Why do we so fervently fear the experience of a broken heart?
The way I see it, we must fear it because of the fear. In and of itself, what’s so horrifying about the process of grief?
Can the heart, and by heart I mean the symbol of spirit or true self, actually be broken? How can the unlimited and unbound be anything less than perfectly and eternally free? Free of pain, free of breakage of any kind, free of grief.
“Whatever suffers is not part of me,” A Course in Miracles reminds me.
So I, the human, let the waves of grief come and go, without analyzing, fighting or resisting. I keep dancing despite the limp. I filter the grief through love, rather than through fear, by asking love to show me the real meaning and purpose of grief.
And as I keep dancing with the limp, love shows me that nothing real can ever be broken, lost or separated from itself. It only appears that way, only in the dream, or nightmare, of individual existence that we, hypnotized by fear, value so much.
Fear takes me to hell, while love grounds me in truth.
So whether I laugh or cry, whether I gracefully glide or stumble with a limp, I ask and keep asking love to have this dance. And the next. And the next. And love always, always, always gently whispers…yes.
Today I swam 108 laps without stopping, and rather than being exhausted, my heart feels as big as the sky and full of love.
I have been doing 108 sun salutations, along with my yogis, for every solstice and equinox for eight years, and since I swim now too and today is summer solstice, I figured I’d swim 108 laps and dedicate my swim to six people who I know could use some extra love right now (but also to anyone whose heart may be heavy today, for whatever reason). I wrote their names on my arm so that in moments of my ego bitching and story telling I could just look at my arm and remember the love that was fueling this challenging practice.
I have found long ago that anything powered by love and a devotion to that which connects us all easily erases all doubt, fear and whatever other assorted aspects of the ego. I have also found that this world is full of suffering and is so by design, and that no one is immune from human suffering, as long as we mistakenly take ourselves to be just human. Finally, I have found that the only way out of suffering is the way inward, into our hearts, and one of the most effective ways to live from the heart is to give and keep giving and continue to give from the heart.
My body may be sore and tired but my heart is full of love because I decided to give love. What we give, we also keep, and the more we give, the more we keep. Such is the way of reality, which is completely contrary and foreign to the ego. But the ego is contrary and foreign to our true nature, so no paradox there.
This Sunday (June 23), I’ll guide my yogis through 108 sun salutations at Rishi Yoga. Imagine one person dedicating a challenging practice to all that’s true, real and eternal, like I did today, and add just one other person joining in, and you’ll get a sense of why such a practice is so powerful. As A Course in Miracles teaches: “Yet when two or more join together in searching for truth, the ego can no longer defend its lack of content.” And all that’s left is what always has been and what we always have been: love.
Some people’s asshole tendencies come out when they drink tequila. The wind is and always has been my tequila. (Why, again, do I live in Reno?! LOL) It’s been an alcohol free hangover for me every morning for the last week.
It’s not just the relentless pressure in my head but the feelings of irritation and frustration and anxiety.
But it’s easy to blame the damn wind. And all the while, the wind doesn’t care. If it did care and could speak, maybe the wind would say: “Hey, if I stir up irritation and frustration and anxiety in you, don’t blame me, but look at the real source of those feelings in yourself.”
Hm. I’d say the wind has a point.
Somehow we expect this very unstable world to give us stability. And we expect this very imperfect body to be reliable and even be a source of comfort. And most of all, we expect the mind’s default setting, the ego, to lead us to peace, when the ego itself is an attack on peace.
I can very well walk around with a headache and jitteriness and still be at peace. The secret that’s not a secret at all is that I have a choice whether I identify with my body, and its master, the ego. If I do, I suffer. But I don’t have to suffer because I have the absolute freedom to unbind my mind, moment to moment, from this thought to the next, and one windy day at a time.
As A Course in Miracles teaches: “The power of decision is my own.” If we fully accepted this truth, loss of peace would be impossible. But if you’re like me, you may still need many lessons, which will look different on the surface but will all teach this same simple truth because truth IS simple: I’m either at peace or I’ve chosen not to be. What a relief it’s always up to me.
Ramana Maharshi said: “Everything in the world was my guru.” And I agree. The wind included.
The winter solstice is the acknowledgement and the celebration of the darkest night of the year. Yet most traditions and most people focus today on the return of the light. Why are we uncomfortable with and afraid of darkness?
Yes, light is what we are in reality. And in reality, there’s nothing but light. But within the illusion of time and space and separation, we have made darkness real and therefore it is real for us.
And it will be so until we stop repressing and denying our shadow and start simply looking at it with the eyes of patience and compassion.
The darkness in us is not an evil force but simply parts of ourselves that we mistakenly judged as bad and sinful and wrong, and out of fear of facing those parts, we threw them into the basement of our being and locked the door.
Going back into the basement and turning on the light, we see that there are no monsters there at all.
But to get to the point of turning on the light, we have to first face the fact that there is a basement to begin with, and then go into it and face the darkness. Only then can we turn on the light and see that the monsters were real only in our imagination.
Darkness is not the problem, but our denial of its existence is. Darkness is not to be integrated, but simply looked at from a different perspective. Once the light is turned on, darkness is gone, just like a dream is gone once we wake up.
As A Course in Miracles teaches, “The light is in you. Darkness can cover it, but cannot put it out.”
There’s nothing to fear. Time to start the uncovering.
Several people came to me this week, saying the same thing, more or less: “I just feel so confused. I have no clarity right now.” I didn’t think I could possibly inspire or console anyone because I felt the same way. Wave after wave of stupid and senseless violence had me thinking I was back in Bosnia, a child in the middle of a war, trying to understand how humans and the world and life can be so damn cruel…
After the violent incident in Las Vegas, which shook up the whole state, I even doubted whether I should keep teaching yoga and owning a yoga studio because all I wanted to do is hide from the world, preferably after letting myself scream every variation of the F word because of my frustration and disappointment with the said world.
This one hit home more than I expected, maybe because Nevada is my home now. Maybe because as a child I witnessed humans turn into monsters overnight, brutally killing anyone who opposed their sick agenda. Maybe what disturbed me most is seeing how effective the fear-based conditioning and propaganda has been since we seem to be turning against each other in ways that are increasingly soul mutilating for all.
If there would have been a way to get “beamed up” and out of here, I think I would have taken that option on.
But as always, teaching yoga and doing my best to be a space holder for others — even and maybe especially on days I feel like I’m not qualified to be that — turned out to be the magic trick for getting my head out of you know where. Yes, we were sad, disturbed, angry, disappointed and scared. But we also were, and still are, warriors of LIGHT.
Consider this: If the dark could have won, it would have won by now. Throw your darkness at me and you may disorient me for a moment, “But still, like dust, I’ll rise,” as Maya Angelou said.
For me personally, this was a reminder to go back to my study and a practice of A Course in Miracles. I had drifted away from it a bit, not because I didn’t fully resonate with its teachings but because my ego tripped me up and I dropped back into being attached to the ways of the world, although I fully know that the world is nothing but a projection of our fear based thoughts of separation. Something that is based on fear, like this world, can only produce fear. And my fear reaction to anything happening in the world just perpetuates the whole illusion.
It is so easy to get carried away by the insanity of duality. It may not be as easy to get ourselves out of the whole mess of having followed the ego down the rabbit hole, but it’s also not impossible. It’s actually very much possible and in reality, all of us are already outside of this silly dream of separation and fear but we haven’t yet woken up to our own reality.
Knowing this, what else is there to do and what else could I possibly strive for other than remembering fully what I am because once I know what I am, everything else will take care of itself.
So here is my message to us all (including myself, of course):
Don’t expect to make sense of an insane world.
Your lack of clarity about the world is a sign of your recognition of the nonsensical and fear based nature of this illusion we have mistaken for our home.
Embrace your feelings of confusion and even helplessness, and ask for a different way to interpret these feelings. This new way will help you see that all acts of violence, hatred and fear are disguised calls for love by those who have completely forgotten what they are. It’s up to you to remember what YOU are, and forgive those who are still in the dark, “for they know not what they do,” as a beautiful brother of ours taught so long ago.
Remember this: You are not here in reality at all, but while seemingly within this dream, your job is not to understand the world, or to figure out why it is the way it is. You are here for one reason only: to remember what you are. Your mission of self remembering, once started, is the greatest gift you can give to the world and the most powerful — and only — catalyst for change.