Feeling Special

LEASBURG DAM SP, NM—Reader Joyce arrived at the park a few days back. Instead of heading to Thailand or India for an extended retreat, she decided to head to the American Southwest on a spiritual quest. She gave away or sold most of her possessions, packed a tent and hit the road.

While we were talking the other day, she mentioned how one of the things she knew she had to give up was the sense of “feeling special.”

I immediately thanked her because I had completely forgotten about “feeling special,” a trait almost all spiritual seekers have.

Pre-illumination, I too felt special: I was smart and spiritual and knew a lot about meditation and enlightenment—and for the most part I was living it.

It was subtle, but deep down I thought I was special.

Ironically, when the personal self falls away—even though that is extremely rare (ergo, “special”)—so too does the quality of feeling special.

Feeling special is a component of the completely mental-based story that makes up the ego. That story is all in our heads, and when the story drops away, so too does the “feeling special” quality.

You might think that because I blog about Mystical Oneness, about having an intimate two-way relationship with God/Her, about the almost magical events in my life, that I feel special. But that’s the furthest thing from the truth.

When I think about who (or what) I am, I know I’m not special because I know I’m not a “person” anymore.

What I am—what this thing is that seems both inside this body as well as containing this body (and everything else in the Universe)—is, well… well that still eludes me.

But it’s not special. It’s not special at all.

It’s just this.

Bad Things Suck

First Flat On 528

I bought a new home yesterday—a 22 foot 2006 Pioneer Travel Trailer.

While towing it back to Palm Bay, one of the tires blew.

I changed it with the spare.

Five minutes later the spare tire blew.

Ants bit the bejesus out of my feet as I disconnected the trailer and left it on the side of the highway.

I drove to the nearest RV dealer and they didn’t do tires anymore.

They referred me to a wonderful place though, Space Coast Industries, and they gave me a tire and hub (didn’t even ask my name).

I changed the tire…

and ants bit the bejesus out of my feet again.

I towed the trailer to Space Coast Industries and I’m having them replace all the tires.

The tires probably blew because my ball hitch is too low for the trailer, leaning the trailer forward and putting too much weight on the front tires.

A raised ball hitch is only $20 at Walmart.

I won’t get my trailer back until next week.

At the DMV today, it took me three trips to get my address changed and my trailer registered (post 9/11 bureaucracies hate nomads).

The DMV fees were $700 dollars.

It has been a very physically and emotionally exhausting two days.

My Point

Bad things happen to everyone.

If you take “bad things” personally, you suffer.

If you don’t take them personally, they are just painful stuff.

If you think you should always win, you suffer.

If you don’t think you should always win, “bad things” aren’t bad at all, they are just this.

All these events were physically and emotionally painful, but they weren’t personal. They didn’t happen to me, they just happened.

Taking things personally and making winning important are traits of the Mortal level.

They make your life suck.

Let go of the Mortal illusion.

Bad things happen.

Bad things are painful…

but they don’t have to suck

and you don’t have to suffer.

Loving Yourself Too Much

Window and Ladder

Why do you want so much (I want, I want, I want)?

Because you love yourself too much.

When you let go of yourself, when you stop taking yourself so seriously, your identity relaxes and Love naturally awakens, stirs, and shines forth from your very being (Radiance).

The Hair Conundrum (or Why Spiritual Seekers Shave Their Heads)

Wayne (Wirs)

(Photo by Andrea de Michaelis)

To most women, hair is an accessory.

To most men, hair is a part of their identity.

To the devote spiritual seeker, hair can be a real pain in the ass.

More below the break.

Read more…

The Nonduality Quagmire

The Door under the Stairs

PALM BAY, FL–One of the popular approaches to enlightenment today is the path of inquiry. I have a serious problem with this, as most students of it, once they “figure it out,” believe themselves to be awake, when really all they are doing is fooling themselves.

If you don’t feel it, if you don’t feel the Beauty, the Wonder, the Passion, the Light, yes, even the Divine, in you, as you, and around you… then you simply aren’t there yet.

Below is an email from a man who recognizes that he is trapped in a nondual quagmire…

I so badly just want some peace. A loving sense of presence that reassures this body/mind that everything is alright just the way it is. That things are neither wrong nor right… bad or good, that they just are, and as that there is just perfection.

I have read “Sailor Bob”, “John Wheeler”, “Gilbert Schultz”, I had a phone conversation with “Charlie Hayes”, I have met “Byron Katie” at a seminar. My favorite book so far was Perfect Brilliant Stillness by David Carse. I understand there is no personal me… no separate entity. What I am is that presence, that awareness that is knowing all of this. There is only just the one and everything is a manifestation within that.

So why cannot I see through the illusion? Why cannot I see through the separate self? Can it ever happen, can I have any influence towards this?

I know, I know… I, I, I. There is no I to have any influence over anything. I am already that! Jeeze, I am exhausted and yet I cannot stop the seeking. I feel like I am being pulled towards this by a invisible Tractor Beam that won’t let me go, but also won’t let me see through the illusion.

Is there a different way I can approach this? Any ideas you might have would be greatly appreciated. I appreciate your “story”, and your pilgrimage to find answers.

My reply below the break.

Read more…

Naked In A Stream

Little River Canyon

POWELL, AL–Today, I hiked down a trail, took my clothes off and went skinny dipping in a stream. There is something wonderful about being naked in Nature. Nothing between you and the sun and the rocks and the water.

More below the break…

Read more…

Fixing Yourself

The Empty Pot

DEERFIELD BEACH, FL–Fixing yourself is a lot like re-writing a novel–the end result is still a fiction.

Lasting happiness can only come from seeing the personal self for what it is–a collection of thoughts, a story, an illusion.

Your life won’t get any better by fixing yourself.

Get off that hamster wheel. After all these years, it still hasn’t brought you any lasting happiness.

See the lie. Push it away. Let it go.

Empty & Gentle

Resting on Fern Leaves

DEERFIELD BEACH, FL–I have found that there are two qualities that underlie all awareness when the personal self drops–qualities that are powerfully felt when I’m not under the influence of decades-long conditioning: Emptiness and Gentleness.

Emptiness (vastness/openness) is the mental quality of awareness. In a strange, wonderful intermixed sort of way, everything seems to arise (comes into existence) inside of me, is a part of me, and yet is (all at the same time) still separate from me. I use the word “emptiness” because of the strong feeling of it happening inside of me (“me” being the feeling of this vast, living, emptiness). The inside/part of/separate paradox isn’t really a paradox though–it’s just like when you think of an easter bunny: the image is inside you, part of you, and yet separate from you.

Gentleness is the energetic quality. It underlies everything. Conditioned “Wayne” has a lot of Yang (“can-do,” assertive, forceful) energy, but under that conditioning, is this simple, gentleness that feels so much like the “true” me. I’ve often heard other’s call it “love,” but that seems too vague, too idealistic. “Gentleness” feels more alive, more flowing, more natural.

Emptiness is mental and very difficult to experience for most. The noisy personal self is the main barrier to experiencing it.

Gentleness on the other hand is very easy. Just practice being gentle.

Then, as a tool, notice that when you are not being gentle, that you are either under the influence of the personal self or prior conditioning. The simple act of seeing them makes it much easier for them to drop away.

New Video: The Three Enlightenments

The Three Enlightenments Video

SILVER RIVER STATE PARK, OUTSIDE OCALA, FL–I’ve made and uploaded a new video today. Shot from inside a canoe as I drifted down the Silver River outside Ocala, FL. Another example of the one-take-push-record-talk-push-stop technique complete with all the expected unexpected interruptions of real life. Sadly, I didn’t capsize or knock the camera into the water as that would have sent the video soaring up the YouTube viewer ratings. Oh well, maybe next time.

Enjoy and have a wonderful Holiday!