Old Stuff Still Showing Up

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blue1

Ever feel possessed? As in: things seem OK and then wham! An out-of-the-blue thought takes root, grows and flowers very quickly and suddenly the mouth is saying things, the body is warping and commitment to the aberrant thought mushrooms into justifying, defending or even attacking?

That’s conditioning, programming out of the past popping up from the dungeon of buried stuff, ready to be seen. It’s old old belief surfacing and making itself wildly known, demanding to be heard and soothed. So hear it. Soothe it. How? Look deeply: is this clutched and communicated idea about life really true or is it an explanation adopted in childhood/youth, originally designed to mollify, neutralize or rationalize difficult experience? When it appears, or as soon as possible after, step back. Move into neutral. Look at it with an accepting eye. It has a story to tell and it might just be one that is ready to be dissolved. 

This is pertinent information for awakening ones in particular because this kind of response to thought is often more confusing after waking up than before. When we are still locked into imagining that thoughts are accurate we may feel uncomfortable or regretful that such incidences happen but they are seen as normal. After awakening it can be very clear that thoughts are often inaccurate and arbitrary and also very confusing when they still seem to take over.

The key is to remember that awakening is a beginning only. It is never final and never over. Things continue to evolve both in understanding and experience and that’s just how it is. Awakening does not, cannot, change the basic set-up here. Time and space may be inherently non-existent yet as long as there is life they come into play; they are part of the foundational rules of the game. We can see through them but cannot erase them.

And so there is evolution, sequencing, growth. Time seems to pass. Change simply is. No one is free from conditioning and it will fall away however it does. Much of it as the awakening door opens, the rest as time passes. Seeing that this is a natural part of continuing on with life is a good way to assist it. And since it will happen anyway why not work with it by accepting that stuff will show up and then looking carefully, without judgment? Lots can be seen and clear sight is always a bonus. 

Find out about this for yourself. If you are not yet over the waking up threshold, it can help. If you have passed through the gateless gate, it can help. Conditioning is what makes us human before and the dropping off of it is what makes us more free as human after.

Quaking and Burning

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When drugs and alcohol collapsed my life I was definitely old enough to “know better”… and obviously that kind of thing is not about knowledge. As my mother said about it, “But you never took drugs”. Correct. Until I did. I was 35.

Because everything fell apart so completely I met the first of two incredible therapists. He was one huge ear. Listening was what he did best and I had a lot to say. We never got far past surface issues to what really needed to be seen, yet it was very helpful. He was the second person, up until that time, who gave me unconditional acceptance; such a huge gift! And through the insights gained with him drugs became history. Alcohol lingered for a few years and then it too evaporated.

He set the stage for what would come later: the second therapist, a woman who also had a huge ear as well as the ability to lovingly reflect what she saw happening when I could not. With her gentle yet incisive feedback I began talking about things that had previously been unavailable even to think; they’d not been so much as a glimmer on the horizon.

I addressed the core issues of this particular life: childhood trauma and its deep, powerful and utterly beneficial (until it wasn’t) denial. Suddenly the absolute fact of these were staring me in the face and I did not look away. Exploring happened. Every sludgy, forgotten and pain-filled cranny was searched. Found were the events I’d been looking for all my life without even knowing they existed. I was 62.

Two things stand out about that time. The first is that there was clearly a total readiness that had not been fully formed in the earlier scenario. When it showed up, denial was no longer needed as it had done its job. What was its job? To keep the trauma and its aftermath well out of awareness. To protect first a small child and then the adult she became. From what? The overwhelming fears, memories, feelings and thoughts that could have been spirit crushers, life deadeners.

And it worked. A few memories that were somehow easily rationalized away were all that were present throughout the decades before denial dissolved. The vulnerable child and her older counterpart were safe from the effects of complete memory for most of a life.

The second stand-out is that the collapsing of denial and the flooding in of memories and realizations were concurrent with the literally overnight appearance of the burning desire for spiritual awakening. In the same time period of seeing the past come into focus came the consuming fire for waking up. They were two sides of a single thing.

The confusion resulting from the sudden seeing of the truth of childhood utterly shattered the sense of self, life and orientation to all that had been known. It was an earthquake that helped trigger the fiery conflagration of awakening. And together they destroyed all ideas of the past and future, leaving only the moment. Eventually trauma became simply a word; conditioning but false ideas believed. A new living began.

Bottom line 1: perfect timing is always at play, no matter what the story seems to say.

Bottom line 2: We think denial and unconsciousness are bad or wrong somehow when in fact they are protective, shielding allies that drop their vigilance when it’s time for fullness to be felt.

Bottom line 3: Life can be experienced big and free. And not just bigger and more free than past events; also without the conditioning and programming that is cooked up after those occur.

Work with it. Work with life. Be open, be willing and look deeply. It’s all right there and it’s never, ever what you think it is.

 

Blowing Up Bad and Good

LIfeHow often are you seeing in operation your beliefs of things being right-wrong/good-bad? Most of us take a position on that continuum of assessment regarding everything that comes our way. “That’s right”, “That’s wrong” and “This is good, that is bad” are so much a part of our thoughts and words, and often so automatic, that they are often barely noticed.

It’s considered normal, this belief in the innate rightness or badness of everything from our own interior condition to the state of the world. It is believed factual that most everything is one or the other. But is it justified?

Is the assigning of a built-in, intrinsic rightness/wrongness to all we experience or see in life accurate? Is it correct and true to say that things actually are good or bad in some foundational and non-changeable manner? That things come with those attributes somehow built-in?

It is definitely what we do and it is definitely deluded. Why? Because in the commitment to the good/bad continuum we lose sight of naturally occurring balance. And without that we are imagining fantasy to be reality.

Natural balance shows up all the time, everywhere. It is not created; not an equilibrium brought about by x-percent of badness and y-percent of goodness jockeying for dominance. It is not a constant reshuffling of right things and wrong appearances so that a certain order is maintained between the two.

Instead, natural balance is a constant presence of life emerging without right/wrong, goodness/badness as inherent qualities built into any of it. Natural balance needs no adjustment. Imbalance cannot happen. All of life’s appearances are simply empty of inherent right and wrong; no tweaking necessary to maintain this. It just is. Constantly occurring balance is always in play so there is no good stuff to toss at the bad stuff as neither is present. Only life and all that it is, as it is, is present. Any qualities, characteristics and attributes are simply of the physical variety: tall, short, hot, cold, blue, green, smooth, sharp. Can good and bad be amongst those?

The qualities of right and wrong we imagine intrinsic to any and all things have but a false reality, one that appears only in our thinking. Life does not contain these ideas as content within any of its appearances. Life is a naturally balanced occurrence, containing no inner attributes of rightness/wrongness, goodness/badness. Everything of life is inherently equal; appearances empty of all but their physical characteristics (and even those empty; but that is another post). Only believed thoughts say otherwise.

The idea of a rightness/wrongness imbalance springs from imagining that human designations of intrinsic value or goodness/badness, projected onto particular things, are correct. They are not. They are just that: projections. They are opinions imagined as truth. Because of these imaginings the world is seen as lacking balance when in fact it is everywhere.

Natural balance is obscured by the notion held by most that only one end of the right/wrong continuum is worthy; indeed, by the notion that the continuum actually is in existence and is to be honored and adjusted when needed. We imagine that it is up to us to fix what life has presented on a silver platter! This comes from the idea that only what is assumed good is valuable, that what is deemed bad is less so. This leads to natural balance remaining unseen. When it is not recognized that neither end of the continuum is genuinely true we flounder in artificial and erroneous beliefs of needing to fix; we try to enhance and eradicate.

This is not about convincing you there should not be desires and preferences, that taking a stance or an action is unnecessary or futile. Nor that both ends should be equal in our perception of them. Natural balance simply highlights good and bad as not intrinsically within anything at all. Right and wrong are our ideas. They trigger erroneous evaluations. We give credence to phantoms.

As always, don’t believe any of this. Look for yourself. An effective inquiry might be to look very carefully at objects, events, situations, actions. Can any concrete quality or characteristic that contains goodness or badness be found in them other than in your thought of it? Can any be located that indicate intrinsic wrongness or rightness? Look at how opinion and thoughts about these can say yes or no to the questions. Then let those beliefs pass by. What remains? The thing as it is. No imagined add-ons.

Moving further, we can develop the habit of acceptance of life and its appearances as they are; even the embracing of them. Why do this? Because it feels better than resistance of reality. Because it is more realistic. What is present is present. Period. Fighting this fact is not only futile, it’s painful. And dropping belief in inherent right and wrong within life’s presentations assists with dissolving resistance.

Accepting life as it is does not imply that we condone hurtful behaviors in others and ourselves or imagine that things that feel loving and joyful are to be dismissed. It does not mean that we cannot move towards what appeals and avoid what does not. It means seeing that nothing comes with built-in qualities that have the power to attract or repel. Value and attraction or repulsion are human generated. Yes, even spontaneous liking or disliking, wanting and rejecting, valuable and worthless responses are a result of human thinking and never originate in the thing around which we have the thoughts and feelings.

It can never be known how or why life shows up as it does. We can only know that it simply does. We have to work from that moment forward. A seemingly discreet and particular “something” is present and right there in the noticing of it we can either attach our ideas about its value, rightness and innate attributes or we can simply acknowledge that it is present as whatever it is.

So give it a go. Look. Ponder. The world-as-it-is awaits. It is right/wrong-neutral and ready for you to like and dislike however you wish, without embracing false thinking that says it is as you believe it to be. It isn’t. What a blessing!

Beyond Sweet

Sweet

Well, the river of life is delivering me to so many diverse stops along the shore. Some of them simply would have been unendurable in the past and are now welcomed with gratitude. What made the difference? Cannot point to any single thing but can say that the entire story of this universe is now one of open, free acceptance.

Remember hearing “Life is to be lived, celebrated?” I just never got that as life felt like a lot of pain and bleakness, with intermittent clearing of the clouds that helped with continuing forward. Now it’s just “Bring it on. It is all welcome”. And yes, of course there will be more big things. I now see that when they show up, I’ll be right there with them.

This is a natural evolution for me. It’s been three years since the awakening experience began and never was it imagined that this is what could come. It’s been a slow and gradual movement recently, after a year of grief, huge unhappiness and turmoil with the deaths of two beloved family members and the huge legal issues that followed. That period ended abruptly eight months ago. The light was suddenly seen again and just kept deepening. This is beyond sweet. Peace is experienced pretty much continuously and when it is not, it quickly returns. It is a one-eighty for the former Lisa.

Please know, somehow, that this is not exclusive to any particular human, it is the baseline for all. It’s a natural progression that unfolds and is happening in ever increasing numbers. Not experiencing it now? You can.

Look deeply within your own interior and find what is present when all else comes and goes, because everything does come and go except your own true nature. There it is, right there. Your heart of hearts, the peace that prevails.

It is you, as you are and never as you think you are. Take a look right there, at the thoughts that seem to dictate “how it is” concerning everything, but particularly about your own is-ness. The truth awaits only attention. It is your own “beyond sweet” that awaits.

Dive in.

Everything from Nothing: No More Fight Club

fc 2

 

Awakening is a door. It opens and we cross into a new way of being, one that eventually becomes ordinary, everyday experiencing. I enjoy exploring these new ways of being; an on-going breaking of what is for me new ground far from the place I entered, but somehow still exactly there all the time. This never ceases to amaze… the journey of no distance.

Something that has remained a clear realization each moment during this exploration, and so now seems quite familiar, is the spontaneous seamless appearing of life moment to moment. It first rolled open before me during the initial months of awakening (always on-going, never “done”) and continues to be seen using just a slight shift of attention. Memory does not enter into this. I stop, look and there it is again: the constant fresh renewing of the universe as unbroken singularity, springing up into manifestation. It’s all brand-new as each instantly and constantly reappearing moment.

This is not a visual thing, nor a connection of thought-dots; rather it is a an ever- fresh view or knowing. While there is no longer the huge impact there was once it continues to delight and gently nudge a feeling of security: life has things well in hand.

The implications of this are significant.

Because life is new in each split-second what we consider to be cause and effect is an assumption based on the belief that time is unfolding; that it somehow flows from “earlier”, to “now” and then to “later”. This assuming is so ingrained it is almost never seen or questioned. Yet time actually is not; nor are space, objects, situations or events actual, despite their sensed immediacy.

What is occurring is a built-in perceptual mechanism of the body that allows for “slices” of time and discreet experiences of space, objects and events to be uniquely perceived, and this serves us well. Without it everything would merge together as a single lump; the past, future, all space, all objects and events would be continuously here as the present moment. Imagine a life of that!

And so it is that there is not a something “before” influencing or creating a something “after”; nothing caused by anything previous; no effects which then morph into new causes. Without time, space and objects constantly morphing and flowing in a linear movement, this simply cannot be.

With no causes to make things happen, they simply happen spontaneously each moment and then the next (or don’t), each new and complete; whole. And because there is no person here (no separate self, no me or you) choosing and making decisions (as what is labeled decision or choice is the same spontaneous emerging moment, un-caused) there is also no need for angst or argument over so many things: outcomes, being right, mistakes, optimizing, diminishing, the future, the past… on and on. It’s a long list.

Of course thoughts and feelings that are labeled “concern” over these can still show up. If an action comes that seems to be triggered by something previous (I see situation x, I’m concerned, I do such-and-such) all that need happen is to look closely. Nope, that action was not triggered by the concern that came, nor was the concern triggered by a situation that occurred.

The looking can reveal that

there is not “a this causing a that”.

It only looks that way.

Whatever shows up is ordinarily thought of as having happened in sequence, one after the other, due to our sense of time seemingly passing (as in “passing by”). And it is also thought that the earlier events caused the later ones, which then caused ones even later than those. In other words: it’s natural that we believe it is all causes and effects, as it all seems to actually show up that way, with ramifications then springing out in all directions as well.

But what we are really experiencing each moment is just that… each moment. Brand new. Complete and whole. Nothing before that prompts anything after because there is no before and hence no after. There is only right now.

Sit with this a bit. Can you find anything other than this moment? Is there a past anywhere, with causes? A future with effects? Can any of these ever be found?

Ponder how this lack of time and the resulting lack of cause and effect might create a new view, perhaps a new acceptance of life. If it genuinely were not possible for you to choose which way to go; if each seeming choice, each perceived cause were but life showing up fresh yet again with absolutely nothing being done by you or anyone else, what would drop off your worry list? What would you stop arguing with, fighting against?

If it was deeply seen and known that all of life is always spontaneous and never emerging from human behaviors, would ideas about behaviors change? What if was clearly realized that outcomes do not come from you or anyone else, that only ideas and thoughts about “I created this, you created that and causes bring effects” are what say this is true? Might significant amounts of angst dissolve, drop away?

What I am pointing to is that stressing and fretting about what we see as our decisions and choices is not inherent. Arguing with what life brings is like shaking your fist at the weather; pointless indeed. These are all add-ons. And life can and will function very nicely without them. The reality is this:

Life itself takes care of everything,

down to the most minute of details and up to the largest of imaginables, as it always has. It does this by showing up. That’s it. Life shows up. Worry, argument, stress… none of them required for life to flow and unfold exactly as it is meant to be.

And we experience as we do, believing whatever is believed. Feeling that time is actual or believing that causes create effects is not bad or wrong, just untrue except in thoughts. And it can be hugely unproductive to pretend that you don’t believe those thoughts if you do; to be in denial of your own perceptions and experience. This is why it is important to not take my word or anyone’s in these matters. This is an “Experience it yourself” kind of thing. So look to your own inner knowing. Remember that you are your own best guide to the interior territory and that it can be explored with ease and in-depth. Remind yourself that direct, non-intellectualized experiencings of truth can emerge.

Look, openly and honestly, without attention given to thoughts.

The entire universe happens in a manner totally different from how we’d ever thought it did. And we can know this. All is appearing as it will, right on schedule without a single thing being decided or chosen by a single human anywhere. It can become apparent that it just looks as if we are doing it even though we aren’t; it can be recognized that this includes all things: the disruptive, the mean-spirited, the kind, the loving. They come not as choice (not even the “good” ones) but simply and spontaneously as whatever they are; things happening. All of it just life, as it is. The opportunity to see and understand ourselves and our world in this completely new light is available to all.

And once seen, there is often the emergence of deep, satisfying acceptance of however the “as it is” shows up. No more resistance, no more arguing with life. It is the putting down of our oh so battered fight gloves and walking out of the ring into a new livingness.

Everyone is Innocent

 

everyone is innocent

 

This can be hard to believe at times, can it not? So let’s not use belief here, as that is always problematical; one person believes something utterly and the next says it is ridiculous. Belief is not a worthy confirmation nor a steady standard of authenticity.

Let’s look instead at how life is actually showing up, in the moment. Right here, right now, are you innocent or guilty? Are you worthy, valuable or (probably because of believing [there it is again] in the badness/wrongness of some of your previous behaviors) are you less-than, perhaps even bad and not at all good? My experience is that many feel that way about themselves.

And I, too, struggled mightily with these very questions all my life. Truly believed (smile) that Lisa was not good and never could be. Then awakening… and still the questions went on, which was a surprise as my belief (another smile) was that I would instantly be absolved, instantly become pure. That doesn’t happen when we wake up. More on that in another post.

For me the ticket was to genuinely realize that behavior is never caused by anything such as heredity, previous behaviors, thought, emotion, sensation; and it is never an effect (of my rightness or wrongness or even choice, volition or control, but that it can seem to be). Behavior is always a spontaneous showing-up; zero cause. Once that was gut-clear the rest came into focus.

What does this mean, how does it work that behavior is not caused by me, that somehow I am not actually “doing” it and thusly innocent? It happens because life is spontaneous, appearing fresh and new in each nano-moment and then again, over and over. No past, no future, just that tiny point of appearance that explodes into the wholeness of everything. There is never a cause of what shows up because nothing previously happened, it just seems that way. Life absolutely looks solid and objective with time sequentially separating everything, but that’s really not at all how it is. Handy, though.

And the apparent causes of behavior also seem solid and objective due in part to the mind-function labeled “memory”, which assists in creating the illusion that life is constantly flowing from past to future. This allows a “cause” to appear as being the trigger or creator of an “effect”. But this is how the dreamstream only seems to actually be. Time is the word we give to this, but as it does not exist as a thing, only a concept or label we put to our apparent experience of “before, now, after”, it can give no objective reality to anything. This is the unseen trick of it: none of that is actual, it’s just the way it appears in order that it can be experienced as… well, as the way it is experienced. A magnificent and wondrous dream embraced, lived.

Yet if there is no “previous”, then there can be no actual cause for what we say and do. This attaching of responsibility is a mis-perception, a misunderstanding, rather than the abdication that some might imagine it to be. Each word we say, each move we make, each action taken is fresh, new and never caused by the non-existent past and never effecting an always-unreal future. It’s just what it is, right now; a kind of instant pop-up that then vanishes and the next pop-up appears. It is the moment, the now; the only time we’ll ever have.

This does not mean we should not hold ourselves and others accountable, because that can show up also. We don’t have to stay in situations or with people that we find unpleasant, imagining we must because they are innocent, nor do we have to assign wrongness, moving from seeing authentic accountability to pointing the blame finger. We can simply say to ourselves or another that this is not what is desired or appreciated, give feedback if that feels right to do, and move on. Meanwhile, life continues as the automatic becoming of the next nano-moment and things change or don’t.

So this might come down to whether or not we genuinely see that in a way we are puppets only… but in a nice way, as life is lived not through us (as separate selves) but as us. Nowhere can there be found a separate self to be held responsible; nowhere causes and effects. In this, as in all things, we are no different than the clouds in the sky, the trees in the earth, the water in the ocean. We are life: natural, spontaneous; never bad and never good. Not even genuine innocence to be found, as there is nothing other with which it can be contrasted; and no guiltiness except when felt and believed like so much other that is falsely embraced. Bottom line: We just are.

And that’s something to celebrate, I think. All labels, all judgments resolved and the playing field seen as absolutely equal for all, as the field is all; all of us and all of everything. Everyone is valuable and innocent because everyone is life itself. Denigrating one is the denigrating of the other because there is no “other”; all is the same exact seamless thing.

It’s life. It’s all we’ve got and it’s just so beautiful, painful, chaotic, joyful; a mystery to the googleplex power. And we the innocents who play in it, as it. Perfect.

And as always… look for yourself. Explore these words in your own interior. True? Nonsense? How is any of this known? Via belief (smile again) or gut intuitive knowing? Just look. Lots to find.

Actor Life … Real Life

Rest

What do you intend we see about you? What do you put out as “This is who/what I am”? What is the goal… for us to see you as you are or for us to see what you want us to see? The former is truth the latter is dishonest. It can be very scary to stop spinning stories about oneself and the world but stop we must or we live in lies. It’s that simple.

We are a culture terrified of being seen as we are because we habitually imagine that we are less than, that we are not good enough. Yet when I am busy imagining that there is a right or wrong way to be, I cannot know my true nature. When I am busy defining Lisa and spinning what the world sees, that interior experiencing of what I am in actuality is muddied-over with concepts, shoulds and musts. Crazy making, all of it.

I cling to what I believe is “right”, what I “should” be, when I am scared of being wrong, of being what is imagined I should not be. “Others will know I am not a good person unless I say and do a,b,c... I’ll be revealed as the blackheart I am.” Nope. No one is genuinely a blackheart. And what will show up as this Lisa will show up as it does; that is the absolute nature and grounded given about life: spontaneous seamless appearing, moment to moment. No causes and always as it is meant to be.

Only false thinking that life is showing up wrong, or that shining false stories of Lisa must be spun, can seem to put me and the world into the tiny little boxes of good or bad. Only belief can create the imagining that I actually could be good or bad. I can be neither. I am reality as human. So are you. Good, bad, right, wrong are mind-created ideas. Life does not recognize them.

Rest here. Not with goodness as human, nor badness. Just reality, true nature, which is none of these words we so love to spin around ourselves, words that are not true and never can be. True nature is word-neutral, concept-free; without opinion and judgment either way. It just is, and sees all of life the same.

Rest right here.

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