Floating

As I was lying on my yoga mat sprawled in the darkness surrounded by strangers, I started to float away.  Not my body of course, but the something else that is me, but isn’t me.  This wasn’t the first time this had happened,

Where do I go exactly?

Wherever it is there aren’t concepts or words. There is great fear and loss associated with these experiences.  However, if I open my mind and push it to its limit of comprehension, I may be more real when I’m gone then when I am on that yoga mat.

This random detaching from myself is why I no longer belong.  I have never belonged.  Chances are, if you are one of the two people reading this, you have experienced your own non-belonging moments.

There is a fissure in my soul that I keep trying to mend with answers.  In some ways, I have found my answers, but I don’t like them.  If I open myself up to the possibility that I am more than a body (and let’s be honest, if I keep floating away from it, I may need to seriously entertain the thought), I find a little freedom there.

The upside is, well, I haven’t found that yet.  The more I open myself to something beyond myself, the more I leave behind.  Whatever illusions I had of ‘finally finding my tribe’ as I embarked on my path are obliterated.  The deeper I go within, the farther I am from the world.

I am willing to find the truth of me.  I am willing to let go of the world to do so.

I am willing.  I am willing.  I am willing.

There is no guarantee that I will get the answers I crave.  Instead, I will get the answers I am ready to receive and find solace in the only place I have for shelter.

So, I continue to go within, float away and pray.

 

The Dogged Truth

Before saying a word, he [Ajahn Chah] motioned to a glass at his side. “Do you see this glass?” he asked us. “I love this glass. It holds the water admirably. When the sun shines on it, it reflects the light beautifully. When I tap it, it has a lovely ring. Yet for me, this glass is already broken. When the wind knocks it over or my elbow knocks it off the shelf and it falls to the ground and shatters, I say, ‘Of course.’ But when I understand that this glass is already broken, every minute with it is precious.          

 – excerpted from FakeBuddhaQuotes.com

There is something to be said about our attachment to the way things are.  We believe that if our external world aligns properly with our personal preferences then peace will be achieved.  Perfect external alignment is an ephemeral concept at best.  Those fleeting moments of having our personal agendas manifested are the hook that keeps us from going inward.  Yet lasting peace never relies on the external.  Only by connecting to our deep inner truth do we find ourselves home.

I often find myself very attached to certain outcomes for my personal self.  I wished I looked better, felt better and that my favorite baseball team would win every single game they play.  Living this way does not work for me any more.  My attachment to outcomes is what is making me sick.  This sickness is physical, mental and spiritual in nature.  I am trying to learn another way.

When I walk my dog, who happens to be one of my favorite beings on the planet, I ponder my attachment to him.  It is precarious.  While he is healthy and spry for his age, at the center of my knowing I understand he will not live forever.  My personal self is quite distraught over this potential loss.  It was to a point where my anxiety about every little thing he did or did not do meant that the end was near.  I was making myself miserable and forgetting to be present with him in the now.

My attachment to him is still strong.  To counteract this I have opened a window in my soul.  This is where I let the reality of impermanence dance its way through me.  When I stay open and present with this truth, my attachment loosens a bit and I experience a loving flash of being in the moment.  Being in the moment feels so much better than stressing about an attachment or outcome.  There is no story about endings or beginnings, there is only grace.

My intention is to let grace guide me.  With grace attachments are not required and honestly, neither am I.

There is only truth.

Take Me to the River

I was strolling by myself in the woods one day when I happened upon a river.  Since I felt uncomfortably alone in the spot where I stood, I made my way out into the open air towards the gushing water.  The constancy and surging strength of the current comforted me.  It made me feel less alone.

You see my journey thus far had been harrowing.  It had felt like the faster I walked through the forest, the less progress I made.  It made no sense.  I made no sense.

But here, right next to this bubbling cadence of soul-cleansing water, I stopped my journey completely.

It was time to change my plan of action.  The new action plan required that I stop taking any action.

I only needed to be still.

The banks were rocky and appeared to be jutting and jagged in a way that was anything but inviting.  Since I could no longer take action, I was forced to sit. Once I sat down I noticed that the rocks were actually quite smooth.  They felt good against my crossed-legs and backside.  Given I was no longer making progress, I was happy that at least I was comfortable.

I sat in stillness for a long while.

The river called to me.

How does a river call you may wonder?  Not by words but by example.  A river is a river.  It never once in the whole dawn of its existence was anything other than a river.  That’s not to say it didn’t evolve over time. Sometimes it was massive in its force, other times it was slow and meandering. Still, it was always a river.

The river’s call was my invitation.  It was inviting me to join in its authenticity.

I liked that idea very much but I was afraid.

While I had been sitting in stillness, a crowd of people had gathered behind me on the banks of the river. These were the people I had been trying to find this whole time!  My journey was over…or so it seemed.

Somehow, the pull of the river was more powerful than belonging.

I made a choice.

I chose the river and simply waved goodbye to all the people I had so desperately wanted to see.

Of course I still wanted to be with the people.  That’s where it’s at, right?  We are taught other people are the ticket to loving ourselves.  It’s through their acceptance that we are able to have the courage to love ourselves.

But, I didn’t see it quite that way anymore.  Maybe the wisdom of the river was on to something.  Maybe if I could at least stick my toes in the water, I would no longer care about fitting in with anyone or anywhere.  I would let the strength of the river sustain me.

I knew this would be enough.

I quickly slipped off my hiking boots and peeled off my socks.  I admit there was still fear within my soul as I endeavored to place my toes into that rushing surface.  What if it’s too cold?  What if who-I-really-am is not enough?

I did it anyway.

Turns out, the river was everything I never knew I needed and more.  Turns out, I was already everything I never knew I needed and more.  The river and I were one.

I was emboldened by the joy that flowed through my body simply by connecting with this powerful source of authentic love.

I submerged both my feet.

I may have been alone but I felt more alive than ever before.

I was free.

I knew from that point on I was going to do whatever it took to express whatever was in my heart exactly in the moment that it would arise.  The approval of others and the search for belonging were over.

I was home.

As I continued to bask in the river’s love, something caught my attention.  Out of the corner of my eye I noticed another brave soul had joined me.  They said, “Seeing you in the river has given me the courage to put my toes in, too.  Are you sure it’s safe?”

I replied, “It’s 100% safe.  You are going to be your truest self when you are in the river.  It is the most sustained joy you can experience while being on earth.”

I could tell this was extremely tempting to them.  They asked more questions.  “But what if my friends and family don’t understand my truest self?  What if they leave me?”

In their eyes was the same fear I had experienced a few short moments before.  Instead of comforting them, I gave the truth.  “Your friends and family may not understand your truest self.  They may make fun of you, say hurtful things or when all is said and done, they may walk right out of your life forever.”

At hearing this, the near river adventurer became frozen with doubt.

Even though I knew they did not want to hear more of the truth, I continued. “I didn’t tell you that to stop you in any way.  All I can offer you is my example.  Here I am.  I am standing with both my feet fully submerged in the river.  I am free here.  I would love to have my family and friends join me, but now I know without hesitation that it’s okay if they don’t.  I have a feeling the ones that matter the most to me are going to honor my river journey.  In fact, the bravest ones may even join me.  All I can do is be me, be free and let them be.”

With that, I took my first giant step towards the other side of the river bank.

I didn’t look back.

Not even once.

The Immutable Nature of Truth

The concept that the world is neutral can feel deeply unsettling.  How can this be so, you may wonder.  It’s highly likely you’ve already had whisperings of this Knowledge if you are reading this.  As a personal self, a neutral world is at the outer limit of our understanding.  That’s the whole point.  When your understanding is pushed so far, that’s when you can connect to Truth.  However, if you get pushed too far, too quickly, you may reject Truth before you allow yourself to experience it.  Either accepting or denying Truth is perfectly okay.  Never judge yourself for where you are.  You’re here.  That’s the only place you ever need to be. Truth, not-truth or half-Truth, they all lead Home eventually.

If you have pushed your personal self to the absolute boundary of understanding, you may be open to viewing the neutral nature of the world.  It’s always helpful to keep an open mind, but if it becomes too frightening, it’s okay to step back.  An indicator of fear is feeling angry or defensive.  That’s all acceptable too.  How you see the world is how you see the world.  Truth remains unchangeable beyond the reaches of human perception.  Take comfort that the Truth is immutable.  Stay open, if possible, because reaching for Truth may be a salve to your soul.

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All the meaning we give the world is the story we project onto it.  If we are feeling lost and disconnected from our Source, the world seems cruel and soul-crushingly lonely.  If we heal enough to let the Light back in, Love is all around us.  The more you heal your thoughts and your mind by opening to Truth, the more loving the world will become for you.

As our understanding expands, our stories about the world we think we see will be altered.  Any attack or perceived lack of love is simply an invitation to turn inward and remember the Love buried deep within us. Think about that!  How many golden opportunities do we have each and every day to turn towards Love? Infinite really. That’s how much we are Loved. We are given endless opportunities to remember we are Love. Every attack, hurt, or heartbreak we experience is because WE ARE LOVED.  Love is trying to teach us that we always have everything we need within us. This way we no longer rely on a world that rarely makes sense. This is Total Freedom.

Love is trying to show us that each of us are priceless jewels cupped gently in the hand of God.

Our only mistake is that we have forgotten how to shine.

 

 

 

Leave the Rest

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The road to Truth is different for everyone.  For me, I have been on a search to make sense of the Truth that has crept into my awareness for years and years.  I was mostly able to write it off for a good chunk of my life, but then it got too loud and I set out on my quest for answers.  I used to write a lot of poetry.  Somehow the prose reflected back to me a self I could slightly recognize.  I read a lot in my search for my answers and I still do.  The spiritual text that has resonated most profoundly for me is A Course in Miracles.  Still, there are aspects of it that seem very specific to the woman who transcribed it.  So, I take what works for me and I leave the rest.

This should be the mantra of all spiritual seekers.

Take what works for you and leave the rest.

How are we all searching for exactly the same thing and there are infinite ways to get there?  Wouldn’t it make sense if there was only one path that led to Truth?

We are all different.  Therefore, all of our paths will be different.

Different has nothing to do with being wrong or right, it only has to do with being different.

If you leave judgment behind, which would be ideal, different isn’t bad or scary.  Different is just different.

Sometimes when we are extremely scared or confused we mistake others and their  differing beliefs to be at the root of our fear.

This is not so.  At least not in my experience.  I am completely freaking out because my awareness of the world has turned upside down not because someone else believes differently than I do.  If someone is content on their path this does not repel me, it draws me to them.  What is it that they know that brings them peace?  I want that.  Please share.  At the end of the day I’ll take what works for me and I’ll leave the rest.

“You must find your own way to your own truth.  For before each and every one of you lies your pathway, a doorway, an eye of the needle, through which only you can fit.”

The Way of Mastery p. 42

Shanti Christo Foundation

Show Up

If your life has unraveled enough and you are open to searching for Truth, it actually is fairly simple.  Each day make time to meditate.  If you haven’t done so before, I imagine some resistance may be creeping its way into your awareness.  The good news is, being a novice is completely acceptable.  In fact, that might even be an advantage.  There won’t be as many preconceived expectations of what mediation time will look like.  Expectations that go unmet often lead us away from our True Path.

The most important aspect of meditating is that you make a daily commitment to it.  You only have to show up.  Every. Single. Day. 

It may take some time to find what allows you to connect to the space between thoughts.  This could be any number of things.  Relaxing music, a mantra, opening your eyes, closing your eyes, sitting with legs crossed, using religious texts and passages that resonate…basically anything that gives you permission to fully immerse yourself in the Now.  It also might be helpful to know that the things that work today, may not work tomorrow.  This only means you need to be open to new ways to connect to Truth.

When I first started meditating daily, I did so with a purpose.  While I could feel the Truth inside me, I believed that I had to use it to make my life how I wanted.  This put me under tremendous pressure and I grew to dislike meditating, especially because my life wasn’t improving.  I felt like a failure.

As I have deepened my connection to Truth, I realized that Truth isn’t worried about what is going on in my personal life.

I hate that.

Instead, Truth is.

It just is.

I have stopped asking Truth for things.  I only show up and connect to the Love Within Me, which is the Love That Is Within All of Us and let go of the world.  This is extremely hard to do.  The showing up is easy.  The allowing the personal self to quiet and let go is very painful.  At least it is for me at this time.  I am hopeful that eventually Truth will shift me away from my attachment to the world.  Meaning I will no longer rely on other people, places or things to align to my liking for me to have peace.  I will hopefully learn to let the world unfold as it should, and know with all that I Am that ALL IS WELL.

Peace doesn’t look like anything.  It only can be experienced.

What will you make time for today?

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The Holiest of Moments


Every moment of your life is Holy.  If used for Truth, each moment contains direction Home.  Even a seemingly mundane interaction can hold a wealth of knowledge about where you are on your path.

Are you anxious?  Are you relaxed?  Are you kind?  Are you cranky?

When a moment angrily pushes us towards our quiet center, then we know we have struck gold.

The moments that unfurl seamlessly with love are also showing us the way.  These moments mean we are aligning our compass with Truth.

I am learning the moments that are my darkest are truly a treasure trove of Light.  How else would I realize that I’m holding so much judgment in my heart?  I wouldn’t.  I would keep on my merry way.  I would continue to erroneously believe the whole world except me was responsible for how awful I feel sometimes.  It never is about the other person, situation, or circumstance.  It’s only me and what I bring to it.  Am I bringing fear?  Then I have unexamined fear in my heart.  Am I bringing negative judgment?  Then I have a pit of despair in my soul that I have yet to dissect.

The bad moments are sometime our most glorious.

Are you up for looking within?

Most days I’m not.  The world has other ideas.  It is on a continuous loop of good and bad.

The key to growth is to graciously acknowledge with a loving heart what you judge as good, and to question unabashedly anything you deem as bad.  Good means the personal self is aligning with the Holy Self.  This is preparing you for your eventual realization that you are always Home.  Bad means that you have distorted stories of separation from Source stockpiled within your soul.  Looking directly at these stories is hard work.  It is soul-crushing sometimes.  But that’s the point.  Your soul has to be crushed before it can reconfigure to permanent alignment with Source.

One moment, one day, one story at a time.

All of it Holy.

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