An electronic diary sharing my spiritual path through observations/experiences, photos, videos, articles and more. It started with intensity at the end of January 2011 when I decided to go to South Africa and see the truth of animals living in the wild. Unsatisfied with the answers, I went to India looking for the truth of humans in an ancient civilization. Packing up my life as a dressage trainer in Southern California, I moved to Jaipur, India to follow a spiritual inquiry.
Revisiting threads from the past appears to be a way to examine attachments, lint, work, progress, or however I perceive the view. What happens when a person, place, or event from the past is experienced from the current perspective? Lots of that process was placed on the examination table while on the trip to Southern California. One of the horses who was part of my darkest point in the horse training process was Dillon. A friend and I rescued him from a situation where he was confined, had severe foot problems, and behavior issues. He was a very stubborn, willful horse, but did I take the training too far with what I asked and in a brutal way? He also lead me be back to a layer of looking at international competition as a possibility and the "reality" of that world. The pain from my experience with him is what eventually lead me to India and he found a home as a vaulting horse where he is loved and treasured. We both found a way to a "better" place, so was the path appropriate? There are no answers appears on the radar, but an opportunity to learn and grow towards compassion/love.
Dental and wellness check--all good. Ready to hit the road again. All the puzzle pieces are falling into place, visiting a lot of people (family, friends, north, south, past, present...) My heart rate was at a new record low, so I will credit the Insanity Program for that. The horse past feels healed and I have a plan for the future if that is the direction. Fun to teach a little bit. The new Selfseeds fitness program I have been developing has been approved by a sport's therapist, BUT with a huge warning for the potential injuries if someone isn't fit and core aware. (She called it the Sue Insanity Plan.) Launching the PhoenixEQ website for international horse sales. Dipping into a few other new areas as well.
All of it feels like dabbling until I return to The Master's feet.
The Dance of Light from the ocean edge in Southern California
So why am I going back to India? The last trip resolved my fear of humans, provided a sense of Absolute Truth/Love, and gave me a tool kit of accepting/loving the human insanity plan. Of course it will be AMAZING to sit at the feet of Gurudev, but is there more? I have been absolutely blank accept knowing that I need to go back. As my homework in the West is integrating and the final details of my departure are drawing to completion, I have started to examine the why? "Bring it on" was offered. What is it that I cannot see? Something so deep and so close that I cannot examine it?
I made a visit to NB to see if he could give me a clue. We sorted out the homework assignment. Love at the deepest level and fullest capacity. Of course, the obvious.
Nine hours of driving allowed me to examine just what did that mean. There was a very distinct thread that unraveled and then I realized that this place exists behind the lint screen, beyond naked, and into a vast unknown. While in intense pain, I had surrendered it all and was willing to live with any outcome--death, disease, disfigurement or whatever was required. On the other side of the energetic death was light, peace, and love--a "resting" zone of some sort.
What happens when one surrenders to the resting zone? There is no end to the gratitude for what I have already learned and experienced. I don't have anything on my wish list other than to live out the rest of this life cycle in some aspect of service. So what is with this new homework assignment?
The Universe is unrelenting. Now I see that the escalator is still moving and my shoelace is still caught in it. Assignment: open to Absolute Love at some new capacity. While sitting at the ashram, I experienced human love, unconditional love, and Absolute Love. Now I see how that wasn't enough, but it was a start. It opened a new doorway by sensing love in a capacity that wasn't limited by the rules of human society or built on some condition. Nature and animals had shown me this, but two-leggeds had never. Experiencing Absolute Love as a droplet of the Divine State helped me to examine the potential, but now to go back once again and experience it as a limited human opening to limitlessness.
I was all signed up for the formless, but the "no stone is left unturned and no blade of grass is left unexamined" has been the truth and teachings of the path. Sigh! Once again, Sue is the obstacle course. The limit is only mine. The minute I realized this, an intense energetic marker showed up in my heart. Breathing deep and into the sensation was the point of contact. I had to laugh out loud at the next assignment--beyond the lint screen. Bingo. The blank screen is still in place, but a small line of invisible ink is starting to appear at the top of the board. (And all of this while driving 80 mph over the Grapevine!)
Keep dipping the oars into the water ... Life feels like canoeing down a smooth, steady stream. Everything is moving (the river), but everything is calm (stillness in the canoe.) Just keep meeting each moment with being, no attachment to the path, no requirement to act in a particular manner, a willingness to wait, and a willingness to act.
As I turned from taking a last look at my horse while he contently munched his dinner, I felt that deep inner sense of peace that I experience while unobscured from the alignment with the Divine. Was this a sign? A conformation of the decision to heal the "horse wound" and open to some form of service in the bridge between two and four-leggeds? Or was it the residual of tonight's ride experienced from the right side of my brain? With no pressure or expectation to perform or create, I have been sinking into the pure beauty of the shared presence.
As I start to shift internally in preparation for giving an aid, I feel Jaz matching the shift in preparation to respond to the aid. All of it subtle, internal, and without outward action--a remarkable experience. Communication from the interior. I reflected on Gurudev's remarks that the lessons would come from within--without words. More gratitude for the teachings and preparation for deeper awareness as shared from the wordless realm of the horse.
How many times will I circle on the spiral staircase? Preparing to go to South Africa a year and a half ago was one turn. Renouncing most of what I had to return to India was another turn. Now preparing to return to India is yet another turn. Each one requiring self examination, distribution of living/material goods, and a deep breath for the step into the unknown. I feel poised at the same line-up, but with a different internal sense.
Next week, I head to Southern California to remember what is in my storage unit (all I remember is the horse training equipment) and decide if there is more to purge. Deciding to keep my horse/truck/trailer has created some pause in the stream of letting go physically, but it will be fun to see what I can continue to live without.
For whatever remarkable reason it appears that I can hear and reproduce singing sounds without my left side of the brain and with accuracy. The years of projecting my voice across an arena with the usual outdoor enhancements (birds, wind, etc.) and an above average degree of fitness both appear to be helping too. I was able to receive positive comments about my singing without twitching and retreating, so serious progress is being made in the singing department. Technique is a start.
The bar goes up, I am asked to include emotion. That request immediately took me back to that fateful moment when as a child I embellished a phrase of Jingle Bells and got in trouble. I was eye to eye with a lint ball. Now what? I didn't think I could sing and cry simultaneously, but I was encouraged to give it a try. For goodness sake, I had been naked in India, so this should be easier.
It took me to that raw, unveiled state of just being an outline in the vastness of the Divine. Sitting in the ashram had generated this state before. The outline was created from the action of being something that was doing something--even if it was "being the hollow reed" for the vibration of sound to resonate outwardly. It was a stunning excavation of Absolute Truth. It was such a remarkable example of how the One is always so near--the Divine Fabric.
While living in India, I was often drowning in the gap or the space of consciousness. Upon returning to California, I have been able to find or recreate the gap, but the challenge has been how to live in the gap. I have been questioning the reality of living in it full time and functioning in society. Is it possible has been the latest question on the docket. With some insightful and wise sharing from Bhavani, it appears possible. My sense is that I am in it until something appears to call or distract me out of it. I will then evaluate the separation and hopefully skillfully find my way back into the gap. The "keeping life on hold" while I prepare to go back to India and tentatively plan on another 6 months away has been nagging on my responsibility to engage in life as a "good-respectable" Westerner. Yet another veil uncovered-the gap veil.
My internal sense of the Divine hasn't missed a beat, but somehow taking action as the form has been holding out from the full commitment to the gap. A misalignment between the inner and outer perception of being. The interesting part has been the evolution of living in this new state of being while the obscurations from my true self are continually examined and removed. A game of hide and seek? I have been made aware of the underlying fabric of limitlessness where the Divine pervades the whole and thus springs forth in every nuance of being. It must be a holdout from my ego that is trying to draw me back into my old patterns of doing without being as the underlying state of all action.
How interesting to sit with a Divine Master who has a Chinese/Tibetan twist. The universality of Absolute Love, Truth, and Wisdom is evident. The only differences were the casing, the selection of words, the means of presenting, and other human features. There were moments of intense shakti that felt like a stirring from the Divine Soup, but not the "to my knees" quality that I feel around Pahari Baba/Gurudev. Another blessed gift from the Universe and a two-legged who gifted me the event.
I haven't ridden my horse for almost a year, so in fairness to the process, I thought I should examine that piece before shipping him off to Kentucky. There wasn't fear or anxiety, but there was a numbness around the concept. At this point in my life, the pain around training horses et al. has been the deepest wound--to the bone so to speak. In the process of renouncing most attachments, the horses were offered to the surrender pile as well. But what I am learning is that surrender from a wounded place does not appear to count in the same was as from an accepted/examined vantage point. Riding my horse was going to be a necessary step if I was to step away in a more holistic manner. At least that was what was appearing on the internal lint screen.
3 rides: Day 1) I remembered how and so did my horse, Day 2) I revisited the true joy of riding as if I was 10 years old riding around the field with the joy of the partnership and no other rules, and Day 3) I experienced the exquisite sense of timing and feel when two beings have worked together refining communication for 7 years. Magic! It was a flash of a life's work. Honestly, I cannot say that I have the same desire for riding that I once did. Before, it was my lifeline to living on the planet. The journey from South Africa to India has slipped a connection to the Divine into the number one slot. In three days, I felt the wound from riding beginning to repair and close. Still no idea of what lies ahead, but I do realize that being on a horse feels more natural than being on the ground.
Is uncertainty the root of fear? Uncertainty appears to create a hesitation/a moment of dwelling in the unknown. As we become more skillful in navigating being, cant uncertainty take on shades of allowing if it isn't labeled negatively? If someone cannot tolerate uncertainty/unknowing than the ego often steps in to seize the moment and drive the bus. Looking at the layer under fear, since so much of the insanity plan is fueled by fear. While spending time observing the American political process, I began to wonder if fear was at the root of power and greed?