For decades I had a ‘monkey mind on steroids’ –
thoughts were constantly running, often repetitive
and largely negative and guilt producing.
It was not a very enjoyable way to live, to say the least.
And even after the initial glimpse of Wholeness
that monkey mind on steroids kept going.
The negative and repetitive nature of my thinking
did not slow down one bit for quite a while.
But even though all of that kept running – a few things did change.
I began to be aware of the running thoughts and
I began to be aware of my sense of Self when my attention was closed in on thoughts
and, most significantly, I began to be aware of my sense of Self
when my attention was open to simply observing the thoughts.
This was absolutely amazing!
Nothing had changed but everything had changed.
Awareness of thoughts running through rather than having attention hooked into them…
Awareness of the false sense of Self when attention is hooked into them …
And awareness of the true sense of Self when we are simply observing thoughts.
We are The Sky:
The Sky observes clouds without confusing itself to be what it is observing
In the midst of chores can there be gratitude – or only when chores are done?
Just the other morning while hanging up my pants
there was full Gratitude as I watched my hand placing the pants on a hook.
There was nothing else in that moment but that.
Although there was a lot scheduled for that day
without projection of what still 'needs' to be done
there was no missing what is Now.
as we take a step,
wash a dish,
chop the onions …
nothing else but this.
During this busy season,
may each of us know this Gratitude
more and more deeply
as we are fully present to and enjoy whatever we are now doing.
A Grateful Heart Sees Beauty and Feels Joy Now
Love Notices – Forgetfulness Tries
We are so conditioned to judge our conditioning
(all those ways we've been programmed to resist,
withdraw from, or grab hold of whatever is now happening)
that whenever conditioning comes up we often either feel a kind of
‘Oh, no, not that again’ dread toward ourself
or a type of ‘How dare you” anger toward those
we perceive have triggered it.
We either feel bad about ourself or others.
We feel we are the problem or others are the problem.
We feel that because conditioning comes up
we need to somehow change or others need to change.
Yet – there is a third way to view conditioning.
When we are open hearted toward all experience
that means we are open hearted toward any conditioning that shows up.
When we see conditioning clearly we’re not judging it, ourself or others.
The conditioned resistance comes and goes
and we are free to know and sense our freedom from it all.
And then gradually, gradually, the open heartedness
of seeing all the way through the judgment of Self and others
to the true sense of Self
gives way to a genuine ‘Thank you’
whenever we become aware of conditioning.
A deep gratitude wells up within
as we see it all clearly -
the conditioning and the Unconditioned.
No longer misperceiving conditioning as what we are
but simply as what is now passing through
allows the understanding of what we actually are to stabilize.
Freedom reveals itself
when we allow what is coming and going
to come and go without judgment.
When we see conditioning clearly we see it with the eyes of Love.
The clarity of Love says, "All is welcome here."
I find it to be so helpful to become aware of the many ways we cover up
the direct knowing and sensing of peace now.
When we don’t know that Wholeness is already the case
we try so hard to find it through something we do –
all the while unaware that those very ways we try to find peace
are the very ways we are covering up what we are trying to find!
So … seeing the ways we cover up the realization of what we are
can be extremely helpful in letting those ways go.
Three general ways we believe we can get to what we seek
is through earning, demanding or withdrawing.
Those who try to earn their way try to be good,
try to learn or do more, try to figure things out.
They believe the answer lies in the goodness or knowledge
or activity or success that they accumulate –
not in what they actually are.
Those who try to demand their way to what they seek try to fix others,
learn about ways others aren't measuring up and how they can be helped to do better. They believe the answer lies in what others do or don’t do –
not in what they actually are.
And those who withdraw believe the way to what they seek
is in trying to remain safe from all hurt –physical and psychological.
They have either temporarily given up trying to find the answer and want to be left alone or want to find the answer within the safety of being left alone.
They believe the answer lies in what they keep away from –
not in what they actually are.
Seeking is an honest energy.
When we don’t know the Truth of Being we are built to seek.
But the seeking energy of trying to earn, demand or withdraw our way
into the discovery of what we seek is not open to life now.
That energy is fixed on the future.
To discover what we seek we must be open to Now.
Openness to Now is a dropping out of seeking into discovery.
When our eyes and heart are free of debris we can see and sense clearly.
Sometimes, for some of us,
it’s scarier to admit to Wholeness
than it is to insist on brokenness.
The knowing and sensing of Wholeness
sometimes takes us a bit of time
to acclimate to.
At a certain level there is a lot of excitement
in the insistence on brokenness – and in trying to fix it.
The anxious sense of aliveness we feel around
judgment, stress, confusion, fear, shame, guilt
and attempts to control or fix it is kind of comforting.
We all know that kind of ‘aliveness’ well.
And although at a deep level none of that feels good -
there's a type of perceived safety in its very familiar tight borders
and so we tend to stick with it.
Wholeness, Peace, Stillness
have a very different feel of aliveness.
There is a calm quality to Stillness – that is wide, wide open.
No border at all can be found.
And that openness can sometimes seem scary –
or even seem boring.
But when we have the courage to
allow the fear fully and allow the boredom fully
and ‘see’ what is on the other side, so to speak,
then the expansiveness of Stillness
begins to reveal more and more of Itself ...
and there is nothing at all scary or boring about that.
The courage to face discomfort reveals what our lack of courage hid.
It is all very simple. Instead of seeing things imagined, learn to see them as they are. When you can see everything as it is, you will also see yourself as you are. It is like cleansing a mirror. The same mirror that shows you the world as it is, will also show you your own face."