Questions & Responses

The Fullness of the Heart

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Hi Jen,

After yesterday’s session I came up with 2 thoughts/questions

This is more philosophical (?) question: I always thought that what we discussed/discuss is concerning living organisms (ticks (ECK!) to humans); it doesn’t really encompass nonliving things (like rocks, chairs, walls, concrete) but I got to wondering for some reason after yesterday’s gathering………………………..I don’t know why.

Sacredness is all intertwined with religion for me and I find difficult to get past that, but I know I have experienced scared feelings outside of religion – primarily in nature. For example seeing really cool things…………….redwoods and the Morpho butterfly in the jungles of Costa Rica with it flashing bright blue as a ray of sunlight hits its open wings. I experience these moments in my heart (I think).

Heart experiences for me are very full (sometimes to bursting) and span from joy to grieving (here is where it feels like it is bursting most). Heart has some religious intertwining’s but nothing like sacredness.

The rest of the inquiry I continue to cogitate/meditate/feel………………………

Dear One,

Thank you for sharing your contemplations and wonderings. Thank you for being willing to contemplate and wonder!

Yes, we tend to carve up Reality and conceptualize existence into categories such as living and dead. But is it true? It may be a useful description relatively. But fundamentally, is it true? Is the seed that gives way to a sprout “dead”? Are the leaves that have fallen from the trees, and are now giving way as soil, “dead”? Are the atoms and electrons that are holding together a concrete wall, “dead”? While these same elementary particles are “alive” when arranged in a human body? If existence is “everything that exists” can anything within existence be said to not exist (dead)? Expressions within existence are unique, diverse and always changing, transforming. However, all expressions within existence arise from and AS the ONE SOURCE and return to the ONE SOURCE. Fundamentally, essentially everything IS life itself.

I relate to the description of your heart experiences as being full. Yes, as you said, the heart is the place where we are able to experience the Fullness of Being. The bursting openness. And the sacredness of all of life. It is where we are moved by the beauty of a butterfly in flight. Thank you for sharing that image. Beautiful.



In Silence

by Thomas Merton

Be still.

Listen to the stones of the wall.

Be silent, they try

to speak your



to the living walls.

Who are you?


are you? Whose

silence are you?

Who (be quiet)

are you (as these stones

are quiet). Do not

think of what you are

still less of

what you may one day be.


be what you are (but who?)

be the unthinkable one

you do not know.

O be still, while

you are still alive,

and all things live around you

speaking (I do not hear)

to your own being,

speaking by the unknown

that is in you and in themselves.

“I will try, like them

to be my own silence:

and this is difficult. The whole

world is secretly on fire. The stones

burn, even the stones they burn me.

How can a man be still or

listen to all things burning?

How can he dare to sit with them

when all their silence is on fire?”

What does the caterpillar "know"

When I say "the caterpillar doesn't know it's eventuality as the butterfly". I am bowing to this Unknowingness, this Buddha caterpillar. Who is perfectly and wisely in harmony with its dharma and its nature. Perhaps they are living in a felt sense of dread and separate identity. But I don't see any caterpillars pacing the parking lot in angst filled self-consciousness. Conflicted as to whether they should build cocoons or not build cocoons. Wringing their hands in existential fear and uncertainty. They can't maintain their caterpillarness and simultaneously transmute into the butterfly. They must give way. And they do. Brilliantly and Unknowingly. Moment to moment. With wisdom and intelligence beyond the plans of a thinking mind.

The Warbler Knows

By Ivan M. Granger

The warbler knows

only dawn's shaft

of light

on her breast.

Forgetting false future

suns, she sings

in no voice

but her own.


Transformed knowledge, which is an unknowing,

is the way of transparent knowing,

it is the way

of unselfconsciousness.

When you learn this

you can learn everything

and return to everything

and praise everything.


All creatures flow and return to their source.

Transformed knowledge and love draw up and lead

and bring the soul back into the first source of

the One,

the Creator of all in heaven and on earth.

What is created flows out but remains within. So,

when we return to our first origin,

which is our primal purity,

we discover our freedom

and are free.

--Meister Eckhart


Dear Jen,

Could you say a bit more about the word surrender. I like the words "let go". Or allow. But I'm also drawn to the word surrender even though it kind of scares me.

Dear One

When the ego process, the "me" imagines surrender it generally conjures up a giving away of power or a losing of a battle to an "other". Submission to someone or something outside of one's self. This brings up fear. The ego has to build itself up with pride or anger, a defense of some kind, in order to face fear. We come on big when we feel small. And intuitively the ego, which is simply a process of belief, belief in a separate "me" entity, knows that it has no inherent power. The me knows that it is like a 3X3 skiff in the middle of the ocean. And the "me" lives with this fear buried deep in the psyche. The fear of certain death.

What if the "me" just said "yes"? A complete and total "YES". I'm gonna die. I surrender to this absolute Reality. Yes. Ok. What if? What if it hoisted the white flag, laid down right now? RIGHT NOW.

There is a sense of "losing" implied in the word surrender. This sense of loss is a precise pointer. This is the way of the spiritual seeker, the spiritual warrior. The "me" must eventually lose the battle, the struggle. The "me" must step down.

Pride and conditioned defenses are no match for Truth. The Truth of one's Being. In its deepest sense surrender is a "YES". The perpetual "no, I will not go", the existential grip relaxes. In Truth, we are always every moment surrendering to What IS. There is no other way. But the conscious realization and direct experience of this truth is a surrendering of the "me" to the eternal Self.

As someone said yesterday in our meeting, the "I AM" is surrender. Exactly. The unthinkable, unknowable Mystery of pure potential surrenders, gives way in each and every moment AS the birth of all of existence. Finally, in this conscious experience we realize that Surrender is the very nature of "I AM". The very nature of Beingness. Of Life.

Rest and Be Taken

by Adyashanti

When there is deep abundance

there is nowhere to abide.

There is nowhere to rest

or grasp onto

and yet there is rest

The sky abides

yet it never rests.

Neither can we say that

the sky is not always at rest.

We talk about the sky

as if it were something

as if it actually exists -

and yet we cannot say that

the sky does not exist.

The sky is nothing but

coming and going.

Everything is perfectly spontaneous.

The coming and going arise mutually


If the true I is asleep

you will miss the point entirely

and you will continue to dwell

in the world of opposites.

So see the two as one

and the one as empty

and be liberated

within the world of duality.

At first it seems

as if begoing follows becoming.

But look even closer

and you will see

that there are only

flashes of lightning

illuminating the empty sky.

Life and death

becoming and begoing

are only words.

In order to save your life

you must see that you die


moment to moment

instant to instant.

Now where are you going to abide?

And where are you not abiding already?

Indeed there is nowhere

to rest your head

and there is nothing but rest.

So let go of all ideas

about permanence and impermanence

about cause and effect

and about no cause and no effect.

All such notions are dualistic concepts.

The Truth of what you are

is completely beyond all duality

and all notions of non-duality,

and yet it includes duality

and non-duality alike.

Like an ocean

that is both waves and stillness

and yet un-definable

as waves or stillness.

The truth of being

cannot be grasped by ideas

or experiences.

Both waves and stillness

are the manifest activity

or your own self.

But self cannot be defined

by its activity

nor by its non-activity.

The truth is


ungraspable, all-inclusive

and closer than your own skin.

A single thought about it

obscures its essence.

The perfume of true life

is right in your nose.

There is nothing you can do

to perceive it

and yet you must do something.

I say:

Rest and be taken.

Rest and be taken.

Heart Opening

Hi Jen,

I had a dream about you the other night, we were sitting down to talk and you seemed so excited and I was nervous and then we got interrupted and had to reschedule. We were in some high school gymnasium, it was very odd, haha.

Anyways, I thought I should probably check in!

So here it goes...

To be honest, it has been really hard for me to stay present during the Zoom calls, I have moments of extreme fatigue, day-dreaming and just not understanding what is being said at all. 2020 has taught me that I struggle with virtual connections, I really miss the in person meetings, but I am grateful for this platform to have community. I find myself really loving the meditations and wanting to sit longer and incorporating that more into my every day life. And I do feel like my heart is slowly opening. I don't get a physical heart sensation as much as I get just an overwhelming feeling of joy, love and gratitude. Lately I have been having days of extreme joy and excitement followed by a day of extreme grief. Could it be that the more my heart is opening the more I am feeling my grief as well?

I recently had a beautiful experience with Mother Mary coming to me, she had her arm wrapped around me and was whispering in my right ear but I couldn't hear her, I just felt her. I feel like she is my guide right now especially in this heart work and I loved hearing you talk about her in last session!

I am currently in a big transition at work. With all of this excitement going on, it is hard for me to stay fully present, but this is part of my heart opening, as I am following my heart! It feels so right and I'm just trying to stay patient, grounded and steady with an open heart through this whole process while being with the waves of excitement and fear that come up, but sometimes the fear is really loud! The fear for me is loneliness and I'm not sure the root of it, I'm still sitting with this.

I am so grateful to have the gift to learn from you and I wish I could be more present and with it. Please know that I am so appreciative of you and your work and the Full Circle Family.

Dear One,

Everything about this email brought me joy. I don't know where to start. I'll start with Thank you! I so appreciate when someone shares their heart path. I have such a feeling of gratitude and awe every time I'm included on someone's journey. Thank you.

As the personal heart opens to the Heart which is beyond any notion of open/close, the capacity for joy, love, gratitude, grief and all the rest comes into consciousness. It can feel like a roller coaster. I always referred to that phase as "a rock n roll show". I felt like the layers of protective padding between me and "all of it" had been torn off and I was open to everything. Everything was experienced. All the bits and pieces throughout time/space of my personal stuff, the collective, the unconscious, the psyche came home. Came home to be seen and loved. It really is the Great Homecoming.

Because in Truth, all the bits and pieces are essential facets of the Whole. We call it this or that but essentially Wholeness cannot be carved into fragments of this and that. How fortunate and perfect that you are being drawn to meditation and sitting during this phase. How beautiful that you are listening and available to your inner wisdom. Beautiful. And that you have discovered Mother Mary, one of the archetypal blueprints of compassion, as a guide. I'm so happy about this.

Sometimes we have to find the "discipline" that is spoken about in all spiritual lineages. Kind and gentle but alert and vitally engaged. Profoundly attentive. This is why the paths of spirituality almost always encourage postures that keep us awake. Hard pews in the churches, lotus position, straight spine etc. Eternal Presence is eternally present . Access to this Truth, as a direct experience, can sometimes be facilitated through the body and senses. Tuning into the breath. Even naming the objects in the room. There is the screen. There is the Zoom session. Here I am in the chair. My feet are on the floor. What would it mean to be right here, right now just as the breath is? Just as the space in the room is?

What is all-ways Here? Never coming or going but always and already Present, Here? Even as attention wanders or disengages or dreams, what is aware of attention wandering?

It can be helpful to understand that we all receive transmission differently. The words are an interesting and simultaneously confounding part of any spiritual teaching. And some of us are not going to "get it" from the words. But kinda miraculously we will find ourselves more drawn to sitting, more open-hearted, more capable of riding waves of emotion, with spontaneous insights, aware of archetypal helpers etc. Not because of what the teacher is saying or even because of what the teacher is doing. But rather in response to associating oneself with Truth. Shared intention and showing-up. Combined with the guidance of a teacher enlivens One's natural potentiality for Self discovery.

"It feels so right and I'm just trying to stay patient, grounded and steady with an open heart through this whole process while being with the waves of excitement and fear that come up, but sometimes the fear is really loud! The fear for me is loneliness and I'm not sure the root of it, I'm still sitting with this. " Beautiful, beautiful. So sincere and wise. Its so moving to know that you are dancing this way. Having the capacity to acknowledge reality. And sit with the fear and loneliness. While remaining curious about the root. What a gift.

All my Love,


I just need to find my way there.

I feel so completely disconnected from spiritual reality that I don’t even have a sense of where it is. I feel like someone erased all my existing knowledge, plopped me down in Kansas in the year 1200 and said “go find the Statue of Liberty”. Like, I have no idea which direction to move; north, east, west, south, forward in time, backward in time. And because I live in my head and because I don’t know quite how to break through my built up insistence on “rationality” and “Newtonian physics”, as you would say, it’s very hard for me to engage with spirituality without that voice in my head just constantly saying, “dude, you know this is bullshit”. Back then I wasn’t seeking. Now I feel like I WANT it and the desperation makes it more difficult to attain it. I just need to find my way there.

Thank you for this sincere inquiry! I intimately remember this phase. And when we are in this phase, its very hard to see it as being perfectly perfect. But it is, it is. When we first start out , when we get called you might say, its usually out of a sense of deep frustration. And it absolutely feels like you know there is “something” but you can’t figure out the how, where, what of the situation. That is perfect. You are on the right track. The Unknowingness, in the end, becomes the “view”. The way. We can’t find our True essence with the mind, the intellect. Because Essence can’t ever be objectified. Its pure subject. Its ubiquitous, eternal, boundless, formless, timeless, changeless etc. Its too close, too intimate, too fundamental to be extricated and examined. It must be directly experienced. Be still, even for a few moments, and take note of all the thoughts and descriptions, narrations, categorizations. Take note of all the thoughts. And then take note of all the belief in the thoughts. The subtle difference between the thought itself and the choice to lend belief to the thought. Then take note of the feelings and sensations in the body that rise out of the beliefs. Just follow the process. Then…. And this is critical, QUESTION the beliefs. You can always go back to your beliefs if they serve you. But just for one moment, even 10 minutes, QUESTION rather than believe. Just say maybe. Maybe, we’ll see, perhaps, I’ll get back to you. Practice this for a few days, maybe a week, whatever. And see what happens. Use your innate talent of precision to really look into the process of belief and see what you find.

What “sees” the whole process? What “sees” thought? What “sees” belief? Who is the “witness” ?

When the soul calls it feels like FIRE in the entire system. Desperation, heats up. Frustration heats up. Intellectual dead end heats up. Perfect. Give in. Give way. The Wisdom that runs this Universe is unstoppable. The intellect thinks it can give a good fight, the process of belief which is “ego” thinks it will somehow hold up. But let’s face it, THAT which gives birth to the Universe (you and me) moment to moment or……….intellect? Place your bet. Intellectualism and Newtonian physics are absolutely relatively true. And useful!! Especially when in service to the uncaused Love at the heart of existence. But we can’t be loaded up with intellectual knowingness and make it through the eye of the needle. Its like using a hammer when you need a drill. I’m not talking about New Age magical, childish wishing spirituality. An apple is gonna be subject to gravity when it falls from a tree. The mind thinks its either/or. Either time or timeless, form or formless, etc. But Reality is infinitely dimensional. Infinitely. And the Source of Reality has no characteristics whatsoever. Completely attribute less. I know it seems crazy but “the erasure of prior knowledge” and the unknowingness is the fertile ground. The clean slate. The open sky. Its exactly how it has to be.

Let it find you . Rather than you finding it. Allow. Relinquish. Yield. Let go. Be still. Relax. Surrender.

We can’t attain something we fundamentally ARE. Its a discovery, an uncovering. Like waking up in the morning and discovering this world still exists. Was here all the time when you were sleeping. Its exactly like waking up from a dream.

Much Love to you. Jen

It is. That is what I is.

Hi Jen,

I am still reviewing the contemplations but here are a few thoughts I have had. These contemplations have really gotten me to delve deep into everything I have learned and I am finding comfort in doing them, if that makes sense. Much love to you!

Contemplation one:

Heart- That is my strongest chakra. I feel it, I breathe it, I live it. My feelings of heart are deep, broad and encompassing. When I meditate I often breathe love into the heart from anyone and anything that is giving it. When I exhale I breathe love back out of the heart like a blanket that covers the entire universe for anyone or anything willing to receive it. It always is felt in my entire body and deeply satisfying. Heart is my connection to all that is.

Sacredness- I relate the word to religion, holiness. I have never thought of it in relation to any other thing. It is priceless in all forms, it is reverent. There's a silence and stillness about it. It makes me quiet and humble in it's presence.

Contemplation two:

I- Straight from my thoughts without cleaning it up, I am is the essence of me that knows and I/me the ego is the part of me that is not or does not listen well enough yet to see fully the I am that knows. I/me is wanting to be the special one that stands out, the one that insists on being right, the one that doesn't want anyone else to be like themselves but in the same breath does not want to be odd man out. I am has no such characteristics, as a matter of fact it has no such directives. It is. That is what I is.

Dear One,

YES! "I am has no such characteristics, as a matter of fact it has no such directives. It is. That is what I is." Liberating discovery! Namaste' Dear One. Deep appreciation and love for this sharing. Your words bring me joy. Thank you for your deep Presence and willingness to "delve". In gratitude, Jen

Love for Love's sake

Reflecting on the course and how much I was resonating with the Mother energy you brought (also in retreat). It feels more and more clear and important to me that my practice is a giving way to Love for Love’s sake. Just being the best fertile soil I can be. In 2020 especially, it feels like a critical revelation in my development: I practice to say yes to life force and Love, and self “improvement”, or any kind of spiritual materialism becomes ever more irrelevant and even profane.

That’s my morning reflection in regards to the course

Dear One,

YES! exactly. So beautifully, precisely expressed. We ARE the light of the world. "Love for Love's sake". The "critical revelation". Exactly. Beautiful.

You knew this deepening was coming. And you kept showing up in that perfectly challenging and arid phase that often precedes the deeper opening. Thank you for your willingness and sincerity. We become consciously empty, ever-more unknowing AS divine instruments and naturally the fullness of Love finds expression.



The Bodhisatva’s mind is not frightened by the total absence of any recognizable, definable or findable being called a bodhisattva. —Prajnaparamita sutra

The Homecoming

Hi Jen,

First thank you so much for having all the on-line sessions. They are so peaceful and gratifying. You are inspiring!

I have a question that has been annoying me. When I deal with family, I loudly speak from my ego. If I even attempt to speak from Self, I fail miserably and the ego just shoves right by and I can't seem to stop it! I am hoping you can give me some insight on this because it's getting very frustrating. So, then I think maybe that's where I am at and not as far as I thought with Self.

Hope that made sense?

Love to you!!

Thank you for this. Brilliant question. I really appreciate you bringing it forward. I'm sure we can all benefit from your inquiry into sincere frustration. And I can personally relate.

I think it is really useful to remember that everything, all "things", everything is Self. For a while, it can seem like there are actually two selves. The small self or ego process, and the greater Self or pure "I". But in Reality they are a coherent Whole. When we awaken to the deeper sense of Self, our persona must shift. The incarnation, the personality, the individual rearranges in light of the awakened realization of Self.

It often comes as a surprise that a direct experience of our True Nature is only the beginning of the unfolding of Grace into consciousness. Awakening is an eternal process with phases. Kinda like we go through developmental stages of physical growth. It is a wise and compassionate process. But not always easy. Remember being a teenager! Necessary but kinda crazy.

It's easy to doubt ourselves and our realization when the remnants of the ego begin to come boldly forward. Especially with family. Because family is deep, patterned conditioning. DNA deep. Patterns and tendencies that exist at the "blueprint" level of reality. What the eastern traditions call "samskaras". In one sense, that's what family is.

Intimate relationships are where the parts of ourselves, which are the parts of THE SELF, that are most deeply unconscious have the opportunity to come to light. It can look pretty gnarly sometimes. All the deepest places of conditioning and repression come up and out into the light of Presence. That's what spiritual awakening is all about. That's the fine print that rarely gets brought forward. ;)

It can feel almost like watching a movie. The deep "I" becomes aware of itself in and AS all of the human stuff through the vehicle of our personal lives. We are the reflection, the mirror. This is the redemption. The Homecoming. The "I" or the Self experiences itself and compassionately returns everything to the originality of Love.

The Self recognizes itself through the reflection of the self (human ego). And Wholeness moves spontaneously in compassion for the parts of itself that are unconscious. As the hidden parts, the unloved parts, are coming into awareness, and being made conscious, our self, our humanity can feel very turbulent. This is one of the reasons that all spiritual traditions make the claim that awakening is not for the faint of heart.

So.........what can we do? It takes some real Presence, focused attention and intention. But in the heat of the moment we can: sincerely acknowledge what is happening (even if its rage or fear or disgust or whatever), relax, take a step back, breathe out, close our eyes, become vitally aware of the deeper essence, invite the attention into the heart, throw up our hands, ask for assistance/prayer, listen, listen, be gentle with oneself and others, be as sincere as possible, ask a question, ask for/take a time-out, reach out to a trusted guide. And you can probably add to this list with your own wisdom. I look forward to you sharing what you discover!

I love you friend, thank you,