Don’t have to unite what hasn’t been separated

You did it

You were the one

Who separated the world

Into pieces

Into colors

People

Races

Countries

Good and bad

OK, Sure…

School

Parents

Culture

Did their part

Helped foster

The illusion

But they won’t help you

Undo it

That’s your job

Your job alone

You can’t cobble together

Separate pieces

Back into One

Spare yourself the trouble

The impossible task

You only have to remember

That the pieces

Are not separate

And never were

Don’t you remember?

Go back to

Square One

Before thought

Just a blank slate

That mythical place

Before you tolerated

Even the idea

Of separation

That one tiny thought

That broke the world

That teensy lie upon which

All the rest

Was built

Watch as

Separation

Simply

Disappears

Watch as

The illusion

Shatters

Then

And only then

Will you have

Done your part

Dear friend

To riunite

The “whole”

Entire

World

The one that was

Never separate

Especially…

From

You!

My Olive Tree Teacher

A talented gardener friend showed me how to prune an olive tree last year. And it was amazing. You see, gardeners see trees differently from the rest of us. While we see a tree as it is, they see it as it could be. They decide the shape and function they want a tree to take… and then intervene to make it become a reality. They don’t have to move the tree, or change it (into an apple tree, say)… they work with the tree as it is, then simply prune the branches that don’t support their objective. Obviously they want the tree to grow more fruit (in this case, olives). They want to stop the tree from growing fast shoots, which drain the tree of light. They know that if the branches overlap, their shadows will block out sunlight. In Umbria, they want the tree to grow into a bowl, with lots of sun reaching inside. They want to keep them short, so they can harvest the olives without a ladder.

It looks like they’re only making small cuts, but over time… these small interventions make a huge difference in the way the tree develops. It’s like watching a slow-motion magician, changing a tree’s destiny.

This is because, in the end, a gardener sees a tree not as a material thing, but as an energy field. His job is not to make it grow – he has no such delusions of grandeur – but to work with its energy. As my friend wisely said, “The life force is always moving upwards. It will not be stopped; it can only be directed.”

And this reminded me of the spiritual path, in which we deliberately prune away certain habits that don’t bear fruit. Often we move away from large cities, in order to lose our tendency to seek constant pleasure. We prune that part away. We start to take charge of our tree.

We might start meditating, pruning away our tendency to let the world tell us how to grow. We try to get in touch with that energy, and learn to respect it.

We begin to see how certain of our tendencies interfere with our long-term goals – throwing shade on them, so to speak.

And we no longer see the “fruits” as just short-term moments of happiness – which quickly become bitter. We seek out, instead, long-term relationships and that sense of inner joy which make the fruit so much sweeter. In a sense, my friend was developing the quality of the olive, and not just the quantity.

It’s like we’re a general in charge of an army. The soldiers in our keep, the cells inside our bodies, the thoughts in our minds, are waiting to be guided. Will they be guided by desire, left to grow willy-nilly? Or will they be guided by higher ideals? We are the gardeners of our lives, the life-force is always there… it’s up to us to decide which form our tree will take.

So let’s get out those hedge clippers!

Relaxing is Hard Work!

Patience

Trust

Stillness

Calm

Are the

Hardest

Things

You’ll

Ever

Have

To

Learn

Especially

In

The

Heat

Of

The

Moment

Until

You

Discover

That

(Hey!)

They

Are

All

Second

Nature

To

Your

Soul

Then

They

Become

Downright

Easy

Just

Breathe

Them

In

In joy!

What if “facts” are merely opinions?

We ask the mind to comfort us, and it does so by repeatedly affirming to us what it thinks of as facts. We inherit this conditioned thinking, these belief systems, from our parents, our ancestors, our culture. We share it with our loved ones, television programs, family. But have we ever examined these so-called “facts”? What if, in reality, they are merely opinions? We say, for example, with perfect certitude:

“I” am a person
“I” have “a life”
“I” have a body
“I” have a mind
“I” decide to act
“I” work
“I” sleep
“I” play
There are other separate people around me
“I” understand others
“I” understand myself
“I” know what life is
“I” know what life is for
This world is real

But what if these are not facts, friends, but merely opinions? (I’m not talking about scientific facts, obviously.) Opinions most of us agree on, granted… but does that make them necessarily true? Because as we awaken to higher consciousness, we discover that many of these convictions are blocking us from making progress. They aren’t very useful for living in the present. In fact, they make the world taste like stale cheese. Yuck!

So, if we’re going to start being honest with ourselves, we have to admit that most of what’s going on… we just don’t understand. We simply have no way of knowing if any of these statements are true. Our minds are often wrong about things, why should these opinions be any different? What if not-knowing was a much more exciting and alive way of living… than knowing? Are we ready to break the envelope?

We usually never question our long-held beliefs, because a) we associate mostly with people who hold our same opinions, and b) we label whoever doesn’t as… crazy. But once we begin to rid ourselves of these opinions, these “certitudes”… what do we have left?

Only Infinite conscious joyful awareness. Well, Hello!

So here’s that same list, if we were to tell the absolute truth to ourselves:

“I” may be much more than a person
“I” may be Life Itself
This body may be inside my awareness
This mind may be inside my awareness
“I” act, but I really don’t know why
Work happens
Sleep happens
Play happens
“I” really don’t know if anything or anyone is separate
“I” cannot really understand others
“I” cannot really understand myself
“I” don’t really know what life is for
This world may or may not be real

That doesn’t leave us much to work on now, does it? It only leaves us scratching our heads, mind-blown, no more opinions, no more comfort. Living in the here and now… we find a world full of marvel, miracles… and honesty.

Not a bad trade-off, if you ask me!

You Get What You Need

Don’t grab at the world

Don’t let your ego

Lift a single finger

Don’t believe it when it

Tells you it knows

What you “need”

What will make you happy

Because it doesn’t

The ego is a taker

More importantly

If perchance you do

Get what you want

Don’t let the ego

Not even for a second

Convince you that it

Got it for you

That it’s thanks to

Its efforts

Its plans

That you got it

Because if you do

The ego will hold it

Over your head

Forever

That’s how it ensnares you

It will use

Every “gift” to

Make you feel in debt

Make you serve it

Make you bow to it

Oh dear soul!

Free yourself from

This unholy trap

The ego will never

Let you see

That it wasn’t

Thanks to it

That you got what you wanted

No siree

All your gifts were

Freely given to you

As all things are

By the One Giver

The Universe Itself

No strings attached

Without effort

As if by magic

You don’t need

To manipulate

The outside world

To fill your coffers

If you do, you will spend

The rest of your days

Fighting to keep what your ego

Ungratefully stole

You will sit

Alone and afraid

Guarding your

Miserable spoils

No, friend

You are no beggar!

All you ever needed to do

Was simply ask for

What you wanted

That’s your lesson

Here on Earth

Ask for what you want

Become a grateful

Receiver

Learn to sit back

In total faith

And know that

The Universe wants to

Bring you what will

Truly make you happy

It alone knows

What you truly desire

Let these things

Be brought to you

In their own time

In their own

Miraculous way

Let the Universe guide you

Show you where to go

Who to work with

What to say

So that in the end

You end up serving

Not

the

pathetic

powerless

parasitic

ego

But something

Truly worth serving:

The

Universe

Itself!

(Isn’t that what

You truly want?)

Pain, if not called suffering

Pain, if not called

Suffering

If not labeled

Wrong

Unfair

Unnecessary

If just allowed

Doesn’t hurt

Doesn’t distract

It’s just

A teacher

A readjustment

A correction to

Outdated thinking

Conditioned nonsense

Limited beliefs

It’s just

Your way of

Awakening

Evolving

By accepting pain

As part of your path

You are finally

Opening

The

Door

To a

Blessed

New

State

Of

Fearless

Living!

You have my full attention

Ready for my mission

Not getting distracted by

What didn’t come

Who didn’t call

Who left me out in the cold

No more regrets

Imagined slights

Feeble desires

Old grievances

That pull me away

From

This

Eternal

Moment

The room is getting brighter

More spacious

Electric

Faded into distance

Future concoctions

Careless whims

Unnecessary complications

Useless escapes

Sitting here in

This alive silence

Waiting to be activated

Like a sleeper cell

During wartime

A Loyal Patriot

A Willing Warrior

All in for the

Reawakening of

My People

Sitting quietly

Shoes on

Bags packed

Eternally at

Your disposal

Ready for my mission

Activate me!

We won’t get fooled again!

We’re all aware that there are people who try to manipulate us… for their own ends. They may be our government, our boss, our spouse, our families; anyone who seems to say, “”What’s going on inside of you… and how can I use it to my advantage?” “They” take your hard work, your money, your time… and it becomes obvious that “they” don’t really care about you, do they?

But watch out, friends. Our egos do the same thing to us… every day! Our old conditioning is constantly trying to figure out how to leverage our talents, our looks, our money… for its own gain, not ours. It’s desperate to stay alive!

In reality, You don’t need the ego at all; it needs You. It lives off of Your energy, Your attention, Your consent. You are the Supreme Consciousness. You don’t need to be babysat all day. You don’t need the ego to constantly keep you down, make You feel like a puppet, make You feel inferior, helpless and small. You’ve believed that all Your life. Isn’t it time to stop accepting what it tells You?

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” –Eleanor Roosevelt

Once we see its manipulation clearly, it will be game over for the ego… and it knows that. That’s why it keeps us battling the wrong enemies. As long as the ego keeps us tethered to the idea that – without it – we are nothing, we have nothing, and we can accomplish nothing… it has total control of us. Which is exactly what our manipulating boss, parent, or government would have us believe. Does that ring a bell?

The small-time manipulators in our lives are only here to show us what we are doing to ourselves. And our revolt against “them” is only here to pave the way for the much bigger (and difficult) inner revolt… against the ego itself.

You are not limited, dear one. Stand up for Yourself. Reclaim Your throne.

And once you stop letting the ego tell You otherwise, You won’t have to rebel against the world anymore. You’ll have eliminated the real enemy. Your life will become easy, without struggles, without hurry or anxiety… the way it always was…

Before the ego came along and started using You!

What Magic!

Lately, my brain has been getting super-excited by simply watching the wave reflections on the wall, right above the swimming pool at the Y. Or else, here it is, enraptured by the simple fluid movement of shadows playing on pavement, over beneath the swaying dogwoods. It’s like I’m being thrown back into my childhood, when things didn’t have to signify anything… they didn’t have to teach me something, or take me anywhere. I don’t have to fit them into mental concepts, give them names, or even reasons. I can just enjoy them as a majestic play of patterns… without any meaning whatsoever.

I had forgotten this simple pleasure!

Concurrently, I seem to be listening to improvisational music and enjoying abstract act again, where patterns are allowed to emerge and submerge, willy-nilly, without being locked into any kind of framework. It’s like my mind is retraining itself to allow pure, unfiltered information to come in, data without direction, or premise, or hidden significance. It’s real proto-stuff… a place where feeling the world comes to the fore… while my mind (ahhh) can finally take a back seat.

And this is extremely gratifying, a kind of liberation… Our minds are always trying to figure out what things mean, how they connect, how they fit into some larger context. And in doing so, they are always robbing us of this simple childlike wonder… of patterns just dancing around, going nowhere… fantastically beautiful. Whoa! All the more so for their total lack of needing to mean something. There’s an innocence to them, a real purity. It’s like an invitation: May I have this dance with you?

“Live quietly in the moment and see the beauty of all before you. The future will take care of itself.” –P. Yogananda

So if we want to liberate ourselves from this rational, mundane, and predictable world, let’s allow ourselves be inebriated again… by pure, unadulterated sensation. Let’s enjoy the world dancing right here, in front of us, as the miracle of light, sound and color that it truly is!

You’re in Stealth Mode

You are silence, immoveable stillness. You are forever in stealth mode, hiding in the interspaces between things and thoughts.

You are before words. Before concepts. Egos can’t see you.

Oh dear one, You seek to discover Yourself with an ego, but You exist before the ego. You were there from the beginning: You are The One Who Never Changes.

This Eternal Consciousness cannot be understood, or entered, or obtained. Nobody can get it… it’s already there! It can only be harmonized with, remembered. Only consciousness awareness can know it (not “your” conscious awareness… but Awareness Itself!). This Stillness at your core is always in vibrational resonance with Eternal Consciousness. Only after you’ve quieted every single thought that separates You from IT will the truth be revealed in all its glory: Stillness is Who You Are!

“You need not merit truth – you are eligible because You Are. Just stop running away – by running after. Stand still. Be quiet.” –Nisargadatta Maharaj

Only Your heart knows that you’ve already arrived. These limited minds – alas! – won’t be able to follow.

This is the Love, Devotion, and Mystical Union that You are seeking, O Eternal Friend. Adore your stillness… You will remember.