In the deep

This poem came through tears…as a teacher of mine asked I accept my place in the world. It’s time, I know it’s time.

In the Deep
5/25/20

Deep
in the deep of the deep
something profound is stirring.

Even as I cloak myself -
Parvati to Kali,
hiding between the play
of Sun and Moon

something quiet is moving.

Listen:

From heart to heart,
the heart of God.

This is a beautiful incarnation.
There is a majesty here!
A profundity-

Joy!

I walk where spirit and matter kiss...
and
withinbecomeswithoutandallaround

A magnificent incarnation!
It is a Truth.
I stand at the top of the mountain.
It is a Truth.

And from here it is seen so clearly-

all the while the only thing stirring
was Vishnu's play-
His Sudharshan chakra
swirling through this world
quietly
creating another.

Where fear and yearning meet.

All fear comes from a forgetting of who we are- when we forget life isn’t happening to me, I’m creating it. When we forget I’m not a tiny powerless thing in the universe, the whole universe is in me! When we forget the darkness is here simply to help us remember, we get scared.

And when we remember life is here to make us conscious, not happy- we can again embrace the arising with the acceptance it needs. We can give our fearful inner friend the hug it needs- because what it needs, is to be seen and held.

What fears are holding you hostage from living your fullest expression in the world? What’s the risk you cannot afford not to take?

I just got off the phone with a dear friend facing the crisis of having outgrown her own cocoon. She knows it’s time to step into her dreams, and she’s afraid of facing the unknown and the potential disappointment of asking life for what she wants and not getting it.

She isn’t alone. Sound familiar?

As the spring comes into bloom, it brings new yearnings in our hearts- and each yearning must meet the fear that keeps it chained before it can be realized. This is natural- ever impulse to expand is met with its polarity, until we can integrate the two. That’s the beginning of wholness.

Yes- there is a space for fear and yearning to meet, to know eachother, and ultimately transform into ease and fluidity.

When I started Come to Center I had to sit with similar fears. And the truth is, as we meet our fears, they morph into newer ones. If you’re waiting to feel fearless before you take the next step in life, I want to remind you that every fear is a gift. It is an invitation into the next step of your evolution.

It’s the next dragon on your hero(ine)’s journey.

In fact, it’s something I help people through all the time now. Because I know it isn’t about not feeling afraid, it’s about learning to hold our fearful inner child with love and compassion, while growing it up. As Liz Gilbert says, fear gets to come on the ride, but it doesn’t get to drive the car.

All fear comes from a forgetting of who we are- when we forget life isn’t happening to me, I’m creating it. When we forget I’m not a tiny powerless thing in the universe, the whole universe is in me! When we forget the darkness is here simply to help us remember, we feel afraid.

And when we remember life is here to make us conscious, not happy- we can again embrace the arising with the acceptance it needs. We can give our fearful inner friend the hug it needs- because what it needs, is to be seen and held.

How can we turn fear into alertness? How can we meet it with open hearts when it’s busy shutting our heart down?

Consider this:

In our last session, I asked a high performing client who was feeling stuck with fear of a pending decision and who is basically a master at whatever she tries, to identify something “She sucks at” and go try learning it.

After fishing for a while, she decided she definitely couldn’t write songs and was shy of her singing voice. So naturally, I made that her experiment for the fortnight. 

Today, she came back for our next session, bubbling with excitement about “all the things I am just terrible at! Which are SO fun to try! I forgot how much fun learning is! I didn’t just try a song, I tried everything! I even tried juggling- and I suck at juggling but people were cheering for me saying how cool it was to see me approach it so fearlessly- and to see me improve as I went through the process.” 

And then, she sang the song she’d written.

By the time she was done singing it, we both had tears rolling down our faces. She had written the song about the fires she was facing in her own life and meeting the heartbreak and beauty of all that is unfolding. It was real. It touched my heart. It was her first song.

And she said, it’s been changing even as she sings it…isn’t that a metaphor for life? 

When we stop taking everything so seriously, when we stop avoiding, and rather embrace our fears, stare our imperfection in the face with love, it only brings us deeper wisdom, and love, and joy and connection. 

The pending decision was still daunting, but the fear could no longer debilitate her, because she’s experienced the beauty of fear paving the way for fluidity, all it takes is the willingness to meet it.

It is a privilege to do this work, with people willing to go into these places with me!

So, what’s the risk you can’t not afford to take?

What’s the fear stopping you from living your fullest expression?

How would it be to transform that fear into fluidity?

What could open up in that reality?

If you’d like to dig deeper and are curious about 1:1 work, let’s talk. All you need to get started is curiosity!

Design-in-self

What I sought to create, I found inside myself.

11 years ago (feels like lightyears), for my architectural thesis I designed CeSRON- the Center for Self Reflection, Otherness and Narcissism. A building designed to be a mirror for our inner space.

Little did I know I would create Come to Center, a live mirror that does just that, or that I would end up becoming that mirror myself for others, down the line. 

This surreal project was a celebration of, in a very tongue n cheek way- the obsolescence of self-awareness- before I had heard of transformation, awakening, healing, or any of the work I do now- ALL of which is about self-awareness.

I was fascinated by the race riots in Detroit- and in studying, and considering what led to the violence and deep separation between people, I saw very clearly, how the inner division leads to outer conflict. I was just so curious about the moment at which a child looks in the mirror and says- “me”. 

I spent final year of architecture school studying Lacan and Jung and Heiddeger and falling in love with Gordon Matta Clark…. I had a hay day questioning everything in a way that ultimately led to transcending my discipline of design and architecture altogether, when staring at the face of human suffering. 

What supported this inquiry was a reflection from my professor- I had finally found one person who saw my hunger for the edges of knowledge, and encouraged me to go all out-wherever you are Rupinder Singh I am so deeply grateful for our time together spent in joyous explorations of the depths of art, architecture, meaning, connection and dissection of life itself! For hiding my keys to get me out of hiding in the bottomless pit that was opening up as I got closer to facing existential truths. You weren’t just a teacher, you were a healer to me.

I didn’t know it then, but the questions alive in all these drawings are: What is the root of separation?

How did we become people? What got made into a self? Who am I? What is this? I even labeled the diagrams things like (my favorite) “Labyrinthine search for self”, never suspecting any of this had to with Spirituality.

And the thing is, I knew then, that all this, is really the search for our center. I just hadn’t seen I was literally searching for my self and that the answers lay within me, and that I could trust all that which I knew, but couldn’t understand. 

That took time. It took living in inquiry and eventually turning inwards.

It took facing the pain of my own inner separation, seeing through the trap of needing to understand things that lay beyond the confines of the mind.

As they say, hindsight is 20-20! Of course it adds up. Having looked in the mirror long and hard, coming to face myself over the years, now I have become the mirror I once set out to design.

Everyday, I hold a mirror to reflect back the truth, power and wisdom that lies within my clients, their shadows, their light and everything in between. In deep inquiry, I appeal to something that lies beyond my clients’ intellects to allow them to step outside the confines of their minds- diving into their conditioning, their traumas to find freedom within.

The journey of personal healing paves the path for our collective transformation. 

I often say, everything is everything- all forms reflect the One. What appears to be separate, is a facet of difference, not separation.

From the outside it may seem like I am doing transformational work, business consulting, designing a building, painting a painting, writing a poem or telling a story… 

From the inside, it’s always been about one thing- falling ever more deeply into loving exploration of myself, and life itself!

no-thing

Let me preface this by saying once again that words are never true and all forms of communication are inherently subjective, and this one is no exception.
That said, living from non-dual experience, it is pretty clear there is only One. Because ‘things’ are just processes disguised, it feels more correct to say there is only One process than One thing.
However, as I noticed at some point in life, not everyone is experiencing existence without separation. It’s kinda curious isn’t it? In the dual experience multiplicity is mistaken for separation, fueled perhaps by the perceived evolutionary need for self preservation- which appears to necessitate differentiation between self and other, the formation and attachment to that identity. And the One/Self/Whole nature becomes forgotten.
Even the different stages of awakened consciousness models are inherently embedded in a dualistic model at a level. As I pointed out my discomfort with this to a teacher (Steve Ulicny) in a discussion, he noted there aren’t different states of consciousness, but different experiences of Totality.
But of course!
The Whole/One/Formless is unchanging. There is only One Process. The experience of it as such however, changes with the neurophysiological state of the ‘experiencer.’ So, there aren’t different stages of consciousness, but simply different degrees of experience of Oneness. In the fully integrated functional neurophysiological state (enlightenment, the culmination of spiritual awakening), the experience of Oness/Totality is total.
No remnants of a separate self remain, and as the ultimate alignment within solidifies, deep trust emerges, leading to surrender of individuality. The piece of the whole (the small wholeness) begins to function in coherence with the Whole, of which ‘it’ is a perfect and complete reflection, ultimately totally.
So, from this perspective, it’s obvious that everyone everywhere is capable and wired for the experience of re-cognizing/re-membering/coming home to Self/One/Wholeness, often termed Awakening, and the delusion of the separate self falls away.
And while there is only One Process, there are as many ways of experiencing it, as there are its reflections. 7.2 billion people on this planet = 7.2 experiences of Wholeness. Here to be/experience just that!
It’s why formlessness keeps coalescing into form in the first place.
Which is why a role I play in the world is to serve as a constant reminder to look inwards, within, without attachment to method, process or external models to compare experience to- which leads to distortion of isness. But instead, to look within and see what is true for you now! What has the One Process incarnated into you to experience fully, in this moment? Allowing it to be seen, held, known, loved, celebrated! That’s the premise behind Open Meditation.
Reminds me of a poem Shunyata (voidness) I wrote a while ago…
“existence smiles, experiencing itself
as you in me in me in you and I”

Lead, learn, thrive!

Re-wire Your Brain to Master Your Game

Life in 2017 moves faster than we can keep up. Overstimulated, hyperconnected and always on the go, we seldom pause to self-center. Competing priorities vie for our scattered attention, and in the face of increasing workloads and pressures we navigate life on autopilot.

Stress or burnout inevitably follow, hijacking decision-making and communication, thereby straining relationships and inhibiting access to flow- the very place where creativity, innovation and joy thrive! 

Overwhelmed, we start to question if it’s all worth our life energy. You may know this cycle. Through my time in the high stress design industry, I sure did.

So, how can we lead, work and thrive in the Attention Economy without sacrificing our sanity or well-being?

The key lies in our ability to align intention and attention- our skill at being present, here and now. Best practices in business and spirituality intersect at meditation, or in simpler terms, attention training. Efficacy lies in the mastering how our inner space meets the world.

Mindfulness and Meditation train our attention on which all else depends. Cultivating focus and self-centering develops flow. Presence, Self Regulation and Emotional Intelligence are vital to harness technical and leadership skills in the fast paced digital age.

Enhancing our work, relationships and wellbeing depends on enhancing our inner space. Neuroscientists and global business leaders know this too well.

Presence, Self Regulation and Emotional Intelligence are vital to harness technical and leadership skills.

Rewire your brain to master your game. It’s time to come to center.

on attention

From a certain perspective, meditation is essentially attention training!

“You should care because training your attention is the most important thing you can do in life. All your other skills depend on the quality of your attention. A weak, flitting attention makes doing anything in life slower and harder. A strong, steady attention makes doing anything easier. It even makes being yourself easier, because it opens the door to knowing yourself. It smooths the path to knowing who you are, what you want, and what to choose in life. It allows you to navigate your life more skillfully. So why not put in the work to develop a strong, steady attention and take the easy path through life?”

-Steven Kessler (author of the 5 Personality Patterns)

the ease of being!

erik-on-the-water-copy
the ease of being

no action 

           rooted
 in      lack

could ever

bring

forth fulfillment for fulfilment

is

here    now     whole ness
               !          (the nature)


of being 

               free and full and delight full !

action
            may
                     (or may not)
arise and 

you 

will know from the 

very 

ease of being

 

in prose:

No action rooted in lack could ever bring forth fulfillment.

Fulfillment is here and now. Wholeness is the nature of being- free, full and delightful! Action may or may not arise- you will know, from the very ease of being.

and more:

To examine inner grasping with curiosity and amusement, rooting into being, is to invite its own dissolution.

Photo above
My husband floating on backwaters in rural Thailand, March 2016 (from STUDIO-ish)