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Friday, December 30, 2011

The Ease of Acceptance

I have had the best realization:  I have been making the whole issue of forgiveness waaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy too hard. 

I've been hanging out with Jesus/Holy Spirit/Source in my mind a lot lately.  But this time in the form of Ramana Maharshi, inspired by a couple dreams and a book. 

My time spent in this non-doing has turned out to be like a radical inversion of the world's Occupy movement.  As I Occupy my mind with my Friend, instead of protesting all the corruption and chaos I see in my mind and world, we -- my bud Ramana and I -- just smile at it and Accept it all.

Yes, that's what I said. I am Accepting everything.  That is to say, I am not resisting, fixing, analyzing, or even forgiving. (although I actually am...but I'm not trying to forgive.) 

Now this might seem too simple, but I'll tell you what -- it's addicting.  When I wake up feeling angst-y about the thing I should have done, or the thing I shouldn't have said, or the thoughts about past or future that I shouldn't be entertaining....we Accept.  All the images, feelings, actions, and inactions -- we just Accept them without changing anything. That's it!

And when I indulge in some behavior or thinking that I know is not good for me during the day? That's when I join my smiling Bud where he is always sitting, Shining up the place in my mind with a soft, luminous lovely Light, and we grin together.  Then we Accept that, yep, this is what I seem to be doing.  Oh well, we say, and oh isn't it nice to Rest in this Quiet Place while she goes on about the script?  I can stay here where it's Quiet even while I/she is experiencing something that she may have called "discomfort" before.

When a thought about a loved one that I may harbor worries around occurs to me?  I Accept that they may or may not do or not do the things that may or may not be bad or good.  And I Accept that I have not been moved through inspiration to say or do or fix the person or situation in the script...or if I am inspired to take action, I do it and forget about it.  Because who cares what the outcome is anyway?  Either way, I will rush to Accept.

This having no preferences around outcomes makes things so much simpler and easy!

There's more to this Acceptance though - It's an unspeakable Quietness.  A Gentleness.  A Lovingness.  It's like my Mind is becoming this soft cuddly Hug towards all the things that are sharp and that used to stab it and cause it pain.

Mostly my Acceptance is being applied to the Laura character that I spend time imagining I am.  All her flaws, weaknesses, errors --- all the sins of her past and fears for her future -- I just Accept.  There's nothing to "do" about her.  She's a hopeless case, really! In fact, there's never been a way to make her more spiritual or good.  It's like she's a paper doll and I can enjoy her even though she gets dog-eared and frayed.  I can Accept what she looks like, what she wants to do, what she doesn't want to do, what her "karma" or script turns into, what loves her, what leaves her, what hurts her, what pleases her.  These experiences that change are nothing -- just like little surface ripples on a vast, deep Ocean.

If I forget momentarily, I'm finding it helps to ask "Who wants something to be some other way?"  And this seems to re-focus me pretty quickly because it helps me remember that the one that has all the opinions is the individual self, which I have found to be nothing solid at all.  She blows with the wind, day imagining this and the next imagining that.  Everything written about the capriciousness of the ego is true by my own honest inquiry into myself.  So I have given up on her. But not on the Presence that moves through her.

So if you have found Forgiveness hard... maybe you can stop trying to Forgive?  Maybe just Accept.  Embrace.  It's a very Quiet thing to do.  So Quiet the mind falls naturally into Rest, like an old body that has run a marathon and now plunges into a thick cozy featherbed.

Try it, you'll like it. :)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Broken Windows, Part II

This post series is about Broken Windows.  The metaphor comes from an inspired message that came to me a few years ago, as I entered a new phase in relinquishment. It led to endings and tear-downs and the seeming sacrifice of several identities formerly revered by me (and any who share my conditioning) no less than the sacred cows in India.

My Teachers shared a challenging truth with me as the demolition was picking up steam -- "Sometimes you have to break a window to let the Light come in.  But it's okay. You can just pick up the pieces."

This news startled me, and I was not in the mood, just then, to be startled. I see now that I secretly harbored a childish attitude towards my practice that went something like -- "If I am a very good girl and do my Forgiveness lessons every day, I can avoid bad stuff...or at least get through it faster and with fewer scrapes and bruises."  That was the fuel under my dedication to study A Course in Miracles for many years. It was a really a type of negotiation:  I do this for you God, then you promise not to dump too hard on me.

So breaking windows did not seem good. I imagined I must have gotten the message twisted up somehow.  I didn't really believe the Holy Spirit would prompt choices that would result in broken windows, not the kind Good people value. Only the ego does that, right?

Good people wash the windows and keep the curtains on them clean and bright and cheery -- when things get stale, we open the windows a while for fresh air.  Sometimes we allow ourselves to gaze out of our windows longingly in the middle of the night, when our feelings of being alone and living a life bereft of fulfilling meaning find their way to the surface of our minds temporarily.

But we do not break them. Right?

I came to see this is not always true. At least it wasn't for me.

This whole business is very personal and very subtle; the place where each of us is in relationship to our individual identity, and to our projected reality, and to our steps and Teacher on the Path Home, is hard to put in words.  I am using a paint gun from the hardware store to put the smile on Mona Lisa, I realize...but it's what I have right now.  So hold lightly to the words, forgive the clumsy approach, and meet me between the lines.

Here's a stab at the point I'm trying to make...

Many of us are going through intense shifts right now.  We're feeling the stress of "undoing" on so many fronts -- from our careers, our financial portfolios, our relationships, our bodies, our carefully imagined futures, our psyches.  Pulling back on the camera, a wider view captures a game of dominoes seemingly ready to topple: the global banking system is in a frantic game of "kick the can";  governments seem dysfunctional at best and corrupt at worst; new threats of war and various acts of saber rattling make regular headlines news; social unrest is like a virus across nations all over the world; etc etc etc.

Pulling back even FURTHER, we see the whole planet is shifting:  magnetic north is racing towards Siberia at an astounding speed; earthquake and volcanic activity is on the increase; weather "bombs" are striking around the world with unusual force; and the sun continues to belch extremely powerful energy at the earth.

I could go on, but you get my point.  You probably feel my point in some aspect of your life or the lives of those around you.

I think it's the nature of the collective script we are in right now . As Arten and Pursah tell Gary Renard in Your Immortal Reality, 2012 and onward is a time in which the heat is turned up on the ego's game of carrots and sticks. (Like in Spinal Tap, the dial goes "to eleven!") Everything bad -- and even good -- looks bigger and stronger, and change happens faster and faster.

I am not going to offer the standby "it's all an illusion" answer at this point (even though, of course, it is). That's not what I feel in my heart is needed to say. I do feel that things are shifting, and I do believe things "out there" may come to look like they are breaking down even more so. It will probably be different for different people.  Scary images and corresponding fear/hate may increase over the next several years. (And because we are working with duality, there could be lots of good stuff, too -- clean or free energy, more abundance, stronger families, a united effort to save the world's ecology, etc. etc. but we won't go there in this post.)

"Sometimes you have to break a window to let the Light come in.  But it's okay. You can just pick up the pieces."

I'm not saying this is everyone's path.  But sometimes I have to go through a break down in order to get to a break through.  Sometimes I find that when I truly Surrender -- when I say and really mean "I do not know my best interests" -- the very things I think I am supposed to hold onto and fix, and make healthy and whole, shatter into millions of sharp pieces that fall around my feet.

If it happens that way for me sometimes, it might for you, too.

This is a good time to remind us that the ego never misses a chance to kick us when we're down. After a good shattering episode is often when the viciousness of the ego is at its height of nasty. It jumps right in when we're on our shaky knees trying to pick up the glass so no one gets hurt and tells us in many unflattering ways how we have, in no uncertain terms, failed. Big time. And we're most likely doomed to live a miserable existence forever after, too. If we're lucky.

But there is no failure. Our desire for Peace, even if its not always 100% pure, ensures that we haven't failed.

Here's my theory on broken windows:  I think there are times when our Path needs to be invited out of career or hobby status and elevated to Purpose. It may just be me, but it seems that broken windows -- the individual kind and the collective kind -- are Called in by us when We are Ready to Wake Up.  We don't even know it consciously, perhaps. Not really. 

Sometimes we're guided to break a window ourselves -- we just wake up one day, take a baseball bat, and give the window a good whack.  And sometimes it seems to come down around our ears by an "Act of God."   Suddenly the breeze hits us in the face and we catch our breath...maybe we crawl out of the hole that is left and leave the little empty room we've called home for so long.

That's when we move out of studying Forgiveness and into Purpose.

After the breakage, if it's our Calling, we move into Purpose as a reflex...not perfectly, but more sincerely than we ever thought possible.  We can't NOT do it because the old rules that worked okay-ish back in our little room don't work anymore.  We have that "Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore" feeling, but we're also amazed at the technicolor experiences we're having.  When we forget our Purpose (and we do), we cycle through a needed lesson at light speed and remember quickly. Our Learning pace accelerates, and even when things are challenging, we feel there is Meaning.

And this is Good.  Because the nature of our studies before left us forever peering through a window at the Light.  We were drawn to it like the moth to a flame, as evidenced by the classes we went to, the books we bought, the practices we kept. But all our practice left us still with our noses pressed up against the glass. We'd stay there for a while building a memory of the Sun, and then we'd go back to our circular rat race in our little room.

After we obtained some level of proficiency in our spiritual practicing, we found ourselves thinking, "This must be it. I must be connected to my Source. A few more affirmations and I'm sure I will levitate right off my meditation cushion."  We wiped down the window with Windex through prayer and meditation and other practice, even while we were like the fish who swims in, but doesn't really understand, the water.

There was still "me" and Holy Spirit.  There was my practice and "my life in the world." There was two-ness.  There was a great divide within me, always doing a tug-of-war for my alliance.

This type of practice was an essential part of my Path and maybe yours.  But it's also, I'm coming to see, a very deep choice I was/sometimes still am making. I'm kept separated from my Self by transparent glass that lets me a) feel I'm getting in touch with Something Good, but b) also lets me keep my me-ness.

Backing up a bit, what the hell's a window? :)

Windows are our lives and identities and sense of safety and rightness as they appear in forms and beliefs.  So there are many little windows that all nest under the Big Window, which is the ego thought system of specialness. When a window breaks, the fear in us cries out about loss and pain and wrong-doing.  In our 'normal' life, we sometimes build lots of windows that give us a sense of openness and freedom. The catch is -- the thing that I'm trying to delicately point out -- that they offer the illusion of really setting us free.

"Sometimes you have to break a window to let the Light come in.  But it's okay. You can just pick up the pieces."

"Being in the world but not of the world" is something we melt into. The forms are never a problem, except for the fact that we think they are important. So while we can debate until the cows come home about how nothing in the world matters because nothing is real, that really misses the point.  The point is we still harbor all kinds of meaning about those forms, no matter if we know we shouldn't because we "studied non-duality in a book for 20 years."

Broken windows are part of the process for many of us, though I can't say they are required for everyone. But the invisible "glass" or unconscious decision that separates me and "my life" from my Source -- and "gives everything the meaning that it has for me" -- must be relinquished at some point.  When we're ready, sometimes this shows up as the forms in our life that we cherish shattering into a million little pieces at our feet.

And, darn it, isn't that just what we were afraid was going to happen if we really stopped being our own authority and "stepped back and let Him Lead the Way?"  Yup! But notice it's not usually a beginning step.  We have been through quite a few classes and passed quite a few lessons to get to the broken windows.  And that's when the Holy Spirit Guides us to walk gently through the rubble so we can experience for ourselves that there is no-thing there but the fear or Love that we projected or extended.

There's nothing that can hurt.  There are scary shadows, but these illusions fade in our Light.   We learn, slowly at first, that we can walk across the shards and they will leave no scratch. We are the Master.

I have come to see that there is no way to become the Master through study.  The Master in us Walks Again only when we take His Steps. We have to Walk Like Him as we walk with Him. We see we truly can Accept everything right now, right where we are, without judgement.  We learn to gratefully face, own, and Turn Over the projections to our Teacher, who is waiting for the day we Know who We Are like He Knows.

We need to remind ourselves over and over that we can not Teach ourselves.  We have to Trust that He knows how to set up the class, so that we reverse course on the ego's lessons and do the thing that feels most unnatural at first.  We have to unlearn everything we've ever been taught by the world (a tall order) so we can see through the ego. His goal is that we get maximum learning from each opportunity, and He's actually pretty darn good at what He does.

Which is why sometimes -- and only when there is enough stored up Trust in the account and we are truly ready -- He knows that the gentlest way forward for us is to let the windows break into a million pieces. Sometimes in our minds only, sometimes in our worlds first.  Only then can we often see and know deep in our hearts what we have really been dealing with and how much no-thing it is. He knows this about us. He's good I tell you!

So let's walk gently and happily together as the wind-up world plays itself out.  We need our Friends -- our Mighty Companions -- to play with through this phase of learning.  Let's use every dismantling to take us deeper into our Purpose.  Let's not mourn the loss of illusion. Let's pick up every little shard that we feared might cut us, own it, and Turn It Over to our Teacher to see what Gift it holds for us.  Let's let Love Teach us that when Love leads, everyone must win, no matter what the appearances look like to the world "out there".

There is only One of us here "separated" by many little pieces of no-thing.  Let's let go of the no-thing and bask, hand in hand, in the Sun Rise that is Shining away the long night of darkness Within.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Post-Game Review with the Holy Spirit

When I get to the end of an ego hangover...when the storm has passed, the waves have calmed, the sun shines once again...that's when I am pretty sure I'm nuts. How is it that I can enter into such states -- such despair, such heart-wrenching remorse and guilt, such fear?

There is probably a pharmaceutical for this, but I will stick to my vitamins. That's as far as I'm willing to go down the pill road.  There are no pills for what ails me.  What ails me is a false identity. 

As ACIM says, "Kindness created me Kind."  To be in all my relationships with no needs other than "accepting the Atonement for myself" -- or remembering Who I Am by seeing only Love in You/Me -- that is my goal.  That's the only game in town.

Every day is a chance to recommit to this goal.  In truth, there's no yesterday to be stacked against us.  We're just reliving the one instant of separation over and over and over and over.  It's the same instant!  But at any time, when our readiness is in place, we can Choose Again.

"Going nuts" out on the field temporarily gives us a window into the darkness that we're still harboring. There are still beliefs in there that -- despite all our understanding thus far -- we haven't released.

So that's the value of handing over your "going nuts" insanity play to the Holy Spirit.  It's like a post-game review:

Holy Spirit (thumb pressing 'pause' on the remote control):  "You see there?  You see where you tried to do an end-game run by trying to fake out your opponent with a calm demeanor (see your face) while you were holding onto a hateful judgment?  That's your favorite move, but we've gone over doesn't get you to the goal."

Me: (munching the popcorn) "Hmm..yes, I see that.  I'm actually dragging us backward on the field, aren't I..."

H.S.:  "Yes!  Now you are seeing what I'm seeing!  Good!  Now next time, just remember  -- I am with you -- look for Me on the sidelines.  When I see you going off course, I am going to give you a signal, and then you click your heels together and say 'there's no place like Home'."

Me:  "Um, you are kidding right?"

H.S.:  ::chuckle:: "yeah, I was kidding about that last part, although for some people that works.  But the signal for us will be when you don't feel Peace.  Then step back from the scene, and let's huddle.  I'll help you join your mind with Mine again -- if you will let Me -- and then you'll be back in business right away..."

Me:  "Right away? Wait, but won't that take a lot of time? I mean, what if I'm in the middle of something important?"

H.S.: "You mean, like an 'important' disagreement?"

Me: "Well, maybe -- like what if there's a decision to be made right away?!"

H.S:  "Trust me, there's never a decision to be made right away. You need do nothing. That's an old ego ploy.  You join with me kid -- we'll huddle for a bit -- and everything will be fine. It will take just an instant, a Holy Instant."

Me: "Okay, but then I get all mushy and soft inside and I don't want to play anymore.  I just want to bliss-out in my Mind with you."

H.S:  "Right!  Well, The Game we are playing has different rules than the ones you keep trying to use.  As I keep trying to teach you, it is all about 'blissing-out in your Mind with Me' but you get to do it with your Brothers in your projected World.  So you'll get the hang of our huddle when the heat is will, honest!  I have Faith in You, and I am never wrong.  And then you'll see how much fun it will be to make those pretty circles on the field around Me -- all you Brothers, holding hands and singing and blissing-out in the Love. 

"....It will be much more fun than taking up sides, running until you want to hack your lungs up, and then tackling each other until you're broken and bruised."

Me:  "I'm assuming you said that because I'm still nursing an emotional black eye?"

H.S.:  ::wink::

H.S.:  "More popcorn?"

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Looking for meaning in all the wrong places

Broken windows Part 2 will have to wait a while.  This blogger has been lost in the ego's world, no matter how much she intellectually, and from experience, knows better than to fall for the bait. 

But I did feel my way into a startlingly deeper understanding about one thing -- my lack of Peace is directly related to my actively resisting it. Pushing it away, even. In the frantic mind I seem to possess lately, I have had many "good reasons" floating around as justification for my state of dis-ease.  When tolerance for the pain is low, I call out for that lifeline.  "Holy Spirit, HELP!"  But He just keeps showing me, I have given all the meaning that the situation(s) have.  I'm choosing to believe my perceptions and my feelings -- that they are true and justified --  more than I believe God's Truth. 

Okay, so we got that settled. Again.

It might seem easy to "let go and let God" once we see the choice so clearly. And sometimes it is for me. But there are deep-seated unconscious beliefs  -- the kind that Hell is made from -- that can be like a minefield you have to walk through in order to let go sometimes. It can be incredibly hard.  Dark feelings of unworthiness, fear of being alienated/alone, shame for inherent badness, etc. The reflections everywhere have been showing me my thoughts.  Much as I'd love to blame the world (and have at times), I know if I am honest that there isn't anything but me here.  I have to look within. 

The only way out of the crazy mirrors is admitting that the images they show me are coming from me, not at me.  I've tried all the other ways of getting around this particular point and cleaning up the mess some other way, and they don't work. Not permanently. And so I have empirical data on this issue, and much as I would like to "cook the books" and make the results come out differently (so I can be a victim of the world I see), I know it's no use.  That old story/approach is not even satisfying to try anymore.

So I've been facing the hate/fear in:

Me:    "Okay, fear/hate. I see I'm choosing you.  I'm not consciously happy that I'm choosing you, but I can see that I want to choose you deep down.  I want to choose you, because the Peace that stands as the alternative to you scares the hell out of me.  I know that this is the fact because it's the only thing that explains why I AM choosing you.  So at least there's no more big mystery about why I'm not in Peace. I'm afraid of the Light. And I would rather be right about the meaning I think I see.  I would rather be right about why I feel the way I do.  I would rather be me."

Holy Spirit:  "Acknowledging your problem is the first step."

Me:  "Great." (I'm feeling weary and sarcastic at this point)  "Then there's only 11 more, right?"

H.S. "Heh, it depends.  If you are ready, you can Choose Again and be in Peace learning my lessons.  If you are not ready, we can take this more slowly."

All I want to do right now is feel better -- I want my little corner of the 3D world (as Carrie Triffet puts it) to be ok.  I want my life to reflect nice things, show me I'm a good person, unfold into a Happy Dream, yadda yadda yadda. 

But that's more of a compromise approach to this whole Forgiveness thing. I want to do my part in exchange for some goodies.  I do not really trust the Holy Spirit's perceptions more than I trust my own right now.  I sorta/kinda want to trust on a conscious level  -- I do know that Trust in the Truth would be a great idea for all kinds of good reasons -- but I don't do it.  I'm afraid to give up my interpretations. 

I am afraid that without my own ordering of my reality, my judging and my making decisions and taking actions, I will be left completely and utterly vulnerable.  I'll be reduced to a spineless slug melting into slime on top of a pile of salt.

H.S.:  "So what's wrong with that?  Actually, 'melting' into Light would be more accurate.  And less disgusting of an image.  You could try it out?"

Me: "Oy."

So I'm not totally ready.  It's the circle of fear that ACIM talks about.  I feel it as a clenched stomach and crazy thoughts/movies rushing through my head.  I'm still undoing big fat lies about Who I Am and Who My Brothers Are.  These lies/false beliefs are what make up the walls that we hide behind, deep down.  We forget this, so we think we're actually being influenced by the world, but it's not true.  We're the ones making the world up... all the time.  We're making it up as a defense against the Truth.

Just sitting with the deep knowing that I'm so gosh-darned powerful as a Son of God that I am creating a crazy world with my crazy thoughts feels calming. And what's more, I'm not ready to stop in this moment!  Just knowing this -- putting the Mind in touch with the real situation of it all -- is a big relief in a strange way.  

I actually was able to imagine the opposite last night -- if I'm so powerful as an ego that I can make hell, then I must be so powerful that I can make Miracles. Heaven. 

So let's just sit with that, why don't we?

On Waking Up is back: A New Beginning

I started sharing ideas at On Waking Up in 2010, almost 7 years ago now. Prior to that I'd studied A Course in Miracles for many years...