“I and the Father are one.” –Jesus, John 10:30
“All that we are is the result of what we have thought.” –Buddha
I had a wonderful conversation with a friend a few months back, and she has given me permission to share it with you.
In the non-dual land, there is a beautiful pointer… “Who am I?” We have such a deep and habitual pattern to identify with the forms of our life, and in the search for truth, this is a primary trap that needs to be seen through. The forms look like “I am this person, with this body, with this family, with this history.” This pointer shows you there is more here than all this. It helps direct you to something more fundamentally true, shaking up this strong habit to define and intensify yourself solely by the forms of your life.
But the rest of it, i.e) Then what is the form? What is my body, my history, who is my family? What is that? Because we know it too is included.
The form is “the illusion.” It is simply energy taking on specific shapes, moment to moment. And yet, that energy is actually you, but not the “you” that was previously understood to be you. So it is still true that the deeper, truer “you” is also these forms. You can see it more fully, in the same way that you dream at night…
At night you are the one dreaming all kinds of stories when you go to sleep. In the dream, it’s not completely true that you are solely the car, or solely the man texting in the car, nor are you solely the “you” now being chased by the man who was texting in the car. And we can laugh at what it would be like if you identified very strongly with being the car, or the man, since in truth you are the dreamer. And yet, the dreamer is also the dream. This is deeper down the rabbit hole, down at the level of the ninth and tenth ox herding pictures. This is way out of the territory of what I can express in a few words in a blog, or that could be entirely understood simply from hearing another person’s explanation. It can only be understood directly, experientially, or not at all.
So, lets look at the primary element to discover. What is the true “you”: Who am I?…
Here is this wonderful conversation.
And welcome 2014! May we all be aware of the thousand and one blessings that each new day brings, and may the light shine forth from your heart the whole year through.
Rage has been my good friend and teacher, an amazing force in my life. That power, such awesome power, has been a wonderful guide.
We live in a culture that fears anger, and is fully repulsed by rage. And perhaps that might be an acceptable defense mechanism. We all have experienced anger and rage misused (i.e. repressed), and yup, it can be a highly uncomfortable force. Repression of anger creates an underground turbulence, kind of like living near an earthquake fault line, with constant trembles threatening to erupt, hinting at a massive explosion. And because repression is ultimately futile, it will reach a limit, and then add even more force to the explosion of anger when it finally releases.
And repression is still the major operating force here in our culture, especially of anger and rage.
Our culture is wrought with layers and layers of expected behavior, and our automatic movement to repress our anger and rage can be invisible. We have even built a whole spiritual ideal that defines anger as wrong, problematic, and unnecessary. I often bump up against the argument that a mature spiritual life means never having to experience anger or rage; that anger can, and should, be replaced with a more mindful, or patient, or meditative state. The argument is that any of these “better” qualities can replace the “base” emotion of anger, and be a shining example of one’s supreme spiritual evolution!
And this is tragic, really. From my point of view, it’s so, so, sad. Because anger and rage are magnificent teachers. Anger is a force of immense power. It shows us where and how our authentic rhythm is being manipulated. It’s a moral compass like none other…and shows up when our authenticity is being abandoned, when our natural boundaries are being crossed. It blazes when there is a force of harm moving against our person-hood. It’s often home to our “No!”, which is as essential as our “Yes!”. Anger is power, is voice, is profound clarity, and is agency.
But we don’t often get this amazing teaching, because anger is so habitually repressed and avoided. And, repressed anger becomes wildly distorted and loses all its magnificence and value. It explodes inappropriately, raining harm and sometimes violence. It creates illness in the body, and illness in our families. It creates impasses to intimacy, and fairly regretful behavior. And it creates that inertia you may feel, that lack of motivation or vital aliveness, that depression, numbness, and disconnection. We are rightly afraid of repressed anger.
The habit of repression is so constant, with such societal pressure, such profound judgment and shaming and humiliation placed on anger. And there is an internal damnation consistently doing the same, shaming and humiliating. From where I am standing, this behavior creates such unnecessary harm.
But thankfully, this can be easily shifted. Because anger and rage are so powerful, they can be loosened from repression fairly easily, and become master teachers of power, clarity, and agency in our lives.
So, I guess I might also point out: Anger is usually private…it’s personal. It’s not always appropriate to share it with your family or community. It’s something that you can move with into a room of your own, or outside away from others. And then it can be beautifully expressed in a pillow, in a fit of tears, in a journal, in a tearing apart of a stack of paper, in a long run along the shoreline, or in the forest. Or my personal favorite, buy a set of very inexpensive dishes from the thrift store. Yah, baby! You know what I am saying, that shattering is awesome! (Too scary? Drop by my house one day when I have smashed all the dishes to teach my friend that anger is not going to kill anyone, and you will see that it can be a really fun time!)
Repressed anger can’t be very easily handled. It’s the very pressure of repression that creates such an uncontrollable explosion, and those explosions, as we all know so very well, are wild and bullet-like. And I am sure you have been properly shamed for any such explosions you may have had, and I am sure you have properly shamed others for the same. So I want to offer you an apology on behalf of all of the world’s citizens, for asking you to shame your family and neighbors when they are in a fit of rage, and for your own need to repress your anger, which has initiated such a toxic internal environment for you, and an perhaps an overly explosive relationship to anyone in its path. I am sorry, I am so sorry this collective insanity has stolen your god-given right to this glorious force of nature, to your own glorious voice, agency, clarity, and power.
I am also offering you an opportunity to declare your body and person-hood a safe zone, a repression- free zone for anger, and if you’re up for the challenge… rage. I want to suggest that you could make a personal commitment to no longer repress this beautiful force, and go ahead and set up your world as a safe harbor for anger. This may include getting a punching bag set up in the basement, telling the family a “safe word”…and when you say it, you’ll be heading to the basement for a little exercise…and yay, maybe there is an old set of dishes down there too! This will help release the habitual repression, releasing anger from its buried hold, and allow you more fluent access to your beautiful NO! And it will begin to shake up that inertia and numbness, and start to give that depression a lift.
And then, when it shows up while you’re driving, or when your child has just pushed your buttons, or a neighbor or boss, or banker, or politician has just crossed a moral boundary with you…you will not be pressured to repress your authentic response, but instead be available for your own perfect no, your own voice and your own agency. Perhaps you may choose to step aside, and let it, your glorious anger, express in a private space while you honor its power, and listen for the clarity and agency. Regardless, I highly recommend that you let it speak to you, clarifying for you a pathway of how you authentically need to move forward. Because you’re available to listen, you might notice that path that the anger has illuminated is guiding you towards more harmony and personal right action in the world. ( See: Jesus and famous fit of rage with the money changers in front of the temple!)
So, when you drive down the road and see me parked off to the side, screaming into the sky, you will know that I love my rage and I love all the amazing ways its leads me to clarity. And I tell all the haters to step back from the spiritual supremacy story that there is no need for such things as anger and rage, because this power will not be judged on my watch…
“Find that place, which is effortlessly at rest within itself. Be there, be one with that.” –Mooji
Hard work and effort, that’s just what it takes?
I don’t agree, and I almost never recommend it. Simply because effort will never equal effortless, or say effortless peace, or fulfillment, bliss, etc. And a life lived in constant effort is purely exhausting. Especially when effortless peace and fulfillment, bliss, etc., is an option. And it is an option…its your birthright!
Let me explain.
When you have a very solid sense of a separate self, a very strong personal will, no actual experience of the mystery, a very cut and dried, black and white sense of the world and who you are in it … then yup, that separate self is very, very powerful. You can do a lot with that will, apply some solid technique, a ton of effort and a lot of hard work, and wham … you will see results! Almost every time. Keep on pushing it, and keep on seeing some results …
Want to lose 10 lbs? Got a really solid separate self? Then it’s just calories in and calories out. That’s it, that’s the whole story. So count all the calories, plan out every meal, start up a massive program for food and exercise, make it a constant focus….dig in, dig deep, and you’ll likely get there.
Want to make a million dollars? Got a really solid separate self? Sign up for a really good manifest abundance 101 seminar, and bring a notebook and pen for clear and insightful how-to’s! Boot up the program and get on it!
You get what I’m saying here.
But, if you have a sense of the mystery, or if you have begun to open up to the vast eternal universe … Or say, you have always known something deeper is animating this world, and sometimes life feels so unfathomably mysterious to you. If you have felt this way since you can remember, maybe since childhood, or your early adult years, then your separate self is a bit soft. Your personal will is not so powerful. Because it’s not fully in charge. It’s not really at the wheel. You lucky dogs have a sense of reality spilling in, and you get to have truth pulling on that wheel.
And you lucky folks may have noticed that when you wanted to lose some pounds, or make a ton of cash, or find eternal bliss, and you followed the program, and you put in a lot of effort, and you worked really hard … not much actually happened. Not the way you see it play out with others … not the way the program promises results.
If you’re aware, in any way, that this eternal mystery animates us … if you have always been kinda sensitive, or have had some direct glimpses beyond the so called separate self, then that personal will is no longer as operational. It just doesn’t get you very far. Trying, efforting, lots of hard work, sadly doesn’t add up to much.
You may have noticed this.
Again, that’s because it’s not in charge. It’s not the personal will that is driving the car … it’s the mystery! It’s always been the mystery for everyone of us, but a really strong separate self can create an illusion, a very strong illusion, that very illusion that is so very painful and begins to crumble once your separate self gets a bit soft, once you get a good glimpse of reality beyond the illusion.
So, if you have a soft separate self, or almost no separate self, then the job is, as my pal Adyashanti puts it, “to get into the passenger seat”. It means you have to drop the effort, drop the trying, drop the idea that “you” can do any of this … and let the mystery take charge. That gorgeous, profoundly amazing mystery that is alive and animating your body right now.
And how do you do that? How do you let go of “trying”, of “trying to make it happen”? Well, it’s a big deal … it’s not nearly so easy as a lot of hard work and good old effort. Instead – you have to let go. Let the mystery take you. You have to trust that the mystery is benevolent, you have to trust the words of all the masters through all the ages, that all say, this sweetest love, this friend, this bliss, is taking good care of us.
And to let go is not some external, just-let-it-all-happen kind of thing. That external reality is the illusion. The power you have is in the internal world. You have to let go of the internal movements of trying, trying to be better, trying to change. You have to replace it with a warm, welcoming trust that whatever is arising for you, is compliments of the mystery. And in that warm welcome, you can begin to actually see what is really going on. This warm welcome, is actually the beginning of some powerful movement.
In essence, to get something moving, you have to honor your “Yes!” (I have talked about this in my past posts). But your yes, what I like to call your “delicious yes”, is a place that only exists in this moment, and it feels like a really yummy option of what to do right now. Like the most natural, effortless, delicious thing to do right now. And it doesn’t come from a mental idea, but rather a visceral feeling. This is how you navigate. This is how you get over into the passenger seat, and let the mystery fully take the wheel. That very delicious option, in this moment, is actually where there is no separate self… no personal will. Because all the mental ideas, and all the trying, efforting, and hard work, are courtesy of that personal will. And yours is too soft to really get you anywhere.
This doesn’t mean you give up the wheel and sit in the back hanging out, letting everything else take care of you … big difference between being in the present moment … and living for the moment! ( more about that in the previous post!)
It means you let the mystery drive while you engage and participate and marvel in the passenger seat. You surrender your “shoulds”, “have to’s”, and trying, and lean into the delicious yes, but only in each moment, guiding moment to moment.
And you will hear me say this again, and again: effort will only ever equal effort, but effortless will always result in effortless. That is how you begin to find your birthright of effortless peace, effortless fulfillment, bliss, etc. That’s how you begin to live in alignment with the mystery.
Lucky dogs … only you soft ones get to find this…
Need some personal support and clarity? Explore what Kiran has to offer…
“Unfortunately there are those who confuse the Eastern precept of ‘living in the present moment’ with the Western philosophy of ‘living for the moment.’ – Michael Christy
Living in the present moment,
Living for the moment…
So close, yet so far away!
I have a friend, a beautiful friend, yet…he “lives for the moment.” He calls it “being present.” His friends experience it as being presently aware of himself, of his callings, of his interests. It doesn’t include being present to the community, or in this case, us…his friends and family. It doesn’t include being present with our time, or in this case, everyone sitting in the car waiting and waiting, because he asked us to be ready at 8:00 am, but he had a phone call to make instead. He thinks indecisively, and he likes to change his plans instantly, based on what will work out best for him. And we all notice, what works out best for him usually means we all supply the resource: we drive, we pay for gas, we make lunch, we share our homes, and he supplies what he calls “presence” and he supplies “coaching us on how to overcome our frustration and anger.” So funny…and does it sound familiar? Sound like someone you know?
But honestly, this is an important distinction to make…because words like “presence” or “being in the present moment” are kinda vague. “Living in the now,” “being here now”… it’s all kinda vague. And I think it’s important to be precise with what it means, because living for the moment is not actually an act of freedom, it’s an act of repression and avoidance. Though it appears to be free, and can even feel a lot like freedom, in reality, it’s pain…taking a leading role in your life.So I think it worthwhile to be very precise here…Living in the present moment intrinsically includes awareness, connection, availability and responsibility.
Living for the moment intrinsically includes avoidance, controlling and repressing connections, and limited availability and responsibility.
Present awareness in this moment includes sensation: air temperature on the surface of your skin, clothing on your body. Sounds: outside noises filtering in the room, all the subtle and obtuse sounds. Movement: the play of light and shadow on the walls and floor, the glare on the computer screen, etc. And it includes awareness of ourselves in this moment: our emotions, our stories or mental projections, noticing any core beliefs or habitual patterns arising in this moment.
We could say: A joy filled awareness of how you are actually a ripple in a pond, including a connectivity to the pond, a connectivity to your self, and an availability and responsiveness to your place in the pond.
Living for the moment can often include awareness of this moment’s sensations: air temperature, sound and light. But it also includes avoidance, rather than awareness, of habitual patterns and core beliefs. There is a selective quality to the awareness; a repression of emotional pain, and an indulgence of mental projections. There may be awareness of authentic movement, but it is compromised. It’s confused with avoidance and repression, so the real authentic impulse is often repressed or exaggerated.
We could say: A distinct lack of ability and interest to notice how the ripple moves in the larger pond, a vague connectivity to ourselves and to the pond, and a distinct lack of availability and responsibility to other ripples in the pond.
It’s easy to confuse one with the other…so to be clear…we can live in the present moment, aligning with what feels authentic to ourselves, and it includes consistent and decisive action. It includes clarity, connection, and responsibility.
Perhaps we can make a distinction like this:
Living for the moment: an act of avoidance.
Living in the present moment: an act of freedom.
satsang or dharma talks?
this. And I really want to put some light on this, actually common, experience. I think it’s perfectly natural, and I don’t know why it has to be
so taboo to talk about wanting to die, or to imagine how you would do it. Most of us imagine suicide at some point—usually
when we are teenagers. Some of us know folks who have done it, we consider it,
we wonder about it . . . and why wouldn’t we, its so painful to live! Maybe that is why, because it can be so painful, the fear is that if we talk about it, we would all do it!
very real suicidal impulses, are conditioning, are a very specific kind of
programming in the system.
programing. I had no idea until I woke up. And, well, there were a couple of
years in there postawakening that I had to struggle not to throw myself off the
twenty-second-story balcony of my apartment. Some days all I could do was
breathe and try to not throw myself off the balcony. So, after a couple
of years, and the fact that postawakening I primarily see things at the quantum
level, I’m now kinda the expert on it.
actually is. I’m very passionate about getting the word out, so I am going to
ask you to help me do this.
One of those layers is an emotional field. And to be accurate here, at the
quantum level, imbedded in that field is a programming. A code if you will. A
code that will activate when necessary. There is a grand system at work for
ourselves. A system of protection, it represses or blocks pain that is
perceived to be beyond our ability to process; whether that is true or not is
actually up for grabs. Regardless, this is the message, and pain gets tucked
away for a later day, presumably when we have the space and ability to process.
And an emotional field grows around this owie. And then every time something,
someone, or some life event reminds us of this pain, or “triggers” us, we feel
a jab from this emotional field.
of information, planted inside the emotional field of this pain.. The code
basically reads: “Under no circumstances is this pain to be felt or
experienced. Everything that can be done to avoid feeling this pain will be
done. Even if we have to terminate the organism, we will prevent this pain from
random programming. Because if you actually unearth the pain or owie—either
through touching it with your tenderness, or reliving the pain—you will see
that some enormously painful owies don’t have this programming in the emotional
field. For example, when your uncle molested you when you were twelve: no
suicide programming. However, the owie when you were five and not allowed to
wear your favorite green shirt: there is it, suicide code. It’s very random.
And then ignore the coding, ignore the impulse. See it for what it is, just
some random code, and go forth through that emotional field into the physical
layer to dissolve the pain and get healing.
suicide code. Perhaps if we can acknowledge that it’s natural to talk about
death, that considering death is just as normal as considering birth, we can
begin to heal it. And worth noting….when we get still, quiet, and
contemplative, say, like after ten hours of dharma talks, the pain can begin to
surface, repressed emotions can begin to surface, and up comes the random
suicide programming with it. We might all be lucky like that, I guess.
Nevertheless, don’t get all involved with it; just know it’s part of the coding
of the pain, and get to the physical sensation where your tenderness can touch
it, and help dissolve it.
Recently someone asked me to explain my perspective on the “Law of Attraction”… My answer came from a section of the book that’s coming out in a couple of weeks….
Seeking is a necessary part of what we may call evolution, a natural human impulse to seek in order to grow and change. We seek God, we seek love, we seek money, we seek power, we seek intimacy and connection, on and on. Follow any forty-eight hours of any of us, enlightened or not, and you will see each of these cycles playing out. But when fueled by pain, by the constant loop in your head about “what you lack,” the seeking becomes more acute and much more painful.
Let’s try something…
You know that thing you want so bad?
Perhaps it’s the one thing you want most in the world. The thing you find yourself unconsciously seeking in almost every moment. Freedom or enlightenment? Perhaps love? Perhaps never having to worry about money? Or never suffering physical pain? Or all of the above? Really, what is the one thing that, no matter what you do, you just can’t seem to get fulfilled? No matter how many books, or interviews, or courses you invest in, what is that elusive goal, that thing that seems to constantly ache, but is always out of reach?
Now feel into your body, see if there is an ache, or a throbbing sensation, perhaps in your heart or gut? There is a dense wound, a pain repressed deep in your system. Can you notice it? It has a physical sensation, and an emotional emanation, and an aggressive thought loop. That is what is emanating your story about lack, even though it seems like its your experience of lack that is creating the story. The loop in your head tells a graphic and painful story. That story rolling around 24/7 then creates your experience of lack. That is the real reason you experience the lack: because of the constant story. Not the other way around. In reality—actual reality—you’re not capable of lacking anything.
It’s not experience that creates the story; it’s the story that creates the experience.
And that story also creates your growing desperation, or “grasp.”
One major reason you can’t ever feel the fulfillment of this particular desire is because of this deep grasp. The deep tension is actually what keeps what you want from being experienced, because like the same charge on the ends of a magnet—positive and positive— repel each other, the grasp is repelling your fulfillment. The grasp, on a quantum level, is actually a positive energetic force. And the underlying natural desire is also a positive energetic charge. A positive force meeting another positive will repel each other. So the grasp is adding this extra repelling positive charge.
Letting go of the grasp releases the extra positive charge. This leaves the desire, or natural impulse of seeking— a positive energetic charge—to move simply toward “having,” a negative energetic charge. Seeking and having are magnetically attracted to each other. Positive attracts negative. Just as electrons are magnetically attracted to protons inside the atoms that make up all the forms of the universe. That’s how it moves around here. That is the essence of law of attraction, or other manifestation laws…
When we move without a painful story, when there are no wounds in the system projecting these painful mental loops, there is no desperation and grasp, no added charge. And such desires usually come into form quickly. We have all experienced it, like when you are thinking of someone, and suddenly they call you. That is a desire without any lack story; no woundedness around it; and rather quickly, it takes form. We all have many experiences like this all the time. Watch and you’ll notice: all day long your natural impulse of seeking becomes having rather quickly.
But those desires that feel desperate have a large charge, or grasp, on them, meaning they are fueled by pain in your system. Meaning they have an extra charge and therefore can’t be fulfilled until that extra charge is released. Basically, they need some more support. The grasp needs to be unhooked.
But how do you do this? How exactly do you unhook a desperate, painful grasp? Ultimately, the answer is in healing the dense, stuck energy in your system. The full answer is in healing the wound that is unconsciously spinning the painful mental loop in your head, and convincing you that you are less than, worthless, separate, and so on.
Once you heal the deep wounds in your system, you are very capable of having instant manifestation; none of us are separate from the basic laws of the universe. You might find your attracted to some kind of practice, or by simply letting life guide you to the best possible outcomes. My personal preference is letting life guide me. Life always comes up with things 100 times better than I could imagine! If you look back on your life of experience, you might have the same conclusion, and even though it was maddening that you didn’t get what you wanted at the time, you actually ended up in a much better position. Regardless, that’s my take on it all.
Need some support? Book a personal session and unwind some of those dense, stuck patterns.
Its so easy to think that love, bliss, fulfillment is outside of you. That its in the embrace of your soul mate, or in a prosperous business, or in the new car, hot sex, sunny holiday, pregnant belly, mortgage paid, mortgage accepted, grad school, grad school finished, new job, new wife, more hair, less weight, retirement package, winning lottery, enlightenment.
Easy to think that.
But perhaps you suspect that its not found there. Sadly, when you have gotten a bunch of these wishes fulfilled you noticed, as nice as it is to get these things, there was no permanent fulfillment. Because its not really there at all. Yes, joy is found in many of these places, and even millions more, but fulfillment, or bliss or love, is not actually sourced from there at all.
But its harder to notice all the subtle, small ways that your being still reaches out to get it from there anyway…
Thousands of little unconscious habits to get love, peace, joy…”out there”.
Regardless, its all right here.
Love, fulfillment, peace….its here. Your saturated in it, your heart is beating with it, your very being is it. The love you feel in the embrace of your sweet lover, was here first. Here before the lover, before the embrace. I don’t mean it metaphorically, or poetically. But literally. Its here. When you hear a 2 year old belly laughing, that rush of joy you feel….that joy is here first, before the laugh, before the baby belly shakes. What your feeling can be inspired by the laugh, or by a ray of sunshine, a song, a flower blooming, a dog saying hello, a movie, a story, a touch, a smell, so many things can inspire it, because its here already.
That joy, and love and presence is all around you, is in essence, what you are…its what your cells are, its the energy of the universe pre-form and its totally, fully, ripe and right here.
The only reason you can’t feel it, is because of habitual pain patterns. Wounds in your system that become armor like and shield your joy, and peace and passionate love from being felt.
But regardless, you can still access it. You can find all the simple repetitive ways your joy sparkles up inside of you. And without relying on something out there, you can use these “external stimulus” to remind you, that you are this joy. Look inside all the while, noticing how this love, this light is here first. Change the direction of where you’re looking..when its happening. Its not the hot sex that is making you dissolve into oneness…as entrancing as it is to look at your lover and determine that. Look at the oneness and notice, it was here first. Its here…here whether your having hot sex, or having a hot fight. Its here, bathing you in light regardless of what “out there” looks like. Once you notice that it was here first, you can saturate in it as often as possible.
And of course, because we all know our law of attraction 101….chances are you’ll have a lot more hot sex once you notice you’ve already got all the juiciness, and love and connection you will ever need, right here.(And this is not in the ” Law of attraction101 handbook”, but worth sharing with you, once you stop needing “out there” to be a source of pleasure and joy for you, you start giving all this oneness to the world instead. See Groundhog Day: an awesome movie staring Bill Murray to watch this process unfolding.)
Regardless, your love, peace and joy is right here. Lets find your gateway in…
If you want to live in the light and grace, then its all about Yes. But saying yes to the internal movements of you! Which means much less yes to the external movements of the world….
Otherwise you are resisting yourself. That is a huge barrier, a big armoring blocking out your light. Blocking your awareness. Blocking your right action. Blocking your true freedom.
But after so many years of self repression, what is it to hear those internal movements? what is it to speak and stand in them? What is it to actually heal the deep wounds that are there?
Primarily its awareness, noticing you. Its a willingness to hear your own heart.
Secondarily its using that awareness to heal your wounding. Understanding that none of us are without those wounds. Those wounds are barriers to the light, they are the armoring that blocks out your truth.
Thirdly its learning to speak the words that express you… We have to learn how to speak, how to speak so that our words reflect our heart. We can’t underestimate the value and importance of this.
Finally its actually talking a stand. Integrity. Standing in the position that expresses your right action.
That is the pathway towards living the awareness, living the being of light that you are. Embodying the truth that we all are.
There is no magic bliss moment that suddenly in a flash of brightness this process magically aligns, and you are fully embodied in truth, and magically all your wounding has healed. No magic that suddenly all the communication you need springs forth, and you utter words of truth and only truth. And also suddenly, magically, you stand in right action. That crazy illusion that gets held up as “ENLIGHTENMENT”, sadly is not at all what happens, ever….not to the Buddha, not to Adayashanti, not to Jesus, not to Byron Katie, or Eckhart…nope, it doesn’t work like that.
We can suddenly in a moment glimpse or even become this silence of our true self, and the veils drop. Or a moment can arrive and it seems for a short “honeymoon” period to
be simple. But it will end and this pathway will need to be walked. After enlightenment we still need to heal. And you don’t need to have this glimpse or great dissolve, or honeymoon of bliss, because eventually walking this pathway, all the veils drop anyway.
The bliss, the light, the taste of God, is right here, in your heart now. You just need to hear it, heal the armoring that blocks it, communicate it, stand in it, and be it.
There is nowhere to go, there is only an undoing….so your authentic light and freedom, the bliss of your true nature can emerge.
If you want to learn more about how to do this, you may find one of Kiran’s classes helpful…
The last few weeks I have had the privilege of being jarred awake in the middle of the night by an obnoxious pain body. I’m privileged, usually my inner landscape is easy and peaceful, so pain bodies stand out and I can catch them quickly. So when a badass pain body rips through, its obvious. However, its is still a challenge to wake up, turn on the light and get out of bed to deal with it. The illusion that somehow this middle of the night anxiety will just go away, gets its hooks into me too! And the idea that I will drift back to sleep because I have an early morning and a lot on my plate for the next day…is equally alluring!
‘Cept I don’t actually fall for it. I know very well, that if I do not get up, turn on the light and get myself into a position to attend to the pain….that painbody will keep up its tourchourus thoughts and keep feeding on itself into the daybreak. Leaving me the next morning, a full hot mess.
So I get up. And I sit on my cushion and I disregard the treacherous thoughts, I pierce through the emotional veil to find the jarring, acute pain radiating somewhere in my body. And then I hold that pain in a very tender embrace. Willing to hear it, willing to let it express itself, willing to be the love that will finally touch the pain. And that is all it ever wants…even though every thought is telling you otherwise! Which is why its essential to disregard every thought. And in the middle of the night…this is not an easy task…those of you with small children can attest to this! So, I use music. I put on my playlist…songs that feel like I am being held in love. Music is so beautiful because it just cuts to the chase. I am privileged, because I can access a huge amount of bliss and presence at any moment… If that is not the case for you, I suggest you get in the habit of calling your pain body by name, knowing its pain and not reality is essential for the middle of the night where the stories seem so darn real. I strongly suggest you get out of bed, and put on some music or mediation to help you get out of the trance of a pain body, ( I have a great meditation I made for you guys just for this purpose, its filled with presence ..Click here: Awareness…) Those big jarring ones, or even those subtle just slightly uncomfortable discontented ones can eat away your night feeding on you, leaving you weathered the next day. The bonus of getting out of bed and actively dealing with the root cause is that even if you never make it back to sleep, you will have spent the night in a loving embrace, clearing some pain…way better than being jostled by aggressive stories, eating away at you for the duration….
Pain bodies love the middle of the night, its their favorite time to prey on you…your not conscious, your not busy, your not willing to be distracted from their viciousness by work or kids or chores, basically your all theirs! Don’t buy it dudes…step away from the desire to just lay there and let it feed. Get up, turn on the light, and take some time to unwind at the roots.
Here are some classics from my middle of the night playlist:
(you can also find more at the bottom of each blog post!)
Warm Love: Van Morrison
In the Garden: Van Morrison
Tupelo Honey: Van Morrison
At the End of a Perfect Day: Chris Du Burgh
Long Time Sun: Snatam Kaur
Sunshine: John Denver
Morning Has Broken: Cat Stevens
Wild Mountain Thyme: James Taylor
Crazy Love: Van Morrison ( yup…big fan!)
Here come the Sun: Nina Simone
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Okay, fessing up here…
There is a really big setup happening. And its hard to talk about this “set up” . It’s tricky territory…
Does this sound familiar?
“Emptiness is all there is!” or something like that….
When I get comments and e-mails and they resonate with this, I break out into a rashy irritation.
Because my friends: Its a set up….
It is such a celebration to have a “realization” as I call them. Genuinely amazing. And I am very aware of how final and compete the “realization” can feel. That deep insight of a realization is so delicious, and pure and wonderful… And everything gets so clear…and perfect and aligned and peaceful. But then this habit to exclaim from the roof tops, and trump every conversation with your “realization’ is the beginning of a rather horrible set up. Its innocent, and natural and it is such an invisible trap.
A realization is like getting to the ball park, at the opening stadium where all the excitement is. And there can be so many juicy realizations…such a beautiful thing. And the first major setup is that a realization can authentically feel like your playing ball…but your not even on the field yet. But that’s the thing, it feels like you have arrived, which is awfully painful when it stops feeling so expansive and juicy a few days, months, or for some lucky/unlucky folks, years later. See: Jeff Foster: 10 years here! A genuine glimpse feels so free and amazing and then that catapults us towards the other setup….its so easy to imagine the whole journey towards enlightenment and beyond enlightenment..will be just like one massive hit of realization. Endless juiciness…or how does it go….eternal happiness and bliss... Some crap like that. And then, after that first real peek, there is no turning back!
The big setup is that now you’re in the park…its so easy, so innocent to get single-mindedly focused. And now, once you’re in the park, everything in your life becomes focused on playing ball!
The game, in my analogy, is the full enlightenment…what I define as completely waking up from mind, from emotion, from body. And that is a very, very different experience than a realization. Ironically, It not juicy or emancipating or expansive. Its much more bloody and traumatic. Its filled with disorientation, profound fear, and the deepest unknown. Its your life falling apart, as in completely falling apart. It usually entails a substantial break with your family or community. It can be profoundly isolating, and ultimately, its your death. And its freedom and bliss. And its liberation and fulfillment. But its a complicated dance. And you don’t know until your there….And this is also a set up, because each step that you are not there….feels so much like your so close…almost there or maybe you are there…and perhaps If you just get an genuine enlightened person to confirm it, you’ll be able to settle a bit more. And that’s the unfortunate territory of this great set up.
And then to say, hit a home run, is what I call beyond enlightenment or, embodiment. That is when the community and family and world comes back, but none of the old ways of living embody it. No one embodies it. Instead a timeless, present unknowing, creates this very worldly expression moment to moment. And that is a long road, a very long road. Its a very thorough passage. Every pattern including every habit, every muscular impulse, even your DNA gets wiped out and re-forms. This is not a smooth ride either. This is actually the most arduous part of the journey….and currently on this planet, very, very rare. I have see it look like 2 years in substantial injury and then 2 years of living homeless on the street followed by 6 more years of instability. I have seen it look like 3 years of profoundly debilitating illness then 3 years of slowly rebuilding health and vitality and 15 more years before balance is found. It can look like a divine partnership and divine business and divine health for 5 years and then it all crumples and falls to unbearable lows. Personally for me it was 2 years of almost complete non-functional mess, followed by 3 years of disorientation and trauma, and another 2 years of profound rigor with periods of fairly extreme isolation. And as my friend and mentor Adyashanti has commented….my personal journey of unfolding was actually moving at light speed!
It is a very extreme and arduous and long path of breaking down and rebuilding. With unimaginable lows and highs and time outs. Ironically, there is no one there at all to move through it. Nobody, in pure bliss, moving through pure hell. And well, perhaps a few more highs and much more lows. It is not at all like the sales pitch of unlimited bliss and permanent happiness. And also it is….its complicated.
And the biggest set up in the whole gambit is the very innocent idea that, say, hitting a home run, or being in this game, is the ultimate experience for a human. The way to end all the pain and suffering in your life. The highest possible expression.The only way we can be free. Which is so innocent because it sure can feel that way, because those insights are so darn juicy…but woven into that feeling is the set up to become profoundly, single-mindedly, focused.
The good news is that there is a ton of other ways to live a peaceful, fulling and free life. Pretty much as many ways as there are unique and authentic expressions of each one of us. We can emancipate our pain any number of ways…..via healing, and awareness, and especially a willingness to find our authentic voice and move in our authentic rhythms. Even just a willingness to put in the time to tenderly hold the pain inside of us and let it unwind some, can get us to a much more satisfying life experience. There are many ways. Say for instance, your own authentic voice and action and story, your own beautiful face and body.
And that can become so very obscured when your so singly focused on the ballgame…and hooked by an innocent interpretation that freedom, ultimate freedom, is the only option to ease your suffering. Its not so easy from this point of view to notice other simple ways to get a peaceful ride.
Sure, some of us play the game, and hit home runs…and that is totally awesome. But its not necessary or essential for you to be free and happy. Or for you to be awesome.
You got to watch out for the set up…
Watch out for the measurements, the comparisons, the deeply held assumption of
some kind of hierarchy that puts enlightenment at the top….!”
One fully experienced realization, and its easy to think..that playing this game and hitting home runs is something everyone should aspire towards, that its the highest expression and Blah, Blah, Blah!
Realizations rock.. they inspire and emancipate and reveal and its great!. But once you have one, you start to get hooked…. You start to single-mindedly look for those bliss-filled silent spaces, following some idea that you will eventually dissolve into one permanently…or something like that. And if you don’t see the set up, you start racing unconsciously for this single-minded goal, for the home run and then tragically you start to miss the greatest moments, the moments in your life right now. Your own unique expression of love, of freedom, of peace. Your own unique dance with love, life…pain and pleasure. Its so easy to miss…because of the setup..
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