#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.

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.

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.

 

There is Only Love, Welcome to the New World

Only by Love, only by Loving
Can you maintain the sense of Love and Peace.
Then emotions and fear will not dominate you
Because you are Love.
When in Love, only Love sits in your heart
And so fear has no place. ~Sri H.W.L. Poonja, Papaji

Gentle remembrance descends upon us as leaves fall from a tree, eventually touching the earth whence they came. We return to knowing the love that is our true nature and the unity of all things. Therein lays ‘salvation’.

“Teach the children love.”

As a number 9, this New Year will be dominated by service for the highest good. Each individual will be called upon to be the best that they can be; to deliver the goods they have developed over much time and bring levels of healing to human consciousness that will lift us beyond the grip of centuries of habitual response patterns.
We will hear the one heart beat from the ocean depths, to the mountain peaks, in the hot desert winds. The cool of stillness will permeate the air we breathe and we will hear only the sound of the waves perpetually caressing the shore before disappearing back into the sea.

Wisdom shall prevail. Wisdom to know thy self in the silence where understanding is based on not knowing and deep love pervades all existence, is tangible, is continuous, is what we undeniably share from breath to breath. ‘Utopia’, the realm of the idealist, rises up and out of the illusion that individuals create to keep the ego company in the world where the need for many things drives the train; always climbing the hill.

2016 is a year to reinvent our language. On January 1, Mercury, planet of communication, the messenger, is at 29 degrees 31 minutes Capricorn. In the last moment of this sign, that is the master of structure that supports humanity, so evolved is the knowledge of this structure that it has begun to dematerialize. The old structure is no longer necessary. Instead it becomes something that embraces all of us in love not judgment. Mercury is trine to the Moon at 0 degrees Libra where the notion of individuality has been transcended. We accept emergence into the sea of peace and perfect balance.

As we reinvent our language we give our selves the opportunity to “reconnect” the receptors that plug us into the unwavering intelligence of the heart. We trust because that is what is most obviously the only thing to do and know that there is no effort required to Be here in love and delight.

Mars at the same time, at 28 degrees Libra, the warrior of love, squares Mercury and generates the energy to honor thy true Self; with sword of light illuminates the path of ease and draws in the power of grace to shake the roots that have shackled us to an experience of suffering here; the spiritual warrior everywhere aggressively promoting love and peace.

Words maintain their power of poetic storytelling and sharing of the experience here but no longer have our entire attention as what delivers truth. A compassionate gaze, loving gesture, a smile or a frown, a back turned against the cold and bleak urban silence speak louder than words.

“Words are a pretext. It is the inner bond that draws one person to another,
not words.” ~ Rumi

Words spoken from the heart can not go far astray. The heart with ever beating pulse is the same pulse that beats in every heart and connects us to truth. The truth of being can not be described with words. Words have the potential to confuse and distract and yet this is our primary form of communication. The fewer the words, the simpler the statement, the closer we are to truth. The heart generates not from the past but from this moment to the next.

Words produce, like the spider, silken threads that lead us between periods of silence from this place to that where thoughts can conjure an infinite number of pictures that deceive and distract us from the truth which is without need of explanation. Silken threads that produce an energy imprint that travel through time.

Words, we chew on them as though they were delectable morsels that excite the palette and fill us up when in fact they can leave us perpetually searching and emaciated.

Words accompany us when the silence becomes unbearable and words then, from the mouths of babes and guru elevate us to breathe and ingest stillness.

Seeing delights us beyond words, is without judgment and moves us with ease and grace in the direction of this moment that happens to be, always, what is.

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 has taken place and at the subsequent banquet there is neither guest nor groom nor bride just a satisfaction uniting moment to moment.

Seeing allows us to wander without agenda touching, smelling, hearing as a human being, upright mammal, lost in the sensuality of an experience and ecstatic to do so. In the next moment there is clarity that such purity is truth, is this, no separation. I am what is sensed, all me/us, one—no separation.

“The observer is the observed.” ~J. Krishnamurti

One heart beat that we all hear and respond to even through the many layers of conditioning. From the deepest well from which we draw sustenance we find an endless source of love. The heart beat soothes us, calls us home and reverberates through time and space. There is awareness that ‘home’ is never not and this one has never not been, and has never not been the most perfect expression of source. With this realization love flows freely, endlessly, always has except that this mind has constructed such tales to obscure truth. And none of it matters because none of it is Real.

Love drifts, soars, meanders and dances in open spaces where flowers, yet to spring forth
will soon add their dazzling colors to a verdant landscape; in darkness to comfort the child in a moment of distress; in cities between the mortar and the meeting and in every nuance of expression that occurs in every interaction there is Love. Have we any reason to doubt our own existence as Love?

If there is a tarot card that guides us in 2016 we may consider the Fool 0. Empty headed, empty handed, except for the white rose of “spirit” and empty he stands at the precipice of not knowing. Love flows and he is willing to be moved by Love, with Love and for Love. He is Love and goes where he is called to go and to ‘do’ what he is called to ‘do’. There is no effort required here and in this we finally rest.

Wishing you the most exceptional 2016 of giving and receiving Love, Being and radiating Light. Namaste ~Anna

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!