Scorpion Medicine and the Life of my Dreams

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Late friday night, I was shocked awake by a hot, electric sting on my inner right forearm.  It took my brain a minute to land back in the reality of my bed… but when I did, I realized something must have bit me.  I flicked on red-bulbed bedside lamp and was horrified to discover a small black scorpion on my pink pillowcase!  For real.  Gingerly, I picked up my pillow and carried it to the bathroom sink, flicked the fierce little creature into the sink and ran the water until I was sure he was well on his way back to the Underworld.  Crawling into bed again was terrifying, because I was sure that it must be teeming with feisty scorpions, whose sole aim was to take greedy bites out of me.  But I was exhausted, so I braved the warm, cozy scorpion pit.  I texted Ed, because I was rattled and needed immediate support.  I also googled scorpion stings, and discovered, to my relief that there are more than fifteen hundred varieties of scorpions, and only twenty five of them are lethal.  Somehow I knew that this little guy was more machismo than anything else.  It took a while, but I fell back asleep and live happily ever after.

In the morning, it occurred to me that he might have been a humble Divine Messenger, so I googled “scorpion medicine”.  Yes, he came with the message of death and rebirth; letting go of what is no longer serving.  Just before I had fallen asleep, my heart was flooded with pain, and I had texted Ed, “You know you have caused a lot of pain”… referring to myself and his wife.  He made no reply, and I drifted into slumber with those words reverberating in the underworld of my consciousness.  Then I had been shocked awake by a sharp pain in my arm.

Realizing his sacred, selfless intent, I flooded with guilt that I had drowned him.  He was only trying to get my attention, and confirm that indeed it was time to release all hope of happily ever after with Ed.

Well… that’s not quite accurate.  I believe that Ed and I CAN live happily ever after… but not as husband and wife, Lady and Lord of Graceland.  I PRAY that we can sustain our love and friendship…FOR SERENA.  We will always be her parents.  Deep down, I wanted an “Always Connection” with Ed, because the love we share is powerful and I never wanted to let it go.  I pray from the depths of my soul that we may redefine happily ever after, in a way that suits the needs of the highest evolution of each of our souls.

But I’m sick of being smashed to pieces by disappointment.  It’s been nearly four years of such obliterating sport.  Now, a new calling is dawning in the deep, dark, Unmanifest within me.  I am called to my Dharma.  My sacred work in the World.  And I must liberate the energy that has been tied up in the exhausting cycle of hope, longing and devastation.  It’s weird.  We have tried to “break through” more times than I have fingers and toes… but there has been this invisible forcefield that has kept us together.  I guess God flipped the switch on this electric fence, because suddenly it is… almost easy.  I say “almost”, just because I am still navigating that outrageously delicious grief cycle:  anger and bargaining and blah blah blah.  I sure know how to have a blast down here on Earth.

It’s ridiculous being a spiritually inclined person (to state it mildly), spilling with a wealth of wise and practical teachings… and yet…in some scorching moments, NONE OF THEM can lift me above the very remedial human slop of clutching my delusions.  There is something gorgeous and refreshing about this.  There is no escape hatch.  I must brave the thorny, emotional underbrush and be humbled by the Journey that is mine to make.

This is so profound, that I will start a new paragraph, just to reiterate.  This paragraph stands as a monument erected for the profundity of the sacred necessity to submit to one’s Life.  It’s like when you’re out for a fabulous swim in the ocean… just frolicking like a carefree and even slightly cocky mermaid, and suddenly a huge wave pummels your azz, and all you can do is submit to the undertow, relax, and wait for it to deliver you to the surface again, according to its own, unified, mystic rhythm.

And therein lies the haunting and mystic face of death.

The ocean could easily take one’s Life (She DID swallow our Beloved Brian Baker…)  Now I must forfeit the Life that the little me has been clutching.  Trust me, I have held on as long as I possibly could (and I have the battle scars to prove it).  This is the essence of spiritual awakening.  But it is one thing to “know it”… and another thing to live it.  Knowing is not enough.  I want to be ground to holy fairy dust, that I may rise victorious rarefied, realized Light, and truly be of Service to this World.  Of course there are other agendas that want to have a say… so I must not be glittery dust yet.  Sigh.  But I AM getting there!  People, hear me when I testify that I am working so damn hard to figure out how to navigate this Life with Divine Intelligence.  Toiling to discover when it’s right to surrender, and when to bleed and sweat and fight.

It’s such a ridiculous journey… knowing deep down that God’s Plan for my Life is fashioned from a pattern of infinitely intelligent LOVE… and that MY plan is only crafted from scrappy impressions of my past… God’s imagination is Unlimited and Wild and Ultimately Benevolent (yes, even and *especially* when, to the ego, it “hurts”).  Mine is endearingly crippled.

I type these words with an aching heart, tears burning my eyes and gingerly streaming down my cheeks.  My guiding light, Matt Kahn said that someone once asked him, “It seems like you feel good all the time”, to which he replied, “I feel LIFE all the time.”  He said he has come to a sincere place Inside where no emotion is better or worse than another.  It is all God.  As a result of this sincere, awakened surrender, he no longer experiences highs and lows.  He is a pure stream of healing Divine Love.  So… Let me practice this wholehearted willingness to live as profound openness.  God, if you want to caress your own Body of Infinity through me as this deep pool of sorrow, I offer myself completely.  I boldly declare that there is ONLY LOVE, masquerading as every feeling and form and nuance of Life.  And so I offer myself completely to be played by your Holy Music… whether I like it or not.  I trust you God.  And I offer myself to the Life you are Destined to Live through me.  I am sure it will just keep getting more amazing and miraculous.

I used to want an “easy Life”.  Not anymore.  I want transformative Life that serves and inspires ALL HEARTS, and lifts the consciousness of the World.

On the Precipice of Something God

Today I know why Athena is the goddess of war AND wisdom (and weaving, for that matter).

 

The battle inside of me is full on.  And beyond mere womanly muscle power, it takes some serious tact to outsmart this army of unruly and malfeasant demons who have staked their illusory claim in the dream scene domain named “me”.

 

I’m at the Momshram.  Yup.  I successfully purged and boxed my modest first world existence, and then my light and dark knight, Sir Edward transported me here, lovingly and safe on wednesday afternoon.  And I’ll tell you what- there is not a single shred of doubt or regret about my choice to let go of “that life” and step boldly into “this” one.  God bless Oakland… But I am relieved to be here in the sacred forest, where the urban sounds of sirens, trains, car alarms, the scuttle of tiny dog toenails on the hardwood floor upstairs from me, have morphed into crickets, saccades, a gurgling fountain and the repetitive thud of soccer ball colliding with human foot.  Oh and let me not leave out the gentle hush of breeze teasing well-attended choirs of leaves.

 

I am once again daunted by the task of finding accurate language to convey the plunging, prismatic depths of my experience.  I want to be eloquent, succinct, lucid, evocative.  But I mustn’t let this lofty aspiration close me in on myself.  My job is to show up and open the channel so that God can say what must be said.

 

I feel myself on the precipice of radical transformation.  I will be starting a four week yoga teacher training on moonday.  Does that mean I want to be a yoga teacher?  Shrug.  Dunno.  But I DO know that I want to deepen my Relationship with God; purify my mind, heart and being.  Of this, I am clear.  But today I am aware of the gap between where I perceive myself to be, and where I wish to go.  And it is requiring so much patience, self acceptance and compassion to just hover my awareness above and within this distasteful, imaginary void.

 

I’ve been doing my precursory reading assignments for the training… and the material is shining a floodlight on aspects of my smalls self, that up until now have been concealed within the crafty and elusive veneer of my identity.  I love the yogic path!!!  Incase you were  not aware of this, it has nothing to do with stretching.  Unless you’re speaking strictly in the figurative sense (which I love to do).  I realize that if one offers one’s whole self, with discipline, focus and devotion to the timeless and comprehensive teachings of the yogic path, one WILL discover complete inner freedom, and be able to live grounded in Truth with a capital T. (that rhymes with P that stands for pool!)

 

Here I perch, on patio furniture on the lawn outside of Master’s Market wearing a sullen, excessively sober face.  In this moment, I am deeply questioning who I am, who I most want to become, and what I have dreamed to be meaningful.  I like this.  I have a feeling that much good will come of this unfurling.

 

And then there’s Ed.  He’s the main ingredient in the recipe of this alchemical purification process.  I have never loved anyone with such unwieldy magnitude.  But is it really “love”?  I mean… absolutely it is.  AND…

 

I am deeply studying the nature of my own heart as it pours forth blood curdling screams of devotion to this divine other.  Experiencing my heart in this moment, it feels open so wide, that what I am present to is *not* the openness, but the EDGES that are being radically stretched.  Ed evokes feelings so immense in me, that though our communion is clearly an experience of opening (except when it’s not), in this moment, I am not experiencing blissful, boundless space, but the pressure of confines.  What IS this?  It can’t be divine love, can it?  For divine love is INFINITE and unbounded.  And this love… has me fallen to my knees and begging for mercy.  Perhaps this is the paradoxical experience of being simultaneously human and divine.  Perhaps boundaries are the access point to the unbounded.

 

Honestly, I’m not quite sure.  But I am sure that I can’t ignore this experience, put it to the side, sweep it under the sprawling heirloom carpet, which furnishes the eternality of my magnificent soul.  Something is calling out from within me.  Demanding to be integrated.  Assimilated.  Forgiven.  Embraced.

 

Today’s Course in Miracles review lesson is: “God’s will for me is perfect happiness.” and “I accept God’s will for perfect happiness for me.”  This was the perfect lesson for me today.  Of course.  Though I believe that every facet of life is infused with the perfect medicine, the perfect formula for each of our liberation from this dream of suffering and separation… still, there are some lessons that shout, while others merely whisper.

 

This morning I awoke from frustrated dreams of Ed being with his family… and me not being welcome or included; a painful experience that I grapple with most days.  Mulling over today’s lesson, I became acutely aware and then repulsed by  my own resistance to letting go of my suffering around this topic, and instead choosing to be happy and at peace.  I SAY I want to be happy… but when, in a moment, I am faced with the choice of holding on, or letting go… I often notice my resistance to letting go!  Why IS this???

 

Well…  I at least want to take a preliminary stab at answering this wily, elusive and quintessential question.  I mean… if I WAS to choose happiness in every moment, regardless of the circumstances of my life… then WHY would I bother living?  If I was totally content without Ed by my side, then why would I go on desiring his sacred partnership?  Would I?  I’m not sure…  But I don’t want to risk that.  I WANT to want him.  I LOVE to love him.  Losing that feels like losing so much meaning and richness in my life.  But so often my desire to live life beside him feels like bondage.  And I want to be FREE!  Or do I?

 

I am using my Relationship with Ed as an example, because it has the most forceful gravitational pull within me.  But really, I could illuminate many circumstantial cesspools of paradoxical suspension within me- all of the myriad ways I imagine happiness and peace are “out there”, “some day”…

 

I want to find freedom within me.  I am terrified to find freedom within me.

 

This is the perfect place to be as I embark on this transformational journey of dissolution, purification and rebirth.

 

God, that would have been such a potent place to end this pilgrimage through Athena Graceland… but I have a couple of practical announcements to make.  It’s kinda like at the end of a yoga class… this is one of my pet peeves- after we’ve just finished our final relaxation, and we’re all melty and quiet, preparing to roll up our mats and slowly integrate back into the frenzied river of modern, urban life… and instead, the teacher feels compelled to spout off all these superfluous announcements about upcoming workshops and retreats and junk.  Come ON- there is a time and place for propaganda.  And it’s not post sivasana, when I am new born and tender.)

 

And now for my announcements (wink):  I want to tell you that where “it” stands with Ed.  I told him I am no longer willing to have a secret, (his wife knows… and yet he has still been tiptoeing) secondary relationship with him on selective weekdays between 9am and 2:30pm.  And no, that does not equate to, “leave your family and come to me right this minute.”  It just means that I need to be integrated into his current construct of reality, such that our relationship has the light and space it requires to grow and flourish.  Such that he can come to church with me once in a while… or be my date to a rad event in my(our) community… or sleep over once in a while.  God it hurts my heart that NOBODY in his life knows who I am, let alone what I MEAN to him.  I could really get into suffering about THAT ONE.  But I won’t.  Because he said he would rise to meet this request for evolving openness.  I don’t require the all or nothing paradigm.  I just need clear, intentional movement in the direction of integrity and togetherness.  And the beauty of it, is that I trust him to do what he says he will do.  Not that he can’t be an avoidant worm like the rest of us, at times… but when he says he’s gonna do something, HE DOES IT.  I find this quality in him very sexy and compelling.  So that’s where we stand.  I am so committed to this man.  The depth of our love and connection makes it well worth the struggle.  All I need is movement in the direction we both desire to go.  Incase it is not obvious to you by now: I LOVE THIS MAN SOOOO DEEEEEEP.

 

And the last announcement is that I probably won’t be writing much at all for the next month, because I will be hella occupied with my sacred transformation (teacher training).  Though naturally, I always reserve the right to visit Athena Graceland any time I am called.

 

So bless me as I step off the cliff of the familiar, once more, and offer my false self to the loving sword of Kali Ma.  And say goodbye to the woman who just wrote this blog, because she is already dead and reborn.

 

OM NAMAH SHIVAYA.

 

Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Rigorous Day In Saint Training

It’s a rigorous day over here in Saint training.  I really wanted to use the f word in that sentence.  An f-ing rigorous day (don’t think of a pink elephant…).  But lemme see… how ‘bout a DANGEROUSLY rigorous day.  Or a poisonously rigorous day.  Or this day slithered across the hardwood floor of my all too familiar bedroom, glaring at me like a hooded cobra snake, venomous and unpredictable.  This is the first time in SEVEN years that I have been without the support of a devoted boyfriend.  Support?  Yeah, like emotional support.  I know I touched on this subject yesterday… but I am utterly broken open and lost in hell today.  I didn’t think I was going to write because I was feeling ashamed of and repulsed by myself.  And that’s not very Saintly.  Or is it?

Besides, today is different from yesterday, because Mykael is actually, physically around… yet we are continents apart… which makes the reality of our separation so much more painful.  To be near one who was once my refuge from the storm… and suddenly, I am in the midst of a downpour and he stands there preoccupied by a million shades of a hidden world, watching my bones get soaked and chilled by torrential gusts of inner turmoil and reckless need.

Today was one of those tigress listlessly pacing her teensy cage days.  I lost my will somewhere in the greasy folds of all this transformative soul discomfort.  God did I just want to get pleasantly drunk or stoned.  Or at least go out into the world and frivolously spend money on the comforting distractions of food and ambiance.  But I’ve done that enough.  All of it.  And today was designed specifically by the All Pervading Maliciousness… oh, that felt like a horrible thing to write… sorry God, it’s just that my heart stings so… this alchemy is so HOT, I can barely stand it.  But that’s alchemy for ya.  Do you even have any idea what I’m talking about?  I wonder… I wonder if I’m just an anomaly to make myself sit here and feel my way through such an uncomfortable experience.  Most “normal” people would just pick up a book and have a read or call up a friend and get together for a walk or dinner.  Or maybe fill the hole by shopping.  I hear that’s a popular one for women.  Or eating… I used to do that.  Doesn’t feel so great.  Neither does drinking margaritas.  Mykael and I used to do that like three times a week, back in the glory days.  I would pick him up from work and we’d go to our favorite restaurant, Fonda.  Usually we’d get in a fight on the way (another good distraction tactic) (am I a feeling junkie?) and then get to the restaurant and order our usual~ margaritas, the best chips in the world~ long, thick, salty *CRUNCHY* strips that make me feel orgasmic just in the telling, guacamole, refried black beans and broccoli.  What a hit-parade of oral sensations!  All played to the smeary tune of mild inebriation.  But was that enough?  No… then it was time to slur and shuffle home to smoke some pot and knock boots.  God I love smoking pot and having sex… Sigh… someday… maybe…

Come to think of it, this frustrated, pacing tigress feeling is not such a new innovation.  Come to think of it, she is an old friend.  But suddenly I refuse to medicate her.  I will let her get so intolerant and fierce that she will find a way out of her diminutive cage no matter WHAT it takes.  There may be bloodshed, friends.  I am trying to listen to this listlessness.  Instead of running from it.  There is nowhere to run.  I can’t even pretend to be interested in DOING anything to tune it out.  All I am moved to do is sit amidst the flames and watch myself disintegrate.  Trust me, it burns.  But there comes a time in the life of every tigress clad in fleshy disguise… when she is destined to break free.  My number must’ve come up because I see no other option.  I want nothing of this world of illusion.

Or do I?  I ached all day in my bed, dreaming of being taken out on the town.  Dreaming dreams of heavily lashed eyelids, swishing like steaming, enchanted forests as I sophisticatedly sip intoxicating elixir, the blood of elated grapes, raped and sequestered to dark, woody barrels and then resurrected solely for these lusty moments of seduction and blind consumption.  Sitting across the table from a date who makes me burn with curiosity and yearning.  I probe this exquisite face of the mystery, wishing I could wrap myself around it’s boundlessness in such a way that I may taste satiation, however brief.  I dreamed of being tossed and twirled about a heaving, breathing dance floor, the sweet music unapologetically devouring my mind, simmering me down to the most essential ingredient of existence~ pure bliss in motion.

Duality.  Sigh.  How will I EVER find my way out of this maze?  My bedroom has once again become my cocoon.  But soon, I will burst forth with new, striking wings.  They will be bent and folded clumsily and I will wonder if I actually know how to fly.  Until I find myself soaring free at the whim of some unseen, loving current, over the thrashing turquoise body of the sea.  And in that liberated instant, I will remember something that I forgot I have Always known.

But in the mean time… I sobbed in bed today, squeezed by the binding pain of this meticulous, ordained transformation.  I wiped clear snot on my pale blue sheet.  The prism hanging in my window was indifferent to this display of human despair and spat gratuitous rainbows all about my prison walls.  My consciousness took refuge in the intricate spray of vibrant spectral shades. I studied them until we merged.  I was taken by the fluid, graceful transitions from one color to the next.  I took the electrified colors into me like food, letting them fortify my aching mind.  And the bouquet of dahlias on my nightstand… We have a new level of intimacy now.  My vision desperately probed their mandalic folds.  I found a sacred piece of myself in the deep, weighty shade of magenta, so saturated, it was nearly devoured by a vibrant darkness.

So you see… it’s been a rigorous day in Saint training.

Amen.

My Pilgrimage to Ananda Part III

It’s another one of those mornings where I don’t want to write.  I’m feeling flooded with emotions and overwhelmed by this all too familiar experience of being crushed under the weight of my own recklessly tangled dharma.  Every  night that I have slept here at Ananda, I have had disturbing dreams one after another, waking up numerous times with my heart pounding.  I came here to release.  I came here to heal and contemplate.  Apparently I have been doing a good chunk of work at night.  But this morning, I hit a point of overwhelm.  My heart was as full as a well fed tick and tears kept slipping out and streaming all about my face in sadhana.  Lately A Course in Miracles has been preaching all about how only joy is real.  Pain and sorrow are not real.  So every time I rub elbows (and every other imaginable body part as well) with my pain and sorrow, I wonder what I am to make of those seemingly intense strands of aching moments.  Will I ever be healed enough to just be a god damn fountain of ever-new joy?  Is it self indulgent to succumb to all this grief and devastation?

I don’t remember if I mentioned this before, but I could not find my emotions at ALL for the first half of my twenties.  I had buried them is such a deep safe chamber inside of me, to sort out later when I felt grounded and safe enough.  That time came.  And because I had been without them for so long, my emotions became the most precious delicacies to me.  Now when they come, I feel whole.  But… I also wonder if I’m stuck sometimes in indulgent eddies of sorrow… Lately I have been feeling called from the inside to practice continuously stepping into gratitude, presence and joy.  But where does that leave all the shadow-strewn nooks and crannies of my heart and soul?  Must shine light on them.  Must love through them.  Easier said than done.  God, it seems to be taking a lot of WORK right now to be awake and on duty.

As I wrote all that, my mom was puttering around in the kitchen fixing herself a late breakfast. Today is her day off from working in the Crystal Hermitage gardens.  Something about my mom is that she incessantly hums.  I think it is so dear.  Sometimes I can hear her coming before I can see her.  She is a fountain of faintly gurgling song.  I trip out thinking that probably she will die before me and I will live a portion of my life without her nectarous humming and her irritating little habits, her stories of day to day existence and the people she knows.  Something else I have come to love about my mom is that she can’t eat anything without spilling it down her front.  It used to drive me crazy, but now it tickles and delights me.

I didn’t really intend to go on like that about my emotions, but it was so present inside me, that nothing else could find its way out.  If I didn’t express it, I would have just collapsed under the immense weight and opted not to write.  Let that be a lesson to you.  If you think you are having “writer’s block”, which is just an old wives tale any way, just write about what’s most true for you in the moment and then shazam!  You will be amazed at the energy that’s freed up!

Now I’m ready to tell you the exciting news.  The night before last, my mom got an email from the head Swami, Kriyananda’s assistant, Lakshman.  He informed her that the Hallowed Swami had given her a spiritual name (upon her request) back in march, but for some reason she hadn’t received the email.  He forwarded the original email sent by Swami Kriyananda.  Kriyananda had informed her that he couldn’t get down and funky with her first choice, Aria… but that he felt that the name Sumitra was a great fit for her, and if she would receive it, he offered it with his heart-felt blessings.  Sumitra.  She rolled it around inquisitively on her mind’s palate.  Sumitra.  Getting a spiritual name bestowed upon you at an ashram is as big a deal as starting your period, getting married or being visited by a Santa Clause who only comes once in your entire life!

Immediately she plunged into the world wide web to research the name.  First she discovered some long-winded explanation about how Sumitra was a modest supporting role in the Hindu Epic, The Mahabharata.  This did not seem to please her.  So she searched on, learning that at its most simplistic, the name meant “Good Friend”.  Still she expressed distaste.  She did not feel that “good friend” encapsulated her.  I could feel her deflation.

Good friend.  As we lay in the warm darkness of her bedroom, nearing the cusp of slumber, I let the meaning sink below the surface of my mind, into the dark depths where concepts drown and alchemize in their own time into richer soul wisdom.  Good friend.  I told her that honestly, at the end of the day, I couldn’t see anything more valuable than both BEING a good friend and HAVING good friends.  All the rest of the stuff we value in life is mere jingle bells and penny whistles.  Then I thought of my favorite Sufi poet, Hafiz.  He mostly refers to All Pervading Light as “The Friend”.  And reading his poetry, one can just tell that his tenderness and intimacy with God is sheer potency.  It is the kind of food that could sustain entire multiverses for Eternity and a day!  I ASPIRE to have that kind of a bond with God.  No REALLY.  I have to say that again, because I want it SO BAD.  I yearn to feel infinitely saturated by my friendship with the One.  Doesn’t that sound like the BEST thing EVER?  (Sure Athena, you just keep right on a-knockin’ from the Inside…)

I suggested that she contemplate her relationship to friendship… really chew on it and suckle the juice.  Not long after that, I was abducted by a tall, dark, handsome Sandman.  When the morning breathed fresh light into us once again, she loved her new name, Sumitra.  Oh… her *obsolete* name (wink) is Susan… So you can see that it’s a natural stone’s throw from her original sonic invocation.  Spiritual names are that which we grow into.  When we first get them, they seem baggy and awkward.  It is time and experience’s loving hands that sculpt our very beings so that the names glovishly hug our truest essence.  I can not think of anything better to refine ones self to fully master than a Good Friend.

They say that it has only happened one other time that Swami Kriyananda has sent someone their name and it has not gotten through to them.  My mom wondered why her naming was postponed for four months.  Shrug.  Who knows… but if I was the center of the Universe and I had the power to say, I would declare that it was so I could be present for this illustrious rite of passage in the life of my Beloved Mother, Sumitra.  I feel blessed.

Amen.

Groping For Love In the Dark

I’m almost too scared to write today.  But I’m here.  I am here.  I am here to heal myself.  I am here to return to love.  I am here to remember.  My dear friend Amrita shared a beautiful video of Amma through facebook which kicked off my day.  I want to share it with YOU.

Thank GOD it reminded me of the only thing that is REAL, which of course is Love.  I must say, I believe it to be true with all my heart, but when it comes to practical application, I feel like queen of the dopes.  Living in this world, contending with crunchy karmic relationships and survival issues… please tell me where and how love fits in to all of that.  I was extra intolerant of Mykael this morning because he was recoiled in his safe, familiar shit hole where fear and scarcity are his demigods.  He was telling me all the things he had to DO… I thought what is the good of DOING DOING DOING if all you have is fear in your heart?  What is the point?  I know we must DO, that is the nature of this world.  That’s what Krishna told Arjuna.  He was like, “Dude, you’ve gotta go to battle.  Kill those blessed cousins of yours.  It’s what is being asked of you by Life.  But remember… always the Highest first.”  (The “cousins” being a symbol of his attachments and habits governed by his small self, BTW)

The problem with me telling Mykael ANYTHING is that I am no champion of loving.  I can be self indulgent as fuck.  So what right do I have to tell anyone anything?  All I can do is live by example.  But how do I best love Mykael in this case?  I guess in my IDEAL world, I would just keep bringing my awareness back to my heart… imagining it wafting a sweet perfume more beautiful than all the beauty in the world added together and then multiplied by its self.  I would imagine that epically sweet perfume filling ME, so that I become wondrously drunk and shimmering, and then I watch this sweetness extend outward to Mykael.  Then beyond Mykael to… everyone.  One person at a time.

Like especially the woman whom I approached to ask if I could share her table a minute ago.  Pizziaolo is packed this morning like an Indian elevator, so I had no choice but to share a table.  She was on the phone, so I just mouthed the words, “can I share your table,” and indicated to the seat that I perceived had my name on it.  I was expecting her to gesture a “go right ahead” gesture, along with a warm smile… WRONG.  She dramatized this really irritated look, plugged her non phone ear with her fat little finger and looked away from me.  Guess how I felt as a result?

Angry… and hurt.  (I believe that hurt always precedes the anger, but sometimes and certainly in this case, the anger flared up so fast, I didn’t even have time to recognize the hurt piece.)  Flooded with negative emotion, I felt compelled to say and do mean things so that she would feel what I was feeling.  Thankfully I didn’t.  I caught myself and beseeched forgiveness (of, from, to, for, through myself).  Forgiveness.  Forgivenss.  I am sitting here on the edge of tears.  But what’s the use?  Do tears really heal?  Yes, I believe they do.  But I’m just not used to having so many daily occasions to cry.  If I give in to the tears will I cry a wider hole in my heart where more of this omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent totality of beauty squared perfume can waft through?

You know what is eating me away lately?  The confusion of what is other people’s shit and what is truly mine.  I can’t even get into it right now.  I wish I could just walk quietly, peacefully into the sea and drown myself.  My “friend” Dan loves to tell me that I am the most self absorbed person he knows.  Allofasudden I feel inhibited expressing all my feelings here, because I am afraid that the world at large will just slap a label on me called “self absorbed” and cast me into the gutters of collective consciousness.  Like I should just keep it to myself that I want to offer my life to the ocean.  But, I do what I must do.  And that is express myself.  Does Dan perceive ME as self absorbed because I AM self absorbed, or is that what he is choosing to focus on in the mirror that I am for him?  Do you see what I mean?  Duality gets so messy and confusing.  But when I notice myself getting tangled, snared, drowned in the sea of cocky wompus mirrors, what better to do than return to Love and Forgiveness.  I’ll tell you what~ I can’t wait to be a wise old lady, who’s burned off many layers of ego needs and desires.

My friend Karen told me that she is having Eric over for Shabbat dinner tonight.  My heart sunk because Eric and I used to go to her house for Shabbat dinner “left and right”.  In my memory that lives as a simple time, connected with friends, feeling safe, feeling love.  My heart breaks at the thought that that no longer is.  I killed it.  Everything ends.  Everything dies.  Except what is REAL.  Except what is eternal.  That’s what Amma said in that video I recommended to you.  She said that “devotion is actually discrimination between the eternal and the transitory”… Wow, I thought devotion was something a whole lot fluffier than that.  Shows what I know.  “The actions that we perform with awareness of  what is everlasting and what is perishable is devotion”.   Touche.  I can groove to that.  “You should pray with Love and Devotion.  Your hearts should melt as you pray.”  Okay!!!!!   I will.  “Your prayer to God should be ‘make me Love You and let me forget everything else.’”  “Purify your heart.  See God in everything and Love all beings.  You don’t have to do anything else.”  “Those who perform actions with their mind surrendered to the Supreme do not need to fear.”

“IF YOUR AIM IS SELF REALIZATION, YOU DON’T THINK ABOUT ANYTHING ELSE.”

“Children, go directly to the source of Love and drink to your heart’s content from that Ocean.”

I should have just started with all of those quotes from Amma.  Why did I need to mouth off about all my dillusional confusion?  I forgive myself for being confused and for not unceasingly thinking of God.  I will keep striving to improve.  AMEN.

Love Is…

I did that stupid thing where I write two paragraphs and then I erase it.  That is such a rare thing for me to do.  But my womb aches so bad, I am having a hard time focusing on anything else.  Plus they are playing such raucous old skool rock and roll here and it is polluting my mind.  Its strange how one woman’s poison is another woman’s bliss…(Huh, RosyMoon?)  But I don’t know what else to do with myself besides just keep trudging along on the page.  I’m just trying to look around me and see.  Really see.  I mean I guess it’s debatable what it is to “really see”… Does it mean to merely study details intricately, intimately?  Or does it mean to look so deeply into appearances that they dissolve into liquid light?  Or… what does it mean to YOU to “really see”?

Sometimes I like to play that game where I let my eyes meet something particularly visually captivating and then when I notice my mind do it’s requisite duty of labeling and dividing, I do my best to rip the label off and let my eyes meet it with sheer wondrous being, as a child would.  What a buzz kill it is to see the mystic sparkles on the surface of the ocean and then to flippantly write it off by saying, “oh, that’s just the sun reflecting on the water.”  So adult and matter of fact, as if a person must be crazy to simply allow magic to exist.  It’s the double edged sword of science and logic. Sure, it’s bloody fantastic to make so much friggin sense of the world we live in… AND according to Athena Grace LMNOP, the world is just as much a frivolous, illusory myth as it is a weighable, measurable, linear buzz kill.  (Oh, shoot, there I go again, misrepresenting science, because I haven’t studied it enough to be blown away by the implicit mysticism of real, hairy chested, barking science.  I realize that the physicists who pilgrimage to the ever fraying edges of the abyss are just as blown open with enchantment as any of the mystics and artistic sculptors of Heaven’s breath are.  Probably if you journey into the heart of any method of interpretation of this strange, unbounded Alice in Wonderland world we live in (or worlds… who’s to say that each of us doesn’t live in an entirely unique rendition of reality, a whole independent, interdependent universe.  Maybe the universe is but a blizzard of snowflake shaped universes all existing together yet separate yet together…) any interpretation of the world we live in… at the core must only express the One.)

But all this to say that I like to be blown away by simple things like all the wine glasses on the shelf.  They are ultra clean and are stacked three rows deep.  The bright, crisp light hitting them is creating this deep sea of paralyzed twinkles frozen in a timeless, spaceless place.  I let my gaze rest and melt on them and they dissolve and liberate from the concept called “wine glasses”, becoming only an immediate experience of depth, light, shine.  If I wasn’t ensnared in the world of labels, I might name the experience, “getting lost in a crystaline forest”, or “being blinded by the miracle of daytime starlight”.  When my womb howls and moans and screams like it is right now, these enchanting frivolities must be enough.  I guess I sort of like the intensity emanating from my womb.  It certainly brings me present, like a good slap.

Oh lord!  The pants-less boy just came in to Pizzaiolo with his Daddy.  I mean, I understand him not wearing pants when it’s hot outside, but today it’s windy and cold!  And come to think of it, I’ve NEVER (literally) seen him with pants on.  He’s wearing a shirt and leg warmers.  I guess he’s probably about eighteen months old.  But I sure wonder… will he EVER wear pants?  I mean if he never wears pants as a child, maybe he’ll come to think pants are unbearable, blasphemous even!  It’s gotta be sa-weeet to feel the sunshine and the breeze on his little boy penis and bum.  I bet he’ll be imprinted for life.  Pants will only feel like a rainy parade.  A perpetually soggy diaper.  Pants-less Bobby.  (Damon said his name was Bobby.)  He’ll be a modern day superhero.  The Adventures of Pants-less Bobby.  Pants-less Bobby Scales the Great Wall.  Pants-less Bobby Pillages Paris!  Pants-less Bobby and the Mystery of the Jello Swimming Pool.  Pants-less Bobby just walked by again and I was graced with a longer look at his entirety.  I noticed he was wearing a pink fabric sunhat with a strap under his chin.  I noticed that he’s one of those especially chubby babies.  His shirt was perfectly covering his “unmentionables”.  But it perfectly, unabashedly displayed his snow white, baby fat legs.  They were total marshmallow Michelin baby-man legs.  I imagine if I squeezed them, my fingers would completely disappear into his tender squish.  Listen if you are left with anything from all this indulgent commentary, let it be this~ HE IS ADORABLE.

Another thing I’ve been wanting to share with you for a while is this fond and tender memory of Eric.  When I was a nanny, I used to start work crack-early in the mornings sometimes.  Mostly I rode my bike to work, as the family lived about two miles from my home.  But once in a while, when he was feeling especially loving and generous, Eric would drive me to work.  When he did this, I always felt SOOOO loved.  So loved.  SO LOVED.  (It’s incredible how potent these simple, mundane offerings can be.  I mean it’s like three years later, and even NOW, whenever I think about it, my heart blooms like an ostentatious rose!)  On one of these extra special brisk mornings, we were cruising the lovely Rockridge streets in our old biodiesel Mercedes (named Kenny) as though we were riding through the tunnel of Love.  I was chompin’ down on my breakfast of almond butter and jam sandwich on Ezekiel sesame sprouted wheat bread when something out the window leapt out and dazzled the pants off me!  (Pants-Less Athena Rides the Tunnel of Love to Work)  My mouth was full of thick sandwich slog so I enthusiastically hmmmmed the words.  I said, “hmmmm hmmm hmm hmmmhmmm hmmm!”

Immediately, Eric replied, “You like the purple house?”  My jaw dropped. (exposing amalgamous, sticky brown mash)  He fuckin’ NAILED it.  I felt SO known!!!!!  This is what it is to love someone.  All you have to do is grunt and snort and they understand you with wicked clarity.  Love is getting lost in a crystalline forest.  Love is being blinded by the miracle of daytime starlight.  Love is forging ahead, writing my blog through raucous cramps, blaring Jimi Hendricks and a mind fighting relentlessly for its right to be afraid.

My Mother’s Wisdom

Athena Grace LMNOP commin’ acha live from the school of mostly soft knocks.  (Mykael and I have a daily ritual where he reads my blog to me from his Iphone, usually after we finish up lunch.  Yesterday, when he read me the part about LMNOP, I laughed so hard, I think it even gave our very own God Almighty a start!  I laughed a laugh so deep and resonant that it shook the earth.  It sounded like sonic loafs of hearty bread cascading out of my mouth.)  Ahhh, for the love of soft knocks!  Lately the knocks have been on the harder side of soft.

Listen, I sorta hate admitting that I finally started my period just now… I mean I’m stoked, because I believe that bleeding is a blessed and wholly sacred occurrence laden with a power that is beyond intellectual comprehension… but in our culture, it is such a popular practice to dismiss a woman’s expression, with the flippant wave of the hand and an accompanying comment such as, “Oh, she’s probably just on her period.”  I’m guilty of it too… but I don’t want you to write me off this morning.  The way I see it, menstruation is a time of potent lucidity, which can be overwhelming sometimes… It’s like feeling the world at full blast volume, rather than as soft background music that you can only notice if you happen to know the song that’s playing, but otherwise its imperceptible.

Last night I zonked out at 9pm, but when Mykael got home at 10, I was suddenly wide awake.  He came in and kissed me, but then he left.  I’m not used to this.  Usually, he snuggles me to sleep.  Turns out, he didn’t want to wake me, but I perceived it as that he wanted to be in his own space.  So there I was, wide awake in the dark, feeling ABANDONED.  You might think I am being dramatic, but it brought up memories of being very young and home alone in bed in the dark… Suddenly, emotionally, I was somewhere between two and seven years old, feeling helpless and painfully alone.  I began to cry.  Sure, I could have just called out to Mykael… (or texted him, like I love to do when I’m laying in bed… I feel so Jetsons when I do it!)  But remember that I was living in a world where he didn’t want to be with me.  I was living in a world where my pain and aloneness were the most real and consuming facets of existence.  You have to understand that this experience was not an isolated incident.  It was piled on top of Mykael being mostly entirely otherwise occupied, between studying for his phat nursing exam, carving and being anxious, worried and afraid…

Makes being a co-dependant really challenging.  It’s like the rug has been pulled out from beneath my feet… which clearly is a blessing since co-dependency is for losers in the first place… But still… I am having a hard time feeling blessed.  Mostly I feel sad and unsure of why I am in this relationship in the first place… No, that’s not true… I have enjoyed finding other stuff to do with myself in the evening besides smoke pot, and curl up with my man either have sex, watch Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job, or the Office, or on the sweeter nights, both.  Instead, I have been reading books, writing, PLAYING MY HARMONIUM, walking to the grocery store at twilight… you know the kinds of things we used to do back in the good ole covered wagon days… All this time apart from Mykael is just what the doctor ordered… but then, being with him brings all my wounds right to the surface and I am finding it massively challenging to love through them.  I want to run away and deal with it later.  When I see myself behaving like a punishing, bratty child… it feels like the hardest thing in the world to love myself, let alone another.

So Mykael came into my room and held me, but I refused to “use my words” to tell him what was happening for me.  Usually, that is one of my strengths, since I am so self aware.  Not last night.  All I could do was sob and ache and pout.  How’s that for tantric?  …Sigh… Finally I sunk down under the restless waves of ache and was swallowed in the dark, respite of sleep.  Mykael stayed with me till after midnight.  I appreciate that.

When morning came, I was exhausted and depressed.  Usually morning is the time where I am all about catching worms and loving the fresh air, literally dripping with bird song.  I love my tea.   I love the lucidity of my mind.  Today though… I did not love.  So I called my mom.  Basically, she gave me an hour long dharma talk.  She said so many things that helped me refocus my heart and mind.  She spoke mostly through the lens of her own experience, her own luminous lessons over there at the ashram.  But naturally, it was all applicable to my world.  And I felt way more receptive to it, because there was not a single should involved… She jammed not a single spiritual ideal down my throat.

Holy God, I feel so boring this morning.  But I need to get this out.  Fuck, I should have done it different.  I felt so awesome about my entry yesterday.  I feel so angry at myself for not being brilliant today, but instead caught in the seemingly endless cesspool of my pain.  Is this forgivable?  Can I still be a successful, impactful, prosperous writer, even if I have to waste a perfectly good blogging day processing through my wounding?  Do YOU have these voices too?  Can I just let go and sob right here at Pizzaiolo?  (The prep cooks were attempting to hack apart an entire pig head this morning when I arrived… just for the record…)

Back to my mom’s wisdom.  I want to share with you the three most impactful ideas she shared with me.  The first one was she suggested that I go and serve others when I feel blue (and black).  Duh.  Seems obvious.  Especially for a saint in training.  But it’s easy for me to get caught up in the inertia of my self importance… Sometimes I fantasize about sitting with terminally ill children.  Can I do that?  How do I do that?  It makes me so sad to think about terminally ill children.  Children are supposed to have long lives ahead of them.  Can they even conceive of the idea that they will die soon?  What courageous beings they must be!  I could learn from them for sure.

The second gold nugget my mom bestowed on me was her own lesson of letting others be exactly as they are, without trying to change them.  She said she has been working on this since she got to the ashram a few years ago.  Her recounting of her own experiences with this lesson shed plenty of light on my habits of constantly trying to micromanage Mykael and think I know who and how he should be.  He should eat more vegetables, exercise more, spend less time on the internet.  Fuck, as I write all that, I feel so convinced all of that is true… I guess then the question is do I want to keep choosing him for a partner in the face of those habits… Ask me after I finish bleeding…

And the third thing (!!!!!!!) (Yes, I’m especially enthused about this one) is the reminder to dedicate my actions to God.  I mean, I live like this sometimes… but it’s easy to forget and act like a self important pig headed jerk.  When my actions are dedicated to God, there is no expectation of any return, no competition… only the purification born of offering my self in the spirit of love and blessing.  And then concepts like “success” and “ambition” disappear in the simple act of being present and offering my best.  My mom said that not only does God LOVE like nobody’s business, but God also LOVES to BE LOVED (like nobody’s business!).  I didn’t realize this.  But it makes sense… I mean if I am made in All Pervading Dreaminess’s own image, and BOY DO I LOVE TO BE LOVED!!!, than it would naturally follow that God, too would expand and burst into a song of the Infinite upon receiving the love of Its Holy Children, such as yours truly.  Language gets so tricky when discussing such matters as Omnipresence.  I don’t mean to divide everything so clumsily…

The bottom line, the top line and the space in between the lines (not to mention then nonlinear components involved) is all a call to LOVE, to let LOVE inspire each newborn moment.

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