Guided Meditations & Inquiries
Guided Meditation #1 -Be sure to have the volume on the video itself, right by the play button, turned up all the way.
Focused Inquiry/Contemplation #1
Part 1: Tim's mother's dharma gift: Love, Kindness, Compassion, Forgiveness, was made all the more powerful because she became deeply realized in the moments of her physical death. During the period of time where she was facing the reality of impermanence and reflecting profoundly on her 96 years of living. Ask yourselves, from this place of assured impermanence, what do I want my life to have served?, what has my life served?. Contemplate these questions and write your discoveries down.
Part 2: Gently guide your attention to bring forward 3 examples in your life when you remember having embodied and given yourself in service to your deepest values. Examples of where you have brought forward, in action, the qualities you want your life to serve. Let those memories marinate in your heart. And notice what it feels like to be in the presence of these remembered acts of service. Please allow your deeper dimensions, rather than the judging mind, to guide this remembering. The acts may seem small or insignificant to the mind. But let the heart show you where you have experienced and served your deepest values.
Guided Meditation #2Be sure to have the volume on the video itself, right by the play button, turned up all the way.
Focused Inquiry/Contemplation #2
1) As humans we endeavor to language the events of Life. We speak. We give words to our experience. Sometimes our experience is so profound, so real, that we are "at a loss for words". We might say the moment is "beyond description", "beyond words" or "indescribable". Reflect on the moments that have brought you this sense of "beyond words"? What events tend to bring forward this experience? What situations and activities most awaken this sense in you?
Feel what it is like to be in this "indescribable" place. What are the embodied qualities of these "beyond words" moments? In other words, what do they feel like? (yes, I am asking you describe the indescribable). Stay open and available. There are no right or wrong descriptions or answers. We are sensing into our experience and listening. What characterizes an inexpressible, beyond-words moment?
THERE IS NO TIMELINE ON MOVING ONTO PART 2. FOLLOW YOUR INNER GUIDANCE. MOMENTS, DAYS, WEEKS.........the more that part 1 is discovered the more fruitful part 2 will be. ;)
2) Evoke the qualities that you have discovered, the sense of how "beyond words" feels, in your body and your perception, into the present moment. Invite this embodied sense of "beyond words" into the right here and now. From this place of indescribability reflect on some part of your life that you would consider ordinary, mundane. Allow this to open and marinate.
Then gently, from embodied inexpressibleness, begin to reflect on parts of life that you would consider conflictual, unworthy or not wanted. Explore these compartments, notice the words that are attempting to describe and categorize these areas of seeming ordinariness or unwantedness. And allow the deep sense of embodied wordlessness to permeate your experience. Again there is no timeline and no right or wrong. No experience that has to happen. We are allowing ourselves to explore freely with an intention of discovering what lies beyond the compartments and categories of language.
Guided Meditation #3
Session Notes for guided meditation #3 (click here)
The masks that sit on top of the true individuation are believed. And they veil the direct experience of the original and innocent expression. Third chakra is the bridge between the upper and root chakras. Center of will. Is an avenue to our unique, perfect expression and vision. Our inherent value and purpose. Our authenticity and dignity. Power is in the divine will. In Truth, everything, all-ways, is lit up and living solely through Divine Will. Personal will is an illusion of the desire nature of the ego. I want, I need, what can you do for me aspect of the ego process. When personal-will gives way to willingness, one lives in the realization that existence IS. Divine in all circumstances. The eternal shimmering darkness of the beyond is stirred and the potential flashes forward as fire. Fire of creation. The whole world is on fire, the fire of Love. This is the "blinded by the Light" that so many mystics and enlightened individuals speak of. The soul is like a prism or diamond. A lens that the light/fire of Source is focused through into each expression. One can sense this shining, this radiant essence and Power in the body at the solar (gotta love the name, SOLAR indeed!) plexus.
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?”
If you're going to be anxious and rush around about anything,
do it first about finding the "I Can" of the universe
and how it straightens out your life.
Line up your starting place with that of the cosmos:
search and ask and boil with impatience
until you find the vision of the One Being
that empowers all your ideas and ideals,
that restores your faith and justifies your love.
All the rest- the universal and endless "things"
will then attach themselves to you as you
You will stand at the threshold where
completeness arrives naturally
and prostration leads to perfection.
Pouring yourself out makes the universe do
--from the Aramaic, Neil Douglas Klotz translation
When I rest in my origin
I am the unmoving cause of all movement.
With no will nor intention of my own
all things move forth from my own being and
express my unspeakable and unknowable self.
Although I never move away
from my unmovable nature
all movement is my own.
Although I am the unmanifest and inexpressible
all manifestation in all the worlds are
expressions of my infinite creative potential.
I am always at rest
and wildly dreaming this moment
into and out of existence.
Focused Inquiry/Contemplation #3
All of us are familiar with struggle. Whether it be emotional, mental, relational, spiritual, collective, etc. etc. We know the feeling of struggle. Some of the definitions of struggle are : to contend with an opposing force; to make one’s way with violent effort; a war, fight or conflict. Some synonyms are: oppose, contest, fight, argue with. Essentially, the areas of struggle within our lives are doorways into discovering, and finally letting go of, our deeply conditioned responses of opposition. And the layers of subconscious beliefs that comprise the existential “no!” that is held deep within the fear of death.
The kind, gentle attention that we have been practicing can be brought to bear on these areas of struggle within our consciousness. When we are able to open-up in a careful, kind way to these areas of pain and fear, staying present in a gentle manner, they begin to reveal deeper layers of division. That then can be healed, released and dissolved back into Source. Its like scooping our struggles up onto our laps and saying “Here Sweetheart, tell me all about it. Let me kiss that owie.” The kiss is Presence itself. True Nature, Seeingness. We sense into these areas gently and allow the deeper layers of the struggle to naturally unravel and let go.
Choose an area of struggle that you would like to understand. Stay simple. We all have story upon story to describe our struggles. Just try to limit it to one sentence. Such as "I am struggling with……". Then, with a gentle and kind attention bring the struggle into consciousness. Feel the body. Listen, listen, listen. Let the thoughts, whatever they may be, come. Allow the emotional body to let loose. Allow, allow, allow. Remain alert, gentle and present. Imagine that you are listening to the struggle the way you would listen to a friend or a child in your care. What lies underneath the experience of struggle? What thoughts? What feelings? What beliefs? What conditioning? What does the struggle reveal and have to say? Can we allow the struggle to speak without creating a story upon the story?
Practice participating, with gentleness, in the natural process of the struggle playing itself out, cracking open and transmuting.
I go among trees and sit still.
All my stirring becomes quiet
Around me like circles on water.
My tasks lie in their places
Where I left them, asleep like cattle……..
Then what I am afraid of comes.
I live for a while in its sight.
What I fear in it leaves it,
And the fear of it leaves me.
It sings, and I hear its song.
Now that we have become more familiar and intimate with the process of struggle, we can move forward with a deeper inquiry. As always, we begin by making ourselves openly and compassionately available to the deeper dimensions of our being. Coming into inquiry with a sense of discovery. Understanding that our "answers" lie within our hearts and souls. And that by becoming available in a willing way we are more able to discover and reveal the innate wisdom.
As we did in part 1, begin by coming into struggle. Feel it directly. Let go of its story.
Look deeply and intimately. Allow.
Beyond the historical narrative, at the core, what is the foundation of strugglingness?
What are the key elements?
What does struggle need in order to exist?
Who or what, exactly, is struggling?
Farud ud-Din Attar, the Sufi poet,
Was unquestionably a Friend,
Held Dear by The Beautiful One.
Yet he did not flee the Mongols,
And fell cruelly, there in Nishapur,
To a warrior's bloodied sword.
Friendship with The Beloved,
Does not spare us worldly harm,
Or ensure life to those we love.
Rather, it Enraptures our Heart,
And Illumines our Deepest Interiority,
With a Light, inextinguishable.
A Love that Envelopes our Being,
Even as the body falls to the sword,
Or succumbs to wretched disease.
Not a conceptual abstraction,
Or a matter of “belief” or “faith”,
But palpable, visceral, real.
The Ecstasy of Nonexistent Existence,
Alive, in the Heart of our Being,
As the Heart of our Being.
And whatever befalls us in this life,
Occurs surrounded in that Light,
And we are Accompanied, Embraced…
---Garden of the Beloved
Guided Meditation #4
from Spring retreat 2020
The meditation is 45 minutes long. The pauses are part of the meditation.
Focused Inquiry/ Contemplation #4
INQUIRING INTO THE "I"
Endeavoring to discover the Source of "I", one's fundamental ground, through questioning every belief is a radical act of Love. Even a glimmer, a brief sense of the essential Silent Source, the Peace that passeth all understanding, naturally precipitates a more peaceful life expression. But with continued exploration and questioning the "I" eventually returns to the Source of all Being. And the domain of consciousness where "all is eternally well" is experienced directly as the context of experience. Simultaneously, the realization of one's True Nature, leads to a natural open hearted, profound caring about everything.
Deep spontaneous compassion from profound at-peace-ness. Not perfection. But authentic expression in the moment.
When you look deeply, honestly into the experience of "I", what do you find? Where and what is this "me" that you consider to be yourself? What, if anything, is at the core of this felt sense of "I"? Approach this with open-field, engaged, vital contemplation. Who Am I? What Am I? Really. Look closely. Look precisely. Look openly. Look with ease, with an open-field of being.
It may feel ridiculous. Or if you feel like you've already awakened to your true nature, your mind may want to own the answer. But this inquiry, this living question is fresh, new and eternal. It is discovered freshly, infinitely.
In general, we take ourselves to be our thoughts, our actions, our ideas, our habits, our history, our attitudes, our reactions, our relationships etc. We weave together these comings and goings of phenomenal, ever-changing events in a story that we then label "me". That's me, that's how and who I am. We count on this story. We rely on it. We treasure it. We feed it. And yes, these stories, these human comings and goings, are beautiful in their own right. But are they you? Essentially? Look closely, honestly. With ease and natural wonder. With a wonder that is free of expectation. Free of "what's in it for me?" With an attitude of discovery.
The keen nurturing of this inquiry into "I", generates an unveiling that can be unsettling, uncomfortable. It is not a casual, "ooh yeah, been there, done that" kind of contemplation. Its easy to say, "Oh, I'm actually nothing". Or "I'm actually everything". Or "I seem to be Nothing and Everything". Words are one thing and living experience is another. As Adya says, "don't mistake the menu for the meal". If you believe that the story of the individual me, is going to go peacefully and without complaint, you may discover otherwise.
If you have great sincere acceptance and surrender to the teaching of all the great teachers, those who have been liberated in this inquiry into "I", that EVERYTHING is born of the NOTHING, ALL IS ONE and ALL IS GOD. Then you accept that you, yourself as an individual ARE divine and sacred and an expression of Love. But in this acceptance you also, and this is the kicker, accept that everybody else and everything else is also a divine creation of the ONLY source. Everything. Everything. Everything.
It starts as acceptance, as a practice. It starts as an understanding, an idea. A trust, a faith in the great teachings. And through courage, sincerity, open-field listening, radical honesty, and resolve it dawns into and permeates the layers of consciousness.
To the ego, the me-story, to the individual, Oneness heralds certain death. And it does not want to sign up for death. Its understandable. We can have compassion for the "story of me". It doesn't realize that everything is welcomed and included and born of the ONE. In releasing our allegiance to individual identity we enter the freedom to BE anything. No-thing and every-thing. I'm not talking about super-natural powers and magic and siddhis and all that. We discover that we are totally and completely in LOVE with ourselves, this beautiful story. Not a love born of pride or arrogance or superiority. But born out of reverence and awe. That is why we ARE. Because LOVE has been loving us into existence from the beginning of time. And then.......then the individual expression, lived as the Whole, be-comes a natural unfolding of wholehearted , empty Fullness.