Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Grave Site

Two weeks before my Dad died, my brother and I went to the hospice to visit him. He was feeling relatively strong that day, so we got him out of bed, dressed him, and got him into a wheelchair. After talking for awhile, Dad said, "I want to go see where I will be buried."

Now, if we were in denial, and he weren't in hospice care, this might seem rather ghoulish. However, things being what they were, this seemed like a reasonable request. My brother and I were certainly capable of getting him in and out of my car.

We wheeled Dad down to the nurses station. I informed the nurse that we were going to take Dad out for awhile. She asked, "Where will you be taking him?"

 "He wants to go see where he will be buried," I replied,

This was not what the nurse expected to hear. She raised her eyebrows at me, but I just looked back, straight faced. She then looked at my brother. He was also straight faced. She then looked at my Dad. He said nothing. She turned back to me and said, "When will you be bringing him back?"

I was not taking to this inquisition very well. I replied, "We're not bringing him back. We are going to leave him there. " This was a bigger shock than our previous answer. She looked at me rather horrified, and then at my brother, then at my Dad.

That's when my Dad stared laughing. It was a good wholehearted laugh. The nurse looked at all of us, tried to keep a straight face, and then started laughing with us. Shortly, I wheeled Dad out of the hospice.

We drove the cemetery.  We got Dad out and wheeled him across the hard ground. It was a hot July in the Midwest. The grass was brown. We found the grave site and paused. We let Dad take in the scenery and have his thoughts.

His grave was to be right next to his wife, our mother, who had died a few years before. We didn't say much, each wrapped in our own thoughts. When Dad began to look tired, I said, "Well, I think we should go now."

"Oh," said Dad, "I thought you were going to leave me here." We had another good laugh. All in all, a pleasant afternoon.

Vive la différence!

The individual self and the One Self are a whole. However, the whole does not disavow the individual self, for it is its very source.

Non duality means there is no real separation. So the individual self is not to be disparaged, maligned, and demoted, for it is an expression of the whole.

The Whole operates in a variety of expressions, and each species, each individual life form, is equally divine. Each individual expression is an expression whose origin is the whole. To dishonor the individual self is to dishonor the whole.

We are not meant to be abandoned to a feeling of isolation, as if we are alone in world.  In fact, the feeling of isolation is so abhorrent, that we look for wholeness.

The oneness of life, as in the teaching of non duality, can be discovered. However, even when discovered, there is still a body present, that has individual needs. Needs and desires may or may not disappear with realization.

The experience of duality and non duality both come from the same Source. Whether one awakes in this lifetime or not, the same source is operational.

During a particularly lonely experience, I was looking out the window on a cold winter night. I began to watch a squirrel, sitting on a snow covered branch, eating alone. The loneliness, the singularity of that particular squirrel, became overpowering.

Noting, that no one in this world cared whether the squirrel lived or died, or ever would ever care, my loneliness merged with the aloneness of squirrel. A feeling of oneness with the squirrel became real and overwhelming. Where was the separation in our experience?

The oneness, the unity in our apparent separate lives was palpable. It made no difference that we were of entirely separate species. The oneness was self evident.

One could wrap logic around this experience, and try to explain it. But truth is beyond logic, ineffable, and not provable, but it can be experienced. The experience of non duality, the subjective knowingness, is the confirmation.

So let us enjoy our individuality, even if it is not the ultimate truth. As the French say, "Vive la différence! "

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Communicating Love

When my Dad was dying, when his limbs started turning blue, he sent me home. He wanted to die alone.

However, when I got home, the phone rang, it was Dad. I said, "Dad, you just sent me home! Why are you calling?

He said, "I just want to be sure the lines of communication are open."

Those were the last words he ever spoke to me. After a lifetime of poor communication, to have those be his last words, was simply love.

A Quiet Mind Works Well

You might think that when the mind gets quiet, really quiet, that you wouldn't be able to do much. I find the opposite to be true.

Jesus said, "The truth will set you free." Perhaps, the truth so quiets the mind, that you actually arrive at being Being, here and now. And when you are eternal Being, what is there to fear, and what is here to bind you?

The mind here in this body is 61 years old, but it is not quiet from being old. It is quiet from Being at peace. And that peace makes the mind very efficient at work. The mind is not distracted by personal thoughts, and only what is before me is what is on the mind.

Later, at the end of the day, on the bus coming home from work, a bit of the personal self might grab a few dregs of its remnants and say, "Well, now that I gave all my brains to the computer, dumped into Word and Excel, what do I have left for myself?" But even this doesn't last long. It just doesn't have much to hold on to any more.

What is interesting is that the search for truth brought my mind to stillness, and that very stillness allows for productivity.

Granted, if I didn't have to work to eat, I would probably be more entertained by what I was able to do during the day, but the beingness, the quietness, would still be dominant, and that is the critical factor.

I also find that not having a lot of ego to support, keeps one's involvement in the politics of the work environment to a minumum. I don't need to toot my own horn. What is interesting is that if one doesn't toot one's own horn, you find that the most unlikely folks will step up and toot it for you.

Lastly, I spend most of my day at work being creative. I look for where I can play, and spend hours coming up with something new. As long one periodically comes up with a new application, or new way of doing, or managing work, everyone thinks you've been working really hard.

Being is being, and has been being for a long, long time. Being isn't going anywhere either, so being will be around for a long, long time. Actually, forever! So, we can just relax into it and just play, and the work will get done.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Story

A story is a story and not the truth. The teller can only tell the the tale as it was in their experience. I have a story like each of you, and wonder if it might be interesting to others. Is there something in the pain of life that causes some of us to search more deeply than others for the truth? If such a story of my life is of interest, you can find chapter one here:

http://heartofdarknessrevisited.blogspot.com/

Friday, June 11, 2010

Discernment

The world is not like any one of us think it should be. Unless of course, we have given up our our beliefs regarding how the world should be.

Suffering is a good indication of how many untrue beliefs we carry. If we insist that "We should not suffer," we are simply saying, "My beliefs are more important than how the world actually is." To sustain this belief will guarantee continued suffering.

Knowing how things should be is the primary force behind suffering. However, were we to not know how things should be, we would still have discernment, which allows for preference, but without insistence.

Giving up our "shoulds" does not mean that we no longer have preferences, it's just that we no longer insist on them. We have given up insisting that the world should be as we see fit.

Any should will result in condemnation. Condemnation of how things are, how we ourself are, and how others are. Living in condemnation of self and others is suffering.

With discernment we can imagine what the world could be, but without the illusion that it should be so. We can still be the change we want to see, but not believe that others should be so.

True spirituality is by invitation, is is never insistent. It does not proselytize, nor condemn. It simply holds to the light that is.

Lovingness may be an ideal of how the world could be, but there is no evidence that this is how it should be.

My invitation is to let go of how the world should be. Let go of how others should be. Let go of how you should be. Simply see how you are, and accept that this is how you are.

This does not mean that you give up discernment. You can still have your preferences, just don't insist on them. Know them, even strive for them. But do not insist that others should have the same ideals, much less strive for them.

Be the person you would like others to be. Do your best to live up to our own ideals. This is a decent way to be, but not a requirement for yourself or others.

Be what you would like to see. Be responsible for the effort, but not responsible for the result. The result will be what it is.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Not a Victim of the Drama

I know from subjective experience that all is one. However, having experienced the truth of that, does not necessarily allow me to live in that space all the time.

In fact, while in that space I became aware that I couldn't live in that space and function in the world "as it is." There was no me in that space. At the time of this awareness I had small children. Who would take care of them if I was in a state of non functional bliss?

The state of that subjective experience came numerous times, and I had to hold back from doing what seemed instinctive: hug the neighbors, help the old cross the street.

Everyone was Me. If I had acted from that impulse, I would never even get to work.

Having experienced that, knowing that, here I am in the purgatory of this as it is. Is this so bad? No. The drama plays on. This that I experience as my personal self still feels, reacts, holds positions, gets angry, carries resentments.

While I know that ultimately I am not the little self, a personal self, there is still the experience of it. There is no point in rejecting it. God's will is in operation, is it not?

There are more advanced souls than I, who can perhaps, maintain subjective Oneness, and still function in this world. Not I. Though I am no less One than they. Perhaps they are further along the road. Same path, same Oneness, just at a different point.

The deck of cards doesn't arbitrarily give me cards that I can't handle. I have asked for the hand. For, in seeking purity, one gets the "Everything that's not pure hand" dealt. It provides the opportunity to see the remaining impurities up close. Hence the drama.

My only task is to partake willingly of the drama, without resentment, without claiming to be a victim, without complaining. I must acknowledge the drama as mine. Mine to look at, mine to work through. What an opportunity!

I do not wish I was more enlightened. There is just this journey. Where I am is exactly where I should be. The crap I have to deal with is my own. If I choose the higher road, the choices will change, the scenery will improve. If I don't, the hand will still be dealt, the hand will still be played.

Accepting the drama of where I am. Looking at it. Dealing with it, as it is, is the only game in town. This is it.

Be what it may, this is where I am, where I deserve to be. I am OK with it All, as it is. There is an eternity to work it through. The pace I am at is the perfect pace. It is all I am capable of. OK. OK. OK.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Waiting to Stub My Toe

The joke around my home is that any day now I might stub my toe and become enlightened. Not like getting it from a flower, eh? "Oh my, where has the Buddha gone?"

I love the intellect, my own especially, but it can get tiresome. Without the intellect, certain development may not be possible, but at some point, the intellect is a barrier. I am, perhaps, at the barrier.

Writing another brilliant line of words is not going to please me. Nor another good book to read. I've read plenty. Another Satori would be fine. However, on the map of where I am, who knows?

Took a two week vacation in Arizona and it was quite fun. It had rained and the whole desert was in bloom. Did lots of hiking with my wife. We even managed to get lost in the desert with no food or water. There were plenty of coyote trails, but in over four hours we didn't see another person. We had to follow our footprints to get back to our car. Got a good tan.

We went to Arizona to attend an all day lecture by Dr. David R. Hawkins. I did not need to attend, and I can't say that I got any woo woo from being in his presence, but it was the only thing we could get motivated by, to leave home and travel.

There were people from all over the world. As Hawkins is in his eighties, he is not likely to be giving a lot more lectures. Krishnamurti died before I could see him, and I had airline tickets in hand. Didn't want a repeat of that.

There is a space where meaning and essence are beyond words, not explainable, not provable, but experienced. Been there done that. It's the coming down from there that's the bummer.

A jolt of that much essence is like the best drug high you couldn't even imagine. So, once experienced, it's pretty boring dropping back into the way things were before you knew better. But knowing better and being there are two different things.

When you tell God you want to surrender, he takes you at your word. The whole universe will conspire to let you prove it. The dealer says, "Pick another card. Oh, shit, it's go to jail and don't pass Go."

Purgatory is here. It's where you play the game. The ups, the downs. Oh, the humanness of it all! If you've had a taste of ecstasy, not the drug, but the natural high of unmitigated source, everything else is just so so. Limbo land.

However, having had the taste, having had the view, anything less is a wasteland of okayness. There is much peace here, contentment, but not joy. Certainly not the overwhelming experience of beauty that really kicks your ass!

Perhaps I can take solace from Milton, who said that, "He who stands and waits, also serves." I am waiting. I am on the edge of moving on, but moving on cannot be forced. And waiting with expectancy is okay. Just a little boring.

There is little will power here, and I am not the doer. I can pray, but don't often feel like it. I can contemplate, but my mind is asleep. So best to wait. I ponder when it arises unbidden. I rest in the knowing that all is well, whether I feel it or not.

Thanks to "know one in particular" for asking me how I was doing. So, now you have it.

God bless, Maury