These short written meditations and contemplations spring forth from the Group Gatherings that I offer three times a week at my home in Northern California.
Each writing has a message that can be directly applied to our everyday life. They are reminders that there is always peace at the heart of every challenge.
It is my hope that you will read these writings with a lightness of heart, allowing them to be absorbed as an uplifting support to the unique situation that you are living.
Clear and loving words can be a beneficent influence on our physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing, and it is for this reason that I have been asked to join the Remodeling Your Health team.
Holistic wellness includes everything, and for many who are healing from physical suffering a spiritual mentor and counselor can be very helpful along with great remedies and a wise health practitioner.
You are welcome to read more, including testimonials and answered questions, at my website www.LoveHappinessAmara.com.
With Love, Amara
The Guru Within
One of the most difficult spiritual questions to resolve is, “How can everything that seems so real and out there, be an aspect of my own self? Does union with everything really exist, and if so how can I experience it?” When we sit in the peace of quiet meditation this question seems to resolve itself, but as soon as the phone rings or our friend knocks on the door the separate sense of me and other returns.
If we force the idea upon our self that “I am everything”, before the complete unitive understanding arises, we can easily slip into spiritual egotism. We need to remember that in the play of identity, containing “me” and “other” we are only a fragment of every situation, and it is untrue from this separate vantage point that we are fully connected in a unified way.
From the spiritual perspective nothing is ever absolutely true based on a specific action or event, one must always look deeper to see where the action or event is being viewed from. Using the ocean and wave metaphor illustrates that the movement and reactivity of the wave presents only a transitory truth of varying kinds, while the ocean depth is always simply water. If we know the wave to be only water we may believe we no longer have a problem. We may even attempt to apply this partial seeing by holding that a tsunami wave is essentially the same as a gentle lap on the shore, but that is only one half of the truth. We must include the effects of the tsunami even while we sit stable and sure with our absolutist knowing that water is water whatever the form.
To fully resolve this paradox we need to look once again at the ocean deep. Is it really water, or is that view also an illusion? Is water a concept that we hold on to assure our self that we are really walking on a planet that has an up and a down, a planet which considers water as necessary to sustain what we call life? Perhaps this deeper inquiry will take us beyond the element water and we can see that ocean and water are principals, or metaphors, illustrating an aspect of our own Self. The Gurus call this the ‘oceanic treasury of the deep’. But the deep what? The deep that we Are!
We have a wave aspect that is constantly coming and going, which is metaphorically influenced by the currents, the wind and the moon. Simultaneously we have a depth which is unaffected by the changing appearance of the waves. The oceanic treasury that we are has the innate nature to see itself in every wave, but it is not only seeing water as it self, it is seeing that which is the primal stuff of water. Here we are not looking for a formula like H2O, we are jumping the rails of our conditioned mind to a knowing before and beyond the concept of chemical science.
In our ever deepening understanding of our true nature we eliminate concept after concept, belief after belief. When stripped of many limiting misunderstandings we find our self with nothing but vast emptiness, without a trace of fear. It is not watery like the ocean depth but it is a treasury full of knowledge and empty of questions. This is the domain of the true Guru and it can also be called You, for no one else or nothing else is there. After resting in this omnipotent space the world of tidal waves and storms reappears. And as we engage with the calm and the choppy waters we notice that a bright spark of our oceanic treasury is shining in everything that we see…and that spark is what we Are, what we always have been and what we always will be.
We notice that our dearest friend, our dearest Teacher has been as transitory as a wave of form appearing at the most perfect moment to reveal to us the spark that is alive and shining in our very own self eternally. We see that the love, wisdom and compassion that we attribute to this personal form has always been a reflection of the Guru that lives within our deepest depths. The special one that we love, admire and cherish to be with, is our very own self. Not our wave self, but our oceanic Self. This one Self lives in all the principals that shine eternally as the stuff of everything ever shining brightly in the absolute aloneness.
What Is Spiritual Intelligence?
Where Does Spiritual Intelligence Come From?
The spiritual journey is largely a deconstructive process. At some graced moment we begin to notice that our life has become cluttered by layers of beliefs, concepts, and memories that weigh on us like heavy burdens. If we steadfastly inquire into these psychological and cultural demands, eventually a soft dawn of freedom begins to brighten our days. Many habits that felt mandatory to us now feel optional, and this leads us into a deeper inquiry.
The new question to contemplate is, “Who can make wise decisions, now that my old patterns are falling away?” Since thoughts appear as patterns also, trusting thoughts seems unreliable, and one can feel lost. However, by the grace of design, the space previously filled with misunderstanding and darkness, organically begins to glow as our knowing Self becomes more and more evident to us.
There is an eternal openness in each of us which can never be cluttered, no matter how deep the misunderstanding. This openness is pure Intelligence, the same intelligence which guides our every breath and directs our every decision. It has a quiet voice, patient and peaceful and often is rarely noticed amid the clambering of thoughts, sensations, feelings and external phenomenon. For many of us this thoughtless intelligence is never noticed, as our precious life becomes consumed with surface values and interests. However for some, the promise and possibility manifests in us to notice, declutter, slow down and listen to the wisdom which resides eternally within.
As our psychic housecleaning continues we come to know that a powerful and subtle Intelligence is always pointing the way. It is the kind of pointing which can often be in conflict with our egoic patterns of thought or preferences; but, even if the mind poses a debate, or the emotions put on a show of tears, this knowing Intelligence can now be heard. It remains present without concern or reasoning of any kind and simply points and directs with gorgeous certainty.
The angst of decision making is no match for this loving Intelligence, once we hear it’s pointing we can only follow the movements. Somehow this voiceless voice is intimately familiar and totally trustworthy. We begin to notice that this Intelligence is not a new acquisition or attainment, but a part of our own Self which always has been alive in us. This intelligence brings a fluid freedom to our life since it knowingly sees the totality of every situation. It is a wisdom that moves effortlessly without anything that can be called personal, and yet generously it serves our personal self with a devoted and fierce kindness.
It is a wonder that we can know, it is even a greater wonder that can realize we are Intelligence itself.
The dictionary tells us that the word Relationship means….two or more concepts, objects or people that are connected. But a paradox arises from this definition….if two or more are truly connected, is there really anything other than Oneness? In our pure experience Oneness is occurring all the time. It is only our conditioned belief that we are separate that creates the idea of relationship. And this idea supports all the yearning and suffering connected with relationship, whether it be friendship, intimate partnering or someone or something that we consider to be our enemy. Whenever we engage with another, like it or not oneness occurs.
So how did we get this romanticized idea that we need to find the perfect other to feel oneness? It comes from our belief that we are separate and only half full. We feel that we need our other half to complete us and so we begin our search externally. Generally, all we ever find is another who shares the same misunderstanding, that they too are incomplete and separate with a deep longing to become whole and not alone. When two people with this same concept come together, a great relief is felt because the belief of separation is eclipsed by the hopefulness of having found ones missing piece.
The early weeks of discovering each other is a time of Oneness, but it does not last for long. The beliefs and constructs of separation and feelings of lack are deeply embedded in the human psyche and these ideas return soon to under-mind the joy of new found love. Love itself is oneness, loves proper definition is “the absence of two”. Love is relationship in the Supreme sense, and the potential for living Love is identical with the potential for living One-ness.
So how do we transcend the ups and downs of relationship in a world that is forever shifting and changing? We need a steady ground, but not one that we have to create, but one that is always right here patiently waiting for us to notice it. This steady ground is designed into our Being-ness, for it is the source and essence of what we truly are. We need go nowhere to find it, for each of us is completely worthy to stand strong on this sacred ground that is us!
This ground lives in the heart of every being, but we rarely notice it because we are continually distracted by the coming and going of thoughts, feelings and the world. Because of this we miss the stability of our ever present heart ground which is always available to guide us through the choppy waters of human relationships. So how do we find our ground of Love? That’s easy we turn around and stop our searching outside for objects, people and other forms of gratification through relationship. We turn inside and notice the gentle loving arms of our own heart. It may seem difficult in the beginning, but if your search is sincere your heart will open up to you and embrace you with its overflowing fullness. You will begin to feel so comfortable in your own heart’s presence that you may even forget for a while why you spent the majority of your life looking for peace and happiness with others. This phase is quite beautiful and can last for as long as one’s personal life script dictates.
For many, however, the urge to be in coupled relationship comes around again, but now the internal motivation is not loneliness and lack, but joy and sharing. One is now ready to share the overflowing fullness of heart, and naturally heart will attract heart. When this happens, relationship with another has the feeling of sameness, and harmony fills most of the shared life. Old expectations and prejudices are not applicable in a relationship like this, and yet challenges can still arise.
However, when two hearts have met the challenges of relationship, are looked at from another perspective, both partners know that these hard times will always reveal a deepening of understanding and greater openness of heart. The solid ground, that had been so well established when in solitary relationship with one’s own self is not gone, it is here in partnership and thriving, more solid and wiser than ever.
This essence of Heart is forever present to calm the choppy waters and offer the perfect insight to resolve any relationship dilemma. Without fail everything is seen and understood as a gift from the heart to the heart, and relationship becomes the wisest teacher any lover of truth could ever wish for.
Between Every Breath
I woke up this morning knowing that the stillness between every breath is identical with the Self…the same Self that seekers all over the world search for. This singular stillness associated with breath is often called prana, the principle of life sustaining energy that turns our dream of life into a convincing dream of reality. Beautifully interwoven into the fabric of our individuated self is the ever shining Light of our eternal existence.
Other metaphors can convey this same principle, but breath is particularly poignant for earthlings since without breath we can no longer exist as embodied beings. Breath is essential for us, but even more essential is the silent Stillness that is the ground from which every breath emanates.
Breath is autonomic and it is rarely noticed as we go about the everyday movements of our life. The body just breathes, and breathing allows our body to sing, dance, work and make love while we hardly take notice of it. Even more subtle and unnoticed than breath is the ever present quietude that lovingly lends our movements precise rhythms that are appropriate to the particular activity we are living.
Our breath is like the waves on the surface of the ocean deep, moving quietly in times of calm and passionately in times of excitement or sorrow. Our breath implies the division of inner and outer, as our body swells when the breath is drawn in and empties as the breath is released once again to the space outside the body boundary. And yet is there really a boundary there? Is not my out breath another’s next potential in breath? This ever shared breath of life involves the interplay of cells and galaxies; it includes all of us even beyond the realm of grand imagination.
Breath itself is the mysterious modulation of the Stillness which is intimately woven between all ebb and flow. This stillness is sometimes called the Self or the Absolute, and this very Self is the breath, the movement of the breath and the absence of the breath too.
It is the inside and the outside, the illusion of boundary and the knowingness that boundaries do not exist in Truth. This understanding is universal, and we all can check it out in this very moment. It is a great wonder that a gentle breath can take us to our dearest Self.
The Journey to Being Love
The journey to Being Love is the path that we all tread. It starts out rocky and thorny in our very youngest days. Our childhood experiences can be colored by layers of confusion and the sense that we were being loved based on conditions. Since conditional “love” itself sprouts from fear, the experience of being loved conditionally awakens the seed of fear in our young self.
As our young self becomes a social ego we leave the family circle in search of love and union with others. However the seed of fear that is growing in us is compelled to separate, not to unite. People and relationships become challenging. The conditional aspect of love becomes the repeated play and the childhood feelings are felt over and over again.
For some of us the disappointment becomes too much and a kind of negative surrender occurs. One settles for unhappiness as the dominate thread weaving through our life’s experiences. This kind of surrender happens at a surface level of our self. It is in truth more of a surrender to our minds negative interpretation of our past suffering.
There may even be a cynical resolution that conditional love is all that is ever possible as a human being. However, some of us continue on and eventually a true surrender occurs. It’s a down on your knees feeling that you give up not knowing anything. That you offer your life to the movement that takes it.
You find yourself in a new kind of confusion, one that requires no resolution or understanding. In this type of surrender a slowing down naturally occurs, while the paradox of aloneness and not aloneness begins to be felt. This phase of the journey can last quite a while, as the ancient memories slowly arise to be met and sweetly kissed goodbye. Eventually the sprouted seeds of fear weed themselves from the garden, and the veiling of our pristine spacious Self is experienced.
The heart begins to be felt in the foreground, as loneliness recedes into the background. A contented fullness becomes the identity whether in solitude or social interaction. Fear is a faint memory and rarely shows its trickster face. A quiet loving connection toward everything begins to replace the thread of unhappiness that used to weave through the entire fabric of life experience.
At some blessed moment the heart becomes totally permeated with what had seemed impossible as a child. Unconditional love becomes the sweet perfume that is sensed all the time. The heart overflows and sharing itself naturally becomes the Way. Surrender has become the constant undertone of the life and there is a knowing that everything, no matter how it looks, is completely for you.
Everything becomes seen as a movement of Love and Intelligence. Unconditional love reflects
It self as unconditional acceptance; and full surrender is revealed to be intelligence. Fear miraculously becomes unmasked as the eternal servant of Love, meticulously seeding just enough suffering to bring us home to the Love that we Always have been.
You Are the Awake Witness
Close your eyes and fall into the vast universe within you.
Find ease and comfort in the flow of your breath.
Feel the body as it calms; feel the mind as it slows.
Allow the awareness that you Are to become bright and awake.
Notice how natural it is to watch when you identify as Awareness.
Now slowly allow your eyes to partially open.
Find the ease and comfort in the flow of breath.
Allow the colors and shapes to be breathed within you.
Notice how natural it is to feel everything flowing inside you.
You are the Awake Witness and the whole world is appearing within you.
Magic Circles of Wisdom
The primary Magic Circle on our spiritual journey is the rich domain of the witnessing consciousness. This circle is both a place of refuge and a circle of fire, which burns away the dross of desire and ignorance. In the archetypal story from the Mahabharata, Rama, Sita, Laksmana and Ravena represent specific human aspects of our own self. Rama and Sita have left their kingdom to live a simple austere life in the forest. Ravena, the king of Lanka, wants to steal Sita away and devises a plan to distract Rama so he can seduce Sita when she is alone. Human weaknesses abound in this fable.
At the beginning of the story both Rama and Sita are pulled by masculine/ feminine conditioning, and the infatuation that can arise by seeing a beautiful physical form. Ravana conjures up the appearance of a golden deer with amethyst eyes which seduces both Rama and Sita. Sita’s desire for the deer compels her to ask Rama to capture it, and Rama’s love for Sita compels him to go into the forest in search of the golden animal. Rama’s brother, Laksmana watches all of this, and can see the illusory nature of the deer, he represents our witnessing consciousness. Laksmana designs a structure, circle, or practice for Sita to devote herself to as a kind of protection. Before Laksmana leaves to join Rama, he tells Sita that it is important to follow the instructions to stay inside the Magic circle. But as we all have experienced, we cannot always abide by our knowing aspect.
When Ravena, the aspect of human desire, greed and power, appears he is disguised as a humble holy man. Sita is pulled by her conditioning to abandon her place of safety, dishonoring the circle of wisdom, and offers food and drink to the wandering sadhu. Once she has stepped out of the supportive circle of her core knowingness, she becomes weak. This is when the sadhu reveals his true nature as the 10 headed demon Ravana and she is helplessly taken to his abode of darkness.
Many trials, twists and turns take place in this story of the human journey to Wholeness before Sita is returned home to Rama. We can see this story line metaphorically in our own personal spiritual myth. Our life is full of temptations to step out of our magic circles of Wisdom…just as we have many opportunities to stay within our circle as the neutral witness. It is just a matter of whether we are noticing and honoring the Wisdom of our witnessing, inquiring, and contemplating. It is this three- eyed path that is the true practice which delivers us from the darkness of illusion, programmed habits and all types of conditioning.
The honoring of Magic Circles in our life is a beautiful way to live spiritual Discrimination.
When we are honoring these circles of Wisdom, we are open and ready to receive the Real Magic.
The Mind and Witnessing
The mind has two aspects, the biochemical aspects that produces hormones and the neurological aspect which brings forth ideas and emotions. Due to these limitations, the mind cannot operate as a pure wisdom organ and we cannot treat it as spirit or our true self. But, it is important to remember that the mind, like everything else in this Maya, would not shine without the Absolute.
“The mind is the converging point to which all the senses go. When all this data becomes united then meaning is experienced through the mind. Ideally the individual can make a confection of values which can keep the mind be pleasant, bright, and optimistic, and which brings the multitudes of things in the world to the singleness of the Absolute.” ( Nitya Chaitanya Yati)
The mind and witnessing can be bracketed together. Witnessing also, has two aspects which we can call passive witnessing and active witnessing. Passive witnessing can be very beautiful and comes like grace. We simply disappear in the wonder or clarity of what we are witnessing. It can feel like a blessed pause or stillness in the chaos and flow of life, and serves to slow the body/mind organism.
Passive witnessing also offers us the freedom that comes from being an impersonal person.
One example of active witnessing can occur when we observe a life situation, or gestalt, that is stirring up some sort of reactivity in our body/mind. If we do not witness the totality of the gestalt, we will erroneously see only half of the picture. Like the blind men and the elephant, if we only feel the trunk of the elephant we may believe that the elephant is a snake. This partial witnessing will always lead to confusion and suffering. Seeing the whole of any life gestalt requires an open or transparent mind, which witnesses peace and deeper understanding. The nature of the transparency is impersonality and freedom from desires, beliefs and emotions.
We can easily notice that our mind does not have a form and is not location bound. This is a great advantage for the mind’s functions and for our stand as the witness. The mind can see both outside of the body, and inside to the core of consciousness. When we witness outside of our body, such as seeing what we and others look like, this leads us to think that I exist and others exist too. Miraculously, we can also go inside ourselves and find a whole universe of both imagination and Truth through the witnessing of the ongoing inner play.
As Nitya writes, “…like a myth making storyteller, the mind tells us what transpired between the mind and god, the mind and the Self, the mind and the departed ones and it can also narrate the most fantastic hallucinations.”
It is important to know that the mind is a triangular trio cycling through transparency, translucency and opacity. In Sanskrit this mind dynamic is called sattva, rajas, and tamas. This triple modality can be very challenging to the aspiring witnessing consciousness until discernment comes naturally into the picture.
Oneness or sameness is the Way out of this mind trap. Ultimately we find our way back to the basic truth that everything we witness and experience, animate and inanimate, visible and invisible is made of the same stuff as oneself. All of it, no matter how mundane or how subtly sublime, is illuminated and animated by the one light of the Absolute. This neutralizing truth is the refuge that carries us across many swollen rivers of confusion and suffering, to the shore of our own Self. When we are delivered to the safe side of the river, we often notice in amazement that all the suffering was a kind of fantasy. The realization then comes that all of it was a mind dream, and that witnessing was the imaginary boat that carried us to solid ground.
Who Are We?
When we speak, or write, who can claim the thought or word that arises…. who can own the movement of the finger on the key board or the lyricism of the sentence?
Who can, in a split second, feel responsible for the synthesis that displays itself as a bright “ah-ha” when reading something for the 15th time?
We are not a single thing, we are not even a multi-dimensional thing…we are more than imaginable, even with the heavy bag of the body and the identity with something called “mind”.
Our vastness is evident every day when we notice how loving, wise, funny and compassionate the words are that fall out our mouth with no fore-thought or effort. Similarly, when we appear less “divine”, is it really us then too?
Or simply an expression of a darker ingredient in this mysterious simmering soup we call Life?
Life As Lila the Cosmic Sport
Our everyday transactional world is designed so that only a small fragment of knowledge is ever revealed to us in one moment. We watch as interests are constantly shifting from one gestalt to another, so our experience is of fragments such as joy, dread, pain, etc. This fragmented perception brings confusion and suffering to the experience of our life.
Two remedies are recommended for transcending the consequences of human suffering. One is to know that the wondrous phenomenon of life is a beginning-less sport, and the other is to have total knowledge of the phenomenal sport in its entirety. The one involved in the horizontal sport is the separate non-Self, the “I am” which views everything else as “other than me.”
And then we have total knowledge, which is the knowledge of the Self. But somehow in this maya, we get it all backwards and we mistake the Self with the non-Self and the non-Self with the Self.
This is our basic ignorance which causes All experiences of misery. Our mind is veiled by this confusion hence our knowledge and understanding is relativistic and partial.
All spiritual teachers and masters try to right this misunderstanding. Here we use words, which have the power to make things known to us, to reveal what is Real and what is sport.
Let’s look at sports like football, or boxing, they are dangerous and masochistic, yet that does not stop people from enjoying them. If a man punches another’s nose outside a sport arena, it is viewed as a crime and the police may even be called. This is the difference between a serious and a sportive attitude. In a motor race cars overturn and burst into flames; in a flying display aircrafts crash and people die. This is treated as part of the game.
Treating at least part of our life as a game is well known to us, but this attitude is to be expanded into other areas also. No one sues a friend for libel, even when the friend embarrasses him publicly. The sportive spirit elevates our vision and keeps us cool and more neutral.
Is poverty a sport? There are people who have taken vows of poverty. It is all a matter of attitude. Rumi says, “Poverty is my pride and obscurity is my refuge.” The poorest of the poor can feel a great freedom, if they view their life as a sport. How about illness, or imprisonment…can you imagine these experiences as a sport?
And how does this sportive attitude aid our growing knowledge of the Self? If we push the attitude of Life as sport to another degree, we become the neutral witness of All. Life’s paradoxes, such as love and strife, justice and injustice can look like contradictions, but as the witness we are able to see that opposites operate like the two sides of the same coin, two essential parts of one whole….this is the sport of duality.
When we open ourselves to duality in this way, our acceptance of Life becomes unconditional and unitive. Unitive understanding leaves nothing outside. This view brings peace and removes all sense of fear and misery. This is the Total knowledge that brings an all-absorbing silence.
We can live in that Silence even when the ear hears the chaos of the physical world and the eyes see its many passing shows, or the body feels the sting of pain.
Limitation and Vastness Co-Exist
Simply rest as the embodied one you know yourself to be. Feel into the boundaries of your skin….
and see, with your inner eye, the living body form you call “me”.
Allow something inside you to become so transparent that it releases itself from the limitations of body and mind.
Experience the freedom of expansion, and notice that your identity as something separate begins to fade.
Enjoy the alive vastness that you truly Are.
Allow attention to gently focus on the rhythmic flow of breath.
Sense the rising and falling of our body as breath effortlessly moves through us.
Feel the indescribable Fullness…we feel at home…where both limitation and vastness co-exist.
We now can see that we are both…the precious limited one, and the vast immortality that enlivens every wondrous moment.
Tend Your Garden
Our life goals, whether they be mental, physical or spiritual, are like a garden. If we are mentally studying a new subject of interest or physically working toward a new goal at the gym, we know that persistence and consistency bring the best results. Gardening is this way too, and so is the spiritual path.
When we take on the creation of a garden there is a logical progression of events. First we prepare the soil, next we plant seeds that appeal to us, and then we imagine how wonderful it will be when the garden matures and produces flowers. During the process we water our little plants, and weed them regularly so that our plants have the best chance to grow and bloom. The spiritual path, for most of us, is metaphorically the same as gardening.
The urge to garden, and the urge to embark on the spiritual journey both arise without a bit of effort on our part. Before we know it we are clearing a plot of ground or reading spiritual books and listening to teachers. This first step of preparing the soil happens with hopeful enthusiasm, and our efforts are inspired by a new interest that feels very intimate to us. In essence, we are excited about the potential of witnessing transformation… seed to sprout, sprout to plant and plant to flower or fruit. A garden’s transformation mirrors the spiritual transformation that is innate in each of us. Our dormant seeds sprout into an inner journey, which over time grow into deep awareness, culminating into the blossom of Self-luminous love and happiness.
In our spiritual garden the weeding process is extremely important, and can make all the difference in the quality of the fruit of our awakening. The metaphor of weeding in our spiritual garden points to the principal of right discernment, and it primarily refers to discrimination of mind. As we all know, our mind “has a mind of its own”, meaning that it operates without any effort or control on our part. Mind is a repetitive voice for patterns, habits, prejudices and conditionings both from this lifetime, and from many unconscious memories. Sanskrit uses the word vasanas to reference these incipient memories that express themselves through our mind.
Here is where the spiritual journey gets really interesting. Just like weeds, thoughts must be clearly seen and discerned as to whether they support our spiritual garden or not. At this point the use of intuitive discrimination becomes very important in tending our garden, because we can easily mistake unexamined negative thoughts and stories for our flowers. If our commitment is true to our spiritual garden we will look at the thoughts and know which ones add to the full bloom of our love and happiness.
The power of distinction to recognize what is weed and what is Flower is essential on the spiritual path. This distinction is universal and it needs to be applied when listening to a teacher, discerning what books or teachings to immerse one-self into, participating in conversation, and most importantly in watching the ongoing inner dialog broadcast by our mind. All of this, plus often allowing quiet contemplative time, is the way we tend to our spiritual garden.
For eons, the urge to fully bloom has been sleeping in the depths of our soul, and the conscious appearance of this urge is a blessing beyond compare. Use the deepest intuitive discrimination that is available to you to nurture your spiritual garden. Remember that our journey is not about going anywhere; it is an inner journey of transformation and opening. Honor the precious gift of the garden’s mysteries and give yourself to whatever opens you, so that the bloom of full potential will manifest. Our garden never demands that we tend it, but if we are moved to grow in this Way, we will lovingly and steadfastly tend our garden every day!
Life itself is the true guru, gently and lovingly showing us what our next beautiful opening is to look like. The non-dual wisdom has been quietly with me since an early age, and now the unitive wisdom is flowing with a passion for being shared! For many years my work has focused on the burning away of core human pain, (vasanas) stored within our body. Currently the emphasis has shifted to offering the wisdom teachings from the daily play of our life situations and experiences.
What a joy it has been to sit with friends and clients, to listen and witness as the speaking arises and new doors and avenues of possibility open up. In our sessions we both feel the amazement, as life unwinds ancient knots that have kept us stuck in patterns and habits that ultimately bring only suffering.
Inner work is always the way, and inner work includes the movement of our world, with every kind of “external other” imaginable… intimate partners, friends and family, emotional and mental responses, and even the physical health of the body. In other words, everything in our amazing life story can be seen from another possibility, a possibility that can open one to great wonder.
I call this offering mentoring from the non- dual perspective, which means that we explore life unitive-ly, leaving nothing out, and we see what reveals itself! It is an intimate one on one process that can be done on the phone, with Skype or in person. It is grounded in the very “ashram” of our daily life, and it is lived with depth and aliveness, not as a philosophy or dogma. All that is called for is an open willingness to see that the old life patterns are not bringing forth the happiness and love that every human heart yearns for. Give yourself to another possibility of being with your life, which can be practiced in the midst of any life situation.
Please call me if you are interested, I am happy to give a free 15-minute consultation to see if the Possibility resonates with your heart and mind. We are all here to express the love and happiness of our innate nature, and the keys to that happiness are right before us every single day. Sometimes a loving friend or mentor is all that is needed and then the possibility becomes the Way and the guru as Life shows itself fully.
Trick of the Mind
Most of us are veterans on the spiritual path. We have dedicated our lives to awakening and a lot has opened up for all of us. At this point spirituality, which used to seem so complex, now appears much simpler and clearer. We can see the opposing polarities in life and we begin to become interested in the essential distinction between what we label Heart and mind.
Heart is a word we use to describe our true essence, and everything that comes through Heart is flavored with the nature of our true Being. Heart is the source of all that is unconditional, eternally safe and without a sense of lack or limitation. It makes no difference what we are doing in the play of life, correcting a child, complimenting a co-worker or arguing with our partner, the flavor of Heart can be the source from where the speaking or actions come from. Everyone has the innate capacity to recognize this because the Heart’s expression always feels right, no matter what is happening or being spoken.
Mind is a word we use here to label all that is programmed, mechanical and without true essence. Mind’s job is to maintain the status quo and to “re-mind” us that we are limited, unsafe, lacking, separate and flawed. It is the very source of our suffering, and believing the mind’s messages keep us feeling forever “stuck” in loops, comparisons and struggles.
Noticing that mind is in the driver’s seat when we are speaking or acting is easy, because programmed habits and limitations just don’t feel good! Simply noticing this discomfort will instantly bring us back into our Heart, if only for a moment. Regularly noticing whether Heart or mind is in charge will root us more firmly into a Heart centered life. This deeper rooting into the Heart is vital in this New Year 2013, and it is totally in alignment with the 4th dimensional Heart chakra energies being offered to all of us right now.
Even when we are very mature on the spiritual path mind dances in duality, and it’s most slippery form is commonly called the “spiritual ego”. As we find more ease and grace in our life, mind takes on a new disguise that is flavored with books we have read, teachings we have adopted, and experiences we have had. On the most overt level we may become dogmatic or self-righteous, on the most subtle level we can unconsciously believe in our personal importance as helpers, teachers or healers. I am not suggesting that helping others is necessarily a trick of the mind, but I am using this example to show how the egoic aspect of mind can co-opt anything!
Having a clear distinction between Heart and mind is a simple way to traverse the deepest waters on our journey. As we near fuller and fuller awakening it is essential to become more vigilant. Look to see whether Heart or mind is in the driver’s seat, and become familiar with how the Heart feels, it is your true Self!
The Lamp That Needs No Oil
Adapted From Hafiz
I have made the journey into Nothing.
I have lit the lamp that needs no oil.
I have cried great streams of emerald crystals on my scarred knees,
Begging love to never again let me hear the sound of my own name,
Even from the voice of divine thought.
I have made the journey into Nothing.
I have become the flame that needs no fuel.
Now what need is there to ever call for me?
For if you did, I would have to step out of You.
On a daily basis we are called away from our innate Oneness, by thoughts of all kinds…
Our journey is never to make war with any aspect of Life’s expression, including thoughts.
What if a thought, even one which we may label as negative, is just a doorway?
I am not referring to the word meanings of a thought.
But to the possibility that if we slow down to look, even thoughts can open us to our True Nature.
Sit quietly and observe the thought stream that is moving through you.
Effortlessly select one thought to meditate on.
Sit as the welcoming Openness that you Are, and stay interested in this single thought.
Be open to any transformation the words or images may appear to go through.
Stay in meditation for 5-7 minutes…..Enjoy!
Our Magical Life
We live a magical life. Our waking state and our dream state are wild adventures that offer us a universe of multi-dimensional experiences through our five senses. It is as though our very own movie is playing continually with occasional pauses during deep meditation and deep sleep. We love these pauses, when the mind quiets and the movie slows or ceases, we feel rejuvenated by their peacefulness.
Our nighttime dreams reflect what we experience in our waking movie but without the collectively agreed upon rules of time or space. We can be old and then become young in our dreams, enter a room and have it turn into a car, swim in a river and then instantly be flying towards an unknown galaxy. But no matter how wild our adventures are, both the dream and waking state have elements in common that feel very personal to our unique life story.
What I dream contains characters from my life story, whether they are “real” people, like my children, or characters that I read about, think about or imagine. Somehow the thought process manifests our waking and dreaming worlds from the unique vocabulary that colors our entire life’s experience. What my partner dreams is unique to his journey and experience, and so it is for all of us.
I have been noticing recently that my dream world is becoming wilder, as if memory and imaginative thoughts are being put into a centrifuge and are spinning into oblivion. Nothing is making any sense upon awakening, and I can only laugh at the expressions that the mind is putting together. There seems to be a quickening happening for many of us which is expressed through chaotic dream movement. Difficulty sleeping well, waking up with body pain or a variety of moods, and exhaustion are just a few of the reports that I hear from my friends. These symptoms seem to be the byproduct as our old thought patterns deconstruct and dissolve. In the deconstruction process all kinds of elements from the past will arise in our dream and waking life. The guidance is to simply watch, and trust that this is a process of clearing which will free us from thoughts that have caused the suffering of lifetimes.
As the mind becomes purged of the past, thoughts will flow more peacefully, and the mental chatter will calm, allowing the Heart to become more dominant in our experience. Our dreams can now reflect Heart’s true essence, and our waking life reflects Her kindness, unconditional nature and humility. Life is still a magical adventure, only now the adventure is reflecting love, happiness, and the clarity and wisdom that comes from the mind serving its true master, the Heart. The “old life” dominated by psychological suffering no longer exists, and we experience life as an effortless creative flow. We notice that we are meditating all the time without even intending to do so. The Heart is shining brightly, and it shows us that we ARE the peace and joy that we were searching for.
We bow in amazement and gratitude at how truly magical Life really is!