Inspiration from the Buddhi Bird

Why is it that some of us are suffering right now, while others are doing well, despite immense challenge and adversity?
How we relate to what is happening in our lives comes from our mindset and beliefs, and our experiences in the past.

Let me bring you back to story of the two birds, as a way to see more clearly into your experience.
two birds in a tree
In Mooji’s words:
“Some time ago I saw a picture depicting a parable from the Bhagavad Gita. It showed two birds in a tree, and one of them was building a nest. This one is flying off collecting things, arranging the twigs – its active, doing many things.
Above this bird, on another branch, is a second bird. It looks identical to the first bird, and it’s not building anything. It is just observing. It’s not building a self-image out of its perceiving, and its not deeply interested in any aspect of what it sees. Its perceiving is happening quite spontaneously without effort or judgment. There’s a silence there, that feeling of Being without thought. Just looking.

This is a beautiful portrait of who we are.
These two birds are connected. The first bird represents our dynamic being, the self that is engaged in the world, in future and past, in growing. It is the aspect that is living life with the sense of my family, my children, my work and so on.

The second bird represents that conscious witnessing within us. It is the ability to observe life taking place and activities unfolding, but it is not actually doing anything…

Initially the first bird who is building the nest, may not be aware of the second bird. As soon as it is able to be quiet, it becomes aware of the second bird, which is actually itself at a deeper inner level.

When the first bird’s mind is synchronized with the second bird, the activities become much more gracious. There is a sense of unity, a oneness… The second bird represents the change of perspective from the mode of the person to the state of presence.”

Self isolation and sheltering in place, offers us an opportunity for retreat and to get to know these two different aspects of ourselves.
The first bird engages in the world around it and is also called the I-maker or ego mind. It is the part of ourselves that creates stories about life and how we are experiencing it. It is easily influenced by our feelings, especially fears and desires. For example, when we feel threatened it can create a story about being a victim or create an other version where we become the hero. It can make us feel unworthy or let us believe that we are most worthy, while others are not.
It is the judge, jury and creator of how we believe we SHOULD be living our life.

In times of challenge, this part of ourselves takes center stage. The old ways of being, the habits and the comfort of everyday life as we know it have been taken away.  The I-maker is fearful of being out of control and threatened by the unknown and possible harm.

Have you noticed this part of your being on overdrive these days?…. I certainly have.

The second bird, or other part of ourselves is a conscious witness within us, at a deeper level. Sometimes the I-Maker is called the small self, while the other is referred to as higher Self. The higher Self has a bigger and broader perspective of life. It can see through the stories the small self makes up and sees beyond them. It is without judgment and is always present when we allow our attention to go there. It is called Buddhi and is close to Divine Presence or Source.

I believe that we can touch this deeper part of ourselves when we take time to pause and turn our attention inwards. When we Find our Middle Ground.

Now more that ever, take time to find some quiet space and reflect on this significant time of change. Take time to pause and create a space of Retreat and Reflection. Notice what stories you are telling yourself to try to make sense of what comes up. Notice resistance to the changing reality. Notice how you distract yourself from the discomfort and fear. Let go of judgment and be kind to this part of yourself.

Mindfulness and meditation will open up a bigger part of yourself, and create an anchor in the present moment. If you haven’t practiced meditation or yoga, then this is a wonderful opportunity to come to it. There is much being offered online and with apps such as HeadSpace.

A walk in nature and ten minutes of legs-up-the-wall are my practices these days, when I am not teaching yoga. I find them grounding and approachable. Take the time to explore what works for you.

Namaste

The Mystery of Your Presence

silhouette of man standing near body of water

Photo by brenoanp on Pexels.com

“The mystery of your presence can never be reduced to your role, actions, ego, or image.

You are an eternal essence; this is the ancient reason why you are here.

To begin to get a glimpse of this essence is to come into harmony with your destiny and with the providence that always minds your days and ways.

This process of self-discovery is not easy; it may involve suffering, doubt, dismay.

But we must not shrink from the fullness of our being in attempting to reduce the pain”. *

 

Let us not shrink from the fullness of our being as we delve into the mystery and embrace our destiny.

This journey takes courage and a lightness of soul.

Namaste

 

 

 

*O’Donohue, John. Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom (pp. 107-108). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

The Mellow Glow

astronomy dark dawn dusk

Photo by Matheus Bertelli on Pexels.com

Why fight against the fading glow of youth?
Why try to freeze a process that can’t be stopped?
You’re clinging too hard, that’s why you’re weary;
your face is lined with tension not with age.

And even if your form has altered a little
even if the surface is a little worn and chaffed
your being is rich and deep
nourished by experience and understanding
and another kind of light is shining from you now:
a full, mellow glow, like autumn sunshine,
that spreads further and touches deeper
than the flashing, dazzling glow of youth.

Why not let that glow shine through
instead of trying to rekindle a faded light?

Change brings decay if you resist it.
But if you accept it and flow with it,
it brings growth and renewal.

~ Steve Taylor, taken from “The Calm Center”

Let us embrace the full mellow glow that touches others deeply and ignites the light of our own Being.

Namaste

Inner Spaciousness

 

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

~ Viktor E. Frankl

The pause between our reaction to an external stimuli and how we choose to respond is essential in our evolution as human beings. Otherwise we react instinctively from our animal brain.

Space allows us to be open to choose our response

Gives the time for deep full breaths with long exhales.

There is more here than clearing the mind

Being present to our inner state

Reduces clutter and brings clarity.

Space allows for expansion

Learning to be observers without judgment.

In this space our life energy flows through our being

Mind, body and spirit connect

Drawn to the light of inner freedom

Namaste

 

Noticing Mondays

This is a re-blog from 2015, when I began to notice the tension when trying to get caught up with posts on Word Press.  We don’t need to be actively interacting, to know that we are a part of this community. Gratitude and love to you ❤️

oooOOooo


not being present

Noticing Monday morning and its regular gift of a slight contraction in my body and mind.
My ego alert with thoughts about getting a head start and how much to get through.
No, not work…

The blogs I follow expand with content on Monday mornings.
An avalanche of goodness awaits.
Leading to some feelings of overwhelm and not enough time.

So I take time to notice and pause…
Slowing down and breathing in order to be present for each one.
Letting go of thoughts to hurry through and get it behind me.
This is not a task, its about connection, listening and community.

These feelings are like an echo of how I lived most of my life.
Hurrying up to get things done and get ahead of the present.

Skipping forward towards some goal.

If only I knew then what I know now …
Thank you bloggers for this lesson on mindful presence today

Namaste

be present

The Essence of You

energetic being

Courtesy of Energy Network Italiano

Let yourself be the being you are

This being is in the deep core of your living experience

In every moment

This being is beyond anything you can think

The living presence is beyond any self image

It is the essence of you

Drop any notion you have of yourself right now

Just be here, in this moment

Take slow full breaths and allow yourself to soften

Let go and feel into the deeper beyond

Can you sense it?

Be with the being that you are

Enlightenment and Spending Time with Family

For everyone spending time with the Fokkers this year. This is a re-post and reminder just in time for Christmas and New Years.

☯︎☮︎☯︎☮︎☯︎☮︎☯︎☮︎☯︎

meet the parents

“If you think you are truly enlightened, go and spend a week with your parents.”

~ Ram Dass

I laughed out loud when I read this today! Visiting back home definitely brings me back down to earth. I then googled to see what others said about this and found this wisdom from Eckhart Tolle.

“It is a good test for your degree of Presence. The more shared past there is in a relationship, the more present you need to be; otherwise, you will be forced to relive the past again and again.

… You will gain the most from this experience if you don’t take it too seriously, if you don’t create impossible standards for your conduct of behavior, if you try so hard to be Present and Still that you behave like a robot, if you withdraw into a cocoon of self-protection, or if you blame your family members for every little imperfect act from the past that harmed you in some way.

Instead, and above all, choose to relax, reduce your expectations for what may or may not happen, expect little skirmishes, disagreements, moments of humility or failure, and the distance you may feel with your family as a whole, knowing that you are trying to move beyond the ego patterns that have been impediments to your soul and that they care less about ego and Presence and even Truth.

Love and accept them where they’re at. Have compassion for their pain. Be observant while being engaged as guilelessly as possible. Watch yourself and your reactions, out of curiosity, not judgment or blame, but for the benefit of learning how and where you’re really at in your spiritual evolution.”

So … Don’t take it too seriously. Relax. Expect to re-live some moments rooted in the past. Love and accept them for who they are, rather than wishing them to be different. And above all, don’t just bring a present Be Present.

Namaste

 

Quest for Silence

woman meditating

Photo by Alfredson Jr on Pexels.com

“Our quest does not involve taking on more ways of describing. It involves removing all descriptions so that we may come home free and dwell in endless silence. Anyone who has had an experience of that silence knows that it cannot be adequately described in words. It can only be lived.

Silence cannot be manipulated. It can’t be pushed or forced. It can only be experienced as a living embodiment, as a presence that is expressing through us. We are merely its instrument.”

~ Stephen R Schwartz from “Problems are the Doors Through which we Find Peace”

 

I am reacquainting myself with the writing of Stephen R Schwartz and his work on being compassionate towards our own anger, guilt and pain. When we turn with love towards these feelings, instead of condemning them, hiding them or resisting them, we open the door towards healing the wounds from the past.

When we look at these feelings honestly we discover that beneath them is a yearning and longing for acceptance and love.

On the path to awakening, our heart must open to all aspects of ourselves in order to find the peace we are all longing for.

This is the most important step for us all on our quest for silence.

Without self compassion and kindness, peace cannot survive.

Namaste

Inner Spaciousness

 

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

~ Viktor E. Frankl

The pause between our reaction to an external stimuli and how we choose to respond is essential in our evolution as human beings. Otherwise we react instinctively from our animal brain.

Space allows us to be open to choose our response

Gives the time for deep full breaths with long exhales.

There is more here than clearing the mind

Being present to our inner state

Reduces clutter and brings clarity.

Space allows for expansion

Learning to be observers without judgment.

In this space our life energy flows through our being

Mind, body and spirit connect

Drawn to the light of inner freedom

Namaste

 

True Intelligence

intuition

“True intelligence is to rise above thinking as the source of all intelligence.”

~ Eckhart Tolle

I sat with these words this morning and had to smile. Of course, it is Tolle’s thinking that comes up with these gems. ☺️

Yet, it opens us up to something that is beyond our thoughts, that many of us innately understand, but perhaps have not put into words.

When we take time to pause and notice our thoughts, there are two insights that come to my mind. The first is, that we are not our thinking. What we have taken for granted as the “truth” is really only our perspective of the world around us and what we have learned about it. We are conditioned by our parents, culture, religion etc to see the world in a certain way. We also have personal filters based on our own experience from a very young age. For example, if we were bitten by a dog as a child we may have a fear of dogs and dislike them intensely as an adult. This is not the truth, just our perspective.

The second insight is that we have only the ability to analyze what we already know. Our ego mind likes to think it knows things, so it feels in control. Have you also noticed how it likes to judge and dismiss and deny what doesn’t fit in with its beliefs?

The truth is that there is so much that is beyond our thinking, and our intellectual mind. Analysis and science can only reveal what it can identify and quantify, but is at a loss with what is unknown.

I believe that when we pause and find a place of centeredness and calm, our true intelligence shows up as intuition, insights, new ideas, creativity and answers to problems we haven’t been able to solve. In my experience it also shows up as a deep feeling of warmth and love.

Of course, the next question is to ask what the source of this intelligence is.

Opening our minds to an intelligence greater than our individual self, that we share with each other and the world around is, is the step to realization or spiritual enlightenment. Tolle refers to this as Source or Presence. Others call it our Higher Self, Spirit, the Divine, Universal Oneness, Cosmos, Divine Mother, Brahma, Allah, or God.

When we fully embrace the unknown and let go of intellectual knowing, we are on the path to realization and universal love.

Namaste

The Gift of Space

the gift of space

Dreamstime photo – © Creative Commons Zero (CC0)

“Most people’s lives are cluttered up with things: material things, things to do, things to think about. Their lives are like the history of humanity, which Winston Churchill defined as “one damn thing after another.” Their minds are filled up with the clutter of thoughts, one thought after another. This is the dimension of object consciousness that is many people’s predominant reality, and that is why their lives are so out of balance.

Object consciousness needs to be balanced by space consciousness for sanity to return to our planet and for humanity to fulfill its destiny. The arising space consciousness is the next stage in the evolution of humanity.

Space consciousness means that in addition to being conscious of things (objects), there is an undercurrent of awareness. Awareness implies that you are not only conscious of things, but you are also conscious of being conscious. If you can sense an alert inner stillness in the background while things happen in the foreground – that’s it!”

~ Eckhart Tolle, taken from Oneness With All Life

Eckhart Tolle calls this space consciousness Presence. It is a spiritual dimension that exists in all of us. When we awaken to this new awareness and allow the inner space to expand, we become free from the limitations of being tied to the clutter of things in our lives.

We can still enjoy things and experiences, but don’t lose ourselves in them or become attached to them.

Finding your Middle Ground is about discovering inner space so that Presence can expand.
Come to it often during your day.
Pause more. Take longer breaths. Notice sensations in the body.
Observe if you are attached to the clutter of thoughts, material things or things to do.
Step back and give yourself the gift of space.

Tips for the Holidays – Family and Presence

Thanksgiving family

Credit: Flickr.com/Louish Pixel

“If you have been doing inner work for some time, a visit with your family is an excellent opportunity to discover how well you have done. You will easily identify the areas where you have made significant progress. You will also see where your weaknesses still lie…

The relationship with your parents is not only the primordial relationship hat sets the tone for all subsequent relationships, it is also a good test for your degree of Presence. The more shared past there is in a relationship, the more present you need to be; otherwise, you will be forced to relive the past again and again.

Many who are on a path of awakening choose to avoid contact with their parents or family members. This can be helpful, if the intentions are truly good and not a pattern of avoidance.

As you spend time with your family, don’t expect that you will be the perfect embodiment of all you have learned and integrated. You will be put to the test day after day, moment by moment. This is normal. You will gain the most from this experience if you don’t take it too seriously, if you don’t create impossible standards for your conduct of behavior, if you try so hard to be Present and Still that you behave like a robot, if you withdraw into a cocoon of self-protection, or if you blame your family members for every little imperfect act from the past that harmed you in some way.

Instead, and above all, choose to relax, reduce your expectations for what may or may not happen, expect little skirmishes, disagreements, moments of humility or failure, and the distance you may feel with your family as a whole, knowing that you are trying to move beyond the ego patterns that have been impediments to your soul and that they care less about ego and Presence and even Truth.

Love and accept them where they’re at. Have compassion for their pain. Be observant while being engaged as guilelessly as possible. Watch yourself and your reactions, out of curiosity, not judgment or blame, but for the benefit of learning how and where you’re really at in your spiritual evolution.”

~ Eckhart Tolle

 

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