embracing life in all its messy glory

the dream bus

To believe we control the movement of life is to believe we are driving a bus on which we are merely passengers. We feel as if we are in control when the bus takes us where we want to go, but when it keeps chugging merrily on its way despite our attempts to turn or stop or slow down, we are incredulous. We grip the frozen steering wheel and stare helplessly out the windows muttering that teenagers shouldn’t be having babies, corporations shouldn’t be exploiting legal loopholes for profit, and a cure for cancer should have been discovered by now.

Life asks many things of us, but suffering for our delusions isn’t one of them. The biggest delusion is that life should unfold in ways that make us happy. Since we weren’t even around when life began, our happiness could hardly have been a bullet point in its mission statement. Finding happiness is our job, and there’s more of it to be found when we meet life with open arms rather than with a fistful of angry questions.

~ John Ptacek – from Reality Check

I love John’s honest wisdom-wordsmithing. Find more at his website: On Second Thought

Image source

.

let them know they are loved

Dear Friends –

Please take a moment to go to
this beautiful site
and
Light a Candle
for all those who are homeless, heartbroken
suffering and scared
in Japan.

Let them know they are loved.

Please light another one for all those who are helping with this tragedy.

Thank you for joining me in this gesture.

~ ml

.

on freedom, suffering and intimacy

What’s the most life-changing thing I’ve encountered this year?  No contest.  It’s the in-your-face gut-gripping truth about freedom.

We are taught to associate freedom with something:  freedom from…, or freedom to…  But freedom stands free of this or that or from or to.  Freedom is its own omnipresence, and it is as free at the beginning as at the end – if there were beginnings and ends to be found.

Freedom, for me, has been a long fishing line that has trawled deep and gathered up a submerged shoal of stuff I’d never have imagined would be of remote interest to it.  It has fished up pain – both personal and global.  It has fished up lostness, failure, grief, contrition, alienation, futility, sadness and depression.  It has fished up fear.  It has brought all these precious human qualities to the surface to be acknowledged, fully felt and wept over.  It has held my pen as I scribbled its dictation, and kept its ruthless gaze focused as my eyes inundated.  (Tears!  A lifetime’s quota in a year: where were they all stashed away?)  It has broken my heart again and again and yet again as I groped for some kind of relatedness that might make me feel known and needed by family and friends.  It has showed no mercy, while lovingly embracing my every tiny surrender.

Freedom is simply beyond comprehension.  It liberates every known corner of consciousness and every unimaginable one as well.  Freedom is a place where there are no life-buoys, no search and rescue teams, no hand-holds, no paths or maps, no cozy cults or religious refuges to retreat within.  It is a place beyond time.  Imagine that!  You can’t.  Me either.

No wonder we invest everything we have in serious avoidance of freedom.

So, ok, it’s been a challenging year or three, but going backwards isn’t an option.  It’s a one-way tide:  destination unknown.  But here’s the bonus:  freedom has made suffering history.  And that’s what has utterly amazed me this year.  Suffering is an extinct notion.

Suffering is needing – demanding – that ‘my’ experience of livingness be other than what-it-is.

Freedom is uncensored, unedited and unqualified intimacy with everything, just-as-it-is.

Warts and wondrousness and all.

~ miriam louisa

.

melted by Mahler

Beloved Life

How is it possible to be drenched in bliss
while drowning in grief?

How is it possible that a symphony
emerging from a silver noise-box
could move into one’s body
picking up the cells as though
they were instruments waiting idly in the wings
and move the music through them –
make the music with them –
so that they and the music were
one thing in glorious exaltation?

How is it possible that this exaltation
could contain every note of human
suffering as well as its delight?

On listening, this summer’s morning, to Mahler: Fourth movement, Adagietto, from Symphony No 5 in C# minor – New York Phil/Zubin Mehta


 

looking at life without looking for a way out

53

this is what I found out, not from a book or a teacher,
but from looking at life without looking for a way out:

the root of all ‘evil’ and of all tragedy and of all pain
is the belief in a solid, separate

‘me’

that
believes
in victims and victimizers;

that
believes
what happens should not happen;

that
believes
there is a ‘me’ to suffer;

that
believes
that a way must be found to avoid such suffering

the extent to which this might seem callous and cold
is the extent of one’s addiction to belief in
self-as-body
self-as-idea
self as somethinganything

but please, don’t believe me for one minute

please look for yourself

.

~ miriam louisa

echoes from emptiness

.

silence is the essence of us all

It’s Vicki Woodyard day at unlitlight central today. I am so thrilled to know that Vicki’s new book Life With A Hole In It: that’s how the light gets in is out and available for purchase. But more of that later. First, a little treat about silence:

There is an essential silence that continually blesses us all.  I feel it as I type words into the void.  It unreels like an old movie, the kind where no voice was able to be heard.  It breathes life into the words of this world.  It animates everything.  Trees know it and rocks absorb and emit it.  Stars beam it down to us in the form of light.  How blessed we are to be that silence and to share it freely.  We do that because it is effortless.  A strained silence is noisy whereas essential silence is a benediction on this weary world.

The silence seeps in around the cracks of suffering. Like light, it is who we are. As love, it transforms ugliness into grace and grace into miracle.  I tend a piece of this silence.  I am farming it so that flowers grow tall and the soul’s lushness is revealed petal by petal, word by word.

Silence is the essence of us all.  The void from which we spring peppers the world with hallelujahs.  It softens the suffering soul and revives the desert landscape.  It also shows us the beauty of the desert and the dark valleys of loss.  Lest I become overwrought, I shall stop on a dime’s worth of words so you can feel like a millionaire within it all.
~ Vicki Woodyard

“… this time you found your voice and your passion to tell the truth yourself.  And that is how you go on.  Like the Energizer Bunny, you run on the battery of the beyond within.  It is a mystery and a blessing how everything works out when you determine to go the distance.”

If you would like to order a copy of Life With a Hole in It please go to

Booklocker.com

And bless you for believing in me.

~ Vicki Woodyard

.

Free Excerpt From The Book (requires Adobe Reader)

source: the nonduality highlights

.

suffering doesn’t get a look-in

Crikey. Here I am contemplating the wantless life and the disappearing worlds and out of nowhere comes Life-as-a-lethal-lurgy. It invades my body and lays it to waste; days of dry heaving and a giddiness that has yet to take off its Sufi-shoes.

There’s nothing remotely pleasant about being sick. It’s a process that has its own mysterious reasons, strategies, timings. I’m in awe of the intelligence that powers this bundle of bones. I can’t grow a toenail, build a cell or mend a tear in the sheath of my skin.

But this body has The Complete Maintenance Manual and Toolkit built-in. The only requirement from my side is to relax and … relax more, to get out of its way while it does what’s necessary. And what amazes me in this simple allowing is that suffering doesn’t get a look-in.

I’m not pretending to myself or anyone that I won’t seek help, or that it’s cool or enjoyable to be ill. It’s horrid. But what I notice now is that it can be horrid without being difficult. It can be both painful and peaceful. It can be whatever it is and be loved for whatever it is. It’s very odd, but don’t-mind mind seems to be the most powerful healing tool of all.

The most effective medicine:

 

Silence and stillness and a sinking into the spaciousness
in which it is all arising.

 

Take as required.