Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Into the inner sanctum

Hidden underneath the rich and textured narrative, erupting under the colorful flow of feeling and emotion, there exists a fertile, vibrating, mysterious world of sensations, of intuition, of imagery: a somatically-organized field of intelligence, creativity, and aliveness.

As we enter the body with breath and awareness – descending under the historic interpretations, and guided by new levels of curiosity, kindness, and care – we enter into uncharted territory. Here things are turned a bit upside down. In this new land, we may come to even appreciate our neurosis, our heartbreak, our confusion, our disappointment, our “failure,” our doubt, and our fragility. No longer viewing these forms as evidence of our lack of awakening or that we have fallen short… but as unique portals and invitations into the very alive reality that things are never really going to turn out the way we thought. It's just too creative here. You are just too wild, too unique, too unprecedented, too whole.

As the trance of shame, blame, and unworthiness burns up in the warmth of cleansed perception, we find ourselves at the threshold of the known and unknown, a liminal space where we can no longer find a familiar place or reference point around which to organize. It is exhilarating here inside the opposites, but simultaneously terrifying to a mind longing for resolution, certainty, and control. In the bardo, inside the vessel, there is no real place to land, other than where you already are.

As we become aware of the ways that we distract ourselves from the open, center-less, alive nature of immediate experience, we can then make a choice to re-embody. We can return to the life of the senses, to our uncompromised commitment to self-kindness, to no longer apologizing for what we are, and to fully participating here in an unfolding miracle... setting aside the dream of postponement until a future moment.

In this place of heart-centered, compassion-infused embodiment, we can no longer pretend we’re not feeling what we’re actually feeling; whatever guest arrives in the home of the heart is allowed, surrounded in warmth, and taken directly into the inner sanctum. Inside this secret chamber, your neurosis, your fear, the deep need to be special, the frenetic scramble to be seen, to be “awake” – all this begins to become dismantled, dissolved, and taken apart by love.

While this disassembling is sure to involve both sweet and fierce grace, it is a movement of wholeness, and evidence of the full-spectrum nature of the path of the heart.

My new book – The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – is now available 

The next event, The Magic of Being Fully Human, to be held in Ojai, CA on October 14-15. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

A sacred deflation

Of course it's natural to have a bias for the experience of "success" over "failure," however we define those terms. But let us be conscious of this bias and not fall into fragmentation. Whether in the outer world of accomplishments or in the inner world of collecting experiences, learning to fail consciously opens us to the full-spectrum. Inside the opposites of success and failure is a doorway, a parting of the veil, revealing an unknown reality of immense creativity.

We live in a world that has lost contact with the evolutionary potential of conscious dissolution, deflation, and the inevitable crucifixion we will each face as we journey along the way. These experiences are not mistakes or errors to be "manifested" away or to throw "secrets" at, for they are too holy for all that. The art of allowing things to fall apart and to honor the death aspect of the death-rebirth journey is one known by alchemists, tantrikas, and wandering poets, but is not all that popular in a culture obsessed with persona and happiness at all costs.

It is the nature of all form to dissolve, so that new forms may emerge. This is the essence of creativity and is non-negotiable, as the energy that keeps the stars from falling out of the sky. We can try to fight against this, argue with it, and spin off into repression, shame, and blame, turning from the fires of reorganization. But the consequence is a life of partiality, splitting off from wholeness, and a heart that longs endlessly for aliveness.

If we will not consciously carry the energies of failure, deflation, and disappointment, they remain in seed form in the shadow and will erupt, usually in very unskillful ways that lead to greater suffering for ourselves and others. We only need look at the current landscape and see. This is true not only for individuals, but for couples, groups, cultures, countries, and societies.

It is by way of our willingness to contain, hold, and integrate the entirety of what we are that we will know the magic of the sacred world. To fully participate in success, to fully participate in failure, and to know that ineffable third thing that we experience in their union. And out of this embodied knowing we very naturally surround the ghosts of our unlived lives with our presence, hold them and provide sanctuary for their conscious integration, dissolving the trance of partiality and revealing essence.

It is not easy to dance and play in these fields until our perception is cleansed, as the dream is thick and deeply embedded. Fortunately, this work requires only one moment, this one, and cannot be completed in the past or future. Only now. No matter what is happening in the inner and outer landscape, we can all begin right now. And now. And now. And even now.

My new book – The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – is now available 

The next event, The Magic of Being Fully Human, to be held in Ojai, CA on October 14-15. 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Rupture and repair

It is no secret that, for many, intimate relationship is one of the great amplifiers of the unlived life. We can count on our partners to relentlessly illuminate everything that is longing for wholeness within us. Not because they have some agenda to do so, but simply by the nature of the crucible that forms when we allow another to truly matter to us.

We come to our relationships with an already-existing patterning that formed long ago, crafted of both personal and collective material. While this template can be updated and itself longs for reorganization into more integrated forms, until reconfiguration it has a way of looming over us and coloring our perception. It functions in large part by way of a time machine where, when activated, it is as if we have left the “here and now,” crossed the liminal, and found ourselves back in the “there and then.”

There are aspects of ourselves that are aching to come out of the shadows and into the warmth of holding awareness. Not to harm, but as forerunners and emissaries of wholeness. There is nothing like a close relationship to remind us of the orphaned emotions, feelings, and vulnerable parts of ourselves that have lost their way in the tangle of somatic and psychic pathways. They are exhausted from a long voyage to reach us, but have not given up.

The reminder of this truth by way of intimacy can at times be a bit agonizing, as the beloved may seem to have extraordinary powers to open the raw, tender, and naked dimensions of our being. But this achiness is sacred and its embodied exploration is holy. Inside the ache is a jewel. Go there.

Please be kind to your partners in response to the inevitable conflict that will arise as you make this journey together. Learning how to harness the energy of conflict – and to engage it directly, skillfully, and with an open heart – is essential on the path of intimacy, and requires the encoding of new circuitry.

The transformative art of rupture and repair is one that is endlessly profound, revealing that relationships of vast depth and meaning are *not* those which are free of conflict, but those where working through conflict is embraced as path, as a unique and transmutative vessel of purification, love, and healing.

This is a difficult and alchemical realization to come by, and one that is unfortunately not all that popular in a world that has forgotten the gold that has been buried in the dark. But here we are. It is up to us to bring these fruits into the collective.

My new book – The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – is now available 

The next event, The Magic of Being Fully Human, to be held in Ojai, CA on October 14-15.