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

Longing: a beautiful poem that says IT ALL.

Longing   ©by Dorothy Hunt.

My longing has turned to dust!
Truth brought me the sun,
the moon, ten thousand
universes. How, then,
could there still be longing?

My longing has turned to ash
swirling over creation
from Love’s ceaseless fire;
burning is its priceless gift.

The river of my longing
reversed course; its currents
returned to the Heart.
Now there is nowhere to go.

I stand alone, the source
and the fulfillment
of all my desires.
Longing lit the pathway Home.

© Dorothy Hunt, February 14, 2010

the following is a note that Dorothy sent out with the above poem.

Dear Friends,

Our longing for God, Self, truth, love or awakening is our longing for what is already here, already awake, already whole, already free. The deepest longing of our heart can direct us Home when we follow longing to its source. Yet, it is the mind’s act of seeking which seems to move us away from what is awake this very moment. We long for what we do not believe we already are; yet when Truth reveals itself in its own experience, we realize the timeless Mystery has never been absent from a single moment or experience. It moves life—including the movements we imagine are our “own.”

The mind has many ideas about what it does not know. Yet any mental conclusion can become an obstacle to being open and present here and now. Can we stop comparing, stop judging, stop seeking, stop moving away from what we do not know? Can we face into the Mystery that is calling to us in our longing? Longing is not the same as searching. Longing is felt in the heart; seeking is an activity of mind. Longing can break us open; seeking simply exhausts us–which, of course, may be the point!

A time may come when our longing ceases–not because we have found an object of our desire or because the mind finally “got it,” but because our longing eventually returns us Home—home to what we’ve always been.

Blessings,
Dorothy

http://www.dorothyhunt.org

“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.

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

“Come Empty Handed” poetry by Dorothy Hunt

“Come Empty Handed” © Dorothy Hunt, 2007

Come empty-handed to the

dwelling place of your own heart,

not knowing what to expect,

not caring if you find an innocent child,

a roaring tiger, a vast emptiness

or the river of your drowning.

Not caring if you find nothing at all

or everything your heart’s desired.

Face where the mind cannot go,

the place beyond division or distinctions.

Even then, you will not see God.

You will discover the darkness of Unknowing,

before there was a mind to speak of God,

or truth, or freedom.

Yet in this infinite Mystery,

you will be God’s seeing,

God’s listening,

God’s shining.

And everywhere you look,

there you will be looking back at yourself.

© Dorothy Hunt 2007.

check out Dorothy Hunt at http://www.dorothyhunt.org

The Altar of This Moment

The Altar of This Moment

red oak leaf

Place everything you can perceive—
Everything you can
See,
Hear,
Smell,
Taste,
Or touch,
Upon the altar of this moment
And give thanks.
It is over so soon—
This expression,
This single moment of your precious life,
This one heart
pounding itself open
with fear or wild joy,

This one breath rising
in the cold winter air
smoothly and gently
or coughing and sputtering,

Bow, while you can, before
This one taste
Of afternoon tea
Warming its way to your belly,
Or the fragrant orange
exploding its sweet juice
in your grateful mouth.

You have to love
The antics of your mind,
Imagining life should only be sweet.
The bitter makes the sweet; and life is both.
It is whole, like you,
Before you think yourself to pieces.

Place this moment’s pain and confusion on the altar, too,
And give special thanks for such grace
That wakes you up from sleeping through your life.
Pain is greatly under-rated as a pointer to Unknowing,
yet greatly over-rated when taken as identity.

In this one moment,
Your eyes meet mine and there is
a single looking.
What is peering from behind our masks?
Can it touch itself across the room?

Place your palms together;
Touch your holy skin.
In another moment it will shed itself.
What will you be then?
What were you before you had two hands?
What are you now?

You cannot capture That
and place It on the altar of this moment.
It is the altar,
And this moment’s infinite expressions,
And the Seeing,
And its own devotion to itself.

You are That.

© Dorothy S. Hunt 5 December 2005 San Francisco

http://www.dorothyhunt.org

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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What is Yoga ….anyways?

Rambling, stream of consciousness, not sure who would care to read, but it is good to write. Ever heard of Jed McKenna’s books. Check him out at http://www.wisefoolpress.cm

Never had a blog…. not sure if i will do this…. i am a yogi unravelling at the seams. Warning, don’t read this if you are in the romantic stage of your yoga practice. It is not my intent to ruin your relationship with your yoga practice. I am just in a place where i am interested in only the Source of IT ALL. What is underneath it all?

Don’t get lost in the methods of yoga, drop into the TRUTH of Yoga that some would say, is already here right now!

Almost 30 years i have been practicing ‘yoga’ and only yesterday a thought floated into my head…. What is yoga in my own experience?

dscf1985.jpg

How about the beautiful picture of the geranium for an answer. Can you dip into the essence that the flower expresses?

The answer comes not in words. If i use words to describe IT, is is only empty words on the surface of life. Discover for your self, what is yoga?

If you want to read what others have said about what is yoga, go to the articles on my website or read some books. But remember, we can forget ourselves in others concepts and beliefs and never get to know who we REALLY ARE!

All these years i have been believing and worshiping what all the books, the great yogis and teachers have written and said. I’ve taken their words as the Truth , and strived, seeked, searched, taught, tried to change or get rid of all the humanness inside as it didn’t seem to fit what the ancients and modern yogis were teaching. 30 years of only really rearranging my ‘ego’ and all this time i thought i was trying to get rid of it! Wow, what a shock! I;m not saying what they said isn’t true, i am just suggesting it is time to investigate for myself, go deeper than surface beliefs. So much of what i have done, thought, and or believed in was just putting bandaids on the conscious or unconscious pain that every once and a while would surface. Yoga, the spiritual quest was all just me trying to feel better, to help me escape and not feel what i was feeling. I would go and get my fix through yoga and all it had to offer to leave the present moment and float away in some altered space. Let me put on incense, turn down the lights, new age floating music and do 5000 hours of asanas, pranayam and do the methods with the aim of ‘getting somewhere’ other than here. Truly for me, a huge resistance to all of life, from before i can even remember, inside like a seething little hairless Voldemort, manipulating my daily life now, inner and outer.

Can we live now free of all past, our parents, their parents and further back.The beach in Cuba!

All practices started with the aim of enlightenment or so i thought ….Learned to believe that enlightenment was only for the purest of pure humans and that it must be earned by hard austerities and non emotional people that always have a smile on their face and moved, thought, spoke slowly. Speediness is not allowed, it is bad and unyogic or so i thought. All humanness was supposed to be controlled as it is said to be ‘not pure’ and negative. So much of yoga is about control = control your thoughts, control the breathe, control the body, control the desires, feelings, words, interactions, time, our big toes – you name it – all about control.

Control, judgement and fear seem to go hand in hand. A thought comes up that comments on something, it is believed on an unconsious level to be true and then we believe that we must change what is happening either inside or outside. We must ‘get rid of this or that’. We think when the inside or outside is changed to fit the picture of what the controller believes is right or ‘perfect’ than all will be well. The judging thought believes it is correct and all knowing in its assessment of the situation at hand. The energy of fear arises due to our belief that the judgement is correct. Or was the fear first to arise ? Was all the judgements , control, rage due to fear? Will i be found out?

unravelling some morre….

The fear of being beaten down physically, verbally, emotionally. I am feeling this in the body, phew….wow….. this seems to have been unconsciously been fueling my whole life. Oh My God! Now i see my father and mother in a whole new light, a bigger picture….. the BUCK STOPS HERE! Adyashanti says that the darkness comes up to be meet in the light. This seems to be what is happening more and more. Intense but also a great relief. How else can I describe it? The picture below, the first spring flower coming up out of the mud and ages leaves. Incredible to really see this in the spring. This flower is inside under all our conditioning!

wild bloodroot in spring

This seems worth meditating on! The first flower in spring, wild bloodroot!

IS IT TRUE?

Control seems to be all about not feeling what is here. Put boundaries/limits on absolutely everything. The belief that what is here is wrong, impure, can’t deal with it, let me escape, resist my life til i die. Put a lid on life energy manifesting or else! The energy of fear presents itself inside. Quick stop breathing!

What about a yoga practice that is about being here, exploring and discovering from one’s own perspective!

Rather than lets get into this level of samadhi and float for 2 hours, while the dog is tearing the house apart. Altered states are fine and dandy, but the shit hits the road when the dishes are dirty and there are 10 loads of laundry to be sorted, the furballs are rolling in the living room, dinner needs to be made, the emails answered, the letters mailed, the phonecalls answered, kids driven to there classes, family members wanting to be noticed and recognised, friends wanting to have lunch. My God…… how does yoga come into this arena!!!!!Into LIFE not just on a mat in some serene yoga studio for God’s sake!!!!!

What about a yoga practice that teaches one to go into the fear, the judgements, the pain when it arises and meet it all with a huuuge aaahhh YES this too.

Who/what is the controller? Meditate on that! What does energy of the controller feel like inside? What is the source of the controller inside feel like? what is it? What am I without fear, judgement, control? How do i live without fear? Who would i be without fear?

somewhere over the rainbow in my OWN BACKYARD!
i’ve tried to put a picture with this post, i took it a few weeks back literally in my backyard. I’ve called it – Somewhere over the Rainbow…… the spiritual quest is like always looking to the end of the rainbow. How about hanging out in the deliciousness of the rainbow right here?

This has been a fun rant. Always something to learn.