Awareness is not the result of practice for practice implies the formation of habit; habit is the denial of awareness.
Awareness is of the moment and not a cumulative result. To say to myself that I shall become aware is not to be aware. To say that I am going to be non-greedy is merely to continue to be greedy, to be unaware of it.
How to approach a complex problem? Surely it’s not by meeting complexity with complexity; approach it simply, and the greater my simplicity the greater will be the clarification.
To understand and experience Reality there must be utter simplicity and tranquillity. “Must” does not imply compulsion, merely a reminder, a statement of what Reality is.
When I suddenly see a magnificent scenery or come upon a great thought, or listen to great music, I am utterly still. Human minds are not simple, but to recognize complexity is to be simple.
If I wish to understand myself, my complexity, there must be open receptivity, the simplicity of non-identification. But so often people are not aware of beauty or complexity, and so we chatter on.
I experienced the joyful vibe in Colourfest 2017, and my other few participations very intensely. But I didn’t try to hold on to them.
I can now “do” non-attachment. I would spend decades yearning after the event, preserving memories, keeping keepsakes.
Today I am the conduit. I can deeply swim in and submerge into these fine, fiery, feathery, frolicsome experiences. But I don’t want them to last so much that all I become is a sad curator of memories. That has gone. I’m over all that. It’s a sort of inside of head declutter.
It’s good. It feels “grown up”.
I had a perfectly surprisingly amazing experience on Sunday morning, June 4, 2017.
Nashir Karmali gave a 2 hour lecture on Ayurveda healing practices. Much of it was in the form of delightful anecdotes from his own long years in his own Wimborne practice.
He impressed us all. He comes over as he is, a deeply human and compassionate person, wise, learned, and with a gentle humour.
There must have been at least forty in the elegantly preserved Gaunts House Library. All remained quiet and respectfully attentive in the room throughout.
I knew Nashir’s talk would “use up” all the calm sunny weather on that day. I knew the weather would deteriorate from midday on.
But I dismissed as selfish idle ego chit-chat the idea of “bunking” it! And Nashir himself had, after all, personally invited me.
So I stayed to the end.
At the end, we were asked to partner off into healing/listening pairs. We were told, “Sit face to face, eye in eye, holding hands, look deep into the honourable soul we see in the eyes before us. For the first part, one touches the wrists of the other at the pulse.”
I remained sat down while the others got up, walked and mixed to find their partners.
I know from Biodanza I am way down the list of pairing choices owing to my minority age group, as I was here.
Only one unpaired person remained.
Before me is a woman with a forceful confident manner. She is a young woman. Certainly of good family. Someone well-educated and sure of her place in her society.
Her face is pleasingly round and open. Her symmetrical features lend her a certain classical nobility older than her years.
All went quiet. I am touching her pulse on both her wrists. I cannot detect much if any beat. But it is contact. We both ignore what Nashir was saying about what to do and say, because we have become absorbed in each others gaze.
I find she had a tranquillity bordering on nobility.I say quietly,
“You are far more beautiful than even you will admit.”
She smiles. It is a compliment.
Then I begin to see and to feel inside of me something completely contrary to and at odds with the composed expression on her nice symmetrical face.
Here’s the thing. I became more and more restless. My stomach twisted. I see her calm face cloud slightly with a sadness. But what I feel is her fear!
“You are not as composed as you are projecting. You have had a shock, you have had a frightening experience. It is recent. You came to this festival in spite of carrying this with you.”
Her eyes filled, although the facade I had looked through was still strong and was not about to fail her.
I asked if she would share.
She said I was right. She said the day before the festival, her boyfriend, who lives across the road, had dumped her.
I asked her how she had felt this in her heart. She was torn up inside, she said.
Neither of us expressed an objective opinion about how or why I had “seen” this from only her eyes. Since then (only 36 hours ago) I have not foolishly distracted myself by marvelling at the phenomenon of this vision.
I accept it and am surprised is all. I find it suggests that I may have the ability to help others more than I had realised.
In the last moments together, I said,
“The pain and turmoil inside you does not ‘belong’ to you. You don’t own it, and it doesn’t own you. It is a hard to live with emotion, which will pass, like all emotions.
We are not mechanisms. We have no off-switches.
What is permanently yours is the light of love in your own heart from which you came, to which you will return.
That is your strength and that is what will support and sustain you through this time. Keep your heart in view, do not try to examine your heart’s pain.
Your closeness to your living heart will be what helps shorten this period of pain.”
It was her turn. She looked at me and she said I was very very calm. Hearing, or rather seeing her see this, I suddenly felt like collapsing.
I had to close my eyes, look down, bite my lip to avoid breaking down. I composed myself. I said,
“Under this I am in turmoil.” Quickly I added,
“But this is only what is on me now. I am at peace in my heart.”
She asked to hug. We hugged. Moments later we were both gone.
None of us are ever alone in the path we take, nor in the circumstances of the path, however dire or distressing.
In the vast ocean of life, though we are billions, the number of common threads of humanity in which we all have a share is surprisingly small.
Here are reasons to be glad, to be grateful, because every giant effort of will we make to take just one step, every step we stumble at, every time we call out in agony, we unite with every human who ever endured, screamed and moved on.
Far too many of those I know have had to un-shipwreck themselves after being all but capsized by cruel storms of other people’s making.
I try not to make sweeping generalisations, or say things that cannot be proven by some investigation. In all truth, I cannot think of any person I have ever met who does not live with some heavy burden of pain. Can you look through the front doors of your own family, friends, acquaintances and say, “There lives a human with a heart free of all hurt?”
We are strong beyond any adequate means of describing our strengths. I believe no trauma, no setback, no block on our way can finally dim, disfigure or extinguish our inner light.
Yet there are two things we are definitely not suited to suffer. These are physical violence or isolation. These sorrows figure in the storylines of so very many people. I include illness or disabilities in such unwanted, unwelcome and insufferable tempests.
I am extremely fortunate to have avoided the worst of such crippling external influences.
It is not true to say I do not live with God in my life. It’s just that I am aware that by publicly aligning myself with a Western religious orthodoxy, I automatically draw down iron curtains from those I most care about and most wish not to be distanced from.
It’s a sad fact of life that such labels are capable of thwarting the transmission of exactly those truths that are unversally recognised.
In my EveryNow Blogs, I avoid direct reference to religious nomenclature in order to keep the channels of positivity flowing without distraction, and without the additional identifiable baggage that I see as secondary and non-essential.
This is my own Motto, the final words I most often use to place my seal on my writings…
“Love is present EveryNow”
You, or any reader, can readily replace the word Love with their own named deity.
My impulse to avoid any form of evangelical message comes from my distrust of organised religion, particularly the Western dualistic orthodoxies.
My adherence is to the present moment. This is where infinity and all the goodness therein lies waiting to be found, simultaneously to be consumed by us and to consume us with no diminishment!
The fun of it is there is always a first person story in the third person identity.
Over time, I’ve retrained my point of view, so everywhere I am seeing the “I” in the she, the he, the you and the it. In this way, I access with great pleasure the tremendous shock of the new where there was only the same old same old.
That old joke of the greeting between psychiatrists, “You’re okay, and how am I?” amuses because of the odd transposition of views. When I enter my doctor’s surgery, my greeting is, “How are you, Doctor?”
Walking outside anywhere, seeing and sensing sentient life, insects, birds, pets, cattle or the vegetable world, there is no harm in asking, “What is going through your mind? What am I to your view? The sun and the moon, the wind and rain, what are they to you now?”
These questions work well when addressed to a stone in the street, a river in the country, clouds in the sky, even an active volcano over the horizon.
The thought-thinking “I-node” becomes curiously calm and joyful, when I try to join with the conversations of the being of those who are “not-I”.
Out and about, I try in one way or another to shed a portion of the importance of my identity. Attention directed outside of myself and towards the otherness in others lets me see, in all things living and not alive, the bas-relief of the urge to survive and the factual evidence of survival.
As I approach each and every alive person in this peculiar unself-referential way, I sense the white heat of the Will to Live in them.
My own heart, also concerned with not being not-alive, relaxes and fills with a compassionate gentleness all over again.
Though they outnumber me, yet the myriad diverse multiplicity of others does not dwarf me, it completes me!
When I become attentive to and am aware of “The Gentleness of Being”, I feel that the huge and welcoming universe of Heart’s Love is brought forward into my view by the interaction of these two everyday accessible attributes – Gentleness and Being.
It is a delight full of pure wonder to be able to let intuition close the gap between my heart and the heart of another.
Other motives and motivations inspire another person’s heart when their own life history has taken them on such different paths from mine.
In spite of all the dazzling outer differences, I am constantly aware of the love that animates every heart of every person. No heart can be greater or less than love, so all hearts are equally lovable without exception!
Every person I meet, or have met, or shall meet, is their own representative of the peace and love of which all life is constituted, from which we all come, and back to which we are all walking each other home.
Today, even as I write, I am sensitive to the same magical newness that completely captured me, body and soul, back when I began, in 2013, the year I call the Year of my Life.
I find my life has most meaning, I contain most validity, when I am able to lose some of my identity in that of another.
I don’t need no rocket to Mars, when there’s a lifetime of discoveries to be made in the exploration of the admiration of Other!
People say my sharing of myself in my writing is so open and generous. I am hardly aware that it’s what people notice, till they comment on it. So why do I share like I do?
I share because I go with hope. I hope I may find a mirror to some of the qualities of my own heart in the heart of another.
I do not seek comfort or even love.
My heart seeks kindling by the encounter with the lit glow of another heart! If this is a legitimate search for the truths of Heart’s Love in all alive life, then it will continue to be a journey of discovery whose joys will have no end.
Nodding off to sleep to the collective hooting of owls in Hazel Cottage, Sedrup Green, Magicshire.
As a very young chap in the early 1950s, there was a time, while the summer light faded, when I would gradually fall asleep to the hooting of owls.
Many, many owls, some nearby, others responding intermittently at a distance.
I was cosy under the huge dome of a delicious feather eider down, I used to call The Lump. My room was at the north gable end under the thatch.
The cottage is at the edge of a tiny hamlet called Sedrup Green, a scattered group of wychert dwellings set loosely around a wildflower meadow cow pasture to be found after the No Through Road ended and a muddy track began.
The hamlet and some of its cottages are listed on the Domesday Book map, which dates from 1186.
These raptor calls I learned from older boys to imitate by blowing between the thumbs of my cupped hands.
Their hooted conversations held a startling, timeless and inescapable otherworldliness.
I recall these memories, and I am once more lying very still – a small breathless boy with calloused knees and a head full of the wonder of the unseeable sound makers marking out the dark hedges of approaching night.