A world without sportscasters

Listen to those commentators. There they are again, analysing every move on the field, filling our heads with past stats, future prognostications, arcane fluff. In some goofy way, they think they control the game, but there’s only one problem with that:

They aren’t playing.

They can’t describe the smell of the turf, the fear of failure, the excitement of a good pass or the exhilaration of winning. They weren’t there… they only imagined they were. Only the players on the field can do that, and usually their experience of the game can’t even be put into words.

Remember the fun of actually playing sports on the field? There is none of that constant analysis going on in your mind. There’s just this wonderful feeling of aliveness, the thrill of play.

That’s something we lose when we give our lives to our minds. We trade being a player for being a sportscaster. We live in the future and in the past… always trying to figure out what’s going to happen and what shouldn’t happen… and lose the capacity to actually experience — and appreciate! —What Is Happening.

“An interpreted world isn’t home.” —Hildegard von Bingen (Christian Mystic)

Look at a bird without mental chatter. You’ll realize that you’ve never really seen one before… in all its aliveness. In the way it turns its head just so, or flies effortless through branches. Or the way the wind plays on a field of wheat, or how the shadows of clouds move gracefully across open valleys. Aliveness is everywhere, but we can’t see it if we’re listening to the sportscasters. They aren’t there, they’re only imagining they are.

That’s because the mind is not interested in aliveness. That’s just a sportscaster, way up in the booth, thinking he’s safe, that he controls the world, trying to tell us what’s coming next… as if 1) he knew, and 2) it mattered.

Aliveness is the only thing that really matters, friends. Come down on the field and grab you a handful!

Blame… or Shame?

“Hypocrisy is the outward acknowledgement of inward shame.” —Norm MacDonald

All blame is a form of hypocrisy; blame is simply our shame pushed outside. “I’m unhappy, so it must be someone else’s fault,” we tell ourselves. And the more we blame others, the less we change… leaving core issues unresolved.

Shame lies within us all, protecting us from parts of us that we were taught were unloveable. Parts we deny, try to hide… mostly from ourselves. Yet if we have even one part of ourselves that we consider unloveable, we unconsciously consider our whole selves unloveable.

Isn’t that the biggest shame of all… to not feel worthy of love? Others might not be able to see what we’re hiding, but they can certainly tell that something is wrong with us… that we have a fear of intimacy, that we don’t feel loved.

So… there’s a hard way and an easy way to uncover our core shame. The hard way is to keep blaming others, which means we have to continually find scapegoats to make ourselves feel good… and we never heal, never feel loveable… and never realize that the problem is ours. The easy way, on the other hand, is to stop, look and listen: every time we’re about to blame someone, we say (at least mentally), “They do such-and-such… as do I.”

Try it. If we’re attentive, we’ll suddenly see that same part of ourselves hiding in the dark basement, waiting for us to love it. They’re not a good planner? Maybe our spontaneity was squelched at a very young age. They’re not clear about what they want? Maybe we weren’t allowed to speak directly. They’re not working hard enough? Maybe our inherent playfulness was crushed. They’re not as perfect as you? Maybe we weren’t allowed to make mistakes.

Certainly, no one taught us that these could actually be good, normal traits. In any event, if we can’t love this part of ourselves, then why should others be allowed to love that same part of themselves? Why should they get to do what I wasn’t allowed to?

Do we see the connection? Why else would we project ugliness onto other people?

Shame is never easy to confront. We need to break our false pride, that part of ourselves that insists, “look… they do it, but I don’t.” We cannot do this alone; we need to ask for help. It takes humility, courage… and self-honesty. We say to our “broken” part, “Please forgive me for not being able to love you. I am trying my best. O Universe, if you can’t help me love that part, please help me to at least love the part of me that can’t love this defect, the part that judges myself for having it.”

This self-compassion eases the standoff. Then help is on the way; know that the aid you seek will be swiftly brought to you, either in the form of a person, book or movie. You’ll see the innocence of that lost part… its true beauty! Only by end-running the mind can we ever melt the hard shell coating of hidden shame. Without denial and self-importance, we can finally break the chain of sadness and hypocrisy… and a most tender reunion within is possible.

You’ll see. Every time we invite forgotten parts of ourselves back to the “lovable” pile, we increase our capacity to let ourselves be loved. The whole Universe wants to love us, in fact does love us… right this very second! The only thing blocking us from knowing that is our pesky hidden shame.

O Bursting Heart, aren’t you proud of me for freeing you?

The Window in My Heart

Wow, there it is again… opening just a fraction of a millimeter… The Window in My Heart. By George, shut out everything else, the senses, the mind, the world even. Focus, heart of mine… focus focus focus. Ahhhhhh, what peace.

Did the world just turn inside out? What is this dimension? We seem to have stepped out of time and space… with no limits… in any direction…. Is this who I really am… this unlimited beingness?

Finally it feels like the universe and I have a physical connection. Why, one can see eternity from here!

Go ahead, take the chance!

You say you want love

But do you?

You say you want

Someone to love you

But in fact

It’s just the opposite

You want someone

To only give you

A little love

A smidgen

A controllable amount

Not too much

Certainly not enough

To destroy your

Precious outer shell

This is only

Ego talking

Don’t believe it

Love won’t crush you

Dear Friend

Only your ego

Your “protection”

Stands to lose here

“Not getting love”

Is its only game

So it keeps telling you

That love comes

From outside

Which is true…

Outside of ego!

What happens

When you break

That crummy funnel

When you end this

Distorted tale of woe?

What happens

When you let

The Universe

Crush you?

You

Discover

That

Only

Love

Remains!

Guaranteed Unhappiness?

I thought we’d be

Together forever

She offered an

Unhappiness that

Would never end

Yet never be

“My” fault

How tempting!

Who could ask for more

Even decades and

Worlds apart

Our sad future

Gloriously

Lay in wait

My ego’s insurance

The ace up its sleeve

This time

However

I caught the ruse

I welcomed my

Unhappiness

Loneliness

And shame

Into myself

Not as special to me

Or even ugly

But as part of my

Human condition

Finally breaking

By God! the

Hidden contract

Cut short

The ego’s

Presumptive

Continuation

And in doing so

Set both the

Anti-Princess

And myself

Rapturously

Free!

The End of This Needing to Be Something

1

They taught you that
The world was real
And that you aren’t

So you created
A system of beliefs
Based around that

You prioritized
The material world
Over your own heart
(And failed miserably
Thank God)

The heart can’t be
Bought with trinkets
Now you know

So take back
Your precious
Attention from
Irrelevant things
Distractions
Desires
Borrowed fears
These were
Never yours

Pull it back
Inside you
Where it belongs
Where it can find
Your true
Unknowable
Unlimited
All-knowing
All-loving
Self

The Real One

You will see that
This world has always been
Unreal
No matter how much
You wanted it
To be otherwise
You will cry about that
I know
But this revelation
Will answer
All your questions

Funny, isn’t it?
You had to lose the world
To find your Self
Only to discover
The world is
Inside of you
And it was
Only real
Because
You were
Here to
Make it so

Resolving the Paradox

There’s a great zen story about a man with a thorn in his hand. He can’t dig it out, so he uses another thorn to remove it. In the end, he throws away both thorns.

It truly is one of life’s great paradoxes that the more we try to undo our thorns, disowning our weaknesses… the more they own us.

So we need to find that other thorn… and that, my friends, is in accepting that anything we’ve been conditioned to believe, the opposite is just as equally true.

Let’s take the thorn of feeling powerless, for example. By having to continually prove to ourselves day after day that we are in total control of every aspect our lives, we actually drain our power. Our need to demonstrate our “invulnerability” comes across as our greatest weakness, our biggest self-delusion. Others see it immediately… and so they push back, trying to teach us that we don’t control them… thus making us acknowledge our powerlessness over and over again.

Or the thorn of loneliness. The more we resist feeling lonely, the more we become codependent on others. This need to constantly attach ourselves… even to people who treat us badly… makes us even lonelier. Is there no escape?

Well, by putting all of our attention on our limited selves – on the first thorn – we are not finding the second one.

That’s the second thorn.

The truth is, the little self is a paradox: we are skin and bone, as well as pure consciousness, material as well as Divine. We are SO POWERFUL, so all-encompassing, that we possess all traits, all forms. We are 360 degrees of being, material and spiritual. We run the entire gamut! This means that we have to accept that we both have power… and no power at all. We accept everything at 100%, powerlessness as well as power, limitation as well as infinity, companionship as well as loneliness.

And when we find it (and we will!)… we can finally take out the first thorn… and throw both away. We free ourselves from our limited self-definitions and can finally, at long last… relax in our unlimitedness.

Ahh, what wonderful relief… this freedom from rationality, this blessed relief from confusion, this return to our inner sanctuary, beyond paradox…

Back to the sanity of Infinity!

Help, The World Is Making Me Feel Things I Don’t Want To!

Ever been in love and seen everyone in love around you?
Ever felt blue and seen only sadness around you?
Our thoughts are constantly colored by our emotions… but we usually don’t realize that. Why? Because our minds don’t want us to. They pretend to be neutral observers… but hardly ever are.

Our rational minds like to ignore feelings, simply because they doesn’t know what to do with them. They don’t know how to feel them… that’s the heart’s job. All the mind can do is protect us from feeling emotions… after all, that’s why we hired it.

As long as the mind can convince us that the world isn’t fair, that we shouldn’t have to feel certain feelings, it has a job. It assures us that we need it to safeguard us from danger. Then it “helps” us by filtering out facts, misinterpreting events, and pushing us to avoid certain people or situations that it says are threatening. It also plans big, safe dream-castles, future havens where we will never need to feel scared again.

And so we live our lives in fight-or-flight mode, believing the mind’s interpretation of events… and bouncing around like a pinball.

But neither other people nor external situations can ever make us feel emotions. We already feel them… we just don’t allow them… and so we keep running to the mind for protection… like a child. And the mind does the only thing it can: it finds a scapegoat.

Those buried emotions will forever sit inside us… coloring everything we think about the world… until we feel them. The mind can only create imaginary “enemies” and “allies,” “happy places” and “safe spaces” for so long, all to no avail. Until we realize that feelings are the real drivers here – not events – we are doomed to fear and victimhood.

So let’s stop believing we need the mind to save us, and face the real dragon… inside. Once we accept those unwanted feelings of abandonment, loneliness, unworthiness and helplessness – really feel them – we can finally stop uselessly fighting all those windmills… on the outside.

How to Feel What is Unmoving

Desperately
Searching
YOU seem so close
Lord knows
I’ve looked
Everywhere
Where are YOU?

My body can’t
Catch you
My mind can’t
Describe you
I give up

But oh please
At least
Let me just
F e e l Y O U

Oh!
If that’s
All you want
Dear seeker
I will tell you

Empty your mind
No plans
No desires
No fears
Sit quietly in
Perfect
Unknowning

Let go of
Your story
Your self
Don’t fall asleep!

Perfectly
Empty
Perfectly
Receptive
Your heart
Listening like
Cupped hands

Now
Get ready
Here it comes
The outpouring
The warm grace
The unmoving gift
Always there
So very close
Yet concealed by
Your agitation
Your seeking

Behold the
Miracle!
Stillness
Meeting
Itself
In
Stillness
Too sublime
Too subtle to
Perceive
Any
Other
Way

Who could imagine?
By doing nothing
You’ve reunited
These long-lost
Lovers

And goodness
How the
Heavens
Rejoice
Bathing
You
In
That
LOVE!