mind is always moving.  I think of the days triumphs and disasters, (more so the latter), and the up and coming issues that have not yet revealed themselves.  I hear the sounds of my environment that normally do not invade my senses like a herd of cattle.  My mind behaves much like a monkey, dancing and screaming, calling attention to every nuance, never allowing me to experience that quiet solace so often talked about.  Until just the other day, and oddly following what I believed to be a fruitless attempt, I realized that the noise and clammer that so distracted me was actually part of the meditation itself.

As I sat there and contemplated the noise that raged through my environment, a thought arose; how could I know the silence without the noise?  I pondered that for a moment, almost relinquishing it to as yet another distraction.  Then I realized that all of this existence comes from the silence.   All the noise, the children on the playground down the street, the birds chirping above my head, the knock of a woodpecker on the face of the tree in front of me, all emerge from the same silence that, to my surprise, sits just beneath the clammer.  There, just after the passing car, sits the silence, the place from which all things emerge, even the space through which they travel.  I turned my attention to that space, that place of quiet awareness.  No thing was there, you see, only the awareness of being, the silent watcher that allowed it all to be.  I waited each time I heard a sound for the silence to reveal itself.  There, in the blade of grass.  There, in the calm behind the wind.  There, in the space behind my thoughts.  For at once, all of it manifested from nothing, or something, that only existed as awareness.

My attempt at meditation ceased as I looked deeper for that which existed even behind the attempt.  There I found what could not be described. That which was also myself without the trappings of form and sound.  That which permeates all things and is all things.  My heart exploded into a joy that I cannot explain.

Meditation

Now when I meditate I do not fear the sound, the noise, or the distraction, for they help me to experience that from which they come.  Perhaps my life also mirrors this.  To see, one must first be blind.  To know, one must first be ignorant.  To feel, one must first be without sensation.  To be, one must first not be.   I think from now on I will keep my cup empty and be glad and excited.  As for meditation, I can’t wait.  Bring on the noise.

Namaste

Flower photo

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

A light at the end of the tunnel, September 2012

A light at the end of the tunnel, September 2012 (Photo credit: DaveOnFlickr)

When I graduated college I found my first job working for an insurance company.  I guess I was excited.  The pay was nominal even for those days, but it was a job, something I was taught was necessary for my survival and ultimately my independence.   Many people worked in the same nominally paid position with homes, cars, and families.  I remember thinking that it would be a bit precarious of me to get an apartment and a car based on my ability to maintain this job and the favor of my boss.  After all, to do this would leave my modest lifestyle and me vulnerable to the whim of my superiors.  My mother of course was excited and encouraged me to buy a car with my new found providence, and to save up for an apartment of my own.  The goal, you see, was for me to someday own my own home and find a good life for myself.  I understood her, but I did not understand.  How can one live a free, independent life at the whim of another?  Hard work wasn’t the only thing that kept a job, even in those days.   Be that as it may, I obtained an apartment and a car and went to work every day.

Years have passed since that first real job, yet still the idea of freedom eludes me.  I often wonder if this system of survival is what was meant for us on this planet.   I see daily how many suffer because they cannot find someone to work for, or they cannot find a suitable place to live even if they did.  I watch as people struggle to feed their families on meager salaries and fight amongst their coworkers who also feel the pressure of survival.  Even on jobs where the pay is good, people scratch and claw their way to a better salary or perceived way of life at the expense of others.  This is viewed as achievement, but many times it results in the momentary achievement of one to the detriment of another.

The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Means is over looked, with the end being the primary judgment of our efforts.  Unethical behavior is lauded as genius and cunning as a value.  This negative way of being is inherent in a system which rewards only that which is most often obtained through scheming and manipulation.   It is understood that nothing is free, and in order to obtain anything one has to place the self above all else. “Be number one” is the mantra of a system that depends on ones lack of meaningful connection to others.   Without this connection we are free to pursue all things without regard for another and even at their expense.  Ultimately, however, our efforts are never fully rewarded, as the end result always leaves us even more dependent on the whim of others.

Why then do we persist in a system designed to keep us enslaved to ideals?  Why do we insist on placing ourselves in debt for half our lifetimes, losing our passion for our jobs, and turning them into a means to a 30 year end?  Why do we allow some to go without a home on a planet that is made of land?  Why do children go thirsty on a planet whose mountains spew fresh water, and rain falls freely from the sky?  Why are families hungry on a planet that sprouts food from its soil?  Why did we create a system that bars the magnificent landscapes and beautiful vistas of this planet from the majority of its inhabitants?  And most importantly– and probably the most impossible for many of us to even consider— why is the system of money even necessary, when starvation and poor health is the result of poverty rather than a lack of resources?  (Try explaining money to a visitor of our planet!)

My mother didn’t realize it, but I did those early years after college.  Working for another and being in debt to another for the rest of your life, is not independence.  It’s just another form, though apparently a more palatable form, of slavery.  This kind of slavery, however, is much more difficult to eradicate.  The chains have us firmly tethered to our ideas of success, lifestyle, and illusory self, thus we refuse to see them.  They have literally become a part of us, so much so, that we cannot imagine any other way of living.

Chains

As I drive the highway on the way to work and catch glimpses of the true reality, I realize that the planet was created for us to experience it.  Relegating ourselves to such a limited existence based on indoctrinated ideas that severely constrict our experience and growth, also stagnates our spiritual evolution by virtue of its nature.  The system cannot survive in the light, and as light beings at our core, we too cannot survive.  What of the light at the end of the tunnel that we so often pray for?   It has to be us.

“Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds…”

Bob Marley

Namaste

Light at the end of the tunnel

Unattachment vs Love

Attachment

I‘ve read much on attachments and how they are the essential root of suffering.  Though, I intellectualized the meaning of this concept, again one must experience it in order to fully appreciate it.  The usual culprits of material possessions, appearance, position, I thought I understood.  But what of relationships, hopes and dreams?  This, though I accepted as attachment, I could not fully conceive.   I mean after all, how can one not be attached to such things as a child, a lover, or even ones lifelong vocation?  I found, (quite painfully, as mirrors usually are), that it was not only ones attachment to such things that will inevitably cause suffering, but the value placed on them in relation to ones presumed identity, particularly at the threat of their loss.  Therein lies the pain and suffering spoken about.  Suffering not only inflicted on the self, but on others as well.  The trick is observing its subtlety.

Joy-roseshamrockthistle

It’s difficult not to take pride in ones profession. Years and years of practice and experience finally culminating in the extensive knowledge and respect that you feel you have earned. Of course this identity that you have procured is not your true self. Who you have become is never who you are. Even so, if this self is threatened,– say by one more advanced, sharper, or just ‘new’,– what would you do to protect the self you have procured? I have seen many go far; spreading rumors, dropping innuendo, even discouraging others in the pursuit of their illusory self. The damage caused can be witnessed in the toxic work environment, where all denigrate the other for no other reason than to prevent the relinquishment of their idea of self.  All Suffer.

A lover grips one in a whirlwind of possibility for the illusory self. They tell us of our worth and meaning, who we are as a man or woman, the magic we have on the emotions of another. We fall deeply into this state of being, breathing in fully the pleasures of being the focus of someone’s life and emotion. We quickly self identify. Attachment— for the self. Then, as if moved by the wind, your paths diverge. Their interests change or they move on to pursue another “life lesson”. How far would you go to prevent this pursuit, or deny this disinterest to maintain the illusory self? Again, many have gone far. And even after their efforts were to no avail, they remain trapped by the loss of the illusory self they created. Suffering.

"The mother"

A mother will be forever possessed by her child, and rightly so. Can it be possible to experience suffering on a subtle level by something so innate and selfless as the love of a mother and child? Only if we attach for the self– the identity that we expect to be fulfilled. I have suffered this in the form of guilt, blame, feelings of inadequacy. All illusory. All Suffering.

What then can we do? Maybe, instead of trying to find out who we can become or should be, we should look instead for who we already are. We are what is necessary. We are what is sublime. We are that which we search for, not our jobs, our possessions, or our relationships. Our situations are our lessons, but they are not us. Every now and then, as a Fledgling Mystic, I detach, releasing all of it just to observe. The situations quickly fade away, obliterated by the beauty, complexity and wonder that embodies each unique expression of a supreme consciousness, and I know that all of it, every moving, breathing piece of it, is me.
Un-attachment is not being without love. It is love at its most sublime.

Namaste

metaphysical supplement...

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