|I want to tell you a story that annihilated me into itself when I heard it. Maybe it will annihilate you too, and point you back to essence…|
A story that almost could be from the Mahabharata, that almost could have happened. But it didn’t.
And not the way I am going to tell it.
And none of this will matter if you feel where it points…
When Arjuna the great Indian warrior found himself on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, across from an army led by the very teachers who had trained him to become the finest archer in the land, full with brothers and uncles- the family he grew up with, he couldn’t lift his bow to fire the first arrow across the enemy lines.
He looked at their faces and his heart broke.
He knew his Dharma, he knew it had to be such- that he must engage this battle, for it was Divine will, and yet, as he gazed across the battlefield, he couldn’t fire at the enemy.
He just stood there, seeing them with this heart.
And when the very people he couldn’t shoot at, began firing arrows at him, something unusual happened: as the arrows they shot touched Arjuna, they began to transform into petals of Rose and fell at his feet.
You see, he had become love.
The enormity of his love was such that it dissolved everything that touched him into itself- back into the essence of the Everything- the core vibration of love.
And the harshness of the arrows, the hate, the anger, the violence that came at him, transmuted into Roses- the fragrant softness of love.
I feel at the core, this is life’s invitation to us all- to not just know love as a verb, but to become it…and in that becoming, make everything we meet part of the Love we are…
This is no small order. And yet, there are beings who join us here on Earth and embody this capacity.
This morning at 00:00, 1.22.22, in the temple he was initiated in as a young boy, Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh left his body. And as I sat feeling his essence in meditation, this story came up and again made me cry. Because Arjuna’s story also describes him.
Maybe you’ve met his teachings? Maybe this note will inspire you to…I hope it does.
I’ve always experienced Thich Nhat Hanh as the Boddhisattva of peace. I haven’t read any of his books, nor attended any of his retreats. Nor really followed his teachings closely.
But I have heard his voice name the Truth in us all.
I have seen his brush, make spirit into form.
I have felt the power and the radiance of his presence, melt me with love, into itself.
It’s a gift to be annihilated, over and over again in meeting a presence like his. The best way to honor him, of course, is to live aligned with the Truth in you.
You can read his parting words below, gently melting all the pointy arrows in me, into the tenderness of petals…
in celebration, in honor of a Life lived fully, his, yours and mine-
with big love,
This morning I want to put into words, what I often refuse to when asked about- what is awakening?
I say, whatever I say will be untrue. So go find out- what is it for you!
but today, the light is just right through the curtains, the words feel so seductive on my tongue, I want to give them shape and space…
being the beingness of being dancing in becoming
Becoming the eyes and hands of God.
Coming home to.
Even as the dream appears, it dissolves into Truth–
no stickiness here-
seeing becomes seeing
hearing becomes hearing
what is is what is…
being everything and nothing and this thing!
Everywhere and No where and Here. Now.
Through this physical form, in it, not of it.
This magnificent, sacred vessel. In love of it!
It is transcendence, yes-
transcendence that includes All That Is.
The universal and the particular become the same.
Fully Human. Fully Divine.
Thus I stand.
and I am asked:
Ishi how are you being,
It occurred to me in words that we are all just growing into ourselves, supported by a magnificent field of Grace. All I ever had to do was be open to receiving it.
A few weeks ago I had the honor of holding space for two people I love dearly, who are falling in love.
Breaking all the rules of “professional conduct” I asked one to invite the other into our session and when they came, we sat together for a while, listening, seeing, loving…in that profound simplicity, not many words were needed and neither was I anymore. So I declared our session over and went for a walk, filled by love, becoming it…
I walked on the open roads in the countryside, hands held out like a beggar and all I could say over and over, like a poem, like a prayer was “Thank you God. Thank you God. Thank you God. Thank you God. Thank you God…”
It was there when I came home. It was there when I picked up my paintbrush, when I was facilitating…I even went into meditation retreat ready to receive any beatings necessary to tame my spiritual pride, and what melted it instead again, was love.
Feeling the enormity of Grace- love and wisdom ready to pour into me, filled my heart and again what was left was just this:
“Thank you God. Thank you God. Thank you God. Thank you God. Thank you God…”
And I can feel that phrase weaving itself through the fabric of my being. I can’t even pretend not to see how much resource is available to me in every moment. I cry seeing the times I hid it from myself. Even in the midst of pain.
…sometimes I sing it. Mostly I cry it. “Thank you God. Thank you God. Thank you God. Thank you God. Thank you God…”
What else remains? So much Beauty. So much Grace.
Thank you God. More please.
“So listen, I am imagining.
I imagine that I awaken here on Sacred Mother Earth and marvel that I am alive and part of Creation
I imagine that Creation has given me a body that I respect and love.
I imagine that I will learn with my physical existence as long as I inhabit my body….
I imagine that women and men are equal.
I imagine that Life is challenge and giving-otherwise I would not be experiencing the presence of Life and Her Balance
I imagine that sex is natural (sacred) -and beautiful.
I imagine that all humans are born to Life to Learn and to Grow.
I imagine that I can live my Life and question my own experience and my Existence.
I imagine that I can help change the conditions of my world and my personal circumstances.
I imagine that I can listen to creation directly and that I need no interpreter.
I imagine that I can be my Self even in those times when I am pained by others.
I imagine that I am my own Authority and my own Teacher
I imagine that all information must be questioned by me.
I imagine that I can be the kind Teacher to myself.
I imagine that I am a Self-Responsible human who will teach others to care for our Sacred Mother Earth (with Beauty).”
via Ram Dass.
The Great Way is not difficult
for those who have no preferences.
When not attached to love or hate,
all is clear and undisguised.
Separate by the smallest amount, however,
and you are as far from it as heaven is from earth.
If you wish to know the truth,
then hold to no opinions for or against anything.
To set up what you like against what you dislike
is the disease of the mind.
When the fundamental nature of things is not recognized
the mind’s essential peace is disturbed to no avail.
The Way is perfect as vast space is perfect,
where nothing is lacking and nothing is in excess.
Indeed, it is due to our grasping and rejecting
that we do not know the true nature of things.
Live neither in the entanglements of outer things,
nor in ideas or feelings of emptiness.
Be serene and at one with things
and erroneous views will disappear by themselves.
When you try to stop activity to achieve quietude,
your very effort fills you with activity.
As long as you remain attached to one extreme or another
you will never know Oneness.
Those who do not live in the Single Way
cannot be free in either activity or quietude, in assertion or denial.
Deny the reality of things
and you miss their reality;
assert the emptiness of things
and you miss their reality.
The more you talk and think about it
the further you wander from the truth.
So cease attachment to talking and thinking,
and there is nothing you will not be able to know.
To return to the root is to find the essence,
but to pursue appearances or “enlightenment” is to miss the source.
To awaken even for a moment
is to go beyond appearance and emptiness.
Changes that seem to occur in the empty world
we make real only because of our ignorance.
Do not seek for the truth;
Only cease to cherish opinions.
Do not remain in a dualistic state;
avoid such easy habits carefully.
If you attach even to a trace
of this and that, of right and wrong,
the Mind-essence will be lost in confusion.
Although all dualities arise from the One,
do not be attached even to ideas of this One.
When the mind exists undisturbed in the Way,
there is no objection to anything in the world;
and when there is no objection to anything,
things cease to be— in the old way.
When no discriminating attachment arises,
the old mind ceases to exist.
Let go of things as separate existences
and mind too vanishes.
Likewise when the thinking subject vanishes
so too do the objects created by mind.
The arising of other gives rise to self;
giving rise to self generates others.
Know these seeming two as facets
of the One Fundamental Reality.
In this Emptiness, these two are really one—
and each contains all phenomena.
If not comparing, nor attached to “refined” and “vulgar”—
you will not fall into judgment and opinion.
The Great Way is embracing and spacious—
to live in it is neither easy nor difficult.
Those who rely on limited views are fearful and irresolute:
The faster they hurry, the slower they go.
To have a narrow mind,
and to be attached to getting enlightenment
is to lose one’s center and go astray.
When one is free from attachment,
all things are as they are,
and there is neither coming nor going.
When in harmony with the nature of things, your own fundamental nature,
and you will walk freely and undisturbed.
However, when mind is in bondage, the truth is hidden,
and everything is murky and unclear,
and the burdensome practice of judging
brings annoyance and weariness.
What benefit can be derived
from attachment to distinctions and separations?
If you wish to move in the One Way,
do not dislike the worlds of senses and ideas.
Indeed, to embrace them fully
is identical with true Enlightenment.
The wise person attaches to no goals
but the foolish person fetters himself or herself.
There is one Dharma, without differentiation.
Distinctions arise from the clinging needs of the ignorant.
To seek Mind with the discriminating mind
is the greatest of mistakes.
Rest and unrest derive from illusion;
with enlightenment, attachment to liking and disliking ceases.
All dualities come from ignorant inference.
They are like dreams, phantoms, hallucinations—
it is foolish to try to grasp them.
Gain and loss, right and wrong; finally abandon all such thoughts at once.
If the eye never sleeps,
all dreams will naturally cease.
If the mind makes no discriminations,
the ten thousand things
are as they are, of single essence.
To realize the mystery of this One-essence
is to be released from all entanglements.
When all things are seen without differentiation,
the One Self-essence is everywhere revealed.
No comparisons or analogies are possible
in this causeless, relationless state of just this One.
When movement stops, there is no movement—
and when no movement, there is no stopping.
When such dualities cease to exist
Oneness itself cannot exist.
To this ultimate state
no law or description applies.
For the Realized mind at one with the Way
all self-centered striving ceases.
Doubts and irresolutions vanish
and the Truth is confirmed in you.
With a single stroke you are freed from bondage;
nothing clings to you and you hold to nothing.
All is empty, clear, self-illuminating,
with no need to exert the mind.
Here, thinking, feeling, understanding, and imagination
are of no value.
In this world “as it really is”
there is neither self nor other-than-self.
To know this Reality directly
is possible only through practicing non-duality.
When you live this non-separation,
all things manifest the One, and nothing is excluded.
Whoever comes to enlightenment, no matter when or where,
Realizes personally this fundamental Source.
This Dharma-truth has nothing to do with big or small, with time and space.
Here a single thought is as ten thousand years.
Not here, not there—
but everywhere always right before your eyes.
Infinitely large and infinitely small: no difference,
for definitions are irrelevant
and no boundaries can be discerned.
So likewise with “existence” and “non-existence.”
Don’t waste your time in arguments and discussion
attempting to grasp the ungraspable.
Each thing reveals the One,
the One manifests as all things.
To live in this Realization
is not to worry about perfection or non-perfection.
To put your trust in the Heart-Mind is to live without separation,
and in this non-duality you are one with your Life-Source.
The Way is beyond language,
for in it there is no yesterday,
So you’re weaving the basket with one hand and the Universe weaves the other. It’s never been about perfection, it was just about authenticity.
In my early Come to Center days, as I was still learning to own, share and make transaction for my gifts, I spoke with a Sufi about desire, nakedness and vulnerability…about showing up in partnership with Life. Before we parted, he asked me to let myself be seen and go make a video, which I will share with you in my next post.
Our conversation was a gift to my soul. I share an excerpt of it with your heart now as a gift and an invitation.
“This is important,” he said. “Your desire is really intelligence.
There’s the hungry soul state, the free state and the naked state. The hungry soul way of getting what you want, is desperate- stealing the pie. You see the glass is always half empty, and the universe agrees. In the free state you say, I’m ok here, I don’t need any pie, and the universe agrees. You’re numb, and one day you’re walking dead.”
“You’ve been a renunciate and a sacrificial humanitarian, here and before. You say you don’t need anything, so no one can give it to you. But the thing is, it takes great humility to pay your bills, to ask for money, to say this is how I make my living- to ask for what you need.” And he held my hand as I started to cry.
“Getting naked is where it’s at, you see…full nakedness!
Every day, you need something! And (you ask, and) the universe then starts filling you up…it’s really about being defenseless. Try to continue to ask for what you want, and give people a chance to love you for who you are, you see…letting them see you in your need, asking for what you want- vulnerability- one of the most important human traits…how Gandhi defeated an empire…that’s the nature of vulnerability… if you tell me how you’re feeling, I get to experience the power and beauty of your thought and emotion.
So you’re weaving the basket with one hand and the Universe weaves the other. It’s never been about perfection, it was just about authenticity.
If you make yourself real, God will make you real. If you make God real, God will make you real.”
I did. I still am. Bit by bit. I learned to show up, sometimes trembling, and stand in humility- soft belly, feet planted, heart racing, palms open. I learned to muster up the courage to discover and then ask for what I want, to say no, to be seen in my power and my vulnerability- which it turns out, are the same thing.
This making yourself and God real, isn’t easy! But it is what we have come here to do in our unique ways. This weaving the basket with the universe isn’t an abstraction- it is lived in every aspect of how we are!
And, so much friction eases when turn towards our Sorcerer’s task, knowing who we are, how life works and claim our right place in the Everything. That’s what this path is about, as is Murmurations.
His invitation to me then, is my invitation to you now!
Come weave your basket in partnership with the Universe.
Let yourself be seen, be known…by yourself and those around you.
Cultivate your inner teacher, healer and sage, that they may fuel how you touch the whole world.
MURMURATIONS opens in two weeks!
This 6 month immersive alongside masterful guides is a place to awaken, heal, embody and align with purpose with a community supporting you!
And I mean a real community (not just a group of people), where we share our truths, our hearts, our highs and lows of life honestly in shared purpose- to heal and embody our deepest intentions, serving something bigger than ourselves.
A combination of somatics, energetics, relational dynamics, emotional fluidity and awareness based practices coalesce to help people complete the cycles they are in and move into the next level of healing.
You can expect powerful transformation in a relatively short amount of time, in ways that are aligned and attuned to your unique needs.
As of now there are 4 spots open. A mature group is forming, so we can go deeper faster- they’re ready to dive not just into personal healing, but also integrating the relational and spiritual facets of being, while aligning their doing in the world from their new baseline consciousness.
just weaving my basket here,
An insider’s experience of Murmurations!
In my morning session today a beautiful client and I laughed for a good 10 minutes as she saw how she was playing the game of life, trying so hard to hide the Big Big Love she actually is!
Who did she think she’s fooling? I asked.
And she pointed to herself. We laughed some more.
As she saw herself as this Ocean of Love, there was nothing left outside of it.
She, me, we, her stories, ideas, beliefs, emotions – all melted into boundless, all encompassing Big Love. And there was nothing left but tears of joy, the sweet mourning of that forgetting, that hiding…
We convince ourselves no one sees the love that we are, but it can’t be hidden. Mostly, we’re hiding it from ourselves.
What if for this one moment, as you read my words, you let this ocean of love that has been wanting to pour through you out into the Everything actually pour out?
You showed up in the world one ball of innocence- loving everything you met. As a child you knew this- you were here to love and be loved. It was simple. It was easy to offer your heart and receive love into it.
So now again, come back to the simplicity of that knowing.
Let yourself BE love.
Maybe for just this moment. Maybe for another minute…maybe for this whole day, maybe just this weekend or this year…this lifetime!
Especially when it feels vulnerable – when you are afraid you’ll lose connection for showing up as it- like writing this email for me, it will feel so essential and so vulnerable…
Let it melt you.
Over and over.
Big Love meets Big Love.
You, Big Love, go to the grocery store and feel the Big Love bagging your groceries for you. You walk to the post office and meet Big Love in the line and there it is again, mailing your letters. You come home and there it is again- Big Love pouring out, disguised as your children, your partner, your parents, your friend…what else was ever there?
All around you. It’s hard not to feel it!
It can be that simple.
To let it be that simple is the most courageous choice we can make- turning towards what you already are- so much love it’ll break your heart and fill it. Over and over again.
What else could be more essential, more important, more joyful?
a wink, a smile, and Big Big Love!
M U R M U R A T I O N S
a unique transformational community
Heal, awaken, embody, and align with your deepest purpose- together.
We start Oct 5.
|Surrender isn’t easy.|
It is humbling- it cracks us open exactly where the light needs to get in.
It is the last doorway to homecoming, fulfillment.
Especially when we find ourselves in a bardo, as the Tibetans call it- that voidness between what was and what is yet to come.
Here we meet the tug of our cumulated past, our ideas, fears, our attachments, our compulsions. We continue striving for the impossible, perpetuating our own suffering, and that of others. We yield to fear and indulge our pain. We give ourselves up for an imagined reward, and it hurts.
Faced with the real threat of dissolution, and yes, even renewal, it is tempting to collapse, strive, fight, avoid, indulge- employ familiar safety strategies to innocently re-create the false safety that eventually must and will crumble.
Yesterday’s new moon was a soft punctuation on the completion of a death process for me. After a deep swim in the void, mourning the death of ideas and ideals, humbled and changed, I can feel newness coming alive within me, exacting re-commitment, expanding response ability.
Renewed, I am eager to welcome a new group of spiritual warriors, awakening and healing through their own cycles of death and renewal, in service of All That Is.
But only after a full blown teenage rebellion, did I find it- a deeper commitment to the Divine.
Saying yes again to putting both feet into the river of Life. Because, as my friend Joann said, “you can’t find your yes until you allow your no.” And as Maya Luna says in Becoming Kali (the call of this moment) below, “our pain is the portal to our power.”
Crying on my knees, I bowed down, offering all the pieces of the Pie of my Life to God – literally, and metaphorically. I am here to do the needful- what is asked of me, and I bring my own wants to the negotiating table.
Now again, there is peace. And an amused curiosity. I am watching the subtle expansion afoot, I am listening for where and how the pieces fall.
And I suspect I’m not alone in emerging from a death cycle…creation, existence, dissolution and rebirth are not just markers of life cycles, they accompany us through phases of our evolution, all while still alive. It’s happening now in and around us. So when you examine your life-
What wants to end? What is beginning?
What do you know needs to go, that you don’t want to let go of?
Can you be with what remains?
Can you listen to the emergent?
Join us for the FREE September Community Call – RELEASE + REBIRTH on September 20th, 7pm EST to examine these questions together, as we ready to usher in the shifts calling us.
|As the Equinox tilts us into the Fall, you will be right on time to join the new cohort of MURMURATIONS – a transformational community walking towards truth, love and power, together. The group opens Sept 21, our first gathering will be on Oct 5.|
In this unique and rejuvenating process we mine group intelligence, celebrating our light and integrating our shadows to end what needs to end, and welcome in what wants to be made through each and all of us, in a flock of spiritual warriors with shared values.
There are spaces and scholarships open- all you need to apply is resonance and a commitment to your own transformation.
If you want to know power, and use it aligned with Life itself, explore my invitation, and follow the call.
Self to Self, Power to Power,
by Maya Luna
You want to know power?
Stop spitting out your food and eat.
Behold the banquet of density.
Eat the chaos. Be infused by the force that birthed this world into existence
Eat your struggle. Let it brand you with the unbound freedom of fire.
Eat your exhaustion. Let it sand down the jagged edges of your striving.
Eat your losses. Let them open you into the clarity of empty space.
Eat your regrets. Let them infuse you with the blessing of unnameable perfection.
Eat death. Let it scatter into ashes on fertile ground.
Eat your wound. Let it fill you with the marrow of unconditional kindness.
Eat your madness. Let it explode you into the breathless beauty of stars.
Eat your limitations. Let them press you into a radiant diamond.
Eat your hurt. Eat your devastation. Eat your unbearable heartbreak.
Swallow these poisons into the great heart.
Bear down and birth your own deathless body.
Your pain is the portal to power.
Kali Kali Maha Kali – the dark one, she who seeds dissolution of all that is false.
And then we ask: what remains?
the edge of a precipice
back where you
they say awakening
360 degree turn
have turned so often
falling down a bottomless pit
this state of
no beginning no end no forward no behind
no inside no out no up no down
no where no when
to live to 95 is a bigger commitment
to being an instrument of Life-
a willing puppet of the Gods
is to be falling
end. less. ly
[ v o i d ]
to live in God’s flow
full bodied immersion-
diving and driving in the dark
not just once
and yet again
I said, the emptier my vessel, the more the Divine can fill it.
Saying a hearty YES to diving into the uncertain, unknowable, unstable life has always led to openings beyond what I could imagine.
Saying a hearty YES to diving into the uncertain, unknowable, unstable life has always led to openings beyond what I could imagine.
My partner and I came to France for a friend’s celebration on a whim. Our bodies like the field of Europe. When it was time to leave, we just didn’t feel right getting on our plane, so we sat there letting it go without us on it.
It was the first time I consciously and willingly let a plane ticket go waste- big for me!
We put all the possibilities on the table- staying another month or two years- we would do what felt right. Something wanted to be seen, and we were ready to meet it.
It’s so easy to trick ourselves into believing self-imposed limitation. It is so easy to forget and deny ourselves how free we actually really are. And we are here to re-member this, continually- to keep coming back to center.
There were a hundred reasons not to follow the call, and we could easily have indulged any of them, but that would have been betraying the emergent. And I am a willing slave to it.
And then our adventure began- as did synchronicities. And the thing about planning an adventure is, you can’t.
The journey through this newness has been full of elation, wonder, awe, love, beauty and grief, mourning, anger, longing, renewal and release. There is an expanded possibility.
As it happens, we are growing through Life.
I’m taking notes- yes the conscious journey isn’t easy, but it is full of resource to bring you safely through the storm- not unscathed but truly changed.
It will make you aware of, open and expand the crevices where you hide from yourself, from each other. And it has us.
“Thou shalt be a nomad!” Erik said when I asked in March, what the universe was trying to teach me with no home to be found after 6 months of looking, none of my visions coming manifest!
The message was pretty clear, and it has been showing us slowly, the shape it wanted to take.
I had planned to be settled in a house, establish a Come to Center space and be running a full workshop schedule by now. Oh and have a “regular routine” – something I keep tricking myself into believing I want, when in reality, I don’t!
And I am SO glad I am not!
Exploring the insides of a new culture and country, learning about it and me, swimming through my own darkness into the Sun and back everyday, is teaching me to listen anew. The ocean and my marriage are my biggest teachers right now.
When I am here-now, I belong everywhere and nowhere.
I forgot for a second how much of a nomad I am at heart, how much travel enriches us and the physical immersion into new landscapes changes our inner landscapes…aah yes.
My work is an expression of my Life, the thing about working with energy and consciousness is that they transcend construct, time and space. Come to Center is still funneling the transformation it needs to because I am transforming and growing.
Life is in sync. I’m learning so much, and enjoying it.
I feel truly homeless and fully at home in it.
I’ve never been a creature of habit.
I’m holding life preciously.
I’ve learned time and again it’s a good thing when my dreams don’t come true, because what does instead opens me up to higher possibilities in ways I could never conjure.
Thankful for the beauty of our world,
the love in our hearts,
and those around us,
the marvel of modern technology,
and the courage to choose freedom over comfort.
May it be so for each of us.
Thank you Life.