Russel Williams

“…this is how we free ourselves, by seeing the nature of things. It is not by any great effort, but by letting go that we achieve this.” ~Not I, Not Other than I ~Russel Williams

Russel Williams was a remarkable man. Still ‘teaching’ or sharing nonduality with a regular group who came to his meetings at the age of 94. Pure and simple is the message that he conveys to listeners with a gentle, loving kindness. Relatively unknown, I was very fortunate to come across Mr. Williams and his only book (mentioned above), to learn about this man, now deceased, and his extraordinary life.

*apologies: when first posted Russel was spelled with two ls…

Letting Go…

In ignorance we strive to maintain the illusion. In innocence we let go.”

Often we hear that we need to Let Go! What does that mean? In innocence we are without story or conditioning. Without conditioning we have no beliefs that deny our true nature. Begin to know Self as that limitless, unconditioned, story-less, infinite and eternal Essence. Letting go is less about ‘doing’ anything as it is about simply not attaching to our thoughts. The ‘goal’ is less about letting go than it is about allowing. Allowing for what is, rather than about what we habitually identify with. It is about Being—there is nothing with which to identify. All that we identify with consists of thoughts from the past. If we put all of our memories in a box who am I? A place to begin an inquiry into that which has no Real existence. Eventually we arrive at the question for which there is but one answer and feel a deep, profound sense of peace. There is only “that”.

When you are deprived of all your attributes, then His qualities become your qualities.” ~Al Hallaj from The Essence of Sufism by John Baldock*

Not being attached allows for that which occurs in the moment but does not interfere with or influence the next moment. That is when we know the freedom of experiencing every moment as it is. Letting go is a gift we give our selves to live life as Truth. There is an ease and joy to that which gives us a greater desire for clarity and simplicity. A gift we give ourselves coming from a place of LOVE and compassion. Not something to be demanded of the self or an expected accomplishment. If so we may end up disappointed and/or judging the self.

It is not a goal to be achieved, letting go, it is what naturally occurs when I know what I am not. If we can put it into words, what I think I am, that, I am not.

Undoing the doing

[Word for 2019: chosen by Dictionary.com is existential. Notable among searchers and employed by Greta Thunberg regarding the real threat of climate change. “No doctrine is more optimistic (than existentialism) since it declares that man’s destiny lies within himself.” ~from Treehugger 12.03]

Unlearning

#48

Studying and learning daily you grow larger.

Following the Way daily you shrink.

You get smaller and smaller.

So you arrive at not doing.

You do nothing and nothing is not done.

~Tao Te Ching, Ursula K. Le Guin

In a dream, there was a root in my hands that I began to pull and pull and pull. This went on for a time, all the while a voice encouraging the continuation of this action. “It is the ego deeply rooted in conditioning that perpetuates the notion of separation.” It is this root, I felt certain, wherein lies the basis for beliefs and fears that inform us daily. I was looking for the end of the root and the dissolution of the illusion. To be free of the habitual reactions and responses that determine how life shows up rather than allowing for the organic unfolding of what is. I wanted to undo the conditioned doing.

The tail ended abruptly and a head with gaping mouth appeared. The word ’ouroboros’, the symbol for eternity and wholeness, flitted across my mind just before being swallowed into darkness, emptiness and silence. Comfort, being, freedom. No sense of individual or separation. No sense.

The I-thought is therefore the root thought. If the root is pulled out, all other [divisive] thoughts are at the same time uprooted…” ~from Ramana Maharshi by Robert Wolfe

We have heard time and again, we create our reality with our thoughts.

I saw the Earth as a flower blossom opening and unfolding in perpetual motion, new opportunities arising over and over and our understanding of what life is gradually replacing the idea that ‘doing’ is what ‘being’ is about.

This ‘life’ is a shadow moving, undulating in Essence. The many comings and goings, the creations and moments of contemplation all arise from the same source. They are the world unfolding in unceasing motion. Problems arise when I disagree with that unfolding and want to do something differently, to achieve more or something better. What occurs is the perfect alignment of self/Self or recognizing that the individual is a projection, a thought, and is not. Not separate from Truth. The thought of individual existence is a fleeting appearance across the expanse of eternal Truth.

Whatever I do or consider doing, is really God’s doing. Nothing ultimately belongs to me.” ~from Ramana Maharshi by Robert Wolfe

By No Means

#40

Return is how the Way moves.

Weakness is how the Way works. Ten Thousand things

are born of being.

Being is born of nothing.

–Tao Te Ching, Ursula K. Le Guin*

Not being attached to the doing or having an agenda for the doing simply allows us to witness the ever moving ‘beauty’ of that which is. We are peace and fully appreciating the magic and the mystery that is this world. The old voices in our heads often perpetuated by emotional imbalance/emotional immaturity slowly recede. In our wisdom we are aware of the injustice humanity has perpetuated by ignoring the emotional body in its vulnerability; by judging what is weakness and inappropriate for display. As evolving beings we appreciate the space created by emotional healing; the space in which authenticity arises. Without fear, without ‘need’ we no longer look to any thing for completion. We are free to follow the breath wherever that leads.

Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.” — Pooh’s Little Instruction Book

New Moon December 25 PST @ 4 degrees 7 minutes Capricorn 9:13 p.m.

The perfect opportunity to begin anew, to establish simple intention; that in this moment I am open to knowing that I don’t know and don’t need to know. With that intention there is a ‘pattern interrupt’. As soon as we create space for something unknown or not yet experienced to replace the familiar we have achieved greater freedom.

The great gift of Capricorn Sun/Moon (with the addition of a conjunction to Jupiter) is the power to conquer, to persist and succeed! The inner drive (Moon) and outer expression (Sun)=unified intention for rising, surmounting and surety. With the conjunction to Jupiter there is an additional element of faith and trust that diminishes any sense of needing to work at it (Capricorn can be a workaholic) and that working at it is actually a liability as we are engaging the mind which much of the time presents us with the ‘tried and true’.

Saturn now 2 degrees away from conjuncting Pluto suggests an earnest and focused need for taking responsibility for being the best that is available to us. There is a palpable energy moving us to shed it and step up. It is exciting. It is challenging (all these planets in Capricorn) and perhaps for some frightening. The best part, it is attainable, the goal—right there in front of us! What is that goal? Where does this new moon fall in your chart? That will indicate to some small degree what areas of your life are being targeted for rising up and rising anew and for exciting new breakthroughs.

Not just the last New Moon of the year and decade but a Solar Eclipse as well. What ever cosmic wisdom comes down the tubes will instigate a six month period of establishing a new order—where Capricorn aspires to is rarefied air so exercise, of a cardio nature will prepare one for the ascent. And there is no doubt (that Jupiter influence) that we will achieve the goal.

Worthwhile mentioning that this New Moon trines Uranus (Trine 120 degree aspect that represents ease-energy that moves and flows without obstacle) the planet of revolution for evolution. So to be sure that goal we keep mentioning is related to the ‘highest good’; the evolution of human consciousness. Venus in Aquarius elevates the desire from personal to communal and Mars in Scorpio will not give up.

And there is Mercury in Sagittarius (the goal of which is to seek/know Truth) conjunct Pallas Athena the asteroid that is named after the goddess of Wisdom.Be receptive to a cosmic experience without possibility of returning whence we came!

The Chandra Symbol* for 4-5 degrees Capricorn is: Tall dark cypress trees in a cemetery.
The vertical dimension prevailing completely. Bearing the authority of life, of death, and of the two worlds brought into synthesis…standing tall and erect and strong. Staying aligned with the will. Intensely involved with humanity and the sufferings and longings that saturate the world. Singularly and purposely assigned to bring into present time the truths from beyond this world that can sustain this world through her travail. Simply knowing the way it is and the way it must be, and breathing that truth as fiber and backbone.

This New Moon is located in the 1st house of the United States and if it has influence over these next 6 months we may be in for a powerful ride as opposing forces collide to eventually bring things into balance and harmony. The New Moon stands in opposition to the US Venus/Jupiter conjunction in Cancer urging us to consider ‘that which is for the highest good and to stand firm in our resolution to see change now. The second half of the first house relies on what has been learned in the first half. In Sagittarius—the Truth will be known.

Very best wishes for your rising up and achieving all that your heart desires.

*Ramana Maharshi by Robert Wolfe at http://www.livingnonduality.org

*Tao Te Ching, Ursula K. Le Guin* available at Paradise Found 17 E. Anapamu St. SB

*Inside Degrees: Developing Your Soul Biography Using the Chandra Symbols by Ellias Lonsdale

#78 Paradoxes

From Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu and through the eyes of *Ursula K. Le Guin

Nothing in the world is as soft, as weak, as water;

Nothing else can wear away the hard, the strong and remain unaltered.

Soft overcomes hard, weak overcomes strong.

Everybody knows it, nobody uses the knowledge.

So the wise say:

By bearing common defilements you become

a sacrificer at the altar of earth;

by bearing common evils you become a lord of the world.

Right words sound wrong.

*Ursula K. Le Guin (1929-2018) author of more than fifty books of fiction, poetry and essays. She has received many literary awards and is internationally well known.

The Tao Te Ching is possibly 2500 years old. The first copy Ms. Le Guin knew belonged to her father, a first edition 1898 copy by Paul Carus. It became a part of her life as a child as it was a frequent reference book of her father. She lived with this book her whole life.

Today

Today I give thanks for everything; every one and all. For the multitude, for the undefined, for the wrinkle in mind. Unsifted is our joy.

Priceless Gifts

An empty day without events.

And that is why

it grew immense as space. And suddenly

happiness of being

entered me.

I heard

in my heartbeat

the birth of time

and each instant of life

one after the other

came rushing in

like priceless gifts.

~Anna Swir, The Poetry of Impermanence, Mindfulness and Joy

November 27, 2019

 

Beyond Resistance. Approaching 2020

Resistance is a widespread phenomenon in biological, social and psychological domains of human cultural development. ~Nandita Chaudhary

Though there is truth in the above statement, it follows that this wide spread phenomenon is part of the ever evolving nature of existence and that we constantly are moved toward greater awareness and less resistance. This is evident all around us. Global movements that suggest opening and embracing with compassion and the desire for the well being of all beings. Has always moved us, though slowly, by greater numbers.

Justice, discrimination and benevolence. These fine qualities of which humans are capable are familiar to us, known to us. That which is not in abidance with these qualities seems quite clearly, out of place; an imbalance that hurts. Tired of the pain we open and in opening we address our fears, the basis for the resistance; we free all.

The last month of 2019 feels pivotal in our journey. We do not cower in the tempest but bravely stand guard for what wisdom tells us, is the only way to go.

Peace on Earth is every day. What does the dawn illumine? From the perspective of this year’s end we find the rather important asteroid Pallas Athena moving through Sagittarius and for the first weeks of December, conjunct to the Sun. What does this mean? Pallas Athena is the goddess of wisdom, protection—standing tall for ‘the highest good’. She leapt fully armour clad from the brow of her father Zeus. An adult woman, she is a warrior and yet has overcome aggressiveness. Creative intelligence guides her and to see all forces united rather than divided through war.

Athena stands for justice and the pursuit of Truth. The peoples’ needs are considered rather than those of the individual. With Pallas Athena in Sagittarius there is noble intention and faith and trust in this intention to align all with the single purpose of realizing our undivided Reality. From this arises great compassion. Athena in Sagittarius carries us into 2020 as a marker for our higher intent. How does this affect us on the individual level?

There may be a fire burning within you; an ember that sparked awareness in recent months (or years) that now consumes fear and old patterns of behaviour. Ready to confront all resistance and be free of all limitations we are the spiritual warrior whose mission it is to obliterate the illusions to which we are attached. Everyone has Pallas Athena in their chart. We are all the hero/heroine prepared to stand tall for the highest good.

For each of us to fulfill our quest it is necessary to release one of our deepest encumbrances; that of self judgment. So many wounded children struggling to be adults. Such compassion for our hearts in their state of emotional distress. How to accomplish the letting go?

Acceptance is the key to a peaceful existence. Creating a deep mental state of being that rejects nothing is the best form of refuge there is. This means you allow yourself to be as you are. This does not mean complacency. It means actively cultivating the ability to allow yourself to receive the grace of being. ~Judith Hanson Lasater, Yoga Journal

Grace informs us that nothing is lacking, nor can we add anything to what is already perfection. In my simple existence is perfection. If I care to argue with that it is not Truth but the ego putting forth recommendations that have no significance to what is. What others have to say is again the ego (most of the time) on its way to self satisfaction and self perpetuation—all illusion as neither are permanent, will cease to exist. Bring no lasting joy. So much suffering would be ended if we all knew that everything we do is in perfect alignment with what is and could not be otherwise. Every thing we do is a learning process. We cannot be judged for wanting to grow and evolve. “Mistakes” are inevitable.

We circle and circle and circle fearful of the dive that carries us deeper, through the illusion, the patterns of conditioning (ancient and persistent) toward the mighty pulse of Reality that is the life force of all things. If all that I have on this seemingly perilous quest is an intention to be open, to hold out my hands in order to receive, my doing is ended. There is joy knowing that there is no effort required. “I” cannot make a mistake. There is no need for judgment.

With deepest and most sincere intent we embrace these powerful opportunities to embrace Self and one another until we have crossed the great divide. Peace on Earth is the dawn of every day. It pours forth from our hearts—one heart and is not extinguished. This is our prayer as we close 2019 and prepare to step into New Being.

This New Moon 11.26 7:06 a.m. (PST) at 4 degrees Sagittarius: Is in the 12th house of spirit, where all dissolves into the essence of Truth. We no longer seek, we have found. Each one of us will have an aha moment that propels us into 2020. It may feel like a Tsunami or it may feel like a gentle breeze tugging at fall leaves that willingly give way to the changing of seasons. We continue to ‘rise’, the continuing cycle sees us freer; fewer limitations.

The New Moon conjuncts the ascendant (7degrees Sag.) from the 12th house. What we bring into being at this time is a deep well of Truth and knowing. Beliefs are let go. Knowing is different than knowledge that gives a sense of pride. It is without thought that we feel an abiding peace and joy. It is that Truth. The ascendant represents what we contain and reflect on entrance into duality. This New Moon contains and reflects Truth. That is the Archer’s mantra–”I seek Truth”. What is that Truth, lest we lose sight of the goal? Truth is abiding awareness that has no beginning and no ending; that there is no separation. We understand the nature of duality and so are home.

We talked about Pallas Athena at the beginning of this article residing in Sagittarius (presently 7 degrees Sag.). It exactly conjuncts the ascendant and this New Moon. Our highest aspirations gain altitude and the warrior within will not be denied rising above. This brings us a great sense of fulfillment and satisfaction (point of fortune also at 7 degrees Sag.). It is where we most want to be.

The Archer’s flaming arrow never misses its mark. Its mark is everywhere and sets our hearts afire with desire for simple Truth. As the flames burn away what is superfluous one feels a deep sense of peace. Simplicity of ‘what is’ allows us, after a very long time to rest and Be. The joy resounds. No wonder that these Sagittarians are known for their wonderful sense of humour. They get it!

In this season of giving thanks we may express gratitude for the many synchronicities that place us in the right place at the right time. When we are open and without resistance we feel the Universe moving through us in miraculous ways that we, on some level, know can not be otherwise.

In Not Wanting…

#37

Over All

The Way never does anything,

And everything gets done.

If those in power could hold to the Way,

the ten thousand things

would look after themselves.

If even so they tried to act,

I’d quiet them with the nameless,

the natural.

In the unnamed, in the unshapen,

is not wanting.

In not wanting is stillness.

In stillness all under heaven rests.

From Tao Te Ching, Ursula K. Le Guin translation

“In not wanting is stillness.” We are not being asked to stop wanting, only being guided to the realization that when we want nothing we are never disappointed. We do not suffer. We have long been accustomed to a perpetual cycle of desire, fulfillment and then what’s next? With dedication we can focus on our desire nature, to see it clearly and to notice who is doing the seeing. Who/what sees has nothing to do with desire. The attention shifts from the desire to the observer and there is freedom. A knowing arises. I am released.

All of this occurs as part of a rather organic process that is life here naturally unfolding. We are a boat afloat on a sea of possibility our oars are long ago whittled into sticks to prop open our eyes so we don’t miss what is right in front of us. Truth that is the eternal unfolding, expansiveness of Being.

We circle and circle and circle fearful of the dive that carries us deeper, through the illusion, the patterns of conditioning (ancient and persistent) toward the mighty pulse of Reality that is the life force of all things. If all that I have on this seemingly perilous quest is an intention to be open, to hold out my hands in order to receive, it is enough. My doing is ended.

Clarity: Examining the Edge

Not to give up under any circumstances should be the motto of our life: we shall try again and again, and we are bound to succeed…” Sri Chinmoy

It is in our hearts to succeed. Every time we venture upon the day our desire is to succeed. It is a deep longing that motivates and moves us in life. It does not comprise thought, though thoughts eventually arise to inform us. Information we often do not need. All that we need is to know; that as human beings, receptacles of ‘divine essence’, shining forth from the place of stillness is our greatest moment, our greatest success. The Truth of this is what we wake up to every morning. From this place of stillness we need no information. Everything makes perfect sense or no sense at all. And then the day unfolds.

The mystery of the moment is that it opens all moments.” ~Mark Nepo, Seven Thousand Ways to Listen.

August was an opportunity to set our thoughts aside long enough to attune to the deeper calling. To step aside that we might have a clear view. The deeper calling is always there. And so are the thoughts that obscure our ability to hear that. By now, we are accustomed to the ‘interference’ and can be less dominated by thoughts and beliefs, the conditioning, so that now we may explore areas less travelled in our psyches, daring to find our edges and push beyond. In yoga a practitioner moves gently into a posture, finds the edge of that posture, explores that edge and then pushes past it, a little at a time. Life can be like that, encouraging our selves to go further than what feels comfortable and familiar. This way movement continues and we continue to grow.

All growth is a leap in the dark, a spontaneous unpremeditated act without benefit of experience. ~Henry Miller

Life requires us to constantly embrace the unfamiliar and to take leaps from that place of thinking we know something to a place of not knowing. In the not knowing we are like infants, relying on our senses to venture into new territory. It happens repeatedly this challenge. Challenge is not new to us only the untravelled space where we would go. We greet each challenge with a similar attitude and from the heart there is a ‘knowing’ of success; that because every challenge leads us closer and closer to Truth and successfully discovering our Truth (which seems like a complex task) is the simplest task.

We are that Truth. So we haven’t far to go in terms of leaping or challenging or exploring. Those, we utilize to discover what is limiting us from knowing what is essential.

For example, fear can equal resistance. We may be aware of some of our fears, perhaps many of our fears. Or we may be at a stage of life when we have conquered our fears—we think. Yet we continue to bump up against something as we move forward that impedes our movement; like every time we go to stand up we hit our head on the ceiling. We come up against an edge. Time to explore the edge, greet the challenge, and ‘leap’ beyond it. And if it is as Henry Miller says that, “We live on the edge of the miraculous”, to disappear the edge and be the miracle.

Miracles are life. We call them miracles because they continue to leave us in awe—the simplest things.

Life is a miracle.

The commonplace miracle: that so many common miracles take place.” ~Wislawa Szymborska, The Poetry of Impermanence, Mindfulness and Joy

What ever stands between us and the miracle? Fear. Fear and resistance to look at the fears. Our fears—of pain, of loss, of lack, of aloneness. We are conditioned to create structures to alleviate our fears and yet these structures over the centuries can produce habitual behaviours that are limiting. We may approach the edge without having the courage to ‘press on’. The birth process is an example of our first encounter with the edge and powering beyond the edge for life’s sake. The infant without thought must face the risk or die. Babies born by Caesarian sometimes lack the drive or motivation in life to make decisions and power on. Rebirthing experiences have accomplished after the fact, the will to push on through and feel a sense of accomplishment that benefits our journey here.

The rebirthing process is a profound way of visiting our initial challenge of life and perhaps discovering fears from which we have created edges. Rebirthing is another kind of journey into deeply rooted sensations and experience. These journeys can be facilitated with guided imagery. Along the way we discover edges. Edges that may pertain to not just this life time.

As an exercise, allow your self to be guided through a space that is in total darkness. Allow your senses to precede you. The mind is at rest. As we let our hands guide us, take one step at a time into this space. Whatever images may appear in the darkness are remnants of the past and do not necessarily constitute the edge. They are not the edge. The edge is known, felt. Symbolically we press up against it or perhaps literally, we press up against it. Feel suddenly constricted, contained. We are not free. Continue one step and another. The exploration is yours alone. Takes you deeper.

How you process on this journey is something that occurs without the mind, though the mind will certainly be active. Remain in the darkness long enough to sense the organic dissolution of an edge. It need not fully disperse although it could in a moment—dissolve. We recognize limitation and desire to be free of that limitation. This is an ongoing exploration that does not cease, even when we leave the body. We continue to divest our selves of every bit of structure that we have created in the process of identification.

In Tarot, the Moon XVIII of the major arcana is the card which takes us deep into the essence of being. It is an inward journey to the core of our being. The Sun XIX, the shining Self is the outward expression of the core of being. Not so easy to look at as the brightness can be overwhelming. If you are a Moon admirer you have spent many nights staring at the Moon in all of its phases, perhaps in adoration of what shines upon us with such apparent grace. The allure of the Moon draws us into the depths of our hearts where the mind hasn’t passage. From here the confidence to Be rises into each day as the Moon sets, gives way to the Sun. During the night, in darkness we have wandered guided only by the subtle glow of this reflection. Here we have met many a challenge, perhaps over and over again, jousting with the same demons and yet always rising in the morning and then as the sun sets ready to pursue once more whatever lies in the way of clarity, of freedom.

In our dreams we continue our effort and find that everyday obstacles have less effect upon us. At times we present our selves with Herculean tasks that we overcome with sheer knowing that everything is possible. When we, in awareness, realize that all existence is seamless, the knowing established in dream time or in any moment of clarity remains with us. Every component becomes an impediment to awakening. We know this Reality as the illusion of all else is understood; that the Moon, and we, in all its/our glory are a reflection of ‘light’ that is everything and everywhere. Even in apparent darkness there is that and edges are simply a construct of the mind easily dissolved when the mind is at rest.

Once you realize this floating life is the perfect

mirage of change,

it’s breathtaking—this wild joy at wandering boundless and free.

~Han Shan, The Poetry of Impermanence…