Non-Duality (not that I am an expert)

3 09 2017

This morning I read a facebook thread about a teacher in what he called non-duality who committed suicide.  I gather from the thread that this happens from time to time.  I understand from their perspective this makes sense, but it seems to me they are missing the point of this life, and our struggles.

I also read an article by another teacher addressing this issue.

I agree with what Rupert has to say in this article.  We as Americans take part of a thing from an old eastern teachings and give them the McDonald’s treatment.  I agree with Rupert that an awakening (whatever that means) is only the beginning.  I had my first direct experiences of my true nature in 2004, and I do not feel I am done with this process in anyway.  I think in the west people have an experience and glimpse of the truth, and they dive into that and feel this is it, and over time they become disillusioned because their life has not fallen into a utopia of some kind.  That is not the nature of our awakening.  In my experiences the more awakened someone is, often the more difficult their life becomes.  And they are on a path of truth.  We cannot go back from their.  We cannot forget and fall back into our old ways of being.  We might want to, we might say this new things is way too hard, and I need to stop and go back.  This is not really possible.  Once something has fundamentally changed in us, as much as we would like to we cannot then ignore it.

I do not know any of the teachers, the two that committed suicide, or Rupert, but I do agree with what Rupert said. I read Wayne’s blog entry about his suicide, and I did not get it. I have not read his work, but I have had awakening experiences. Many of them, and I do not consider myself an expert on non-duality. I feel I will always be seeking, and I get the non-attachment part of it all. I just feel we are here for a reason. We chose to be here for a reason, and I will not leave early just in case I have not gotten to that reason. What I do know is that if we do not complete the purpose we came for, we will have to come again to complete it. I would rather handle it in this life while I am conscious of this and many other things. What I am not clear about is when I die, and return (if I still must resolve things here) will I retain my current level of consciousness, or will I have to work to come back to that place again. If I have to work to come back to that place, will I succeed, or will life circumstances get in the way. I have a theory – I think the more enlightened we are the harder our lives become. The stronger we are, the more awakened (to use a term that is meaningless) the harder the lives are. I look at those who are hugely challenged in this life, and I wonder – are they the most evolved of us, but need that final lesson in humility, or something else that I cannot conceive, to move forward in their life. Or if we have faced the worst of humanity and ourselves, say war, and rape, and incest, and slavery, etc. do we not have to face those things again having learned the lessons from them. In our society we get so caught up in the perpetrators who have done such heinous acts, but we do not consider it may have been the life path of those who were victimized by those acts to learn deep teachings from those things. We are still looking back generations and saying this was wrong or that was wrong, we cannot change those things, and there was likely learning on both sides of those issues for the evolution of the individuals and the entire species. We will have war, until we have learned all we can from it. And all the other horrible things that happen on this world. We choose this world, we chose this time, and we chose to learn something from it all.

I remember several years ago after learning surrender meditation, I could not sleep.  I was basically awake 24 hours a day for about two weeks, I talked to my teacher about this and he replied, I guess the divine wants you to be up.  And I stopped doing surrender meditation.  I did not want to be up…  I also was not tired.  I was awake almost all the time for those two weeks, but I was not exhausted.  I had energy, I was doing life, I was okay.  And I let it stop me.  Not because I was worn out or not able to function, but fear.  I created a barrier to moving forward into deeper surrender to the divine.  Now I make excuses that I am too busy to go back to surrender meditation, but I think it is still the fear.  I do have a meditation practice, but it is not surrender meditation, at least not for the present.  In the next couple of months I will go to another surrender meditation retreat and this time I will continue the practice.

Back to the issues of teachers and suicide.  I have many teachers who have been working on their awakening for 30 or 40 years.  They are amazing beings, all of them, who have real lives like we all do.  These are not people who have dropped out of society and lives a monastic life.  One of them used to say, it is easy to become enlightened by going off somewhere and sitting with a teacher for years, what is hard is becoming enlightened and doing a life in the world everyday, and taking care of family, and students, and clients, and details.  I struggle with the details, because yes there is a level of non-attachment that makes me not care much about them.  And for me to do my life’s purpose those things need to be handled.  One of my teacher’s also said, that the most enlightened people, are often the most out of balance people.  This I get too.  My life is out of balance.  Maybe it has always been, but since having had certain experiences it is more pronounced.  And it is okay, I am working on what I need to work on.  I am moving projects forward.  I am living a life that brings me joy, more than not.  None of my teachers, although profound beings, seem to be done with their own journey.  They continue to teach, they continue to do their practices, they continue to seek truth, and they continue to grow.  My teachers who were not on their own growth path have fallen away.  Because they had not continued their path, they only had so much to teach.  They were not learning and growing themselves, and therefore they could only teach to a certain stage or awareness.  I bless all my teachers and have great love for them.

For me the path is ever unwinding in front of me.  There is so much I do not know, and I feel that will always be true.  I think maybe I started too late in life.  I think this journey is at least 30 or 40 years for anyone, and to leave early because at a certain stage I feel that I have learned it all and there is nothing else to accomplish here would be a mistake for me.  Sometimes over the years I have reached that place of feeling I could not possible progress more from here.  I have come so far, I am so different, I am a completed piece in some way,  later to realize that this place was just a resting spot for a few months or maybe even a year or so, but was not the end of the journey.  Suddenly I realized I did not know anything, and the journey continued…


Trusting a Man…

21 03 2016

This morning I have been thinking about what makes a man trustworthy.  Most of us would consider a man trustworthy if he keeps his word, if he says what he means, and if he stays within the boundaries and agreements of the relationship.

What comes to mind for me is a man who knows himself, who is grounded, who is unshakable in the face of the feminine storm.  A man who meets his partner with strength rather than anger and defensiveness, or withdrawal.  Rather than go into one of those defense strategies when faced with difficulty be present, be conscious, hold on to who you are.  Do not get lost in a response to the situation.  I have done both in my life.  A few years ago I was in a short relationship with someone who was pretty hurt and angry.  They took offense at nearly everything.  At first I was patient and in touch with my true nature but over time the attacks wore me down and I began to react.  First with defensiveness, then with anger, and finally with withdrawal.  None of those served either of us.  And as my reactivity grew the relationship further devolved and fractured.  Now, I am not saying this was a relationship that should have been nurtured but my reactions still haunt me.  Every time I fell into the trap of one of those coping strategies I felt I had failed.  I was not strong, I was not grounded, and I me.  And as this pattern continued I felt my strength eroded away.  The accusations and my defensiveness slowly undermined my groundedness, my stability, and my ability to stand firm in my true nature.  Of course my true nature was still there.  But I was losing touch with that one and the strength I had built up over time was failing me.  Most of all I felt like a failure.  I felt that I could not manage my reactions and myself.  In only a few weeks what I had worked so hard to attain seemed to be coming apart.  I was not trustable in this state of being that I fallen into.

For me to be truly trustworthy I must stay conscious, drop judgement, be grounded in the real me and approach life and relationship from that place.  If I lose my way then I lose my capacity to be conscious and make choices about how I will react to something.  When I lose touch with these things I react immediately instead of taking my time and allowing to correct response to arise.  The ability to do so comes from being stable and grounded.  Through meditative practices, through examination of my life and emotional states, through mind clearing, and other therapeutic processes.

To be absolutely trustworthy to the feminine heart a lapse in consciousness and going into reactivity is counter productive.  And every unconscious, defensive reaction takes time to heal.  Every one.  Not that we have to be perfect in anyway.  But be aware that when we react with defensiveness, anger, or withdrawal we have failed.  In that moment we are have lost trust.  These moments of of lost trust build up.  It is not one failing in this area that destroys the feminine trust in us, but many over time.  One time she says something to you that feels like an attack and accusation, and you come back with a defensive reply.  Another time she interrupts you at a task and you respond with anger for the interruption, rather than openness to her and what she brings.  Next time she does not bring it to you.  Another time she has an issues with something and instead of addressing it with her, you withdraw feeling hurt and accused.  Instead, give her your full attention.  listen to her fully, receive her communication, and take time wit your response.  Sometimes a response is not necessary, just receiving her communication in an open way is enough to calm her over the situation.  Get that you do not always have to “fix” it for her.  You can just receive it and let her clear it from her mind.  Sometimes just holding her, and having contact is enough.  Sometimes if is is something that hurt her an apology is the thing that breaks through to her heart.  Always be open and make it your goal to always foster closeness and openness between you.  Do not close to her when it is hard but open more.  This is the road to being worthy of the gift of her heart.

The Life Intensive

27 08 2015

My current process has been going on for several weeks at least.  It is likely my life stage.  I find myself doing an exploration of my life.  It goes on for hours and days…

It is not really a process involving regret.  Yes, there are mistakes I have made in life.  I have hurt others, I have hurt myself, I have made bad choices (many of them).  There are many things I could regret but I do not live in that place.  The examination is really about “consciousness in living,”  how I have conducted myself.  There are so many small examples of my unconsciousness that have been bubbling up over these long weeks.  Of course, these are all things from the past and I am not big on living in the past.  But this process is almost involuntary.  It is certainly not about shoulds and should nots, it is not about regrets, it is not about self-judgement.  It is about right living.  Where have I been conscious and made correct choices.  Where have I been unconscious and made poor choices.  I think the process is some form of life examination, an education so to speak.  I do not think we learn anything from being told what is right and wrong.  Behaviors can be forced on us, I suppose, with enough pressure and consequences, but really we learn from the mistakes we make.  The things we do that we later realize were wrong choices for us.  I believe this is the process I am in.  I am getting a deeper education but evolve in some way.  To learn the lessons I have resisted throughout my life.  Yes, I think that is what it is…  My previous resistance to learning certain things, or giving up a way of behaving.  I had a new lesson today and a deep area of life, which put me right back into this process again.  Remembering, sorting, sifting, evaluating the merits of these uncountable decisions that make up my life path.

And there have been profound changes in how I react to certain things and the decisions I make.  There are things that do not trigger me, that were huge at one time.  The anger reaction in me has become such a small part of life for me, when at one time it was such a large one.  Sifting, sorting, recognizing…  The Life Intensive continues to work its magic on me, to push me through experience, to round out the rough edges, to refine me in some way for some thing.  I am being worked, and worked, refined, and carved…  Life will not allow me to stop, to relax in it, but there is a pressure, a push, seeking…  Ah, the fate of a seeker.  And the process continues.

Life finds ways to break your heart, to break through those resistances that keep you from moving forward in whatever way is right for you.

Today my heart is broken, and tomorrow there will be something different.  Tomorrow I may feel strong and open to anything…  This always changes and it is part of the Life Intensive.  Breath, feel, acknowledge, live in it, do not avoid it…  It is the process that life is about.  We can avoid this process, we can drink, drug, sex, shop, numb to life in whatever we prefer, but life will still find ways to break our hearts.  If we are numb and avoiding we will not learn the lesson, or grow through the experience; and we will continue to get that experience until we face it and learn what is there for us to learn, and evolve, and change and grow and renew ourselves.

Allow this process to work on you.  Live in it, be with it, and enjoy it.  It is life, humaness, and the thing that will teach us.  The periods in our life when everything is easy and happy and working are not usually periods of growth but vacations from that work.  Examine your life, what are your greatest periods of growth?  Not the easy, joyful times.  I am not opposed to these times, enjoy them, embrace them too; but the growth, the gems, the realizations, the new ways of being come from the difficult experiences we create.  These are the precious things, the things that can propel us forward into change, and knowledge of our personal ethics.

The Goddess Broke My Heart (Pt 2)

22 04 2015

“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.” ~ Louise Erdich, The Painted Drum

This is what I refer to when I say “The Goddess Broke My Heart.”  Life, our friends, our choices, our circumstances will break us.  It is all designed to strip us down to our core beingness.  The more we resist our true nature, the more pressure is placed on us.  We are wounded more, we are torn down, and we struggle against life.  We do not embrace our challenges we resist.  Not only does this resistance create more suffering in ourselves but it also holds us back from the realization of the truth.  We fight back, we wallow in pain, we push the pain away, we numb ourselves through alcohol, drugs, sex, relationships, food, shopping, or entertainment.

In the past few years I have made it a practice to actually embrace the challenges that life sends me.  I just accept the new circumstances of life.  This does not mean that I am not affected but I am not resisting.  I may go into deep fear, or other reactions that truly do not serve me but I do not resist.  This started many years ago when my practice brought me to a place where I felt the pain of all humankind.  I could feel it all, all the time and this lasted for months or weeks.  (The genesis of this blog came out of that experience).  And in that time I did not resits any of what I was feeling.  I accepted it and whatever it brought to me.  There were deep learnings in that period for me.  I can still access the pain of us all if I quiet my mind and sit with it for a moment.

As I have said over the past few blog posts I have been facing a dept of disturbance like to other in my life.  I have had so much happen.  My life has been shaken down to the core in many ways, and at the same time, although I have had anxiety and fear, I have not resisted.  I have worked to mitigate circumstances but that is taking action when action is needed.  But I have not resisted, not fought it, I have accepted it and taken responsibility for the circumstances I have faced.  The past eight months or so have been a difficult time for me.  Far more difficult than anything I ever expected to face.

Life has broken me again, in a far deeper and profound way then ever before.  I have had many moments of awareness, insights, and deep learning.  It has been life altering.  I have also at times felt the depth of my true nature, the part that is never threatened by anything.  The unshakable part of me that cannot be touched by the circumstances life throws at me.  Sometimes I have been lost in the emotional turmoil.  My body had been in the emergency mode of a constant flow of adrenaline.  And I have not resisted it.  I have accepted it all and felt it all.  I have welcomed it all, and at the same time I have attempted to learn and grow and make adjustments that would serve me and life better than my old choices and ways of doing life.

This is one reason life breaks us, to let go of the old patterns.  The destruction of so many parts of my life have served to make room for something new.  These changes may not be apparent to those around me but they are deep and profound.  Life has broken me down and forced my hand to change more than any other time in my life.  I feel the seeds of a totally new life.  Not in a physical sense, not like I will sell my house and move to an organic farm kind of way; but in a deeper way, in a way that is at the core of what and who I am, and how I see the world and others.

The Goddess Broke My Heart and in that breaking she has laid the seeds of renewal and another life that was unforeseeable before my heart was broken.  I have surrendered to the heartbreak and the change and the newness of what is next.


What is Me?

27 02 2015

This past few months have been some of the toughest I have faced in my life…

It is so easy during difficult times to get caught up in life and the situations being faced.  The mind goes to fear, and hurt, and sadness, sometimes anger, and a feeling of things are not fair.  And all this can pull us off our path and our realization of what and who we truly are.  Of course just like we are not our thoughts, or our emotions we are not the life situations we face.  But these life situations are strong.  They can go down the root of feeling we will not survive.  But what is this thing that won’t survive.  That is not us.  It might be this body we inhabit, but most life situations do not threaten us on that level, a may be the lifestyle we created but that is certainly not us, it may be obligations we have to others or agreements we have made, but those are not who we are; they are words or understandings between us and other people.

It is strange that a situation, whatever it is can shake the foundations of our life and we feel threatened.  What we are cannot be threatened by anything, and yet we dive in deep with life to further delude ourselves that we are threatened in some way.  That everything is falling apart.

The situation I have been and am facing has caused profound learnings and changes in my life.  I feel I have been stripped bare to the core (at least I hope this is the most stripped down I can get).  And this process did not start with the most recent couple situations but has been going on for a year.  It has been a purge that has taken me down to nothing.  It has been a huge challenge, it has changed the way I look at many things.  It has shaken my sense of security.  I have lost long term friendship and financial stability.  The fear has taken me over for periods of time that are far too long, weeks and months.

And under all of that, there is a way that none of it matters.  It is only the background, the play I am in with many other players.  I am still me no matter what I am facing in life.  My responsibility is to live as well and ethically as possible.  To not cause harm to others or myself.  To live with love and openness.  These things have been pushed back by fear and other emotions but I have done my best to meet all obligations and responsibilities I have.  And in a way those things are still not ultimately important.  In 100 years no one will remember me, nothing I did will be considered important.  in five years the people who were involved in the situations of the last year will not be thinking of me, they will be facing new situations, new challenges, and other life issues as will I.

I think I am an optimist.  I always think in five more years everything will be settled and set and I can relax from that place.  It has been an ongoing five more years for a very long time.  I realize that I am a person who will always face challenges.  I will always have something that needs to be done, created, expanded, or reinvented.  This is my nature.  I do not do easy, I do not do enjoying the ride.  I do life the hard way.  It seems my nature to face one challenge after another, and if I am not challenging myself then a challenge is created for me to overcome.

And still none of this is my true nature.   If I could go through these challenges without losing my sense of me it would all be easier.  I sometimes let life circumstances give the illusion of my being threatened.  The true sense being able to relax would be to not lose myself in the difficult times.  To let the knowledge of who and what I am come forward and not be subsumed by emotions and thoughts of failure and unworthiness.

How can any life circumstance have anything to do with my worthiness? Or my true nature.

Through the experiences of the past year I have lost sight of Me.  The one.  My beingness.  This is not how I want to go through life.  The challenges will come, that is obvious.  The question is, will I let them crush me or will I continue to know that I cannot be threatened.

There is a way we are limitless.  I have been struggling with that lesson for several years now, and I may talk more about it in another blog post.  The limits are in our minds, and the expectations of those around us.  We hold ourselves small in so many ways.  We struggle through life, fighting to survive in many different ways.  This is not our true nature but it is what is expected of us.

Begin to explore the limitless one you are, and do not let life circumstances make yo believe you are less.

Meditation on your true nature and discover the one without limits you truly are.

Fear of Spiritual Growth

14 01 2015

There are many barriers to moving through the stages of spiritual growth.

One of them is the fear of what that growth might mean in our lives.  There can be a fear that there will be a fundamental change in a person’s life.   That a growth experience will be such that living as one once has will no longer be possible.

There is a fear that a current relationship or all the relationships in a person’s life will change or be destroyed by a growth experience.

There is a fear that we will fundamentally change on a very basic level in  a way that we do not even know ourselves anymore.  That we will be unable to function in life, or unable to work anymore, or unable to relate in the same way we did.

And that brings up another fear.  That our present employment is not longer possible for some reason after a growth experience.  That we cannot no longer tolerate the work we do, or the way we are treated on that job.  What if we lost the ability to support ourselves in this modern world.

There is a fear of not being able to function socially anymore.  What if we cannot related to people in the same way, or we cannot tolerate the company of others, or we must isolate, or have much more time alone than we ever had before.  What if we do not need relating in the same way or at all.  What if the normal relating we have done in our lives begins to feel superficial and meaningless.  What if conversations about the weather or the traffic or politics or work are no longer stimulating.

There is a fear of no longer belonging or fitting in.  What if a growth experience pushes so far outside the norm that we are rejected by others.  Our peer group does not get us anymore or we don’t get them.  This is similar to what happens when someone in a group of single friends gets married and they drift away from the group as their priorities change and grow.  It also happens when a couple has children and their old friends do not.  What if this growth experience makes you the outsider in your old peer group.  Or your family, or your work setting, or the grocery store.

There is a fear of what I have to give everything up and move to a convent, or ashram or a temple or a cave or another country like India.  What if I lose everything to have this growth experience.

And there are many more…

All of these barriers are the mind stopping your for attaining a growth experience of some kind.  Our mind does not like change and a spiritual growth experience is not just change but it is a threat to the our mind.  Change means risk, and our mind is all about survival.  What if I do not survive in some way?  Our mind fears a loss of control, a loss of the familiar, a loss of security, and a loss of knowing what is next.  The issue with a spiritual growth experience is that the mind cannot anticipate the benefits or consequences of the experience.  The actual experience is beyond the mind.  It is something the mind cannot get to.  It cannot be thought into being, it cannot be reasoned to a conclusion that makes sense.  It is in a sense stepping off the cliff into something that the mind will never understand, but the benefits are becoming more of who or what you really are.  And that true nature is beyond the mind in a real way.  The mind will never comprehend the true nature.  If it could many more of us would be living from that place.  If we could think or reason our way into it, many of us would achieve great depth in ourselves and in our lives  There would be a wave of these experiences and a profound change in the world.  But our mind cannot get us there.  We must meditate and do other practices that allow us to get around the mind, to slip through the cracks of our thoughts and to breakthrough into a growth experience.  To do this we must push through the fear of the growth experience and continue our practices.  Not let the fear stop us from further growth, further evolution.  The only way to truly change the world is to grow and evolve.  To allow change within us, to have those deep experiences and not let fear of them stop us.  When you hit that fear, feel it and recognize it and continue anyway.

Everything in your life may change from these kinds of growth experiences.  It may all change, and be different.  Certainly you will change and become different over time, with deep practices and consistent personal work.  Welcome the change.  Know that discovering your true nature may make everything different.  All those fears listed above and more may be the result of your pracrices, and discovering your true nature is not just desired but necessary in an ultimate sense.  There is another reality, and it is you.


All of It!

10 10 2014

I sat at the computer tonight to write a blog entry, and decided to look through my past posts.

My intent all along has been to take my posts, and expand them into a book.  Actually two books… The first named after the blog, called “The Life Intensive” about  how life forces us to evolve through its lessons and suffering.  More on that when I expand my explanation of what I mean by that.  The second one will be called “The Goddess Broke My Heart” about how life breaks our hearts.  It is related to life giving us lessons and pushing us to evolve.  More to the point, when we are avoiding our pain (the agent of change), life gives it to us more and harder.  We have to be very determined not to eventually face it.


What is it you are not facing in life?  Look into the areas in your life where you experience the most pain.  The pain is a hint to the area you are avoiding.  When life situations come up for me I work to face it and want to learn the lesson as quickly as possible.  One lesson I have learned is that when I do not face the pain it is repeated.  Maybe not exactly the same way or with the same person.

I have a friend who has had a lot of pain in their life.  They have not faced it.  They do not see the connection between them and the pain they experience.  They always look outside them for the cause.  They do not look for the internal reason the pain continues to repeat.  They see each event as separate with no connection, not personal causality.   Even if my friend were not somehow creating the pain, over and over again – they are not looking for the lesson.  They just feel the pain.  They do not face it and allow it all to work on them.  The agent of chance is facing the pain….  It is learning the lesson.  When we see the cause of our suffering as external to ourselves, when we are not taking responsibility for that suffering there is no end…  It continues and continues.  And we feel our life is only suffering.

Do not avoid it, feel it and explore it and learn from it.  When we learn the lesson that our suffering has made clear to us that lesson is done and the painful situation does not continue.  Also, when we learn the lesson we are free to make different choices than the ones we have made in the past that contribute to the suffering we have endured.  Be open rather than closed.  It is not always easy to open in the midst of suffering.  The suffering can shut us down.  It can interfere with moving forward or learning the lesson, but eventually something changes and we are not suffering in the same way that we were.  This is partly because our emotions always change.  Notice them and do not overly relate to them.  They are transitory, always changing.  Like the ocean.  They are powerful and can be devastating but the next moment they can be gentle and easy.   When the storm passes begin to look for what you need to learn from the situation that  caused the suffering.   The suffering is the signpost to show you the area where evolution can take place.

The evolution maybe small or life changing.  Be open to the change.  Be open to change in any area of your life.  Do not close anything off to this process.  Let the Goddess Break Your Heart over and over again.  Let Her change you.  Do not hold on to the way things are…

And that brought me to the place where I remember what I wanted to talk about in this post…   Accepting things the way they really are – now to become my next post.


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