Sunday, December 30, 2012

Practical (Tactical)

I have been supremely practical. I have worshiped the God of all that is concrete and permanent.
Scripts sent to Naveen Andrews
An artist must go on faith. or not at all. There is no obvious correlation between what arises from the singular inner space of an artistic life and what makes possible self-sufficiency and financial success in the world.

Artists must have faith. If they follow their vision, but have limited faith, they must at least have hope that they will somehow manage to live a sustainable life.

I hear an artist say that she knew the "9 to 5" life was not for her, and that she was following something inside that she felt would sustain her and show her how to live in the world.

It is a belief in something which is quite the opposite of practical.

For me, practical was a bargain, a tactic. I'll give up everything except what is practical in return for having my life healed from being broken and lost. I will lower my expectation by almost all in return for getting something, anything... better than the complete destruction I felt had occurred, and which I felt certain would lead to isolation and madness.

Artist


I see now in artists something not visible to me before.

I see a turning inward, away from what others think or expect. A lack of concern about misunderstanding or judgement. To be an artist, to have personal integrity in the face of artistic commercialization, means listening only to self. Finding what is illuminated by one's singular experience of "reality," and offering that as art. The power of inner place is to create something, as well as how that something is viewed and experienced by the creator.

Those who collaborate somehow meet in this place (e.g. musicians, composers, actors, directors, playwrights, fashion designers etc.). 

One cannot argue with someone's experience. It has its own reality and logic. It is a magical offering of self. It becomes a child with its own life. To create Lestat is to be with him, and find out who he is and what he does. A relationship is born and fostered. The child has a life of its own.

I see now that to be an artist is to live and be fed from a very powerful place. A room of one's own. My time writing after Bill went to sleep, when all was quiet, no interruptions. A container and openness (no fear) in which the characters, places and words can bubble up from the creative force, which is God.


Writers aren't people exactly. 
...They're a whole lot of people 
trying so hard to be one person. 
~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

For the first time in my life, I have let go of the child's consuming terror of always being alone, and have abandoned a life spent mimicking others so as to try to be "a part of."

I am a superb mimic, a cartoon of myself. It is an illusion that I will ever share my life with others. I can visit theirs, but I don't get to stay. And they never visit mine. I am still baffled by this. I now think this is one of the main symptoms of my high-functioning autism. Perhaps, as I have wondered, this is something I chose so I would not have a life like others. All of consciousness is my life. I haven't met anyone who can meet me here, or even visit. Perhaps I will, once I claim it wholeheartedly as my universe. This is my work, emotional and artistic. 

It has taken embracing being alone to have a chance to move on, to do anything at all.

I did the work, arrived at this place, where I embrace being alone. Where I can undo a life of emptiness, struggle and waiting. Always waiting for my life to begin.


WAITING: The Lady of Shallot
My favorite poster as a teenager
My life felt broken. It was so broken I had to have a universal strategy for fixing it, and a way not to wander off and forget about this. I was unwilling to do anything else until I solved this horrible feeling of being broken and lost. 

My grand strategy: hold onto the endless FEAR, to remember my strategy. Hold onto the sustaining HOPE, to remember my overriding goal (the obsession that I would prevail and join with others). And never move on, never give up the WAIT to see what I could make of these two powerful forces. I gave up most to try to save the essential. In a way, I bargained my universe for a patch of land... which turned out to be nothing but illusion.

Now I see that all this strategy has left me with is waiting, obsession and fear. A lot of fear.


How liberating to let that all go! And not just in my mind, but with my heart and whole being, my soul. The mind follows. The dog wags the tail. I notice right away when the fear rises up, promising insight. I reject it immediately as delusion.




I embrace being alone. There is only one. I am not lonely, for I have the ultimate companion in my heart, and of which i am made: God, my beloved.

There is no one I would rather be with each moment than God. All else is just a flickering sparkle reflecting the tiniest bit of God's light. To reach for these is an illusion. I cannot grasp or join with an illusion. I can dance with it. But to watch myself dance would be to see myself dancing alone.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Soul

What? My soul grows. It changes. I have thought of getting this soul to heaven (the Mormon point of view).

Happy gopis at play
Creation is where I can grow. This is the purpose of life. To change my soul by living, and then to be changed by this living as I return to God. The ultimate change to my soul will be to be absorbed back into God, my beloved.

I really have been thinking of my soul as the car, and choosing where to drive and where to park, driving choices, decisions and directions.

Non-dualism is essential to my path, Kashmir Shaivism. And non-dualism means that I am all there is, and I am changing my identification with my little self to acceptance and duty, as I follow this long arc back to the ultimate destination of all travels, which is God.

It seems obvious, but there's a subtle distinction here that is helping me to understand my BIG question right now.

What is the purpose of creation? Why endure suffering, my own and others? Why take birth, again and again? What is the purpose of life?

Outside

Adulthood has always been bargaining. Tell me what I'm supposed to be doing, and I will try to do it, and then I'll get ________.

The ultimate dualism. Mormonism.

The question that has ruled all other questions: What am I supposed to be doing about this? What is the right choice? "THE RIGHT CHOICE EXISTS OUTSIDE OF ME."

Now I avoid this dualism. I weigh the options. There is not necessarily one correct choice. Choosing can be made with a light step and deliciously savored fun. God loves to party.

I choose how to act. Decision and consequence are all part of the divine play which comes from God's consciousness. It is harmful to my growth as a soul to choose evil and lack of responsibility. It is also a source of pain to try to claim authorship of consequence (karma). I CHOOSE action, then observe action and consequence. I seek to let go of attachment (to the "fruits" of my action). 

I choose based on rising above the three gunas: rajas, tamas and sattva. I don't run around in rajistic pursuit of whatever. I simply choose, and act. I don't hide out in tamas, or seek the fruits of sattva.

If I do not seek the fruits of my actions, I offer my actions to God as dharma, duty. An offering is purifying. Grasping, pulling, pushing and reaching are outside of dharma, and create the spiritual debt. More burning. Ack.

It all comes down to how much of every minute I can spend in consciousness of my Beloved, who is closer than close.



Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Why take birth?

I keep asking myself, what is the purpose of the world, of creation, if it is ultimately an opportunity to "experience" maya and create karma and suffering?

I see the beauty in creation, and I know that is God. I see the soul of creation, and that is God. When someone suffers, God is suffering. That is why it is so compelling. Our souls are as great as great can be. And we live together with the souls of all of creation. We dance, we cry, we create, we extinguish. It can all seem useless when a soul "becomes" weary. We search, we seek. We know there is something else.

I was always amazed when I first came to my Gurumayi (and my Karmapa) and could "easily" become the seer, rather than the seen. The still one who observes, rather than the doer. I thought so very much discipline would have to happen between that and where I am now. This is not the case.


Burning, simply burning. My Guru has purified me. It was been the raging fires of hell, so much karma offered to the fire. All I have gathered and clutched to myself as dust and rust has become the fuel for burning and burning and burning. I have fallen down the rabbit hole several times in this lifetime. Multiple lifetimes together in one.


I have been several things, lived several lives. And all of these were the same in the ways that are important. They were painful. The pain stripped me clean over and over. I had squeeze through "tragedy" as tiny tunnels with no exit, no stops, only forward... only the faith in a light at the other end. I have emerged so much lighter, so less attached to what happens around me.


Over and over I tried to create a life with me in it. Never happened. I would picture myself as the person who __________. I would live as that person. Talk about my experience as though I were that person. But it was all in my head. Nothing real.


I began to suspect I had chosen this sort of life so I wouldn't get lost. So I could try and try and try and then finally give up on having the sort of life others around me seemed to be having. A life that happened to them.



Perhaps as a seeker in a past life, I had done a lot of the work to take a lifetime where I could complete merging into God. I wasn't done, so instead of starting over, I chose a lifetime where I could only live as a seeker, and find nothing short of God, of realization. But first I made such a long and DEDICATED attempt to try to achieve a "real" life, and I truly got that knocked out of me over and over. I have a lot of spirit, I just kept trying. I LONGED for it so.

And I have made the connection with my terror of being alone. I was afraid as a child that I would be alone, that I would never connect with others (high-functioning autism). Now I am finally letting this fear and obsession go. I am not trying to create or have a life. Life is consciousness, it swirls around me. I am alone. There is only One. This makes today completely different than before. I am on wholly new ground.


And so I have offered these finally to the fire, the fear of being alone, and the obsession with having a "real" life.


Immediately my Guru opened a door, THE DOOR. As soon as I felt this new place I immediately prayed that it would not be taken away. Please, no, don't show me then make me grow up to it, as is so often the case. I prayed this prayer to her over and over.


And... my new experience has not gone away. I am so grateful, and I say thank you over and over.

Gurumayi gently reminds me when I float away (I'm always floating on my double Cancer nature). She beckons each time with little flickers of my new reality, and each time I choose it again, getting stronger. 


She knows, that it is time. And I see that I am ready, because I agree. I am doing the work. I am committed. I'm not wandering off ever again. EVER. I have become something new.


This is a fine understanding of why the Guru makes the almost impossible possible, as a gift. She has prepared me for it, so that I can accept and hold it. And she holds me up as I wobble about with this new state.

The state of my Guru. The state of Lord Krishna. The state of my beloved Paramashiva.


And so I sit down to my blog to record my new understanding. 


I see now that the purpose of creation is to allow my soul, made from God, to experience all that leads me away from God... all that which sparkles, golden and deep and fragile and touching and terrifying and dull... all made from the exquisite source of all this terrible beauty. GOD. Then, the penultimate point in a soul's travels, having experienced so much, is to turn at last back to God, to what is real.


I have taken a life, and have invested myself in it. And the path "away" from God, from experiencing my true self, is the set up for returning. This is the purpose of life, and of creation. To return to myself.


(This is something only God can pull off.)

Now, starting today, I can choose over and over again to hold my shakti, to not invest it in maya and illusion. There is only One. That is me. Om nama shivaya. Om guru om. Soham. All the rest is neti. Neti, neti, neti.


Monday, December 24, 2012

Nada 1: God calls to me as sound

I heard the "nada" last night as I was going to sleep. I heard a divine tinkling about a week ago, also when falling asleep. I thought of that, and wished for it as I was getting into bed. 

I have only heard nada three or four times, and a very long time ago (when at the ashram). So far it is always in the "left ear." (As opposed to when Lord Krishna breathed his divine state into my right ear... ahhhhhhhh, yumm).


Until this time, the nada was divine, exquisite tinkling, like tiny bells, I could not describe how beautiful.



This time it started with a little tinkling. But then it  was a "hum," just barely audible. I tuned into it, and it became more distinct. I began to hear it with my subtle self, and it pulled me into that place. Then I noticed that the hum was pulsating very slowly. Hypnotic. It reminded me of something very familiar, but I couldn't quite remember what it was.

Almost simultaneously, I realized the hum reminded me of the pace and vibration of the tamboura, a familiar instrument played live after chanting (at the ashram) to facilitate slipping into the purified place prepared for meditation. And I realized that this hum was OM. This is the subtle vibration of OM. It is AAAAUUUUUMMMMM. Not a breath. Simply a continuous vibration at the center place.


Again I was amazed at how an Indian "musical" instrument is and was constructed to evoke a sound so divine, so subtle, so essential it cannot be described with words.


It took me to a place so sacred, I was awed and almost confounded. I didn't think of the journey to the heart as discovering, stumbling really onto a place that vibrated, where you could experience a singular vibration, without any other(s). 


The sacred sound OM is not the sound of it, but rather the description, like a marked gate. I am still awed. It was the sound of living consciousness, of Paramashiva.


Friday, December 14, 2012

~~A SADHINI IS BORN AT LAST~~


Alone inside as a child, strange on the outside. So afraid I was broken and would always be alone. Fighting this isolation all of my life.


Risking hell to embrace drugs and alcohol, "I need this." Smoking marijuana released the fear of being alone, and spinning into madness. My terror of leaving the nest as a teenager. Making a man my "world." The Lady of Shallot, Tennyson, delusion (Gurumayi). Trying to find where I finally fit in the world by trying so many things, sometimes accompanied by a desperate, violent stripping away of whole parts of myself, so sad. 



I look back and see, as I did when I wrote to Gurumayi about my delusion, that I have never penetrated the beckoning sheen of reality, of the world. I haven't been able to make friends, and when I did, I did not express myself to them while with them, or when I left. As I suspected, I have taken birth this time to finish off a life as a sadhini, to make that last arc into the center "we" as God. The very thing I was desperate to change about my life has turned out to be a way of finally focusing on what I wanted when I chose this lifetime. 

There is no "reality" to be connected with, to finally live in.


All of this seeking has saturated me with delusion and burdened me with karma. I have engaged all of my being in a quest which is entirely based upon seeking the fruits of my actions. I cherished the belief that an unshakable commitment to this very certain sort of seeking is what would lead me to finally "finding my life," no longer waiting off somewhere apart were I was dying a little every day, my spirit shrinking little by little. 


I finally used up my shrinking resources trying to seek an outside source for them, seeking a mythic life that gave more than it took... and sat down on the roadside to wait. All I could do was nurse my dying hope, and wait. My light became so dim, would it finally burn out? It was only from this place that my attempt at suicide seemed like a solution, to trade a hopeless life in on whatever might be next.


I have believed that my life is happening to me. I have been saddled with the burden and debt of karma. The belief in suffering which must be laid aside. The illusion of suffering that must be healed and undone.  



"The whole secret of existence is to have no fear. Never fear what will become of you, depend on no one. Only the moment you reject all help are you freed." ~Guatama Buddha

When I heard this, the avalanche began. Or perhaps it had already started, maybe even just tipping slowly, until... But now it has begun to flow, to unravel, to build, to dream, to become. Exhilarating, dynamic liberation well under way. What I have wanted all of my life. In exactly the opposite place where I spent my whole life looking for it. 


I prayed right away when I felt it speeding up, and the freedom that opened in my like a flame suddenly lit. Gurumayi, God... please don't let this be something I have to learn about, to attain later. Not this time. I need this. I need it to be real, and not go away.


I am so lucky!!!!!! My Guru is indeed the wish-fulfilling tree. I looked up, opened my arms and prayed mightily. And it seems that last arc inward into liberation became what I am.


I am not afraid. 


I am alone, and that is fine. God and I are one, there is no other. I grieve the many lifetimes of living I have taken, thinking I was separate, living as play for God, my beloved. I grieve a little every minute, every hour. I am saying goodbye.


I am not afraid.


I am strange, and that's okay. I cannot be killed, I cannot fail. There is nothing I must avoid or embrace. By stepping back into God, silent, stillness, velvety bliss and the hum of love seeking form, I let go of illusion, let go of fear, let go of suffering, let go of the three malas, the three qualities, the illusion of time and space. There is only God.



Gurumayi said we are closer than you can even imagine. When I remember that this is true, duality disappears, *pop!* I am the seer, not the seen. I experience what I have made out of my Self. The many spandas expand my consciousness, then take it back. There is no sound, no taste, no touch or aroma. When I "see" this place, there is no light or sound. No warmth or cold, no up or down, no here or there, no now or then.

Oh, when I think of it, I grieve. Farewell, my incarnations. My story, the one I thought was happening to me, is being written on the last few pages in the last chapter. Farewell to so much story, so much that was fragrant, sensuous, delightful and free. Farewell to the thought that I could be made of something that is subject to time and space, someone who must struggle with all the challenges of having a body and a "small I" consciousness.


For a few hours, this new place began to fade, and I began to slip back. No, I said. I will not let go. My Guru offers this to me, she is the one that holds it in my being... as long as I continue to choose to live in the truth as much as I am able. My Guru, my Guru... I cannot repay your love and grace, both so much more than in all of my lifetimes.


Om Guru Om. My Guru is one with Shiva, the supreme Guru. I find myself in Him, who lives inside. I am dissolving into God. Bliss, bliss... love and bliss.





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Sweet Surprise 2017


Forever and ever...


...closer than close.