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Sunday, April 7, 2013

This is what changed my life and put me on the path, here at the door to the very heart of God

I have the darshan of HH the Dalai Lama with this picture, especially of his fearlessness

Today I will write about what changed 
my life and put me on the path, 
here at the door to the very heart of God

I accepted that I am alone. 

I choose being alone. I quit fighting it, as I have fought it every day since childhood. I quit trying to change myself in every conceivable way so I might connect with others. I replaced my fear of being alone with choosing to be alone.

Nothing is the same.

The transforming power of acceptance came to me without trying or seeking it, without knowing I was about to change everything. I accepted myself and all of this followed. All of it, what I've documented here on my blog. I didn't know I was documenting a vast change, a "sea change," as they say.

I renounced everything that was distracting me from my journey to God. 

I became a renunciant. I didn't set out to be a renunciant. But now I am. (I discovered the word "renunciant" on the internet after I became a renunciant). The most important thing to realize about this choice is that I am not renouncing anything that is truly a part of me. I am renouncing obsessions, unattainable goals I have clung to, delusions and distractions that are in the way of my relationship with my self and God.

I realize now that choosing a solitary life goes with my age (54) and time of life, known as sannyasi in India, the time when the individual can withdraw from the demands and values of the world and turn all their energy to their spiritual life. However, I am a renunciant without vows or pilgrimage; I am not taking sannyasi vows or moving to the high mountain forest or monastery.

And so, in 2013, I renounced the pursuit of more than basic social relations. If I were a nun or a hermit, people would understand. A solitary life is the best for my new life as a sadhaka, a sadhini, who spends her life seeking God through my chosen form(s) of yoga. The life of a wandering sadhu is analogous to my "wandering" through modern, materialistic culture, alone and without the burden of social and career goals and activities. Now I can focus on God, my true heart's desire.

And so, in 2013, I also renounced trying to obtain status through success in a job or profession. This was hard for someone who embraced scholarly learning in early adulthood and obtained multiple degrees to seek an accepted place in the world.

And so, in 2013, I finally accepted my body. I found the courage to accept my body as it is. I accept that I am fat. I want to type: "I accept that I am overweight." Why? I'm fat. Until I'm not. I no longer need the opinion and regard of others. And for me to reject my body or any part of me is folly. For this lifetime, this body is my carriage. I love this body. I want to accept and nurture it. Hating it won't make it thin. No matter what happens, I can only start HERE.

It seems a fine line, but really, I am not fat, my body is. There is everything to be obtained by accepting that at this moment my body is fat, and nothing to be obtained by rejecting this truth, fighting it with every breath at the cost of everything NOW, which is all that is real in any case.

Let's recap: My body is fat. Until it's not. 

Alone, underemployed and living large in Las Vegas. I'm just one hell of a radical! 

And so, in 2013, I gladly accepted exactly who I am right now. 

And then I turned to God, I reached out to God, from a new place of freedom and acceptance. 

And then... 

I received an unexpected, immediate in-rushing of mighty grace.

Because of my guru's grace, my life is transformed. My ability to focus on God is vastly multiplied by her grace, and choosing to focus on God brings me more grace.

Without grace, none of this could happen. This grace is why I can blog (I couldn't be consistent before). The grace is everything I'm blogging about. My spiritual expansion comes from grace.

For the first time in ten years I am meditating every day. My mind is much more steady. My senses are usually controlled (not spewing my shakti all over). I notice ego comparing, etc. right away and am not hijacked by it.

I want to live this life, the one I passionately hated up until a few months ago. I am passionate about living this life.

pretty grains of white riceI miss saying the mantra, listening to the mantra, meditating (when I'm not). I have a craving for.... rice. I am facing the things that I fear, walking right into my fear about losing my ______ benefits, student loan payments applied (and bounced) in error, Sarah calling and all the power she has over my life ( though we are not both made of the same being, which is Paramashiva's consciousness, the Beloved Shree Devi). 

What can go wrong, really? And no, this isn't mental acrobatics, it isn't a shell game, it's REAL.

It all started by accepting, embracing 
"what is so..." that I am alone. Just me 
and my Beloved. This is my basic practice. 

Because of my guru's grace, I can purify 
my mind as I worship and follow Shree 
Devi Maya up, away from the play of multiplicity, up to "the air up there," 
upon Mount Kailas, where she is the 
form of my Beloved as Parvati, 
Shiva is ALL, 
where there is only ONE, 
where Paramashiva as my own Self
is installed forever in the 
temple of my heart.

I have since read of a similar philosophy of the transforming power of self-acceptance by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and his disciple, Pema Chödrön, of the Shambhala lineage of Tibetan Buddhism.

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

“We have a fear of facing ourselves. That is the obstacle. 

Experiencing the innermost core of our existence is very embarrassing to a lot of people. A lot of people turn to something that they hope will liberate them without their having to face themselves. 

That is impossible. We can’t do that. 

We have to be honest with ourselves. We have to see our gut, our excrement, our most undesirable parts. We have to see them. That is the foundation of warriorship, basically speaking. Whatever is there, we have to face it, we have to look at it, study it, work with it and practice meditation with it.” 
white rose

Pema Chodron
Pema Chödrön
"When people start to meditate or to work with any kind of spiritual discipline, they often think that somehow they're going to improve, which is a sort of subtle aggression against who they really are... 

But loving-kindness – maitri – toward ourselves doesn't mean getting rid of anything. Maitri means that we can still be crazy after all these years. We can still be angry after all these years. We can still be timid or jealous or full of feelings of unworthiness. 

The point is not to try to throw ourselves away and become something better. It's about befriending who we are already. 

The ground of practice is you or me or whoever we are right now, just as we are. That's the ground, that's what we study, that's what we come to know with tremendous curiosity and interest."
white rose

~ Pema ChödrönThe Wisdom of No Escape and the Path of Loving-Kindness 

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