Today, after talking with her, I felt the urge to judge people harshly. I found myself chewing on the inside of my cheeks, or nibbling on the skin on the sides of my fingernails. My heart ached and my jaw was tight and I kept taking deep breaths whenever my kids needed something from me. The deep breaths drawing in deeply from an imaginary cigarette made of patience. Because I wasn't feeling patient. I felt unloved. I felt out of control. I felt unsafe in the world and was keenly aware of lurking powerlessness as if it was a thing that was going to attack me at any minute. And these things, these things and more are what we do and what we feel, when we believe we are separate from one another. When we feel unwelcome in the world by another. When we feel that we are disconnected from the ground we walk upon, the food we eat, the air we breathe. It's not just about childhood, because even the happiest western child isn't raised with a sense of belonging here, of truly being welcomed. Parents that don't feel they are connected can't help but share the same with their offspring. What is happening to us is about an interrupted continuity with true nature. It seems to be what we all contend with.
The other day, my sage daughter and I ate some honeysuckle. We broke off a piece of vine and brought it home for dessert. When we looked at it later that night, it had completely withered. It had been disconnected. I looked at the sad flowers, robbed of their true strength, dying not of old age, but through the loss of connection... And there we all were. We disconnected, interrupted flowers. And we are all walking around wondering why we feel so withered, perplexed at our lack of growth, not feeling so sweet after all. But there is good news, a whole lot of good, sweet nectary news in store.
About a year ago, something very potent began happening to me. It was a mixture of a black hole tearing me apart, rampant energetic earthquakes, deeply gripping fear, along with an overflowing deep residing love for all things thrown in for good measure. Some call it a Spiritual Emergency, others call it a Kundalini Awakening. I have come to the conclusion that it really doesn't matter what the name of it is. The result is all that is important at this point in time. I don't know how, I don't care why, but as the awakening unfolded I entered a place where an uninterrupted peace was discovered. As if I was magically reconnected to that severed spot in the honeysuckle bush. And the surprising thing is that the place I entered was inside of myself. The wonderful thing is that the place I entered was not new, it was familiar. The most familiar place that there has ever been. It was also not small, with enough room for everything. In fact, I found that everything was already there.
Today, after talking with my ex wife it showed me once again, that I have no control over the actions of others, or over anything. The heart ached because the subject matter involved the sage daughter who I pick honeysuckle with and her brother who I am sure has already made the world a better place. I chewed on the inside of my cheeks and nibbled my nails as my mind spun around how I could have an open heart under these particular circumstances-an arduous divorce that I know will deeply affect my children in ways I cannot help. I took deep drags on the cigarette of patience when the children who I have to let go of in so many myriad ways that I never imagined-circle about me, asking to play, even as their mother, attempts to pull them away. Then I hear the sound and instantly remember the uninterrupted place. Then I fall in synch with the sound. This sound has been with me ever since a year ago, when the "I" that was, left for good. Always in the right ear, always like the sound of creation or the greenish sound of every tree growing at once. The sound is uninterrupted, but if I get pushed enough, it can sound very faint at times. As I breathed, the volume regained its strength. So, as I sat there watching my kids play, as the tears welled along the brim of my eyelids, as the eyes witnessed the end of my dream for my children yet again, I felt the uninterrupted place as well. It's always there. Even when "I" am sure I am struggling, I usually end up laughing... At least at how seriously I am taking it. That sound was there before "I" was and it will be here after "I" am long gone.
Awakening doesn't mean that I don't care any longer. Awakening to true nature for me means I care more passionately than I ever have. It means that every feeling of being disconnected can still be felt, but now I have become the observer. I observe myself as someone who is experiencing anguish, while knowing the one who is suffering is the one who has been conjured forth over the course of my life, with one purpose... To survive being disconnected, to survive being interrupted. I look at that created person and marvel at what a wonderful job he did trying in saving my life as I wandered the desert. Today, as I talked to my ex-wife on the phone, my dreams in pieces once again as I could see that there would be no peace between us, I loved the experience. I loved myself for existing. I loved the air for passing in and out of my body. I loved that I experienced compassion, true compassion for the hurting soul on the other end of the phone. I could feel and hear her footsteps on the sandy desert of ego. I could sense her anguish of being cut off from the source, and believing that it has something to do with me.
I love times like these, when I feel myself clenched and struggling. Because it reminds me so starkly, through contrast, of where I have spent nearly all of my life. My life used to appear as uninterrupted struggle, or nearly so... With brief small windows of clarity and connection with all living things. Then, back into the fray. Now, the polarity isn't reversed, but my experience of life is. What happens now is that I feel an uninterrupted sense of peace and well being, or nearly so... With brief small windows of struggle where I may begin to worry that the clarity was just a dream. Then, back into peace all over again. Indeed, there are more things that fit under the title "struggle" in my life now than I have ever experienced in my 37 years. Nearly bankrupt, divorcing from my best friend and wife of 16 years, integrating a new love into my life along with my two children, and the business I run is pretty much underwater at the moment. Yet, my experience of this isn't detachment, nor despair, or even struggle. Instead it feels quite beautiful. A beautiful unfolding of a flower growing in the desert. And let us make no mistake about the times we live in, thriving spiritually in our current culture is like flowering in the desert... Unless we find that place inside. If we look for water outside of ourselves in this culture of materialism, we will only get thirstier. Instead look within yourself, within the hearts of others, and most importantly look to nature. The most amazing thing I have discovered is that, when people ask me what it feels like, this place that has flowered within, the most ready answer I can give is this..."look into the woods, look at the leaves, the way the wind moves things, see the clouds against the bright blue sky, hear the creek flow, listen the animal sounds-how do you feel inside when you do these things?" When they smile, I say "that is how this place feels". It is no accident but a wonderful coincidence that when peace and true nature are found inside, it feels like true nature uninterrupted in the natural world. They are the same place. True nature isn't actually located inside of us. It is just that when we listen carefully to how life moves through us, what it is compelling us to move towards, we may come to feel that the answers are inside of us. In fact, when we listen to 'ourselves', more and more we will all eventually have the realization and remembrance that we are really reestablishing our uninterrupted connection with all of nature and with everything. Uninterrupted through hardship and toil. Uninterrupted through heartbreak of the surviving ego. Untinterrupted through illness, death and rebirth. Uninterrupted through financial woes and messy divorces.
Uninterrupted is the way I hear the sound... Do you hear it too? If you don't, then go outside and sit somewhere. Get a job working outdoors. Plant something. Sit by a creek. Lay on the ground at a nearby park. Watch just one bird and follow it for an hour. In other words, if you cannot yet find the natural rhythm inside of yourself, then let mother nature hold your hand for a while. Let the sacred Earth remind you until you can hear the sound on your own.
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