just be it It’s about the work involved in establishing a dedicated practice to feelings of a bigger belonging through practices aimed at increasing feelings of compassion, gratitude and forgiveness
March, 2009

On ‘Big Hope’ and Notions of Surrender, Acceptance, and OK

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

I just wanted to jot down some thoughts I had about ‘big hope’, ‘wholeheartedness’, ‘confidence’ and ‘feeling’ in relation to another perspective of prayer.

“That situation (person becomes supreme person, who is melted into the universe) is unknowable with our consciousness. It’s impossible for me to express it in words. But maybe you can feel that it is true, that Buddha’s activity is something that could appear in your life in the future. If so, that feeling becomes a kind of prediction, foreknowledge, or hope. That is called big hope.” P. 145

“It is possible to make that foreknowledge become real. Hope comes up, you do something with full devotion, you forget yourself, and you change the structure of time and space. Then, even though you don’t see it, people feel that.” P. 146

“All at once the past swallows up the present and spits it out. Pop! At the pivot of nothingness the next moment unfolds and a new world appears.

“The past, the present, the future are beings, but they are interconnected right now.” P. 111

Quotes from Each Moment the Universe by Dainin Katagiri, edited by Andrea Martin

In The Isaiah Effect Greg Braden introduces a fifth mode of prayer that “allows us to merge our thoughts, feelings, and emotions into a single, potent force of creation.” There’s a stepping from time, where we offer gratitude for what already exists, rather than expressing lack and asking for something to be answered.

Express by a SW Native American:

“When I was young our elders passed on to me the secret of prayer. The secret is that when we ask for something, we acknowledge what we do not have. Continuing to ask only gives power to what has never come to pass.”

“The path between man and the forces of this world begins in our hearts. It is here that our feeling world is married to our thinking world. In my prayer, I began the feeling of gratitude for all that is and all that has come to pass. I gave thanks for the desert wind, the heat, and the drought, for that is the way of it, until now. It is not good. It is not bad. It has been our medicine.

“Then I chose a new medicine. I began to have the feeling of what rain feels like. I felt the feeling of rain upon my body. Standing in the stone circle, I imagined that I was in the plaza of our village, barefoot in the rain. I felt the feeling of wet earth oozing between my naked toes. I smelled the smell of rain on the straw-and-mud walls of our village after the storms. I felt what it feels like to walk through fields of corn growing up to my chest because the rains have been so plentiful. The old ones remind us that this is how we choose our path in this world. We must first have the feelings of what we wish to experience. This is how we plant the seeds of a new way. From that point forward, our prayer becomes a prayer of thanks. (not a prayer of thanks for what we’ve created, because creation is already complete) Our prayer becomes a prayer of thanks for the opportunity to choose which creation we experience. Through our thanks, we honor all possibilities and bring the ones we choose into this world.”

Neville, The Power of Awareness

“make our future dream a present fact by assuming the feeling if our desire fulfilled”

(stepping from time, restlessness gone)

Johnson, This Precious Moment…Just Be It.

“As we launch into action, we often continue to carry our notions of separation of body from the event (subject/object). Yet at the highest levels of performance we surrender in full confidence to the insight that nothing is in our control but our willingness to give it up in full gratitude for the opportunity to participate. As we come to respect our core being-ness, we come to still the mind in full attention to the precious present moment. There’s consequent happiness from gratitude for the gift of belonging. At this moment, we step beyond pride, fear, judgment, and comparison, with the map surrendered, touching the territory outside notions of time and space.”

Michael Beckwith “We must stand in full gratitude for what is so room is given for new to come in”

Brother David Steindl Rast “Harmonious living requires making space always to find the gift in the given”. Happiness is a necessary consequence of gratitude. You ask, “Gratitude for what?” For opportunity…opportunity to participate.”

I can relate to my “change of prayer” as a youngster and how it played out 15 years ago with my two boys, relating a sense of ‘feeling’, ‘gratitude for gift given outside of time’, ‘confidence’, and ‘big hope’….touching the field of intuition.

Nothing separates…it’s always connected. Only energy dissipates, arising and dissipating….growing where attention is put, entropy where it’s not. This sense of connection is felt through the heart, thus “wholehearted” living and action. Cognition is separating and it’s why it’s so important to study the power of “feeling”.

Thich Knat Hahn speaks of our storehouse of feelings….positive and negative. Mindful living waters the seeds of positive, connecting feelings and brings them into the living room. We aim to leave the negative feelings of separation in the basement, and have confidence that they change and can dissipate just through observation.

In many respects, we can see we do the most harm when moving from our head with a sense of “I know that”, rather than moving from awareness to heart (wholehearted action) in our deepening to the play of impermanence and interdependent co-origination.

“Seeing the total functioning of time and space simultaneously gives you a deep appreciation toward human life. That is wonderful inspiration.”

Dogen says: see something with wholeheartedness; hear something with wholeheartedness. Without this actual practice, you can not make illumination alive in your life.

p. 84

From Survival of the Fittest to the Common Sense of Cooperation and Collaboration

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

Where are you on your thoughts of creation? This seems to be the core of much of our global malcontent. The neo Darwinists carry a belief in survival of the fittest. On the other end of the spectrum, those believing in creationism and intelligent design hold that a God ‘out there’ made man in final form in a ‘likeness to God’. Both extremes are dualistic in nature and encourage collaboration as long as we believe what they believe. Yet, today we find our advances in science evidencing our interconnection with everything. Our current global economic crisis is dramatically highlighting the fallacy in thinking the most wealthy and famous will always be the most fit to survive. Wall Street is collapsing from years of pushing for higher short term quarterly profits at the expense of a moral conscience. As we face radical adjustments in our felt sense of security, our basic belief systems become more and more challenged. Do I raise my fear from a perspective of others coming to get my stuff? Do I lose my sense of worth when I lose my job? In effect, how do I language my thoughts and speech through this rapidly increased change in our understanding and experience of the world? Who and what do I trust? Those holding to a strong religious belief carry a ‘survival of the fittest’ attitude in their belief in second hand information about ‘making it to the promised land’. There’s a linear thought system that has worked well for the churches of different religions. It says that if you ‘do this’ and ‘believe that’ you’ll be rewarded in eternity, unlike those who miss this golden opportunity and continue suffering through eternity. It carries a strong notion of being right, judging others, and often carries a command to get others to think and believe the same things without any first hand experience. Again, who do you trust?

We’re now facing a massive paradigm shift in our thinking. Notions of superiority, of being the ‘good guy’, and offering help to fix things when help has not been asked are being turned upside down. The neoconservatives of the Bush administration repeatedly implemented policies from a sense of ‘rightness’ at the expense of curiosity. Unfortunately, a strong sense of ‘knowing’ kills the cooperative/collaborative experience. This resulted in massive military expenditures on false information that now contribute to a failing economy. The failure to transparently ask deeper questions about the nature of preemptive unilateral war, violations of our humanitarian treatment of prisoners, refusal to dialog and mediate with other countries, and a continued religious belief agenda permeating our legal system dramatically reduced our progress to cooperation/collaboration.

After 9/11, we had a rich opportunity for global cooperation/collaboration in our attempts to step beyond the toxicity of religious dogma. Unfortunately, we stepped up the battle on whose God is the ‘right’ one as fundamentalist Christians battle fundamental Islamic peoples in ever increasing numbers. We just endured our most expensive political election with all parties claiming a strong Christian belief system. While we made major strides in breaking intellectual, gender, age and racial prejudice, will it take another forty years to break religious prejudice? Will it be too late before we start cooperating/collaborating in slowing global warming? Will our justice system and political system crumble from our lack of cooperation/collaboration? Will our health care and education system continue to entropy as we cling to our fixed notions of us vs. them? Will we continue to suffer immensely from our current global economic correction? Or will we use this as a rich opportunity to once again touch the ancient spiritual commands to cooperate and collaborate?

Some questions to ponder?

Is the dramatic increase in gun sales the last frontier in our transformation to love, gratitude and forgiveness?

What concrete steps are we making to simplify our lives, reducing the harm we cause others, things and our planet? (In travel, diet, general consumption, relationships, etc.)

In the face of crisis, of rapid change, am I moving more and more to appreciation of the present moment and sharing my resources or further from the moment in anticipation of increased suffering in the future, hoarding what I have and mourning my loss of recognition for past achievements? In effect, am I ‘feeling’ harmony and rhythm with life’s interconnection, or am I disharmonic, numb to what ‘is’. Am I moving from compassion or fear? Am I moving from a desire to fix and be recognized or a desire to connect and collaborate?

Are my comments from curiosity and increased desire to listen or from ego’s desire to persuade? Is my language and presence energy gaining or energy draining? Am I free from complaint, in gratitude for the opportunity to participate in what ‘is’, making room for more new to come in? Am I filled with anxiety, complaint, and fear about losing my ‘stuff’ and my approval from others for what I’ve done and what I’ve accumulated?

Am I burying my head in the sand, just hoping things will get better? Am I increasing my awareness to what is through increased stewardship to body, mind, family, community, nation and planet?

Who and what can I trust? Where is God? Who am ‘I’? What do I really, really, really want? What do I really, really need? What commitments must I make to move in this direction?

Science has substantiated the mystery of our interconnectedness. Ancient spiritual texts from most religions and indigenous cultures have commanded us ‘to do what’s best for all with harm to none’ in stewardship to our healthy evolution. How can I minimize harm with mindful, energy gaining speech, curious listening from the heart, watered seeds of positive thought and emotion, and ever increased ‘felt’ sense of our oneness?

Can I surrender my notions of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ in deep curiosity to explore the mystery further? Can I hold love for my perceived enemy, in full allowance to their different life journey, free from my need to ‘change’ them? Can I serve as one who connects, who is an energy enhancer, practicing movement to a higher vibration? Am I practicing movement to a higher thought of cooperation and collaboration?

Am I sharing my background and resource from the heart, free from ego’s desire to be recognized? Am I strong enough to weather the storm of silence when others decline my assistance? Can I hold humility to the gifts of my life experience and training, offering my willingness to participate only when others have consented to my contribution?

Am I forever willing to drill deeper into the question or have I stopped the exploration in notions of my correctness?

Energy, Vibration and the Language of Interconnection

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

Everything is energy. We are energy. Energy is vibration. We are vibration. Energy dissipates. We dissipate. Everything dissipates. Energy doesn’t disappear. We don’t disappear. Nothing disappears. The dissipation of energy can be slowed by putting greater attention to it. We can increase our chances of slowing entropy by “taking care”. As energy, we slow our entropy by ‘taking care’, by following the common sense rules of stewardship.

Perhaps our greatest lesson is practicing movement to a higher vibration. The low vibration of anger, fear, greed and mindless consumption appear to speed our entropy. Our evolution to a higher vibration through compassion, gratitude and forgiveness seems to slow our entropy. Our life practice is to forever move to a higher vibration through the practice of “no complaint, no complaint”. The higher vibration releases grudges from the past, finds deep gratitude for the gift in what is at the moment given, and forever “feels” the interconnection of all things. The higher vibration is a positive energy field that recognizes the seeds of negative emotion, but refuses to let them grow their toxicity. The higher vibration waters the seeds of loving kindness, forever touching the “arising moment” in mystery and wonder.

In times of deep wounding, the connecting vibration energy can be severely thrown from harmony. Oftentimes, these events are followed by prolonged silence as we travel deeply to once again touch our interconnection. At some moment, sound can be introduced as we once again find vibration alignment. This can be through tones, eventually moving to more complicated harmony and rhythm, eventually opening the window for words.

In deep wounding “the wholeness” has been ripped apart. The source of ‘to heal’ is ‘to make whole’. Our sense of separateness, our ego, continually pushes from the felt sense of interconnection, tempting us to dualistic battle. We are then more tempted to speak than to listen. Yet, our reconnection to energy and vibration is served best through deep listening.

Our energy increases as we go to a higher vibration that’s free from judgment. Our energy increases with our commitment to not harm others through our thoughts, emotions, speech and actions. Our energy increases through our fearlessness and courage in drilling deeper into life’s mystery through active listening.

This awareness of vibration energy is work. It requires moment to moment practice as we continually correct ourselves to a more evolved ‘being’. Good food for this practice consists of meditation, exercise of the body, the food of practicing one’s passions in contribution to universal connection, frequent communication in nature, dialog with friends and family, conscious nourishment of the body with foods that gain rather than drain energy, adequate rest, etc. Our life contribution to a higher vibration is all we can ask…a life of authentic being that’s forever increasing in ‘felt’ awareness of our interconnecting energy.