Most people watch TV and their devices like they are being paid for it- they cling to it. People watch TV and their devices to be reminded that they are alive. I go to meditation on the most frenetic week of the year— hustle, bustle and frustration blanket the world— soft, still and quiet connects me to the deepest connection to myself.
I have to die all the way to be dead, that is why it’s scary- but I have to die all the way in order to resurrect — fear is like being isolated out in the dark woods— being alone is unsettling — and as much as I try I cannot reason with my central nervous system— that is why as a human I am exhausted I am constantly fighting, flying or freezing. To go home to the cave of my heart means to stay still— and staying still means to face what I run from. And I do this every year- and it doesn’t get easier- in fact the more I deepen the scarier it is.
In stillness seemingly beyond control, my mind makes a mental inventory of my shortcomings— where I should have said no but said yes, and where I said yes but I wanted to scream NO. This state of mind has become the default, a prison of my own self judgement. And in this millisecond, all the comments that I make to myself are being screamed like a internet surfing troll. And the horror of the situation is that I AM that surfing troll to myself. I have been ruined and saved by the tiny mad ideas of my ego.
I feel love on this retreat, which contains unfaltering forgiveness, the one that I give Bri over and over again. I imagine that as I take a breath that my breath ignites a small candle in my heart. The honesty of my life, ignites the candle. And then I listen to the honesty— not listen like someone is talking at me, but the slow guttural FUCK that I myself am saying— and in that moment my Guru begins to speak to me on retreat, “give to me what you cannot carry”— and as simple as that line sounds, that means starting over— maybe not starting over, but becoming aware of my inner integrity of truth. To recognize what is true for me, — “give to me what you cannot carry”- with my life, as it is— that I exist in and with the silence and the stubby little candle that begins to lighten me. This is a love that has never left me- one that I’ve been connected to figuring it out. I can fuck this love up— but I cannot be released from it.
The first power I begin to possess is darkness— the most invisible, the threads in our eco system that are rarely named, but are held in safety. I have forgotten, and this retreat is the place that helps me remember. I start with what goes unnoticed, what I have not realized is the most sacred— the things i bury— the places of outsiders, the outcasts, the woman that I’ve been — who has been made into an object, of retreating from my body— to realize that my heart is full even if I have forgotten— and that my first reality is darkness— my space in the cave, in the womb— the holy the blood the body— nothing real that I have ever felt doesn’t include my blood and my body. The deep alter of my mystical space that holds all the answers— I begin again inside my heart, the me that was me before there was me— my forgotten lineage— Mary, Kali, Saraswati, Durga, the one that was burned at the stake— letting love escape through all. To begin again is to begin from love, the thing most forgotten— that I have so much to remember —my love —deep dark love is the bridge to move me forward.
My fear comes from feeling out of control, I want to know, but I have to surrender it all— hurt, anger, fear and the ego that created it. I call upon Mary and the great ones before me— who have been explaining everything to me— there is no such thing as sin— or graveling— or repenting— my deepest self has been screaming my whole life— “all there is is love, and you are worthy of it.”
When I first went to church I wanted the outside of that big white church to match the inside, it didn’t and I began worshipping at the church of disappointment— where there was no air, and the people inside were separate from each other from god, from me. And I began to notice the hypocrisy that flowed like the wine and the communion crackers to each body sitting in the pew- like cartoon versions of themselves. I knew and still know the 10 commandments, if you defied them you sinned, you went to hell— I sat in church my entire young life envisioning everyone burned to death because they stole ideas from their neighbor, they wanted their neighbors wife, they lied about everything — and then how was it possible that going to speak to the Priest would absolve you from anything you did wrong— it was all very confusing to me.
Baptism, symbolizing purification or regeneration—I’m reminded of Theckla, a story I heard somewhere by someone I don’t remember, spoke of Theckla who baptized herself — this became the beginning of my doubts as a young girl — could I baptize myself, was it as easy as pouring water over my head, or was I baptized everytime I took a shower or could baptism wash away the anger I felt towards Bonnie who in 3rd grade told lies about me, or Willie who in 4th grade stepped on my head- of which this incident left a physical scar- could my faith be so easily changed by water. She (Thecla) didn’t understand this life either but she found salvation within herself and in her one act she saved herself.
Baptism has happened over and over in my life, where i no longer quieted the voice inside me— and then I would bury it again. I was raised devotionally as long as I became a dutiful wife and mother life was complete. I became a mother first then a wife— two things that were my most awakening baptisms— and purification came at a large cost, the cost of my dreams of being a Dr, a journalist, anything but bound as a mother and wife.
If anything was holy to me, my body became my bible and my hell— I became like Superman who turned back the globe to find his love Lois— and bounced between worth and unworthy— I felt safest in unworthy. My body never lies— and the hives and the anger and the welts we’re screaming truths— the turmoil, anger and fierce love and longing were all truths. I searched for years for what I tore apart and buried— I searched for a connection with someone that I now know I can only find within myself.
I have a firm belief that there is no such thing as sin— I cannot wrap my head around the idea that being embodied is sinful or tarnished, I cannot wrap my head around a God who would give us life and then have us believe we are unworthy. I have a strong awareness that there is nothing sinful about being human, we do not need to endure or transcend— sin translates literally as “missing the mark”— we are the body and we are the soul— there is no separation— you yourself in your actions create sin— by good not pursuing the good— by you not pursuing you, that is my belief, that sin for me is about me forgetting my Original Tenderness.
This retreat I needed to be reminded of my connectedness, and when I remember, I am reminded that I am not better than anyone else or need to be better than anyone else— I need to be a better me which includes befriending myself.
I love the concept in my belief system that being human is not a failure, it is the way we allow the Divine to see the world— and when I remember this, my heart feels like the vault door has been ripped from it’s hinges. How powerful to be the eyes of the Divine- and how painful to know what I’ve allowed to be shown. And in this is another baptism, a new beginning for me to Remember Myself.
I love the idea that humans are angels in life— angels are not mysterious, they have never been to me, I’ve met them everyday. And if I’m present I remember them and recognize their teachings. Being lifted up by angels- I see with a new sense, I hear with the ear of my heart— this is possible for me— this is the depiction of inner transformation— which is to remember — I am Divine connection. My ego says even as I write this that I am not connection, that I will be, but am not now— Guru says chant my name- and I chant his name- Yogi Ramsuratkumar to remember to be blessed to connect to kneel before his feet and say- “I offer you what I cannot carry.” And I weep uncontrollably at releasing what I cannot carry- because carrying this unworthiness has been my shield of survival for my entire life. I’m afraid to release it, if I release it I will feel and feeling is hell and I will probably burn at the stake of my own unraveling.
And my Guru whispers to me, “you are inherently good” — organic innocence— that goodness that I possess can never be lost, I can be lost to it, but it never leaves me. Knowing this is the eternal aspect of my being— to feel love and to experience we are love, and my body is my souls chance to be here— my body is the incarnation of the Divine.
I meet myself in my own heart, not through a book, the internet the distraction that keeps my from myself. And this is connecting to the eye of my heart. This is not turning away from wrong action- being absolved because I forget— my desires and fears come from ego— this is only found when I feel connected— my capacity to see the truth that I am sinless— takes practice— working above the mountains and deep within my heart.
Which is hard because my heart has been shattered — and it is shattered everyday by myself and by my expectation of others.
I and many women work from the deepest stain, that we are whores —this undermines the teaching of goodness, and worthiness. I move everyday from this Magdalen Stain— without even knowing— it is generational staining.
I will move from the perspective that we are all equally Divine, because deep in my heart I know I am good- I am never unfree from this— there is no adgenda there is just this— each woman has their own criterion what it means to be worthy and free— our mask — our survival mechanisms— comes out of just that survival- our body, to the deepest cell carries the seperative gene— I think we are equal parts soul and ego— each are good, and each one is sacred—
If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear infinite- William Blake
The mystery of connection- the voices from within are electrifying and magical— love gives me my superpowers— to receive to connect to bring reception and connection.
Unveiled is not easy- if you look through a veil life is obscured, and softer- the hard edges are softened by the veil- it’s why the veil fits perfectly every time. But I’ve never been one soft and obscure— I have lived my life since I can remember edgy and bold— and for years my caregivers wanted to dull my edginess by reminding me to “be nice.” Nice has never worked for me- nice is the manufacturing of being a doormat— someone who is stepped on repeatedly and takes it like a well trained circus animal. Kind makes more sense— I can be kind in the mist of uncertainty even in the holding of my boundaries.
My body broke out in hives every-time I went to church my voice there was hidden in plain daylight— I would scream in my head- asking to be saved by this God that feels I have to repent in order to be worthy— for years, maybe 49 years, I’ve tried to repent everyday— I say I’m sorry when I should say fuck off, because sorry allows me to bear the stain- it allows me to say “I’m less than I know it, and I’ll be better.” I’ve said I’m sorry when I should have said I love you— how is that possible that a human of Divine incarnation feels sorry— I ask myself sorry for what exactly for being born, alive, awakened, full of love- I’m sorry for love- Who am I kidding?????
I have suffered greatly from the “absence” of love, my perception of separation and the reality that my mother left me and my father beat me— their separation from themselves continued the generational dysfunction— but I have the superpower of non-duality— I am that— I am love, kindness generosity and compassion.
My childhood was harsh and sinister and beautiful and necessary— I learned as a child that there is a kingdom outside of myself— my body could withstand the blows— my soul could retreat into itself- where all of my life is perfection, I would tell myself tales of being rescued like the fairy tales I was read by my grandparents— I just had to believe my “savior was out there.” What I’ve remembered is that I am my own savior- no one can find what they can’t see. This perceived separation or splitting of myself from myself and the Divine— I began to cling to anyone who could aid my survival and thirst for kindness, generosity and compassion.
That low guttural FUCK became my inner screaming— FUCK I lost myself again FUCK this is going to hurt FUCK I remember— I’m worthy and this becomes the paradox from which I live for the rest of my time hidden away inside. I have been acquiring a vision of sacredness through love-
“When you make the two into one, you will become a child of humanity” — Jesus, the Gospel of Thomas
I remember this from a class in catholic school— all these years later, this is the one thing that sticks to me like Velcro- and it has been the most litigious of comments within the dialogue of myself— two into one— Divine and me Divine into me Divine is me— this is how I head the passage- this isn’t what I was trained to believe.
I had the vision of a woman standing in flames many moments over this retreat— because as a good Catholic, everything you do is eternal damnation— think of sex damnation, think of working hard to become who I long to be damnation, thinking of doing anything damnation. A had a long list of reasons I was being damned— and because I knew that was my karma I settled into damnation— and my irreverence to consequences. There was a choice— repent and come to Jesus or burn in hell. My imagination became very brilliance for what damnation meant— as a child my “punishments” became my repenting for eating the communion crackers like a bag of lays in the church— talking back to adults, lying in confession, because you have to confess your sins and there is no one who doesn’t have sin— but at 8 I didn’t understand sin— sin became how I lived my life— everything I did was wrong and reinforced my separation. And I slowly, like sand leaving the hourglass— I forgot my connectedness I literally forgot myself- and I floated along pleasing everyone to keep the water of life still.
When I’m no longer clinging to the ticker tape of ideas streaming through my mind, I remember— that every internal state I have affects my external connections. I need to unify myself in love—not use love as a separator. Repenting is not love, or generous or kind— it’s exactly like being beaten by my father unending and relentless. I felt like the tiny truest part of me needed to escape— like a hot molten lava explosion. I would go to be every night asking the separated God to save me, he didn’t so I knew I had to repent more, and in a moment of clarity, I realized that I could create my penance everyday- and at 8 years old I realized food was my penance and this body- this unholy body I’d been given needed to remember itself, and I put it in the corner with the babysitter called Eating Disorder for many decades- and that babysitter became my one ally- she never let me down and her punishments were severe.
“I feel sorry for me that I don’t repent” I told myself daily, repenting and feeling bad couldn’t be clarity, in order to surrender all things I had to change God from love to power— and my Divine, the one I find on retreat, is pure love.
Craving I’m craving.....
I needed once again to baptize myself— which my young catholic girl self only knows—that water baptizes not cleanses— I stood in the freezing lake water “baptizing” but really cleansing the generational stain of unworthiness.
Is unraveling the recognition of remembering? — I am not “losing it” but connecting to it— and I want to meet this love— authentically as myself pure love.
I wear bracelets to remember, I chant the name of my Guru to remember, I breathe to remember, I sit in the dark- I return to the womb to find clarity to follow my fiery heart.
Theckla burns at the stake— water douses fire— the fire of purification as I was taught— fire was always about purification not connected do the light of my own heart. Theckla is my guide in order to stand in the truth of myself— confirmation that I am worthy and ready of every baptism I’ve endured and every baptism that I’ve created for myself.
I need to draw attention back home to myself in order to save myself— I need to stand stripped of judgement, of the thoughts of worthiness being sacrilege— I am worthy of recognition at the depth of myself. The sacrilege is my forgetting love as the Divines gift to me upon my birth —before my birth— at the very inception of me. Everyone I encounter pours the love of the Divine from their mouth— I listen with the ear of my heart— and this is my responsibility as well- to allow the love of the Divine to pour from my mouth— power does not reside outside of me, but inside. I need to connect from my own volition— and this needs to become my final baptism— and that I have the power to save myself and so I will.
We are all equal in the good— there is no hierarchy or social status— just good, just this— there is no rival that can take the good away— even myself as my own rival cannot take it away— the good will recede into the depths of myself to lie dormant until I remember — of all the things the Universe created it created me— that is the ultimate gift and it’s not a give back gift— I am good— learning to hear and understand
Matter gives birth to passion- the ego will die when the parts of me that are matter dies— passion resides in the heart— I need to see my true image that is free from the limits of the ego- only my soul can define the nature of who I really am— I chant to remember and this emboldens me to my Guru— the connectedness of my heart.
Discontent fuels my connectedness—
Peace be with you— has changed for me to Peace is you— I think that would be more appropriate— there is not hidden agenda, no guilt, no coercion — just Peace is you— lost or found- awake or asleep Peace is you— that is exactly who I am— there is no peace missing— no “got lost in line.”
At times as a child I felt like a tiny hurricane— spinning away from the dialogue of life because of unworthiness that I am repenting for with every blow. A tiny hurricane searching for my inner light— I lived in a searching between the lines way— I always felt searching was the answer— to distance myself through my search in order to solidify the fact that I was lost— and repenting kept me safe.
There are times I feel my inner soft gaze— in meditation, I love myself, in life I cringe away from myself— because of this grooved in repention.
Who gives me the authority to have peace, love and light in me— this is the master question I search for in meditation— and in meditation I find peace, love and light— unbound without repenting.
I believe in myself, the connection to the Divine- being of one substance which brings the Divine to the earth— I help the Divine experience the world— every relationship, every conversation, every breath is how the Divine experiences the world— the Divine doesn’t ever understand repenting— as pure love- repenting doesn’t exist.
Slowly in silence we light the candles in the dark, everyone has a different way to light their candle— with thick love in my eyes I bear witness to the correlation of lighting the candle to the way we live our life—
Radiate and exude the light the candle symbolizes— same container of the body, same breath, same love— this is my world now— the body of the Divine— the cathedral holder of love.
In my earlier years, as a devout Catholic, first communioned and now “Saved” I was told for years about God the father— I had a very strong painful hurtful relationship to my own father— so to think of God as my father was so hard for me— it made no sense, and it created anger in me— I felt like this relationship was a joke, and every time I was told I’d go to hell it felt like I was being gut punched— how could everything I was doing be a stairway to hell— and it taught me to look around for every pothole I could hit and and fall into.
I never felt like a child of true humanity— I just settled for the external truth and what people told me was better— I don’t have to fit in, to contort who I am to fit into the Catholic paradigm of my upbringing.
In the moment I can barely stay in my body— not because I’m feeling uncomfortable, but because I want to be everything— feel everything, and sometimes my skin has me feel confined.
I don’t have to be saved and then allowed or committed to some distant Kingdom of God, what if this moment, right now is the nirvana we are so taught to search for. What if in this moment of recognition, surrounded by chanting, and soft glow, and beauty is the glimpse of “heaven” that I need to keep myself connected to the Divine.
Am I a Begetter or a Begettress?
Why do I want to be loved more than others- because I have such a hole of childhood that to this day I search for someone to fill it— but love to me, as a child was competition, anger and irritation— I learned through patterning that competition, anger and irritation were the three legs of the love stool— today I’m absorbing kindness, generosity and compassion as the legs of the love stool—- and I have to learn these things for myself within myself and that I am That.
Tara in Sanskrit means to cross over— I want to cross over from suffering to loving.
I am not just a body, I am a soul— and my soul is the way the Divine gets to be here— there is no limit to how I allow the Divine to see the world.
When the outer becomes the inner and the upper becomes the lower and the inner becomes the outer and the lower becomes the upper— this was set in motion as I sat by the lake on this silent meditation retreat. On this retreat my awareness was heightened because I contemplated the entire time “I am nothing and I am everything.” Everyone on this retreat looks like they have fallen deeply in love— deep in their own heart— to invite in the wonder and awe that falling in love brings. Everyone’s arms are wide open to fall in love for no reason.
I’m reminded of the Greek words:
Kyrie elesion —
Have mercy on me-
This always gave me a feeling unworthiness— I am so broken that I need mercy- oh my god- really— but then it unfolded slowly, and then these words became the one constant that would not unhook itself from my mind. Have mercy on me— became have compassion on myself— once I took these words from someone giving this to me, but my own connection to myself and how I perceive myself. this gives me the vision of riding on a ship without sails- I am floating, slowly towards compassion to myself.
Kali’s color is red— a vivid outburst of a strong dreamer. Red has drawn me in— everything red I love, the brighter the better- the strong powerful color of blood- blood and body the life force.
Love is hopeful and patient
Love is Divine
Love is faith and hope- but to me faith and hope are obscure and replaced with fear. Love never fails, fear erodes the strength of our awareness, and love retreats in wait, in hibernation. Every retreat love comes forward because the web of distraction lessens, and love peeks it head out and then pours out like a firehouse.
Life begins again, every retreat, a love that is the highest and vastness freedom, a love I want to remember.
The red thread- William Stafford
When Karen read this, it was like all the bars of my heart illuminates- I know what the red thread ties me to.
In Kabbalah the red thread is worn on the left side of the wrist, because it is considered the feminine side-the giving side
In Japan, the red thread has to do with faith, that we are tied by this thread to all the people we are destined to meet in order for our soul to evolve, Every one we meet is a pre destined meeting in order to evolve to a higher love awareness.
Absence can become so palpable to me that it becomes normal.
This retreat has given me a deep awareness of going deeper— I don’t know how other people travel into their deep selves, but I think it happens all the time— as a vision, but maybe we don’t get it— what we envision is not just our imagination— it it a call to action.
Meditation draws me to my personal unconsciousness that the ego may not understand- and I practice active imagination in order to feel I am nothing and I am everything — merging with my fragmentation allows unification of my deep soul and my ego.
With my eyes closed- I can sit in the cave of my heart- a place I am always afraid to go unless I’m rooted into the hands of my Guru- and I become quiet, still and held. And I’m inherently connected- with my strong intention— I can ask for the help I need— I know I have to ask in order to receive. I trust my Guru more than I care about appearing sane— and then I let go and feel— my greatest obstacle is that there is no way I should have this much power to awaken. And then the air shifts for me, it becomes sweet, and enveloping and I feel so safe- and I become more still than I’ve ever been— and I feel a rush of air— like when someone opens a door you’re not aware of— and i root deeper into the hands of my Guru— and I have to stay still in order to return to what is true, a joy that has always existed in me, feeling love from the inside out. This is what I feel when I’m not longer absence, when no part of me is missing. And in this meditation I saw in my active imagination a red thread that moved through each person before me— and I saw it clearly— and maybe this was manufactured by the poem, or maybe it pulled a veil back that created clarity — or maybe I could see within each person that we are all destined to meet, because each person on my path was predestined for me to meet.
I am only safe when I am divided — that is the teaching of my youth. And I learn that I can choose to exist within my body or detached from my body— in detached form, I float above myself and my soul is free- I learn to exist elsewhere. The trauma to be divided from my body will need years to repair— because your soul and your body are bound, and I in some form of survival separated my soul from its Divine housing. I know that this is my teaching. I drew a white circle around myself so to speak— a circle of protection, at least that is what I thought— but what I did was create a cavern that becomes almost uncrossable— and then I hear the teachings of my Guru, and each word gives me pause— and with each pause i build a bridge from my soul to myself— and maybe as I keep building my soul will return to it’s Divine housing. Happily ever after is not some romantic saving— it is when my soul returns to my body.
My friends my true friends are my Angels— they remind me that I am the bridge—the bridge of my soul to my body- I am the voice of love- I am the houser of Hrydya- no the house of repenting or shame— I am not about going up and over— but about going in and deeper. These are my superpowers to not be concerned by ego telling me I’m separate from, but integrated into the Divine. Myself and my soul are joined, I can be the human to myself— to step into my Guru’s ministry- the work of connection.