Wednesday, January 29, 2014
|Illusion that the small string will hold him. Is my mind any different and there is no string!|
Why do I think I am calling the shots? While jogging, I had just let go of the animal mantel and was at peace with walking in the human world unshielded when along trots two of the ashram dogs. They accompanied me all the way up the hill to the Fort. One lets go and it is given back. While reflecting on how many times the path has turned and the support turned with it, I wonder where the attachment comes from? When I was given up at birth, a wonderful family took me over. I could have taken that moment to trust and deepen into the support of the Universe instead of recoiling in distrust and detachment. Choices. And then I carried that belief system throughout my life until today. Nice! The wheelbarrow had to take two loads to the surrender pile today! Interesting to experience the layers of veils--mind, body, and spirit.
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Pranam (bowing Indian style)
There is something profoundly beautiful in surrendering yourself to bow to the floor in an offering of gratitude and love. As a westerner, it was odd at first, but as I move deeper on this path, it is a moment of simplicity, free of ego, and heartfelt love. The Divine energy field is the inspiration. Not ever lifting my head feels appropriate, but Gurudev didn't go for that. An interesting side effect appears to be one's "third eye" waking-up from the forehead touching the floor. The mystery continues...
Monday, January 27, 2014
Sunday, January 26, 2014
|On the way to a new beginning--groom arrival.|
Is Earth life the veil for eternity? "Let Go!" appears again. What is there to hold onto if it never ends?
When one enters the university as a student, a point of focus is chosen and the path opens up. I would say this has been the same for me the past 3 years. I knew that I didn't have useful concepts for how to live life from the heart, thoughtfully, and not in pain. As a scientist, it has been a fascinating point of focus, but I do reflect that when I was a student at the university, I was asking questions about the world beyond science and art. I just didn't know there was a school to learn more that involved two feet. Every day I marvel at the lesson plan. The timing for examining eternity is so beautiful for continuing to let go. Is that what the steps for liberation are, but not in a careless, thoughtless way?
When the man in line behind me at the grocery check out asked me where I lived with his second sentence, I turned and asked if he had a daughter, would he find that an appropriate question to ask her by a strange man? It did paralyze him for a moment and he apologized. The outer walks are not so different, but my responses may be. The paths I run are filled with a lot of hand waving, good mornings, and mostly respectful comments. The inner path continues to deepen.
|Groom waiting for bride|
|Couple presentation to be on stage|
|Lots of glitz at the ceremony--traditional Indian wedding setting|
Saturday, January 25, 2014
Meditation is such a fascinating world unto itself. There was a moment (who knows really in terms of time) that something was so big and so powerful that I had to talk myself off the ledge by remembering trust and that nothing has ever shown up that I haven't survived. As I was walking, I reflected on the story of Arjuna seeing God uncovered and being overtaken by the intensity. To me it appears random, but at some point that marker will probably make sense.
Sitting in the stupor of joy, equanimity, and peace. Who needs drugs.
Friday, January 24, 2014
|Top of the wall...|
Onward goes the path. While meditating, I experienced a new state of minimalism--there was nothing and there was no one from the Nothing Field accompanying me. Fascinating as I started to come back to my mind that it wanted to find something to latch onto. Was this the root of the human need for attachment? A life line so to speak. There was a part of me that stayed very quiet and observed. How wondrous it all is.
Starting to experience how living from the awareness of this minimalist ("nothingness") state helps keep the peace. It is as if I have to take an elevator up to engage in what life presents or needs, but the elevator lives at the basement level as much as possible. At this point, the quality meditating is the reinforcement for the elevator returning to the basement level.
|Bottom of the wall...|
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
|New running loop.|
1. Living an examined life with a commitment to peace.
2. Quality meditation.
I keep wondering when the blogging is going to stop. Maybe soon, since the life homework is so clear and it will probably apply until the end of my lifetime. The three years have been a search for how to live in the world with an internal connection to peace and an open heart. There are moments, but is it stable--no. The life homework is the path to stabilizing in it. When I asked Gurudev about returning to India 3 years ago, he asked why and confirmed my objective was possible. The three years have been the development of my awareness for the path, the walk, and the internal transformation.
The simplicity is stunning. No magic, no secrets, no shortcuts, and no nonsense.
While examining the Life Homework, I felt like my outer world hadn't caught up with the inner world. What to offer to the surrender pile? My actions--how I was taking action. Realized the steps to liberation are not only my liberation, but the liberation of others from me. More stones fell out of my life net. Incredible shift while standing in a new place of action.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Nice to have clarity and a fact check on what really is meditation?
1. Quieting the mind to sense the heart.
2. Sense the heart to connect to the *truth of Source.
3. Connect to the truth of Source to reach Atman.
*Living in the vibrational awareness of the truth of Source gives us greater capacity for patience, compassion, right action, understanding, truth, love, and more.
(4 stages of man: physical, mental, scientific, and spiritual.)
#3 hadn't really been on my list, but it appears to be a natural progression. It is clear that there is no sanctuary in humanity, so onward...
(Ran a 12k loop without fatigue--making progress somewhere.)
Sunday, January 19, 2014
|A different view|
At some point, all I can say is that the rock and the hard place are getting way sharper. There is no turning back, there is despair of losing attunement to Source (the path is a zip-line and not just a shoe lace in an escalator), knowing that I don't just get to stay in the umbrella of the ashram but that I need to become the ashram internally, knowing that becoming fully immersed in Source may not happen in this lifetime, and how to keep living with the separation. This is a brutal new awareness. Before I was in despair of "Is this it in life", now the despair isn't life but the separation from Source. Quite a game changer and interesting how all of this percolates in a walk and just being with the truth of my heart--not my head yelling any longer--just my heart jumping up and down in longing. I think last week was just the start of some game changing part of the path for me.
Friday, January 17, 2014
|A new possibility|
I don't usually make little prayers, but I did offer to be in service, no questions asked, in any form that needed to manifest if I could touch this deeper aspect of my heart. It is a fracturing or offering of death in some ways. This aspect has appeared on the path many times before, but this time I was able to stand in it without outward coaching. All of the steps are remarkable. Grace was the response, some new inner state threaded with shakti.
The next day for the first time, I was able to touch that deeper aspect through the practice: where the outer dialogue stops, the body doesn't argue, the mind doesn't create stories, and there is a felt sense of nothing. With the horses, I have always naturally attuned to their state of being. In the moments of this deepest despair, I turned to this idea of attuning to what I have learned as a felt sense of Source. Sitting with the vibration of the ashram, the Divine Genealogy, and a living Master gave me a a guide to where to "hang on and not get bucked off!" Three years ago, Gurudev had said that my approach with horses was not going to be so different than the practice for the spiritual path; today, I understand those words of wisdom and insight.
1. A connection with a Spiritual Master.
2. Time and resources to focus on understanding the inner and outer world.
1. Running water.
2. Warm water for the bucket bath.
3. Nutritious, vegetarian, homemade meal once a day.
4. Safe, sheltered place to sleep at night.
5. High speed internet connection from anywhere.
6. Fresh produce and bottled water.
Points I still don't understand:
1. Why when riding the motorcycle, both parents will have on helmets, but they will have their small child balanced on the gas tank with no helmet.
2. Why women have their mid-sections uncovered in the cold, winter weather.
Thursday, January 16, 2014
The diving into stillness just eliminated one of the buckets. Interesting to run through the outer world from such a different perspective. Had a felt sense of where the perception changes from inner to outer. Could this be where the ego steps in to obscure the Self with the self? Durga is inspiring me.
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Starting to notice that the stillness department is taking on new aspects and many shades and textures. Was I practicing degrees of awareness most of my life, (thank you horses), and now to get serious about a deeper level? I think the voice comes out of that deeper level, but now I am feeling a pull to examine this new "awareness" with a single-pointed focus for inner stillness. What better place to examine this container than at Gurudev's feet! Who would have thought stillness could be like fire.
(short video below)
Sunday, January 12, 2014
Two years ago, I asked Gurudev why I felt such reverence and a form of fear for what he embodied--like a flame that you appreciate the heat and the light, but you don't want to touch it for the power and mystery. What does a flame feel like? He understands that I am not trying to be disrespectful, but in the West, we don't have many of these beings, (if any?)
In my circling on the spiral staircase, I am noticing that A LOT has shifted, but this piece has not. In many aspects, I have let go of the veil of fear except when needed in physical protection, but this state of heightened awareness, nervousness, reverence, and more are still present. I have to gather courage to approach him, feel embarrassed when he thanks me, and an uncertainty of how to act according to the level of respect i feel, but it has nothing to do with anything outward he has ever done. Quite the contrary, he has always been respectful, kind, sensitive, attentive, and welcoming. It is the unspoken and the undercurrent that stirs this inner reaction--a return to some childlike aspect of one's self.
So, I gathered the courage to ask him about these observations. The concern that it was limiting my growth or creating an unnecessary separation was my driving force. I have met a lot of people and had a lot of teachers, but there is something so unique about this connection. I don't feel it with any other orange robed being and I have never experienced it in any other form. Gurudev nodded, understood, and shared a story of his feelings and actions towards Pahari Baba. Didn't expect that, but it did answer all of my questions, observations, and feelings. Would precious or sacred suffice to describe those kind of conversations. Glad that my inquiring mind overcomes my concerns most of the time, but others may not...
Without asking, Gurudev confirmed what I learned through nature yesterday. He agreed that it was a very pure, useful way for me to stay in touch with the Divine and what lessons are available. Bonus!
Saturday, January 11, 2014
Friday, January 10, 2014
|More jogging companions|
Could it really be that simple? Had to fact check the simplicity. What a sense of humor, creativity, and artistry that is all included in the life game.
1. As humans, we will all experience disturbances and degrees of separation whether we are thinking, being, or doing. Doesn't matter--just get use to it. All part of living in a skin sack.
2. It is a game of percentages. As we become more "spiritually evolved," we change our percentage for acceptance, equanimity, calmness, peace, etc, as life happens. Someone like Gurudev has a way higher percentage for not buying into the disturbance plan than most of the rest of us. We need the disturbances and the tranquility so we can have hand rails for evolving. At some point, we decide that we are tired of how we interact with disturbances and start to look at changing our percentage. Everyone has a unique timing for when and how this unfolds, over how many lifetimes, what roles we must play etc., grace from the Universe and so on. We can influence our percentage, but we never know what tests and events are going to come along to help us grow.
What a remarkable design! Gurudev just looked upward and smiled. Fascinating looking back at all the steps just to get to this new starting point. How so much makes sense now. Does it change anything about the fact that there are going to be aspects of being human that will have challenges? No. Does it change how I view the stream of life as I navigate it pouring over and through me? Yes. I am really curious now what life is going to look like. Will I wake up in Oz? No. So many little steps. Remarkable. How something so simple can be so exciting!
(Oh, the cow with the broken leg did get picked up by HIS after I wielded a warrior weapon. More learning! Will be interesting what happens next on that frontier. Learning how the white-skinned element can also be favorable in situations.)
|Yes, it is a water buffalo|
There is a uniqueness in walking between elephants and having one of their tails swing over and touch you in the hand. I jumped. It was a new sensory experience for sure!
Contemplating yesterdays lesson while running and wondering how I would ever know what Absolute Love is? I can pretend to try and offer a concept, but would I ever really know? I am noticing that human thinking, doing, and being are all points of separation. When the deeper state shows up, I cannot take action, so as long as I am meant to take action, do I just keep dipping into both worlds?
The desire to be less separated from Source is taking over the desire for human activity, but eating, exercising, working are not off the practical list. The Baba who visited the ashram was pretty close to the most minimal list a human could have and still be actively alive. Love this part of India: observing and experiencing new frontiers of living states.
The impulse to pet an elephant was not to be denied today. Went to the saddling barn and I was invited to pet one of the elephant--and no money was required. To stand in front of this enormous mammal, gently stroking his forehead while looking into his eyes, contemplating their quality of life, and the mind moved to the global status for animals. The stillness felt like moments I experience with the horses and somehow this alignment opened that door to where I want to fall on the ground sobbing and almost blacking out. It shows up periodically: meditating under Redwood trees, touching Gurudev's feet, certain temples, seeing a dog with a broken jaw who was starving to death, and... Never know when it is going to show up. It creates a staggering amount of disparity coupled with a staggering amount of gratitude. Interesting how it was originally connected to more "mystical" moments of meditation experiences and now it is showing up while I am physically alert. Hmmm--the mundane is sacred and ....
Is this part of "going deeper?" These openings feel like a touchstone to the backdrop of everything being one and the same, but it clarifies the human separation. When the moment ends, the heart is so cracked open that a deep longing for this inner state is all that is left. Something that one cannot pay for, make happen, trick, or control. The gratitude is for the moment of knowing the depth of being something other than the limited self. The disparity is for the moment of knowing the depth of being something other than the limited self.
Thursday, January 9, 2014
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Bonus of sitting in an ashram and observing spiritual life from a spiritual location. Witnessing Gurudev pranam to another visiting Guru. In that moment to watch two highly evolved beings share respect, love, and, wisdom was a remarkable teaching.
I had been caught off guard by some street behavior in the ashram and it sent me in a spiral to want to lift one of my old warrior weapons, but knowing inwardly there must be a different "weapon" to wield at this point.
Watching the Gurus, getting input from one of the wise, spiritual women abroad, running, and hanging up clothes on the clothes line allowed a simple solution. Fact check with Gurudev. " Isn't the point of the spiritual path to treat every rock, plant, animal, human, and moment in life like what I witnessed in your respect to the visiting Guru?" A smile and a nod. "But, not everyone is operating from that place, so all I can do is stay true to my own beliefs and actions by having love and understanding for what unfolds outside of what I can do." More smiling and nodding, plus he reminded me, "You can only control yourself. You cannot have expectations for how others perceive your actions and respond." (Paraphrased)
Basics and how many times do I have to twirl around and forget this? India is an outstanding place for a white, woman walking/seeking to be rocked from that place of operation. It has enabled me to shift the warrior weapon. Can I use my strength and will to stand in the stream of disrespect with my heart open? The pain is for me to bare when I don't. My perspective that I operate from is my strength and my weakness. How much has changed from three years ago, to have an option and to be able to move through these dark places in a short time and in alignment with truth and love.
I was sorting through some new depth in my heart when the outer world pulled me out, but the solution answered the heart sorting and provided a clearer path in the outer world. As the wise woman reminded me, "It is all spiritual...the sacred in the mundane, the mundane in the sacred, spiritual in the personal and the personal in the spiritual...It is whole cloth." (Thank you Bhavani!)
A cow with a broken leg has drawn my attention. Gurudev asked me about the cow today and helped me with a plan that we were able to put into action as well. It is such a bonus that he knows that the western world is different and navigates it with ease as well. I recognize that many of the people don't have the education or money to take action, so the animal is caught in the suffering. Thank you Help In Suffering for your founder's strength to carry through on a vision of creation and the current people to carry on the remarkable work for helping animals on the streets of Jaipur.
While in India, 6 or more hours a day have been spent on organizing one of my horse mentor's life story and wisdom to eventually publish. It has been a privilege and such a wonderful complement to the meditating and integration of spiritual principles. Through our earlier hours of the interview process, we shared the depths of our passion for feel and intuition in the communication with horses. As a 77 year old woman, she has helped open the doors for women's evolution in the west, survived cancer, and lived spiritually through the horses. She has her sights set on riding the Tevis again (she has already completed it 6 times!)--a rugged 100 mile endurance ride in California. She loves hearing about Gurudev and what I am learning in India, so the timing for this project has been wonderful. She now understands what sent me to India in the breaking of my heart for what I experienced in the horse world. She started mentoring me 34 years ago and we have stayed in touch over the years. Even though she didn't follow dressage as a training practice, she always followed the heart and right action of the horse. When I was troubled over some ethical, moral aspect of the horseman's professional world, I would call her.
|The start of my run--good morning. (Not the one with the broken leg.)|