Tag archive for "adyashanti"

Just for Fun, Life Coaching, Spirituality & Transformation

Suffering: You’re Soaking in It

No Comments 26 August 2011

“If suffering made a sound we would hardly be able to hear ourselves think.”
–Master meditation and grief teacher and poet Stephen Levine

The last thing a fish would invent is water. In the same way the last thing I noticed I was addicted to was suffering.

It was everywhere, I was soaking in it. My body was wafting a feeling tone of bone-weary sadness and lethargy from every pore. The pain body took up occupancy then slimed every square inch before bolting all the windows and doors to make sure my identification with it, as it, was complete. Its jangled and spiky vibes were systemic, pernicious. As Adyashanti would say, I was “Velcro’d”.

Where I was was off. If I was there, even I wished I wasn’t. Kids would go find another room to play in. Dogs would growl. Even my body odor smelled like it belonged to someone else.

Have you ever tried to out-affirm, out-pray, deny or step over that kind of pain? To stuff a steamer trunk of %dc# like that into a space no one would recognize? There is nothing more pathetic and painful than watching someone do that to themselves. The heart knows the truth.

So, you might ask, how did feeling like Eeyore become my drug of choice? Who knows. All I know is it did feel familiar, in the sense of family, or ancestry or at least collective. Like the uh-oh you get in your gut when you step off the plane onto the tarmac of a war-ravaged country. Its not really personal until you make it so. Then the parasite of suffering sucks up to a new host.

Looking back, I can see how I was continually gathering evidence of not enough, animating it with my attention, fertilizing it with the foods I ate, the way I held my body, even the way I breathed. My first few breaths of each morning were puffed into this gloomy little ghost, the rest of the day spent idly stroking it with two fingers…one of encouragement, one of dread. And I was so proud of that angst, protective of it as mine, my special artistic and intuitive sensitivities and pessimistic proclivities.  As if brooding made me European and mysterious instead of just an annoyingly brooding American. Pride and shame together make a kind of emotional epoxy.

So how did I get unstuck from the addiction to suffering?

I’ll tell you: merging onto the highway today (which takes time in an old 4 cylinder Subaru) I realized that what I thought was “being in my heart” was actually a lie: I was leaking energy to my feelings and giving my power away to my feelings of separation. Compassion had turned to wallowing, self-care to neuroticism.

Today I chose to let go of wanting to be controlled by that feeling, and instead to  re-claim and re-direct my energy and love to someone else that can truly benefit. In choosing to cut that cord, I feel my energy rise, spine lengthen, and heart expand.

If I get caught by that feeling again, I can rest in knowing that feeling is arising in or on that which I Am, and not the other way around. And if I really look deep within, I can’t find anyone home to actually take posession of that little package of pain.

And that is a huge and blessed relief.

Spirituality & Transformation

Spiritual Seeking for Fun and Profit

No Comments 05 March 2011

Or..going for broke spiritually without going broke financially.

Or..why the Eckhart Tolle park bench and spiritual shabby chic is way overrated.

These are a few of my tips and recommendations from 23 years as a sometimes earnest, sometimes disenchanted, often dazed and confused consciousness cosmonaut and spiritual polyamorist.

A few breadcrumbs as you make your way down the spiritual path.

Tip 1:Don’t dabble. Don’t try to squeeze it in on the weekends or 2 weeks a year on vacation. Follow the sage advice of Sri Ramakrishna who said, “Do not seek illumination unless you seek it as a man whose hair is on fire seeks a pond.” Throw yourself completely into the spiritual washing machine tosses you out. As quickly as possible get over the idea that it is out there..there is no out there out there.

Cure the addiction to spiritual seeking the way some people do with smoking–chain-smoke the whole dang carton in the car in the garage until the thought of ever going to another workshop again makes you feel sick. Up-level your addictions to things that are at least partly wholesome and light-filled and then let release those too.

Tip 2: Don’t Forget the Inner Journey
Of the Buddha’s Three Jewels (buddha, dharma, and sangha) the most important of all in his view was sangha. And you
will find fellowship and friends at retreats, conferences, workshops and other spiritual gatherings but the real spiritual journey is the 18 inches from your head to your heart. For some that is a solo journey, others find the passageway through comnitted relationship.

Tip 3: Give Yourself Permission to Float and be Soulfish
Be clear about what you are up to..tell your friends and family up front that you are going to be a spiritual self-obsessed odd one for a while until either your money, cultural conditioning, or resistance wears out.

Tip 4: Don’t over-rely on invisible means of support. As spiritual as it may seem to renounce all your worldlies, American culture doesn’t support or even acknowledge 21st century sadhus. Being a spiritualized poverty case can make you sensitive to all the wrong things. It’s not more spiritual to be poor and living on a park bench for two years won’t make you Eckhart Tolle. The New Earth needs karma yogis who can live powerfully in the material and spiritual and bridge both worlds.

Tip 5: When the going gets weird the weird turn pro.
I’ve made a semi-professional lifestyle out of traveling in spiritual/transformational circles with evolved and conscious beings. You can too. There is a temptation with consciousness exploration or spiritual practice to get more and more extreme or esoteric or weird in pursuit of truth..its not better or worse, just weirder, and a symptom of being what is affectionately known as a “bliss junkie” or monkey.

Because more and more people are opening to new dimensions and realities of being, lots of spiritually powerful places and techniques are really exploding in popularity. That means they are hiring and you can work in exchange for attendance/room/board or real money. Might as well get paid to be who you are, do what you love, and actually live like you are on retreat or in a conscious loving workshop 24/7, instead of having peak experiences and post-workshop traumatic stress disorder when you slink back to your cubicle like an occupational veal calf.

Likely Stops on the Journey of the Peace Pilgrim

Yes, the “path” is a pathless one, a gateless gate, a journey and not a destination..and still..there are space/time coordinates where other peace pilgrims and members of our tribe are likely to gather. These are a few to help focus your spiritual wanderings.

Groovy Workshop/Seminar Places Where People will Love on You No Matter What

  • Esalen Institute
  • Omega
  • Hollyhock
  • Feathered Pipe
  • Harbin Hot Springs
  • Findhorn
  • Mount Madonna
  • Nine Gates Mystery School

Conferences & Events With the Vibe

  • Bhakti Fest
  • Burning Man
  • The Rainbow Gathering
  • Yoga Journal Conferences

Buddhist/Meditative Havens & Sanctuaries

  • Spirit Rock
  • Plum Village
  • Dhamma Vipassana
  • Deer Park
  • Green Gulch
  • Tasajara

Where the Energy/Healing/Intuitive Types Go

  • Carolyn Myss
  • Barbara Brennan
  • John of God
  • Theta Healing

Where the Cerebral Types Go

  • Integral Studies
  • Alan Watts
  • Andrew Cohen
  • Ken Wilber
  • Robert Thurman

Where the Movement and Yoga Types Go

  • Kripalu
  • Yoga Journal Conference
  • Moving Center School
  • Nia Now
  • Five Rhythms

Spiritual Colleges and Universities

  • California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS)
  • Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (ITP)
  • Maharishi University of Management (MUM)
  • Naropa University
  • Pacifica Graduate Institute
  • University of Santa Monica (USM)

Spiritual Mentors & Teachers

  • Adyashanti
  • Byron Katie
  • Eckhart Tolle
  • Gangaji
  • Jeddah Mali

 

Tools & Techniques

  • The Hoffman Process
  • The Sedona Method
  • The Diamond Approach
  • Holotropic Breathwork
  • The Work

Enjoy the journey! Feel free to share your experiences and recommendations here.

Life Coaching, Spirituality & Transformation

Hows the Flounder?

No Comments 05 March 2010

The word “flounder” keeps presenting itself to me lately, as in, “I’m floundering in a sea of obligations and broken commitments,” or you shouldn’t let the people you love just “flounder.” To me, floundering is another name for “middle” or “plateau”, life spaces that are neither peaks nor valleys but active engaged struggle and thrashing through a real or imagined taffy patch.

For most people brought up in this society, the plateau can be a form of purgatory. It triggers disowned emotions…Learn to love the plateau.“–George Leonard

I know three great perspectives on the subject of floundering, all of which remind us that to flounder wholeheartedly and with awareness is a kind of celebration of our humanity; a fierce grace.

As Adyashanti says, “Enjoy yourself. Especially when you’re not.

It is what Rilke, in his amazing poem called “Pushing Through” was talking about with the surrender into the grief cry.


Pushing Through

It’s possible I am pushing through solid rock
in flintlike layers, as the ore lies, alone;
I am such a long way in I see no way through,
and no space: everything is close to my face,
and everything close to my face is stone.

I don’t have much knowledge yet in grief
so this massive darkness makes me small.
You be the master: make yourself fierce, break in:
then your great transforming will happen to me,
and my great grief cry will happen to you.

Rainer Maria Rilke

For the wide awake or desperately pained, there is the hardcore zen approach to floundering:

What do you want? To keep it together with your efforts, your theories, and your strategies, or have the Truth sweep your life clean?” –J. Zandi


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