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Acceptance of the Unacceptable

Last week Eckhart Tolle TV posted this image on Facebook. I believe it is related to my thoughts today.

Sitting in my reclining chair in the morning Winter-noon sunshine, just outside my kitchen door, I was enjoying the turkey vultures soaring overhead, the humming birds buzzing about, and ravens talking in the distance while lizards scrambled about. In this warmth I became overwhelmed with well-being; with happiness and contentedness. I’m sure the fact that I really, really like my life is key to unlocking the grip my mind has had on righteousness.

In this bliss, it occurred to me to work on “deconstructing” my need for the world to be different than it is.

Even the mere thought is somehow frightening. However, so, so much of my energy and attention has historically been taken up by preoccupation with the horrors of the world (and there are many); with my judgment of those who perpetuate environmental and social wrongs (and we in the “first world” can count ourselves among the guilty); and with an inner struggle to “find the answers.”

It’s not that I plan to stop posting online petitions to Facebook, or stop suggesting healthier cleaning supplies to friends, or give up my own “clean” purchasing practices. Rather, I’m working on letting Presence shake loose my marriage to being right. I think this will help in my “outer purpose”: attempting to see clearly where and what change is most effective.

I and many people who know me could make a good case in support of my sincere care for the natural world, and true dedication to health. However, my family members in particular could make a case for my attachment to my arguments. Moreover, upon even brief reflection today, I could–and can–sense that this attachment takes up a lot of my available will and bandwidth, thus leaving less will and bandwidth available to dedicate toward being Present; just showing up in the moment whole-heartedly.

The way my life is calibrated, this “showing up whole-heartedly” often does and I’m sure will include working for peace and aliveness; for an intact, restored ecology and well-being amongst us humans. Indeed, I do experience a greater sense of space when feeling how engagement-minus-attachment-to-outcome arises.

Also, this morning on his way out the door, my partner helpfully reminded me, “Remember that success is really only a successful present moment!” We often try to remind one another of these bits of wisdom, and sometimes they work! I’ve repeated it to myself a few times, arresting the “monkey mind,” enjoying the moment of breath, and the dimensionality of my immediate surroundings. Thank you, sweetheart. 🙂

And thank you, Eckhart.

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Puppy

Dear Puppy,

You were my friend. I’m a bit sorry that I wasn’t a very good friend during the past year of your life; I wasn’t sure how to reach you in your dottering state, but that sparkle was still with you nevertheless, and I’m pretty sure you felt my attempts to make contact.

How kind of you to have such a gentle fade from material reality. When I would visit Dana, you were just a fuzzy brown lump curled up in your doggie bed off to the side, seeming to dream endlessly. I marveled at how Dana and Pat attended to you even when to me you seemed almost invisible; carrying you around, soothing your whines, talking to pet psychics to find out if you were uncomfortable and if and when you were truly ready to leave your body.

How many times you greeted me, and with so much kindness, I’ll never be able to count. When I remember you, even though you weren’t “my” dog, I recall this saying: “Be the person your dog thinks you are!”

Felicia and Puppy

Puppy and I…and an old beach towel.

When I tune into your presence, the clear light of bursting joy is so apparent, and I think of your special secret name, “Tulka.” Your brightness also reminds me of a quote from (I believe) Eckhart Tolle, in which he points out that when someone dies, their form is no longer obscuring the light, and it shines more brightly than ever.

You will continue to shine brightly in our hearts, Puppy Tulka. We shine back to you, on your Great Journey.

Inside Outside

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It’s pretty obvious which one of us is a master of inner body awareness.

In the past few days, I’ve been attempting to note when I’m “going out to meet the world” versus when I’m “letting the world come to me.” In the first instance, it’s that familiar “face pressed against the windshield” effect; a certain subtle straining that is really tiring after a whole day of it. In the second, I feel more like…Johnny Depp. 🙂 It is a more “yin” as opposed to “yang” way to hold my energy.

Also, letting the world come to me, as it were, allows a much greater degree of what Eckhart Tolle calls “inner body awareness.” And similarly,

“Be at least as interested in what goes on inside you as what happens outside.”

He helpfully adds, “If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place” (Power of Now, p 77).

Vision

Recently I listened to a talk by my meditation teacher in which he explained the relationship between “vision” and “being.” As I am a “student” of Eckhart Tolle’s teachings as well as of the school of vision, the Clairvision School of Meditation, I was extremely happy to hear the talk.

In the past I had experienced this “two sides to a coin” sense that vision at any level requires some degree of “showing up” or “presence” to work at all. We often speak of “seeing, really seeing” the person with whom one is communicating. Poets and artists have made so much of the eyes as the “window to the soul.” It’s no wonder that wonder indeed comes in when contemplating the profound nature of vision, physical or metaphysical.

Along this line, I have experienced that the greater the presence and stillness, the more I can see, again, physically or metaphysically. In this way, I have found my focus on Eckhart Tolle’s work to compliment my mystery school training in vision and meditation, and certainly vice versa.

My experience of what vision feels like, physical or metaphysical, is sensual. Sitting in the temple during a retreat a few years ago, I was astounded that I could *FEEL* the rafters with my eyes. This continues, and works with people too. (Note: it sometimes makes people uncomfortable to really “SEE” them!)

For a few words on how Clarivision defines “seeingness,” check out this link and scroll down to “seeingness.”

My Monsanto Sign

The not-cynical side of my Monsanto protest sign. 🙂

As a participant in the “March Against Monsanto” this past Saturday May 25th, I have been sitting with the potential conflict between “marching against” something, and “surrender to the now.” On the one hand, Eckhart Tolle points out that “surrender” does NOT mean what the mind thinks it means: just sitting there and “accepting” everything like a lump on a log. Rather, he articulates it as the difference between surrender to the present moment–which may very well include action–versus “accepting” circumstances with which we are not truly, actually copacetic. Indeed, I have had many experiences that confirm that, in a moment of stillness and quiet, what ET calls a “high quality ‘no'” can come to the surface.

On the other hand, the fact remains that at a march, potentially thousands of people are all grouped together to “resist” something en mass.

Upon hearing about the event, I was immediately interested in participating. I went back and fourth as to whether or not I’d actually attend, due to schedule challenges and wishing there was an event listed closer to home. However, in the end I felt I just had to participate: the action expressed a perspective I’ve held for many years. If I didn’t show up, who would?

In short, I wanted to physically “show up” for what I feel is genuinely important, relevant, critical, and to do so from a place of presence in the moment, rather than supreme agitation or hatred.

In a way I was showing up to “protest against” Monsanto. However, perhaps more than that–and I got this impression from the crowd–many of us were really showing up to show support for what we love: life, and the right of other beings to live a healthy, prosperous life of integrity, not contaminated with human genetic machinations (“genetically mutated organisms,” “GMO’s)  or diabolical compounds, otherwise known as pesticides.

So, I stood around with my sign-on-a-stick (a life-affirming message on one side, pictured above, and a tongue-in-cheek jab on the other, “Monsatan”), and then marched down the street. I was in my usual self-contained space, though I let a neighbor during the march pull me into a chant for a while. On the whole, I simply showed up to show my support: a simple thing.

P.S. Millions of people showed up in multiple states and countries. Just a few from a long list:

San Francisco March Against Monsanto, Union Square

San Francisco March Against Monsanto, Union Square

 

I appreciated this sign.

I appreciated this sign.

 

 

Monsanto created Agent Orange

Monsanto created Agent Orange

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Image Courtesy of Cornelius Boot's Noggin

I’m just noting something: that when I look at people walking down the street from a place of stillness and peace, I see each one as a human being, built around a heart, actually. I can feel their humanness.

This is distinctly contrasted with my “normal” way of viewing random people: short, fat, ugly, or tall, fit, attractive, in so many words. The former is only possible with awareness and a certain degree of stillness inside. The later is business as usual, lazy, and at the heart of it, a fearful approach. 

I seem to remember, at the EckhartTolleTV.com filming last week, there was some emphasis on judgments…

Interesting to also note that some part of me feels it’s “MY RIGHT” to judge people. 🙂  Something like a haughty, “I’m entitled to my opinion!” It’s a reaction to the perceived “effort” it takes to become present. It really feels as if becoming present is an imposition. And yet, I can feel that being constantly on the lookout for enemies takes a global toll…

ImageFrom one perspective, blah-blah’ing about my experience seeing Eckhart Tolle live in Mill Valley, CA the past two days is contrary to his very single teaching: being present in the moment. On the other, I have found over and over that the act of writing this blog brings a greater space of presence. Let’s see how this entry goes.

My darling sweetheart and I attended a two-day filming for EckhartTolleTV.com, held in Mill Valley, CA at the Throckmorton Theater. In the months previous, I had been looking forward to the event. (Yes, “looking forward” is not a demonstration of being in the now. 🙂 ) I had the good fortune to see ET’s talk at Wisdom 2.0 in February. I was a volunteer at the door checking badges when he walked in. It was a precious moment. It was also visionful to see and feel how the space of the room shifted five or ten minutes before he actually went on stage, and then how the whole crowd of hundreds of people came to a much greater level of stillness before he had said anything really. (Yes, typing this experience up DOES shift the space I’m in quite dramatically.)

After that experience–seeing and feeling ET’s impact on so many so quickly–I was truly interested to see how being in the same room with him for hours and hours for this filming would effect me and others present.

It began before it even started. For about 24 – 36 hours prior to the first day (Tuesday) my personal gremlins were quite active, provoking anxiety, tenseness and significant discomfort. I had a hard time with dinner the night before in particular, and experienced a bloody dream episode early the next morning. I was hoping to experience relief once we got to the event and it got underway.

There’s really nothing quite like being in the same room with an enlightened master. I feel immense gratitude–almost abashed gratitude–that I have been in the presence of more than one. It was beautiful to feel the quality of energy specific to Eckhart Tolle, though, what is ET and what is me is a bit difficult to say at this point. Perhaps in time I will discern, perhaps not.

He brings an immense kindness, though, a different flavor than that of the Dalai Lama. He is exquisitely gentle, though, his gentleness is somehow different from that of Ammachi. He can see right through the world, yet his version of “piercing through the veil” doesn’t have the unrelenting, laser quality of my own teacher, Samuel Sagan. He is like a mountain and a mouse, an owl and a bumble bee.

One thing I’m learning from him as I write this is that “playing in the world of form,” as he often encourages listeners and readers to do, is not exactly like thrashing around in a sandbox. Rather, it’s more like living with eyes wide open, living to the utmost, experiencing everything at a vivid, ALIVE level. Tuning into his nature, I can begin to get a sense of his own playfulness, and it’s far more interesting than my mind would have me believe.

The night in between the two-day filming, I had a meditation class. Having “cooked” all day at the event, I was ripe for something to shift during my ISIS session. (ISIS or IST is an “inner space therapy” process. Sounds more complicated than it is. 🙂 ) Happily, it did. I wanted to source those obnoxious gremlins, and, following that thread, landed in a well of indispensable life force that has been locked away. This locked up bit delays awakening, distracts from presence, and basically is one of, if not THE inner block to non-resistance. That is to say, it is a huge, unconscious part of my inner resistance to reality; to what is. It’s a big, fat, extremely convincing NO. (Kim Eng, in her presentation on the second day, insisted on non-resistance, which was quite helpful.) Now, I keep going back to it, feeling it, being with it, whereas my normal-normal is to keep a very heavy lid on it. Without the grace of the temple in which we do meditation practices, who knows how long it would have been before I really, really went down into it.

Again, I am feeling immense, immeasurable gratitude to the innumerable forces–incarnated and otherwise–that hold and help this sometimes feeble little life form currently named “Felicia.”