Monday, May 28, 2012

2012 - What is being Called for?

An Awakened human being is amazingly emotionally available – is someone who is not defending her / himself on the emotional or intellectual level – this being feels completely unguarded, open, available. When we are unguarded, Love flows out of us in a very natural way – it is known as Unconditional Love.

The most reliable sign of an awakened heart is reflected by Loving What IS – for example, Loving people that the personality may not 'like', loving the world as it Is rather than how we believe it Should be – in other words, the heart of an awakened human being loves Everything – because there is no separation—no separate you or me – seeing Everything as itself. This is Unconditional Love.

"Then it was as if I suddenly saw the secret beauty of their hearts, the depths
of their hearts where neither sin nor desire nor self-knowledge can reach,
the core of their reality, the person that each one is in God's eyes. If only
they could see themselves as they really are. If only we could see each other
that way all the time, there would be no more war, no more hatred, no more
cruelty, no more greed... I suppose the big problem would be that we would
fall down and worship each other."

                                             - Thomas Merton

The other evening at satsang, I had the privilege of meeting a woman named Jeannie Zandi, exemplifying an awakened heart. Prior to her conversation with our small group, we sat in a brief silent meditation. As she spoke in response to questions from the participants, there was a sweet stillness that seemed to emanate from her voice. A feeling came over me as I listened – however, I was not responding to the sound of her voice. Rather, an energy was being generated in the room – a gentle, calming, Loving energy. And, even though her words seemed to cut through a participant's mental conditioning with the precision of a scalpel; the energy of her presence was truly Love – the energy was palpable. It's as if her guiding words for the seeker caught in their belief system, to me, didn't even matter – I felt as though I was riding on the wave of the energy of her Being. Often, I simply sat with my eyes closed and enjoyed the flow of her presence—of Unconditional Love.
My heart felt touched. I felt at peace.

On the other hand, the experience of emotional conflict alerts us that we are holding a thought or belief that is not true. All our lives, the mind packages bits of information about experiences that have happened—interpretations, perceptions we made-- and these are stored and, from time to time, become activated. Then we contract and, believing these thoughts, we experience negativity. These experiences are pointers to what is unresolved in our being – however, instead of examining what is being pointed to – we believe the negativity and simply reactivate the stored material creating a deeper groove in the brain. All too often, our activation affects others in our lives – with their package activated, they, too, become negative. This is a prime example of the statement: You are the World.... how we affect the planet.

We are living in amazing times – extreme changes have occurred in the past hundred years. The discovery of oil, the development of the automobile, the airplane, the advancement of electronics have raced our lives forward to a pace we, humans, can barely keep up with. However, with all this technological advancement, it is clear that our spirits have been unable to keep pace with the frenzy of change and the rapidity of daily life and its demands. Many feel pushed and pulled, not enough time in the day to respond to all the demands, never mind find quality time for family and, what about oneself. As a result of these pressures, many feel a nagging sense of emptiness – consciously or unconsciously. What does it look like? you may ask. Some may find this list offensive or ridiculous—because these charateristic behaviors fit into the social norms – in other words, are considered 'normal'. However, the invitation is to take a deeper look:

>> being really busy,--needing to feel 'needed' or 'important' (“I'm really the only one who can do this! Who will do this if I don't; using food for comfort (carbohydrates, ice cream, excess portions), rapid ingestion of food rather than leisurely experiencing; seeking the latest technological devices, unable to unhook from these devices—constantly checking cell phone, Internet, Facebook, e-mail; acquiring possessions as proof of my value, discomfort in being alone and with unscheduled down-time...

To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything, is to succumb to the violence of our times.”
Thomas Merton

How are we to prepare ourselves to best meet these amazing and challenging times? Do we simply roll along with Time and see what happens? Is there anything required of us as human beings living at what appears to be a critical juncture in time? Might there be a necessity to evolve our consciousness? With so much polarity in the world, all we have to do is watch the 'Talking Heads' on the nightly news as they bash the “other side”. Might emerging consciousness be what is called a shift in consciousness—intentionally, leading to an evolutionary shift. Is our current level of consciousness sustainable for human relations, wildlife survival on the planet? Can you imagine an evolutionary shift moving from fear, materialism, greed, and self-center to Unconditional Love, compassion, non-dual consciousness?

Consider becoming aware of inner contraction, the fear, the guardedness. Where and when does my heart close?
...feeling offended, the need to protect, to explain, to be Right, feeling inferior, or it's opposite: superior, shutting down, emotionally, needing to control or direct what is happening...

The more you try to avoid suffering, the more you suffer, because smaller and more insignificant things begin to torture you, in proportion to your fear of being hurt. The one who does most to avoid suffering is, in the end, the one who suffers most.
Thomas Merton,
The Seven Storey Mountain

Our culture insists that we must control everything. Not much good comes of letting things simply unfold... is the belief. We hold the belief that the world is dangerous and needs to be controlled...just as we see that man believes that Nature must be controlled, dominated and exploited. Become aware of the moment to moment need to control – or how I object to this or that thing that is happening.

You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.”
Thomas Merton

I read the news and I have a reaction! “Oh, NO!” The SEC is deciding to not hold Lehman Brothers accountable for their participation in the economic collapse of September 2008! Contraction occurs within my heart. I object! I feel incensed! Indignant, I send the article as a 'Share' on Facebook! Perhaps others will read this article as well and may, no doubt, contract and feel disgusted, as well. And, this is how I, we, perpetuate the suffering on this planet.

Instead of hating the people you think are war-makers, hate the appetites and disorder in your own soul, which are the causes of war. If you love peace, then hate injustice, hate tyranny, hate greed - but hate these things in yourself, not in another.”
Thomas Merton

People are talking about 2012, December 21st. Is the world coming to an end this year? Better yet, might this be the call to participate in an evolutionary shift in consciousness... discovering how to increasingly embrace the Present Moment, 'seeing' through thought rather than believing thoughts...particularly those "sticky" thoughts -- you know, the ones that stick to us, reactivating our 'story' about...(whatever, from the past) and re-create the same suffering; increasing awareness of all that activates in the psyche—motivating our behavior—in ways that are less than Love. Adyashanti states: “Make no mistake about it—Awakening is a destructive process. It has nothing to do with becoming a “better person” or being happier. Awakening is the crumbling away of untruth...seeing through the facade of pretence. It is the complete eradication of everything we imagined to be true.”

Returning Home to our Essential Nature rather than the constant striving to 'be' what we think others want, or expect.

Your comments and impressions are most welcomed. Let's start a shared discussion.