|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,
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.
Dancing ancestors into being
I had the privilege of dancing Oak Dance last weekend, my first step into Native American ceremonial space. It was time. I am American now.
Dancing to the Tree of Life to bring Light down into the earth for collective liberation. Dancing to celebrate Life, release and renew Self…While the core group danced in person, many of us were remote- satellites from our own lands.
Like every initiation, it was intense. And in the intensity, emerged revelation. It was a lovely experience and a chance to see my protection patterns in full swing!
I started out trying to do it right, by all the rules, dance in perfect sync with the group etc. rather than listening to and trusting what felt good and right to me was enough!
Much Tightness to start!
And then as I relaxed and surrendered.
To the ancient voices singing to the drum, to myself, my inner rhythm, to what is, to the intention rather than the form- there were deep openings.
I felt the field come alive.
As I danced my intention into being, I saw the late Lakota Chief, Ascended Master, holder of the light- Frank Fools crow’s face pop up in my mind.
Everything went silent.
I just cried and danced with abandon in that meeting for a while.
There are some beings who do that to me…Thich Naht Hanh, Paramhansa Yogananda…just the slightest brush with their field silences everything superfluous.
I return home.
And crying, dancing in the sound and the silence, I realized why they say not to take the lord’s name in vain…the power and grace of simple invocation is real. When we call a thing, a being, it comes.
It was beautiful.
I felt, in my bones, the force of everyone dancing our collective intentions into being around this country.
Know that a group of souls danced for YOU. Prayers for your highest good have been imbued in the air you breath…the breath of Life.
It was palpable and profound.
You see, no prayer is ever wasted- every prayer changes us and when we change, so does our world.
Maybe you have felt it too- the power of shared intention. Of community with healing purpose!
This is what MURMURATIONS is about, I remembered.
How lovely to be weaving sacred space into my every day. I feel blessed to give and receive the work that flows through me.
As we closed, I saw myself descend down into physical reality after three days in dreamtime!
I felt much gratitude for who I am, who I’m with, what we have done, and how we do it.
I am unmistakably different.
What a gift!
What a blessing!
And there is so much to grow into.
The power of my intention is weaving the dream for me to step into.
The Everything is listening.
Big breath in. Big breath out.
PS: IF you are interested in self-transformation in a powerful loving community, join us in the next Murmurations cohort starting July! More info below:
Metamorphosis is all around you.
This is not a time to hold back, it’s the time you’ve been readying for. Your life situation is the catalyst, your desire the compass, and Truth your guide.
Join this transformational community to dive beneath the surface and heal disconnects that keep you stuck, separate and suffering.
Heal inner division to embody vibrant wholeness. Release your past to answer the call of a creative future. Connect with heart, purpose and a community of care. Learn how life actually works, and use it to fuel your evolution. Take your rightful place in the expansion of collective consciousness.
together we will
- Learn the foundational principles of healing and mysticism from your direct experience!
- Benefit from being held in an energy matrix through the course specifically designed to support your growth.
- Access personal, group and universal intelligence.
- Share your gifts and receive what others have to offer, deeply seeing and being seen.
- Create personal rituals to re-attune to inner wisdom and nature’s rhythms.
- Learn and practice tools to embody presence, deepen connection to yourself, others and purpose.
- Explore and set relational and personal boundaries that nourish your well-being.
- Feel the freedom and healing power of vulnerability and authenticity.
- Receive surprises and real transformation.
- Create meaningful relationships based in mutuality.
- Most importantly, all while having FUN!
- An intimate group of 8 peers for depth and personalized attention.
- 12 Live, facilitated bi-weekly 2 hour calls with your group via Zoom.
- Access to call recordings shared only with participants.
- 2 individual 1 hr sessions with Ishita Sharma to align and deepen your growth online or via phone. Option to add more at a discounted rate.
- 1 fine-tuned astrological reading for insight into inherited patterns and your particular life path.
- 1 herbal consult to cultivate a conscious, nourishing relationship with the Earth in support of your intentions.
- 1 virtual cacao ceremony with Giovanna Garcia to augment group coherence and connect to your own intuition. You will receive ceremonial cacao and preparation instructions.
- Private online group for connection, sharing and growth with others between modules.
- Each call will combine teaching with experiential individual, paired and group exercises, sharing and Q&A.
EQUINOX: Balancing masculine and feminine polarities
|Happy Spring! And happy Equinox! |
Let’s take a moment to celebrate we made it through a whole year in a pandemic amidst heightened tumult, before we begin life’s next movement.
The Equinox is recognized by Yogis as a day conducive to inner harmony. When we attune and balance this dimension in ourselves, with necessary preparation, it gives us an assist on our path to liberation.
To help access this gift I recorded a meditation for everyone in MURMURATIONS.
If you wish to receive this short 10 minute meditation practice just send me an email and let me know.
This exercise is for any one who wants to live a conscious life. It’s a space to tune into our inner masculine and feminine polarities and discern how they are relating within because awareness of our inner mechanics is the first step to self-mastery.
No matter what kind of body we are in, or how we identify, what we call Masculine and Feminine are fundamental principles that shape all our existence.
Those words point to the most elemental aspects of creation- beyond sex, gender, identity or sexual orientation.
These polarities in form the manifest– we know them as Yin and Yang, Shiva and Shakti, Anima and Animus, being and doing, active and receptive…heart and mind, intuitive and intellectual…and so on…in their union lies wholeness and in wholeness lies liberation.
We get so much information when we create space and tune in.
I visit this exercise every Equinox- it’s different every time. It clarifies my inner directives to tend to as I step into this next season. If you want some inspiration, you can see my meditative impressions here.
I’ve been watching what folks in MURMURATIONS are discovering through the meditation as they share their words and drawings with us all- the wisdom surfacing in the depths of their silence is still blowing me away…
What are the movements wanting to happen in and through YOU?
Maybe you want to take a moment and tune in to…find out who’s here now, how your inner man and woman are, and through them, what you need to balance these dimensions for a wholesome life. If you want my guided meditation to support your self-inquiry, just ask!
The next cohort of MURMURATIONS begins in June- maybe this conscious community can help you shape what’s springing forth from you! It is so joyful and fulfilling to guide and grow with this cohort, I am delighted to usher in the next.
This 6 month immersion is a space where growing, healing and awakening together to something bigger than ourselves is our priority.
If it calls to you, explore the website, watch my invitation and reach out to see if it’s in right rhythm for you. And if you know someone who’d enjoy joining us, please share it with them.
in beauty, joy and wonder!
M U R M U R A T I O N S
Not just a course. Not just a community.
It’s transformation. It’s home coming.
|Intimate group limited to 8 participants, 6 months,12 live group calls, 2 individual sessions, 2 personalized consults, small group practices, partnered session exchanges, tailored home practices, readings, meditations, movies, an online community to journey with, surprises! FUN! and so much more!|
This journey in transformational community is for you if you are wanting:
– to cultivate presence and live anchored in your center regardless of circumstances.
– to come out of your closet and own your truth and purpose.
– more real, balanced and connected relationships.
– to deeply love and understand yourself and the nature of experience.
– to connect with natural intelligence and make sense of your role on Earth.
– playful and grounded spiritual development in a sandbox of value-aligned peers!
My most honest invitation yet
Murmurations – a transformational community to realize your deepest intentions, isn’t just a path into your heart’s longing…My most honest expression and offering, it’s also one to mine.
Lifetimes of hiding behind vice and virtue alike, the game is up. Years of reckoning with the fear of being seen and not seen, in my gifts and my wounds has me standing here now.
A 10 year crawl out of “my spiritual closet” feels pretty damn complete!
From here is my invitation to you- I am asking you to join me. It’s time.
If you feel a resonance, apply to the course soon. Enrollment closes Monday!
MURMURATIONS IS DIFFERENT.
It’s the weaving of Heart and Mind, Love and Power, Earth and Sky, Masculine and Feminine, Seen and Unseen, Sacred and Mundane- through the thread of your truest longing.
Awakening and healing in conscious community, come dance the dream with us!
Together we will be Scientists and Mystics.
We will test everything in our experience.
We will be Individual and One.
We will look in the mirror of relationship.
We’ll keep what’s useful and discard the rest.
An astrologer will illuminate your path and place in the order of the Everything.
An herbalist with help you ground it into Earth through the wisdom of Plant Medicine.
A cacao ceremonialist will open and connect our hearts to the heart of the Mystery.
I will hold a mirror to both your light and your shadow.
We will learn to walk in love together towards our deepest yearnings.
You will cultivate self-trust through your direct experience.
It’s my most vulnerable and wholesome offering yet.
Years of silence taught me to speak. Years of kneeling taught me to stand. The little girl who longed to be Krishna, the “Why Girl” kicked out of Physics class, the idealist who rebelled against reality, now stands a woman embracing it.
In celebration of her wholeness and brokenness, a lifelong love affair with life and the Divine has planted her firmly on very Human feet. A wounded healer, a mystic, a teacher and sometimes, a magician. She is first and always, Human.
I trust what I feel when I tune into the silence. I ask of the Mystery and receive with grace. Always, it is precisely enough.
I know the whole thing has nothing to do with me and it’s all for me! Eyes open or closed, wherever I look I see me in you in me in All That Is. Dimensions melt into dimensions. Time warp equations of college Physics have never made more sense.
I’ve come full circle, again.
Crossing cultures, continents and paradigms, I take my place in the Everything as I invite you to take yours, alongside a masterful guide, and the manual of your experience.
If you can see yourself in this circle with us, know that a place is being held for you. Anchored by a crystal, blessed by fire and honored with loving attention.
You just have to claim it.
We start next week. Join us!
from my heart to yours,
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”
Open Meditation Meetup
New online meetup to demystify meditation and build conscious community.
transformation can only occur in embrace.
transforming holes into wholeness.
where did you ever find
a piece of the whole
(a (small) wholeness)
did you find shelter from your shadow in the womb of darkness?
in the great No thing
forgetting to remember
whence you came?
how will you know the shadows you carry?
ever turning to the Sun
*photo by Nikki J.
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.
What is Open Meditation? Meditation isn’t an act. It’s a state of being that occurs within you. Just as naturally as breathing…effortless, always perfect.
Even though meditation has become a way of being for me, I’ve been reluctant to teach it. I want so deeply to share it with everyone, and I know that ultimately meditation cannot be taught, it must be discovered in the depths of our own experience.
Though meditation was always a huge part of my life, I had never really been meditating! Meditation had been happening to me.
See, meditation isn’t a thing you do. It’s being vulnerable with life. Close your eyes and feel Life. The Life you are. Look. Really- look without looking for…
What I now call Open Meditation has been happening to me since memory- when I played on the banks of the Alaknanda which flowed behind our house and lost myself in the reflections in its waters. It happened to me on my long walks to nursery school, as I crossed the stream, as I smelled the raw mountain mist meeting the morning Sun, or the Koels singing in the forests…it happened to me when I found a leaf on my way to high school, and placed it on my desk just so, mesmerized by its beauty…
It happened to me as I walked from all-nighters in design studio to long days at work…tired but awake. Alive! In love with the flow of life! Relishing the beingness of the day…tearing up at how beautiful the very moment was. I remember when I would lie watching storms moving through the sky, birds dancing in murmurations in the clouds, meandering through precious breaks between the intensity of design school with delight into pure conscious experience of being-
“So much beauty, so much joy…!” the words kept resounding within.
And it happened to me when I finally separated knowing and understanding, making space for what I knew in my bones to surface. Always curious, my investigations of the nature of my own experience intensified and seeped into waking, sleeping and even dreaming! Until, stillness within became more intense than any movement, and I found myself closing my eyes and sitting. A little bit, everyday, any chance I got.
I’d avoided formal meditation for ever. I didn’t think I was ready, but unbeknownst to me, it was already happening through me. I didn’t plan on it, but there it was…
Never an early riser, I’d wake up minutes before I had to be at work, get fully dressed and for reasons I couldn’t describe, find myself sitting quietly for the last few minutes before I had to run out the door. Eyes closed, the same stream flowed through me, just more intensely now-
“So much beauty, so much joy…!”
For a long long time, everyday, I would sit in overwhelming gratitude, as these words moved through my mind, and tears flowed through my body. I found a whole new world within…energy flowed in me, and nothing about it was random! Light and shadow coalesced into pulsating patterns, depths I didn’t know I had, revealed themselves quietly.
In total surrender, I watched my self dissolve.
I let it.
Being with what is, that’s all. I didn’t apply any technique or method I had learnt. In fact, I wasn’t ready to learn from anyone just yet. I knew I had to, had to, go within.
That’s all “I did.” And in retrospect, this subtle difference between trying to meditate and simply being with my meditativeness, was key.
I didn’t sit long. I don’t know how often. I sat when It called.
No agenda, no expectations. No attempt to awaken, no desire for being a better person, no trying to get rid of my thoughts, no desire for better focus or sleep or creativity. Nothing.
Just, being with what is- consciously, curiously and unconditionally. That’s Open Meditation- open to whatever may be. Radical acceptance, absolute surrender.
When people ask me what kind of meditation I teach I say, I don’t really teach any particular method, but that I help you set the conditions conducive to becoming meditative within yourself. It takes a desire and precision in looking. That’s all.
Along the way, we may invoke one aspect of the whole or another, but the underlying theme is always openness- being with what is, with no demand for it to be any different.
Because nothing can be excluded from the whole.