Happiness is…

Happiness is not a Pursuit (thoughts for December)

There exists a way of being that underlies and suffuses all emotional states, that embraces all the joys and sorrows that come to us. A happiness so deep that, as Georges Bernants wrote, “nothing can change it, like the vast reserve of calm water beneath a storm.” The Sanskrit word for this state of being is sukha.

Sukha is the state of lasting well-being that manifests itself when we have freed ourselves of mental blindness and afflictive emotions. It is also the wisdom that allows us to see the world as it is, without veils or distortions. It is, finally, the joy of moving toward inner freedom and the loving kindness that radiates toward others. ~Arun Gandhi from a forward to Happiness by Matthieu Ricard

When we suspend judgment and see with the eyes of grace wherein everything is an expression of Divine Wisdom, there is a beautiful rhythm that rocks us, guides us, moves us. We touch the untouchable, drink in the dry desert, hear the silence, feel the stillness and dance to our hearts content in a world of marvelous mystery and limitless creation.
There are no thoughts of past or future only the resounding vibration that permeates all creation, establishing without thought, harmonious resonance in which the Being is freedom to play in the endless field of possibility.

Happiness is not a pursuit but the natural feeling that abides when we step out of the mirrored corridor of physical existence that causes us to reel in confusion. With which image do I identify A., B., C., or none of the above? If you answer none of the above the illusion/confusion disintegrates like a disturbing image in a dream that dissolves when we awaken. An afterimage may linger but it is known to be without substance (i.e: ultimate reality that underlies all outward manifestations and change) just as when we awaken to our true nature, the mind is seen to be an accumulation of thoughts that populate emptiness and are without substance. Whatever the thought, it is based on the past and is not the result of observation of this moment.

In this moment without thought is that which cannot be described with words or apprehended by the mind. It requires no effort, no thing, to be in this moment. The simplicity of this allows the body to rest in a way that it has not for perhaps a very long time. For this moment we have relinquished any desire for control over or attachment to any thing and abide in peace.

You must choose between your attachments and happiness. ~ Adyashanti

Happiness is knowing that there is nothing in the relative world that can displace what is always present, unwavering even in the face of worldly events. When we are peace—what a place of stillness to greet that world! May each and every day be filled with peace of mind and loving heart; that our steps touch the earth and each other in a way that amplifies the essence of wholeness, oneness, the Absolute. Let December be about giving of thy Self and reveling in this pure joy.

Sagittarius is the dominate sign for December and exists almost completely within the constellation Ophiucus the healer, known as such for the association to Asclepius the Greek healer. In mythic lore Asclepius witnessed a snake bringing herbs to an injured snake whence he developed the powers to heal. As the story unfolds, Jupiter was dissatisfied with this potential gift; that humanity might know immortality so he slew Asclepius and placed him in the sky as the constellation Ophiucus.

The constellation is the healer entwined by an enormous serpent, the serpent being representative of ‘wisdom’, the knowing of Truth. In the tarot the constellation of Ophiucus is associated with the Tower, number XVI of the major arcana. Number 16 or 7 reduced, is the number of tests or trials. The Tower is where we accomplish the letting go of old beliefs and patterns that we might be free to know the immortality of being; that our true nature is always, not influenced by weather or time. The Tower is the material plane, the structure that we create that we might feel secure and still wend our way to ‘god’. Yet if we believe that through this, in any way, we might discover Truth we are not clear. It all comes tumbling down—eventually—and, it is an event that can elicit great joy in a seeker, as then one is truly free, touching ‘god’ in everything, seeing ‘god’ as everything; knowing that ‘this’ is I and there is nothing I need do to uphold ‘this’.

If an additional card were created for the Tarot deck, making it number 22 of the major arcana, it might be a heart, access to the eternal Om, the pulse that infuses every cell every where. In Hinduism Om is ultimate reality, the Absolute, god. It is what is once we have mastered the journey of duality, the physical World (No. XXI major arcana). The number 22 is a master number that symbolizes the mastery of duality. Once we know the nature of duality we are at once aware of our true nature.

Our fears may run deep. That which inhibits us from knowing Self may rear up at us during those moments when we seem closest to Self discovery. If we have the Courage and Strength (No. VIII major arcana) to proceed through each moment, no matter how excruciating it may seem, we find what lies at the ‘heart of the individual’, deeper than the deepest fear, abiding in stillness and peace is ‘that’, ‘that’ is.

Happiness is ‘that’.

Thank you for your presence and the love that you are. May your holidays be filled with happiness!

Every day is a miracle…

And everything together, all the voices, all the goals, all the striving, all the suffering, all the pleasure—everything together was the river of what is, the music of life. And when Siddhartha listened attentively to the thousandfold song of the river, when he did not fasten on the suffering or laughing, when he did not attach his mind to any one voice and become involved in it with his ego—when he listened to all of them, the whole, when he perceived the unity, then the great song of a thousand voices formed one single word: OM, perfection. ~from Siddhartha, Herman Hesse

One time, while looking in a mirror in the candle light faces roared across the surface as though on a movie screen, the film speeded up. Faster and faster they appeared and disappeared until my head hurt from watching so many images fly by. Old, young, black, white, yellow skin; hats, turbans, shawls, berets, bandages, cloaks, hoods, fierce eyes, grim, stern, laughing, smiling, loving. Faster yet and all became a blur. I closed my eyes and heard the roar of the ocean and finally fell asleep.

We rest knowing that it all comes and goes with haste, with deliberation, with certainty but that which I truly am is, always; expressed from the heart in multi-hued magnificence. Magnificent because it is everything. And previously I had dared only chip timidly at a corner of the stone that loomed over me, silently demanding to be chiseled away until only the truth remained. What was the fear that prevented boldly hammering away at the facade? Was it the fear that there might be nothing left when the process was complete? If only I had realized how very simple it is to embrace nothing as though a long, lost friend; the source of liberation and knowing Self.

Every day is a miracle, a mystery, an opportunity to discover something previously unknown. Being in the flow delivers us to the doorstep of the unexpected, what is in the moment, a miraculous opening of the heart—the heart crying out to the world in love—alive and listening. The vibration carries across the vast landscape of human experience soothing, caressing and cradling all into one exquisite expression and that is the eternal OM.

Let the heart lead in this dance of life so that each step is movement in harmony and peace. We listen without hearing. We listen with the heart and are transparent so that when the wind blows strong in late autumn days we are lifted into flight, set free to join the dance that has always enticed us, always moved us even when we have been most reluctant to take that next step.

 

When the Heart Cries A Loud…

 
My Eyes So Soft
Don’t surrender your loneliness so quickly.
Let it cut more deep.
Let it ferment and season you as few human
Or even divine ingredients can.
Something missing in my heart tonight
has made my eyes so soft
my heart so tender,
My need of God absolutely clear.
~Hafiz
We all join together in soft, gentle loving dear hearts;
that is a wish for  all of us together–to embrace
in the most tender ways.

The Familiar

The heart swells at the familiar.

How grateful one can be for the

waves that perpetually

roll to the shore,

the moon in various

stages rising above

the everyday occurrence.

The noise, the activity,

the grim, dim, shining,

effervescent, silence

trickling across this abundant,

scarce, dry

floodplain of humanity.

Ten sun salutations!

For life in all its

color is

a grand

Being.

 

The Tempest and the Hero

“If after every tempest come such calms,
May the winds blow till they have waken’d death!” ~ William Shakespeare, Othello

Today there is a new moon that is occurring as this is posted. A tidal wave of emotion about to flood this plain we call home and drown us all in the rapture of freedom from identity and judgment, from the limitation of the mind that spits out, with regularity and punctuality, thoughts to which we are enslaved; to the story that is the island in the ever rushing stream of consciousness cradling us.

There is a tempest brewing that has long battered this wall, raged against the fear and feigned indifference to that from which the tempest surges. The waves have tossed me back and forth until dizzy with confusion and torn to pieces by the winds, finally I relent. Peace then abides not only in this heart but everywhere I look. Even in the apparent cacophony of collective voice there is a hum that unites every light wave. Every light wave a source of joy, rising, fluttering, diving, skipping to and fro and yet ‘this’ remains still, tickled by every movement, intrigued, mystified and graciously bowing to every voice that cries out from the dark for ‘some of that’.

Who are our heroes? Who is it that we look up to and long to emulate? Often those people who are spontaneously living life to the utmost and reaping the rewards for bold action, often in service to others, are those that many admire and respect—great artists—poets, writers, painters, dancers, sculptors, musicians—and anyone who allows the passion of their true nature to lead them rather than being directed and resistant due to ones fears.

The ordinary man is involved in action, the hero acts. ~Henry Miller

A hero is not one who wants to save the world but someone who has the courage to let go of everything that resembles ‘security’ in order to experience one’s humanity (if anyone appears to be saved in the process it is only that the person has realized a truth that affords them similar liberty)

A hero ‘sees’ clearly and therefore moves with confidence, not through need or the will to succeed. A hero is not directed by the ego but pure exhilaration. ‘Seeing’ is the soul stretching its legs, taking ego by the hand and dancing through the night. In the morning it is apparent that under the stars, in the mysterious moonlight a wedding takes place and of the subsequent banquet there is neither guest nor groom nor bride just a satisfaction uniting moment to moment.

The tempest is not something we struggle against. It is something we engage with to the furthest edges of our reality in this moment and to the utmost, the very frontier of knowing; that one might be ready to embrace everything and willing to have nothing. With nothing we are more joyful than when we thought we had everything—there is nothing to lose ever. We are already everything and nothing; that which eradicates and transforms with a power that simply is.

One astrological comment: this new moon has an opposition from Pluto (that which eliminates and transforms) to a Mercury/Mars conjunction at 14 degrees Cancer. At this time the NASA spacecraft New Horizons is sending photos of this tiny planet back to earth, a 4 hour journey, that rate it as the most youthful surface of any planet in the solar system with geological transformation possibly still occurring. They have discovered a mountain range there that has appeared within the last 100 million years relatively recent compared to the age of the solar system at 4.56 billion years.

Pluto in opposition to Mercury/Mars upheaval and transformation of the thoughts that direct our actions and in Cancer—giving way to feeling, sensing that knows the truth rather than assuming based upon collective patterns.