In Praise of Silence

A day of silence can be a pilgrimage. A day of silence can help you listen to the Soul play its marvelous lute and drum.” ~Hafiz

So much is being said about these days and what they mean…really, do we know? Our words are supposition, digging in the past and projecting into the future. Neither are effective. Words seem inadequate to describe unfamiliar circumstances the effect of which has us occasionally spiraling out of control.

We are not in control. We do not know. And yet, we are not victims. Whatever goes on here, we are all in the same soup. We create, we experience—we react—we learn—we evolve. No matter what the circumstances we are presented with, we always have the option of creating with our best foot forward. In challenging situations human beings are very good at giving their best.

Most of us see this as an opportunity not to feel that we must go to battle but to take a look at whatever fears we may have based on the current situation. As much as we may miss connections with our loved ones, friends and family, we honour this time as a reprieve from the routine that may keep us focused externally. It is a time to ‘abandon’ our thoughts, give our selves space to have clarity; to listen to the silence. In silence there is no suffering. In silence we find there is no separation. Even in this current circumstance of needing to physically separate, we find there is no separation. We come to rest between the thoughts, a length of time that eventually has no measurement. There is only Now.

Now is quieter than the mind.” ~Adyashanti (April 5th livestream)

Silence, though ever present is not what we are accustomed to. Silence though, is peace. It provides a moment in which to notice and feel into the inexhaustible, infinite nature of Reality. A moment here is enough to carry us forward to further inner inquiry. We are pulled, called to go deeper. We seek Truth.

What am I between my thoughts? Where do I end and the trees begin, the sky…” ~John Butler

It is very possible to side line our attention to all the goings on, the noise of our human community and listen instead to the stillness, the silence. Reflection occurs and realization happens. Realization that the ‘me’ I thought I was exists as a thought. In the silence I do not find ‘me’. Me is what stands between one and freedom.

Me stops us from going deeper. When we listen deeply we forget about me.” ~John Butler

Recently I came across the videos of John Butler and his expression of Truth after his many years of meditation and inner focus. His way of communicating may be of interest to some. Included at the end of this article is a link to one of his short videos, Silence is never boring. John also shares his very simple way of Being that promotes listening, looking and feeling, a meditation that allows for deepening. That in another video. The basic steps I share here.

According to John: Keep your feet on the ground. Feel the weight of your hands on your thighs. Look at what is around you, take in all that is in your environment. Listening, looking and feeling. Being the observer and being aware that I am the observer we become aware of infinite presence. This stilling the body and the mind in a very simple way helps create peace and calm as does any form of meditation; sitting with what is and noticing that.

True knowledge comes through revelation.” ~J. Butler

New Moon April 22 Taurus 3 degrees 24 minutes @ 7:26 p.m. PDT

Conjunct with Uranus and Square with Saturn, expect the unexpected and emotional ‘unrest’

How can we best utilize this New Moon in Taurus? What might our intention be to assist the realization of the vision we nurture, wherever one is on their path. We can look at the qualities of Moon in Taurus as a reference point. Moon in Taurus people appreciate stability, to feel secure and to know that they are cared for. Taurus, ruled by Venus (Roman), Aphrodite (Greek) is the sign in which we learn what has value to us and where we seek pleasure and happiness. Taurus, an earth sign is most often regarded as that which acquires all things material.

However, as Aphrodite was born of the sea, from the remains of her father Uranus’s genitalia, there is a deeper aspect to this planet’s expression that is taken into consideration at this time as Uranus is conjunct to this New Moon. Uranus is known as the ‘awakener’ in astrology, as its presence is responsible for significant change—revolution for evolution. Uranus disrupts the usual in favour of freedom to Be. In order to Be we shed the accumulated conditioning that has encapsulated this planet for—a long time.

To be that which you cannot, not be.’ ~Bob Nickel

Uranus will direct attention to a deeper level of Taurus ability that relates to the five senses. Taurus is sensitive to the feeling nature, listening, observing, smelling, tasting and touching. These heightened aspects in human beings gives one a greater sense of security in the world, knowing what dangers one might need to deal with. When we give deep attention to our senses, as is possible at any time but more so during this New Moon, we discover a new ‘area’ accessible to all. Here there is Truth when we experience depth of being through our senses. We gradually let go of the material to achieve peace. Detachment for Taurus is a healthy achievement. Through detachment we eliminate emotional limitations.

To assist in this process is Saturn, the planet of discipline, focus and work squaring Sun, Moon and Uranus. The taskmaster is overseeing our travail to make sure that we dutifully approach the acknowledgment of patterns and conditioning that inhibit greater awareness.

Taurus is earth, the farmer, those tuned into nature with a natural ability to appreciate how all in nature unfolds without the need for thought. If we stand and listen deeply, no matter where we are, we can hear the rhythm that moves everything. This New Moon can guide us deeper to a permanent security known through ever present interconnectedness—no separation.

Also in this New Moon chart, Point of Fortune in Scorpio opposition to the New Moon. Here is another call to deepen. Scorpio wants depth and to connect with the vital nature of existence, the essence. Scorpio does not abide with pretense. The Point of Fortune is where we find our greatest sense of fulfillment. Venus, ruler of Taurus is being called upon to exhibit what lies within not just the beauty without, for which she is most often appreciated.

You want to overthrow the established order and transform it into something better because you know that true security can only be found by being in touch with the source of life.” ~Jessica Davidson from Point of Fortune in Scorpio

In conclusion, this New Moon offers us an avenue for deepening, emotional growth and realizing an imperturbable security with which we proceed with greater confidence and sense of well being. As we are exploring new territory at this time, our vision is to be open to the unfolding of ‘this one’, the deeper expression of what ‘I’ have known to be true thus far. Sharing the light within that so beautifully illuminates this world in which we live.

Video: John Butler-Silence is never boring (one of his lovely offerings)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SVxdnE84bM

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.

#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.