The practice of Apophatic bliss

TOUCH bliss whenevah

The practice of Apophatic bliss

The attainment of satisfaction is not so far out of reach at any given stage of your journey as you might think. That’s also the message of Apophatic Mysticism.

The removal of personal obstacles, a stasis of bliss (ecstacy even) is largely dependent on factors we all have very much under our close control, if we choose. There are many recognised practices which help us to offset or eliminate attachment of various kinds.

We can “do” non-dual ways of thinking and even “get” the fundamental ideas which help us to act with non-judgement, and discover that outcomes negative and outcomes positive have essentially equal value to us, regardless of how these present to us as subjective extremes.
This merciful release from dependency on the “satisfaction” with life becomes turned around, when life lived fully and in the richness of the moment “lives” us.

Every single activity of the mind or body can be experienced with a passionate focus, with no regard or need for “outcome”. Which, being intensely lived in the moment, releases burdens of acquisition and the trappings of results measured by time past or time future.

I find it hard not sound like a steam engine, chuntering my words, to describe or transfer my own experience of these processes of surrender and show how there is easy access to an unshakeable and constant love of life, which in turn is grounded in all our deepest existence.

I now think I can trace back my own deliverance from fruitless striving after illusory goals. I was shaken out of my personal boundaries by my first, rather ecstatic, experiences of my self, subsumed wholesale and all on a sudden, into the eyes of my first few Biodanza partners. This marked the start of 2013, the Year of my Life.

The rush out of my entire selfhood and my entry, by consent, disembodied and without words, into the most sacred heart space of another shook me and created lasting fundamental changes in my appreciation of life and what I am doing in it.

These changes were at first devastating and incomprehensible. I even had no English vocabulary to describe what was happening. I had to learn so much from first principles. I read hungrily and learned a lot from Googling new words, like Non-attachment and Self-sabotage. A few Soulfriends, wiser and more travelled, shared their time with love.

What was happening with me was bewildering but undeniably beautiful, so I began to journal, to create a type of daily order from my emotional chaos. Journaling continues to be of great benefit. What I am composing right now is journaling.

I soon understood that my Apophetic Ecstasy had arrived, though I only stumbled on this technical term eight years later. I knew it was here to stay. The fact of its presence shows up as a constant feeling of being in love with no person or object of the love.

All my adult life, I have been fascinated by the mysticism and awe which so often accompanies the act of surrender.

Surrender here is me releasing my own will. This surrender can be a willful and willing acceptance and yielding to whatever else is occurring other than what I personally believe, think or want.

In the moment of release into such a state of surrender, acceptance becomes everything, and I see everything as containing and contained in sufficiency. A sufficiency where I want nothing, want for nothing, and Loving Kindness and Goodness follow me all the Days of my life!

Honestly, the veil is thin as thin can be between the “hard labour” we so often take to be our lot in life, and the permanent lightness of heart which relates to our innate and primal human state of being and which is available to everyone EveryNow

Postscript

I was surprised recently to discover much of what I have become aware of since 2013, as I negotiate these ripe orchards of newness, is described in scholarly detail in the book by Raymond Carl Sigrist, published by Infinity.com, titled “In love with everything – Apophatic Mysticism”.

From my personal perspective, the wanderer filled with wonder, Sigrist’s treatment of the subject skips over the transformative effects of the application of bliss in daily thought and action. The shifting ground of bliss welcomes my feet on my stepping stones to wakeful gratitude.

Love contemplative

Self-contemplative love

Love, when it is in a reflective or contemplative mode, is able to stand back from and distance itself from entanglement with the imperatives of earning a living, from the 9 to 5 day-to-day race against time and from all the external urgencies of other people’s making.

Contemplative love can see just the person, the beauty and the light of the soul that first animated it. Love in self-contemplation has the space and time to concentrate on the protection and the nurture of the longer term relationship of the heart with the person…

This is the jewel-like and miraculous nacre, which slowly accretes on the beautiful pearl of trusted relationship with the passage of time.

It is composed of shared tendernesses and the physical tokens of affection from and towards myself over the much longer time scale than the jittery “9 to 5”.

May you drink in sweetness from reflection on and gratitude for what you already have, which I see as the long-wave state, and be ever so glad of it.

And may you ride out with studied, confident, patient acceptance, the ups and downs of what I call the shortwave ripples, so that longwave love can continue, seeing and seen, to be generously shared.

And may love seeded grow ever strong in your heart

~ Love is present E v e r yN o w

💚 The treeness of trees 🌱

💚 The treeness of trees 🌱

Things. Things are falling into place. This journey. The ground.

The ground as I walk on it is materialising under my every footfall. It’s as if reality is coming to meet my feet.

First, there is frustration and irritation, those old timeworn habits.

As I walk or cycle out of the house, there they are – people! They drive too fast. They block my space, judge me, ignore me.

Now, without prompting, I understand how pointless and empty of meaning is my own irritation. So I observe my emotion, I watch it arrive towards me, and it actually walks ghost-like right through me and vanishes!

The feeling that remains is relief and levity!

Second, and just as unsettling, are the trees.

I have read that it is a simple, effective and loving discipline to observe trees as living and growing, moulded by time and the weather. I observe them just existing as trees in conformity to their own beautiful nature. Trees aren’t judgemental, nor do they invite judgement.

I have read that it is amazingly simple to transfer this wholesome way of seeing trees in their endless variety to the appreciation of other people.

When I observe people as possessors each of their own original innocence and dignity in the manner of trees, it is my whole relationship with the treeness of trees which receives an entirely unexpected boost!

What is taking place is a falling away of the veils that usually obscure the essential nature of everything.

With difficulty, I have to try to tear myself away from a huge Plane Tree standing in full leaf, in sunlight, unmoved by any breeze.

I see the delicate green flags as naked messengers of the tree’s reasons for occupying its space in its time.

The only thing it is not doing that I am doing is moving away now

🌷~ ॐ ~ 🌷

~shantih~

~shantih~

~shantih~

Meditation on Awarenesses

Fisherman’s Walk Park Southbourne-on-Sea

⏳ Awarenesses 💧

There are awarenesses, resources of great value, that I am unlocking more and more on my Journey.

In seeking to embrace these, I am inspired by the example of my friend, whose startling quality of compassion in action and word has made me strive to understand its source, the better to assimilate and emulate this living spirit of compassion.

I see value in the observation of Acceptance in action. Acceptance requires no reasons, demands no constructs and it can be seen in the healthy balanced operation of every living organism.

I tap into vast reserves of value from the practice of Acceptance.
Acceptance smoothly paves over the crevasses of treacherous impulse to blunder and bluff.

I am in confrontation every day.

These are great stirrings, as in coming upon a selfish owner who is letting a dog “worry” swans. Or these may be small, such as a person whose mere approach rouses an aggressive response in me. My negative response stems from my self regard blinkered from and blind to the life I share with people around me.

Acceptance is my confronted self choosing to reach up to a panoramic viewpoint, and consciously remaining where I am, while I offer to the eyes of my eyes the gift of the widest possible perspective at my location.

Once I arrive – and I can arrive in a flash – I am at once reduced to my true size relative to “where I am at”, and I am released to soar up to great peaks of lightness of being and down to lush fertile places of human comfort, warmth and joy.

Acceptance is my loyal friend when I walk hand in hand with my other awareness: Sufficiency.

Whenever I allow myself to come into closest connection with some external event, it can show me clearly and directly a total, utter and complete satisfaction. It is “Sufficiency”.

It is my awareness of sufficiency which links me directly to the sum of all joys.

Any joy piercing the living moment is sufficient.

I can choose to go out and about with a pocketful of forethought, so that, when I encounter a delight, I need not let it enter me only to pass me by. For example, I may be kissed, and as I stop taking breath, all the breaths I have ever breathed are contained in that kiss.

The treasure awaiting my discovery in any experience is made visible by my inborn ability to allow its inherent quality of sufficiency to overtake both it and me.

Sufficiency is the end contained in the beginning.

If I can only stop trying to dream, I can awake to find I am being dreamed by my dream.

The flesh of humility is clothed by the modest completion of Sufficiency.

Gratitude for this infinite store of sufficiencies!

The recreation of the Maze of creation

🎭The recreation of the Maze of creation🔮

I get it. Some of our remotest distant ancestors set much store by the creation and maintenance of these turf and stone and rock carved mazes.

They also venerated their uncomplicated maze motifs in their decorative jewellery, metalwork. I speculate how they danced their Maze dances by firelight and feasting. 

We see landscapes where the wind-blown engravings of their Maze representations question our eyes today, thousands of years after they were graven onto vertical faces of stone.

It seems perfect to me that the depictions we are shown are devoid of people walking or standing inside the boundaries they figuratively present.

Only visualise the boundaries as representations of our journey.

Beginning. End. Mystery.

The viewer sees the journey. The Journey invites the viewer.

Life is the universal invitation to take the simplest line between two footsteps and repeat until the sun has set for the last time.

There is no question; the answers throng the lifelines.

No more mysterious and no more obvious challenge exists than to step out onto the lines of our lives, foot by foot, word by word.

When our hearts do this, we find peace through the acceptance of all eventualities, and our blood flows us on the way of the Maze.

The face of the carved Maze is weathered by so many cycles of the sun and moon. It is not raised high for eyes to see from all horizons, like the pyramids.

The Maze is a factual organic, circular statement. It reads, “That which is to be begun, will end to begin again endlessly.” 

No monument shows with such understated elegance and enduring  eloquence the peace and the humble privilege that is in the living of life. 

I read the Maze as an open invitation to infinity. Within the limits of vision of my own boundaries, I return to my little mantra:

“Love is present EveryNow”

Face to face with life’s extreme fragility

No safety net

🔳Face to face with life’s extreme fragility🔲

 

In a foreign country in March, in the Year of my Life, 2013, I and my wife sat down to supper with a long lost friend for the first time in 47 years.

He and his wife had prepared for us a lavish welcome meal. Many years before, my father had arranged I stay with the family of my friend during my school holidays.  His father, a decorative wrought iron blacksmith and Rabelasian larger-than-life character, and my father, a conference interpreter, met by chance after the war.

 They quickly recognised their mutual admiration for their own idiosyncratic forms of ‘joie de vivre’. On that foundation, they were to become lifelong friends. 

After we had toasted each other in a few glasses of fine local wine, my very dear friend began to tell me the Machiavellian story of his childless stepmother, the blacksmith’s second wife.  I had known her only as a quiet capable motherly figure all those years ago. She braved out her husband’s alcohol-fuelled storms, she ignored his infidelities, mainly with wives of wealthy clients of his decorative wrought ironwork.  She kept shop and did the accounts.

For me those summers were times of acceptance into the family, of joy and pleasure as a young teenager taking my first independent steps in the freedom of another country under the blazing August Sun.

As we enjoyed the meal, I listened with astonishment to hear how she had spent about 70 of the 99 years of her life scheming with great success to disinherit her stepson, almost ruining him and coming close to breaking his spirit, and, after I had come into her house as a guest and virtual second son, scheming to defraud my own father.

The welcome meal, a Cordon Blue affair, progressed with much joy. The setting was in a delightful spacious, three-story pinewood cabin, open fire crackling away, isolated high on the side of a valley with giant panoramic southerly views across a lake to a range of snow capped mountains – the Eiger to the east and Mont Blanc to the west. 

My very dear friend advised me to prepare myself, saying all is not as pretty as it seems. Am I ready for a shock? With all this heart warming reconnection with a friend who had been like the elder brother I had never had, and with such fine wine and such food, I said yes. After all, what could disturb this now? 

My old friend began to speak. Some four years after my life path diverged from my friend’s, and I had started out on my career teaching English as a Foreign Language in far away London, his step-mother was the first to hear of my failed suicide attempt at age 21.  She saw her opportunity to turn the news to her advantage. To help cover up and protect her thieving ways from scrutiny, she made the choice to lie to her family that I had killed myself.

 Silence now around the table.  For me in that moment of the reveal of this true lie, I suffered a triple shock of pure visceral horror. 

A cry escaped from my throat. It was the same animal outcry of bereavement when, 38 years before, I was shown by the black clad undertaker into the chapel of rest where my mother lay, with her blue eyes closed.  I could not breathe. My wife, very alarmed, jumped up from the table to help me sit up and to comfort me.  I said I was ready to hear more. 

In that flash, with the pain that had extracted the yell from inside me, I felt for the very first time the intensity of the suffering my parents had endured when they were told while on a holiday abroad about my suicide attempt – an uncomplicated and somewhat half-baked cry for help it had been – at age 21.  I had at long last begun my journey of compassion and shame for what I had done to them. 

In that flash, I felt the grief and helpless pain my dear old friend must have endured for nearly five decades. My father had told me the news of his father’s fatal stroke in the late 70s.

 After that, my own research to trace him for over 20 years had always drawn a blank.  I had no way of knowing that he had decided to go ‘off grid’ to shelter from the sick pursuit of his stepmother.

A few days before my wife and I were to fly on holiday, by some miracle of the Internet, we had finally managed to connect. On an emotional long distance phone call, we agreed to rearrange our flights in order to have this extraordinary reunion celebration. 

His stepmother had effected repeated attacks designed to ruin his professional career. Several times she had written to his employers, even tracking him to a well paid job in North Africa. She would falsely allege his dishonest, immoral, even depraved conduct.  This may have been easy for her, acquainted as she was with casual depraved ways. 

At this period, she took on the role of carer for his only daughter by his first marriage. And she devoted herself to fill the little child’s mind with toxic fear of her father. With money and psychological pressure, she gained the co-conspiratorial support of his first wife. 

Thus the love and trust of his wife and mother of his only child was corroded away. His daughter, long since grown up, severed all ties with him.  He engaged the equivalent of our Queen’s Counsel to fight to restore his reputation and his legal title to his father’s house, which had been constructed largely using my late Father’s funds, both with and without his knowledge and permission. 

On hearing this, the woman sold the house at high speed well below market value. All its contents, including documents and photos from his life, we’re lost to him. Among these were photo albums and 8mm colour cine film containing records of my several consecutive blissfully happy summer holidays with the family.

He had gone ex-directory and off grid long ago for self-protection. That is why I had only chanced to trace him from his 1949 school photo. There he was, named and easy to recognise by his cheeky grin under his mop of dark curly hair, even though he was eleven years younger than when I first knew him.

I emailed my contacts to the school’s webmaster saying I had been seeking my lost friend. Then I powered down the PC and we took a bus into town. I got his call on my mobile at a coffee bar in Bournemouth. I was crying and laughing with happiness. I think I even blurted out my story to the barrista! In nearly half a century, he had once visited England. It was in 1979. It never occurred to him to try and look me up. Indeed, why would he? I was long since dead. 

After that first phone call to me, it had been difficult for him, now age 80, to come to terms with the reality of my existence. So he had jumped at the chance to invite my wife and I to fly out and spend a few days as his guest.  And, in that flash, I physically experienced the coldness and cruelty and above all the black darkness of the evil that his late stepmother had secretly carried and concealed for decades in her heart of hearts. 

I have since learned there are some people who have suffered such violent emotional trauma, that their natural impulse to love is rechanneled into a perverted form of acquisition based on self-interest and hatred. 

We all can find the right words to say, can’t we? Those socially accepted normal few words of respect and comfort we say, when we are told about a bereavement.

But I bear witness to you reading this here, that I found no gentle words. And I found no safety net to stop me from falling suddenly from a great height when, without any preparation, I was given the news of my own death. 

Again and again, it is at the point of contact with the extreme fragility of life that life itself reveals there is only one path of acceptance. I see it in the eyes of the hunted animal looking with a final glance at the hunter before dying. Life clothes us with humility. A humility such as a bride and groom may feel as they arrive at the altar.

~ Love is present EveryNow

We are children

The elixir

My inner child, playmate, best friend

May I remember all of my growth. Growth physical and growth in heart’s love.

I want to remain alive to my heart’s ability to grow in heart love.

May I find the courage to draw on the power with which loving with loving kindness regenerates my heart’s expansion into love’s swaying flower fields and forests of kindness.

Every day let my fearful forward-fixed gaze give me a rest, so I pause and take stock.

Every day I will remember when I open my eyes awake, to let my heart take me by the hand, its own little child, wide-eyed in wonder, and lead me to learn new expanding abilities of loving to live.

At night, let me review this amazing journey of breath and blood, tears and sweat, so I remember why my heart is so rightly full of gratitude.

My heart and I have accepted challenges, made discoveries, assimilated life lessons, received and been blessed by growth.

The ebb and flow of heart’s luminosity assists and stands guard over growth and healing in my body.

In this inevitable plurality of beings, my heart drives me to connect. 

My own growth towards recognition, understanding and peaceful acceptance of who I am comes from unconditional, non-judgemental relationships.

Deep maternal love, which is one form of non-attached friendship, released my tiny child into the grassy flower-meadows of my very first summers.

Later on, my heart, strengthened and emboldened by the unmistakable benevolence of the Big Green, began to receive and to give non-judgemental friendship.

Stagnation dissolves and energetic growth returns when my inner child makes itself known to me again. It may be from hints, signs, clues to my senses, to my awareness, that my inner child’s presence peers past the curtains of my darkness, always dancing, always smiling, always beckoning me out to play and to laugh!

It may be my indirect sensation of its presence through my perception of its absence and the terrible pain of that lonely emptiness.
Mercifully, this pain is pure illusion.

My inner child wants to be found, it never hides! And so, with a little concentration, I can come to my inner child, playmate, best friend.

Then my inner child holds my hand once more, I am filled up, my heart is filled and my being is refreshed with the giggles of childhood.

My original child’s state of grace, let me remember it!

Let me know it again.
You and I are still filled up to the tip-top with the very same innocence and automatic acceptance of our natural and original condition, which is pure love, seen or not, felt or not, understood or misunderstood.

This acceptance is the elixir!

With this we can live in the perfumed fields of happiness exactly as it was, as it always was and will be, for us and for all sentient life to the end of all things

~ Love is present E v e r yN o w

The thing about trying

The Thing about Trying

The thing about trying is it’s so easy to forget that search and arrival are minor punctuation in the flow of the impermanent ever-changing unvarying transience of it all.

Flow and flux are good reminders of where reality really is at…

Awareness
of
infinite
Sufficiency
in
the
moment

Love’s

presence

E v e r yN o w


For the journey to begin, first it is necessary to arrive

[photo by Susan Scott, poet]

“For the journey to begin, first it is necessary to arrive”

The journey has no end in any sense of the word “end”. It begins all the time and always.

“I arise, I flower, I am to melt away”

The journey analysed melts into millions of fragments I call EveryNow.

These EveryNow fragments resemble the diamonds of light my early childhood self remembers seeing, when I wandered out of our thatched cottage home into a Midsummer dawn.

The sunrise came filtering through light rain on the eastern horizon. Everywhere everything was bathed in a rare, ethereal, rosy orange glow.

As the rising sunlight grazed the dew drops on the cow pasture, the small boy I was saw the meadow as a sea of diamond rainbow lights.

Dreamlike is the quality of the journey which is clasped in the peace of acceptance.

The dissolution of the journey becomes the journey.
I seek not the journey, I seek to become.

In the becoming, peace grows an intimate wildflower meadow in my heart.

My pilgrim heart contains all the peace I need for a fulfilled and fulfilling life.

~ And Love is present EveryNow

. … .♪♡♪. … .

My inner little boy had this transcendental experience in the Midsummer sunrise over the meadow!

. … .♪❀♪. … . 

Mum and I were in our thatched cottage in the quietest countryside.

The cottage is shown on the Domesday Book map. It’s one of a few in a traffic free hamlet named

Sedrup Green, set around a cow pasture at the end of a single track lane where farm labourers dwelt.

On this morning my Mum was asleep. I must have opened my eyes and seen the eeiry red cast outside.

I let myself out of the thatched cottage and I walked around in disbelieving wonder at the way everything glowed under the same ruddy red rosy light.

I remember standing facing the sun and I shifted my weight slightly in my sandalled feet to capture the tiny rainbow glints refracted off the dew drops in the longer grasses.

God knows how long I stayed there receiving this benediction. It was long enough that my 73⅞ year old self today can return to my boy soul and stand close to his enchanted subdued excitement.

He felt the need to share this phenomenon. And this revertion of attention to a third party caused him to become aware of his own presence in the graceful silence of the overarching dawn skies.

This grace somehow belonged to him. It quickened him as he observed himself the solitary privileged witness to one of the glories of the natural world, freely visible, offered with no precondition.

Just as it had arrived, this temple of grandiose pink silence was beginning to slip away and meld into something underwhelmed. 

As the sun rose higher, I kept an afterburn image, which I now clasped tight in my child heart.

I ran back inside the house. I said to my Mother, “Mummy, there are Diamonds in the grass!”

Love’s presence EveryNow

AUM

Shantih  Shantih  Shantih

🔆 My life as a plum pudding ♾️

~ Taster fragment from 3,068 words

🔆 My life as a plum pudding ♾️

Waste no time asking questions of time.

No question; answer is before

I accept, with all that I am, all of my gifts, whether they are naturally occurring, or come out of my own striving.

I accept my Acceptance above all.

I value and accept my Acceptance, because this Life, which is superabundance of Joy and Love, has found an acceptance in my identity, and has assumed a proportion of my identity without my volition and with an attachment that never did nor ever will depend on my acceptance of it.

This life allows me to glimpse with understanding, humility, unending gratitude and Awe the common condition of conscious sentience that I share with every particle, subatomic particle and energy wave that ever was, is and will be!

Miraculously, beyond crude casuistry or intense interrogatory, out of non-existence I am born.

Into the selfsame, unanswerable, miraculous non-existence I am to return.

This crucial instant in which the stasis of my sentience pivots, which never begins and never ends, sways and rocks me with tender reasurance, like I’m in a womb, suspended in bliss between my two non-existences.

Virtually undifferentiated and all but indistinguishable from the continuum, except for the miracle of life, “I Am Love”

How differently would we behave towards each other, if every one of us could directly experience seeing our Earth from space?

If we lived on a planet with PERMANENTLY CLEAR STARRY SKIES, how would we behave towards one another? Don’t reply! Behave as if you did

https://www.facebook.com/georgetakeipresents/videos/194805261134607/?sfnsn=scwspmo&extid=sSDJ5YKRox6efHLE

~ ~Love is present E v e r yN o w