Thursday, February 28, 2013

The raging, intelligent, creative expression of the sacred world…

It can be quite disorienting – and also tremendously liberating – when we come to an embodied, experiential knowing that there is *nothing* in actuality which corresponds precisely to our ideas and concepts. Even our most precious spiritual beliefs are not able to touch or to hold reality, for it is just too vast, too intelligent, too creative. At first, this realization can be so shocking, and we can be plunged into the unknown in a way that can be destabilizing. But as this experience becomes integrated, over some time, in a very somatically-oriented way, we might come to feel at home in this groundlessness; we can become so touched by it, so moved, we notice that we care so much about those around us, about this precious opportunity that we’ve been given. We allow ourselves to be filled with profound sadness at times, to be excruciatingly vulnerable, to be so broken open in response to the majesty that has taken form here. 

We see so clearly that this human experience is an empty, luminous, groundless holding environment of love; that something is happening here that is a total mystery; everything that appears to these miracle-senses is a special form of grace, is the raging, intelligent, creative expression of the sacred world. For just a moment, we know so intimately, as if the knowing is inside of each and every cell of this beating heart, that love is the substance of this universe and this body – and we are left in awe at just how precious this opportunity is.   

Photo credit: Benjamin Schultz -

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Taking the perfectly-designed next step into love...

We can be so hard on ourselves in so many ways: why did I choose the same kind of partner yet again, why am I not able to find more meaningful work, why am I acting just like my mother/ father, why have I not become awakened yet, why am I not truly loveable by another. Recent research and clinical reports in the fields of attachment and interpersonal neurobiology have shown us that the way we’ve come to see ourselves, others, and relationships was formed in the extended nervous system prior to the acquisition of language. As little ones, we lived in a non-verbal world, shaping our models of self and other according to our deeply wired need to survive, to receive love, and to be mirrored empathically. 

Fortunately, the realities of neuroplasticity have shown that it is possible to reorganize the way we see ourselves, conceive of this sacred reality, and interact in close relationships. By some unknown grace, it seems that we are wired for love; somehow we are supported by the unseen world to allow love to restructure our lives. While this journey is simple, we know it is not easy. We sense that it demands everything – and this can be scary. But through compassionate self-inquiry, authentic contemplative practice, psychotherapy, and especially through attuned, intimate relationship, the opportunity is there to give ourselves fully to this life and to receive the fruits of a wide open heart and wise, intuitively-guided mind.

It does seem that one thing is required though, and that is tremendous kindness to ourselves – an unconditional friendliness to who and what we are, and a deep respect for the journey from fear to love, for it requires everything we have – and more. Let us nurture and hold ourselves in kindness today, and to appreciate the difficulties and challenges in living a life beyond belief. Let us set aside the spiritual superego, our desperate need to be something other than what we are, and to allow the grace that is always and already here to wash down throughout this sacred body, pouring through these precious senses. And let us behold the miracle of this life as it is, seeing how lucky most of us truly are, and how we could only ever be in the exact right place, to take the perfectly-designed next step into love.