Silent Retreat – poem by Dorothy Hunt

Retreat

Sit quietly.
Strip off the masks
of self-deception,
self-reflection,
self-improvement,
self-judgment.
If you want truth,
these activities waste energy.

Sit quietly.
What is peering out
from behind your mask?
Without relying on a single thought,
who are you?
No matter what you see,
there is more unseen.
Always, the Mystery invites itself deeper.

© Dorothy S. Hunt

Gicky Guru or a Real Teacher?

Just because someone is sitting in the teachers chair, doesn’t mean a thing! Listening deeply to what is present here inside, has become much more a reality thanks to a visit in Toronto from a so called non-dual ‘awakened ‘ teacher a while back. I see how the intention to please others and believing I was responsible for their happiness has motivated so much of my life.  Perhaps 99%.

Nothing new to have false teachers, just shocked me that I would go to the weekend after feeling so strongly inside not to host his event and have him live at my house while he is here.  The addiction to not deeply listening internally to what is ‘here’ has up to this point been strong.  On some level, I chose to forget my initial intuition about this teacher? Thank God, the first clue I did listen to, was when I was asked to host him here when he was visiting from his home in Europe. My first instinct was an across the board NO and that is what I said. Unusual for me as I am often the dog in the world of service. I suggested my friends in Toronto host this teacher. They agreed and as a result, I found myself going down to his satsangs. Absolutely anyone can write a book and sound enlightened.

Om swaha….at my own delusion or that part in me that was addicted to believing that answers/help are outside. It was a traumatic weekend on many levels and I can’t blame the teacher. I can only blame myself for putting myself in the position of thinking he had something to ‘teach or share.’ I unconsciously put him in a position of power. I suppose he did have something to teach me and that was run the other the direction and if on some level I am resisting what a teacher is saying — THAT IS HONORING THE TRUTH IN MY SELF and not something wrong with me as he would like me to believe. Perhaps by even going to hear a teacher speak could be coming from a deep place inside that thinks something is wrong with me…. okay I own that. I own that I can project on a teacher, but I honestly think that sometimes even teachers can project their ‘stuff” on unsuspecting students.

Get the big picture!  Whole Tulip

Can we go listen to a teacher or sit in satsang simply in Stillness, without wanting or expecting anything?  I have no idea as I don’t think I’ve done that often.

Consider a radio – it has energy going through it, and one can pick different channels to hear different music, talk shows etc. Same thing with humans and energy. How one person perceives energy can be quite different than another and for one person to force their energetic perspective on another is a violation. This is a boundary that I didn’t have on that weekend. A so called ‘awakened’ teacher in my misguided perception would know not to force themselves on a person sitting in the ‘question chair’. Then again, I went into a post traumatic state of numbness and couldn’t feel or move, so I am discovering the aspect of compassion to that part inside that couldn’t move and didn’t understand what was going on. The meeting with this so called teacher re awakened all the ‘bad’ memories with men I had when I was younger.  I thank him for that.  Guess it was time to deal with those energies again.

What this experience did for me was to really hit me over the head with a sledge hammer – how I give my power away, consciously or not. Almost constantly, never being true to what is my own experience. I am learning, but wow! As all humans, I have/had some really deep seated sticky patterns that want to keep coming up and playing.  Some I’ve pushed under the floor boards, hoping they wouldn’t emerge again.   Hiding seems to be over !!! I suppose I could thank that so called ‘teacher’ for that adjustment in the ‘addicted seeker energy’, that still emerges. I hope I learned whatever lesson I was meant to learn…..

My role was sitting in the chair and letting this so called teacher ‘teach’. I wouldn’t call his expression at all related to the non-dual teachings. I never knew what spiritual rape was until going to a meeting with him. I think perhaps, he is trying to be a Muktananda kind of teacher and awaken people’s dormant spiritual energy. Very dangerous what he was doing from my limited perspective.

I’ve been there and done that ‘waking up the kundalini thing’ and it is not something to be played with lightly. I know from my own experience in my early 20’s the dangers of playing with fire.

As I sat and watched him work with others and always talk about getting in the body, it didn’t seem like he was getting people into the physical body at all, but getting them to feel ‘energy’ in their bodies. His whole approach was energetic and we were supposed to feel him inside of us. He would say things to me like, ‘feel me inside of you’. Yuck, gucky, let me go vomit. Did I ask you to get inside of me..(not consciously at least) .. okay it is beginning to feel like a guy forcing himself on me and trying to make me feel guilty if I’m not into it.  Or – there is something wrong with me because I won’t let him  in… OMG.  Is this guy for real?

I’d like to ask… To what are you referring as the ‘you’ who wants to get inside of me??? He had a gift with energy and I felt he was getting caught in the oldest trap in the spiritual world. Getting lost his siddhis (powers). What does this energy stuff have to do the Truth for example? I’ll answer that… nothing. At least nothing in the way he was expressing it. This is all simply my deluded opinion and there were people at the satsang who were gaga about this teacher. The energy experience was  new  and very seductive for them.  Simply spiritual candy as some teachers call it.

A friend told me her way of deciding if a teacher is for her. Take them off the podium of the teachers chair and see if what they say would be something you would resonate with from a stranger for example. Okay, here are some of the words this teacher said to me within the first 3 minutes; ‘Its the striper, I can’t wait for you to take it all off on the table, I want to be there, you are the baddie, the wild woman, you are so bad, we can make love energetically, let yourself feel me inside of you etc.” . Over and over again he called me the stripper and the most controlled  juicey person he had ever met.  OMG….. Yes I am serious! Hey, i’m am a cooked turkey, not a spring chicken!  These are the words of a non-dual teacher who people seem to worship  because he has an ability to move energy?   blah blah blah.  I’ll say it again.. anyone can write a book or talk about TRUTH.  Integrity is a quality that I choose  is part of ‘living the Truth’.  His expression os so called Truth,  did not ring in on the level of integrity !!!!  Its only my opinion of course.

There is a reason the yogis in the old days taught the *yamas and niyamas before any other yogic practices.  That reason is so that the humans don’t act as animals when the spiritual energies  awaken and integrity doesn’t get lost in the excitement of the energy.

Whether  that teacher was coming from a True non-dual perspective or simply from missing his wife……Everything/everyone can teach us something and this lesson was  a big one for me.

om swaha…….

A prayer …..

May the voice of Truth, Reign Strong and Free in those of us who had it crushed in our early years. May the courage to speak come through the ‘conditioned hells’ that seem to keep moving us in directions of pain. May the STOPPING become complete.

Sending compassion, sweetness and love to that part inside that looks to authority for answers. May we  (I) awaken to that which doesn’t need to ask questions, which doesn’t need to be fixed, which doesn’t need to change. May we(I) give Space to that in us that has been here since before we were born and started to seek.

This tulip was in my garden last spring….

1.Yamas (restraints) has five parts:

a) non-violence (ahimsa)

b) truthfulness (satya)

c) non-stealing (asteya)

d) continence(brahmacharaya)

e) non-hoarding (aparigraha)

2. Niyamas (observances) has five parts:

a) cleanliness (shaucha)

b) contentment (santosh)

c) austerity (tapas)

d) self-study (svadhyaya)

e) surrender to God (Iswara-pranidhana)

“Form into emptiness, emptiness into form.”

“In the exploration of your body, using guided meditation, yoga asanas and sacred sound, the discovery is that the deep silent essence is within the bones and blood, just as it is in the mountains and the sky. It’s not two. Discovering your own nature in the body allows the stability of the natural state that is already present now, not in some yet to be recognized state in the future. The inner and the outer are recognized as inseperable. Form into emptiness, emptiness into form.” the exploration of your body, using guided meditation, yoga asanas and sacred sound, the discovery is that the deep silent essence is within the bones and blood, just as it is in the mountains and the sky. It’s not two. Discovering your own nature in the body allows the stability of the natural state that is already present now, not in some yet to be recognized state in the future. The inner and the outer are recognized as inseperable. Form into emptiness, emptiness into form.” QUOTE by Sharon Landrith  who is  a satsang teacher and a medical intuitive living in Colorado.  Check out Sharon at www.sharonlandrith.com.  Sharon was asked to teach by Adyashanti.  I recommend a session with her on the phone. You can make an appointment with Shila, info on her website.

Healing is Being

What is healing is not working on yourself;
what is healing is being yourself.
Thinking fear should be gone brings more fear;
thinking anger should be gone brings more anger.
Without a gatekeeper, the world
chirps and buzzes, laughs and weeps,
and lives in peace.
Rain lasts for a morning, or a season,
and is gone.
The sun is always present in the highest heaven,
yet clouds are not unwelcome.
The tiny white flower in the never-seen thicket
blooms as itself without regret,
And the deer are not ashamed
by their need to run from harm’s way.

What is healing is not working on yourself;
what is healing is simply being yourself.
Effort is the Two;
judgment is the Two.
Truth appears in the moment
of its unfolding and is never of the mind.
What Is, is always Now.
Laugh or weep when it is time;
be big or small as the moment appears;
inhale when you inhale;
exhale when you exhale;
nature’s rhythms are never wrong.
Trust the wisdom of Being itself
living its life as you.
©Dorothy Hunt 2009

Dorothy’s website is http://www.dorothyhunt.org if you’d like to explore more of her beautiful writings. Dorothy lives in California and came up to Aurora Ontario in 2009 to teach. It was a true blessing to be with her. Some day she’ll come back up to Aurora if the Truth draws her here. Enjoy the NEW YEAR – all of IT.

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What?

What is not doing anything? What is not striving, seeking, looking, wanting, needing, believing?

The whole grasping energy inside….. what is that? IS the grasping or clinging of a spiritual person clinging to the ‘idea’ of belief of God any different that the energy or grasping of a person wanting a new car to complete their life?

Feel inside and think of something that you want.. what does it feel like inside? Now think of a spiritual desire if you have any…. does the basic energy feel any different?

On spiritual paths, it is easy for people to think they are ‘better’ than others who are not on a spiritual path-  consciously or unconsciously.  Check inside and see.  OMG I grew a huge spiritual ego that fueled my life for years and got me ‘nowhere’ hohoho.

Pull out all the weeds and what remains?

“Let everyone be as they are.” Adyashanti

“Let everyone be as they are.” Adya said this to me almost 4 years ago at the end of a conversation with him. I am continually learning what this means. After he said this, he brought his hands over his heart and said “bless you heart’. What a gift to have teachers that guide us to the Truth within.

adya-bless-your-heart-big.png

My deepest gratitude to all that give us the space to Be That Which WE ARE in all of our Human-ness if there is such a word. Or I could say…. my deepest gratitude to my teachers, friends, and family that give us the space to acknowledge whatever arises and hold us in Love when things present themselves that we’ve hidden from for so many years.

My deepest gratitude for ‘something here’ that gives acknowledgement for all the pain I have hidden and run from the last 35 years…

wow…. i’ve talked about hellish experiences and stories of childhood for all these years, but never was connected to the feeling sense of it all…. Just up in my head… which is ok as well. It is how i survived. The body is releasing, opening……. so much held in, no blame… just a letting go… ahh yes! as i say in my yoga classes……

perhaps when all is met within, the stories loose their force to consume our attention?

Let myself be as I am! Let myself be a human and stop trying to be some super spiritual blah blah blah concept of something other than what I am….!!!!! What am I without all the conditioning?

received this wonderfully timely quote today in an email.

“Stop being who you think you are, and be who you Are. Let yourself know what you already know.” — Adyashanti

Being Yoga!

I appear to enjoy rambling and love to ask questions that silence this thinking brain……

What in life is not learned?

dscf2146_2.jpg

 

What is not a thought?

Can LIFE be experienced or lived without perceiving IT through words, ideas, beliefs, concepts, names?

wild geranium

 

What is relationship without thoughts made up of words, made up by humans? Who is having a relationship?

chickens’ relationships?

 

What is IT that experiences LIFE?

Can we come to know IT without using theories, books, teachings, teachers, traditions?

Who/what comes to know or INTO knowing?

incredible purple lupin

Can we live without the energy of ‘DOING’ running the show? Or at least notice it!

Check out what the energy of ‘doing’ feels like inside… check out what ‘doing something for an end goal feels like inside compared to playing a game with a child for example with no goal, just pure enjoyment.

What if we just STOP absolutely all ‘doing’?

enjoying life!

Even to say ‘I do yoga’. Sure that is true in the relative sense, but how about deeper than that?

BE YOGA!

this was me playing….thanks for the indulgence…….

 

 

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.

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!

More on what is yoga?

So my friend asks me, why does your life have to be all yoga?

I asked her, what does the word yoga mean to you? She said ‘asanas’ postures. This is where I differ than alot of yoga teachers or yoga practitioners these days.

If I am to use words that represent the word ‘yoga’ how about these: Space, Love, Life, Truth, Sacred, God, Divine, Resting, the unconditioned, the unborn and simply………… THIS

This peony is for you Leanne! This is my yoga; Hanging out with the flowers! How about that as a definition of yoga. Better yet. JUST BE THE FLOWER! :0)

peony with dark pink edges. JOY OF BEING