I’ve found myself deeply gripped by sadness lately. As with most things, the causes are multiple, but the underlying theme appears to be the same—connection, or the lack thereof. In this hollow void, I’m referring to both myself and the world at large. Do you also notice that when a topic becomes particularly entrenched in your consciousness that it appears repeatedly throughout your life, from multiple sources, and in varying hues? The matter of connection is bombarding me in the contexts of forest ecology, nature exposure, friendship, vulnerability, global air quality, climate crisis, pain of silence, patience, wellbeing and wealth,
I’m now 55, fit & healthy in mind, body, and spirit. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that life is a team effort. Friends and loved ones are constantly my teachers. They hold a mirror up for me. They support me. I try to do the same for them. Thank you. Love you. Constant self-enquiry. Abiding in the present moment. These reveal the delusion of duality. ❝ The peace and quiet I thought I was experiencing was not really an experience at all. It was my own real nature. It was what I always am. ❞ ~Nothing Ever Happened Vol. 3: Papaji Biography.
I often marvel at Nature’s beauty and process, the interweave of all living beings. I shake my head with a smile at how fortunate I am to own a cabin in this magnificent theatre. Even still, I almost sold the place last week. I became overwhelmed at the enormity of the necessary repairs and my desired improvements. What’s more, I’ll be by myself through most of it. Questioning my interest in spending every free moment with renovations, and with the mounting depth and breadth of every single step, I began to feel that it was better to ‘get out while
Even if you’re only doing what’s fun, it’s still 𝙙𝙤-𝙞𝙣𝙜.Enjoying one’s work is not permission to continually extract.Fallow & replenishment are necessary. Nature has day and night, cold and warm, wet and dry, and four seasons for a reason. Humans have a multitude of circadian rhythms. We can work with them or, to our peril, fight them. In a podcast episode entitled Burnout and Renewal, Charles Eisenstein opened up and bared himself. He started by doing what he always does, investigate the substratum of life. In this case, he became the subject of enquiry. Devorah Brous beautifully went down the
Sitting outside in the early sun and cool air, listening to the birds sing and chirp, I was reminded to notice the space between when sound ends and quiet begins. That space is silence. It is Source. Observation of the infinite pause is possible with any intermittent sound, i.e. interruptions in an… abnormally… slowly spoken… sentence, or even periodic construction sounds. You may notice that it’s also a span where thoughts pause. There may even be a hint of rest in the mind and body. For me, daily meditation provides opportunity to experience this recess, the nothing that is everything.
Occasionally it’s clear… The world seems a dream. Not solid, as hitherto experienced, believed. Fantasies in temporary wonderland. The entire contents, nothing more than theatre. Thoughts, once believed themselves distinct, now witnessed preposterous. Form boundaries fade, translucent space alive. The mirage is witnessed. Activity without involvement, cogitation unnecessary. Same events as before, but no person to believe himself the performer. Sacred Mirage The cord is not fully cut. Illusions of separateness remain, comparing past to present. But the deception is glimpsed. …the entire fantasia of a slowly fading dream. ❝ If something was fictitious, it never existed. It was never
❝ Peace is not in the hall. It is in the repose of the Self. It can be gained anywhere.❞~Sri Ramana Maharshi This quote is, for me, more than a nice thought. It’s a bit of guiding principle. The past many weeks have been dreary and dark—literally and figuratively. My mental, emotional, and physical dispositions have been rather low. The reasons are multi-faceted. Thankfully, I’ve spent years building a collection of tools to support myself in situations like this. It includes reaching out to others; I can’t make it on my own anymore, nor do I wish to try any
The individual ‘I’ exists only as thought,a conceptual separation from One. Personality exists as colour in a rainbow,always an expression of the entirety. Sap, sweet on the tongue,carries its tree-ness. Bread, newly baked,suffuses its loaf-ness in air. ❝ The body’s movements are confounded with ‘I’ and misery is the result. Whether the body works or not, ‘I’ remains free and happy. The ajnani’s* ‘I’ is the body only. That is the whole error. The jnani’s** ‘I’ includes the body and everything else. Clearly some intermediate entity arises and gives rise to the confusion.❞~Sri Ramana Maharshi, Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
For decades my best friend has patiently challenged me to look deeper into in the following questions, and to glean lessons found therein: Is this really how you want to interact with the world and those around you? Is this who you want to be? Is this actually what’s important to you? To give some context, throughout my childhood and most of my adult life, I was a very angry person who pushed people away by being rather prickly. My method of surviving the internal chaos was to construct barriers, keeping people away thereby decreasing the influx of stimuli. I
The seer is not separate from that which is seen.That which is seen is both the seer and the seeing. ❝ Because you imagine that you are the seer separate from the experience, this difference arises.Experience shows that your being is the same all through.❞~Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, “Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi” Namaste,✌️ ∙ 🌱 ∙ 🙏
When I pass from this earthly life, what will happen to the stress I have carried with me? Presumably, it disappears because there is no ‘me’ remaining to experience ‘my’ stress. If indeed that’s the case, must I endure disquietude and anxiety even now? As I sit quietly, tracing the various threads that give rise to stressful thoughts, I notice that they are actually rather amorphous in nature. I don’t deny or belittle their existence, but I question the solidity and the importance to which my mind anoints them. Looking closer, I observe that these thoughts, and the angst to
Life is incredibly full. I just have to slow down enough to experience it. When I sit quietly listening to the rain, watching leaves dance in the droplets and noticing the changes in the ebbs and flows of intensity, all the purpose in the world is present and accounted for. Within this space, I hear an invitation to give up my constant pursuit of whatever it is I think I’m looking for and instead just notice what’s already and always present, even as I engage in ‘daily life’. We, humans, are a curious animal. We seek reason for which something
In a recent post-workout comment to my coach, I wrote that I got through it thanks to accountability—to myself, to the process, and to him. I could say that something similar is true for most days right now. I’ve been in Spanish lockdown confinement for over seven weeks. Because I live alone, this means that my only interactions have been once or twice a week when visiting the small, weekly market to purchase fresh produce or a health food store for other items. And since I don’t speak Catalan or Spanish there’s been no dialogue. For the first five weeks,
Every day starts the same for me—lockdown or not.Meditation, reading, then asanas & stretches with a bit of chanting. Not much changes when looking solely at the routine. Likewise, while confined to my own residence, not much changes in my immediate surroundings either: inside trainer ride when it’s raining, outside trainer ride when it’s not. But just as the outer world moves along with constant change, so too does the inner world. The tendencies of the mind are always in flux: how my body feels, my mood, my energy level, stress and fatigue levels, and desires or lack thereof. I
❝ Silence [mouna] is the true teaching [upadeśa].It is the perfect upadeśa.❞—Sri Ramana Maharshi, ‘Be As You Are’ Mother Nature is forcing Homo sapiens into retreats.Perhaps she is inviting us to take a break from our outwardly focused attention. Let us stop being so ‘busy’. Dive within. See what is already there.Let us each learn more about ourselves, our inner workings. There will be resistance.That is how the asanas [mental tendencies] work.But, with practice, those tendencies—that which separates us from our inner peace—will be rooted out. Just as standing on one leg becomes more difficult when the eyes are closed.In