Category Archives: Spirituality

When Creativity Is On the Line

I was talking to a student today about choosing courses. The student was reluctant to take a more challenging course next year because he didn’t want to do a science research project. After more conversation, he decided that he was terrified that his research project would fail or that he would not have any creative ideas.

The fear he felt looked a lot like the fear of life: we make a committment without knowing the outcome, we are born to be unique without knowing what that looks like, and we are given raw material without the plans (bacause we are the dynamic, living plans). Life can be frightening because nothing guarantees that we will “succeed.”

I felt puzzled while listening to the student – how can one carry so much doubt about having creative ideas? I am always in creative mode: moving, adjusting, reevaluating, researching, asking “what if…”, and ceaselessly reconfiguring my understanding of the questions I want to ask next. But then I remembered that I had similar issues in the past: I worried that I would not have the right answer when I needed to have one ready, or I wouldn’t be able to complete something in time, or whatever I do would not be good enough. I don’t fully remember these feelings now, but I could see their essence through the eyes of this student.

We didn’t talk about life. We talked about ways to approach having creative ideas and allowing ideas to take shape. We talked about looking at work that was done previously, and then saying “What would happen if I changed this…? What would happen if I tried this…?”

Creativity is a billion-dollar subject. People can’t stop talking about innovation to create the “world we can’t even imagine yet” (an overused phrase). In terms of everyday living, such dreams are usually tied into money and profits, which translate to “I can do whatever I want after I make money.

In deeper life terms, spontaneity and creativity are tied into something much more profound than the means to gratify every desire instantly. Creativity is actually about accessing and expressing our true nature, which is flexible, flowing, adept at stitching together bits and pieces into complete creations, and ripping apart old monuments at the right time to make space for change. Creativity does not take any established ideas for granted, and always reevaluates them for how viable they remain.

What we create is a reflection of the art we feel ourselves to be. Both our desire and calling to be creative is a hint that we are more than laborers, or shoppers, or bill-payers. There is something much more magical that unites all of us in the stream of life.

If we believe ourselves to be plastic toy soldiers, popped out of a mould, it may feel safer. Or, we may get behind someone else who seems to know how to move without hesitation – just like when trucks drive behind one another to minimize air resistance. Maybe then we feel like something about life is tried and true and safe.

However, we buy this feeling of safety at a steep cost – our very uniqueness, our self worth, and drawing boundaries around our existence – which we dare never cross. This is what people call a normal life. It is no wonder that highly creative people often stood apart from the crowd, and sometimes stood apart from the mass majority. When these icebreakers owned up to the truth of their being, they no longer fit into the rank and file of society. Their lives were tragic when they cared too much about being out of place, and also made of legend.

To be creative, one has to learn how to play. The toys don’t matter, as long as they help one to express their true nature in new and evolving ways. However, boundless confidence to be creative is not enough without the recognition that we impact the lives of others. Without empathy and compassion, we are mere powertools. Just because we can create many things does not mean that everything should be created.

With power to create comes great responsibility. It is wonderful when our nature is hardwired with kindness. Until we are on automatic, we must take great care to cultivate sensitivity to the big picture of life. If everyone’s creativity spontaneously ignited without the complementary awakening of the heart, humanity would self destruct rather quickly – and in very creative ways!

After our conversation, the student felt hopeful about his ability to try and you could see his creativity begin to move. He has to put himself into action and see the project through to the end. We talked about building something that would benefit others.

He has to experience his ability to live with a situation that does not have a set outcome, and come through with a feeling of knowing himself just a bit more. With each experience, he will learn to recognize when and how to move in life to express his uniqueness within community.

Dispositions for Life

Doubt and gratitude. Avoidance and engagement. Giving and receiving. Fear and love. These are some of the ways we can relate to life, and our life disposition affects the dynamics of our life situations. Whether negative or constructive, our life disposition helps us to feel alive because, at our core, most of us feel that we are not really real. Feeling something intensely brings us a feeling of solidity, and we configure our lives for this rush – not necessarily for the truth.

It was eye-opening for me to learn the phrase “Form is Function” in Anatomy & Physiology. I imagined our body cells as having “hooks” of a certain shape (form) to hook and absorb molecules of a complementary shape (function). The cells that lacked receptors of a certain shape would not engage with certain molecules at all.

I imagined the microscopic world as puzzle pieces that either fit and interacted, or remained unaware of each other. Our life dispositions act as such hooks or filters for our life experiences. In a sense, we form our life view, and that determines how we move or function through life.

I see our bodies as vortices that either attract or repel other vortices. For example, there is a shape to the vortex of doubt. Doubt pulls in energy from others to fortify itself – and not to help a person feel less doubt. Such a person is continuously battling the sensation of losing cohesion and wants to achieve stability: Do they like me? Am I likable? Am I lovable? Does my life have value? Does anything I do have meaning? Maybe that person believes I am not someone others can like or  I can never succeed, and this belief becomes the way that person moves in and perceives the world.

If doubt feels like we will fall apart at any moment, we engage with life to fortify – usually requiring someone else to feed us that I am lovable, or that No one likes or loves me. The irony is that doubt seeks whatever reinforces itself using our beliefs, either positive or negative. Doubt perpetuates only more doubt and warps whatever may disrupt its flow to fit its needs.

We have a choice to see through our life dispositions and choose the ones that are most open-ended, and – thus – closest to clear perception. Love is open-ended and does not relate to life based on past or future fears. Love does not have memory or history. It is uncaused and unbased on prior events. This is confusing to most people – How can one love me after what I said or did? I don’t trust that. To most human beings, love is conditioned.

Post-enlightenment, love sees through temporary limitations to the eternal qualities of each person and begins fresh in each moment.

Imagine that you had a disagreement with someone and strong words were exchanged. Then, that person approaches you with a loving gesture. You recoil. You think it’s manipulation of some sort. So, you restore the conflict to keep your sense of continuity and linear time. You cling to your history, without realizing that love had already moved on.

People are more comfortable in a state of conflict. Even their so-called vulnerable moments are ploys to vampirically suck someone’s life force to fuel themselves. They mistake their cries of hunger for being vulnerable, whereas they are really playing dead to get something. If the food doesn’t come and they are left to starve, anger kicks in and resentment flies in all directions. There is a temporary sense of power. It feels real, but the whole thing is a sham. It would have been much simpler to start fresh in the moment where love is possible. But that requires giving up the need to control.

People cling desperately to what they interpret about life, which may be distorted and twisted. They will defend what they feel to the exclusion of how others fit into the bigger picture. In reality, what matters most is not their position, but their willingness and flexibility to flow towards love instead of continuing friction.

People fear being perceived as weak, and their fear is obvious and transparent. For most, love is an impossible choice unless there have been many gestures to fortify their ego. Love, for such beings, cannot start at any moment and be uncaused – it must be earned by countless gifts. Even if there were countless gifts, these must be recognized and valued by an ego – there is no guarantee that what you give is valued. That is a shadow of love and a sign of limit-clinging nature.

Friction sparks continue to fly as people feed on each other to try to feel whole. But the hole remains, and the hunger is unabated to become the only reality. Until we see through this dynamic, love is impossible. Love will be a diminished version of its full possibility, reduced to the mere stroking of a person’s sense of self. Then, anyone who refuses to play this game must be truly evil. But there is another possibility – the starved are simply stuck in a way of relating and will negate loving gestures because they don’t fit.

To accept such a view would mean certain death to self-absorbed living. Who would be stupid enough to sacrifice the self for love?

Solitude

It wasn’t until recently that I discovered how much I enjoy solitude.

What a stark contrast to the time when I was a child and into most of my adult life, when I still felt that I could not be alone. It was an old habit to feel like I needed company. The belief that I could not be alone sat there, in the body, untested and unchallenged.

Now when I am alone, I enjoy being alone. I daily interact with a few good friends, colleagues, and many students, but I recharge and come alive when all is quiet around me. I relax. I do not feel lonely or lacking. I can create, be aware, feel, perceive – in solitude I can listen to life uninterrupted.

Sometimes the past is sticky and people become entangled in odd ways – even when they are ready to part ways. Such entanglements are much like illness, which sits in the body and must run its course.

One could say that illness is bad, sad, or painful. But if it is there – even after everything has been tried to heal it, then it is there. It is part of life. Another lens to see through or past.

Lingering relationships are not unlike an unavoidable illness, and it is easy to view these ties as irritants. But whatever cannot be controlled must be lived through. Even though I feel ready to be free of such relationships, a couple remain tethered. So, they must run their course and must be embraced.

I used to think that it was important for me to be understood. Today I learned that I no longer care about that. If someone caused me pain, it turned out not to matter to me if they get it. It is liberating to not want or wait for sincere apologies or accountability.

Why do some people irritate us? Hurt us? Hate us? Blame us? Why do we do the same? I challenge myself to see if I hold grudges. I challenge my beliefs about old ways of relating to people. I’ve found that there is no hatred or bitterness in me anymore. The fact that I choose to not spend time or exchange pleasantries with certain people is not a sign of hatred or bitterness – just a wish to be free of whatever wants to see me as someone other than I am. Such interactions feel needlessly draining.

When we have a talent, it is not always necessary for us to use it. When there are certain people near us, it is not always necessary to let them in.

It may seem cold and heartless – even strange – to cut off certain people. Isn’t all relationship welcome? Of course not. We are not all here to get along – at least, not in the way we imagine getting along. While neediness and insecurity persists, it is impossible to be oneself in the company of certain people. And, it is impossible for me to artificially stroke someone’s need for validation, which is a bottomless sinkhole.

I won’t sacrifice whatever time I have left here to false idols. I realized that I no longer care if I am liked because I know who I am. Perhaps that just comes with age. My understanding about friendship and family is evolving beyond the usual definitions that involve us getting something. I see relationships as being about giving without sacrificing who we are, which is not possible with all or most people at this time.

I feel an unwavering resolve to allow others to live their life as they must. People come here to do very specific things, but they get caught up in experiences and stay past their time in relationships that ended long ago. Then, it takes a lot of force to push them out of complacency and onto their rightful track. They see it as cruelty, but it is a gift that makes it easier for them to move on. If they cannot bring themselves to move forward, then what is left to do but to give them a strong push.

If you are in a dead-end relationship, consider how much of yourself you can pull back. Find out if solitude frightens you. If it does, that is a sign that you are clinging to the world for something that you don’t believe you already have.

Meanwhile, be mindful of your responsibilities. Most tend to feel that they owe people much less than they really do – especially at the end of a relationship.

My children come before everything else. They are the priority because I accepted that responsibility. If you have children, then your divorce is not a complete and final separation until your children have fully grown. You are tied to the situation, until it has run its course. So, buckle in and own as much of what is yours as possible.

I do not know whether I will be alive in a decade or what I will be doing. It surprises me that I do not dwell on it. So much change occurs in my life constantly as I follow Life’s lead. I’ve surrendered my life. This surrender has only made it more clear that I have outgrown most things I thought I needed or wanted. It is OK – whatever comes, I will see it through. Either in solitude or among good friends who can be themselves and allow me to be myself. Often, the price of company, companionship, and so-called love is too steep, as it masks the need to hide or to escape the moment that was meant for us alone.

What I Want My Kids to Learn

I hope my kids learn that they have the potential to be unique, that they can trust the process of life above all else, and that they are free to participate fully in their life.

Most people do not awaken to their uniqueness and do things that have been done countless times before. Most people try to control the uncontrollable – and fail. Most people are trapped in illusions, games, virtual realities, self-created worlds – and they enjoy these fragments over the full reality.

What is reality, anyway? I see it as that which results from an uninterrupted conscious connection to what lives all of us. Reality is the deep-dive into a fiery pit that burns up anything that is not It. What remains is a unique embrace of human and Divine that shines its own light – much like a star that reaches critical temperature for sustained nuclear fusion: the initial burst of light pushes gases out of the way, and then the star is free to beam into space and entwine its light with matter through all expanse.

Reality is unique for each of us because no two will embrace the Divine the same way. Paradoxically, It is also absolute. So, reality is not for the mind to understand but for Life itself to birth as It goes.

I am a pragmatist above all else. As someone who has lived through a wide spectrum of experiences and have overcome numerous hardships, I have come to understand that nothing in life is certain. Life broke me of the desire for certainty because certainty does not exist amidst flux. Then comes the question – how does one live in the face of constant change? Self-reliance, perseverance, and a life-wise telephoto lens that zooms in and out of detail – so that you can see the forest and the trees.

My pragmatism is not cold survivalism. While I identify possibilities and open doors for opportunities to grow, I also burn closed loops and dead pathways. Thus, I risk everything to be true to what I am and I trust That. My life is akin to grooming a Bonzai tree: I prune dead ends, and I cultivate potential channels for expression that is ever near and dear to the core of my being.

I prefer the sweet satisfaction of doing joy, happiness, and exploring new ways to move in our ever changing world. I teach in a school, but I am not a “teacher.” I write, but I am not a “writer.” I make jokes and laugh, but I am no “comedian.” I sing, but I am no “rock star.” Who we are cannot have a label. We can only be seen for all that we are by those who have the ability to see.

I hope my kids will see deeply into life and move with life – partner with life. I hope for them to see the limitations of video games and YouTube channels and movies and shallow conversation, and to be unsatisfied with anything shy of their depth.

Life leaves us breadcrumbs and constant signals to guide us into our fullness. Why not follow these? Why not surrender to truth that can only exist as we live it? While we have the potential to be alive, few have dared to tap it. Most seek safe nooks to hide in and live like hibernating bears. They eat, drink, seek pleasure, and dream. They suffer as the reality of life bleeds through their illusions and causes friction. I hope for my kids to see this root cause of suffering.

If there is no one to see a rainbow, does it exist? A rainbow is the effect of sunlight passing through water droplets and exiting the droplets at just the right angle. The observer must be at a certain location relative to the sun to see the rainbow! If there is no observer there, did the rainbow occur? Yes it did. The light went to that location to be received – whether or not it was received. The Universe recognizes all opportunities and possibilities, whether or not they were engaged. The secret to life is knowing that the truth is always available – to humanity and all else. Being human is not the only way to embrace the Divine, after all.

I hope for my kids to recognize the richness of life, and to see both their individuality and the Whole they represent. I hope for them to pierce the miasm of self-doubt that casts a shadow on the human race. Self-doubt is the leading cause of suicide, as I understand it, which the CDC reported today to be on the rise by 25% since 1999. When reality rubs against our limited perception, the result is disillusionment and unbearable pain. Few recognize this pain as an opportunity to see beyond our limited definition of life. What we think isn’t what it is. Anything to stop the pain, even die. I’ve been there, but I pulled up. It is extremely difficult to do in the moment of hitting bottom.

I hope for my kids to understand the intrinsic and uncaused value of life. They are more than the sum of their thoughts, actions, and words. They are a Big Bang poised to birth a universe. They are deeply loved. They lack nothing. They cannot be defined simplistically, and thus can never be judged for being.

I hope for my kids to choose wisely and to learn the map of how life works in its current state. They must navigate relationships with mostly self-absorbed people who are still asleep, shifting economic trends, and constant choices. Choices have consequences, and timing is everything. Learning to feel the clocks of life starting and stopping is key.

I know that no one can ruin my life because I am responsible for my choices. There is a huge difference between taking responsibility and casting blame. I hope for my kids to learn this difference so that they hold others – and themselves – accountable without blaming.

I hope for my kids to have the courage to be themselves, and the wisdom to not martyr themselves. Wisdom grows as you let go into the moment and allow yourself to be in whatever the moment is, taking appropriate action that expresses you. After all, you is all there is when you let go. Honing the craft of engaging the moment is to master life.

Timeless Splendor

Imagine laying down to rest. No thoughts. No worries. You have been engaged in something creative, and it was time to stop. So you stop.

Rest can be permeated with timeless splendor. Only the energy of your presence makes a distinct sound that is your being. Feeling this presence is relaxing and energizing. It is the feeling of freedom that is the core of what makes each of us unique.

I bask in this restful state. I draw upon it in times of pressure. I am inextricably connected to it at all times. This state of rest is everpresent. I completely let go into it when I lay my head down at the end of each day.

Perhaps it is meditation, only without props. A meditation that does not begin or end. Feeling the intersections of energy that create your unique pattern of being. Rather than a single note, you are a symphony that writes itself as your life.

Every one of your cells is a pattern that emerges from the surrounding space. That apparent emptiness surrounding the apparent you is more real than the object you perceive yourself to be. In acknowledging this negative space as reality, you know that you are never separate from anyone or anything. It becomes the living truth, vibrant and alive. There is a velvety richness in the palace of your being, replete with everything you could ever need or want.

This is Grace, alive in each heart. It does not require imagination or wishful thinking because Grace is real. We can access it by choosing it over and above everything else that may be going on. We make this choice repeatedly – against all odds – until it is automatic. We choose – pain or Grace.

The silence of a restful soul makes it obvious that life sings and sparkles. As the mind calms, another vista opens up and lets in that which our worries and thoughts block. All you need is a glimpse of being suspended in this timeless state – its fullness. You are complete. You are fulfilled. You are deeply loved as you are lived.

How Resilient Can One Be?

How many times in one lifetime can one completely start over? Can one just pick up and move forward with minimal support after each dramatic change – with little money, no caretakers, and no elder family? Can one start over – and over again – while still honing empathy, compassion, and care for all Life?

I’ve come to understand that I am such an experiment. After my transformation, I’ve noticed a gradual surrender of my life to the overall Life process – the invisible web of interconnections that is all of us. It became impossible to hold on to my life as someone who needed to get something to feel whole. I am already whole. Each time I am in a situation of significant change, I am forced to give up more comfort and more outside support. I am alive to show that complete resilience through surrender to Life is possible while still participating in everyday life.

I came to this country from the poverty of another – only to land in poverty again. I have survived rape as a child. I graduated high school two years earlier than my peers. I chose an extremely challenging technical major in college and went on to get a graduate degree in this field as a woman – when few women ventured into such fields. I’ve played classical piano competively. I’ve lived through 3 marriages, and lost almost everything in the first two. I know what it feels like to lose a child and to get him back – the instincts and love of a mother. I’ve had emotionally distant parents, with whom I’ve lost touch. I’ve had intense jobs, where I worked 60-80 hour weeks for sustained periods of time. I made and lost large sums of money. I’ve had challenges feeling like any place was home, that any group could be family, and that anything can feel “secure.” The few people with whom I shared my life think that I’ve lived many lives, did too many things – they get tired just imagining what I’ve pushed through.

When the transformation occurred about a decade ago, after a brief few months of bliss, there were still dramatic changes to my being. And then – relocation, change of career, challenges finding work, illness, challenges of putting my family on a stable financial track, and more transformation. I have often found myself feeling like living was unbearable.

Each time the rug was pulled from under my feet, I had a choice to give up or to get up again. And that became my life.

To say that I am an experiment sounds sterile and clinical, but it is not. I can feel and understand what Life is trying to discover through my existence. It wants to know if enlightenment can coexist with the nonenlightened beings so that more and more enlightened people can walk the world and spark transformation. We are entering an era when enlightened beings can no longer afford to hide in the mountains.

The only way for me to fail is to stop, but I cannot do that. It is no longer possible for me to even make that choice. I must complete this life to carve a path for others. Each of us does that – carves a path – when we embrace our unique experiment fully and surrender to living it completely.

When life situations are constantly unstable in basic human terms, it is a kind of trauma on the psyche. The challenge then becomes to adjust to being constant change without balking or breaking, without shutting down the ability to feel everything, and still continuing to love life.

The enlightened state turns up the volume on everything going on in the world. The stream of input of people’s experiences pouring in and through is neverending. However, the gift is that nothing “sticks” to drag one down to a place of no return. Laughter, humor, and joy are not only possible – they are prevalent. There is no cynicism or sarcasm. There is no making light of challenging situations. All of this is a flow that is endlessly surrendered to the Life Stream.

Am I perfect and flawless in my execution? Not at all. I stumble a lot, and fall even more. I learn from every interaction and untangle from life’s dysfunctional and impacted blueprints that have been established by countless generations. I suppose it helps that I am no longer capable of hating myself as I face obstacles.

Perhaps self-love and transformation are two sides of the same coin – one is not possible without the other. I am not talking about adoring oneself or artificially propping one’s self up to feel good. Instead, I am describing a fundamental care and the valuing of oneself that can only come from giving up a sense of investment in life to get something from it. Paradoxically, self-love comes by erasing the need to fulfill and fortify an identity, and instead reorienting the being to embrace the messy and dynamic life process as it is. Learning without judgement. Loving without neediness. Letting go without giving up.

Peace Amidst Uncertainty

I am resting – in peace. Peace is not just for death, but is here and now – for life. Everything in my life is uncertain right now, and I rest peacefully nonetheless.

I have traveled to the US from another country – from a life that would be considered difficult by most measures. I have my citizenship, but I have never felt what home feels like – not even at my country of origin. I have let go of needing a place or people to feel at home.

I’ve arrived at the end of my marriages. I had wanted marriage and friendship to be certainty, but nothing in life is certain. And yet, I feel peace.

My past is loosening from every fiber of my being – my memories, my dreams – everything is letting go. Perhaps, it is I who am letting go of everything.

On a long drive to and from a graduate class I am taking, I noticed that – despite wanting to feel regret – I do not feel regret. Everything was as it was, and now it is what it is.

Society drills into us certain ways of relating to life – that we must want, need, desire something to feel alive. If these dreams do not come true, then we must claw or cling. It was difficult for me to see through that. Now I see how, just as our brains decode light frequencies into color, we want to decode certain patterns in life. It is we who define the norms and what life should feel like when some need is not met.

Time either heals or makes things unworkable. So we adjust. On the other side, across the adjustment barrier, is something very simple. Something devoid of wanting, and yet something that cares deeply for oneself.

I feel a lack of tolerance for anything that binds me unnecessarily, or drains me. I feel care for myself. I know what I can and cannot do or give. I also know what I cannot take. Thus, it is even easier to feel care and compassion for others. I feel no need to validate my life, nor to be amidst tension and discomfort.

It’s not detachment to rest amidst complete uncertainty. Although I do not have any idea how the situations in my life will play out, I can still feel complete peace. I wait for insight – am I still responsible to someone? And, what are my choices? And, I continue, moment to moment. Of course, I still love.

I see a world filled with dreams and desires – people wanting things from the earth, from life, and from each other. Most of my life felt like a void that needed to be filled and completed. Now the void is free, and I am still here. No safety nets. No assurances. Just life. I could not know how this felt until I was in the situation to feel it. Now I know.

Knowing this is calming, soothing, and quiet. I feel quiet inside and out.

I am wondering how my life will feel day-to-day now that I know I have everything in nothing.

Choices and Responsibilities

Most of life is devoted to understanding our responsibilities and our choices. A responsibility is something we have promised to do – either explicitly or complicitly – within our sphere of influence. A choice is something that we make for ourselves. Each choice sets off ripple effects, ever-crossing the endless flow of what was previously set in motion.

Each choice is our opportunity to honor ourselves as part of One Life. Sometimes choosing the road less traveled is necessary, and – at other times – it’s good to go with the commercial tour.

Too many choices are made based on imagined dangers, false alarms, and fears of the unknown. Like an ill-timed machine, events will fire off and trigger jerks to broadcast chaos. As vortices emerge, their power and seeming stability makes some feel in control. But even the storms on Jupiter won’t last forever.

Life is explosive at a time when too few know how to be caretakers. We are clumsy in our movements, paint with strokes too broad for the canvas, and are constantly climbing out of the rockfalls we set in motion. We are not evolving biology, but evolving awareness expressing through matter and light.

We may be free to choose to participate or to avoid, but there is nothing absolute or permanent. It is clear that some situations and circumstances are unavoidable and must be ultimately engaged, while others will not budge no matter what you do until the seeds come to fruition. Although it is possible to do nothing at all, it quickly becomes apparent that inaction is just another form of action.

When an imbalance is set up, situations build until they break. Something eventually will give way in the face of mud and water racing down a mountain. Structures are bound to be destroyed and others made possible. At our core, we can feel that all this play cannot annihilate. There are only delays, but never ultimate destruction.

Wisdom is knowing what to allow and what to resist, when to speak and when to be silent, and when to participate as an individual or a member of a community. Growing plants and nurturing children gives much insight into when to prune and when to encourage. As with all life processes, we can hear more when we attune to the deeper things – the undertow. It takes skill to hear what is really being said, beyond the words and in the realm of energy. It takes patience to discern the shadows cast on a cave wall. It takes loving kindness to see that death and life breathe the same air.

Somewhere between peace and battle lies a steady stream of engaged living. We hone our blueprints to correspond with the buildings. We do not run and hide, nor do we attack and crush. Surfing this slipstream, we learn how to move so that we honor both ourselves and others until we understand the subtle difference.

We are caretakers in the making, emerging from the wild. More and more will learn how to move without disturbing the delicate. We will focus force where needed, and be gentle with the soft and the ephemeral. When less and less life slips through the cracks unnoticed, we’ll transform – again and again.

No one can see what will be because It creates in each moment. Right now may be a time to rest and listen. Then, when it is time to act, the vanishing boundary between choice and responsibility will be more clear.

Sand grains rushing through inverted clocks…. Timing – not time – is everything.

Spiritual Teacher Clothing Line

When people become interested in enlightenment, they don’t really know what they are looking for. Then come the books, the crystals, the candles, the gongs, the singing bowls, and the meditation cushions. Maybe they meditate or chant. Maybe they spend hours talking about all-things-deeply-spiritual with others.

Some decide that they are somehow advanced or enlightened because they accumulate some basic sanity about life, or some knowledge, or both. Others realize that they can’t do “it” alone and start shopping for a “spiritual teacher.”

Shopping for a spiritual teacher is a lot like shopping for an outfit. If you didn’t have a good mommy, you are looking for a dream mommy. If you didn’t have a good daddy, you are looking for a dream daddy. If you didn’t have a girlfriend or boyfriend, you hope to get one with a spiritual flair. If you don’t need any of that, maybe you hope for a therapist – a voice of reason that will counsel you through life’s ups-and-downs. And there are so many more ways to mix and match for that personalized, custom-tailored spiritual teacher – perfectly suited for the new identity you want to embody.

On the flip-side, some beings actually put themselves in the public view as spiritual teachers. There are very few who have actually transformed – and even fewer agreeing to meet a handful of seekers here and there. Most publicly available spiritual teachers are beings who got a grip on their “life-on-Earth” thing and serve as life coaches. The entrepreneurial spirit of the West has created many identities of “helpers,” “not helpers,” “catalysts,” “healers,” “mentors” – whatever. A shingle on the door, and the teacher…is…in. That being said, some people are excellent life coaches and do help others successfully navigate living.

Enlightened beings don’t go looking to be spiritual teachers. Confusion creates teachers. Those who are free do not need to teach anyone anything. Sometimes, people come by and they need something. Sometimes, it feels OK to support them. Most people who interact with me have no idea who I am. I don’t have a horse in the race and I understand free will. I also understand the value of a person seeing themselves in the mirror very clearly. Some do need to feel – even for a brief moment –  the loosening of the illusion that we can and do have so much control in life, and that this is actually alright.

I can also see through how people want to use the energy I carry for their own agendas. It’s an unconscious craving that people have – they can feel something “powerful” and they want it for themselves, without actually understanding either what they feel or what “it” really is. Nevertheless,  just by being there, I allow a person to see more clearly how they are tripping over themselves and others in life. And then, I watch what they do with that insight. I may end up giving energy to that person to help themselves heal and move forward, but how they use it is up to them. If they decide to use that energy to lash out at life because of their pent up frustration, I encourage them to not come back. I don’t give it or them another thought.

The problem with the “spiritual teacher” dynamic is that people usually just want to have lives that feel happier, better, good-er, and more meaningful. But that is not transformation. I know from experience that transformation is not something that I could imagine before it happened – and continued – for me.

Transformation is similar to the phase changes of matter – liquid to solid, for example. People studying phase changes make computer simulations to show how liquid water cools: liquid water molecules buzz around in a random state and then, suddenly, organize into clear hexagonal molecule arrangements. Similarly, the lives of a few individuals may birth certain trends and social movements: at first, only a few express something, and then many individuals suddenly organize around a cause or an idea or an experience.

Enlightenment is something that happens suddenly and irreversibly to completely reorganize how you – as a living process – relate to the energy that lives you and everything else. The process continues and there seem to be a number of distinct phases someone can pass through – until the body can no longer support the energy of that being’s life.

One cannot be taught into this different state of being. Yet, it does seem to be the next wave of evolution for humanity at some point in the future.

One can get glimpses of transformation by being exposed to a living being that is already in that state. Furthermore, one can try to study one’s life with the help and insight of a transformed being who can see you clearly. Always, you draw your own conclusions.

To most people, feeling such exposure and lack of control – where there is no game that could be played – is not a pleasant experience. In fact, those who do get to experience such exposure and obviousness of themselves, find it terrifying. Only a certain kind of soul can stare right into the stuff they don’t want to see or know about themselves, and then keep looking until things are healed…. Such tenacity requires great restraint that few have to the degree that is necessary to withstand the heat of profound embarrassment that comes with being seen, and then to move through that fire.

Any dream life is a dream, and people love dreams. They tell lots of stories, look at the stars, and pontificate deeply about whether reincarnation is fake or real, or what Christ and Buddha teachings really mean. This mind-driven analysis touches only a micro-atom of the universe that is unfolding. An enlightened being shows reality, stripped of every dream, every illusion, and turns everything that is held near-and-dear upside-down. How? By being in the room. Nothing special is done. Embodying that energy is all that happens. While I have compassion for pain, I do not engage in people’s games at all. Day-to-day, I engage people through real-world tasks or projects that need to be done – that’s mostly it.

A happy, put-together life, where all the ducks are in a row and quacking, the money is flowing in, and onlookers are dazzled – these are about mastering living on Earth. Even so, complete control and stability are impossible for many reasons. And, these things have nothing to do with becoming an open gateway for the energy that lives all – including all on the Earth. Neither kind of life is better or worse – these are just very different ways of relating to the life process.

So, if you are looking to get your life together, find a good life coach or a pastor or a therapist. Learn how to talk to people, get jobs, manage your finances, eat well, have healthy relationships, and express your talents. Let your life be your teacher and bond with people who can help you out.

If you feel that you have been-there-done-that and are trying a different way to relating to life, then a “teacher” will find you. One thing is certain – all beings who have broken through the first transformation barrier begin to serve as natural mirrors for others, and wherever you go there you are. Until then, you do you.

One thing seems true… You don’t actually stop being born until you die. You unfold your entire life. It is a myth that birthing stops upon exiting the womb.

Know Your Pain

Pain is something I live with. There is now no more emotional pain – I feel emotions differently and they pass through, as if through an open doorway. There is only physical chronic pain, which showed up about a decade ago. But let me back up….

Since I was a young child, I wanted to die. From the poverty I didn’t have words to describe. From being of a lower class than the neighbors living on higher floors. From being raped as a child and in college. From being the unwanted child of a first marriage my mother wanted to forget. From being moved to a foreign country without having any understanding of what was happening around me. From having to endure school fights because I was different. From having to be excellent at school and everything I did because nothing else about me was worth my new father’s respect. From feeling like I belonged nowhere and had no home. From failing to prove to courts that I was married to an alcoholic – and the courts wanted equally shared custody of my baby. From not knowing who I was after leaving the alcoholic. From making the choice to cut out 3 hours of driving per day to work and leaving my child in an alcoholic’s house. From living in the limbo of losing my child, and the court fight against a narcissist to get my child back. From continuing the custody fight for years until my son was old enough to voice his wishes to live with me. From not knowing how I was going to continue living with the agony of every fiber of my being feeling rejected by life itself. From having to keep fighting all my life and seeing a threat everyday and everywhere – even when there was no threat.

Sound dramatic? It is the truth of the being that was before “I” let go into the stream of life. I remember “her” sometimes, but she died.

She tried killing herself a number of times, but all attempts failed. And, after meeting her teacher and several years of intense letting go, she let go. And now, there is noone in a body.

This body may not have been built for the drastic leap made by its denizen. It is not somehow fit to hold all this energy, which consciously shines spontaneous creativity and gazes at Life – as Life. So, this body is dying now. I know that in the near future my heart will fail.

It is a myth that enlightenment grants you eternity in a body. Enlightenment does not guarantee that. Many say I look a decade or so younger than my biological age and happy, but in no way am I immortal.

According to my doctor, I am very healthy. My heart rate is slow. My bloodwork is fine. Yet, I have to manage my energy carefully with much sleep, and manage the physical pain that seems to have set in. I alternate between working and resting to do what needs to be done. It is strange to feel my being rapidly unwinding itself from the body, as if leaving a car on the side of the road.

I do not feel sad or worry for myself. I just feel the need to complete and give. I observe what is occurring and share with my husband (I remarried) – a dear friend who has been with me while I was a happy-go-lucky human, while “she” was transforming, and through all the changes until the full transformation into this. He helps me get ready for work. He lets me rest. And I can focus on the people and energies around me – including my husband and children. I am always surrounded by someone(s) or dynamics that need attention. Whatever I have become cannot be described as human, and people can feel that. I am definitely not surrounded by guru groupies. There is no sign that says “I am the Light.” And there never will be.

I am an experiment: Can a fully enlightened being live a so-called ordinary life without being tucked away in an ashram or temple? Can such a being hold down a job, raise a family, have everyday interactions with people, eat whatever, and never tell most people what he or she is? The answer is yes. This a good – as more people break through, they will be able to walk among others, and their bodies will evolve also! This transition period is imminent for the human race.

Whatever your current state, know that you are not your pain. More important than acknowledging your pain is studying and gaining insight into how you relate to your pain, and then move through and past it to your true nature.

I live in constant physical pain and I know that I am not that. I do know what I am, but have no words to express it. It doesn’t really matter.

We all have some kind of pain – usually physical or emotional, or both. A balanced person will try to adapt their life to the challenges of pain.

Some run from their pain and try to forget they feel it. Others worship their pain and talk about it nonstop, looking for validation that they deserve compassion and care. Still others suffer in silence, feeling that they deserve the pain and must bear it with dignity, or hide it. Of course, there are also those who try to make something positive out of their pain by reaching out to those with similar pain – “You are not alone!” One would think that all people want the pain to stop and do whatever possible to end it, but some look for the pain to quiet their fear, guilt, or shame.

We attribute so much value to pain and give it so much of our attention. Perhaps, due to evolution? In general, we notice immediately when any discomfort sets in.

But pain is just a signal – it’s simply information and nothing more. In studying our response to pain – whether resistance, embrace, or coexistence – we learn how to let go. I coexist with pain while awake, and I do not feel physical pain while the body sleeps. However, I am attuned to people around the globe at all times – their pain is now impersonal and mine at the same time. I feel the pain of so many people, and reach out to them in body and soul. It is a good thing that I am just an open doorway. A person would not be able to feel it all.