Sweet Surrender…..

Photo Credit: Pixabay

I don’t know where I’m going.

I don’t know what I’m doing.

But I do know

When I surrender into the depths of my being

When I let go of all my learning

All my trying hard, my shoulds and have to’s.

When I let go of all of it

It feels like relief –

a deep breathing out,

Ahhhh….

Sweet, surrender!

Like being held

Cradled in a big body of water

Floating, adrift

Eyes closed,

Arms softly open

Naked, vulnerable

I have no idea where I am headed.

There are moments of complete trust……

And panic!

Hello panic, I didn’t mean to let you go.

You can be just as you are, it’s okay.

I will be right here, I will just keep you company.

Back and forth they alternate, trust then panic.

Something comes, it’s a knowing from inside – hold both it tells me.

All of a sudden I can feel a deep breathing – and a wondering

…… who is this one who knows to hold both?

I give my life to this one, the one that knows the way, the one that holds me.

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Dear Body

Dear body please help me to remember….

My felt sense
My true nature
My inner knowing…..
Like the stars, is sometimes hidden, sometimes covered over by the darkness, concealed by the distractions of life, blocked out by conditionings imposed on me from the outside. Dimmed by the crushing thoughts that pelt down on me.

But sometimes, sometimes…..
When I’m quiet, when my mind is still, when I’m with someone who can listen well, someone who doesn’t want to change or fix me, someone who points me back home to myself, I find,

clarity
wisdom
truth and beauty
Always available

It never leaves me
I leave it….often
It never leaves me

Dear body please hear my prayer,

help me to come home to you…..
again
and again
and again.

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Letting life happen in me…

Photo Credit: Gabrielle Clark

Who am I?

I ask and ask many times and I step back, but nothing comes.

I stay and say it is okay.

I drift off and remember something I have read yesterday – ‘we must defend your dwelling place in us to the last’, so I come back. I ask again.

Then I remember a lovely note from a friend – ‘its okay and enjoy life’ he says – This makes me smile. Enjoy life – yes! The smile keeps growing. I think this is enough and I finish.

I come across a poem and I am moved by the line – “Close your eyes and follow your breath to the still place that leads to the invisible path that leads you home.”

I pause again and follow my breath – a feeling is coming in my body. It’s big! It is like a feeling of ecstasy, it is scary and nice and I am allowing it.

I remember the support of the chair.

It feels like I am allowing life to flow in me and it is so beautiful and light and uplifting. I can still feel it now, it is tingling and buzzing with life. “Let life happen to you” says Rilke.

Perhaps I am the vehicle for the life that is longing to live in me. Or am I the life I felt moving in me.

I don’t know.

Who am I beyond the conditioning that has been imposed on me?

Who is the one that looks out from behind my eyes?

Who is the one that looks out from behind your eyes?

Can I even risk being seen that deeply, seeing that deeply. The thought of that scares and excites me.

I hold both, as a hopeful possibility.

 

Note Authors of my inspiration in order: Etty Hillesum, Rainer Maria Rilke and Teresa of Avila

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Do You Not See Them?

tilting trees
Photo Credit: Elizabeth Morana

There is an invisible world and a kingdom of spirits: that world is round us, for it is everywhere; and those spirits watch us, for they are commissioned to guard us; and if we were dying in pain and shame, if scorn smote us on all sides, and hatred crushed us, angels see our tortures, recognize our innocence.  — Charlotte Bronte

There is a kingdom of spirits that protects you.  Do you not see them?   –Charlotte Bronte

I wish I could see them—the spirits, the angels that surround us, waiting, longing to help us. I believe—with my mind—that there are such things; it’s consistent with the great saying God is Love which, I’m told, can be found in the gospel of John.  I’m not a big follower of the bible, and I’m not a believer in the creeds of the world’s great religions.  But I do believe in Divine Love—that It’s all around us, and available to us.

I can’t see the ‘angels’ that could easily be around me—around each of us—waiting to help us in our struggles, or perhaps wave some of that fairy dust off their wings onto our aching hearts—at least, most of the time I can’t see them.  I’ll admit that sometimes I do have a sense of the Love around me.  It’s just that it disappears so easily.

Continue reading Do You Not See Them?

Wholebody Focusing and Zen Buddhism

Fusako Nakamura is a long-time Wholebody Focuser who experiences an essential connection between her spiritual practice of Zen Buddhism and Wholebody Focusing.  On the evening of the filming of this video, a monk from the local Buddhist temple came to chant at her door just as we were about to start filming.  We get to hear his chant as part of the video and feel the integration of Fusako’s spirituality and WBF practice in real time.

What she shares with us is how the importance in Zen Buddhism of honoring ancestors is enlivened by her Wholebody focusing practice.  Please enjoy the aliveness in Fusako’s spiritual practice and how Heartfelt Conversation helps her to feel connected to others and allows her to feel less lonely.

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Brave enough? / Uskallanko?

Photo credit: Maria Hakasalo

BRAVE ENOUGH?

My hands
Stretched out far away from my body
sad and lonely
Overloaded
Asking, do I suffice, am I good enough

My feet
Marching
Every step hearing a drum cadence repeating
Lazybones Lazybones Lazybones

I will show you I am not a lazybones! I’ll do and do and do!!!
Even though I am too tired of doing anything

Something in me
Gently raises a question
Are you Brave
Are you Brave enough to think
I will lead you where you need to be?

Am I?

Continue reading Brave enough? / Uskallanko?

Me & Planet Earth That Sustains Me & More

Out of nothing, something new emerges.  Kevin connects us to one of his influences, Pierre de Chardin, who believed that we have a role to play in the expanding universe.  We are a part of planet Earth and it sustains life–even our lives.  We can sense into the laws of gravity, for example, that help us function every moment of our lives.  This intunement is about the experience of our sense of self connected to the Earth in grounded presence and what might get in the way.

An important block can be the emotional pain of the fear of not being loved or wanted.  This type of despair might be a very powerful presence in our lives.  If we make room for fear of nothingness, more comes. We need to endure the sense of nothing in order to allow something that is not of our own making to emerge.

Enjoy what emerges today in your grounded presence.

Photo Credit: Michael Lux – Yosemite

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The Pine and I

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Photo Credit: Ana Simeon

Maybe it has happened to you, too, that small secret moment of intimacy with a non-human creature. It’s a powerful experience yet easily dismissed by the mind. The one I want to tell you about happened on a trail in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in northern California. It is a rocky, spare place, steep and windswept and intensely alive. High on a ridge above a mountain lake, the trail weaves among pines and Douglas Fir growing singly or in small groups, huddled around granite boulders. On a hot late September afternoon, their combined scent rose like incense; the air was charged with it. I walked briskly, enjoying the vigorous motion and the give of the trail surface, changing from rock to needles to bare earth to patches of coarse grasses. I became keenly aware of an added dimension, the arrangement of bodies in the middle distance, so often lost in our habitual focus on panoramic views. I mean by that the sense of my body mass relative to trees and boulders, the way trees stood in twos or threes or alone; a pine and boulder together; or the way the boughs formed a screen so that only slivers of blue were visible, and then suddenly parted to allow a full view of distant peaks. My steps slowed to a walk as I absorbed this new pleasure. My hand reached to touch the furry patch of lichen on a granite boulder, the deep furrow of Douglas Fir bark. I put my arms around a Jeffrey Pine, maybe my age in pine years, glowing deep red in the late afternoon light. I laid my cheek against the bark and was enveloped in a light, sweet aroma, like vanilla, very different from the more pungent “conifer” fragrance that rose from the forest as a whole. (I read later that pines, and especially Jeffrey Pines, are unique among North American conifers in distilling this vanilla-like scent.) There we stood for a long while, the pine and I, in a timeless embrace of arms and branches, skin and bark, one breath.

In her book, “The Legacy of Luna”, activist Julia Butterfly Hill describes her relationship with the giant redwood in whose canopy she lived for more than two years in order to save it from being logged. Hill is positive that Luna knew Hill was there to save it, and gave her support in its tree-ish way. Similarly, with my arms around the pine, I felt very strongly, from the tree, a wave of –  encouragement? Support? Was the pine hugging me back? These are human terms and they don’t quite fit. I felt that the pine and the land it sprang from were holding me up, wanted me to continue my work to save the Peace Valley in my home province of British Columbia from being dammed. I was being offered a gift – an experience of joy and unity, and something more: confirmation, confidence and strength to persevere in my work. Joy and gratitude buoyed me as I walked back to the cabin.

Continue reading The Pine and I