Enlightenment: What Haven’t I tried Yet?

 

Sat down one night after teaching a yoga class in the Fall of 2006 and this came out. Fasten your seatbelts if you decide to read my reflections on my 30 years of being spiritual seeker…….another warning, there is a subtle or not so subtle occasional vibe of a kind of happily exploding rage……:)

What haven’t I tried yet?

A bicycle trip changed my life……. Be conscious when I die’ the prison psychologist said to my brother and I. That made something go ping inside of me… only goal in life for the past 30 years. I have tried everything to become conscious except one thing.….. be a better person, purify my body, change my emotional patterning, dive deep into past conditioning and rip it apart piece by piece, therapy of all sorts, change my reactions to people, get rid of this anger, that grief, never get angry at my kids, be a more patient person, understand this and that. I had to earn enlightenment with austerities of all sorts. Don’t eat this, eat that, sleep this long, get up at 4am, do this many hours of asanas, pranayam, meditation, study and I’ll get enlightened.Wildflower in our field.

If I think this or that thought – I am unspiritual. Oh.. all the inner judgments. Practically every thought is a judgment in some way. Believed that people who meditate long hours are more holy than being a mom. I challenge anyone who thinks of themselves as spiritual and hasn’t had children of their own – to have a child of their own – get them up and ready for the school bus day and in day out. What is your definition of spiritual now?

Wear white clothes only as they are pure and colours are not.
Don’t wear leather shoes as I became a vegetarian of course. Sat and mixed all sorts of meditations at once, hey why not do it all at the same time – I thought. Blew a few circuits. Pretty funny. Sex and no sex. Save ojas or not. Raise my kundalini, go insane. Think I’m bad and wrong for even existing. Believing so called enlightened yogis coming to the west with the air of mystery. Teaching no sex and they all are having sex it turns out. Hey maybe they are enlightened, I’ll never know, they just didn’t fit into my belief about how an enlightened person ‘should be’. Believing beliefs – that’s what causes wars. Can’t enlightened people have sex for Christ’s sake? Why did I believe everything? Maybe if I read this book, that book, I’ll find the secret to life I have missed. Go to this teacher and that. If I look like you, walk like you, eat the same food, can you give it to me? Keep spine straight, don’t sit with bad posture – God forbid, how unspiritual. You can’t be enlightened if you eat meat, have poor posture, smoke drugs or cigarettes, drink alcohol and have sex. As a result I don’t smoke, do drugs or drink alcohol, though I did indulge in a few of those things. Didn’t give up sex for long. Driveway into the Quietness

Thought getting a university degree would prove to myself that I wasn’t stupid. Didn’t make any difference. Funny that it took 17 years to complete. Give myself good marks for persistence. Persistence this is what I have had for 30 years! Take this vitamin or mineral, magic water, fasting, essential oils, and juicing. Never got into raw food, though in my early seeking years I fasted long and regularly, smoked pot, drank, ran a lot of miles, practiced yoga at least twice a day, played tennis and had a job – all on the same day. Hahahaha. Had boyfriends for as long as I could stand them. Those were the days. What fun!!!

I believed that person or that book. I believed another persons beliefs and judgments about me before I believed and listened to myself. I never honoured any feelings inside especially when someone else had their own opinion. Should I do this or do that? I was always wrong no matter what. God can’t be right here, inside of this insane form, I am too impure. Thought I would get enlightened in this life for sure. Truly felt that until I started to read all the books that said it takes many lifetimes and one must be pure of all negativity and basically be rid of all human emotions and desires etc. Now I see that I had an impossible idea of perfection as an enlightened human being inside fueling much of my life. I see that perfection is a man made concept that we accept and believe on some unconscious level. Tried to be perfect not knowing there is no such thing – only an idea inside someone’s head. I projected perfection on to teachers and perfected projecting onto teachers. Wanted to be like them rather than discovering how the hell am I anyways or who the hell am I? Only the gurus were allowed to be enlightened. We are all supposed to be followers for ever because they are supposed to know everything and it is disrespectful to wake up ourselves. Some unwritten taboo. What would happen to my relationship with teacher if I woke up? God forbid. I’ll just keep pretending – better than being honest.

lightness of being - a light pink spring peony

Always resonated with “Be still and know I am God.” Makes me weep when I stop.
I was Christian in a mystical way, then a Christian mystical yogi, than a Hindu Christian yogi, then definitely a Hindu yogi, then in India as a rebellious westerner yogi, wondering what is this hindu stuff all about, feeling hypocritical. Chanting mantra, kirtan, ran yoga retreats. Thought all these things would get me ‘there’. Started to forget why I was doing all this in the first place. Became a habit. I don’t even know what enlightenment is, how could I even recognize it. Obviously my ideas and beliefs about it were wrong. Not good enough for anything or anyone. Got to get rid of my ego – all the while creating a huge frigging spiritual ego. All sorts of variations. The ego of belittling the self. I have great conditioning in this arena.

Enlightenment- a pie in the sky, in the so called spiritual world. What the fuck is IT anyways? Trying to live up to other peoples concepts of how I ‘should be’ and they are living up to someone else’s made up concepts. Concepts keep the world of so called personal hells carrying on. Talk about fuel for the spiritual ego. My God. Hilarious. Look outside for all answers. Always looking out. Always discounting what is here inside as wrong. To say No or Yes is like pulling teeth. Big resistance depending on angle of my perception. Most of life fuelled by ‘NO’. Mind blowing to really see this. To say Yes when the pattern of No is so big inside has been an interesting process. To say No when something inside is screaming it and the conditioning is afraid to say it because of self judgment and believing I have to keep everyone happy and make sure everyone likes me. Fucking hell really. All self created. All self created……

Have you noticed that absolutely everything is temporary in terms of doing spiritual practices? If you fast, do asanas, meditate, study this or that, move energy this way or that way, go on this retreat, it is still all related to the conceptual world that DIES and or changes form. Temporarily you’ll feel good after doing asanas, meditation, eating a so called ‘pure’ and tasteless diet. Isn’t it the temporary form that is affected by all of this doing? The conditioning comes back. We crash back into our humanness after our temporary ‘highs’ or retreats from life. Believed that only the old forms of spiritual paths are best, new ones are deluded. It is all a huge misunderstanding. Talk about ego eh! Being what I thought was a spiritual person on some deep level – I thought I was better and more holy than people who didn’t practice the same practices as me. Was I ever deluded! Its all ego for Christ’s sake….just different expressions of same across the board ignorance.
Funny isn’t it!

Sunrise Buddha

Isn’t God BIGGER than fasting, asanas, meditation, nationality and Death of the Body? Isn’t God bigger than believing this is the way to worship God or that way is the way to worship God? Does God care? WHAT isn’t affected by all this DOING? What is underneath all of the doing? The spiritual practices are on the surface of being. Re-arranging the temporary forms of existence – not saying it is bad, just saying it is not IT. What is not temporary? Don’t want to be stuck in man made forms anymore…. save me …….What is not man made? What is not thought up by humans?
Is GOD affected by any of the so called spiritual practices? I resonate with the word GOD. Maybe it is my church background, even the minister couldn’t answer me when I asked him to prove to me that there is a God.
I resonate with the words ‘ Divine’ , ‘Spirit’ and ‘Love’ and ‘Joy’. Despite seeing the hell on this planet created by man made religions – I appear to have a very devotional nature. I resonate with the form of Hanuman in a deeply and surprising way lately. Gratitude is my teacher. The altar of the Heart is my new resting place when it all stops and I take notice. The Alter of the Heart has always been here.

I resonate with the teachings of Adyashanti and am so deeply grateful for Adyashanti. Why not be open to what is here, here, here and here. Look at the leaves on the trees how still they are. Hanging in the air oh soooo still. Thousands and thousands of leaves on one tree – just being.

Adyashanti

Wake up or bust, become awakened, become conscious, get enlightened. . 30 years I have been struggling to be conscious. Do this , do that. A professional seeker. All the time hiding behind everything going on outside and everything going on inside. Always really simply afraid to meet what is really True…..no blame, just habits of humanity. Can’t do this anymore. …..breaking free, coming out of the self created prison, not knowing, no clue, afraid, don’t know ‘how’ the mind pattern says… hahahahahahaha.
WHAT TRASH ! ALL OF IT!

Springtime bud of a  wild Mayapple
A small green shoot peeking up out of the dirt, so rich, a big sky above, not knowing, IT blossoms into an exquisite flower. I’m going outside to play.

Can you figure out what I haven’t tried?

Sunrise at the cottage

………….on the morning I started to write these words a very quiet voice inside said from behind… GIVE UP. A voice I had never heard before from somewhere very very deep. Who or what said that. A louder voice said I can’t give up how ridiculous what a failure. …I’ve been listening to the louder voice my whole life.

Wait a minute….the one thing …. I have never tried is ……GIVING UP…..reeeeaaalllly stopping all of this doing. Don’t even know how to give up.
STOP.
Afraid to STOP.

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Spriritual Seeking!

I’ve been an addicted spiritual seeker for many years. I admit, a part of me judges myself for this. I also know that that is just my habitual conditioning jabbering away.  To be free of sticking to the conditioning and seeing clearly the Truth that is present under it ALL, that is what something would like here…. once again the thoughts trying to get rid of themselves…. it is all hopeless, hopeless, hopeless…. why keep trying woman!

I asked yesterday, who/what would ‘I’ be without the seeking energy, without labelling myself as a ‘seeker’?  What would life be like without ‘seeking’ anything? I have NO IDEA!  WOW,  going to hang with that.

Stop looking from your cloud of hazy thought.

Looking from that vantage point is pure folly.

Look from behind that cloud of thinking.

There it is always clear.  Adyashanti

Joy in the creating!

Immersed in making my muscle and joint heaven cream! So many people seem to be wanting it that I’m taking it as a sign to get cracking and make a pile for Christmas! When I am in the process of making the creams and lip balm, there appears to be a stillness underlying…… a steady stream of space…. not that that makes any sense… I just know that I can’t make the creams, tea or lip balm if the energy isn’t right. Don’t know how else to put it. Must be moved by something other than this mind here. The mind slows down as I one thing happens at a time…… aaahhh yes! JOY, LOVE and GRATITUDE make these creations! Thanks oh great green universe that grows outside my door!

Form is a sacrament and the formless its benediction. Adyashanti

Consistant energy seems to be coming through this morning. I made 40 tubes of spearmint/peppermint organic lip balm and 27 jars of muscle and joint heaven. Don’t think I’ve ever done so much in a day! Sure smells good around here.

Check out these beautiful nettles. I used nettle leaves to colour the spearmint/peppermint lip balm a slight green.

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Selflessness arises out of the realization that you are the world and much more as well. All arises within you and is an expression of you. Adyashanti

Love seems comes through this form in the creating of these creations. I know that the conceptually the love is always here, but I have attachment to diferent expressions of doing I suppose. Would be nice to notice the LOVE 24/7.

The Truth Soup

The following is a story by Antony DeMello in his book, “The Song of the Bird”.

I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw the name of the shop: THE TRUTH SHOP.

The salesman was very polite. What type of truth did I wish to purchase, partial or whole? The whole truth, of course. No deceptions for me, no defenses, no rationalizations. I wanted my truth plain and unadulterated. She waved me on to another side of the store.

The salesman there pointed to the price tab. ” The price is very high, sir, “he said. “What is it?” I asked, determined to get the whole truth, no matter what it cost. “Your security, sir,” he answered.

I came away with a heavy heart. I still need the safety of my unquestioned beliefs.

Isn’t that a fantastic story!! We all want enlightenment but do we REALLY want enlightenment and WHO is it that WANTS IT? There is that question again!

Fall leaves in Gormley

How about the autumn leaves? They are supposedly dying, but look how beautiful they are and then they float effortlessly to the ground in all their glory! Can we surrender like the leaves in autumn?

I don’t know…. do you think life is just one continuous creation? Maybe us humans are just the creations and playthings of the Source of it all and we aren’t the bosses! Humans seem to think we run the show!

Talk about creativity, check out these red maple leaves!!!!!

look at the colour!!!!

I think that is hilarious!!!!! what a hoot! Man can’t stop an earthquake or a volcano errupting. Man doesn’t make the trees grow, the flowers blossom forth, the leaves change colour! *or maybe with all our global warming we are affecting the earth… but not in a way our human minds would call positive. Perhaps man isn’t so all knowing and blah blah blah….. wasn’t the earth better off before humans started to destroy it with their beliefs that they could make something better?

okay I’ll stop, i can feel the rambling coming on…. got to go get my child at the bus!!!!! you fill in the rest……

Spiritually seeking what?

I am finally getting or ‘grocking’ the story about the beggar who for his whole life was sitting on the street waiting for people to give him money. Always he was waiting for the gold to appear in his begging bowl, always thinking that he needed more $ and a lack of something. A stranger/holy man came along and told him that he was sitting on his treasure all along. He said oh no you are mistaken!…. He eventually looked under the box he was sitting on and there was a pot of gold, all along it had been there, he just didn’t look! I just probably destroyed that story, but it went something like that.

In terms of this life here. A few years back I started to have resistance to being ‘called’ a spiritual seeker. I had so much ego/energy/life tied up with being a spiritual seeker = phew! Made me feel better about myself. I hid behind the mask of a spiritual seeker, from myself and others.

What is THAT which I have been seeking? Is That which is seeked to be found in a new book, a technique, a teacher’s words, a teachers’ presence, a teachers gaze, the teachers’ grace, the teacher loving me and me feeling that, satsang with a teacher or basically somewhere else than whatever is going on here?

“Don’t imitate your teacher or your guru.

Find within yourself that power which moves him. ” written by Adyashanti

That which is seeked; can we buy it at a store, get IT from someone else, ‘get’ IT at all? Why do we think we can ‘get’ it?
Usually spiritual seekers are looking for something as if an object is to be obtained. They (I) believe (d) if they purify themselves of whatever is bad, wrong, impure, then they will have earned the enlightenment, peace, truth, consciousness or whatever they were seeking. I was taught this and I believed this for many years. So many books are coming from the angle that something is wrong or there is a problem that needs to be fixed and the author sets out to show us how to fix ourselves and make ourselves better human beings.

IS IT TRUE?

Here is another quote I love;

“The problem is that most people seek out

religions of all sorts as a way to relieve themselves

of the burden of finding and verifying the truth

for themselves-as if they could ride piggy-back

to enlightenment on the shoulders of some religion

or what some enlightened guy in the past said. Adyashanti from My Secret is Silence.

How can Truth, consciousness, peace, love, enlightenment, divine- whatever you want to call it be obtained like an object????? IT seems that as a seeker something believed that ‘it’ could be obtained.  WOW!  That was a misperception!! At this point, this perspective here has shifted big time.  As these are non physical ‘things’ they are not to be bought at the local Wallmart when i ‘get’ enough money or obtained by going to 5000 retreats and doing a million hours of sadhana. It seems that the mind or the ‘seeking’ energy has been trying to grasp or hold That which it can not be held or grasped!  Doesn’t seem like the sticky, clingy energy of the egoic mind will ‘get’ IT, as the Space is from this limited perspective at the moment, beyond or underneath all the stickiness and untouchable.

Here is another poem that speaks to to me .  I guess I am a a bit dribbly today….. I do so love Adya’s poems and one liners.  Forgive me.

Before you start to meditate, ask yourself a question:

Is it true that peace and silence are not here now?

With you intention to move towards quietness,

the first step we take is away from it

because we assume it’s not here already.

copyright by Adyashanti from My Secret is Silence.

I’m off to clean the kitchen and make dinner….. my real sadhana….is this ‘doing’ spiritual? Perhaps it is what is underneath all ‘doing’. Maybe the question could be WHO is doing the doing that needs to be noticed or realized?

WHO/WHAT IS THE SEEKER?  What does the seeking energy feel like under all the stories I tell or believe?I think i am going somewhere, aren’t I?

Self Inquiry; ” What is it?

© Adyashanti 2007

The following is excerpted from Adyashanti’s website. This little blurb is about authentic Spiritual Inquiry. He has alot of his teachings on his website, at http://www.adyashanti.org. I really resonate with his teachings, hope this makes clear. For better or worse I’ve been attending his retreats/intensives for 4-5 years now. For me his teaching is like a knife through all that is not needed anymore.

Here is a picture of Adyashanti. He says that most important job of the student is to be a student for the shortest time possible! (those might not be his exact words, forgive me if they aren’t)

I obviously haven’t given him up as my teacher yet! :0)

Adyashanti at the same satsang a few years back.

Enjoy!

Many people find their spirituality taking them outward. They think they are going inward because they have heard the spiritual teaching, “Inquire and look within.” Meanwhile, they are out in the stars somewhere looking for someone else’s experience, looking for the right experience, or looking for the experience they believe they are supposed to have. This is spirituality going entirely in the wrong direction. Inquiry is a means of taking you back to yourself, back to your experience.

When inquiry is authentic, it brings you into the experience of here and now, bringing you to the full depth of it, pulling you into it. The question pulls you back into the mystery of your experience. “What am I?” takes you right back into the mystery. If your mind is honest, it knows it doesn’t have the answer. You ask, “What am I?” and instantly, there is silence. Your mind doesn’t know. And when it doesn’t know, there is an experience right here, right now, that is alive. You bump into nothingness inside—that no-thing, that absolute nothingness which your mind can’t know.

The answer does not come in the form of a description or phrase; it is a direct experience. And this experience, your livingness, always transcends any words or intellectual answer. In fact, the truth of your being is eternally transcending itself. As soon as it projects itself out as something, even as a profound insight, it has already transcended it. So eventually the inquiry wears itself out. You wear yourself out. You wear your ego self out. You wear your spiritual self out. You wear it all out. You’ve inquired yourself out of this whole thing, and you’re disappearing faster than you can put yourself together.

As Nisargadatta Maharaj said so brilliantly and beautifully, “The ultimate understanding is that there is no ultimate understanding.” When it’s in the head, it’s an impressive piece of understanding; when it’s in the heart, as the Buddha said, it’s extinguished. You find a living experience of being, empty of content, empty of you. This is where spiritual awakening begins. This is the living answer of authentic inquiry. © Adyashanti 2007

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A story about perception by Antony DeMello

I love the teachings of a Jesuit Priest who appears to have been ‘awakened’, by the name of Antony DeMello. All his book are fantastic. He taught using stories.

Here is one of his stories I read this morning:

“An active young woman showed signs of stress and strain. The doctor prescribes tranquilizers and asked her to report to him after a couple of weeks.

When she came back he asked her if she felt any different. She said, “No, I don’t. But I’ve observed that others people seem a lot more relaxed.”

…….

Great story about how we perceive life through our conditioning and aren’t really getting the big picture.

Dandelions just being dandelions!

Similar is dandelions. Last spring at the cottage I was taking pictures of the first signs of spring. We are taught that dandelions are bad and we call them weeds. I decided that first year of juicing dandelions in the spring that because there were so many of them at my house that they were a gift to be enjoyed. Abundantly health giving properties in dandelions. Perception – weed or flower? What do we choose….. ?

See the crazy lady below happily buzzing on dandelions.

lakshmi enjoying the dandelions

I could ask How do YOU perceive YOU? Are your thoughts about you true?

Can you perceive You without any thoughts about YOU?

I write these questions – as I ask them inside here. Spiritual Inquiry……. WOW!