Inquiry & Response
Questions, Reports, Inspiration, and Response
It just simply IS
Before I get into my head I will share. To begin the words classroom,assignment,homework and the specifics needing to be viewed conjured up thoughts,judgements of self sabotage, "can't do that". Then I said bugger all that I feel a deep inner peace just do the meditation.
There was a constant peaceful plunging and bubbling back up to the surface like a bubble. Most of it was filled with nurture and love, situations being reviewed and then surprisingly, a viewing of red, rage. I sank into it and as it bubbled up tears fell I just stayed and witnessed. This doesn't have to mean anything, it doesn't have to be forgiveness or wishing or regret or love or compassion or sadness or happiness, it just simply is.
There you are that's out. I truly enjoyed and felt the satsang and prior to it just decided to listen with my heart not my head. I had been feeling such immense gratitude, joy and peacefulness lately that when BZ shared her thoughts I literally wanted to jump up and down but remembered the camera was on. It is incredibly comforting to have you and Mooji,Adya,Eckhart etc offering daily uplifting messages. Now I can sit in that peace and the mind can't tell me the rubbish it wants me to believe.
How great to be a thread woven into your tapestry. With immense gratitude and deepest love
What a sharing! Thank you. So beautiful to hear that you are following the guidance of your own experience and inner voice. Sometimes energy, as it is brought into conscious Presence is simply released as color, sensation, emotion, memory, pictures (almost like movies). As you experienced. And how beautiful of you to "stay", be present for it all without deciding a meaning. Wonderful.
I'm so glad that you are experiencing joy and peace. Go ahead and jump girl!
Thank you for joining in this online retreat and for listening to your heart. And for bringing your beauty to the Full Circle tapestry and to the world. In gratitude and love my friend,
Self Inquiry , Connectedness and Living the truth
1) How does self inquiry mesh with connectedness? I feel like when I'm doing self inquiry it takes away from my connectedness.
2) What's your take on the thought "live the truth"? For some reason that thought plays on my mind like a tune you can't get out of your head.
My love to you, D.
Fabulous questions! Thank you.
1) Most of us are conditioned to respond intellectually, cerebrally to questions. We are generally looking for a linear answer. If-A-then-B sort of thought train. When our attention is absorbed by intellect it is easy to feel disconnected. So it takes some exploration before we find our way into inquiry or discovery without expectation of an intellectual answer. When we inquire from the timeless dimensions of our Being, dropping the inquiry into the heart or root, we become deeply available to the creativity and wisdom of our True Nature beyond the thinking mind. Intention and deep availability lead the way rather than thinking about the inquiry. And the provided inquiries, contemplations, are just suggestions. Always look to your direct experience for guidance.
2) "What's your take on the thought "live the truth"?" Looks like you've found your relevant inquiry!!
Much love friend, Thank you for your sincerity and devotion,
Sitting here...contemplating the experience of the tree, which really isn’t a tree....with the “death” of its form, there really Isn’t a loss to grieve, that’s more of an egoic wanting something to be different, by the perception of the observer. Nothing is truly lost...just a movement of energy. For the observer, there’s a thought, i.e.“I killed the tree!” Then an emotion and then the thought/feeling loop. With the collapse, nothing is truly fallen??
Dear Barb, Thank you for this sharing and wonderful question!
All of existence is "experienced" as an expression of True Nature, Wholeness, Source. (I only use the word "experienced" because we do not have another word. But it is not a true indicator.) There is no one, no "me", having an experience. Sittingness IS AS sittingness. Treeness IS AS treeness. Grievousness IS AS grievousness. Fallingness IS AS fallingness. Egoness IS AS egoness. The expression in the current moment is not defined by separation, categorization or intellectual definition. Rather, it is direct, unmediated and self evident. Everything is spontaneously arising from and AS THAT which knows itself through the reflection of the current moment.
From Farid ud-Din Attar:
I know nothing.
I understand nothing.
I am unaware of Myself.
I am in Love,
But with whom I do not know
In deepest love and gratitude,
The apparent opposites of relative and absolute
On one hand, I completely know that the relative and absolute are one. On the other hand, it gets challenging in lived experience!
Sometimes I can go to a really disengaged place that feels more like depersonalization/derealization, and not the resonant Oneness that I have experienced the absolute. Sometimes I notice my own tendency to dismiss the relative as less real/true than the absolute, and this can feel judgmental and cold. I sometimes withhold myself from experience, relationship, and pleasure, justifying that nothing matters except the absolute. I know that sometimes this is a "spiritual bypass" or rationalization of my own anxiety. On the other hand, when I get tired of this rigidity that takes willpower, I swing the other way and can feel really hopeless and collapsed. There are infinite ways that my experience plays at the borders or maybe projected imaginings of the absolute and relative, the context and the contents.
I am slowly getting better at walking the middle path between apparent opposites, holding the paradox as the whole. I know from my own experience that healing the relative (trauma, relationships, anxiety, etc.) make it more and more easy to rest in expansiveness and peace, as well as make the relative much more manageable, enjoyable, and inseparable from the whole. My own relationship to healing has changed, and I have become much more kind, nurturing, and gentle with myself and others as a result of loosening my grip on a "spiritual" identity.
I don't think I have a clear or complete question here....just holding an intention to go deeper in dissolving my perception of absolute and relative as contradictory. Wanting to continue my exploration of how to live a fully human life while surrendering to truth, awareness, love, and "the absolute". Baby+bathwater.
This is so rich! Thank you for sharing so deeply.
First of all, I want to bring forward what strikes me as perhaps the "key" pointer in your exploration. "My own relationship to healing has changed, and I have become much more kind, nurturing, and gentle with myself and others as a result of loosening my grip on a "spiritual" identity." As your experience shows you, the more we let loose of identity, whether it be spiritual or otherwise, we naturally unfold in a kinder, gentler, easier way. Both within ourselves and within our relationships. True Naturalness is beyond identifications and is wise beyond intellectual understandings.
When we are focusing our intention and attention on resolving the paradoxical experience of relative and absolute, or when we are inquiring into anything really, it can be very useful to recognize that the words themselves hold a rigidity and a knowingness. They are limited. Once we have recognized the conferred meanings that the words are giving to direct experience we can relinquish the mind's definitions and interpretations of this and that. And more freely explore and freshly discover. In other words, the direct experience at any moment becomes the vital, leading edge of discovery. Rather than the mind's interpretation leading the way. We are eating the meal rather than describing the meal. This leads to the dissolution of separation and the resolution of apparent opposites.
Verbal expression is one of your unique gifts. And I'm not discouraging you from writing and verbal expression. We don't have to close down around the concept of "words are only pointers". This is true but they are also beautiful doorways when left open. We endeavor to use language while remembering that the Absolute is beyond all definitions and categorizations. And the lived immediacy of this is a free falling Unknowingness. Where separation is not relevant and not part of perception.
Much love and Namaste' dear One,
Interconnectedness and divine movement of existence
In meditation, yesterday, there was the realization of when a word came into the moment, there would, simultaneously, be a concept and a movement from context to content.
This was, clearly, arising from a “new”
awareness. The experience of context and content were more “evident”, with an awareness of true nature‘s “preference” for the nothingness of silence.
Later in the day, I read your next inquiry (how perfect was that?) and Caitlin’s exploration (thanks Caitlin!) with your response, and deeply sensed the interconnectedness and divine movement, of existence.
There is also this inner wisdom bubbling up, that, clearly, is not coming from this “brain”....I laugh and think, “Now where did that come from?” It was a beautiful thing!
In loving gratitude,
Thank you for the beautiful description of your experience. There can be great discovery in exploring how words are concretizing an otherwise fluid experience of "interconnectedness and divine movement". I appreciate your sharing of this .
As we deepen our inquiry we can see how even our "spiritual" language can become limiting. Such is the paradox of attempting to language the Ineffable. As you so beautifully illustrate, it serves to keep an openess and attitude of questioning even in the midst of insight. As Adya says, "question every thought".
I would encourage a look into "The experience of context and content were more “evident”, with an awareness of true nature‘s “preference” for the nothingness of silence. " What is beyond these notions of context/content, thing/no-thing? What part of experience, what dimension of being, is 'preference' arising from?
Namaste' and Much Love
Gratitude without cause
Our last meditation, brought up so much gratitude . Grateful that this is my path because I've been on so many other paths before this one. Then I realized those paths are the reason I was on this path. So then my question became why wasn't I grateful during my time on those other paths?
A few ideas wanted to be seen. First I had been programed to be grateful, good little girls always say thank you. I like this one, what do you have to complain about, you should be grateful for what you have.
Then at a visceral level I think I began to understand this beautiful emotion. Gratitude is not a doing or even an allowing, it is not a verb. Like silence or love it just is, always there whether I sense it or not. I now understand there is always gratitude even when I'm not in my happy space (like being quarantined). I still might not see it or notice it ,but if I take a moment to lean in there it is. Then I began to cry, because I felt this wave of gratitude come over me. I knew I was it and to realize I'm never without it. Then the emotion got bigger I thought of my teachers who brought me to this awareness. My awareness has changed my heart space .
Truly grateful has a whole new meaning for me.
Thank You Jen
Beautiful. THANK YOU!
And so we ARE, Thankful, essentially. "Gratitude is not a doing or even an allowing, it is not a verb. Like silence or love it just is, always there whether I sense it or not." This is the Truth. And the heart rejoices in this discovery.
How does life unfold when lived from and AS innate gratitude, causeless joy? Perhaps it is like Etty Hillesum described while being imprisoned by the Nazis:
the misery here is quite terrible; and yet, late at night when the day has slunk away into the depths behind me, I often walk with a spring in my step along the barbed wire. And then time and again, it soars straight from my heart—I can’t help it, that’s just the way it is, like some elementary force—the feeling that life is glorious and magnificent, and that one day we shall be building a whole new world.
Love and gratitude,
My apologies for my verbal vomit. On my lunch walk I’m just so frustrated. Why does it always come down to this flipping question. There’s always such self sabotage and you just want to say forget it, You’ll never get there. If you’re blessed with the grace to begin the path and the play of Lila in your life is destined to get you there or not why continue the search? I understand when in the space of peace that nothing needs to be done, but when trying to make a decision of life situations if a decision is not made there’s the question of just being too lazy. I understand intellectually that there’s no getting there, it’s just letting go of that illusion, but still some thing needs to be done? Is there a difference between being compassionate with or for someone and making a hard decision that does not show compassion
Sorry for the confusing blurb but it just feels like it’s bubbling up and it’s sitting in my neck. I will keep inquiring about this after work, much love.
Good morning Love,
There is some real gold in this inquiry!! First, yes, its a very ripe time when one is ready to "call off the search" and just say "forget it". Here's the thing, (i understand you know this...but its a mirror), when the "me" finally wears itself out, stops searching, usually out of supreme frustration (boy do I ever know this one intimately!), the wisdom (divine will, spiritual instinct, soul) beyond the intellect, beyond the "me" moves into the space that the search used to occupy. Not that spirit isn't driving the whole play all the time. Of course it is. But this becomes a conscious realization through direct experience.
So, it is an act of faith to consciously cooperate with this "play of Lila" until the beliefs wear themselves out. The difference between dissolution of the personal will and laziness can be seen in the reflection of one's life. More or less harmony? More or less struggle? Sometimes we have to use discipline combined with compassion to stay the course.
Its not so much that all the doing stops. There are always going to be doings in a personal life. Its that the doer is seen through, and eventually stops. The doer, the me doing something, is not believed and finally doesn't exist. Doing continues. Doing continues as serving. Serving the given moment that is presenting. Doingness frees up from the overlay of personal ownership. It might mean some giant act of service that the mind approves of but generally it just means living the moment very openly and presently and to the best of our ability.
All the black and white type either/or experience of: peace is being experienced/peace isn't being experienced, doing/not doing, compassionate/not compassionate, searching/not searching; either/or becomes, experientially becomes, the paradox of living a unique expression AS the vast, unknowable Potentiality beyond the comprehension of a human mind. Paradox begins to feel like home rather than an argument in the categorizing mind. We consciously make peace with the paradoxical nature of human beingness.
ok. so i get it. How does this help in the actual daily moments and decisions?!? Things I know that assist the unwinding of separateness: take a deep breath, remind the body that it is HERE right now, deep breath, I am here, the actual felt sense of the immediate moment, come into Presence, recognize you are right here right now, FEEL the moment, soles of feet, breath in lungs, ask a question, question the thoughts, the reactions, question the narrator and descriptions, give yourself time to come back later, say a prayer, state your intention (doesn't have to be extraordinary, just a simple, "i am open to the truth beyond the thinking mind"), begin to notice more and more and more how the mind and its evaluation hold the attention captive, and then breathe and relax the attention out of the captivity, over and over question the narrator and anchor into the present and...........you fill in the blank with your innate wisdom.
What I have noticed is that we usually reserve compassion as something we give to other people. its almost like we equate it with "niceness" or being civil or polite. But compassion is complex. For instance, saying "no more", "enough", establishing a boundary or making a decision that might be hurtful to someone in the moment, can be an extraordinary act of compassion for oneself. Sometimes a "no" to a certain situation, is a yes to life. When we are compassionate with ourselves we plant the seeds for being compassionate with others. And believe me, compassion is fierce. It doesn't care if our lives are turned upside down or if the wind blows the house down, or what other people think about us. We forget that as our spiritual realizations unfold, as we transcend the levels of consciousness, our lives will change and grow in reflection.
I could keep unpacking this but I think this is a place to start. If you want to keep exploring, you know that I am up for it. I appreciate it. And I deeply honor your path.
All my love,
I have been struggling with my comprehension of books I have been reading (Tolle, Roberts, Hawkins etc.) and your teachings trying to bring my thoughts and feelings to one place. Then yesterday I came to a conclusion that I cannot pursue my self inquiry by reading, as those are only guides, not necessarily my path or truth that I need to get to where I am going. My path does not look the same as others and I cannot expect it to fit into the same box. This changed the vision of my journey, it lightened my load. Then, as I said, I had the time to listen to you and it completed the picture leaving me calmer and more satisfied than I have been in many months. For this I thank you because you have led me to this place of inner peace.
My love and gratitude to you
Words can't express how happy this makes me! Truly, the realization that one's " path does not look the same as others and I cannot expect it to fit into the same box", is revolutionary. As you so beautifully say, it changes the vision of the journey and lightens the load.
We are never far or distant from our hearts, our souls, our spirits. We can't be separate from what we essentially ARE. In becoming more and more available to the inner wisdom of our essential True Nature we discover the treasure of our unique expression. We may be challenged by the adjustments needed in order to live from what we have discovered. But we find the capacity to be true in the "place of inner peace" that is beyond shoulds and should'ts.
The Knights of the Round Table chose to search for the Holy Grail in the wilderness. "Each entered the Forest Adventurous at the point he himself had chosen. Where it was darkest and there was no way or path". This is the Way of Self discovery.
Namaste', All my love,
"If the path before you is clear, you are probably on someone else's."
-- Joseph Campbell
I have been experiencing myself as being very very alone with people. I feel comfortable and at one with birds, the mountains, the breeze, the stars, the falling leaves....but a stranger to people except for my closest blood kin. I can't seem to be understood or seen. This is very weird. Is this a phase? Do you have any guidance for me? I am unmoored somehow, and I am feeling sad.
The birds/trees/stars have no agenda and don't have any notion of themselves as anything. People, on the other hand, have the great gift and great sorrow of self consciousness. And, in most cases, the self consciousness has consolidated into a firm belief in separateness. Two separate somethings trying to understand each other. So, as the conditioned "self" unravels, it can feel very lonely. Because the experience of all-one-ness (aloneness) hasn't completely permeated into the mind/body/ego structure. And you can feel at a great distance from your life and the people in it. I remember this. But the absolute truth is that we are fundamentally non-understandable. The mind, which is the lens that is most often used by people, cannot, in any way discern the Truth of Reality. It can't understand you, or me, or a bird, or a blade of grass, or a star or any other piece of Creation. The "me" that wants so desperately to be understood doesn't even essentially exist. Its wise to remember that its a phase. And keep questioning and open to discovery. And always turning inward to your deeper understandings that are unfolding. It takes a lot of compassion and a certain amount of time to bring awakened consciousness into our relationships. And the sense of not being seen or understood resolves as the realization of all-one-ness, aloneness, moves deeper and deeper into the layers of self. As Self expression continues to dissolve the self absorption.
Love and Justice
I’m thinking and feeling so much about white supremacy, like many of us are.
With the name of the study course being “evolutionary love”, I think it’s fitting to also be sitting with the pain of the legacy of white supremacy in my own body and spirit. Undoing and examining privilege has been an inherent part of my own spiritual practice, and is something that I also can easily avoid because of the raw discomfort of truly holding the broken-heartedness, guilt and shame that is part of the legacy of white supremacy. Some conditioning is more “comfortable” to talk about in many spiritual (mostly white) settings, and I’m interested to hear more about your experience of “evolutionary love” in the realm of the legacy of white supremacy. I don’t exactly have a question, but just wanted to voice this in our circle, as well as a prayer for a waking up that includes love and release of some of the most uncomfortable and violent parts of ourselves and our history.
This is a quote from a Black Zen teacher. The inclusion of justice as inherently part of love feels true to me. I’m curious to hear what you make of this sentiment, as well as the idea that “personal” change is irrelevant if it is not in service to the whole.
“love & justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.” -Reverend Angel Kyodo Williams
With much love and eagerness to be together in retreat,
Any change in one's consciousness that moves one to care more deeply, more often and for more of life benefits the Totality. So, in that sense, all personal changes which result in choices that then give birth to greater harmony change the collective. What is in an individual is in the Whole. If there is inner change then there is outer change. And if there is individual change then there is collective change. They are fundamentally the same.
In the case of "evolutionary Love", I am attempting to language a way of Being that is beyond personal identity. There is a capacity to be connected, intimate, and defenseless; closer than close, to the phenomena of Reality. Including rage, fury, hatred, vengeance, shame and grief etc., so that we directly experience these phenomena AS Wholeness rather than in division.
Totality experiences itself as itself. In all of its expression. All of its beauty and all of its horror. There is no chance for denial or suppression. The lived experience is definitely not always comfortable. But it is very immediate and without a narrative. Very compassionate. Sometimes fiercely so.
In the deep realization of what we essentially ARE, regardless of history, there is the opportunity to live as liberated action. Everything is welcomed home. It is impossible to disconnect. It is impossible to disconnect from what one essentially IS. Which is nothing and everything. That is the actual experience.
So in the case of white supremacy, the horror of that legacy is undeniable. Wholeness when awake to itself as this horror has no other response but "I'm sorry. Please let me Love you". The unmediated human experience of the horror, when felt directly, eventually leads to powerful expressions of Love and compassion. In awakened consciousness, Totality/Source sees itself in all the expressions of the horror and moves in the moment, without the labor of thought and arrogance of belief, to resolution and harmony. Awakened consciousness radiates throughout Reality creatively, miraculously and forgivingly. Whereas shame and guilt are the results of division. And don't have the power to create anything other than more expressions of shame and guilt.
There is a sense of reckoning and at-one-ment in the air. And the dawning of the knowingness that division perpetually and endlessly begets division. In these pivotal times do we need to stand up? Certainly. Do we need to speak truth? Certainly! Can we do it from and AS the ocean of Peace that IS the core essence of being? I hope so. Can we move from the deep realization that what beats this heart beats all hearts? What sees through these eyes, sees through all eyes. The light of the world. Fundamentally, absolutely the same.
May all being be returned to Love,