Crossing the Threshold

We are here and it is now. Further than that, all human knowledge is moonshine.” ~ H. L. Mencken

We may stand peering across the ocean without expectation and all the while reaching out wanting to touch the answer. We’ve waited to hear it and have given up waiting, having listened for a life time for just the ‘right’ words. All the words that tumble from our lips with such ease are not it. They too sink into the abyss enveloped by the silence. Stillness makes sense; shakes me loose from this long established perception that the horizon is a line between the earth and the sky.

And sometimes when I sit with you, hear you tell me about the various complexities of life that create this feeling of ‘going no where’ I want to show you that the door for you, is always open; that you can cross that threshold as easily as you inhale and exhale. If you follow the breath you will find your self exactly where you want to be without anxiety, worry or unnecessary drama. The inhale and exhale happen and have nothing to do with the mind. Our movement through life, our living life, has nothing to do with the mind. The mind relishes the past. All of our thoughts are based on the past. Judgment rises from what we think we know. Glorious the moment that I know ‘nothing’ then, I appreciate the moment, observe it without thought; come to rest.

This instant is beyond time. Time is also a notion of the mind. The mind is also a notion, like a wave rising from the ocean. That ocean of eternal peace is you. What is the difficulty that we suffer from? It is that we seek peace elsewhere and do not experience that we are peace incarnate itself.” ~H.W.L. Poonja (Papaji)

Listen, as you stand in this moment open to all directions and bending to the wind. I am a tree, not minding as thoughts shake loose and are scattered, skipping along the pavement no matter what the season. Their imminent demise a liberation.

Listen, as the rain becomes a torrent. Together we cascade over earth and rock. I am the rock, the mountain; standing oblivious to the earth that rises to a peak, to touch the sky, imperial blue, I am the sky. No matter the direction I face nor the element I meet, ‘That’ I am and all joyfully descending to the sea where silence quenches my thirst. I drown in ‘not knowing’ and relinquish the thought, I am not ‘This’.

I peer into this large breakfast bowl filled with bits of this and that and see the world swimming there. There is harmony in spite of all the various shapes and sizes, differentiation of color, all united, all destined for ingestion and integration. Oblivious though to the ‘process’ of ingestion and integration.

Simply floating in the sea from which they arise. ‘We’ are the observers observing our selves and rest in knowing That.

With these eyes I see that all that passes before me are expressions of something that the mind cannot comprehend. Yet the mind interprets—we need not listen to mind. With these ears we hear a symphony. The mind wants to analyze. If we focus on any particular instrument or a specific segment we may lose the magic and the mystery of the whole. Let the mind come to rest and we miss nothing, All continues to unfold with grace.

In the summer months when there may be many moments of gazing at the ocean and deeply immersing oneself in infinite possibility, often there is a loss of identification with the body mind, the self, and a sense of Being, peace and oneness. The line of separation between all things melts and we are free!

May we embrace the moment and fall into silence.

 

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.

 

June—Into Summer and the ‘Quest’ for Freedom

for june blogWe must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us. ~ Joseph Campbell

A dancer leaps from the stage, a grand jete, filled with grace that can only be the result of an empty mind. Great athletes, artists, people ‘employ’ an innate sense of the absolute to defy the physical limitations that confine most. There is no thought that it is not possible, only the overwhelming desire for freedom.

Some men have thousands of reasons why they cannot do what they want to, when all they need is one reason why they can. ~Martha Graham

Grace ushers us from moment to moment if we allow that; if we do not have too many thoughts that say it is not possible. Life is exactly what we’ve always wished for, if we don’t get in the way. The dance does not proceed if we stand on our own toes.

In June allow ‘grace’ to sweep you off your feet, to find your inherent direction and let go in order to enjoy the freedom of waltzing through life without a care in the world. Not easy you say? Okay if you say so. After all it is your experience and it will be exactly what you want it to be. You might ask however, who is in charge? And am I being led on a mighty goose chase only to discover that what I really want is right back where I started from. Whew! What an exhausting journey. When completely done with the pursuit of the illusive waking up, finally we rest in exactly what is here and voila! That’s it! So simple.

There are so many things we would not dream of questioning—the setting of the sun, the movement of the river, waking up each morning to a new day. Why do we question our true nature from which all else arises? Why do we seek, and therefore must doubt, Reality and instead abide in the suffering brought about by confusion? Not questions that require answers only consideration and only if one desires freedom. Otherwise we scoot along doing the very best we can and in a way it is all the same, as everything is ‘that’ in every moment. One way the ‘ego’ takes responsibility for our life and drives us mad. The other way, there is no need to control anything as it all happens regardless of any apparent participation by any ‘me’. Me only exists in relation to other and both do not exist as they are already and always ‘that’.

As soon as you believe that a label you’ve put on yourself is true, you’ve limited something that is literally limitless, you’ve limited who you are into nothing but a thought. ~ Adyashanti

In June as we approach the longest day of the year, (June 21st) with daylight hours extended there is a natural optimism that frees us from some limitations. There is a desire to experience the freedom one felt as a child when the months of summer brought liberation from teacher, books and desk. One could create from the imagination and follow that vision wherever it might go. We were free to Be simply. We flowed as the river flows. In the classic Rider Waite deck these qualities are represented in the Page of Cups.

The Page of Cups is the inner child, our pure, creative and innocent nature without the conditioning that later would obscure our sense of Self. The inner child experiences no boundaries or limitations as everything is possible. All comes from the heart, is the heart.
In esoteric symbolism the fish is spiritual ideas or awareness. The fish in this page’s cup is indicative of his connection to Self and therefore an endless source of free flowing energy that is emotional peace and joy.

The other two cards for June are: Seven of Swords indicating the freedom to escape the perpetual deluge of thoughts that would otherwise drive us hither and yon in a confused state of frenzy, chasing rainbows and tilting at windmills. In this card the young man moves forward with ease and grace, burden is no longer a word in his vocabulary. The number seven represents the overcoming of challenges that then allow life to flow with greater peace.

Nine of Wands where the hard work has been done, all fears and concerns have been relegated to a position of inactivity. As such the young man who has obviously fought his battles can rest in a place of confidence. Nines are a high level of attainment and as Wands are the last suit, of inspiration and spirit, he has conquered the issues of the other three levels—of the physical, the emotional and mental and can therefore relax and enjoy in his knowingness.

In Chinese astrology June is the month of the Horse the animal with whom we associate freedom in spite of the long history of servitude to man. An image of a horse running across an open space uninhibited, unfettered makes our spirits soar. We have memories of being unfettered that this image triggers. Then ask your self what is between me and freedom? The ‘quest’ for June, liberation, freedom.

New Moon in Taurus and Mercury retrograde

New Moon 05.17/18.15 @ 26 deg. Taurus 56 minutes
0:13 a.m. 05.18 EDT 09:13 p.m. PDT

Also, Mercury retrograde 05.18 @ 13 deg. Gemini and direct 06.11 @ 5 deg. Gemini. Practice patience and acceptance. Take time to reflect and relax. Be observant rather than critical and tolerant as “stuff” happens i.e. miscommunication, not hearing. Back up and approach from a new direction.

new moon chart 05 17 15The New Moon is preparation for this Mercury retrograde as slowing down and being still is what takes place naturally with the moon in Taurus conjunct the Sun—at peace, secure in proximity of the ‘greater’ luminary; basking in the warmth and light of awareness. Blessed with freedom to Be without restriction or incessant ‘worry’ about anything that has anything to do with this physical reality.

Taurus the sign of establishment, once knowing security of physical reality/illusion of duality, has the potential to transcend concern for the basic necessities and be liberated to express the higher octave of Venus (ruler of Taurus) unconditional love or our true nature. These two astrological ‘moments’ are simply unfolding with perfection as is all creation regarding our apparent movement toward Self realization.

It came to my attention recently that the moon due to the speed of the rotation of the Earth is or has been moving away from the Earth at approximately 3.8 cm. per year, an infinitesimal distance given the enormity of space. However, symbolically, this combined with humanity moving out of the Kali yuga and into the ‘lighter’ or less dense Dwapara yuga increases the grace and ease with which we may experience our Self. The moon symbolizes the instinctive nature and the past, those patterns of emotional behaviour that influence us and have the potential to create limitations and suffering.

The distancing of the moon from the earth=detachment or allowing and accepting what is rather than being controlled by the ego to react in such a way that is often uncomfortable.

There are very few close aspects to the New Moon. Saturn at 1 degree Sagittarius creates an out of sign opposition that has a 5 degree separation. Saturn’s weighty dynamic even when mutable has the effect of anchoring one to the ‘issue at hand’. That specifically will be different for every individual but essentially the same for all in that old patterns that do not serve us must go! Upon porcelain, every blemish is a distraction. Saturn, that stands at the threshold of the physical plane, whose rings represent beliefs that are grounded in relativity and as such hurdles to be leaped on the way to liberation is an enormous gift to us; the bracing slap in the face lest we are too distracted to ‘wake up’ from the dream.

See that humanity is cradled as a dew drop on a leaf, on a branch, on a tree, in the soil, on the Earth. See that humanity is a crest of the wave and the infinite ocean. See that I am that, could not be otherwise. A tiny fleck of water hurled through the air amongst the spray, falling back to the sea or dissolved by the noon day sun—gone while “that” remains, always, never changing, infinite. I am “that”.

This dance of two earthly elements Saturn and Taurus reaching beyond as far as the eye can see encourages us to elope with the unknown, to believe in our wildest dream and to actually feel the stability of having nothing and knowing nothing except what is in this moment—the perfection of that and the peace it is.

Mars, 7 degrees away in Gemini, the warrior has wings on his feet and is apt not to dally in whats, whys, whens or wheres. Flexible, agile and moving from experience to experience he has mastered every nuance necessary to complete his education therefore prefers to touch briefly as he assumes his flight of fancy. Woe be to those who endeavor to clip the wings and cage the beast. He will don the cloak of invisibility and be seen no more. With Neptune square the hero he may dash about tilting at windmills but in earnest while the rest of us look on at the scene through a vast picture window sipping mint juleps and adjusting our conversation.

Sweet Venus ruler of Taurus even sweeter considering her position in Cancer though an opposition to Pluto will ensure that desire remain on an impartial plateau and that nurturing, caring is inherent to all beings and as such there is no need that drives me to take care of you but to attend to my Self as a means of giving to all.

Undoubtedly these few days will pass by and life goes on as usual except that those invisible energetic waves that propel us forward or inward take us deeper without us even knowing. Therefore, nothing to do or be concerned about as ‘it’ is all happening as we speak. Freedom is and now for me to just accept that.

Full Moon 05.03.15 in Scorpio

Full Moon 05.03.15 @ 13 deg. 23 min. Scorpio 11:42 p.m. EDT 08:42 p.m. PDT

“The mind creates the abyss, the heart crosses it.”
~Nisargadatta Maharaj, author of I am That

full moon chart 05 03 15

Vastness swallows us whole over and over and over…in every moment our cares, whims and dissatisfaction are lost in the endless Reality of Being that has not a thought let alone consideration for any individual desire.

The light of this Full Moon filters through the shadows and the darkness, reaches deep into awareness dispersing doubt, confusion and reminding us that the cycle that is humanity–birth, death, rebirth and regeneration–the realm of Scorpio and the 8th house, is an individual experience in the midst of Being. In the midst of Being, as if swallowed by an ocean, there is no individual, there is no separation and there is no suffering. Suffering is a thought. A situation is intolerable? The situation is, intolerable is a thought.

Scorpio divests us of all unnecessary accoutrements; all those many layers of accumulated perception that have contributed to beliefs that are not true in this moment. Byron Katie ‘the Work” focuses attention on what is true in this moment. What we know to be true is here and now and far less than what we ‘believe’ is true. When we rely on perceptions or ‘our’ understanding of situations everything is filtered through a warped lens of habitual patterns of thinking.

Venus ruler of Taurus, the sign the Sun occupies presently is 29 degrees ahead of Mars co-ruler of Scorpio where the Moon resides for approximately 2 ¾ days beginning at 6:47 p.m. on May 2nd. This is a constructive relationship between two planets that are generally described as ‘having differences’. Next door to each other they offer support and wisdom based on what they experience without sacrificing a thing to ‘maintain’ relationship.

Relationship exists, is an aspect of experience but the notion of separate components is where the problems arise, all based on our perception of ‘need’. I need that which appears to be outside of my self. How can anything be outside of everything or the Absolute? The problem is with individual identification.

If we allow for what exists always and accept what is in this moment there is no need to traverse any crevasse or troubled waters—they are just waters—there are no shadows or darkness just what is occurring, the natural unfolding of the Absolute. Everything that arises from this ‘one’ is an expression of “that”—this one or that one, us we them—all the same an expression of “that”. One entity cannot be okay and another not.

Jupiter that vast gaseous giant to which we attribute qualities of wisdom and benevolence and expanded awareness exactly squares this Full Moon (within a few minutes) and is accompanied by Juno. In mythology these two were husband and wife and did not experience marital bliss perhaps as they were also sister and brother. Jupiter/Jove was well known for his many dalliances that provoked Juno to commit some desperate acts of retaliation. The lovers of Jupiter suffered the consequences of her anger and were turned into various different animals or features in nature, trees, streams etc.

In this Full Moon chart with Venus and Mars working together and Jupiter and Juno in friendly conjunction it is an opportunity to experience harmonious abidance and recognizing that we all share the essence of Being. We are all this Being here in physical reality. Compassion, love presides as a result of the liberty from all of the mind constraints that have limited us for a long time. We let go of expectation of others to provide us with anything and rest in knowing that whatever is, is what is happening.

Jupiter square the Sun and the Moon provides a rather ‘influential’ energy for trusting rather than resisting and realizing Self not as separate from what is but as “that’ which is always, never changing, stillness, silence when the mind settles into knowing of the heart rather than thinking. During this Full Moon enjoy the freedom of observation without thought or expectation. If it feels uncomfortable being stripped to the bone remember the discomfort is only a thought and peace is what is beyond that thought.