Odds and Ends

Lifeguard Stand N of LA

My photo from the October 28 post (the horses and the tree) is up for Travel Photo of the Week on MSNBC–so head on over there and vote for it if you liked it. It’s only the second time I’ve ever submitted a photo to a contest–I just liked the shot.

Spent yesterday exploring the coast north of LA. Very beautiful. The traffic isn’t as bad as you hear–S. FL (where I’m from) is much worse.

Today I had lunch with Chandi, the woman who interviewed me a few weeks ago. We’ve known each other virtually for a few years (six?) but we’d never met until today. Seeing her and talking about enlightenment and spirituality really helped clarify some points to my “message.” A sign of a great interaction is when everyone leaves feeling as if they’ve helped the other and been helped themselves. Felt good.

Drifting South

Two Horses and a Tree

Drifting south. When the personal self drops, so does a lot of motivation. They don’t tell you about this in Enlightenment School.

What motivates you when there is no you?

It’s a bit disconcerting, but I know some (higher? natural? primal? spiritual?) motivation will come along to fill in the hole that was left behind when the ego fled. How can it not?

The Three Enlightenments: The Enlightenment of Oneness

Trolly Tracks

Oneness. A daffodil is seen, but there is only Living. A bird sings but there is only Singing. Though the mind says, “I am walking through the forest,” there is only Walking.

There are no trees in the forest, just Growing. There is no breeze, just Breeze-ing.

There is Breathing, Shining, Clouding, Chirping.

Seeing is as intimate as Touching–Hearing as intimate as Tasting.

All borders and boundaries drop away. There is only Oneness. You are gone, dropped away into the Oneness. The trees, the sky, the clouds, the rivers, turtles, frogs, and deer all drop away into the Oneness.

There is Seeing, but there are no things seen. There is Thinking, but no thoughts grasped. There is the Feel of sand between your toes, but no sand and no toes and no you.

Though the mind says, “Sparrow,” there is only Living.

The Three Enlightenments: The Enlightenment of Stillness

Dying Leaves

Stillness. Thoughts drop away. Movement ceases. Time no longer has meaning.

The eye rests on a flower–the colors, the textures, the subtle shape and softness. A raven caws in the distance and the sound, like music, rises then drops away into nothingness. A breath is drawn, held momentarily, and a faint lightness is felt as Life celebrates another moment in the body.

Stillness. This is the Eternal Now. The past is seen as a collection of ancient and dusty thoughts. The future as fantasies and imagination. In this moment, there can be no ego, not personal story. In the Moment, there is only Reality.

Stillness is a release. It is a letting go. It is surrender.

In Stillness there is no trying, no manipulating, no doing.

In Stillness, there is only being, only total acceptance.

Tomorrow: The Enlightenment of Oneness.

The Three Enlightenments: The Enlightenment of Passion

Old Church Window

Passion. A flower, turning gradually, follows the sun as it arcs across the sky. Two kittens, one crouching down while the other rears on hind legs in a playful attack. A lone sparrow, high in a deep forest pine, sings joyfully. A young woman, taking the arm of her companion, nuzzles close in the cool evening air.

Passion. Life living. For a lack of better words: Love and Light flowing through. All creatures experience it. All creatures are alive because of it. It is the Tao within everything. It is Spirit. It is the Divine Essence. It is the Beloved.

Passionate Enlightenment feels like Light and Love flowing through you. It feels as if you are nothing but an outline, a thin portal for the Divine to enter the world.

This is the love that Christ taught. This is the compassion of the Dalai Lama. This is the non-violence of Gandhi.

Passion is Moving. It is Flowing. It is Beauty and Appreciation and Radiance. It is Life living through Life.

Tomorrow: The Enlightenment of Stillness.

The Three Enlightenments: An Introduction

South Lake. Near Bishop, CA

Though there are many aspects to enlightenment, my “center” seems to shift and flow primarily through these three states:

  • Passion (Love)
  • Stillness (Presence)
  • Oneness (Clarity)

The Enlightenment of Passion is Yang (Active), the Enlightenment of Stillness is Yin (Passive), and beyond both–arising from the merging of the two–is the Enlightenment of Oneness.

Update November 17, 2009: Download a guided meditation to help you experience The Three Enlightenments.

Tomorrow: The Enlightenment of Passion.

The Sierras

The Sierra Mountains

Feeling the pull for a change of atmosphere, I traveled south over the last few days, eventually finding a quiet camp at the foot of the Sierra mountains outside of Bishop, California. There is a tiny brook babbling near my rig and a few campers have set up tents a half mile or so upstream.

Though it is high desert country, the water from the brook feeds the trees and shrubs producing a line of foliage through the rocks and sand and hills. Birds nest here and, doing what birds do best, chirp and flitter about. The air is clear and clean and blue and the snow on the mountains contrasts nicely with the browns and grays and golds of the lower hills.

The isolation, the nature, and the beauty help clarify the message that seems to be circulating within me–a message that seems to want to be told. It’s futile to fight this “movement,” futile to try to make things happen–to bend it or use it. Lately it feels more natural to allow Life to live through me rather than for me.

I sit outside and look up into the mountains. It’s quite peaceful here.

Confidence & Spiritual Growth

Three Open Windows

Confidence. It’s not something most would consider important in spiritual growth–but I’ve found it can have a profound effect on clearing your mind. At the Adyashanti satsang last week, I talked to a few different people about just this subject…

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Confirmation with Adyashanti

Two Rocks, Still Water

Last week, I went to see Adyashanti who was holding satsangs (talks) in Portland. At the end, during the concluding question and answer portion, I raised my hand and, when called on, approached the microphone…

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The Bridge Across the Void

Rocks in a Bay

In the West, few, if any, enlightenment teachers (Advaita Vedanta, Non-Dualism, etc.) provide a practical way to cross the Void–the gulf between Ego Consciousness and Enlightened Awareness.

This is no fault of theirs. The teachers listed above can only teach what they know–what they have experienced. Since most of today’s enlightened teachers “stumbled” upon enlightenment, they have little, if anything, to say about a way across the chasm separating them from their students.

But there is a practical and teachable way to cross the expanse, and–though I mostly found it by accident–the path follows traditional and ancient teachings…
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