Waiting In Limbo

The Clouds Always Part

The Clouds Always Part

OUTSIDE AJO, AZ

January 19, 2017 5:02 PM

I’ve been in limbo for the last couple of weeks. Adrift and waiting for some sort of clarity are contrary to my core nature—my Inner Ego Aspect. I like projects and creating and a sense of direction and purpose.

But none of these are clear right now.

So I wait. … Read more…

The Threshold

A Mysterious Building Alone In the Vast Desert

A Mysterious Building Alone In the Vast Desert

OUTSIDE WILLIAMS, AZ

October 24, 2016 9:51 AM

I don’t like to give people something more to identify with, ergo the term, you-whatever-that-is, but sometimes it is useful. Particularly when you are trying to let go of everything you hold onto about your me-story.

The excerpt below is from the book-in-progress, a topic in the I AM chapter. This might be a little beyond many of you, but for a reader of the book, at this point in the narrative, they’ll understand what I’m talking about. … Read more…

Nihilism

The Void

The Void

FLAGSTAFF, AZ—Every time I see the word, nihilism, I think of the movie, The Big Lebowski, and every time I think of The Big Lebowski I think of what a perfect movie it is for any serious student of any nondual teaching because The Big Lebowski is anything but serious.

The Big Lebowski is about the Dude, who just wants to abide (and bowl). The Dude is a simple man who keeps getting draw into the entirely mentally-based lives of everyone else around him: Walter, the war veteran, where everything is about Vietnam; Donny, the clueless guy, who is so trapped in his mind that he has to constantly ask what’s going on around him; the feminist who wants a baby; the gold digger who wants a sugar daddy; the broke sugar daddy trying to maintain a facade of wealth; and of course the nihilists.

“We believe in nothing, Lebowski!”

Every serious spiritual student must face the Void… the Emptiness, the Meaninglessness, the Hell of Eternal Darkness… the Nothing.

Every serious spiritual seeker—because as I’ve said before, it’s all about identity—must face their existential angst.

“We believe in nothing, Lebowski!”

The Dude, chatting up the gold digger, comments on a guy, passed out and floating on an inner tube in the pool (ironically in bright sunlight… a pool of Light) and the gold digger says, “Uli doesn’t care about anything. He’s a Nihilist.,” to which the Dude replies:

“Ah, that must be exhausting.”

In the movie, the nihilists are always excessively dramatic. They are so forcefully adamant. The nihilists, who believe in nothing, take their nothing very seriously.

How can Nothing be so exhausting?

The spiritual seeker when confronting Emptiness—because their very identity is collapsing and at risk—take Nothing very seriously.

How can the Void be so frightening? How can Emptiness be so full of foreboding. How can nothing be full of such… something, such dark energy?

Because when the spiritual seeker honestly looks deeply into the Void, they become a Nihilist, and just like every other character in the movie—everyone except the Dude of course—nihilists believe in a mental concept. Nihilist believe in Nothing, and Nothing (Emptiness, the Void) is a mental concept and mental concepts are exhausting.

It is called the Gateless Gate for a reason. You are stumbling around in the dark, but you’ll never find a wall that you can run your hand along to an opening. Nope, you’ll find nothing. Nor will you come across some giant iron door, that when opened reveals a glorious Light. Nope, not that either.

It’s called the Gateless Gate because there is no gate, there is no wall. It’s called the Gateless Gate because the Endless Darkness that you are stumbling around in, the Nothing that appears so real, is just another mental concept.

“We believe in nothing, Lebowski!”

“Ah, that must be exhausting.”

The Light doesn’t shine out of the Darkness—there is no Gate/Darkness. It is the exact opposite: the Darkness comes out of the Light of Awareness.

The “Nothing” is an object in the Light of Awareness. The “Nothing” is a concept of the mind.

The Tao is the source of the ten thousand things…

The Tao is the source of the Nothing/Emptiness/Void.

The Tao is the Light.

Listening To The Thunder And The Truth

The Boulder and the Water

The Boulder and the Water

EAGLE LAKE, CA—The thunder rolled across the sky like giant boulders rumbling down an invisible mountain. Overhead, the clouds sprawled dull and lazy and thick—light and soft above but dark and bloated below. A hundred yards away, two geese stood quietly on the shore as the lake sat in stillness, reflecting the stormy sky while shimmering in anticipation of the rains yet to fall.

The thunder rumbled again and I saw in my mind’s eye a massive boulder tumbling down a mountain, uprooting trees and destroying anything in its path.

I saw the difference between the lives of the selfish and the selfless.

Most people live their lives like boulders crashing down a mountain. Bending and breaking and even destroying what Is for what is wanted.

There’s another way to reach the Ocean.

In the Tao Te Ching, the Tao—the Source of all there is—is often likened to water. It flows effortlessly. It provides life to everything it touches. It is soft and pliable and patient.

It is selfless.

Yesterday, Michelle wrote to me:

“The lesson I am being taught lately: Listening. Listening to nature. Listening to other people. Listening to my emotions. And listening to god/tao/universe whisper to me. This is made much easier when I can realize I don’t have to be governed by this pesky self. This isn’t easy but is much more clear, soft, and resonant with truth. When I can embody listening, I am a vessel… Not a hammer.”

Isn’t that beautiful?

When I can embody listening, I am a vessel… Not a hammer.

– Michelle Martin

Selfless. Not trying to Do, but simply listening to what Is. Not crashing like a boulder, but effortlessly flowing like a river.

Not being the thundering hammer… but the quiet receptive vessel.

What lies below your thoughts? What lies below your “pesky self?”

Do you want to find out the truth of your nature?

Then just listen.

TaoGodHer

Desert Grass In The Setting Sun

Desert Grass In The Setting Sun

The Mountains east of YUMA, AZ

Tao: The vast unknowable space which is the source of the “ten thousand things.” Implied by quantum theory’s quantum potential.

God: The infinite intelligence. Implied by synchronicity.

Her: The Lover/Beloved. Distinctly felt when the personal self illusion is dropped and the duplex personality awakens.

Many call Her God. Some call Her the Universe or the Infinite or Being. I used to call Her simply She, but I now call Her TaoGodHer.

I don’t know why.

I just like the name… TaoGodHer.

Winter Is Coming

The Light on the Wall of a Coffee Shop

The Light on the Wall of a Coffee Shop

WICKHAM CP, FL—After the trailer burned up—after that miserable day—I stopped trying so hard and things once more began to flow.

I returned the dead Craftsman to Sears—and though tempted to deceive them by claiming the new tool was dead but returning the old tool—I instead was honest and explained the situation and they swapped it out without any argument or hassle or problem at all.

I gave the flimsy FPR stuff another shot, this time on the ceiling, but because it was so floppy I couldn’t get it to lay flat so I took it down.

With the van in the sun, the ceiling was allowing in too much heat so I put up another layer of the 3/4″ R-Max. With an inch and a half of the stuff now, the ceiling is noticeably cooler and as a bonus is much more even and smooth.

With the heat and humidity and the miserableness of working on the van in the hot Florida weather, I decided the insulation job complete, bare foam boards and everything. “Winter is coming,” as they say in Winterfell, and working on the rig will be much easier then.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the details and lose track of the big picture. So easy to be pulled every which way by all the noise and the problems.

It’s so easy to get distracted—to lose track of the why.

And I’m not just talking about the van anymore.

Wise words those: Winter is coming.

How To Live In Harmony With Life

Sailboat on the River

Sailboat on the River

WICKHAM CP, FL—Since childhood we’ve been trained to succeed. Trained to jump higher, run faster, and excel at everything we attempt.

We’ve been taught to win without ever really questioning why.

We have been conditioned to fight Life itself.

Maybe the most obvious way to achieve harmony with Life is to quit trying so hard. To learn to hear Life’s whispers and surrender to them.

According to this article, populations who live the longest have a set of common traits. Based on these traits, the article recommends the following:

  1. Move naturally. Don’t do marathons or pump iron. (Do) work around the house, garden, walk, cycle.
  2. Know your purpose. Have a reason for waking up in the morning.
  3. Kick back. Find ways to shed stress, whether it’s praying, napping or going to happy hour.
  4. Eat less. Stop eating when you are 80% full.
  5. Eat less meat. Beans are a cornerstone of most centenarians’ diets.
  6. Drink in moderation. Only the Seventh-day Adventists in California didn’t have one to two glasses a day.
  7. Have faith. Denomination doesn’t seem to matter, but attending faith-based services (4 times a month) does.
  8. Power of love. Put families first, including committing to a partner and keeping aging parents and grandparents nearby.
  9. Stay social. Build a social network that supports healthy behaviors.

Why do I imply the above traits are the whispers of Life?

Because these traits flow.

Don’t they? Don’t they just feel right? Don’t they just feel natural?

Want to live in harmony with Life? Want to flow more? Want to be happier and live longer? Then stop trying so hard. Stop trying to win, stop trying to bend Life to your will. Learn to get in touch with what feels natural and right.

Just keep the following in mind: When She whispers, She whispers through your heart, not your mind.

Recognize the truth to that statement: That She speaks to/through your heart.

The evidence? It should be clear from the list above. What your heart wants is what the list is all about.

Surrender: The Secret of Inner Peace

Hungry Gopher Tortoise

Hungry Gopher Tortoise

WICKHAM CP, FL—As a way of getting what you want, surrender sounds completely counterintuitive, but if what you want is inner peace (and who doesn’t?), then there’s probably no better skill to learn than the simple art of surrender.

Here’s the secret to surrender, something they don’t tell you about in our me-me-me society: The key to winning through surrender is simply not to fight in the first place.

It’s harder to let go than it is to leave alone.

It’s harder to say, “I quit,” than it is to say, “No thanks.”

It’s harder to acquire than it is to flow.

We are constantly presented with things we don’t want to do but, for whatever reasons, need to be done. The way I see it, you have three options:

  1. Don’t do it even though you know you should (fighting/resisting = inner conflict)
  2. Do it and focus on how much you hate doing it (fighting/resisting = inner conflict)
  3. Do it, surrender to it, and, ala Zen’s mindfulness practice, focus on the subtle beauty of what you are doing (surrender/presence = inner peace)

Tips:

  • If you are having a hard time starting a task, then you are focused on you and not on the task before you.
  • If you are resisting, try to notice your conditioning: “I want. I want. I want.” Once you see it, it is a lot easier to drop it.
  • If you still find yourself thinking about a completed task, then you are attached to the outcome. Surrender that too.

But of course the easiest way to surrender—to experience deep inner peace—is to not start fighting it in the first place. Just do, as the Tao Te Ching says, what needs to be done.

Therefore the sage goes about doing nothing, teaching no talking.
The ten thousand things rise and fall without cease,
Creating, yet not possessing,
Working, yet not taking credit,
Work is done, then forgotten.
Therefore it lasts forever.

Tao Te Ching

The less there is of you, the more there is of Her (Tao).

 

Flowing

Two Birds At Dusk

Two Birds At Dusk

WICKHAM CP, FL—I’d like to say I have a plan for the next phase of my life, but plan sounds way too concrete. It’s more like a general direction. Largely I’m just rolling with things as they come up while trying to find some harmony within them.

We’ve gone through all my sister’s belongings and prepared boxes of stuff and big bags of clothes for donation. My parents have decided to move into my sister’s condo and I’ve decided to “caretake” their current one.

(I like that word caretake as it fits well with my aversion to permanency—aka “fear of commitment”.)

I still want to do the snowbird thing, but I can’t see hauling the trailer north every winter so I’m contemplating solutions for that. I’ll probably stick it in storage until I figure out what to do with it. Ironically, Randy just posted a video (apparently inspired by someone else) called, “Don’t Sell Your Rig.” How synchronistic huh? She works in mysterious ways.

I’d still like to get a van, minibus, or maybe a Nissan NV and outfit it as a stealth camper, but things haven’t fallen together on that front, so I’m not pushing it. As I’ve learned the hard way, if things don’t flow effortlessly on their own, then it’s best if I avoid them until they do.

Flowing with life: once you get past the reflexive habits of self-control and self-concern, flowing with Life can be a remarkably peaceful way to live.