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!!

Pecan Puffs – Grandmother’s recipe for enlightened taste buds!

My Nana used to make these over 40 years ago and I admit I make them every year for the family.

Her old cookbook describes them as RICH and DEVASTATING and it is true. They are also very easy to make. I challenge you to meditate on the flavour of these! Also…. when you are rolling out the cookies…. only roll one at a time….. there…. another Christmas meditation for you….hohoho!
Since I am immersed in the baking of cookies and wrapping presents, thought I’d share this recipe. I love the simplicity of the recipe and I usually triple the recipe and they turn out just fine.

Here is my daughter who loves these cookies. Her big brother took this picture. She had just had a make=-up lesson from the big girls at dance class.

an enjoyer of Christmas cookies!

Makes about 32 1 1/2 inch cookies.

Beat until soft:
1/2cup butter
Add and blend until creamy:
2 tablespoons white sugar
Add:
1 teaspoon vanilla
Measure, then grind in a nut grinder or I use a cuisinart:
1 cup pecans
Sift before measuring:
1 cup unbleached white flour

Stir the pecans and the flour into the butter mixture. Roll the dough into small balls. I use a heaping teaspoon for size. Place them on a greased baking sheet. Bake them in a slow over 300degrees for about 45 minutes. Roll the puffs while hot in :

totally decadent Confectioner’s sugar (icing sugar)

The Big Lie – re: the ‘Doing’ of Spiritual Seeking!

The Big Huge Lie – re: the ‘Doing’ of Spiritual Seeking!

Do you know what the big lie is?

I’ve been taught to believe as a spiritual seeker ….that I must purify my mind, body and heart before I can ‘earn’ peace. Peace or enlightenment must be ‘attained’ by the hard work of doing many practices and being ‘good at them’. I was taught that only a few chosen special people can become enlightened or awake and they of course were ‘perfect’ in all ways.

IS THAT TRUE?

If you think yes, then I challenge you to prove it with your own understanding and experience and not by something you heard, read or were taught. Check it out for yourself.

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Parts of me still believe the lie, so I have to keep meeting those parts as they arise. Just stop believing all the thoughts! Oh my God, the freedom! It is possible?
….it feels like something becoming unplugged and all the energy tied up in a certain belief kind of explodes out quietly as I write this…. leaving JUST THIS.

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Ok, obviously I haven’t stopped believing all thoughts as I am still writing…..

Been taking knitting lessons these past few weeks….. funny… as I knit and knit a sweater rather obsessively…..parts of the ‘me’ inside are unraveling…. Unraveling layers and layers …of seeking and learned survival modes of relating to life’s situations and the ways I relate with people. Some layers fall away and feel like a humungous ahhh yes! others… are like having to have a tooth pulled….. it needs to be pulled out to stop suffering, but I’m so afraid to go to the dentist!!!!
I find it interesting, though at times unsettling, to see the origins of suffering/ thoughts/feelings stuck inside of the belief systems that still have a hold on how I relate to life and the people in it. Intense…A lot of stuff I honestly would prefer not to remember, but it feels really good to let things drop away.

For thousands of years the teachers have been preaching to us to perform austerities of all sorts and the process will make us better, more spiritual, more likeable, nicer, happier, peaceful etc.

What if they were all wrong? I mean really wrong!

What the heck is ‘spiritual’ anyways? I realize I have been believing other people’s ideas about what is ‘spiritual’ and have been for many many years, trying to live up their ideas that had become my own. All uninvestigated thoughts, just taken to be true because someone said them or wrote them down thousands of years ago. Wow! So cool when I started to investigate, really look.

What if we don’t have to fast, do yoga, meditation, be a vegetarian, have 30 years of therapy, get rid of all emotions that aren’t positive, be angelically calm and always smiling never sad, never angry, actually get rid of any kind of emotions and always be in a high state of bliss and love, have bliss and love divinely emanating from our whole being like the smell/aura of cigarette smoke around a smoker. Oh my God, I have spent thousands of hours ‘doing’ stuff I considered would ‘get me somewhere’ else other than here. The somewhere else was a better more improved so called enlightened ‘me’. I thought. There is that believed thought again!

I’ve noticed that all beliefs are just thoughts that are sticky. Something inside us, thinks the thoughts are true and turns them into beliefs. Really cool, to investigate into that stickiness itself. Check it out for yourself. What is this sticky or clingy energy?. Where is it in the body…? Who/what experiences it?

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Beliefs are what cause all the wars! Has there ever been a war that wasn’t due to beliefs.
Even all the words I’ve just written here…. they can’t be believed. Good, bad, right, wrong… it seems that all beliefs whether so called positive or negative create suffering. Now the yogis use the word’attachment’. They say don’t be attached to your thoughts, feelings, people, places, basically anything…They taught people like myself that it is bad to be attached to people and things for example. For years I listened to that kind of teaching without really investigating what actually does ‘attachment’ mean. I misunderstood all these years and tried to fit myself into box of other people’s ideas….. WOW. No Blame…
Man, I think the spiritual people can become the most  judgemental, repressed, raging,  fundamental a..holes around. Did I write that? How unspiritual of me!
Guess ultimately I am talking about me – as ‘they’ say life is all a projection eh? Why do you think I started out on the so called spiritual path? Because  I wanted to be free of all the humanness that I encountered here. Big misunderstanding…..

Why can’t we just let ourselves be as we are and let others be as they are? Uninvestigated thoughts/beliefs that’s why! How about unlearning them all…. There is the freedom under it all.

So, despite all the rambling I just did, did you figure out the big lie?

 

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The big lie is that we have to DO ‘something’ in order to become something. Is it True?

Being Yoga!

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

What in life is not learned?

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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…….