Friday, February 12, 2016

Tripping Over Joy

What is the difference between your experience of Existence and that of a saint?

The saint knows that the spiritual path is a sublime chess game with God and that the Beloved has just made such a Fantastic Move that the saint is now continually tripping over Joy And bursting out in Laughter and saying, “I Surrender!”

Whereas, my dear,
I am afraid you still think
You have a thousand serious moves.”      ― Hāfiz

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

This is it: Seizures and Truth

The whole spiritual search has lost its luster. After a while the enlightenment carrot starts to look like…well… a carrot, no different than any other carrot, the pursuit of another ideal in one form or another. Oneness chasing oneness is another case of conceptual bullshit.  Utter and complete. Every attempt to experience oneness/enlightenment/liberation is a movement away from it and toward a conceptual world of twoness...the illusion of illusion.  It just doesn’t matter. Our western conditioned minds, raised on autonomy, the pursuit of happiness and platonic thought, divide body and soul into oppositional constructs, only to provide some arbitrary point of reference.

Today, while at work, I had a seizure.  This one was accompanied by hours of disorientation, loss of words, heart fluctuations, dizziness and the typical emotional aftermath.  Hours later, as I sat with the vulnerable uncertainty of life, I realized I am no longer interested in concepts.  I don’t give a damn for the spirituality vs. matter debate.   I couldn’t begin to care if there is “other” or if the whole show is the creation of a mind intent on separation.  In the final hour does any of that matter?  Does any of that offer peace in the quiet hours when you lay awake before dawn and all pretense of self is suspended?  No.  It’s all noise. 

I breathe.  I need air.  I stand.  I need gravity.  I move.  I need energy.  I eat.  I need all the life forms from which my food comes.  This human body did not evolve in isolation, intellectual or otherwise. I need other as plant, animal, human and more.  It is ludicrous to postulate about spirit AND form.  It’s mental bullshit.  It is all LIFE as ME, as YOU, as air, as earth, as cosmos, as seizure, as heart arrhythmia, as us, as whatever is here.  Right now.  In truth, we don’t know what is going on here; we only know that something is.  That’s the best we can say with any measure of clarity and honesty. 

Given THAT how do we meet THIS moment?  Do we try to adapt it to fit some imagined version of how it should be? Do we try to manifest something else or employ some other resistance to THIS? Do we wonder how a more enlightened version of ourselves would handle it?

I sit, disoriented, dizzy and emotional, offering a tender yes to this, utterly awed by the unresolved, uncertain and unknown nature of life.

The whole liberation thing can by cleared up pretty simply:
Love what is. Or don’t.  Doesn’t make a lick of difference.
This is still it.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The paradox of self: Intimacy with life

We are, each of us, a paradox, a seemingly senseless combination of contradictions that, when considered in full, prove to be the truest expression of self.  We each try to negotiate our interactions in an effort to cloak our inconsistencies from ourselves and those we love.  How can we be both joyous and sad?  How can we experience deep love and union alongside contraction and separation?  How can we be patient and irritable, tolerant and judgmental, kind and cold?   We crave closeness, belonging and connection but are afraid to be known fully.

My godmother and one of the great loves of my life, recently … I don't even know how to write it…died? (Death is a word meant to point to a mystery beyond anything the mind could comprehend and yet the mind doesn't like inconsistencies.)  She lived a long life as a remarkable being.  In the days and weeks following her death, people remembered her and in their memories she became less and less human and more and more saintly.  She was special AND she was human too. I was blessed to love and know the whole of her, perhaps because she knew and loved the whole of me. That kind of love moves mountains.

When we ignore the paradox of our own humanity we distance ourselves from intimacy.  It is not our perceived greatness that needs the warmth of belonging, it is our weakness, our vulnerability, our inconsistency... our humanness.

Navajo weavers intentionally weave mistakes into their rugs, to remind us that we are not perfect and that Spirit enters through our imperfections.  When we welcome this paradox, in ourselves and others, we open to love and true intimacy on life's terms.