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

Inspiration by Lynda Cole

You are an inspiration … in the journey to discover your truth, you have seen, if only momentarily, through the apparent burden of anything from the past. This seeing-through requires vulnerability and courage. You have seen through the clouds to the pure, open sky.
In these effortless moments we see clearly that what we have been yearning for is always and already present. True nature has found us.
You are an inspiration because I know it requires a courageous willingness to be conscious, seeing through the illusion that we are separate individuals while simultaneously celebrating the gifts of our humanity. In this willingness is the potentiality to transform not only ourselves but all of humanity, awakening to the realization that we are one and the same.

…. Now, go and have some fun!

© Lynda Cole

For more info/teachings of Lynda Cole go to http://www.lyndacole.org


The Quest for Enlightenment

The quest for enlightenment is the quest for truth or reality. It’s not a quest for ideas about truth—that’s philosophy. And it’s not a quest to realize your fantasies about truth—that’s fundamentalized religion. It’s a quest for truth on truth’s terms. It’s a quest for the underlying principle of life, the unifying element of existence.

In your quiet moments of honesty, you know that you are not who you present yourself as, or who you pretend to be. Although you have changed identities many times, and changed them even in the course of a single day, none of them fit for long. They are all in a process of constant decay. One moment you’re a loving person, the next an angry one. One day you’re an indulgent, worldly person; the next a pure, spiritual lover of God. One moment you love your image of yourself, and the next you loathe it. On it goes, identified with one self-image after another, each as separate and false as the last.

When this game of delusion gets boring or painful enough, something within you begins to stir. Out of the unsatisfactoriness of separation arises the intuition that there is something more real than you are now conscious of. It is the intuition that there is truth, although you do not know what it is. But you know, you intuit that truth exists. Truth that has absolutely nothing to do with your ideas about it. But somehow you know that the truth about you and all of life exists.

Once you receive this intuition, this revelation, you will be compelled to find it. You will have no choice in the matter. You will have consciously begun the authentic quest for enlightenment, and there is no turning back. Life as you’ve known it will never be quite the same.

A great Zen master said, “Do not seek the truth; simply cease cherishing illusions.” If there is a primary practice or path to enlightenment, this is it—to cease cherishing illusions. Seeking truth can be a game, complete with a new identity as a truth-seeker fueled by new ideas and beliefs. But ceasing to cherish illusions is no game; it’s a gritty and intimate form of deconstructing yourself down to nothing. Get rid of all of your illusions and what’s left is the truth. You don’t find truth as much as you stumble upon it when you have cast away your illusions.

As the master said, “Do not seek the truth.” But you can’t stop seeking just because some ancient Zen master said to. Seeking is an energy, a movement toward something. Spiritual seekers are moving toward God, nirvana, enlightenment, ultimate truth, whatever. To seek something, you must have at least some vague idea or image of what it is you are seeking. But ultimate truth is not an idea or an image or something attained anew. So, to seek truth as something objective is a waste of time and energy. Truth can’t be found by seeking it, simply because truth is what you are. Seeking what you are is as silly as your shoes looking for their soles by walking in circles. What is the path that will lead your shoes to their soles? That’s why the Zen master said, “Do not seek the truth.” Instead, cease cherishing illusions.

To cease cherishing illusions is a way of inverting the energy of seeking. The energy of seeking will be there in one form or another until you wake up from the dream state. You can’t just get rid of it. You need to learn how to invert it and use the energy to deconstruct the illusions that hold your consciousness in the dream state. This sounds relatively simple, but the consequences can seem quite disorienting, even threatening. I’m not talking about a new spiritual technique here; I’m talking about a radically different orientation to the whole of your spiritual life. This is not a little thing. It is a very big thing, and your best chance of awakening depends on it. “Do not seek the truth; simply cease cherishing illusions.” And if you’re like most spiritually oriented people, your spirituality is your most cherished illusion. Imagine that.

© 2007 by Adyashanti.

What Can Be Said About Love?

What Can Be Said About Love?

© Dorothy Hunt, 2009. All rights reserved.

The following poetry and words are written by the wonderful poet, spiritual teacher and psychotherapist Dorothy Hunt from San Francsico CA. They came out of her monthly newsletter which I highly recommend. http://www.dorothyhunt.org


What can be said about love?
Nothing, really.
We are either being love
or we’re talking about it.
Talk is cheap; love can’t be bought.

It is not about flowery words,
or the agony or ecstasy of emotion.
It is not even about relationship,
or merging union with the Divine.
Where are there two?blleed

And yet . . . and yet . . .
This wordless pull of connection–
even when the mind
wants no connection.
What is that unsought warmth?

That melting of resistance,
the fire that makes
even iron turn to liquid,
or a caterpillar dissolve
before wings emerge?

Love’s only true language is Being.
Demand love, and it will flee.
Bargain with love, and you will lose.
Eventually, you will rejoice in defeat;
Love refuses all separation.

Love moves, responds, touches,
returns the unwanted pieces of your life
back to wholeness. Its language is truth,
and truth speaks love, but these are words,
and not alive, until your heart opens.

Every moment love is gently knocking
from inside, longing to flow out;
but we are busy looking elsewhere,
searching in the market place of “me’s”
to fill the emptiness that is, itself, vast love.

What can be said about love?
Nothing, really. These words fail.
We are either being love
or we’re talking about it.
Choose the former, if you have a choice,
for love alone transforms.

© Dorothy Hunt, 2009. All rights reserved. http://www.dorothyhunt.org

Dorothy continued in her Moon Mountain Sangha newsletter with the following words.

Dear Friends,

I would like to invite each one of you into your true, open, and undivided Heart to discover the Love that is already deeply present. The mind asks, “How?” But it is not the mind that will tell us. There is no “I am loving” in the deepest love, no efforting, no demanding, no thoughts of worthiness or unworthiness, and no one claiming to be Love. Love simply shines as itself on whatever it sees. Such love has no conditions, demands no rewards. Love is all it knows to do or be. It springs from Awareness, arises right out of Emptiness. This is a love that transforms whatever it touches but has no agenda for anything to be transformed. It is totally unself-consciousness; it simply moves when our heart is opened, when we are no longer fiercely guarding our separation. A little teaching story told by Anthony de Mello goes like this:

What is love?
The total absence of fear.
What do people fear?
Love.

We can remain “separate” to the death, but in love, we cannot continue to hold ourselves separate. Perhaps this is the real reason we fear love while simultaneously longing for it. Are we ready to let go of the “one” searching for love so that Love can simply move us?

© Dorothy Hunt, 2009. All rights reserved. http://www.dorothyhunt.org

Human Being Human….or Human being Spiritual!

The LOVE which i have flown all over the world to sit at various teacher’s/guru’s feet is available right here – in everyone I meet, in my children, husband, students…. the distinction between human and spiritual is falling away…..

This is a note to my Self from my Self.

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Yes to BEING HUMAN! Ever thought about the words ‘Human Being’ ? Who picked the word ‘being’ to go after ‘human’ ? I think they were smarter than most notice. How about meditate on the words ‘human BEING’ instead of a some sanskrit mantra some teacher thinks is going to give you salvation. Is it possible that the answer could be truly SIMPLE and already right here in our human-ness? DO we have to go to India (which i have done 3 times) on a spiritual quest, get sick, recite mantra, practice meditation, pranayam , asanas, rituals etc for year s on end… ultimately loosing site of the original goal….. just continuing to slave away at what i think or believe is important…….

How about starting where YOU ARE rather than for years trying to ‘get somewhere’, or be something else – that someone has told you you should strive for…. or fit a mold you read about in a so called spiritual book…or believe they all are smarter, know what is best, are holier and more pure and worthy than you and follow and imitate them as if you are a frigging grovelling idiot ?

I think i began treading the so called spiritual path due to not wanting to feel the pain that was threatening to explode inside…. I suppose there were other reasons.. but avoiding life i now realize was a big part of my ‘so called spiritual life’. You might think i sound kind of cynical or something… but it is more that i just don’t buy it all anymore….

I used to divide my life into – this is spiritual – that is not…. seems like…. I’m discovering what it is to BE in this human form….. if that makes any sense…. a big huge laugh…….Ok…. more is falling away and opening up.

It seems that as the fear drops away to simply feel and notice all that I’ve feared, love and compassion appears. Being spiritual is not separate from being human anymore….. meditating because I was trying to not feel the pain inside or because i was escaping into a trance state to help me not feel what is here is not the answer for me anymore. I know it is believed to be the answer for many, but I am discovering that the more human i allow myself to be, the more I drop into all that is feared, the more love appears.

In trying to be spiritual – I discounted or ignored what was truly here. Only for my whole life. What a hoot to discover. What a relief…. the jewel really always was here, is here…..

A tender flower delicately blooming, spreading open its petals… completely…simply…. expanding – discovering Love….Space Simply Being Human.

New eyes opening.

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“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.

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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

Rumi and the dishes!

Dishes and Laundry are like thoughts, they never stop or go away!

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
Rumi

Can we treat the dishes like an honourable guest?

The more I resist the normal household duties, the more heaviness and inertia come in.

Oh, I think I’ll just go and have a nap rather than do the dishes for example. But this doesn’t make the dishes go away, which is what something inside thinks it wants. It just makes the resistance/suffering grow bigger. Just like the pile of dishes that grows every day of not dealing with them! Just as everything we try and hide from inside grows bigger and will continue to influence us consciously or not…… until we stop, take notice and let BE.

If the dishes for example can be done or not done in the space of a 5 year old playing with bubbles and the miraculousness of IT all……noticing the energy of joy that underneath in the clean dishes or dirty…..or I could put it this way……let a ‘doing’ without the sticking to the ‘thinking commentary in the head happen…..or let a ‘doing’ without believing the continuous commentary in the head……

What do you think…..is that enlightenment? hohohohoho

My sadhana (spiritual practice) often is to notice the resistance to the dishes , drop into it physically in the body, feel the energy inside and get to know what it is all about. Let IT inform me. The part (or habit or movement of energy) that has been addicted to pain and suffering loves the resistance and attempts to keep it going by letting the pile grow bigger.

If i stop and notice…. what is not resisting the dishes? Hang out in THAT!
I’ve noticed if I do the dishes with something inside sticking to the thinking thoughts that are usually judgements, or wishing to be somewhere else kind of feel = suffering.

If I simply do the dishes then all is ok. It is like the ‘me’ isn’t’ doing them. If the ‘me’ commenting is in the driving seat, then the energy of resistance or suffering enters in.

If i wait until the energy comes to do them rather than forcing the issue….than all is ok. Even feeling the resistance is ok. Can’t even resist the resistance as it is often HERE.

I’ve discovered that if I do the dishes when the energy is simply present to do them… it is different than believing that I have to do them right now….

There appears to be kind of a free feeling inside, when i am not stuck in the resistance of dishes, dinner, laundry etc. Believe it or not when doing the household duties lately, I’ve noticed a real laughing space of peace – . Can’t say always… but moments are peeking through more often. When there are no distractions it becomes like a meditation. Meditation on dishes or no dishes! Is there any difference?

.Dishes are like thoughts…..

And then….. not even labeling dishes, negative feelings, patterns as distractions, or bad…just what is arising…

For me the important thing seems to be to STOP and NOTICE! Do I want to live with suffering/resisting inside driving every living moment of life or freedom in the driving seat? WOW!!!

Thoughts/feelings/patterns come up and can be noticed without the ‘stickiness’ more of a ‘oh what is this’ or ‘here you are again’ as Rumi said in his exquisite poem. They pass through or get stuck like a huge pile of dishes that grows and the more the ‘I’ takes ownership, the more pain…..

yahoo! the sink is clean today!

off to learn how to downhill ski …ahahahah theres an interesting place to see  fears emerge – as i’m screaming down the hill in snowplow!!