Poem by Adyashanti

If you prefer smoke over fire
then get up now and leave.
For I do not intend to perfume
your mind’s clothing
with more sooty knowledge.

No, I have something else in mind.
Today I hold a flame in my left hand
and a sword in my right.
There will be no damage control today.

For God is in a mood
to plunder your riches and
fling you nakedly
into such breathtaking poverty
that all that will be left of you
will be a tendency to shine.

So don’t just sit around this flame
choking on your mind.
For this is no campfire song
to mindlessly mantra yourself to sleep with.

Jump now into the space
between thoughts
and exit this dream
before I burn the damn place down.

Random Thoughts on Spiritual Awakening – Part Two

Why is honesty so hard? My writing often feels forced. Whether I am trying to be too poetic, or poignant, or prophetic it is struggle to stay true to who I am. I am writing as if I am the person I want to be, not who I am. I struggle. I doubt. I suffer. I feel hopeful and hopeless. How can I write so much about abandoning thought when I still feel so trapped in my own? I have my moments and I try to write about those moments. They often lose power in my words.

I am afraid of honesty because of how vulnerable it will reveal me to be. I have been through some pain but it has been self inflicted. My life has been good. By good I mean nothing compared to the struggles of others. There has been no divorce, no cancer in anyone close to me, no drug addictions, no serious financial issues, nothing that typically would make someone suffer. I was single for a long time (married at 36) and I think near the end of my bachelorhood I was being pretty hard on myself.

My honesty feels superficial. I can only be honest to the extent that I am aware of the truth. There I go trying to be poetic again. There is alot of uncertainty in me. Alot of “What right do I have to express such deep truths?” I am consumed by this spiritual journey. Unfocussed at work at times. But other days, when I have some sort of breakthrough, I am very motivated and productive in both my leadership and execution. Many days I think that my spirituality will lead me away from this desk and thus I seem to value it less now. Of course that is not really accepting the present moment.

Last night, I had a moment of clarity. If you can forgive the spiritual lingo I will try to explain. Looking around my family room the feeling of oneness was strong. I could feel the underlying beingness of all things. Everything I looked at had in it the same thing that was deep within me. There was no separation. And without separation there is no I, no identity, no me. I may have eyes and ears but it was not me looking. It was the universe looking upon itself. And if there’s no me, no individual life, then there’s no individual death. That force within me will continue on in all things long after my body goes. I must sound like I’m off my rocker…

In my spiritual journey I am trying to have experiences like this but I wonder if I’m actually having it or is it just because I have read about it. I do actually feel peaceful during these revelations but it fades quickly. Last night was great but only this morning was my mind overactive again repeating my same patterns.

When I go to work in the mornings I regularly take a few moments in my car after parking for a little reflection, some writing, trying to get my head straight. This morning I found myself asking what do I need to do to have a more permanent shift. The response came that no thought would have saved me from my thoughts this morning. There was nothing I could have done differently. I am relying or hoping that some key thought will present itself that I can use in those moments to set the ship back on course. This is non-acceptance. From thinking that something needs to be changed. I wrote that it’s like trying to pour water into a cup that’s already full. I am already complete and in trying to change myself I create the problem.

Lighten Your Workload

To observe
To define
To derive meaning
This is the pattern of pain

In response the seeker attempts
To be an impartial witness
To accept
To be aware

True acceptance annihilates the acceptor
The term loses meaning and function
If you never knew war
How would you know peace?

A speck of awareness
Precedes all thought
You may be lost
But possibility renews eternally

Is it not enough to see?
Lighten your workload
Be simple
Find goodness

Don’t Seek For The Truth

I found myself in a position yesterday where my opinion was being challenged and I was unable to adequately defend it. That kind of left me reeling. I still felt I was “right” but I was on shaky ground. I felt frustrated that someone was telling me I was wrong and I had no response. I felt like I was being pushed somewhere I didn’t want to go. So this morning I went searching for an Eckhart teaching on opinions and came across the following passage on his website. It helped put things in perspective.

Your first responsibility is not to identify with a position. Everybody has to practice that one way or another. It’s a beautiful practice. It’s expressed in Zen. I don’t remember who said it, some Zen master said, “Don’t seek for the truth – just cease cherishing opinions”. And that’s enough. Many spiritually inclined people look for the ‘truth’ – hopefully at some point within, but first it starts outside. But don’t look for the truth, not even within, just stop cherishing opinions. Cherishing, not having. It doesn’t say stop having opinions, because that would be difficult – maybe a very advanced practice. Even I have some opinions, about Fox News, and so on – but cherishing means to identify with the opinion, to be in the thought. And then it gives you your sense of “I”. Then anybody who has a different or conflicting position becomes a kind of enemy. Then you’re trapped in form. This is a very common human condition. Most humans on the planet derive their identity from their thoughts. So the thought is invested with self. Maybe this is another way of speaking about the essential truth of the Buddha, who discovered that this sense of ‘self’ is an illusion. You derive your sense of self from form – because every thought is a thought-form. It’s an energy field.

Random Thoughts on Spiritual Awakening

I have always thought that awakening sounded like something that happened quickly, like the amount of time it takes coffee to brew in the morning (I guess that would be “awaking”). However, progress has been a bitch temptress. I curse her when she leaves, but the key is always under the mat

I am a bag of fear and confusion. I have tasted what I’m looking for but I can’t wrap my head around it. I am always acting as if I have figured out some part of it but I am still just floating in space trying to change my direction.

I know I respond the same way over and over to the same situations and it is clearly a reaction and in no way an indication of true self. But why would a brain take such comfort in repeating such dreadful patterns that cause so much pain. Does the brain not care about emotions? The body sure thinks they’re a drag.

I have lots to say about the world but I just can’t find the words. It is frustrating to feel that you have something insightful to say but nothing comes out of your mouth or gets written on paper. I often figure that if I keep writing I have to stumble upon wisdom at some point. Or that the “real me” will take over and enlighten us all.

I guess the “real me” is not really a “me”. When we get down to the core of who we all really are, we are all the same. We come from the same place with the same eternal forces in each of us. Damn it sounds so mystical. But I believe in defining love as that unifying force. Could a universe exist based on hate?

What if it’s not love or hate but just nothing? Well love can only arise when there’s nothing left to block it. Perhaps that is the genius of it. Watching Sandra Bullock spin through space in dead silence in Gravity I started to wonder if I could feel only love if I was in her shoes. However, I was busy giving my arm rests a death grip to spend too much time thinking about it. Absolutely terrifying.

Another part that blows my mind is how we don’t just exist in the universe but are the universe itself. So when we look around, or listen, we are actually the eyes and ears that the universe is using to see and hear itself! Absolutely incredible as far as I’m concerned.

Also, the enormous size of universe. Why is it so damned big? It’s like it is trying to convince us to stop spending any time trying to understand all of it because it is completely unrealizable. Or perhaps in it’s infinity it provides unlimited hope. Who knows what is out there? Perhaps a utopia. Perhaps that utopia can be here. Maybe it is here.