Paris

From Kandkadventures.com

From Kandkadventures.com

Today, I send into your meditation Paris. How can we best serve the wounded, the dead and the aggrieved, as well as, the angry, the vengeful, the perpetrators of such suffering? Where in our practice can we rest our thoughts of confusion, fear, and despair? In what way can we be most effective? How might we turn this tragedy into something else entirely? Something that heals, binds us in love and strengthens us in our deeper knowing that we are all one. For we are as much in the lost and frightened wandering in the streets of that great city, as we are in the hearts and minds of the bombers.

When we come to understand this deeply we see there is no escape. There is nowhere to go. We are already in it with them. We carry their pain, hatred, fear, and grief within ourselves. We are The One and so we are the terrorist and the terrorized. We are the dead and the living. We are what remains whole and what has been destroyed.

Separation from the Parisians or from the terrorists is an illusion.

In Joe Vitale’s work on the Hawaiian prayer for healing and forgiveness, ho’oponopono he speaks of Dr. Hew Len’s work in a Hawaiian prison where he prayed each day for forgiveness from each prisoner. The psychiatrist asked for forgiveness from prisoners he’d never even met, because in his culture the prisoner’s wounds were his wounds. The crimes they’d committed he believed were his crimes. Through this process extraordinary healing came to that prison. If we are one, then we each can ask for forgiveness, healing and grace for the whole. We need not wait for the accused to heal themselves. We need not wait for the wounded to become whole again, to reach within our collective being and see our own wholeness manifest before us. We can ask forgiveness now from all who suffer.

In the end are we not the best to do so? Are we not in the safest position, away from the smoke and cries to ask for forgiveness and healing? To give what others in our Oneness are not yet able to give? As we do so with love, we are laying our own hands, in this moment, on the hearts of many. We are all connected. We are not powerless. We are not trapped in violence and despair.

And so we sit. The silence descends amidst our wandering thoughts, and still we persist. We turn back again and again to the breath, the mantra, the voice leading us down a guided trail. We let go. We accept. We see our own wounds inside this situation and we seek in the next breath to heal ourselves. For healing of others begins within our own being.

Be fearless and step into the heat of this breath full of our collective pain, breathe out all the love you have to give. Do not spare your amends to the bomber you would give willingly to the baby. For us to heal, we must all heal. To be whole, we must all be whole. There is no force greater on this earth than our own willingness to except responsibility for the wounds we all share and bow our heads in humble forgiveness that we find our way together.

Young Jedi

From Nedhardy.com and the National Geographic Photography contest

From Nedhardy.com and the National Geographic Photography contest

I haven’t been posting much lately, as a quiet has permeated my mind that is difficult to describe. I am not without thought, but rather a tension I hadn’t noticed was consistently there until now gone. I find myself suspended a bit, as if my thoughts have slowed enough for me to lift a few inches off the ground. I laugh to hear Obi Wan in my head. “There is no disturbance in your force, young Jedi.”

I think about this objectively, as if examining an exotic beetle. Iridescent blues, pinks and greens of the scarab float as a mist about my mind. It’s a little “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” inside of me these days, but without the psychedelics. I am not in nirvana nor have I become some Bodhisattva. There’s still a good bit of funky shit in this old noggin. It seems, at least for the present moment, I’ve lost interest in the inner drama. It begins it’s crawl across my mental windowsills, as I have allowed it to do for decades, but find myself either completely disinterested or curious that such a creature should have found its way into my home.

There doesn’t seem to be a point in wondering where it all came from. I’m fifty-two years old. Like most people I’ve been a hoarder of life experiences and reactions and reflexive memories since I hit terra firma. I’ve been storing a lot of stuff for a very long time. Cement boots sit next to a Mad Hatter’s hat, teetering on top of ballet shoes, dangling from a business suit as worn as all the other items inside my mind. They all have the same value to me now. The reasons for all of my previous costumes and acting parts just doesn’t seem all that important.

I move about the attic looking at it all. There was a time the sheer volume of internal debris and boxed up crap would’ve overwhelmed me. Now I look at it all, as if from a great distance, and watch the decay. A millennium’s impact on a human life leaves nothing in its wake. Everything in the end returns to the earth or to the Force, as Yoda would say. I feel no need to wait the time out. I imagine it is already decaying, evaporating and blowing out into a strong, celestial wind. This young Jedi has other things to do.

From Lady-Laerwen.tumblr.com

From Lady-Laerwen.tumblr.com

Freshness

From Pinterest and Enchanted Nature's Facebook page.

From Pinterest and Enchanted Nature’s Facebook page.


I am uncommonly joyful these days. There’s always more to evolve and grow, places to be challenged and changed, but I seem to have found a sort of sweet spot. I note areas for this same growth, yet feel little struggle at the discoveries that are causing me to let go of old ways. My heart pumps steadily and even my breathing seems the easiest it has ever been. I have engaged many new strategies for living lately that I can clearly see are working. On a broader level, I can see it is not just these few things, but an odyssey I’ve been on to let go of old versions of myself that no longer serve. I look back and see I’ve been opening up windows drawing in the freshest air for now on seven years. My latest mantra that simply rose up in my mind now makes sense to me.

“I am open to fresh ideas, fresh thinking and all manner of newness to my soul. Show me, Source Energy, what I have never seen in this world or in myself before.”

Freshness as a quality, a way, a manner of looking at things seems to have pervaded every corner of my life. I take clothes from the closet and put them in new combinations I have never worn before and suddenly feel I have a new wardrobe. I take off down side streets not caring the way home will be longer, as I feel an eagerness to see new paths to the same place. I walk into work and feel the lightness of my step. The day cannot be the same as it has always been, because I am not the same as I have always been. I cut open a tomato and really look at it. The pulp, flesh and seed. What an amazing miracle something so common really is. The cat meows hello for the millionth time and I am completely taken with the look of love on her face, as if she had never spoken once before.

Even as I laugh more I grow more quiet within. The chatter of my mind seems at an all time low. I am certain something will arise to get it clambering again, but for now I relish its gentle murmur. I realize I am no longer afraid. Afraid of life, other’s thinking, myself, the future, the past. I am no longer afraid. I could write that sentence a thousand times and it would be no less wondrous to me. I am no longer afraid is as fresh an idea as cut lemons and spring rain.

Fresh. New. What I have never seen before.

Now to milk this moment for all that it is worth. Really indulge in the joy and the peace, as a child would a huge, autumn leaf pile. Isn’t that the true glory? The moment you feel free enough from yourself to actually enjoy the present moment meeting yourself, as if it were the first time.

Moon Prayer

From: thejournal.ie

From: thejournal.ie

When I was younger my following of new age spirituality was, if I’m wholly honest, more about novelty than any meaningful appreciation for the ideas. I was looking for an out from what I grew up with. Not that there was anything wrong with what I grew up with, other than it was what I grew up with. Now, as I grow older, I find myself revisiting many new age thoughts. More from the heart, rather than my typical brain level. As I dig deeper a richness that was apparently lost on me before unfold from my center.

I watched the eclipse last night in all its blood moon glory. As she came out of her dark phase and her sliver of light fell upon me it seemed not only right, but very powerful to contemplate a prayer to such an opalescent moon. Kneeling on the lawn in my urban neighborhood I found myself immediately connected to millions of native tribes around the world. Each attuned to the earth and the skies. Humble and grateful for the very pulse of the heavens. I find an appreciation, not only my life, but all life naturally fills me the moment my feet touched the grass. The intimacy of Source Energy comes up through the earth and rises up my legs, as it pours down upon my head and wraps itself around my arms with the subtlest breeze. There is no waiting when your skin touches the earth. Love is poured into you, as cool water into a great urn.

How strange it seems to me that we have, in many of the world’s religions, forsaken this extraordinary intimacy. An intimacy that feels more natural than any pew or scripture, but can only be known at a level that seems to lack any description. Maybe to the human brain, this is its offense. That we can know you and yet not describe or confirm any boundary or limit or specificity to you. Maybe all religion is, is the outward manifestation of our inner madness at this affront. We cannot wholly know you, so we will stomp our feet and defy you and say that we can. We are, as a species, nothing if not stubborn. I smile, realizing I am also talking of my own stubbornness.

The crickets creek, the tall grasses rustle and the owl hoots in the marsh. It is clear we are all ready to pray.

May your luminescence fill me. Fill every pour of my being and ignite every cell. May your wisdom and gentle balancing of the earth and the tides, be a balancing within me, as well. May I cast this gift of light I take from you tonight, everywhere I go. May I be a full moon in the dark night of others that I, too, become a beautiful celestial body floating in this Universe. Not only on this night, but in all the days of my life.

Namaste, my dear friend.

From: Earthsky.org

From: Earthsky.org

In-Between

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Seed: Photo by Noelle

As the night’s cool, even if the days have not, my mind ponders the autumn. A sacredness for transition points has settled into my soul of late. The awareness that one thing is ending and something else has not yet bloomed. I feel that inner toggle switch laying idle in my hand, as there is no clear direction yet to take. One season eases out slowly in the daylight hours, while another is tiptoeing in at night. I find myself embracing, more and more, in-between spaces and allowing the peace it brings to sink deeply into me. Intuitively, I see the power in their lack of direction or action.

There was a time when everything in my life had to have some clear direction. Some plan, clear outcome, a certainty provided on the front end that all would be well. I realize our entire culture has built this need for safeguards and assurances in. We have insurance polices for every possible eventuality. Contracts to ensure everything goes according to plan or someone else will be at fault if it doesn’t. We have schedules and calendars and smartphones that offer alerts so nothing can be forgotten. We are all so afraid of the unknown, the unexpected, the misdirection, which, in the end is never a misdirection. Spiritually speaking, we are always going in the right direction. It can only be the wrong direction by our reaction and resistance to where we are.

I’ve come to understand the weakness in the constant hunger to know where things are going. A hunger that is always driven by fear. Given how little we can predict ahead, I was surprised when it dawned on me how much of my life I’d lived with a low-grade anxiety. Constantly seeking ways to know the future or like some boy scout, be prepared for every possibility. For a woman who would never describe herself as anxious, it was a revelation.

Now I watch the leaves turn as a summer wind lifts the edges of my skirt. I sense myself leaving a number of things, but also feel no clear planting of my feet into something else. An older version of me wants to pull out the notepad and make lists so something can be accomplished to get it all moving to somewhere. I smile and breathe down her fear. She’s worried nothing will get done. She’ll end up wallowing in no man’s land without a life. She’ll miss the boat, she’ll be left behind. Oh, the calamity of no plan!

Today, I’ll just enjoy being nowhere. The sun is up and there are hours left to play. As a destination, nowhere is a grossly underrated place to be. If I possess any doubt about this all I need do is stop and listen. Ah, see, starlings have filled the cattail beds.

Northwest Wind

Tall grasses, South Valley Park: Photo by Noelle

Tall grasses, South Valley Park: Photo by Noelle


Seductive and enticing, my consummate lover calls me out. The northwest wind blows warm and wraps about my legs and runs his fingers through my hair. The trees lean and the leaves turn their bellies up, silver and ribbed. He whispers to me of summer, but I am old and wise and know he really is the harbinger of autumn. All of this stroking of my skin, as if he had all night to love me, is but an allure away from the cooler temps that come behind his bold heat. I smile and let myself be seduced. That is what northwest winds are for – to be deliciously deceived, if but for a moment.

On Fire

Spider and web at Polly A Dean Reservoir: Photo by Noelle

Spider and web at Polly A Dean Resevoir: Photo by Noelle

In the lesson section of “A Course in Miracles” comes the lesson, “My mind is preoccupied with past thoughts”. We see only the world created by our past thoughts that we then project into our current now. Just like a projector projects a movie onto a screen, we use all that we’ve previous learned to formulate what we believe is happening right now. This has been complicated for me to grasp, yet somewhere in my brain I knew this to be true.

Recently, I attended a workshop on neuro-sculpting, the art of using meditation techniques to sculpt both the left and right side of your brain. One of the very cool and salient points relates to how the brain creates memories. We think of our brain like a big file folder. Christmas 1969 is in one folder, car accident 1991 in another and so on. When we recall something we think of it like opening up a cabinet and pulling that moment out and recalling it, as it happened.

Milk weed and grasses at Polly A Dean Reservoir: Photo by Noelle

Milk weed and grasses at Polly A Dean Reservoir: Photo by Noelle

Actually, the brain is a mega-processor that stores sensory information in a multitude of sites. When we recall a memory the brain actually has to put it together. It pulls information related to that moment in time from a variety of sources and re-constitutes it, so to speak as a memory. So in essence what we think of as a snapshot or a true to life, short film, is actually a manufactured story. To no surprise we manufacture our histories in various ways depending on why we wanted to recall it. Thus, nothing we are remembering can wholly be said to be exactly true. It is true to the point of view we currently possess and through that filter we formulate what we remember.

Tree reflection in a sewer, Johnston Lake: Photo by Noelle

Tree reflection in a sewer, Johnston Lake: Photo by Noelle

How does this apply to a preoccupation with the past? Everything we perceive now we perceive only from the point of view of previous experience and knowledge. When I approach a road rotary I drive through it not as a new experience, but from all of my knowledge from past driving on how to drive through one. If my boss calls me into her office, my thoughts on my way there are tainted with every past experience I’ve ever had about going to an authority figure’s office. All those thoughts feel like they are related to what is happening now, but what I’m really experiencing as I walk to her office or enter that road rotary is every experience I’ve previous had on this subject.

Waking up is about focusing all of our energy off the film and into this now moment. Forsaking the illusions we, ourselves, have created over time and space from what we have learned, come to believe or acquired through life experience. So what does this really look like? I mean, if we aren’t who we think we are right now, with this massive machine of past-ness, then what is really happening now?

This becomes my consuming thought as I drive into work this morning. What is really happening now and how does this impact who I think I am?

Two small green bugs are clinging to my windshield. They have likely been there for some time, probably since the house, but until the sun’s rays hit the windshield I hadn’t seen them. Sunrise lights up the hairs on their legs and they appear on fire. The streetlight turns green, but it is very difficult to look away from them. One walks slowly toward the other and their antenna touch. I can’t help feeling I am witnessing the greeting of the Universe with itself. “Oh… there you are.” I open myself to feel the beauty of this. Not superficially, like someone reading a novel, but really open myself to their antenna touching. I am not thinking of previous bugs or drives to work or other sunrises. I am in my car, at the light, unfettered by other thinking, gazing upon two green bugs on my windshield. In this moment, I am wholly free of past or future. It’s just me, the bugs, the sun and the divine. I focus on breathing their fiery bodies in. The moment lasts what seems a very long time.

Tall grass at South Valley Park, Ken Caryl: Photo by Noelle

Tall grass at South Valley Park, Ken Caryl: Photo by Noelle

A horn blares and I start moving. I realize to hold onto the moment of fire with my friends is again to hold onto the past when something else is already in play. Each now is delivering something potent. I open the window and can smell exhaust immediately, but as I drive I can also smell the sweet scent of summer grasses, now drying, in the fields that I pass. They sway with the whoosh of passing cars. The sun now up, hits the glass of an office building and I am briefly blinded. I feel the cones in my eyes constrict like a cat against the intrusion of light. I relax and let my peripheral vision take over. A swallow, up way too early, dashes past my windshield, barely seen out of the corner of my eye. The car hums beneath my seat and I note the satisfied feeling of a belly full with breakfast.

Can anyone hold this level of exquisite detail all day? What happens when you relinquish every story you are in the habit of telling yourself all day about what you ‘think’ is happening and immerse yourself solely in the details of what is happening in just this split second? Can I be that aware, I wonder, as the smell of someone’s cigarette drifts in my car window? Do people really accomplish their jobs this way? It all seems unlikely and yet I instinctively know this must be the path.

Ridge tree, South Valley Park, Ken Caryl: Photo by Noelle

Ridge tree, South Valley Park, Ken Caryl: Photo by Noelle

For now, work is in my future. The bed I came from already my past. What will happen to me today, if I hang in this ever rolling moment? I feel the importance of that intention swirl around my heart. As I touch the coconut oil lip balm to my dry lips and feel it’s smoothness nourish my skin I realize it is me that is now on fire?