Sunday, November 29, 2009

"The real you is timeless and beyond birth and death. The body will survive as long as it is needed. It is not important that it should live long".

Nisargadatta Maharaj

Read this statement from Nisargadatta again. Ponder it's meaning and feel the mind resist the implications of non resistance to the death of the body. Isn't everything in your mind resisting and ultimately fearing death? Can you see that at the core of this statement lies liberation? Can you find a place in yourself that was never born and will never die?

Realize this and you will be free.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

The great masters, teachers, seers and saints, the enlightened ones, those beings who found the way to realisation of their True Nature, have spoken with one voice and one message. 

The simple and yet profound truth to "love one another" was their call. 

What then does this mean, to love one another, and why after 10,000 years of civilization do we experience so much suffering?

Have "we" failed to understand and integrate the wisdom of our hearts?

You might want to ponder how in your own life you love, and more importantly find the courage to admit that you only "love" when you are "getting" what you want from your object of love or from the situation you find yourself in. Notice how you abandon love and what or who you love when you don't get what you want. 

Feel the suffering caused when we objectify ourselves and others for "love".

You might want to consider the possibility that you are too afraid to love, or filled with so much desire for love that love has become a thing to you.

So then, what is love? 

Is love something you do, or feel or give?

Is it something you share? 

Is it something you experience?

You might say yes to all of those "aspects" of love, but in actuality the answer to those questions cannot be answered from our conventional understanding of love.

Our indoctrinated beliefs about love gives you ownership of love but in truth there is no "you" that loves.

There is no object of love.  

There is only love.

Love is a word we use that really describes what wasn't born and what cannot die. 

Love is the essence of all existence, the field of being. 

Love is the space that holds everything, and even that which holds space is love.

Love is prior to our consciousness and love is after our consciousness leaves.

Before you "knew" who you were, you were love. 

After you forget who you are, you will still be love.

You then might want to ask the simple question, "who am I"  or better yet "what am I" ?

Seeking the answer from stillness and from within you might find the answer that you're not a person, nor a body, or a mind. No longer identified with the mind and body you can experience the realization that you are not your thoughts or your feelings. 

Understanding that you were not born nor will you die you may see that you are not your past, nor do you have a future and that you're not your personality. Nor are you your failures or your accomplishments and you're not what you own or what you do. 

How you love, or not, has nothing to do with you, nor who you love, or who loves you back.

Because what love is has nothing to do with "you" or "them" or "her" or "him". 

You see that's the problem with love. 

As long as we believe that we are the "doer" of love we will create only suffering. 

To "love one another" might be better understood as "to experience one another as your true self", which of course is love. 

However, this has nothing to do with "other" as form. 

There can be no separation, when form is understood as just the dance and play of our creation. 

There can be no attachment, or fear, or withholding with the realization that separateness is only an illusion. Desire for love, appreciation and approval vanishes when one realises that there is no other to love, because the other is simply love manifesting in form. Other is actually a result of our imagination. It's just a mental construct, a projection of our own identification with our body and mind. 

Granted, finding someone to love is a pursuit and belief that we have all agreed to, but I ask you, has that EVER really worked for you? What is our common bond? What are we really looking for?

"Finding" someone to love is an interesting concept. Sometimes there is an appearance of happiness here, but does this last? Can this idea that we need each other in this way be more than just a concept. Look around you, look at the world, look at yourself, the answer is no.

I'm not suggesting that form is not to be enjoyed, but it will never fully satisfy because to identify with form can only create possession or rejection of form which always results in suffering.

Find the willingness to see what you really are. 

Go beyond gender, race and age. 

Go beyond form and identification and fascination with the body.

Go beyond form and reside as the Source of all that is. 

From here love is experienced as freedom, spaciousness, kindness, peace, compassion, acceptance. 

From here, there is no story. there is only love.

And this is our True Nature.

The truth about Love is that Love wants nothing, because it already is everything and being everything this includes "you" as love.

You are this and from this awareness one can finally be love and find a peace that is beyond understanding.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

"Until humankind can free itself from false identifications, from pretense and delusions of various kinds, it cannot come face to face with the eternal verity that is latent within its own self."

Jean Dunn

I have a friend who is a spiritual guide and teacher. During one of her recent courses she was confronted by a student. The incident enraged her and left her in tears. She felt rejected and judged, she felt attacked. Her experience reminded me of my own difficulties with others and I shared with her those moments when I have felt unappreciated and unloved by those "I" was trying to "help", and I remembered the intense feelings connected to not getting what I want.

Here is a part of our conversation.

Dear Linda,

I know how that goes, having an expectation of appreciation and getting rejection instead can be a real wake up call. I remember feeling the same way when that has happened for me. I've felt enraged and then hurt when I perceived or experienced rejection, especially when I felt like I should have something better. I was shocked when I noticed what came up for me when I didn't get what I wanted. I noticed that somehow I believed I deserved to be loved and appreciated, and when that love didn't come the way I wanted it, or if it didn't come at all, that it really pissed me off. I found myself actually punishing those "I loved" or "had helped" for not giving me their love and appreciation the way I wanted them to.

How strange. This has to be the farthest thing from love.

I really believed I was a person who loved, who knew what love is, it wasn't until later that I realized how conditional my love for others was. It was humbling to realize I wasn't loving them at all and that "getting what I wanted" was my agenda and my version of love.

It was hard for me to grasp at first that loving others had nothing to do with me. That loving someone isn't about "me" at all. It took a great deal of suffering and resistance on my part to finally get that loving is simply just being with a person, and sharing a space with them in a kind of open acceptance of what is.

I wasn't loved like this. I learned what love is from what I observed around me. I was taught that you go out and get what you want. I think most, if not all of us are taught that being proactive and getting what you want is the path to happiness.

"The pursuit of happiness" is written in our Constitution. It appears to be a part of our culture, but if you really feel into the pursuit part of this language one begins to experience this kind of behavior as just pure narcissism.

It was a relief to finally admit I was not capable of loving others while I was holding conditions and only thinking of myself, and it was hard to accept that I had always been like this, and that I had never loved people without expectations. It was humbling, really quite humbling to feel the loss of my Self in this way.

It took quite a beating from this conditioned part of my mind that insisted on having its own way, for my viewpoint to finally shift towards real love. There were many people who tried to love me, and one in particular who became one of my greatest teachers, but I couldn't let go, and I couldn't love without fear and the need to control.

This part of me finally crashed and I found myself shattered and lost until I finally surrendered. This surrender took the form of acceptance and a willingness to love what is, without question or resistance. From this place came a deep knowing that everything is happening in this moment, now, to wake me up to my True Nature, which is unconditional love.

So if you want, may I suggest you go (in silence) to that person who "rejected" you and thank her as your most divine Guru, consider this incident as a lesson in humility and move forward.

From here you can choose to go a little deeper and from a different viewpoint see how we have created EVERYTHING in order to experience Love with consciousness as form.

From this place nothing is wrong or broken or lost...our experience is simply seen and felt as the play of Self Remembrance. One can appreciate from a different perspective that people and situations arise to give us exactly what we need to let go of everything, and I mean everything, that we attach to.

So welcome them, they are here to liberate us from our confusion about love.

I know there is no cultural context for this, and I know how hard it is to believe that we know little or nothing of love, but there are great traditions that can lead us out of our conditioning.

The path of Advaita as it is expressed through Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj is a great place to start.

Look into the great classic, " I Am That" "Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj" for guidance.

It is great to know you are out there embracing the great Reality. I am grateful to call you my friend. I'm looking forward to seeing you when I'm in Chicago this September.

love always


Monday, June 15, 2009

Please take a moment to ponder the nature of love. 
Your True Nature. 

Below is a short excerpt from a dialogue with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj


"What is the Real?"


"There is no great mystery."

"The Real is simple, open, clear and kind, beautiful and joyous. it is completely free of contradictions. It is ever new, ever fresh, endlessly creative. Being and non-being, life and death, all distinctions merge in it."


"What then, in all the universe is there one single thing of value?" 


"Yes, it is the power of love. "

I love how the great teachers cut through our confusion like a laser, like a mirror they reflect the Real.

But how can this appear real to us in our day to day lives? 

The power of Love....what is that exactly? 

How does that apply to us, here, now?

I had a friend recently experience an unexpected layoff from a large insurance company just weeks after she was assured during her annual review that her job was secure. 

The following was my correspondence concerning her layoff, and with her permission she has asked me to share it. After the unexpected layoff, Lisa decided to tie one on, and after a night of drinking with her girlfriends, she e mailed me in despair. She was feeling ashamed that she had turned to alcohol and fearful that I would judge her as weak and broken.

I hear you and feel you, sweetheart. 

Getting drunk and teary eyed and expressing your love is beautifully human, you know, Lisa, everything is ok

I personally believe that we all need to practice being okay with ourselves no matter what may be happening at any given moment. There are no rules, no shoulds or shouldn'ts. Life is very short, it is meant to be lived, it is meant to be experienced. So be Lisa, with full on permission from yourself to be a human being with all that it encompasses. Being aware that our human self is pretty much a mess most of the time, is a great gift, being okay with ones own messiness is even a greater gift, letting the world be a mess, because it is a mess, is compassion not only for the world, but for your own world. 

You see, sweetheart, that's the big joke. Everyone is a mess and trying not to act like it, and we spend a lot of energy hiding that messiness from others or trying to fix it. I love it when people get real, but unfortunately it only seems to happen when there is a crisis. If we could all just be more vulnerable and out of control and okay and accepting with what's happening inside of ourselves, I feel it would be a better world.  

It is messy to be human, it is the mind, it is it's nature. 

There is another perspective, however, from the ultimate viewpoint of Pure Awareness, there is nothing wrong, ever, and everything is working towards our evolution. This is our True Nature, this is the viewpoint of the Self and the nature of the Self is Love. 

So can you see it is quite impossible to scare me off?

I love it when we allow ourselves to be real, even if it takes getting drunk to get there, sometimes that's the path we choose to be close to ourselves and others and it's no wonder then, why we use alcohol. So don't worry about a thing when it comes to my impression of you, because I'm human, too, and it's my messiness that makes me human, and you can't fix that, because it's not broken, it's not a broken thing to be confused. It is, however very human.

Okay then, so let's celebrate being human and confused, because we all are, until we're not. It's built in and if you want to take the high ground and start the process of integrating this body and mind with your True Nature, I can't think of a better place to start than with Eckhart Tolle or Byron Katie or Joan Tollifson or Nisargadatta Maharaj. Seek out these teachers of what's Real. I have found them most helpful.

I'm sure that our current human story about life and the fears and insecurities and doubt and self loathing and all that comes with being confused  is just a part of our current evolution. There are ways out of this confusion, but remember, it's okay right now just the way it is, unless, you believe it's not. 

Examine, observe and ask, who's in charge of your life right now?

What's in the moment right now? 

Who are you? What are you?

Can you really, only be, your suffering? Your mind? Your body? 

I believe from this viewpoint you can see the perfection of what is and move forward with compassion and with love.

Enjoy the ride.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Come, come, whoever you are.
Wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving.
It doesn't matter.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vow
a thousand times.
Come, yet again, come, come.


Monday, June 1, 2009

"Love one another as I have loved you".  Jesus of Nazareth

Sunday, May 31, 2009

I share a back yard with a neighbor named Howard and Lulu. Lulu is Howard's nine year old Jack Russell Terrier and every morning before I'm off to work Lulu greets me with an explosion of terrier energy that can only be described as "Let's Play!" So here's the ritual, every morning as I walk down the stairs to the back yard on my way to the driveway  I can hear LuLu barking in Howard's house and I can see her jumping  vertically straight up about twenty inches to clear the window sill so that for about two seconds she can see me through the window as I descend the stairs. She's making it clear to Howard it's time to go outside, and like clockwork Howard opens the back door and out she comes. I throw a ball or a toy for about 15 minutes as Lulu performs amazing acrobatic catches and even more amazingly at age 9 (63 years in human years) returns the ball to me by throwing it back! I don't know how she does it but she stops in front of me with the ball and bobs her head three times (and it's always three times) and then releases the ball with uncanny accuracy into my out stretched hand. Every morning it's the same. Last Friday Lulu came to greet me as usual and Howard's assistant who was house sitting at the time informed me that Howard was out of town and wouldn't be returning until weeks end. The next day, Saturday, as I came down the stairs  there was no Lulu. No barking, no joyful vertical jumping to catch a glimpse of me from the window, just silence in the house. I thought about it for a second and remembered that Howard was out of town and thought nothing more of it. It wasn't until Howard's return that I realized something was missing, and yes it was Lulu. Howard had decided to kennel her while he was gone, and Lulu had suddenly fell ill while at the kennel and had died. I was shocked and sad at first because even at age nine Lulu was so full of life, joy and vitality. I realized I was grieving for my loss because I would never see her again. But soon, I found gratitude for her and for what she had taught me. Lulu showed me that even until death, that if we can stay in the moment and live with open hearts, joy and playfulness we can deeply enjoy life and bring joy and connection to others. She reminded me that our bodies, our forms are temporal, and that it isn't the body we remember when a loved one passes but it's the LOVE we shared with them that matters. I loved Lulu and she loved me. She was a bundle of unconditional non contained loving Presence expressing our True Nature in the form of a wiry little white haired smiley faced Jack Russell Terrier. She helped me remember who and what we truly are, and that, is Love.

namaste Lulu....namaste.