Nothing Stays the Same

Three weeks ago I began to write this post. As I came back to it, I realized that nothing stays the same. When we address what is going on inside of us, we can shift our experience of the world.

green dragonfly on tree branch

The dragonfly is a symbol of transformation and change. Photo by Ryan Delfin on Pexels.com

All around me people seem to be getting back into their social lives. Next door is having a birthday party. It started with kiddies enjoying themselves in the pool, then more family members and friends joining in with karaoke.

I feel apart. I can’t imagine having that much fun these days. Friends are moving away. Family is across the ocean. My community of likeminded souls in Kripalu is closed for the rest of the year. I am home in a lovely place with a man who is struggling right now. Lets face it, the cancer diagnosis and treatment over 4 years has taken its toll.

The vibrancy and appreciation of life has diminished. There is gratitude for being here … Yet the celebration has died.

We lost our middle dog Dilys, two weeks ago. She was such a bright spirit and cheeky wee dog. She made me smile, and still does with all those memories. The older dog Meghan isn’t doing well and has to take a lot of meds and special food to prevent kidney failure. Teddy, the young boy is enjoying the attention and becoming quite the man about the house. There is calm.

I tell myself “My external world has shrunk. I must ignite my inner world if I am to get through this.”

This was a notice to deep within. It’s time to acknowledge and accept fully what is happening right now. It’s time to ask myself what I can do to become excited and inspired once again! Can I relax enough to allow the opening of my heart instead of the evaluating and somewhat judging mind?

As part of my ongoing Retreat approach to this time, I had enrolled in two online experiences for July. The first was a 6 week writing experience and sharing with Roger Housden and a group of fellows on their own path to explore their inner world and awakening through writing.

The second, was a one day retreat with Jonathan Foust on self inquiry as part of the spiritual path.

Well folks, I am happy to report that both have ignited something that is ready to be expressed and to be celebrated. I am writing again, reaching out to others, and finding laughter and joy in my days. In the highs and lows of life, I have rediscovered contentment.

May we all find our way to live from our heart and our Middle Ground.

Namaste

 

Staying in Your Middle Ground

slow down

Miniature World Of Snails By Vyacheslav Mishchenko from boredpanda.com

When we slow down, and are able to observe ourselves in that moment, I call it finding our Middle Ground. It is the first step in spiritual self inquiry. It’s when we look inwards, asking ourselves the ultimate question”Who am I?”

In this space we become a curious observer of ourselves and develop witness consciousness.

“The witness is your awareness of your own thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Witnessing is like waking up in the morning and then looking in the mirror and noticing yourself — not judging or criticizing, just neutrally observing the quality of being awake. That process of stepping back takes you out of being submerged in your experiences and thoughts and sensory input and into self-awareness.” ~ Ram Dass

For me, the practice of yoga and meditation brings me to my Middle Ground. As I learn to be here more and more, I realize that the true nature of us all is awareness. I am the perceiver of myself and the world around me, and happen to live in a thinking, breathing, physical and energetic body.

Yet, finding our Middle Ground is only the beginning. The next step is to stay here, and come from this place every day.

“Along with that self-awareness comes the subtle joy of just being here, alive, enjoying being present in this moment. Eventually, floating in that subjective awareness, the objects of awareness dissolve, and you will come into the spiritual Self, which is pure consciousness, joy, compassion, the One.” ~ Ram Dass

As we practice being present and aware, a new sense of being emerges. We become less attached to external objects, and we feel a sense of connection with everyone.

Living in our Middle Ground, develops compassion for others, and for ourselves… just the way we are.
We feel less disturbance and motivation. There is no longer a feeling of lack, or anxiety. We recognize that everything passes and we are no longer attached. There is no worry or fear.

Yet, staying in our Middle Ground continues to be a practice. There will be times when I am brought back to feelings of  fear or uncertainty, or become attached to something pleasurable. This seems to be way of human beings.

With awareness of this we can bring ourselves back to the first step once more.

And that’s okay.  Its simply an opportunity to find our Middle Ground once more and sense the spiritual Self that is there for us to keep connecting to.

Namaste

* Spiritual Self Inquiry is From the Neck Down

self inquiry

“Meditative self-inquiry is the art of asking a spiritually powerful question. And a question that is spiritually powerful always points us back to ourselves. Because the most important thing that leads to spiritual awakening is to discover who and what we are—to wake up from this dream state, this trance state of identification with ego….

One of the simplest pointers I can give here is to remember that this process of inquiry and investigation really takes place from the neck down. An example of this is when you ask yourself, “What am l?” The first thing most people realize is that they don’t know. So most people will go into their minds to try to figure it out. But the first thing that your mind knows is that you don’t know. In spiritual inquiry that’s very useful information. “I don’t know what I am. I don’t know who I am.”

Once you recognize that, you can either think about it or you can actually feel it. What’s it like when you look inside to find out who you are and you don’t find an entity called “you”? What does that open space feel like? Feel it in your body; let it register in the cells of your being. This is real spiritual inquiry. This transforms what might have been just an abstract thought in the mind into something that is very visceral, very kinesthetic, and very spiritually powerful.

Once we recognize ourselves as awareness itself, our identity can begin to rest in its essence. Who we are is no longer found in our body, mind, personality, thoughts, and beliefs. Who we are rests in its source. When we rest in our source, our body and mind and personality and thoughts and feelings come into harmony.”

~ Adyashanti

These words really resonate with me. As a yogi and teacher I understand the connection with the body and breath to lead us to a place of centered connectedness unlike any other state. Its how I find my middle ground every day.

The answer to our seeking doesn’t lie in our heads.

We must tune in to our inner being, and surrender to what is not known.

Let it register in the cells of your being.

Time to get the mat out and go teach 🙏