Sunday, December 2, 2012
Inside the secret chamber of your heart… dismantled, dissolved, and taken apart by love
When we make the radical commitment to stay unbearably close to our immediate, embodied experience, whatever it is, we will inevitably be asked to burn up in the raging, purifying fires of love. We will be shown in very clear (and often painful) ways our strategies of distraction and dissociation, including how we use even our sacred relationships with spirituality and intimacy to distance ourselves from the unresolved wounds of the heart.
Underneath our stories (whether about our pain, our fears of intimacy, or of our special “awakening”), underneath our thoughts, and even underneath our precious emotions, there exists a rich, mysterious world of sensations – a somatically-organized field of intelligence, creativity, and aliveness. In any moment, we can enter this field and come to see in a very direct way that whatever arises in our lives – whatever thought, feeling, emotion, sensation, image, conclusion, or longing – no matter how seemingly disturbing – is ultimately and immediately workable. These bodies, these hearts, this entire sensual reality is not what it seems. It is much more alive and intelligent than it appears. It is in fact a miracle.
As we take this journey into the body, into the sensation level of experience, into the immediate, embodied field of creativity that each of us are, we can start to appreciate our neurosis, our failures, our imperfections, our limitations, our raging fears, and our less-than-perfect, “non-spiritual,”, “unawakened” ways of responding to life and to the terrifying demands of love. It is “terrifying” because in giving everything for love, we know at the very deepest levels of our being that *all* of our personal identity projects (including the great mythologies and fables of “awakening” and other spiritualities of specialness) will be obliterated in love’s purifying flames.
We begin to see that neurosis – in whatever guise it may appear – is the expression of a certain kind of intelligence and creativity. It is simply that movement which seeks to protect us from heart-break, from terrifying intimacy with life and with others, and from the reality that in any moment this raw, tender, naked, ever-vulnerable, precious heart could shatter in love, never to be reassembled again; we sense that we might be asked to live with a broken heart forever. But who in the world would want this? What about “my” “awakening?” What about me? Me me me me me me me me me me me me me. What about my spirituality of me and my awesomeness - give it back! A part of us must always defend against this, it seems; it is just too much. We can’t open ourselves all the way to this sort of devastation, to living in such an exposed way, without any protection, without any ground, without any confirmation. We intuit that even our spiritualities will not be able to save us from the transforming shattering of love. Thank god. It is as if our hearts are somehow on the outside of our skin, no longer safe and secure within the rib-cage of our beliefs, hopes, and fears. We start to see very clearly how our strategies – spiritual and otherwise – have come into being to help us to live a life without vulnerability. This is very natural, very sweet, and very precious in its own way. But I’m hearing from some of you that you’re being called now to something else…
When we make that radical, counter-intuitive commitment to immediate, embodied experience – and to meeting whatever arises in our lives with an unconditional kindness – we cut into the momentum of a lifetime of exiting our experience, of following the habitual call to repress, change, alter, spiritually transform, “process” away, or otherwise turn from the raging fires of this rare and precious somatic-sensual reality. We begin to see our particular strategies of defending against immediate, embodied experience – and our own unique pathways of dissociation and avoidance. What is it that we must avoid, at all costs? What is it that we’ll do just about anything not feel? What is it that even our precious spiritualities and “awakening” help us to not fully touch? What are the specific ways that we remove the precious gift of our own attention and consciousness – away from our embodied vulnerability – and into safety, security, and the energies of distraction, avoidance, and transcendence? How is it that we’re hiding out from the demands of love? What parts of ourselves are we just not willing to see, to let go of, to surrender to the Beloved forever? Are we willing to even set aside the greatest tale of all – of me as the “awakened” one… the most compelling ego-fable ever written. Please, I’ll give up everything else, but not this.
When we become aware of the ways that we distract ourselves from the intensity of immediate experience, we can then make a choice to re-embody. We can return to the life of the senses, to our open-hearted dedication to the truth of our experience, to our uncompromised commitment to kindness, whatever our experience. In this place of heart-centered, kindness-infused embodiment, we can no longer pretend we’re not feeling what we’re actually feeling; whatever guest arrives in the home of the heart is welcomed, allowed in, taken directly into the inner sanctum. Inside this secret chamber, your neurosis, your fear, the deep need to be special, the frenetic scramble to be seen, to be “awake” – all this begins to become dismantled, dissolved, disassembled, and taken apart by love.
In this journey, a wild grace takes this life over, showing you at the most profound level that your life is not and never was a problem after all, that needs to be transcended, transformed, “accepted,” or otherwise subjected to the endless spin into spiritual processes and incessant demands of a spiritual super-ego run amuck. Perhaps *this* state of consciousness - right here, right now – might be beheld as a sacred messenger from beyond, bearing endless gifts, and seen as it is - as the only expression of grace that could *ever* be. It is finally seen that there is no grace waiting around the corner, in the wake of some new magical spiritual process or 2012 dream fantasy or through your fabulous “awakening” or when you otherwise become ultra special or have the right series of constructed spiritual experiences and “states.” The only grace that could ever be is pouring through your heart right in this very instant. We might consider honoring it by giving our lives to it *right now* - and setting aside forever the dream of the grace that comes in the future. We see once and for all that the future grace fantasy, the future “awakening” fable – that these are expressions of the movement of fear, not love.
We might begin to see that our strategies and spiritual goals of getting into some other state, landing in some newly resolved place that some person or organization with their own undisclosed agenda is telling us we should go to, having yet one more conditioned spiritual experience, scrambling for one more powerful weekend of bliss, might be one more expression of a profound lack of gratitude. We then throw ourselves down on the ground and thank everyone and everything for this very moment, for the unfathomable reality that that breath is still moving in and out of our lungs, knowing that in the very next moment we may not be so graced. We will no longer dishonor the sacredness of this one precious human life as it is – demanding that it be different and that we be given more “states” and experiences and “awakening” ridiculousness – instead we fall forever into unknown mystery of love as it pours through this world, giving this body to love forever, to use as it wishes.
The radical commitment to our embodied immediate experience, we might begin to see, is the luminous doorway to a life beyond belief, into the center of being, into the illumined, love-filled strands of our DNA. This love is always and already right here, right now, just waiting for you to care enough, to risk enough, and to love *this* experience so much that the habitual momentum to scramble into awesome “other,” “higher”, or “spiritual” state dissolves entirely into the grace-ocean of your one sweet and precious heart.