Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Long walk day. It rained, so the ground was soft and my feet were thankful. Nice opportunity to examine a piece of the puzzle that started to shift last night. A section so deep and so attached that 5 years of observation hadn't brought it to an observable place until yesterday's new portal opened. Today, I could identify it clearly, but it was the first time there was a hesitation to move directly to the surrender pile. The ego had found something to leave on a shelf above Source. Now, my mind was surprised and found it illogical, but emotions and "illogical" parts of the mind were hanging on. I knew at some point it would get moved, but when, where, and under what conditions? Especially a layer so veiled that it was not ready to shift. Walking and watching the mind and soul have a discussion.
5 minutes after the discussion began, two of my teachers appeared--the horse and the human insanity plan. The pictures below will mean the most to horse people, but there are aspects for all to understand. The human emotions wanted to flair up, but knowing the futility of that loop extinguished the flame almost immediately. The portal from yesterday took on a new texture of power without emotion, violence, or despair. How quickly the ego's item on the top shelf was moved below Source. Choices? Yes. The library of my three year walk moved through me from the start to where I stand now. No Choice. Letting go once again.
There is a fatigue in this hyper-vigilence, but the last two reading assignments included that there will be a place, at some point, that something will shift enough for the hyper-vigilence to become unnecessary, but aspects of the practice will always be available. Until then, giddy-up and gratitude for the horses as my teachers.
|The unrelenting circle-shoe boil #1 (lying down is not comfortable.)|
|Shoe boil #2|
|More then shoe boils|
No outward door--only my heart as the portal to Source. The sensitivity of the energy field was unconditional, gentle, and soothing.
Thank you Gurudev:
'The masters of humanity who have come at all times and had such a cross to bear, why did they not go to the forests, to the caves, to the mountains, why did they stay in the world?' There is a beautiful picture that Rumi has made. He tells why the melody of the reed flute makes such an appeal to your heart. It is, he says in his poetry, because first it is cut away from its original stem, then in its heart holes are made and, since the holes have been made in the heart, the heart has been broken and it begins to cry. So it is with the spirit of the messenger, with the spirit of the teacher: by bearing and by carrying his cross his self becomes like a reed, hollow. There is scope for the Player to play his melody when it has become nothing; then the Player takes it to play his melody. If something was still there the Player could not use it.
(Bowl of Saki)
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
The desire to go farther on this path is irrefutable. The outer Sue is questioning the drive, relentlessness, and willingness to pound on every detail, but the inner Sue is yelling, keep going. The questioning of madness is on the top of the list. As I look around, others are bringing flowers, chit-chatting, and enjoying a nice social outing with other nice social beings. Nothing wrong with that, but what about the path? Yes, we are all on the path, but what about the hard core, minutia of the internal path? I don't mind being extreme and I have found it useful for creating high levels of results in my other disciplines, but maybe it is not needed or appropriate in this arena?
"Am I becoming mad?" Time for a fact check of my own reality. I know only a few people in the West who are on this scale of driven,(but I am sure there are others.) "No, you are not becoming mad, but you might be a little bit crazy." Craziness is normal for the insanity plan, but madness is different. Check mark, it is not inappropriate to be pursuing the spiritual path with this voraciousness. He showed me a written manual on the Divine car wash. Nice, now I know the names for the different energetic states that I have been experiencing daily while in the ashram. Check mark, there are very few true seekers on the path. Check mark, I am not wasting his time with my questions and practice.
How lovely to discuss the spiritual path from a historic, modern, and cultural view point. How useful to discuss the different alignment of walk and talk of spiritual teachers as examples of inner and outer manifestations of the path? How convenient that he could have me read a section of a book that he just finished and it covers the energetic aspects of the practice. How remarkable that he could assure me that I am not becoming mad, but that I am sincerely looking for something on a path that is appropriate for me.
As I was sitting with all of this in front of the wall of Divine Genealogy, I realized that a piece that I was missing was acceptance of myself as a serious, spiritual seeker. I was still the observer and outsider before the conversation, but now, another veil has been removed. It is okay to be Sue as a white, woman, walking, and seeking seriously on a spiritual path. I remember this transition in both riding and dancing of somehow shifting from the doer to the be-er. Still lots of homework, but it is a veil of acceptance of Who I am. The inner world is calling ever so relentlessly. The manual always helps me to pry the mind's fingers off the steering wheel.
Monday, February 24, 2014
Sunday, February 23, 2014
Why wait for the next step--walking in the outer world tests--sign me up!!
The morning impulse was to visit the man on the hill. I took Gurudev's suggestion and brought rice and extra fruit. Hung it on the wall outside his door and he appeared. Another smile, so I haven't violated any codes of the mystic world yet. He came up and joined me on the rooftop and we had an exchange with head nodding, finger pointing, and two different languages. Even if I say a word used in the native language, my accent and pronunciation make it sound even more foreign. Fun to see where I have walked over the years and what religious sites I have visited. He pointed out a new one that I hadn't been to, so off I went.
|Who is the ashram for? Is everyone invited to Sunday church?|
|Cows, monkeys, and humans?|
|Two Durga wall pictures!|
|Noticing the King Cobra now|
Now for the test; approaching the man who was whacking the elephant in the head with a stick. Could I stay in the place that has nothing to do with the outer world other than being an observer and yet know that part of me is a thinking human being with the potential for emotions and outer reactions? I stood looking into the eyes of the elephant wishing he knew this point of surrender for stepping out of suffering, but maybe he does? As I have witnessed severe beatings of horses, I watch them disappear within, maybe they do know? Interesting to observe the root of emotion and the beginning of a felt sense of suffering within myself. Thank you for the continued lesson plan unfolding.
Check mark on the fact check that surrender is the only way out of suffering. To consider that it is free and always available, why isn't it more widely known?
Saturday, February 22, 2014
When I walked home from the ashram (9 pm), there was a group of people standing with flags, in an organized way, with music blasting at concert level from big speakers mounted on a truck, and in front of one of the religious buildings. When I woke up at 5 am, they were still standing there with their flags and music on full volume. Did they do this all night? Dedication? The pink room was vibrating from the intensity. Almost every night one of the religious sites has something they are celebrating. I need to count how many there are on just this one short road. None of the neighbors ever appear to mind.
Surrender has been the common thread on this spiritual journey and I cannot imagine it will come to an end at any point soon. Recognized how limiting words are. If someone asked me what I learned, I could say to surrender, so my ego could be killed, and I could uncover the inner peace that has always been present. One word is so powerful, but what that means to the individual is the journey. It is the antithesis of what we need to "be a successful human in terms of outer world measurement," so the learning curve is winding and not always clear. Learning to surrender from the heart and not just an action from the mind is another part of the learning curve.
Very different to sit in an intoxicated state with some history and not just "What is going on?" as a mental framework. More surrender to the depth of love and truth offered in the new awareness--part of the incentive plan to keep "Letting Go." Surrender to a warrior means weakness, so a new teaching to see the strength in it--inwardly and outwardly. The next 50 years of the lesson plan unfolding? While training the horses, the word was submission. I never cared for that word, because it evoked a feeling of disrespect, force, and control.
As I sit with all of the story so far, this word and what it allowed in the human to justify their actions of ego, is part of what sent me to the feet of the spiritual master. The search for more humane and tactful techniques have been the journey. The distaste of using techniques that were out of alignment have left scars and provided the incentive to search. Experiencing the control and submission used by the teachers in ballroom dancing were the beginning of experiencing it personally (20 years of examination.) Now as I sit with my own surrender as an offering from the depth of my true nature, it is yet another pivotal point. How masterful to be led to this point without words, but with the unveiling of the nature of true life force--Absolute Love and Truth. A desire to know and live in alignment with the fabric of life are the carrots. One step it to be aware of the depth of surrender and the peace that prevails, but taking action from that perspective and walking in that state is another.
Friday, February 21, 2014
My self imposed mantra plan is working for taming the ego. I can see how the repetition is just active enough for the mind to have something to do, but just narrow enough so when the mind steps out of bounds, it is quickly observed. My morning walk/run is in a place now where I have very few disturbances, so I can experiment with how internal I can be while still walking. Not the urgency of crawling on the wall or the risk of slipping under an elephant, but useful for integrating the inner and outer practice. The mantra-walk combination was generating a new state of high voltage joy and without effort.
While sitting quietly, I was observing how the new state of my heart was drawing me inward and how the outer world was providing distractions here and there, so I pulled on the reins to reset the quiet zone. I am getting a feel for the amount of rein which is useful for more effective resets (half-halts in riding language.) All of a sudden my "5 horses" (self) appeared to turn into only one (Self.) I know about riding one horse, so there was a sense of familiarity and simplicity with the shift. The part that caught me completely off guard was where that led.
A new option in the Divine car wash? All 5 senses were shut off, but I was aware that they were available yet unnecessary for existing. There wasn't anything necessary for living and being in this space. I was the inner world, but aware of the outer world while completely unaffected by it. If I had no legs, arms, eyes, ears, skin, organs, mind, etc. it wouldn't have altered the state of joy I was in. I didn't need a world either, but I was aware of its presence. Fascinating to reflect on all of the different states experienced in this journey and then to have them assembled like a collage. I would be able to function in this state, but there would be no ego distraction. I was able to take action as needed, but no requirement for more--only being. There was such a clarity of a root place one could live from that didn't need the ego accessories. Wow!
Reverse learning curve. Needed to figure out how to move the elevator back up a few floors, so I could understand someone who was trying to talk to me. Practice. Very different than a deep meditation where the outer world and body drops away completely.
Should I be surprised that the last 16 pages of the book covered what I experienced today... and clarified a few questions meandering around.
Once again, a lesson in hands off the steering wheel.
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Learned something very valuable about inquiry and the connection to single-pointedness. How the question is framed is very important for helping as a portal. Spent the day in the messy zone and noticing how out of alignment my question was with my heart. Clarity came from that exercise. The question becomes a heartfelt offering/surrendering rather than a demand. It isn't up to me to know what the best outcome is, part of the surrender and opening to someone else driving the bus in all situations.
Topic: Expressing a desire to walk the planet from the view of the Self's Eyes.
The shift in my heart was stunning. It showed me how much I don't want to use the stick and it led me without effort to the interior world with a new felt sense of what could be possible. A small step to the world living within instead of me living outside.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Fact check on the ego and ego removal plan. Spent the day examining it and it is BIG. Gurudev called it the King Cobra that can emerge at any time. He said it was useful that I know about training horses, since that is what I am doing with my ego. (Krishna in his chariot pulled by horses.) Plus, being outside the remarkable environment of the Guru and ashram makes it more difficult. Surrender is a big part of the program (no surprise), but the cobra can show up when least expected (blind spots and losing focus?) Grace at the junction is needed for the final ego death. It wasn't my imagination that this really is the beginning of the serious work. Hunker down and get to work. I asked if it would help to start eating sugar balls, but there was only laughter.
I am REALLY curious what happens next. I googled killing the ego. Didn't expect it to have more information than Gurudev, Ramakrishna, and Ramana Maharshi, but interesting to see what came up on the search. I do know one thing, if I am ever going to succeed in killing my ego, I couldn't be in a better place in the entire Universe. Thank you for the remarkable Grace.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
It doesn't appear to be enough to become familiar with who I am, but at the crossroad of embracing and living as who I am. Yes, in theory it is already who I am, but theory has been a guide, the embodiment of the path while as a form has been the work. At this point of needing to cut away the ego, it feels like every step of my life to this point has been a dress rehearsal for this step. Learning to work with the judgment, despair, outer guidance and more has been a teaching in itself, until the futility in that practice doesn't serve any longer. The years of self examination, trying to rearrange the furniture, new jobs, new haircuts, new outfits, new partners, new... until the futility of this outer attempt does not serve any longer. The path and a spiritual master appear and the work becomes the inner fire walk to who am I?
But, can I be who I truly am--in the walk, in the life practice, and in sitting in judgment from all of humanity and myself? Big step or maybe the dress rehearsal of every step of my life has all led to it being a small next step? There is no other layer, the layers have been the warm-up, now it is getting serious.
Can I truly love and accept myself at the level of Absolute Love and Truth that is the fabric of what Is? Not just experience them, but be them. Fear of the unknown was dumped over the edge of the life raft, but I now sense that is was at the personality/egoic level, so this new state of fear that is at the root of my existence. Yesterday was an awareness of the difference. Today is walking with that truth. Am I up for the challenge? Only Divinity knows, but I will start again, but not as a veil--it will be as a root. No doubt, I am in the right container with the right guide for this step. The bigger stick is to stay focused and the compassion is for my heart and true nature. My ego has been with me longer than any other state of presence while in the form, so now to have it truncated is getting serious. Visualizing Durga on this next part of the path.
Inner silence, so now the true path and practice begins. All that is needed. The true, quiet self zone and it is wondrous and inviting. The only state for inner peace and alignment to what's beyond the form.
Why am I still examining the ego when I thought everything had been put on the surrender pile? At this point, it is clear there is not going to be peace if it doesn't go, so is this the deepest part of the ego's survival zone? Training it to sit on the couch with folded hands worked for awhile, making friends with it disarmed it for a bit, so now to embrace it with compassion as I would a dying friend or family member or just take a bigger stick and put it out of it's misery?
Sunday, February 16, 2014
With the growing new inner sense, I can sort of navigate a simple day without getting too separated, but when I get to really "doing" (which includes planning, the future, etc.) the zone shift mentally is clear. The base state is present, but there is a need for awareness monitoring and discipline of thoughts--not unlike meditating. At least now, I can try to swim back to the middle of the ocean rather than thinking I was resting and safe on the beach. And to think of the years spent in the busy mind state... Another new practice is emerging, "When in doubt, go to the quiet self."
|View from the roof|
To be as surrender in life as in death
(more walking thoughts...)
Several days in a row of 12-15 km walks. Like taming a wild animal. Day 3, the mind was quiet, so mantra, "Bring it on!" was dusted off. Delving into the world of sex slavery, slave trade, prostitution, gang rape (interesting to watch an interview of a men in the Congo talking about raping and the justification--they rape for magical powers, but would kill someone if the same action was taken towards their mothers, sisters, aunts etc. Nice double standard!), killing of children from a previous marriage, husbands selling their wives into slavery, massacre of elephants, ethnic cleansing, and more. Capacity building 101 Sue style.
Why am I so driven to be able to walk in all facets of the planet with my heart open? I understand now, until one realizes the true self, there will be no true capacity, the ego will continue to obscure the true heart, and leave one ignorant of Self. The opportunities for examining my self are available, so I am taking advantage of someone else's pain to test my own. While in the depths of sobbing anguish for all of the darkness, I asked if I would ever have true capacity? Not sure what happened, but when I woke up, another shift. Temporary or not, thank you for the marker.
A few days later, this showed up in the Bowl of Saki. Nice! Working on it.
He who expects to change the world will be disappointed, he must change his view. When this is done, then tolerance will come, forgiveness will come, and there will be nothing he cannot bear.
Bowl of Saki, February 18, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Saturday, February 15, 2014
Thursday, February 13, 2014
|Looking back up the hill and admiring the colors of the rocks.|
|Re-entry from country walk to city|
How is it possible that in less than 24 hours of asking if it was possible to experience the ashram within while I was outside, it appeared? Grace. Hours passed in that place of awareness while meditating in my little pink room with heavy traffic outside the window, the next-door restaurant banging pans, a downstairs television blaring, and children yelling playfully. Out of that exquisite place I became aware of two concepts: 1) silence is the perfect language, and 2) knowingly or unknowingly, we are all searching for peace. It is our shared deepest connection. More grace--the first page of my daily reading confirmed this awareness.
|Catching pigs is not for the faint of heart. Still walking...|
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
The vitality in the silence is stunning. Who would want to leave? As I sit before the Masters from the past, within the cocoon of the ashram vibration, and at the feet of a living form of this inner expansiveness, a sense of profound respect, obligation, and commitment to try harder is the tidal wave. There is nothing more precious or important than this opportunity and not to squander it. When Gurudev answers my questions, the wave of the answer goes into satisfying several more questions that I didn't even know existed. When I asked the international caliber riding professionals what could I do to be in better alignment to the horse's spirit while training--they would look at me blankly or become disturbed by the depth of my asking.
I have always wondered if we were living in a dream and I start to understand that my perception wasn't quite wrong, but who would I have asked? That question I have had from childhood is starting to get an answer--the ability to walk in the dream (Earth plan) with an open heart, in service as a decent human being, and with a mental stillness that doesn't need to engage in the normal, messy human entanglement is the focus. The medium for this capacity is coming from the inner "soup."
Will I ever be able to walk away from the ashram and have the ashram within me? Homework!! Everyday I marvel at how much gets debrided and exposed--just trying to keep up if I can. Before, the limits and constraints were the partnerships, but now it is only me. More from the daily reading is helping with the debriding too. Ramakrishna and Ramana Maharshi got check marks as two Realized Spiritual Masters who lived and walked the talk as a fact check.
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
(short video below)
Monday, February 10, 2014
While reading the manual for discovery of Self--it sounds so straightforward and rational. It is becoming apparent how bipolar the mind is. It can help one uncover truth and it can help even faster to cover it up. Unnecessary thought is going on the pile. Perfect opportunity to try it.
Recognized yet another one of my unnecessary conceptions of the spiritual path--reading is helping like weeding a garden right now. Wasn't sure how being aware of the Self and functioning in the "regular world" could work, but then I watch Gurudev and how remarkable he navigates EVERYTHING. Sigh, the mind is so silly.
Sunday, February 9, 2014
|The easy section...|
|A new view of Amber Fort and Amer|
|Not looking so steep from here...|
Saturday, February 8, 2014
It felt like I was preparing for a fishing expedition as the fisherman and the bait. How to go deeper? The contingent plan was to pick an image to start with as a focus to get my mind on one point. I chose my favorite picture of Gurudev as an energy field in pranam to the Divine Genealogy. Quickly realizing the visualization of the image would leave me in my mind, so I switched to my best guess of what it would feel like to be the energy field and focused on what I had learned so far from different experiences. The inquiry was "Who Am I?" and all of a sudden the two concepts merged into "I am That." The energy field turned to this remarkable blue that appears almost daily (makes me think of Krishna somehow) and led me to a new perceived "depth." The perception was that the deeper I went the less separation--all became One (and the Oneness removed any since of spatial reality/depth.) At the beginning of the fishing trip, my mind was trying to tell me that it would be lonely and isolating, so yet another example of the ego working as it can find to find a job.
Not sure how long I stayed in that place, but it was part of the Divine's car wash--so tranquil, heartfelt, and inclusive. Remarkable how all of the experiences, sensations, teachings, practices, etc. all keep leading to these places of new understanding. This has been yet another example of the perfection of the path. The car wash state has been critical for experiencing a new state when "awake," so it can help change the perception of what is possible in the wake state which is where the heavy lifting of mind work is going to take place. Everyday there has been a few key points in the reading material that have helped me understand a letting go or a different approach to the mind/ego training too. The state of complete inclusivity is yet another game changer. The constant focus on the self/Self as the transformative material makes total sense, since the self is the perceived limitation and the familiar perspective for grasping change. The experience today helped me to understand how I fit on the path. I was thrilled to get a grasp of what the path really was, but starting to see how I am involved is a bonus.
To go from where I was yesterday, the conversation with Gurudev, and the lesson plan today is the Absolute Grace of a Living Master! An amazing start to the fishing expeditions ahead.
Friday, February 7, 2014
|Good morning! Lots to choose from.|
A plan emerged during my morning walk/run. It feels like preparing to walk out the door into minus 20 degree weather. Your are going, but there is some sort of hunkering down that needs to take place to take on the elements. In this case, the element is my mind and at yet another level. The check marks on the fact checks are encouraging me to stand up and get going. How could anyone even attempt this without a living master? Gurudev always claims he is just a student like we are on the path, but I did get him to admit that he knows more of the manual. What grace!!
|On my run up to the fort. Nice use of the warm sun!|
Thursday, February 6, 2014
After climbing up the hill to the "man on the hill," I hung a sack of fruit on his door. Just as I turned to walk away, he opened the door, looked at the sack, and looked at me with a big grin on his face. Cool! No anger or throwing of fruit to the wild animals, (even thought that would have been okay too.) I had checked with Gurudev about protocal for greetings of people in orange robes and he suggested to go with the feeling in my heart--hands clasped together were fine and on the ground pranam if my heart desired. Hands clasped together made sense in the moment; I didn't have the same feeling as I do for Gurudev. Actually, I haven't met any orange-robed beings that I have had the same feeling.
He invited me in, but I was thinking baby steps, so I thanked him and started my walk down the hill to begin my morning run. As I was walking along the path, I turned to look back and felt the urge to pranam to the experience. How lovely to experience an offering to someone without expectation, strings, or anything other than kindness and how lovely to have someone receive it with kindness, no strings, and no expectations. The experience was felt from the new inner alter as something tranquil and clear--no scratchiness. Tears of gratitude and that energy experience that appears to come with these moments was the physical response. How cool to experience what appears to be a true renunciate walking the talk, living alone on the hill, and living in some sort of focus on the Divine. As a beginner on the path and one submerged in the western culture, it is awesome to experience this lifestyle choice. I was thinking I could sign up for it, but something tells me that isn't going to happen.
What a life lesson to experience something that simple. It felt like I spent the day in the Divine car wash. No thorns for the day and experiencing an exchange from the other side of the door--a new perspective. Living outside one's normal routine and comfort zone generates the most remarkable learning opportunities.
It appears that I am back on the learning schedule where I experience something and then I read about it. Opened the book to these thoughts today:
"God, Guru, and Self are only different forms of the same."
"So long as you think you are the individual you believe in God, On worshiping God, God appears to you as Guru. On serving Guru He manifests as the Self."
Sri Ramana Maharshi