Saturday, November 26, 2011


Like those before and after, I'm leaving a trail of description that is nothing more than breadcrumbs on a moonless night. I can't help myself, apparently. I never know exactly what Maria will think, do, or how she will behave. This used to be a terrifying, it's liberating.

Lately, early in the morning, I spend a little time in what I suppose could be a kind of "meditation". I've never been able to keep a formal practice for very long. However, when I fall in, I fall in. Love...that has been my experience, my exploration. It seems the mental, physical and emotive are all coming together in a kind of synthesis that is evolving in unexpected ways, and I find myself simultaneously following like a puppy, unfurling like a frond and building, layer upon layer, like a pearl. Insights are both universal and intensely personal, applied to this momentum...given enough space and willingness, no question goes unanswered.

This morning there was a kind of pressure building, and eventually, the universe came out on my breath. I was singing reality. I was in awe. It was a quiet song full of every noise present, and the rest of my senses streamed along with it. I had to get up and stretch, reach for the floor, the ceiling, go out on the porch. There were crows calling, there was a white-star sun muffled in clouds topping a fir tree across the street. Music drifted faintly from a nearby house. The smell of wet, fallen leaves, earth, town was body, no skin between myself and all this. The world has no skin.

A man walked by on the sidewalk, and I heard my voice say "good morning", in the same way I heard the echoing crows and the splash of water from the rain gutter. I can't tell you how absolutely in place everything was (is)--how a car passed in perfection, thoughts in succession and then not at all. The barrier of sleepy caution was completely absent.

Only in its absence do I become aware of how thick and pervasive this "filter" a cloudy lens, an awkward pair of glasses with the wrong prescription. Fear of being (that's right!) is a habit, an unconscious pattern. When I become aware of it, it is just another rise and fall, a wave of energy that can do nothing to disturb what actually is...what I completely am. Following it is like getting caught in the wake of something passing--a ghost ship, that in the light of my heart turns out to be water dancing.

I am in love, my friends...immersed, drowned, clear. The love is being open to learning, unafraid. It's as if I--"I"--came into being out of fear, and then broke through to some other side. I'm not saying anything new...and there is no other side. The crows fly away with the trail in their beaks, calling. Not one mark do they leave!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

In Touch

I've been debating with myself about writing, lately. I often have no words for the best description seems to reach the heart of expression. These things must be experienced to be understood. Not experienced in my way, but in yours.


Most of the time, I don't have the luxury of endless hours of meditation, contemplation or prayer--light tends to happen in flashes, and is simply put it aside in favor of daily demands. Sometimes, though, I jot notes in my journal. Going over these sparks, poems and stories, it occurs to me that "mystical" experience is often their inspiration. My character marches, sprawls or fumbles through her average day, usually in some kind of survival mode or full coping armor; all at once, a swirl of leaves, the velvet expanse of a gaze, a spontaneous dance or two words from some sage, and wham! A sudden dive, or perhaps gradual descent/ascent into a whole new way of being here. Life hasn't changed--I am just naked again.

I don't think of these experiences as proof of realization or arrival (one never arrives anywhere!). For me, they are points of unfolding, timeless spans of healing and insight, appearing fully faceted through mind, body and spirit in a manner that mere mental understanding can't possibly match. That's all. :)

Also, they are cyclical, cumulative in some way, and will torment the more limited me if ignored  too long. Growth happens. Trying to contain it builds pressure. In my experience, pretending smallness doesn't help the situation.

Recently, I read through the journal of a Middle Eastern mystic and was astounded at the similarities in our experience (and the wording thereof). Further research and more startling synchronicity have me appreciating my odd life in a whole new way--with much more respect and humility. I've often compared the movement of God/dess, Spirit, the Great Whatever--This--to a language that doesn't use words. It's something felt, a kind of natural knowing revealed, a communication-by-expansion. Words can be misconstrued. Direct experience, though sometimes puzzling or mysterious to the mind after the fact, carries a quality of immediate intimacy, pointing to our own face. It demands attention, contemplation, even just a gentle holding and processing. Calling it craziness (I did, for a long time) will not make it go away! It can't go away. It is what we are. It can only be held off, by resistance or desire, for so long.

Some people have asked why, when this kind of thing is sought after by "spiritual seekers" (or just intensely curious adventurers) in many places--why would I deny, disregard, or downplay the nature of my experience? Fear, at first, and reluctance to wreck what little social life I had. Ego was terribly involved in a backhanded way. Exaggerated repression tends to blow things out of proportion, inhibiting the natural flow of such energies. I couldn't know this, however, and so it went.

Some events took many years to unfold and integrate, and a degree of caution was called for.  As a young adult, a good friend of mine accused me of being a closet drug-addict when I let my guard down and admitted some of my more colorful adventures. Such states were the product of LSD, he insisted, or some kind of demonic possession. Neither demons nor drugs were involved (although I did get mighty curious about whether or not LSD really brought on that facet of reality...decades later, the answer is NO. Not the same!) Respect on both sides was often lost over these discussions. I stopped talking about it...until I learned some discernment.

As time went on, the quality of these experiences changed--became deeper, more powerful, and brought on waves of "psychic" phenomena. Neat...but the love, the love is what I fell for! Love, love, LOVE unlike any other. I say "love", because that word best describes what I felt, but in all honesty, this intimacy was of a degree unknown in my human relations. It left me awestruck, humbled, blown open, and almost terrified of the spacious beauty revealed--as if it was my own inside. This sensation was most difficult to went against common sense, certainly belying my upbringing and typical belief systems. There was, in fact, no model in my life for this.

And there still isn't. It is comforting to note a kind of mystical territory common to certain "levels" of experience, where the landmarks are metaphorically (and often literally) pointed to--there is the Void, a pearl of great price, fire in the belly, diamond intellect--yet, fulfillment can only be found here, now, as I am, in no other experience. Looking exclusively "out there" for peace, understanding and validation turns these essential qualities of Being into mere shadows of themselves, placing them at a distance. This, as they say, is it, and it unfolds uniquely through each of us, into the kind of world most appropriate to our degree of acceptance...whatever we are ready to experience.

Writing about this helps me in the same way that painting "externalizes" a process.  What is born on the page or canvas always seems at least one step removed from original contact. There is still value in saying it, in looking at it, in putting it into form for minds and hearts to view. The original moment is ours alone, shaped precisely to us, so close that it is whatever we are. It doesn't happen to us. We are the stillness, the eternal witness, in which the motion of life opens like a wake and spreads across a totality barely sensed on the typical plane of awareness. 

Just a couple of layers down...there is a curiosity, quite gentle, unafraid, open, neutral and entirely intimate with all that is. This is the realm, I'm convinced, within which we glimpse unfurled wings. This is where a very pure version of us dwells, a being so fine as to touch all things with grace, in an exact meeting. I find myself here as this unconflicted awareness at times when I can't sleep, but am too physically tired to get up, or perhaps when I'm just very relaxed. There is no thought, image or movement that is avoided, and nothing is defended. I need nothing. My nature is content with itself and whatever happens. It isn't even "my" nature--it just is. The is-ness is unquestioned. It roams the mind, body and environment with nothing but a wish to know the forms, feelings and all other sensual things as they are--an almost childlike love. 

Just a couple of layers down...