redefining spirituality and opening to non-limitation

Archive for September, 2008

epitaph

(photo courtesy aslak raanes)

Brothers and sisters, I am here to bear witness and to say goodbye to someone I never knew. Here, at the alter of Jack Daniels, in this House of Perfume and Smoke, in this faceless city, I say goodbye.

You see, I don’t know why he jumped. Or if he fell over that fire escape ledge after an all night party and one too many.

I was brushing my teeth after breakfast that cold January morning when I heard the tree branch that didn’t break his fall. A snowfall and dark blood. Looking out my courtyard window I suddenly heard the clock ticking for the first time and I thought about old lovers and dead parents. Someone screamed and then nothing.

He was as silent as the winter air, shirt torn open exposing a very un-virile chest, like chests at the city pool in February. My chest. Socks curled down, eyes gazing at the withered autumn leaves just above his head. Even if I knew him, I wouldn’t recognize him, not now.

They covered him with a cotton sheet, the cop walking about slowly, boots kicking over bits of broken glass, looking for answers where there weren’t any. He looked up at the fire escape and I wondered if he saw me staring, like the guy in the next courtyard with a cup of coffee in his hand. A photographer in a three-piece suit lifts the sheet and takes an eight-by-ten. Then the Coroner in wools peering under; spaces filled in on a standard clip-boarded sheet.

Then all gone. Just quiet. Just snow. Hours of missing sounds. A single dog called in through a crack in a basement door; the one kid always at play by himself held away somewhere. No birds. Just you and me friend, left down there, your right hand exposed, fingers curled upward. Were you a carpenter? Painter? Mechanic? What did your hands hold; who did they sometimes push away? You, left there now with summer’s leaves and mice dropped by bored cats and a billion other less ostentatious bodies sinking under the night and sleet.

Then they came from the morgue, the two in heavy coats and wool caps, unrolling the bag, laying out the cotton sheets; you uncovered. My God, what sadness in your head twisted against the fence; what weight in your frame that wasn’t strong enough…One of the two with his boot-tip in your cold blood trying unsuccessfully to put his fingers in the tight elastic gloves again and again and again and again wishing such gloves were made differently, who needs this aggravation a dozen times a day, right? Your shoulders and feet lifted, your head dragging. Two strong men to lift you, to wrap you, to keep the arm on the stomach, to close the bag, to buckle it. No solemn procession just an awkward quick-step through the courtyard, the hallway to the street and the van. The opposite building under construction, people passing, anxious to get out of the cold as the bag is swung back and then forward, the van rocking under the weight. Doors closed, gloves pulled off. Blood on a fingertip somehow, washed off in a mud puddle in the gutter. Driving away.

Then the night. Then the sleet. The clock. Sleet turning to wet snow falling fast, covering what it can: fire escapes, empty lawn chairs, a broken tree branch, the swirled syrup of a man who didn’t fall as far as he hoped or needed but came up short under a hundred bored windows above an empty courtyard, in sight of everyone else I’ll never know, who all stared and wondered and swallowed hard and made a joke they didn’t like and then went off to bed hoping enough snow would fall to cover all their fears and all their emptiness and all their loneliness.

This is my epitaph to you, friend, who I never knew until it was too late. This is my epitaph to all those out there I’ll never know until it’s too late. Maybe we’ll meet someday, in another place, and I can buy you a beer. And you can tell me your troubles.

And I can tell you mine.

love viii

(photo courtesy srsrkmr)

“there are oceans…”

there are oceans that
do not reach the shore,
they dwell in deep places.
in murky waters cool and salty
they spin tales among themselves of
sun’s light as it streams to them,
but cannot reach.

i know of such oceans,
i have been pulled into their
sweep and swirl pulled down
beyond breath into dark waters
where i fell under the spell of
their music and call and cry and laugh,
fell under their spell and drowned.

oceans of your heart, your breast, your eyes
the slope of your belly down to
the center of the deep dark world.
oceans that will steal your breath
hope and fire without care or
caress.

there are oceans.
i know them.
i die in them.
they are my prayer
answered.

the miracle

(photo courtesy kalimevole)

Healing, by its nature, is always a miraculous thing to witness. Even more so when the method of that healing comes from the seemingly simple act of telling a story.

In this case, I was spending most of one summer a few years back just sitting on the back patio and reading. A next door neighbor was a woman who I hadn’t really met, but judged to be about 60 or 70 years old. She used a walker and seemed to be in pain most every day. She carried the weight of the world on her shoulders and on her face and in her eyes.

One day we began talking about nothing in particular, and that led to her eventually joining me on the patio to just talk over a period of several days. To be honest, I wasn’t all that interested in what she was talking about, but I didn’t say anything.

What I didn’t know was that she was talking about a life filled with Catholic guilt and shame. Since I shared neither of these issues (not being religious), I had no judgment about what she was saying. Her life seemed perfectly fine to me.

But she continued talking, hesitantly at first, then more and more openly, when she realized she wasn’t going to be shut down by someone else’s judgments, as she had been all her life.

More and more came out. I became more and more interested and listened more and more intently, but always with no judgment or criticism; no reinforcement of her guilt and shame.

She began to cry, sobbing tears, wracked with emotions.

And the storm passed.

She smiled.

We laughed.

And then the miracle: The next day she was without her walker. She looked her real age of 49. The wrinkles on her face had vanished and light sparkled in her eyes. She threw away her medications.

She had been healed.

How?

By simply being allowed to tell her story without it being judged as good or bad. By simply being listened to, without trying to be solved. By simply being present for another person.

It is the power of the silent witness.

And it says you’re perfect and always have been. That your life is an honorable one, regardless of what you feel guilty about, or are ashamed of.

It says that your life — all our lives — are a master work of art — the dark and the light.

That there is really nothing to be healed.

Only acknowledged.

the power of one

(photo courtesy hamed saber)

In the face of seemingly relentless parades of human and environmental nightmares, it is easy for one person to feel overwhelmed and powerless: What can just one person do in the face of massive global disruptions?

Actually, one person is just about as powerful as you can get; one person with focused intent.

There is the Hebrew saying, To save one person is to save the world. But is that really possible? Or just wishful thinking?

Again, actually, it’s true.

We’ve evolved to think of ourselves as separate from one another and the environment, when the exact opposite is true.

In quantum physics the theory of non-locality suggests that there is no such thing as distance; that at the sub-atomic level and beyond there is, in effect, only one of ‘us.’

And if there is only “one of us,” and as everything in the universe vibrates, and that higher vibrations transform lower vibrations, then all each one of us has to do is to practice, as the Buddhists say, “right living.” That practice raises our vibration, which in turn, is instantly fed into the system of all humanity and the planet, and the universe itself.

Certainly in a material, 3-dimensional world, it helps to get involved in our communities and the world at large, but by also working on ourselves and wishing the best for others, an energy wave resonates outwards in all directions and is received by everyone and everything, instantly.

Also, the interior work we do on ourselves we also do for all others as well, those who don’t have the time or inclination or the will. When food goes into the mouth it doesn’t just serve the mouth but the entire body. What we do for ourselves, we do for others, whether we know it or not.

Of course, this also means that any negative energy we put out or direct to ourselves, whether in the forms of self-criticism, or guilt, or anger, or shame, also resonates throughout the planet and to each living being on it.

That is the level of our ability.

That is the level of our responsibility.

connections

The Rugged Individual. The Sole Survivor. The Independent.

Actually, there’s no such person. Never has been. Never will be. Not possible.

Here I am — by myself — writing this post on a computer. On a blog site created by people I’ll never meet. Working on said computer built by machines built by thousands of others, invented by hundreds.

Inventors taught by teachers. Teachers taught by other teachers, who studied books written by writers, on paper created by printers, on machines powered by electricity, drawn from power plants, powered by rivers.

I am here in this moment ONLY through the countless contributions of others. The glasses and clothes I wear, the food I eat, the waste I create that is disposed of by the nameless and the faceless.

I have achieved NOTHING by myself. I was helped by cab drivers and merchants and newspaper editors and friends and family and pets and on and on and on and on and on.

If we want to be by ourself, then be by ourself. But don’t kid ourself that we’re an island unto ourself.

We are here — each and every one of us — through the grace and grit of everyone else on the planet.

Look at a grove of Aspen trees sometime. Hundreds of trees standing side-by-side, apart, individual. But look below the soil and you’ll find a single root system uniting them all.

So it is with each of us.

love vii

(photo courtesy bruce denney)

Love one another, but make not a bond of love
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

Fill each other’s cup, but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread, but eat not from the same loaf.

Sing and dance together and be joyous,
but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone
though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping;
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

And stand together yet not too near together;
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

Poem by Khalil Gibran (aka Kahlil Jubran)

a brief intro. to the seven rays, part one

(photo courtesy daniel steger)

we are made of light. the world and universe as we know it is a reflection of light. light is the carrier wave of the building blocks of matter.

using the ancient dance of understanding that is: as above, so below; as within, so without (or the microcosm is the macrocosm), light births EVERYTHING.

just as we see a rainbow in the sky, so creation energetically begins as rays of Light emanating from the Source/Universal Mind/Consciousness. Light divided into frequencies resulting in varying colors of the visible spectrum.

just as a laser, or optic fiber, can convey information, so Divine Light holds within it frequencies which make up our emotional and mental and spiritual traits.

because these rays emanate from a higher dimensional reality, they do not duplicate the frequency/color sequence we are familiar with.

The First Three of these Rays are called the Rays of Aspect:

The 1st Ray — The Ray of Will/Power/Purpose (white)
The 2nd Ray — The Ray of Love/Wisdom (blue & pink)
The 3rd Ray — The Ray of Active Intelligence (bright yellow)

These Major Rays are then divided in the Four Rays of Attribute:

The 4th Ray — The Ray of Harmony through Conflict (green)
The 5th Ray — The Ray of Concrete Science/Knowledge (orange)
The 6th Ray — The Ray of Devotion/Idealism (religion/spirituality); (indigo)
The 7th Ray — The Ray of Ceremonial Order (transformation);( violet)