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Friday, June 1, 2018

Confidence

Confidence is my favorite word. It is the foundation of my state.

Confidence is the talisman I grasp with my mind, the energy to push out all thoughts of weakness and doubt. 

The still point. The constant. 

I need not defend. There is no question.


CONFIDENCE defeats the primary weakness in the spiritual culture of Mormonism: a constant indulgence in moral assessment and questioning which easily leads to a life of self-doubt.






An excerpt from St. Therese of the Child Jesus: Master of Her Temperament, by Marian T. Horvat, Ph.D


Confidence, the weapon to fight discouragement 




“It is confidence, and confidence alone, that must lead us to love." 
-St. Therese


Someone might wonder: Didn’t St. Therese ever become discouraged over her small failings and inability to do the great things she desired for the love of God? 
  In fact, Therese had by her temperament a natural tendency toward discouragement. That she recognized this disposition is evident from the first of the three resolutions she made on her First Communion day: “I shall not be discouraged.”

In Carmel, she wrote a beautiful prayer for a novice about humility. In it she said that she would wake in the morning with a strong resolve to conquer her pride; in the evening she would be discouraged knowing she had failed. Then she realized that this discouragement itself was but itself a form of pride, and this would make her more discouraged. It is the vicious circle many of us have experienced. St. Therese explains how the dilemma was resolved:
“Since it has been given to me to understand the love of the Heart of Jesus, I own that it has chased all discouragement from mine. The remembrance of my faults humiliates me, and urges me never to depend on my own strength, which is nothing but weakness. Still more does this remembrance speak to me of mercy and of love. When, with all filial confidence we cast our faults into the devouring furnace of love, how should they not be totally consumed?”
It was only confidence that could conquer discouragement and melancholy. 
“What offends Jesus, what wounds Him to the Heart,” she insisted to her novices, “is lack of confidence.” 



An excerpt from St. Therese of the Child Jesus: Master of Her Temperament, by Marian T. Horvat, Ph.D

All the difference

That moment this week. I was laying in bed, watching TV. So familiar the craving for _________, the intensity that comes up like clockwork, driving me, herding me with pain and anguish and wanting for whips. Appetites.

I thought. What if I could say no to this feeling? I'd never thought of that before.

I found the feeling in my stomach. It felt like a wall of need, of need streaming into my stomach from a wall in my upper stomach.

I pushed on that need in my subtle body. It responded to my pressure. I pushed it all the way back into the wall roughly analogous to my diaphram.

It went all the way in. There was a moment of relief.

I let go, and the distress began flowing again.

I saw that I accepted this need, this distress, because I used it to try to give myself pleasure, a sort of entertainment I require each day. Something to look forward to. The reason to endure everything else.

I saw that this was delusion. The satisfaction was never real.

I pushed on it again, all the way back. Gone, until I let go and it flowed again.

I made the decision. IT WAS REALLY REALLY HARD. I wrenched myself away from the feelings that I worshiped, that thrilled me with delusion.

I AM NOT GOING TO LIVE FOR THIS ANY MORE.

I renounced it, all of it.

I didn't realize it was going to make all the difference.





Thursday, May 31, 2018

The change



There came a moment, I think it was less than a week ago, where I said, "no more."

"I'm done."

I watched myself decide with complete certainty that expecting anything in return for participating with this play in my mind was a complete waste.

There was a shift. The "inside" world became more important to me than "the play," the play that has occupied me every moment of this lifetime, until now.

An invisible door closed. It has stayed closed.

It's still closed when I awake in the morning. It's still closed whenever I inspect it.

Yes. Still closed.


This may or may not last. 

That's not up to me.


How different my state is. I concentrate on whatever I am doing.

I am no longer making up a story about life as I go. 'Now' is all that is real. 

Not because I think it is so, (laugh)! It's just how I live, how I am alive, now, here.

There is a change in my subtle body, in my energy. Absolute steadiness. When I choose to consciously experience this feeling of steadiness, I can increase it at will.

(I remember when she visited me a few times recently, invisible, touching me so slightly. "Steady," her touch said, communicating the feeling of steadiness to me. Grace.)


I have finally got full control of my mind. Nothing knocks me off of my center place. Drama comes and goes around me. There is no question of participating. It is jarring, irritating to think otherwise.


I am finally, fully confident that the steady progress of discipline is NOT my path, and that I am not deluded in thinking so.


I remember recently the moment I found there was no difference between inside and outside. God has become so close I was supremely embarrassed for a few days.

Moments come during my day when God touches me, reminds me in my being, again and again, rising through me as a tickle of loving bliss. My every dream, my heart's desire, coming true as eternal union with my Beloved. 

My realization takes the form of a magical fairy tale, in my heart. I always tear up, cry a little when this touch of romantic bliss comes. 

A gift. From my Guru. From God. The perfect gift. Forever. It is all because of Grace.

My ego is not involved. This may or may not be happening to all of my guru's other devotees. I don't need to know either way. I feel no need to evaluate what is happening to me by this or any parameters.

For the first time in my life, I am not struggling to shape an intellectual response to what is happening. I am not trying to bring the previous moment into the current moment as part of a recipe for achieving progress and attainment.

I'm not thinking of attainment.

I'm only writing all this down so I can refer to it later. I'll want to remember how it happened. My guru advises doing this, journaling.


I was born within 100 miles of Zion's National Park. My roots from this incarnation sink deep into this soil.

Becoming

The more like me I become, the less important I become. A burden surrendered.

St. Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Become that place

When others talk to me, I remain steady inside. No more leaping and dancing with them. I look and sound like I am participating, and I am. But I am only participating by listening and talking. I do not squander my shakti. My state stays steady.

The motion and sound is often shocking, jarring and disturbing, I think particularly from people who are trying to subtly manipulate my state, i.e. codependents.


There is a stillness. I experience it at the center place, inside. l have become that place.




Photo: unknown (indecipherable)

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Arches

I quit blogging for awhile. 

What is the meaning of life? What is the purpose of living?

Not for getting by. Not instead of what is real and essential.

I want everything. It is what my guru offers.

I finally let go of all I thought I needed and wanted, and a space opened up.

Now... I ask over and over: what is the purpose of my life? Of this lifetime? If I don't settle? If I don't bargain? What should I be doing if I'm not wasting my time, wasting the opportunity of this lifetime?

How can I have everything?

Photo: Quaken Aspen by Karen McQuilken
Today, I thought this. This is my attainment: I can have everything, and keep everything... when I can hold it all, when I can become all, without hiding from it, without feeding my ego with it, without careening about as though that is real freedom.

But now, every time I think of something I need to do that I'm not already doing or won't be doing in any case... I don't believe it.

Messy is what I am. Discipline is my delusion. Trying to change is not my path. I love God, and that is my "do." That is my attainment.

Is it said that Bhakti is the most difficult way to become realized... is it because it is not based on discipline, is it because it is an easy path, which means that the results are slow in coming?

But discipline, doing, is not for me. God's lives in my heart, and embraces me with bliss, my true love. I am melting into love. God's bliss is a mighty universe of shakti power, living inside of me, as me. Doing is mostly irrelevant.

My breath and being are your love. The doing is being a part of your living beauty. The doing is accepting your caresses, breathing into the bliss, knowing you as my lover, knowing you

The rest is messiness.

If my subtle body arches with ecstasy, of what purpose is discipline?





Thursday, May 10, 2018

I have a new blog: I am this desire

My life has become about the inner life. It is the creativity of stories and prose. 

I align myself with what comes from within, from my inner consciousness.

My conversations are with God as my love. Bhakti has become about an "inner" lover. God takes shape as whomever lives in my heart.



Visit my new blog: I am this desire 
(All prose mine)









Visit my new blog: I am this desire 

"You fill me with who I am, surround me as where I am."



A post from my new blog: I am this desire



May 10 2018

YOU DANCE

You are who and where. A man, a spirit, a place.

Divine.

You fill me with who I am, surround me as where I am.

Divine.

When I move, you are a dance.

When I am still.. the intimate flutter, small toss of feathers, falling into the wind, we soar.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Devotion

The poet saint Mirabai

I felt the pull of the magical love, the supernatural love from outside of life, forbidden, beyond what is known.

And I thought for a moment of the other things I "must" attend to first.

Immediately my entire being was filled with love, with a warmth and pressure that I chose to open to, again and again, praying it would stay.

I thought, "this is the love that I dissolve into."


My heart's desire. My heroine's quest. My story of stories.

Bhakti and devotion are the words I notice in the words of today.


Mirabai

My post on the SYP website:

Yesterday, as I sat contemplating the day's tasks, I felt myself filled to overflowing with a surge of love that was subtly permeating me, expanding my being and consciousness from within.
As I chose over and over to open to this love, I observed that this gentle force of constant expansion from within was the energy which will burn away my karmas and mental impurities, freeing my luminous being as I merge into this wider energy made of love.
I thought, "This is the love that I dissolve into." I felt that some gentle tears had begun.
I have reached for this feeling so many times since girlhood. My heart's desire. My heroine's quest. My story of stories. I have tried so many different ways to express a certain posture of worship and devotion within. It is becoming real at last!
Bhakti and devotion are the words I am finding in the words of my Guru and her teachers and devotees. Words from the very source of my joy.






Stava Cintamani

“Even if you are already drowned in the cycle of the ocean of repeated births and deaths, when you once find attachment (love) and devotion for Lord Śiva, then you have found that Cintāmaṇi jewel.”
~Swami Lakshmanjoo


Lakshmanjoo Academy News!
We are happy to announce the soon to be published newest addition to the Lakshmanjoo Academy book series:

The Magical Jewel of Devotion
in Kashmir Shaivism
Stava Cintamani

The 200 pages plus study set (free audio downloads included) will be released just in time for the annual Birthday Celebrations for Swami Lakshmanjoo on Tuesday the 9th of May.
ORDER NOW!! - PRE-SALE - Available for delivery at the end of May. You can pre-order your copy now by clicking on the image below… 


We will be studying this and other texts of Kashmir Shaivism at the upcoming Study Retreat, from 10th to 13th May following the Birthday celebrations. Read more here

“Even if you are already drowned in the cycle of the ocean of repeated births and deaths,
when you once find attachment (love) and devotion for Lord Śiva, then you have found that Cintāmaṇi jewel.” ~Swami Lakshmanjoo

Devotional hymns have always held an important place in the history of the “Monistic teachings of Kashmir Shaivism.” The recitation of such hymns is a common part of daily spiritual practice for many Shaiva aspirants.

Stava Cintāmaṇi – The Magical Jewel of Devotion in Kashmir Shaivism – is a sublime and unique hymn addressed to ‘Lord Shiva’, whom the author, Bhaṭṭa Nārāyaṇa  clearly holds as the Supreme Reality. Though highly devotional, these hymns are at the same time practical and deeply philosophical.

Swami Lakshmanjoo’s love for devotional hymns is evidenced by the fact that he translated and commented on the Stava Cintāmaṇi on three occasions. The first, in 1978, was recorded by John Hughes and forms the basis of this present publication. Then, in 1990, he gave an “impromptu translation” during which time Denise Hughes compiled extensive hand written notes. Lastly, in 1991, Swamiji recorded his recitation of the verses, giving brief translations to selected verses only.

Swamiji tells us that Bhaṭṭa Nārāyaṇa was one of the most important Kashmir Shaivite masters, and that he lived approximately one century before the illustrious Abhinavagupta (924-1020CE). This places Bhaṭṭa Nārāyaṇa somewhere between Vasugupta and Somānanda. Together these highly revered masters disseminated the foundational texts of a system of philosophy that would later become known exclusively as ‘Kashmir Shaivism’.

It was in the wake of this new revival that Bhaṭṭa Nārāyaṇa composed his Stavacintāmaṇ̣i. Little is known about his life, as he hardly mentions himself in his writings, but taking into account the spiritual climate of his generation, with the majority of the population being entrenched in dualistic and mono-dualistic practices, one could easily assume that he had composed his devotional hymn with the underlying intention of introducing and educating sincere spiritual aspirants in the ‘non-dual-monistic’ way of thought and practice. Since later commentators indicate that the Stava Cintāmaṇi was well received and highly influential, it is more than likely that Bhaṭṭa Nārāyaṇa achieved that goal.


That the author was endeavouring to enlighten his audience in the direction of non-dual Shaivism is clearly visible in the inclusion of his interpretation of the ancient and highly revered Gāyatri mantra, where he says:

“I don’t care to possess that effulgent light (tat savitur varenyam) of the three worlds (bhuḥ, bhuvaḥ and svaḥ), and I don’t need my intellect elevated to the state of universal understanding (dhiyo yo naḥ pracodayāt); I want only for that effulgent light to direct me on the path of Shaivism – that is all I long for – and that is the only favor I ask of Gāyatrī.”

Longing for this experience the author sings:

“O Lord Shiva, let me merge in Your nature of God consciousness everywhere, so whatever I do in the dreaming state, whatever I say in this daily routine of life, good or bad, let that become divine, and let that be reflected in the mirror of God consciousness always. Let me merge in God consciousness in each and every respect of the daily routine of life, not only at the time of meditation.”

In his hymn, Bhaṭṭa Nārāyaṇa not only addresses this flow of consciousness into the world, but also its flowing back, from the world to its origin – the state of God consciousness. This he perceives in the simple act of bowing, which to him is the ultimate expression of love and devotion towards God. The constant theme that runs like a thread through the one hundred and twenty verses (ślokas) of the Stava Cintāmaṇi is that love and devotion (bhakti towards Lord Shiva) is everything.


The Magical Jewel of Devotion in Kashmir Shaivism - Stava Cintamani


Swami Lakshmanjoo was so excited to share this particular hymn with the world that when leaving his Ashram en-route to America in February of 1991, he carried a copy of Stava Cintāmaṇi safely tucked under his arm. A few days after his arrival in Los Angeles he sat in the early hours of the morning and recited all the verses of this treasured hymn. This was Swamiji’s last translation of this Magical Jewel of Devotion in Kashmir Shaivism – Stava Cintāmaṇi.



Sunday, April 15, 2018

Why?

Why am I apart from God? And if I am not, then why do I think that I am?

Some things torment me, some every day. Why? If the torment isn't real, then what is?



Keeping words meaningful

SOOKEE - Für immer / Forever

Dann kamen Ironie, Satire, Zynismus, Ästhetik 
Jetzt ist jetzt 
Was kommt als nächstes?
Wie lang kann was dir wichtig ist dich entertainen?

Then came irony, satire, cynicism, aesthetics 
Now is now 
What's next? 
How long can you care for what is important to you? 




Art Ensemble of Chicago, a live tour of life off the map.
I sat a spell under Lester Bowie's horn in San Francisco 1983

Ask any writer. It is a struggle in our age to try and keep trying to make and keep words meaningful. The role of art (including music, including jazz) has evolved to include staying one step ahead of being gobbled up by the post-modern "now" that cannot escape "what's next?"


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Thy feet



I touch with the edge of the far-spreading wing of my song 
thy feet which I could never aspire to reach.

~ Rabindranath Tagore



Monday, April 9, 2018

Rest

Photo from Jnaneshwar's Samadhi Mandir

In the guru, my life force finds rest.

~ Jnaneshwar Maharaj





Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Melt away

"The most loving thing you will ever do for yourself in your entire life is to saturate your own heart. Bathe your heart in your own attention until all of the walls in your heart melt away, and the brilliance and the beauty and the joy that is your own essence rises up and expresses itself in the form of your life."--Swami Chetanananda


Photo: The Movement Center Swami Chetananda


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Steady

She came again... I felt her touch while I was reaching into my (tall) aquarium. I could not see her, but I felt her near, and the place where she touched me felt warm.

Again the message: "Steady."





Photo Randy Parkhurst

Friday, March 16, 2018

She has removed it

This is one of the biggest things that has ever happened to me. Being born. Shaktipat. This.

I finally saw it clearly, the pattern of self-terrorization... that drives my every moment. Fear of it, of making such a huge and costly mistake, the horrible pain of it.

I saw the concept of myself that I thought was me, that I wanted so much to believe was me, starting as a girl.. when I decided to behave in every moment as though someone was watching me, so I could learn to act right and not be alone.

I saw how I am never even quite like my obsession, what I think of as me, for more than a few seconds.

And I chase that few seconds over and over, thinking it is going to be in every moment.

And the few seconds are over and I am not that perfect person, I am the messy me... and it tears me up inside, literally. My insides are opened by a piercing terror and pain so destructive I am gasping and writhing inside.

Over and over.

I chase and I chase. I grab for a moment, then I fall and I fail, and I am in so much pain I am blown apart once again.

Over and over.

All my life! An obsession that has defined me. I haven't seen it, only the object of my obsession, which is not real. It is delusion. It is lock step with maya, where there is "no there, there."

Destined to fail every time.

For the first time, recently, I watched as the delusion unfolded, as I sought to engage with maya, the little thrill of mania that made contact with the Executive Producer magical, the purpose of my life unfolding at last, mine at last.

Obsession.

And this time I watched the pain that pierced me, that tore me up, that tears me apart every time, greater than me, always greater than me.

Because, for the first time I saw it, simply saw it, just seeing it was the same as challenging it. I saw it was delusion. And just like that, it no longer ruled me. It took that one second.

The basic pattern is still there a little. But now when it happens, there's just a little pain, and sometimes none.

And I realize. This is my guru. She has removed it, as I was unable. It was so much bigger than me. All I need do was to see it, for her to make me free.

I asked her so long ago to remove my horrible delusion, although I could only see small glimpses of it. I knew something so painful about my life lived in me, and kept happening, but I didn't know what it was.

She sent me a shawl, a guru colored shawl. Take the protection of the guru.

Later I thought, I asked my guru to remove delusion. What was I thinking?? (As in, HOLD ON...).

Every day, every year I have burned and burned. It has all led to this moment, when the delusion is removed. She removed it.

I am free. I am free to become, to live a life of sadhana, as her devotee.

I am free.



Thursday, February 22, 2018

Take heed

People die alone who die without God. Or maybe they will find those waiting, those who will meet them.

If you go with them, you can only go so far, down that path. 

You might watch them slip away. Or, you might miss that moment. But we cannot assume that we have more time... more than the time before that final moment, that long moment between moments, when the dying find the longer path, when they stand on it at last, looking farther, facing what must be faced, chosen or not.

They live, but they are no longer with you. You cannot reach them.

Take heed. Know this. Give and say what you must. For even if there is a little life left, a little time left, we cannot assume we will have more time.


PHOTO: Margaret Ambridge



Monday, February 19, 2018

Promise of a new world.

The world of the senses has run me ragged. The weariness tore me away.

One day, not so long ago, the world and I began to move at a different speed. Still close, right here. But I'm not very interested.

I've slowed, floating on an inner current, flowing, going nowhere.

Sinking, the gurgling sounds just above me, the sunlight a vector, an unchanging stillness, a direction becomes dance, the promise of a new world.

The oldest, essential, purpose, preserved... in the deep, dark, depths of my heart.



Sunday, February 11, 2018

Bhagavad Gita: The Four Yogas

My sadhana has been juggled around, and is moving in a new direction. I believe my Guru has been leading all of us up to and through this change.

I have to realize that actions that attempt to use discipline to overcome my limitations and delusions currently never work for me. I have spent my whole life disciplining myself and wildly grasping with super-human effort to try to get the grand experience I have been seeking, and to address what has been missing, and my misery about this.

For me, the "dos" like disciplining my activities with specific goals about meditation and other practices, as well as trying to keep spiritual experiences permanent, are not the opposite of sadhana. ALWAYS using my life and moments to try to create a new and permanent state is based on a delusion that I am lost, unfulfilled, away from God. Grasping and doing for my own limited results has created huge karmas and samskaras for me.

I found myself writing about how Karma and Bhakti Yoga--and much of Jnana Yoga--have come to the fore in my sadhana. The fourth Yoga, Raja Yoga, is a synthesis, with elements that form a system based on discipline, which is not helpful for me.

Krishna talks about how an individual will find that some yogas will work for them better than others.


1) KARMA YOGA~THE YOGA OF ACTION: Any time I am grasping or pushing, trying or making myself do anything, I am jumping on the great wheel. The harder I push and hang on, the harder I'm going to fall when the wheel goes around the other way. Rajas creates karma. I've got way too much longing made into rajas in every moment!

My path is not doing, and it is not not-doing. HOW? Through dharma/duty. Lord Krishna has taught me about Karma Yoga, and this knowledge and yoga is very important to my sadhana.


2) BHAKTI YOGA: Bhakti Yoga is a new emphasis for me. It is divine love, longing, and worship in a personal relationship with a chosen form of the divine. This is the "doing" that I offer, avoiding karmas (Karma Yoga). Commitment to experiencing love and worship for the Divine fills me with an intensity of shakti that is burning my impurities away.

A short description of a very powerful yoga.


3) JNANA YOGA: The focus of my sadhana for the last few years has been to notice and name the elements of my mind in action. I challenge delusion by noticing what arises and holding what will bring delusion. When I hold a train of thought or etc., it naturally dissolves. Consciousness dissolves into consciousness.

I have for the most part eliminated self-pity, collapsing (giving up), and self-hatred, and I at least notice many things such as jealousy, anger, and competitiveness. I especially have benefited from noticing when I begin to make a story about what is happening in the moment, with the assumption that it is happening to me.

My mind has become much more still and centered.

Other parts of Jnana Yoga which have been important are recognizing what is transitive in my reality and letting go my attachments to these things. "That's not real," and "that isn't permanent" are my mantras in using my mind in this way. I also practice "seeing" the world of the senses as consciousness, and remembering it may promise many things, but none of it will be truly satisfying or permanent.


4) RAJA YOGA: Royal Raja Yoga is a higher yoga that incorporates elements of the other yogas in a powerful synthesis. It is based on meditation and other tools to work with the mind.

Systematic and disciplined is not helpful or useful to me at this point in my sadhana. When I meditated, I went after dinner. I wanted to meditate. I ran down the steps to the kriyaloka meditation room at the ashram, sinking into my spot, my consciousness dropping into the depths of me as I settled in.

"It's almost 7:00, time to meditate doesn't work for me, at least not now. I have to wrestle with myself about it, my intention, and my fear. It is very unpleasant. It runs me, and I am stuck with it.

I need to go around this stuff. I realize almost all(?) yogis do this. I think I did so much of this in a past life that this time I am doing something else.

Guru dream

I had a long dream of my guru last night.

I don't remember what we might have talked about. She basically invited me to go with her for part of her day. We went to different rooms as she talked with different people. Nice rooms with soft and comfy furnishings. She was so nice and encouraging, without necessarily talking with me (I can't remember). She was sweet, yet on point with the people she interacted with.

Then it was time to go. Again she was very nice. I was so happy for all the time I had spent with her. As she was walking towards the next room, she turned to say goodbye. My goodbye was effusive and adoring. She did not like that. She made a face.

I've never spent time with her. I've had her darshan several times, usually for a few moments.


In thinking about the dream, I think she was encouraging me, reassuring me, and caring for me, without words. She was showing her love, and her commitment to me by inviting me to spend a long time with her, hours of time.

She challenged my feelings of little self-worth. She recharged my hopes for my sadhana, which have been waning for the last few months.

She filled me with her shakti in a subtle way. No drama, no fireworks.


Except for some specific occasions of longing, I have always felt ambivalent towards my guru. I have issues about women, and much prefer the company of men.

Now at last, all of these years of sadhana, I have burned up my desire, my control, my intensity in searching for and trying to hold together my experience of a real and unchanging wholeness, feeling truly alive. Many people feel this. We are seekers.

Now spiritual experiences can happen without me doing a bunch of things with them. I don't think I have to hold onto them and make them stay. I have spent my every breath with doing that. Finally I have let this go. A few echoes here and there.

There is nothing to do in the moment except experience the gift that is given, the lesson which is given. Get out of the way. Let it be. Let it end or keep happening. Most of all do not think that it will be permanent, the holy grail of the seeker's desires.

Finally I understand. If something goes this way, it MUST eventually go that way. Whatever is happening is not permanent unless it "just is," and even then....


I love you (my Guru).




NOTES:  I think my assumption of affected emotions and worship get in the way of what is real, and my Guru doesn't like it, so it's not very useful in the world of the divine, LOL.

Dramatic, emotional, flowery. Not her thing. I think she's more down to earth. Over-wrought doesn't make her happy. She cringed. Making a face was a playful way of communicating her experience of my prayers.

And also, she is instructing me to experience worship and longing in a more straightforward way. This is an important direction from her.

I am keeping my recent, very important insight that worship and longing create a fire in me that is burning away the impurities. It goes with my realization that my path is to "go around", rather than interacting with my limitations and delusions through discipline and purposeful action.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

I will not pray unless I want to


“God does not require that we be successful 
only that we be faithful.” 
― Mother Teresa

I am not Catholic, but I have been praying the rosary and the Liturgy of the Hours for a few days now. I feel the need to pray.

Prayer for me is made of worship, and of self-sacrifice. I offer up my body and soul in prayer. I offer my time and my focus. I am focused on God; my love and longing for God, which has been so great all my life.


I remember when I was a girl, and standing in the street near my house, and asking myself: what do I want to be when I grow up? My answer was either a nun or a Playboy centerfold! I do not see these as being all that far apart. They both celebrate life and the source of that life.

Still, I thought. That must be why I have a huge scar on my stomach, God wants me to be a nun instead.

Later, when I found out Mormons do not have nuns, I was not devastated--but it was close.


As an adult, I have found Catholics to be pretty weird. But I am coming to understand them better by borrowing their prayers. They feel an unbroken line from, and are the keepers of the people and events of the Lord's time on earth. They think about these constantly, in rosary prayers to Mary and others, in the Stations of the Cross, in their Mass, and in their religious peoples' lives, their activities, the symbolism of their habits and the structure of their days.






I am trying prayer in a specific way. I do not pray unless I want to. A feeling of wanting to pray comes up naturally. No desire--no pray. Also, if I lose interest in the middle of praying, (which does happen occasionally), I choose to stop praying.

Today, I felt strongly that I didn't want to pray. I thought everything to do with praying was more than painful, a sort of jerking around in my collapsed, depressed state.

"I will not pray unless I want to. Even if I don't pray ever again."

The thought I might stop made me sad. I found myself clicking on "nun links" that now come up on my YouTube side bar. I began to feel the desire again, to pray.


Praying is a way to get around the part of me that wants to use control of my mind and feelings to "get somewhere," spiritually or otherwise. 





I have been seriously and continuously contemplating how to move forward in my sadhana--and to what end--for months now. I tried a lot of things, and mostly accomplished a bunch of trying. My life goes in a big circle. Everything I'm doing now will become the opposite eventually. When I try to do it, I get in the way of grace. I have to step back. 

Wrestling myself to the floor at 5am is not me, never will be. The life of a nun is not for me. Which is hard because I long so much for a completely spiritual life. I don't feel that my current life fulfils that purpose in me. I am still learning.


After I pray The Office and The Hours, and the Crown Rosary or daily rosary, my body has a serene feeling of energy all in-line and in a gentle, persistent flow. I feel lighter, my mind and ego at rest. 

"I feel that my karmas, my pain, my despair, all of it is dissolving in the sweet attitude and daily results of prayer."

In the question I have been asking over and over, should I go through or around my obstacles, I have always returned to this answer: go around. I'll never wrestle that mess to the ground. Or if I do, I'll only keep it down for two seconds. It's all an illusion. Why sacrifice everything to fighting an illusion?

I think I have found the answer. I offer my prayer, including the results. If I can desire to pray, and then pray, I create the shakti in my being that dissolves all that has burdened me, and chained me to the vagaries of the world around me.

And so, I desire very much to be freed, and also to be continuously apart from the world. God is what matters to me.




After I pray, I'm at a loss of what to do. Everything else seems course, and destined to pull my lovely state back into illusion and pain. I don't think I can pray all the time. Just as sure as the desire to pray will come along, the desire to stop praying will come as well. I'm not going to fight it out with this part of me. Making myself do something is sure to eradicate any possibility of doing it at all. I'm just that way.

Meanwhile, I do continue to repeat the mantra silently, and I am trying out experiencing this as worship, in addition to my main experience as identification and purification. It's interesting to me that this feels too intimate! When I think of God, I no longer think of God as "inside" or "outside" of me. I guess there's no way to worship God without worshiping myself. Which is the point of the mantra in any case.

"My discipline is to only do it when I want to!"

As Mother Teresa said, "God does not require that we be successful, only that we be faithful." The idea of being faithful thrills me. It frees me from the content. If I prayed, or not, if I felt like praying or not. These dark waters would suck me down right away. I go around them! If only I can be faithful, and pray when I desire to pray, today. Who knows about tomorrow.


So, today I did not feel like praying. I was sad. "It's all over," I thought. "Like it always is." I have been wrestling with this off and on my whole life.

As I say, I started clicking on "nun links" that were coming up in my YouTube sidebar, since I've been surfing around looking for prayers. And I found that watching just one of these videos brought up all of my desire to pray, and to live a life that is based upon what matters, which is God.

It's part and parcel of the thoughts of a young girl who found that the things that mattered to me were not reflected in the world around me.

Finding my place in the world has been the real struggle of my entire life. I wish that I could be a nun. Maybe I can be, after all. A convent of one.

At least for today.



Thursday, January 25, 2018

Destruction of ignorance

"As the sun appears after the destruction of darkness by dawn, so Atman [the Self] appears after the destruction of ignorance by knowledge."

~ A verse from Atmabodha



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