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Wearing it


Barb Ortega
Posts: 119
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(@manitou)
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Yes, there is something I would love to discuss with this group.

I've gone through so many different mileposts in my journey back to self.  As have all of us here.  I love the fact that the key phrase on this site mentions the many paths that lead to the Dao.  I think this is an excellent basis for this forum, acknowledgment of all the different paths that bring us back.  And giving us the possibility of our collective paths joining in this way, and truly experience some creative and novel thinking.

There is something that I would love to throw out here.

At some point in my journey, I began to feel that I was turning into a different creature, a little at a time.  That I had reached inner understanding that it was actually beginning to transform me, and my life.  I've come to the point in my life where there is nothing else I am remotely passionate about (except maybe back porch birding), other than the journey.

Which isn't really a journey at all any more.  It's just waiting to see what will be revealed, one day to the next.  To get a sense of true synchronicity in life, and to know that all meetings and entanglements I get into are for the purpose of teaching or being taught.  I am starting to feel like nothing more than an emanation of love - and the thought of loving another as myself is there with me most of the time.

It's not a 'trying' to do anything.  It's like a growing, dawning recognition that I am a Human Being, not a Human Doing.

It is completely experiential, and yet it is not.  The masters point the way.  But the aha's need to be felt.

 

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(@thelerner)
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At this point my life feels to busy to plumb such depths.  I'm still a Human Doing.  But I am getting better. 

 

After running a recycling business for 20 years, I didn't like the look of my face.  My eyes seemed wary, my brow too furrowed.  Maybe brought on by too many calculations and worries.  That face helped me decide to sell the place, move on, slow down.

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Barb Ortega
(@manitou)
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@thelerner - I think your face is adorable.  No furrowage whatsoever that I can see.

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dwai
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 dwai
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As much as I dither about whether to say it or not, fact is like many of you here, I had a profound 'awakening' a few years back. It has continued to unfold, sometimes at the bewilderment of my little mind. That personality, like a piece of driftwood in a massive ocean, has been tossed around many times over.

There was a time when I wanted to "get something" -- to wake up, to be free, liberated etc. But the realization came that there was no one there to be liberated. No one was asleep really. 

And still the motions are being gone through. There seems to be  a difference from before though...a lack of fear -- of the unknown/of consequences. 

 

Recently (before covid-19), I went through a phase where the only part of the 'outside world' that was able to cause me consternation was my spouse and my responsibilities which seemed to force me down a course of action that was unpalatable. It was a good 4-5 days of angst -- until I realized that that too was a mental position. Whatever action had been unfolded for the little me (and the little mine), was going to happen exactly how it was meant to happen. 

This Samsara is a constant companion, teacher and school rolled into one 🙂 

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Barb Ortega
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This Samsara is a constant companion, teacher and school rolled into one ? 

 
 
 
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Barb Ortega
(@manitou)
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When I first highlighted and quoted, the smiley face was huge.  Now I see it's back to normal.  That was weird.  I mean, huge.  Full screen.

It's amazing how those who are closest to us are the ones that drive us into the awareness - and who knows, perhaps we're driving them into awareness as well. ?  It is the hard slogs that build character - not the fun times.  And the realization that the mindset is a choice is a type of liberation that makes the situation tolerable.

Yes, a constant companion, teacher and school it is.  You said it so well.  

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steve
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There seems to be little need for words but in the absence of being able to see your smiles, share a beer (or a joint), I guess they're all we have here. 

I can relate to so much of what you are all saying. 

The experience of awakening, the dropping of doing, the persistence of patterns, the exhausted face looking back at me in the mirror at one point. The confluence of paths. All of these things have been alive in me. Our current situation is bringing so much up. There is terrible suffering but also so much opportunity. 

I've been hoping to study with a Bön teacher from Nepal who was going to teach on a wonderful subject in France, the 21 Nails of dzogchen. I knew I wouldn't be able to visit France this Spring and then Covid caused the teachings to be offered on Zoom. So now I'm finally getting to attend his teachings! Someone asked if our objective should be resting in the Nature of Mind "permanently" on the dzogchen path. It brought up such a good and important point. Exactly what manitou describes. Even expecting to always be connected to the absolute, free from troubles, is a form of extremism. The samsaric drudgery is real and is a part of us as long as we are human. Liberation is not the absence of our trials and tribulations but our ability to embrace them, side by side with the blissful times, with a sense of warmth, and openness.

For me, the pandemic is highlighting so much wasted time and energy in my life and bringing up so much gratitude and enthusiasm for the simple things. Tonight is the first night of Passover. I can't be with my parents, my brother, or my son (working in a Fedex warehouse), but I can be with my wonderful wife and daughter. We couldn't find a lamb shankbone for the ritual Seder plate (we don't eat meat anyway) so we substituted a bone shaped dog treat which the dogs got to share afterwards. We couldn't get any horseradish, another longstanding tradition, and substituted chopped collard greens. It turned out to be a more meaningful experience for all of the minor inconveniences and absences. And to be celebrating Passover during an actual plague is quite a trip. 

Anyway, it's really good to be with you all. 

May the Angel of Death pass over all of our houses in the coming months.

 

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Barb Ortega
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@steve

What is the point of all this if it's not applied?  And if it's not applied and internalized, then there's no self-realization.  Self realization is totally an inner job.  Not obtained by reading the words of others...it extends beyond.  The knowledge is now obtained by the 'heart', i.e. a deeper understanding which includes both the Alpha and the Omega, and demonstrates the relationship of the situation to the Whole.  It is through those eyes, the long distance vision, that we can rise up out of the wooden trough of the physical situation and see what it really means in relation to the Whole.  We look through the eyes of the master, the one who sees how it all fits together.

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silent thunder
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The Sage is in the world, but not of it.

 

My practice is my life.  It is my presence.

 

There is no longer even a practice to speak of...

 

only presence and life.

 

Perpetual unfolding in awakening and presence.

Awakening never arrives, it is (for me) endlessly unfolding in presence.

 

such bliss!

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steve
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Posted by: @silent_thunder

Perpetual unfolding in awakening and presence.

Awakening never arrives, it is (for me) endlessly unfolding in presence.

I deeply resonate with this and this is, in fact, my practice precisely. And there was a very distinct and transformative experience of Awakening for me but it was simply that, an experience in time and space, both like and unlike so many experiences. Like others in it’s finite aspect, unlike others in its lasting impact on my perspective and choices. And there have been many other experiences of a very direct connection to pure and unbounded spaciousness which is perfectly clear and unstainable. During those times, whatever comes up has nothing to attach itself to and just vanishes like a snowflake on a pond. But far more often is the closed, focused movement of thought and emotion. And my dance is to embrace it all. For me, continuing with formal and informal practices is so very supportive and nourishing! I feel deep gratitude for all the gifts I’ve been given. Including my connection with all of you.

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Barb Ortega
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@steve

Me too, Steve.  I'm not a real social sort and this group of friends keeps me in a nice balance.

Trying to describe the changes within my practice, and within my body, within my mind....it's next to impossible.

Practice - like @silent_thunder, there is no longer a practice.  It is a perpetual and unfolding process.  Life is The Practice.

Body - My body has become healthy again. I've always had a weight problem all my life.  Always dieting.  Now, it seems that I'm burning calories a little differently - I don't have to worry about the weight at all.  I'm a nice 5'7" and 140 pounds.  Beats the heck out of 215 - I don't really have anything to attribute this to, other than the natural consequence of more love (and this includes myself and my food choices) and less stress or anxiety.

Mind - This is the hardest to describe.  For the most part, I rarely fall out of consciousness any more.  I can see every other human being (or animal) as an extension of self.  There is nothing to fear.  When I find myself getting a little nervous about something, a vision of an ocean with choppy waves comes to mind.  We are all the individual choppy waves - thinking we are separate from each other.  When in actuality we are not.

That's my take on it, anyway.

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Barb Ortega
Posts: 119
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Posted by: @steve

And to be celebrating Passover during an actual plague is quite a trip. 

 

Can't miss the irony on this one.  I was scheduled to go see the Oberramergau passion play in Germany in June.  In 1632 during the plague, the town prayed and prayed and asked the lord to please spare the town, in exchange for they would put on a passion play for the lord every year.  I don't think the lord spared Oberramergau for the most part, but I guess they didn't want to tempt fate by welching.  They started doing it yearly, until they didn't.  They do it every ten years now (every year with a 0 at the end) and people fly in from around the world to see this incredible spectacle - the whole town is the cast of the play.

Only to have it shut down 400 years later.  Because of a plague.  You can't make this stuff up.

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Naveed Chaudhry
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My current experience towards realization has been very similar. At one point I was worried that I wasn't meditating enough or doing things right. Nothing seemed to be progressing... Then suddenly the world started revealing itself and things started making sense without effort. It was a wonderful experience that taught me I have to create nothing, everything I'm searching for is already there, and will always be there. Its beautiful to know that there is no rush in this matter; if not this lifetime then the next, and so on.

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Barb Ortega
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@mithras

Naveed, I just realized the other day that for the first time in my life, I'm really happy to be alive.  I just turned 73.  I didn't know, before, that I wasn't happy to be alive.  I didn't realize I had been unhappy to be alive until I became happy to be alive.  If you can make sense of that you're a better man than I.

 

After studying different spiritual paths for years, studying metaphysics, following my own path of self-realization by way of alcoholism (that was my spiritual path), it's all boiling down to one thing.  And this one thing is exactly as you say; it is already there.  It is the quiet place within that has been tantalizing us, leading us, letting us fall, pushing for us to Know.  It is timeless; it is that awareness within, the part that never seems to grow old.  The part that has been with you since birth, before birth, and after death.  For some reason it's real comforting to me, and it takes the fear away, is the awareness that this (whatever 'this' is) has already happened, and we're just playing catch-up.  I don't feel this in a fatalistic sense; more of a 'What? Me Worry?' stance toward this magnificent play we're watching.

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Naveed Chaudhry
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@manitou I'm unsure if I can make sense of it, but I suppose its kind of like how you can't realize what you were missing till you have it. Whether that's the right answer or not, I'm unsure if that can make me the better man; I'd hesitate to even say so in many decades. For your wisdom is a gem upon this world that gives reverence to the elders of old; I'm truly glad to be able to experience the words of one such as yourself.

As for the play we're watching... I couldn't agree more but I often forget the playfulness of it all. There are many times when I forget that my existence is like a journey and a challenge to cherish; That my eternal self is cheering "me" on and is ready to give me everything I desire no matter what I achieve or don't. But I become scared of what I realize and sometimes I want to run away from the path, to bury myself in old habits and forget. Today was such a scenario... I had a realization of why time didn't exist and I sat there scared. Excited that I had finally found out, but in ways, wishing I had never realized. And still, I have very little idea of what to think, but it seems that the only thing I can do is move on and explore more of this journey: for what I learn, I cannot forget.

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dwai
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@mithras

It's like opening the treasure chest to realize that the treasure is not what you were looking for? Yeah, been there. But the one who's getting scared is the little 'i'. That one tries to own the personalities and the mind-body. Best is to give it time, to 'stew' in your understanding...let it cook in its own steam for a while. Though the realization is in a flash, the digestion of it takes time. 

Posted by: @mithras

But I become scared of what I realize and sometimes I want to run away from the path, to bury myself in old habits and forget. Today was such a scenario... I had a realization of why time didn't exist and I sat there scared. Excited that I had finally found out, but in ways, wishing I had never realized.

 

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Barb Ortega
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@mithras

One quick trick I've found is to periodically remember that linear time is an illusion.  And all the ramifications of that.

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Barb Ortega
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Posted by: @manitou

@mithras

 

The fact that time is linear is a blessing of an inner realization.  Experiencing it like you did is a component of self-realization.  I use this trick often, to remember periodically that linear time is an illusion, and that it's all happened / is happening / gonna happen NOW.  If you look at the ramifications of that, that must mean that that which we have anxiety about in the future has already happened.  We're just playing catch-up, letting it unfold Now.  If you throw linear time back into the equation, it's a type of fatalism.  And then I have to remember that the Dao has no preference for good or bad.  Ceremonial straw dogs, we.  But we who know how to surf the dynamics of the Law, best used in a not-doing way, all things get accomplished.

I am finding it true in my life.  There is a type of earth-sorcery that occurs at maybe a vibrational level, which we have at our disposal.  To my knowledge (inner and outer), it's born of the clarity that comes from the path of inner examination.  It is a love of the flame that is pure and strong and which is always drawing us upward.  It becomes all that matters.  And the reward is there.  I see it in more than a few of us on this site.  There is a certain emanation that comes from some of the old Bums that shines between their words.  I think many of us have honed each other over the years.  I am very grateful to have a place like this to communicate.

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Barb Ortega
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.

..   Okay, Dwai, I made 2 dots.

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