Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Do not move from this moment

When will the groundlessness end? When will the uncertainty yield to clarity, the confusion to knowing, the questions to answers?

You have gone through so much. So many dreams have fallen away, so much of what you thought you knew and needed has dissolved in front of you. You've surrendered, let go, accepted, witnessed, meditated, inquired, forgiven, and let it all go. You’ve committed to the path and then blown in all up, only to recommit and destroy it again. You've tried everything. You're tired. Cosmically exhausted. None of the worn-out concepts have any meaning any longer.

But somehow you are still being asked ... to ... burn ... more. To stay close. To bow down to the altar of direct revelation.

All that appears to be left is a raging, unrequited longing, a surging achiness in your body, and an unbearable rawness in your heart. You are suspended between one world and another, no longer able to access any sort of reference point from which to orient and move forward. If you try to 'escape,' it hurts even more; but you don't even know what the alternative is.

And then in the next moment, when all hope has vanished into a vast field of hopelessness, the creative and destructive activity of love arrives in ways and forms that you would never have imagined. While in ways the mind may never understand, love takes shape as the longing, the burning, and as the tenderness itself. Love has not abandoned you, but has entered you from the inside, dissolving the old so that which is whole may emerge.

Stay still. Do not move from this moment. Everything has led up to here… and now. Every emotion, every feeling, every longing, every conversation, every heartbreak, every disappointment, every deflation, and everyone you have ever met. Perfectly valid, wild and intelligent, and none other than a lucid manifestation of the path itself.

Take the risk and see that no mistake has been made and that grace could never leave you, even for an instant. For grace is not a destination that you will arrive at one day, but is a lover, opening to mingle with you, and to seed revelation inside you.

But this revelation is of the new and of the substance of pure creativity. And as such will never correspond to the way you thought it would be. It is not a continuation of the past but is weaved of the sacred material of Now. Stay close. Allow the trance that something is ‘missing’ to disintegrate into the ripe womb of loving presence. You are right on track.

Photographer unknown

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Rest for the journey ahead

There will be times, as a sensitive human being, when you are met with waves of despair, loneliness, confusion, and depression. While the conventional world may scramble to convince you something has gone ‘wrong’ which must urgently be remedied, you are attuning to the wisdom buried in the rich soil of the dark.

As the dream dissolves of the way you thought it was going to be, and as what you thought was so important evaporates in front of your very eyes, stay close. Yes, the questions are burning inside you, but there are no answers to be found. Not yet. You are in a place the mind cannot travel and there are no longer any conceptual reference points around which you can organize your experience. For it is far too wild and creative here.

Dare to see that nothing has gone wrong. And that the confusion, the uncertainty, and the groundlessness are clear reflections of the death of an old dream, and the heart-wisdom contained within that. For until you are willing to die – and to allow the old hopes and fears to reorganize – new birth can never occur. While you may be tempted to scramble away from death and into what is next, honor the sacred passage and surrender the path of abandonment.

Yes, something is dying – everything that is less than whole within you. But this is a blessed death.

Provide a home for the lonely one, the confused one, the hopeless one, and the disappointed one. For these ones have come as the emissaries of wrathful and disorienting love in disguise, marinating you and dropping seeds of creativity inside. In ways the mind will never understand, they are providing rest for the journey ahead.

Photo by Larry Johnson

Monday, September 28, 2015

Receive the rose nectar

Receive the rose nectar as it emerges from the blood moon, soothing neural pathways with tender, lunar presence.

Open your body to the luminous overflow, and rest as you are saturated in her pregnant red holding field.

As the eclipse yields to the melancholic transmission of the rose in the radiant here and now, offer your heart to others and to this life. Please remember the vow you have taken.

Photo by Mohammad Taher Pilevar, Hamedan, Iran

Sunday, September 27, 2015

As you engage the practice of sacred return...

Though it may seem obvious, there is a profound difference between feeling your feelings and engaging with them at an interpretive level. Staying embodied to profound sadness, rage, or rejection – as feeling and sensation – is not the same as talking to yourself about why you’re sad, when it's going to go away, who caused it, and how it is evidence that you are not enough, that you have failed, or that something is wrong with you.

Many will say – "Oh, I'm fully in my body. I'm in direct, intimate contact with the raw feelings and sensations of anger, sadness, grief, shame, and hopelessness. Don't tell me I'm not feeling all that! I've 'been sad' for so long!" But if you will pause, slow way down, and get curious about what is true, you may discover that often what you are in touch with is a subtle narrative that you have wrapped around your immediate experience, which is now orbiting around the aliveness.

As you engage the practice of sacred return, you may discover that the function of the storyline is to keep you out of the vulnerability that is erupting under the surface. In this way the narrative has served to protect you from the naked, groundless territory of somatic illumination, which you have come to believe you do not have the capacity to stay with and metabolize. While you can honor the security these strategies have provided, you are asking if you truly need to be protected any longer from the transmuting and reorienting nature of love.

In this discovery it is important not to shame yourself by weaving a secondary narrative about how you’ve failed and will never 'get it right,' but to return with non-urgent kindness and meet what is longing to be met. You may have to come back over and over and over again, re-committing to staying with the powerful, often disturbing aliveness for short periods of time – not so long that you re-traumatize yourself or become totally overwhelmed, but long enough where you continue to build your tolerance for the intensity which is yearning to re-emerge into the wholeness that you are. But you can push yourself just a little, with a fiery sort of care and compassion, for you have capacities now that you have until now forgotten. Your commitment is to no longer abandon the majesty of what you are.

You descend underneath the storyline not because it is 'bad' or 'wrong’ or ‘neurotic’ or ‘unspiritual,’ but because it is one level removed from the fire of direct experience. It is within the very core of this holy fire, in the alchemical crucible of the body, where healing emerges. In this sense, healing and transmutation is a somatic process, rather than a cognitive one. The tangles of the heart and the knots of the body are unwound in within the alive field of embodied vulnerability. Where the heart and the body go, it is there the mind will follow.

Offer yourself the benediction of presence on this new day, and watch in astonishment as a new neural groove of love, care, and compassion unfolds and illuminates within you. As you become the activity of kindness and attunement to your immediate experience as it erupts in the creative field of the here and now, you will very naturally provide a holding space in which others can discover this for themselves.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Your neural network, 2.0

Many of you are familiar with the various strategies you engage to take yourself out of feelings you do not want to feel. And with the dissociative pathways put in place to get away from the underlying vulnerability that is lurking underneath the display, longing to be met and allowed back into the vastness of what you are.

Overeating, mindless shopping, surfing the internet, sinking into a marathon weekend of Homeland, multiple shots of tequila, complaining about your life, writing another rambling Facebook post – you have discovered how you can even use your relationship with spirituality as a way to distance yourself from your experience, rather than move closer toward it.

No judgment, no shame, no blame, no apology – just curiosity. One moment of self-care. Just see. One moment of clear seeing. One moment of kindness. Just ask: what feeling state am I trying to get out of… now. And slowly invite it back, even for just one moment. Commit to practicing intimacy and non-abandonment with the unwanted within you.

But the most effective strategy of avoidance, one that we've all mastered, is the removal of awareness from our bodies, our feelings, and our emotions, and shifting it into the field of thinking. There is no easier, less expensive, less time consuming means of dissociation than the fascination with the storyline of ‘me.’ The greatest story ever told, staring ‘me,’ involving the most vivid cast of characters and how they are spinning… around ‘me.’

We become masters at thinking 'about' our experience, rather than actually 'having' it. In seconds, we can abandon what is alive in the here and now and immerse ourselves in our conditioned histories – falling into the grooves of our archaic narratives, dramas of unlovability, compelling stories of flaw and failure, and trances of victimhood, shame, and blame. All to remove us as quickly as possible from the sensitive, groundless, unresolvable mandala of vulnerability in all its forms.

These strategies were likely critical as young children in our families of origin, to keep intact as best we could the often precarious ties with our caregivers, and to ensure our psychic and emotional survival. They were intelligent at the time, and quite creative. They are not ‘bad,’ ‘neurotic,’ ‘insane,’ ‘pathological,’ or ‘unspiritual.’ They are just a bit out of date given your current capacities. They just need an upgrade. Your neural network, 2.0.

For just a few seconds, make the commitment to stay close to your vulnerability as it surges when you are triggered, when you are hooked, and when the uninvited guests arrive. Infuse your presence into the core of this material and surround it with warmth, with kindness, and with space. Dare to see that your immediate experience need not be understood, transformed, shifted, or ‘healed.’ It will liberate on its own as you mingle clear, loving awareness inside it.

As you return into your tender, naked vulnerability - slowly, with kindness, and with space as your guide – the somatic tangles and psychic knots will begin to unwind. Your raw heart, your miracle brain, and your sensitive nervous system will come online and be updated with new pathways of love. And from these new pathways you will more creatively and more skillfully be able to help beings everywhere, to discover the majesty that they are.