An eclectic spiritual & inspirational place to heal, learn, feel & expand. Heart & soul first. Miraculous experiences from India as well as the life & times of a spiritual healer/teacher in the U.S. Miracles, saints, sages, gurus, healing, life & death... and more...!

Friday, January 27, 2006

unburdening (a poem)

Originally uploaded by alxindia.

27 january 2006

let's be clear:
you started this journey
back when the world was new
from a town
somewhere in the middle
of the middle (& it made sense)

with a few simple things
rolled up in a cloth
tied to a stick
or swept into a small bag.

from then 'til now
the mystery of accumulation
is unfathomable --

a pair of socks picked up in a dark city,
some brightly illustrated comic books highlighting
the existential crisis & lack of superheroes in the modern world,
two piles of dirty clothes left over from a relationship gone sour,
an anonymous phone number scrawled on a card, saying "call me!"

where did all this stuff come from?
how did it all get to seem so important?
(how did it all get so heavy?)

& why are you still carrying all the tears of the past,
into such foreign & unknown territory
as the future?

when you meet people in your travels,
quite a number of them
are fresh to the business of journeying,
& as such, are completely unencumbered,
skipping blithely along,
humming about wizards.

they're the ones who look at you
open-faced in their non-comprehension
& curious in their pity.

(they travel lighter these days.)

they see you struggling, panting,
limping, folding over & near the crumpling point
as you stagger along under the weight
of all that baggage

& wonder, innocently, whether
you really need all those crates on your back
why you're still clutching
in one hand
some photos of parents & grandparents,
those sepia people
who suffered their own voyaging pains
& walked many roads (some dead-end streets)
before you were ever born.

it's a question to ponder, isn't it?
they had, after all, their own luggage,
their own homes full of furniture
& bitter disappointments, dust, cheer,
memories of what-might-have-been,
& matching sets of utensils & dreams...

what's theirs was theirs.
what's yours isn't theirs
(so why do you persist
in adding their cobwebby crap
& old twisted forks to your own bags?)

& it's clear to an outsider,
a fool, a joker, a wanderer who should, by rights,
be carrying three houses, nine lives
& many children on her back,
in addition to the sorrows of the world,

that even what's yours isn't yours.

the easiest thing in the world to see
when another person is struggling
to carry an unbearable load
is this:

all burdens should simply be put down
by the side of the road -- now! --
while you rest
for a while.

(your movement
is more important
than your stuff.)

later, when it's time to move on
& keep walking
into possibility,

you can simply
leave what you dropped
on the ground behind you.

trust that the right hands
guided by an Unseen Traveler
will come along
& pick up those troubles
to dispose of them properly.

one more thing:

later still,
when you can hardly recall
what all that clutter even looked like,

you'll begin
to fly.

Friday, January 20, 2006

my front door!

Originally uploaded by alxindia.
this is Frost Cottage.... my home temple in the redwoods.... the front door...

and a doorway into the possibility of healing and forgiveness...

I've been ruminating on how far I've come in terms of 'getting myself out of the way,' of dropping seemingly important internal dramas, of letting go, of forgiving myself and others for slights great, small, imagined and uh, 'genuine.'

there is a saying in 12-step circles: 'would you rather be happy or right?'

as a younger woman, I went 20 rounds with myself in that ring, often no decision. (grinning here!)

finally I recognized it's a choice, a really conscious, vital, disciplined choice, to be happy no matter WHAT.

and even to enjoy being wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(in the Vedic terminology, this is a state called "stithipragnatata," or, 'whatever it is, it is.')

one day many years ago, I was walking along the road in the redwood forest of Northern CA, ruminating on all this stuff and some fresh hurts that had come my way (and were triggering memories of old hurts)... and it hit me like a blinding light -- the most stressful thing in my life was..... ME!!!!!!!!

the only person creating any kind of real stress and pain and hurt in me was me!

(more accurately, I guess, I'd say now it was my mind and my wild, unruly emotions at the time...)

but I saw it really clearly, blindingly clearly, that everyone else whom I THOUGHT was contributing to my tough times and inner turmoil (not to say there weren't challenging relationships and situations with other people) was pretty much innocent.

I was the one perpetuating the drama, in my own head, and in my own heart and causing myself untold grief simply because I couldn't let anything go.

holding, holding.

having studied so much in India, especially training in the Five Elements (earth, fire, water, air and sky) -- I know now that something else was implicated -- so much holding blame, anger, anxiety, upset, resentment, betrayal, lack of forgiveness is all held in the Earth element.

it's the Earth's nature to hold. it's so magnetic.

washing out the Earth element's grip on my heart has been super-helpful in creating detachment and forgiveness, in me, and willingness to let go of stuff easily and admit that I'm being an idiot in the moment I'm being an idiot, not three weeks or months later.

finally, yes, I would much much rather be happy than right.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

enjoying the illusion of politics...

lately, I'm struck by the 'play' every time I engage with the political landscape in Washington, DC these days -- (I follow the news and watch carefully what's going on, from a lot of angles especially foreign policy) -- I mean, "all the world's a stage and the men and women but players on it," as Shakespeare said.

(and many people know Shakespeare's alter identity as a divine saint....yes? no?)

I realize more and more that my own role in this world, as a citizen of the planet and as an American by birth (in this lifetime), is to go deeper and deeper into my own spiritual life and awareness and understanding of what makes this whole wacky creation tick -- so that I can see beyond the day-to-day illusion of politics, policy, corruption, hierarchy, limelight, graft and the personalities of leaders and elected representatives who're all taking part in the play and executing their roles admirably.

I keep reminding myself that part of the nature of the Divine is its love of its own Illusion, what they like to call Maya in Sanskrit. -- it is simply playing a million interesting roles through a million interesting lives, simultaneously and for Its own enjoyment. we think it's all so so so serious.... and it's definitely absorbing.... but the stories we hear every day in the news aren't particularly real, they're (viewed from the eyes of the Infinite) just stories.

so -- from my perspective, I keep reining my outrage and righteous indignant reactions back, soberly telling myself again and again that these are actors, playing their divinely-scripted roles, and playing them beautifully.

someone once asked a prominent Indian saint, a real yogi, about Hitler and the amount of evil he'd brought into the world. the saint smiled for a moment and replied, "well, yes, he played his role well." in other words, the creation and the world and the cosmic had a lot of concurrent and simultaneous reasons of Its own for letting such a monster assume so much power and cause so much misery and suffering, on the surface level.

I think once you know, really know, what's at the bottom of the mechanisms of this play, ie, who's writing the script and why, who's directing the show, who's really playing the different characters, what their karmas are, etc., then it doesn't affect you the same way as it used to AND you can be of enormous, and lasting help, to other people still suffering in the throes of trying to understand it all and somehow, valiantly, fix what appears to be broken.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

well, about gurus...

JAMMS altar aug05
Originally uploaded by alxindia.
I find that many many Americans, friends, people I know, students, whoever, have a misunderstanding about the staggering difference between teachers and gurus.

teachers are fine, there are many awake people with common sense and beautiful values who're bringing a certain measure of relief and insight to peoples' lives -- but they are NOT gurus.

a real guru is a spiritual being who is willing -- happy -- to take on the thankless task of transforming & purifying the karmas of people they come into contact with (and souls, on the subtle level). it means, they are selfless beings who are willing to go to any lengths necessary, even physical sacrifice, like Christ did, or Ramakrishna, or Ramana Maharshi, in order to further the divine evolution and enlightenment of their students & the souls they're responsible for.

a real guru knows what is beyond the life-death cycles because they traverse that distance, through soul traveling, leaving their body behind for dead while they're out of it, frequently. they know how to take the soul out of the body and they know how to put it back in.

'immortality' isn't just a word they've learned; they are embodying it in their actions and awareness because they know what is the soul, what is the divine, what is the life, what is the death.

this is an utterly terrifying concept for most people -- to throw in their lot with a guru -- because on one hand, that guru may turn out to be an untrustworthy charlatan (it happens often enough), or, on the other hand, the guru may just turn out to be the real thing in which case a normal person HAS to, at some point, admit that they are, themselves, clueless about how this creation really works. and that the guru actually DOES know that stuff.

that means, the ego has to die.

(and y'all know how much we love our egos!!!!!!!)

and we have to be able to walk beyond our fear of death.

that's a tall order, not many are called to jump in those deep waters.

of those who do, few can stand the water after a while.

even fewer are willing to learn how to swim in it.

why? because it's hard work.

T.S. Eliot wrote:

"a condition of utter simplicity,
costing not less

than everything."