The Big Change

I know I’ve been kinda quiet this past summer. And I would love to share with you my newest engagements with myself.

This last year has been a hallmark year for surrender. Mostly during the spring months, I began to make an extremely obvious yet chliche observation. This observation took me by surprise because on some level I already knew this, and yet I hadn’t gotten it all the way THROUGH. This observation, made after quite a few circumstances/events presented themselves, was that, “we are not in control.”

Now, this may seem like a relatively simple thing to understand, yet, it’s amazing how we still operate in the world thinking we are in control. Like, all the time. So, during this past early part of the year, things kept happening- i.e. unexpected expenditures- that were completely designed to show my being that I am not in control of Life. EVER.

Now it didn’t take too long for me to get this, fortunately. I got it pretty fast after thousands of dollars kept slipping through my fingers. At first I could feel the same old contractions, but they were softer than my old fearful days. Something in me- namely, fear- had been reduced significantly. The contractions, however, told me that the fear was still there. And they also told me that some part of my being still thought it was in control. How interesting! The two go together!

So, after this great revelation, I began to really sense this new invitation to let go- all the way. To begin to see what/who/where I was relying on to support me in any way, shape or form. You would be amazed at how subtle this can get. And most of these places that I relied on had to do with this paradigm. This limited aspect of the relative world. Even though my heart, and mind KNOWS that the Totality is the responsible party in all things, there were still small holdings in my nervous system that didn’t know this. There were places within my Being that just didn’t trust Life all the way.

Good stuff! And truthfully, I’ve always been aware of this, yet, never in such a precise way. It was like I had finally arrived at a place where I could see that it was finally time to let go enough, so that the Totality could integrate those little places in my NS, so that Life could really live.

So, that’s what’s been happening in a nutshell. I haven’t been trying to make stuff happen. I haven’t been moved to keep this teaching platform up to support me. As a result I’ve been hiking, and meditating a lot. And consciously allowing the Totality to meet me in those little places in the NS. Its been powerful, and it has strengthened my devotion exponentially. I thought my devotion was strong before. Now I know its everything.

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Immense Inspiration

It’s not uncommon to find ourselves somewhat disillusioned at times. We’ve been surrendering our entire life away for decades, only to find the same old issues hounding us like dogs. We grow weary of it. It becomes redundant, and we grow older. Our days may look bleak as we become unable to put up with nonsense from others. We don’t want to even try anymore. Meditation may provide us with some relief, and the silence is still beautiful and deep. But this life is, well, making us feel a bit frustrated.

This is what I was feeling when I hit a wall about a month ago. Frustrated. I could no longer handle my housing situation, or my job, or my health issues, or my [lack of] finances. Frustrated. I felt ready to crack. And I couldn’t hide it anywhere. My cracking self needed to get out of town.

So, I went out to the desert. It was my 60th birthday. I chose the Grand Gulch area. Perfect weather was forecasted, and the recent rains would make water available, and that makes camping in the desert much more enjoyable.

I drove out after work the day before Mother’s Day (my birthday). It was still cool, but sunny. I got to Comb Wash in SE Utah about 7 pm. Found a lovely campsite with no-one around and got out of the car. The sweet scent of sagebrush, cliffrose and sand rushed into my senses. I breathed and smiled and immediately felt so much better. This was going to be a good trip.

The next morning I picked up my permit for my hike down into Grand Gulch. I was a bit nervous, as it was my first backpack of the season, and I was going alone. But the trail proved very easy, and soon I found myself making miles with ease.

When I found my first camp, I felt like I was in a very sacred place. Grand Gulch is filled with ancient Anasazi ruins, and you can feel the spirits in this place. Rock art is everywhere, and it's easy to imagine the canyons filled with laughing people. Peoples that knew how to live close to this environment.

As I sat in my camp, I allowed myself to get very quiet. There were many birds, and other sounds. Everything began to drop away, and I could feel myself arrive. The energy of this place was so strong, and it came in and touched me deeply. I asked for healing, and I could feel deep places within my nervous system being soothed.

The next day remained quiet. I walked and listened. I saw the ancient sites with an opened heart, and deep respect. I make offerings, and sat, and could feel my nervous system open and relax as the healing work continued. At the next camp, I began to speak to the trees. I told them how I felt in my heart. I could feel them all leaning into me, listening deeply. I shared everything with them, and I was heard. I didn’t realize how much I needed to be heard. This was also very healing.

I came home refreshed and renewed. I knew that I needed to honor my heart more- by being honest about how I felt about things in my life. I feel like I have outgrown many of my old ways of being. I feel like I have taken a new step in a way that is empowering to the Heart. I found my voice out there with the trees, and the plants and birds- and with the spirits of the Ancient Ones. I feel newly inspired to live my life- in a way that feels good to my heart. This feels very right to me, and very free. And my heart feels happy and good because of this recognition.

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The Light's Return in an Opened Heart

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Season's Greetings my friends!

I love this time of the year. What I really love about this time of the year is this sense of the Holy. It seems that as the nights become longer, and the sun is low in the day, there is a tangible sense that the veil is a bit thinner- that we have more access to life's great mysteries. During the Solstice, we can feel that the Universe is here to help us on our journey. Maybe that is why so many of the Native cultures honored and did ceremony during this time of the year. They knew that the mystery of Life comes closer, and they did what they could to make contact. Maybe this is why I tend to spend longer times in Silence, so that my being can feel connected in a way that the Universe is asking.

I recently returned from seeing Amma in California, and it was a wonderful time. I had been struggling with an aspect of integration, and just a few days prior to visiting her, there was an opening from Grace, and a new way of bringing the mind home was revealed. When I went for Darshan with Amma, she validated that what I was experiencing was a potent way to incorporate the mind into the awakened heart.

Never in my life have I been more aware of the importance of the Opened Heart. The heart’s opening is such an essential part of our Being’s evolution, yet it doesn’t get mentioned much in spiritual circles. and if it does, there can be a great misunderstanding of what an opened heart is. When I talk about an Opened Heart, I don’t mean that someone walks around being all open and lovey-dovey to everyone. This is not how an Opened Heart is. An Opened Heart is a Heart that is completely unguarded- and consequently extremely powerful at dispelling illusion. It is the throne of the Divine within our Being.

And while I remain diligent about the importance of bringing the mind back into the heart, I am also aware of how the heart wants to continually open. It is it’s nature to do so. When we protect the heart, (which is done through the ego), we cut ourselves off from all the Light that is within us. We cut ourselves off from the flow of prana as well, and we begin to wither and die. It is our heart that is the source of all Life. Our most fundamental nature resides in the heart- either in a dormant state, or alive and awakened to Itself. And to bring attention to the heart, and to find ways to nurture its opening, is to cultivate the dormant capacities that lie within. For me, to recognize how essential the opened heart is, in order to really live from a True Perspective, is worth all these years of surrender.

There are many ways we can tend to this open heart. It is vital that we begin. I can give satsangs about the ego, and what is true, and how we keep ourselves from living this truth, but until this heart is wide open, we will still have beliefs that tie us to this illusory world. And no amount of awakenings and understandings are going to free us from it. I know this very well. The heart was made to absorb all fears. A wide open heart will swallow the world- as the mind sees it. A well-tended heart is a place where we can let go of all of our doubts, and know what real love and faith is. This is what we can aim for. And our own heart will be there waiting for us. For our own heart is the same as everyone else's. So to know true connection, we dive in to our own heart, and find what is deep within.