Friday, August 31, 2012

Fact Check

How does one ever have enough gratitude for the presence of this  Master?

Walking to the gym with my best Sue impression of a spiritual being--nothing on the outer mantel mattered unless some action needed to take place. How simple and how freeing.

Fact Check.  Yes, living and acting from this state of "formless identity" as an individuated soul is the most reduced state of the ego.  Growing inwardly on this path of the formlessness is the path to liberation.  (We both agreed words are limiting to discuss something so abstract and subtle.)

Maybe I have reached the essence of the ego?  I remember receiving the homework assignment to observe the starting point of thought.  This feels like the transition point between unobscured unity with the Divine and the construction site for form.

The human wardrobe.  My current form is the set of clothes I was handed as I accepted the suitcase for this round of reincarnation.

The Guru as the guide to this point and now possibly beyond.  He mentioned that there could begin a reconstruction of my thinking process.

Very clear how meditation will be the way to get to know this aspect of my true self.  As I sat to meditate, the field of form started to mix and churn.

I have been experiencing what feels like repair work on my structure for the past 30 days:  relieving a knot between my shoulder blades, snapping the left side of my neck into alignment, shifting a sense in the base of my skull, and so on.  Interesting to feel like a human science experiment.

We as humble recipients should be offering the prashad.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Night Jewel

Night jewel.  Relief from the sounds, the chaos...

Endless Spiral Staircase

Ashram Rose

The diameter of the staircase appears to get smaller, but there is always something to reexamine. Is this another trap by the ego keeping one endlessly intwined in the examination process?  There are facts to my current existence:  woman, white, middle-aged, physically active, mentally active, spiritually active, American citizenship, world traveller, animal lover....

Going to take a break from these labels--they aren't going anywhere. While meditating, something let go as this idea surfaced.  I had been asking for a way to get unstuck in the rut of what I know and move forward into what is unknown. The beautiful feeling of bliss came flooding in as I let go.

The magical field of bliss--it is always present under the obscurations. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Ego Status

Pranam to the feet of wisdom

As I move deeper towards the ground of being and still walk in the physical world, I had a question if the ego ever drops away. "No."  The hope is to train it not to act out, so let it out of the cage when it needs to aid in taking action and in between have it return to a state of rest, so the inner tranquility can preside.

I started to question how much ego is involved with the desire to move more completely towards the divine. "Yes, it will be part of the path."  At least I am not losing my mind that it is part of the embodied  human package--fact check.

As periodic disturbances arise on the walk, I was wondering if I was suppose to completely stay out of action in order to stay in peace. "No, there will be times to act, but the work is to return to peace and calm."

Nothing really new to add to the list, just very clear conformation of the work in progress.  "Not easy."

The Sidewalk

Walking home from the gym...
The fun of never knowing what you will find on the sidewalk.

Monday, August 27, 2012

His Exquisite Nature

I have been working on my sensory pegboard and even had an extended public experience of complete inner stillness while all 5 senses were challenged.  It does take concentration and it is a bit odd, since senses run most of my life.  Being a person who likes to sit in the back of a room, observe quietly, or have an intimate conversation one-on-one there are some familiar aspects.  The big difference is to do it consciously, not as a survival technique, heart open, and for an exploration of the path to the One.

Somehow while looking into the eyes of Gurudev as he is thoughtfully answering a spiritual question--the new state is crumbled.  In a flash, tears are welling up unexpectedly, my heart is turning into coagulated goo, and only a small thread of mental awareness is left in tact.  Face to face with the Divine and His exquisite nature.

Masterful Teaching

There are numerous remarkable aspects to being in the presence of a master teacher, but one is the skillfulness by which the Master leads the student to ultimately search inside and find her/his own answers; to provide ideas, principles, and wisdom, but to lead the enquirer back to searching their own heart, mind, and wisdom for what is the next course of action or inaction as may be discerned.  Not to lead by command, but by inquiry.

Although, there are exceptions. We were laughing that a command is useful when he sends us all home in a torrential downpour, so we don't get caught in the heavier aftermath of the water converging from the runoff of the hillsides.  The street was a river.  I could have had a business selling rain boots.

Simplicity and Elegance in Words

"We are all looking for peace."  Gurudev

Words offered at the end of a conversation regarding facets of spirituality.  It is always such a privilege to hear the vibration of the words and the simplicity of the truth from a spiritual Master.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Restlessness Game

Often sharing the monkey mind.

The restlessness game has two choices--*inward or outward.

*Sometimes going so far inward that I cannot remember if my head is on the top of my body. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Sensory Pegboard

Sensory teacher
Observing that the process for the renunciation around the five senses is like a pegboard.  As you move through one, another one pops up, and so forth--around and around.  The object of the game is to move the 5 pegs along the board until they get in the equanimity zone.  I have been challenged by some of the voice vibrations at the ashram.  Certain tones (not understanding the words) were distracting me.

What is that about?  Jumping up and down with enthusiasm--a chance to deepen.  I started to understand the true value of pain.  Working so diligently on the pain obstacle course, I haven't really slowed down enough to appreciate the true value of pain.  I have gratitude for its motivating qualities, but now I see the brilliant design.  Disturbances not only motivate, but they help to provide markers in the light--something tangible.  It is part of the beautiful mosaic of life.  I should have something on my alter in gratitude for its presence, but all I need to do is start reading the world news, walk down the street, or check on my pegboard. Having as much gratitude for the dark and light is transforming my incinerator/unconscious walk turn into a "fun" walk.

More sensory teachers--they are masters!

Inside Out Process

Just another fish bowl?

Outward and inward renunciation.  The more you let go of (especially inward), the more you are filled up.  Inside out process from the materialistic world.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

New Starting Point

Taking refuge from the storm.

I am at a new starting point again.

No serious attachments that are not detachable.
Understand the human playing field enough to know that my path needs to start with myself. Understand without hesitation that there are no solutions for peace in the outer world.
Understand without doubt that going inward is the only place for peace.

Nature Never Tamed

Nature, what a teacher.  "Let Go!" She says.  Two long days of rain...

This lake over filled the banks and was using the road for transportation.
The wall lining the sidewalk
The sidewalk
The plastic is showing the water line.
The water line going to the top of the fence and knocking it over.
Modern art (debris)?  Mother Nature vomiting to show us all the hidden waste in her lake, on the land, and more.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


So different to let go with equanimity vs. letting go because "I should,"  "want to," "it would be better," or from a point of mental anxiety/emotion.  These steps of letting go have allowed for inner spaciousness, peace and stillness.  I have examined the chaos before the letting go for quite some time and wondered if there was a more skillful way.  The dissolution step appears to come more easily when  in alignment with a place beyond the mind.   

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

For Now...

Letting go of the animal connection too.  It will be waiting and so will the earth drama.  No distractions--single-pointed focus.

Dog bliss

No Suitable Words

Over the years, I have observed my teachers and thought, "If I could only transpose into his or her body for just a moment to better understand..."  Observing Gurudev in some heightened state of bliss, I thought, "If only everyone in the world could touch just a fraction of his kindness, patience, and love..."

Even taking away all of the divine qualities, learning from him as an embodied being is grace.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Threads

Going to take a break from examining the threads of the fabric:  male, female, tall, short, mid-sized, thin, anorexic, fat, obese, fit, unfit, young, old, rich, poor, middle class, able-bodied, disabled, famous, infamous, kind, thoughtful, helpful, conscious, unconscious, mean-spirited, violent, sexually exploitive, psychotic, drug addict, alcoholic, prescription drug abuser, animal lover, animal hater, parent, single, straight, gay, transgender, white, yellow, black, brown, red, religious, naturalist, spiritualist, cultural, bully, bullied, internationalist, localist, employed, unemployed, self-employed, blue collar worker, white collar worker, artist, musician, athlete, hobbyist, socialist, communist, liberal, democrat, republican, independent, single, married, polygamist, wanderer, hoarder, movie star, pop artist, news analyst, lawyer, doctor, fire people, post people, construction, electrician, plumber, truck driver, office worker, computer programmer, corporate manager, gas station attendant, bank worker, psychologist...

Continuing to examine my one thread and the place holder for the threads--the One.


A rather large, poisonous lizard found its way into my bedroom.  While trying to get it out, the landlord was set on "bopping" it on the head until death.  I just wanted it not to live with me.  Does the line feel different with a reptile vs. a mammal?

Gurudev even resolves hair issues.  The barber comes once a month to the ashram for one of the Baba's to get his haircut, so I can bring my own razors and get in line--25 rp.  That was easy.  The electric clippers I brought were smoking and blew up after only a few minutes, so Laura cut the rest with a razor. The electrical wiring where I live is a little bit suspicious, so we thanked Gurudev for not getting electrocuted while having a hair adventure.


Currently, examining turning over the 5 senses and all desires.  Simple suggested guide line, "Desires are necessary, but do they lead you to the Divine or to the materialistic world."

The Manual

Getting handed a reasonable "manual" for this spiritual path was a relief.  There really is a path and I am not losing my mind (well, I am in a way but that is a different story...)  I can see what has happened, a rough idea of some of the steps ahead, and that there is A LOT of work to be done.  Then the mind asks, "Am I up for the challenge?".  No going back now, but damn there is still A LOT ahead. Why am I doing "this?"  Who am I?  All the basic questions come circling again.  Yes, I now see how it is not the conventional life path and why it is between just yourself and The Divine.  The world is the master insanity plan, so why would most people really get what your are doing while following the bread crumb trail to the Divine as you surrender, unveil, surrender, unveil, over and over again.

It is a wondrous process and then you sit at the feet of a living example.  In my novice state of spiritual assimilation, I have wondered why Gurudev feels so "clean", so "empty", so loving, so present, so unattached.  Yesterday was a quiet, rainy day at the ashram, so there was a chance to ask Gurudev about his spiritual path.  How remarkable and inspiring to hear about his path.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Meditation Buddy

Resident bunny inside one of my favorite temples

Sitting near me while I meditated.
The temple people are so kind.  They let me stay after hours and close the doors, so I could have more time to meditate.  It is another cement room, but a holy cement room impregnated with the vibration of the Divine.  The outer world aligns with the inner world.

The Simple Temple

Human's augmenting nature for the sake of the Divine
The simplicity--a stone with color.  The beginning of a spiritual/religious site.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Perfection In A Small Space

What else does one need?  Kitchen, gym, library, computer room, pantry, bedroom, and closet all in one--and with a view.  Shelter, safety, food, water and more...

Gym, kitchen, and pantry

Spiritual library and pantry

Bedroom, storage, closet, and computer room

Getting A Lot Of Practice

As I was watching the world pass by my window, I was contemplating the latest lesson. The man riding the elephant down the hill was clubbing him with a stick between the ears.  The elephant was trying to poop and walk, so he must have slowed down.  I hadn't really noticed before that elephants make sounds when they are disturbed.

The dispassion allows for a space, a shift in timing for a reaction, a gap as I like to refer to it.  In the past the gap allowed for the Divine to make the call instead of my ego.  At this point, my capacity is limited, so I am just sitting in the presence of the unfolding and learning.

Dispassion Walk

Nothing like the present moment to try out the new state of surrender.  As I started my walk this morning, there was a man beating a camel with a stick--he wanted the camel to lie down and the camel wasn't cooperating.  A stick is a good source of intimidation for a large, four-legged animal.  Great, the elephant replay button, but with a slightly different variation.

I could feel the desire to take on human emotions (anger, sympathy, compassion, sadness, etc.), but instead I was observing from a new place of stillness.  It felt very empty without being lonely.  I was the eyes without much of a sense of physical presence.  It was as if I was a toddler and the Divine was watching as I tried to find the ground of being from a new perspective. I have fought like a warrior to hold onto compassion and now that is even gone in the form that was familiar.  I watched for a while.  The man kept beating the camel, but I knew that the camel was resisting for some reason and the man was not conscious of his needs.  Finally, one of the other camel people came to help and started to jerk on the wooden dowel that lives lodged in the camel's nose.  Two against one--the camel lowered.  I still stood and watched.  They took no notice of me.  Normal life.  As I watched the camel, he had to defecate.  How unpleasant to defecate while lying down--the internal drive is so not to do this.

The camel survived.  I survived and didn't feel the usual sick feeling of being twisted like a wet rag.  The place was of a sense of presence and observation.  I reflected on my past abuses, my present desire to evolve into someone more useful, and to have faith/trust in this new lesson from the Divine.

Where is the line?  It is so personal and takes continuous skillful examination.  The small, golden-labrador type, short, legged, new neighbor allowed me to quietly stroke his head while napping, but as I continued on my way, he leapt up and started jumping on me, chewing my hand, and my pants playfully. He had gotten in trouble for this before and now just holding my hand out in a no/down position usually works, but he was so excited.  I bopped him in on the crown of his head as he lunged upward.  He fell to the ground in rejection and I petted him for not jumping.  How confusing.  Is this skillful?  There are probably many other better ways, but the constant challenge of where is the line and how to create one.

My line for training horses has changed.  My line towards other two-leggeds has changed.  My line towards myself has changed.  Do I need a line?

Friday, August 17, 2012

In Celebration Of Kali

Midnight until 3:30 ritual for Kali at the ashram.  I was truly appreciating the dedication of the pundits to serve in both their religious/spiritual capacity and in their outer lives.

The residence where I live had a live group of musicians playing downstairs (under my living area) from 9:00pm until 6:00am the next morning.  Another example of dedication!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Different Surrender Pile

The morning view from my room.

I wasn't doubting Gurudev's head nod that yes compassion, Absolute Love, and Absolute Truth needed to go on the surrender pile, but how?  It felt very empty without those qualities on the mental menu, but I could appreciate that they were forms of attachment even if not "bad" ones.  Was there going to be any motivation for acting as a "good" person?  Would I collapse into a spiteful, mean-spirited, ego centric person without those virtues hanging over the mantel?

Should I be surprised that I actually found the step (dispassion) in the reading 2 hours later?  Before reading it, I did decide that I am in this for the Divine, so whatever that translates to than I will try.  I had asked Gurudev if there was something beyond those qualities that I could not see from my limited perspective and that "I won't know until I go there."  He had one of those far away, unclouded looks in his eyes while I probably answered my own question.

I also recognized that the earlier surrender pile was composed of artifacts from my personality, personal story, beliefs, etc. that were wheelbarrowed to the pile to uncover the Divine, but now the offerings were to uncover a more refined aspect.  It felt like the pile was now directly to the Divine.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Where The Animal Thread Began In India

Until today, I hadn't seen the cow with the "broken leg" since being in Jaipur.   She is looking good and was even hanging out with another cow.  The deep strike through my heart accompanied by tears of gratitude for her presence in this not always easy path. She represented my first point of taking action with compassion while in India.  What a journey!

Passed the Water Buffalo herd while heading to the gym.  Just like old home week.

Rain jackets for camels too!

Worthwhile Competition

Let's hear it for people with vision!

Bill Gates gets a potty mouth: foundation holds toilet reinvention fair | The Sideshow - Yahoo! News
Bill Gates, Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist, wants to talk poop. Literally. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is hosting a "Reinvent the Toilet Fair" on August 14 and 15, is on a mission to build a better crapper. Why? Poop is a worldwide problem. Here are the dirty details: Four out of every [...]