Friday, July 26, 2019

Just Passing Through

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Thank you for reading!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Seeing Behind the Curtain into Reality


In this blog I've been exploring removing illusion in order to see what's true—to bring down the TOWER of the so called "ME."  But it wasn't until the Fall of 2014 that REALITY began to reveal itself. In the sequence of 2 experiences, I saw behind the curtain of reality, and nothing prior to that could've prepared me for what I discovered.

Experience #1 happened some time in October, 2014, as I was settling into sleep. For some strange and unknown reason my mind started asking the "big questions:" What's death? What's life? What's this body? Mind you, I've asked these questions many times before, but not against my will. These questions came of their own when I wasn't necessarily in the mood for them. So I got engaged and decided that death wasn't the worst thing that could happen. When you're dead, you're dead. What would be worse, I had thought, was being paralyzed from the neck down—a state of limbo with all your mental capacities intact, but without being able to do anything about it. That would've been so much worse. I decided, it'd be like hell.

"Are you sure about that?" I heard from somewhere within.

Not sure why or how, I decided to stay still for a moment and through imagination experience what it'd be like to be paralyzed. And this next part is interesting, since I had barely made the decision to do it, when in a kind of a timeless second I saw—not with Marina's eyes, but with an un-locatable POV—that I was NOT "in-body". I wouldn't say that I was "out of body" either. It was much stranger than that. It was like I was neither in body or out of body, nor anywhere else, but here. The insight that came with it was "How did I ever think that what I am could ever be trapped in a silly, tiny thing like paralysis?" It was a laughable notion. What I am is both the infinite and the drop in the ocean, yet un-locatable, but very much here. Stranger still, what I am doesn't mind being in-body or trapped or paralyzed. So what? It's not like it can ever be trapped or even for that long.

The experience lasted no longer than a split-moment, if that. I fell asleep, a little perturbed, but mostly free of any kind of worry about my life ever being in jeopardy. I shared it with my spiritual teacher at the time, Peter Brown (http://www.theopendoorway.org), but he just shrugged his shoulders. I knew in that moment the experience had long receded to the past, and only NOW mattered. I believed in its reality, but because I couldn't hold on to the experience, my attempts at keeping it going by talking about it were futile.

Experience #2 happened a little over a month later on November 12, 2014. During a Peter Brown  retreat, I was hit with what I’d call THE BIG ONE! The one where this “ME” was no longer what I thought it was, and everyone else were no longer who I thought they were. It was like getting a free pass to the backstage of REALITY. 


During the traditional “last evening of retreat party” with Peter Brown, while hanging out with friends, something in my mind relaxed. 

The last thing I remember of the transition is the thought: Let me check out what “this is” when I’m high and the AWAKENED ONE is right next to me. The next thing I knew, the focus or the attention, shifted from this person called Marina to NO ONE and nothing in particular. I could’ve been the tree, for all I knew, or the space in the room, and I could’ve been any person in that room, as much as “ME,” the Marina.

Then, I began to check everyone out, especially my teacher of four years, the AWAKENED ONE. Who was this Guru who I’d been idolizing all this time with the special label of the ENLIGHTENED ONE?

Lo and behold, he was NO ONE special. He was just like everyone else in the room—like me, he was no one in particular, just another character. And then I began to notice that this aspect of being NO ONE IN PARTICULAR, but more like THE PLACE WHERE EVERYTHING HAPPENS is the TRUE ME and we all share that, which means—HOLY SHIT, getting glimpses didn’t do seeing THIS justice—THERE’S ONLY . . . THE ONE!

Call it ME, call it YOU, call it NO ONE. It doesn’t matter. There’s just the ONE DOING EVERYTHING.

Problems solved in one fell swoop—Marina is not doing anything—I AM or THIS ONE is doing everything. Marina never chooses when to lift her arm, much less all those important decisions.

I was so enraptured by this realization that all I wanted to do was to watch it, be it, feel it. Some spiritual friends tried to get my attention while I walked around in a daze, but with more clarity than I had ever experienced in my life, but I just didn’t want to engage. I could hear some talk around the room and people pointing to me, saying, “What’s wrong with her?” But I just didn’t care. What did it matter what these fictitious characters were doing or saying? In fact, how could anyone be doing anything else right now, but watching this THING doing its THING? Everything else seemed so superfluous. And these characters were supposed to be the more awakened ones from the bunch. Why are they not paying attention? To me, at the time, they looked like dogs, looking for a “bone” called Enlightenment, when it was RIGHT HERE, RIGHT UNDER THEIR NOSES.

So, I began to look at Peter Brown. He surely must be seeing what I’m seeing. But he wouldn’t look at me. The harder I tried to get his attention, the more entrenched he seemed to become in his conversation. In fact, the teacher who had been pointing us all to awaken, appeared just as lost in his character as everyone else around him. I was shocked and dismayed until another realization hit me—we’re all THIS ONE, so what does it matter if it appropriates this character or that? Peter is THIS ONE, Marina is THIS ONE, my parents back home are THIS ONE, then hooray, LET’S ROLE PLAY!

It wasn’t until I was hugging Peter Brown goodbye the next day, when, wearing a smile, he asked, “Did you have a nice retreat?” And I knew that he knew exactly what had happened. I don’t even think I answered him in words. I just sort of smiled and nodded.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Daily Meditations


Use every bit of an already given experience as a practice—every feeling, every situation, every reaction, every opportunity to notice that you’re here. If you’re drawn to go there, go there. If you’re drawn to stay here, stay here. If meditation calls to you, do that. If hiking calls to you, do that. If being a good person and doing your job calls to you, do that. If confusion shows up, then stay present to that and feel it fully without pushing or pulling or trying to change it. “But I don’t have time to wait for it to go away. I have to make a decision now.” Feel the angst of that thought in the body. A thought like that will have an accompanying feeling in the body. So go to the sensation and stay with that.
     
You don't have to ask your mind for permission or interpretation. Just feel what's already felt. Feel what's already here. As much as possible, as much as you’re able, keep using your experience as the practice. Why look elsewhere? This is what’s showing up.

Daily practices that help and transform:
  • Take one good/full breath a day and then increase it incrementally. 
  • 1 min meditation: Take a minute a day, close your eyes, and think & do nothing except to feel of your breath around your nostrils. Increase & deepen as see fit. Breathe deeper to the back of your throat until you’re feeling nothing but the space behind you. (The most important part is that first minute. As long as you stick to that, doing more doesn’t matter)
  • For an overactive mind use Mantras: Use the word or a phrase that resonates with you and use it with breath. Examples: Breath in: Be love Breathe out: Be happy. Breathe in: Here Breathe out: Now Breathe in: Peace Breathe out: Love Breath in: Open Breathe out: Awareness


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Where are you going?

Where are you going?

Everything comes to you. Try and stop what comes to you. Try and escape what comes to you. You can pretend that it’s not here. You can pretend that you had something to do with things showing up the way they do with such precision, with its particular colors and flavors and moods. But it won’t make it true.

Then why not stay here and enjoy what comes.

“I don’t like what’s showing up right now. I wish I felt different. How do I make myself feel good all the time so that I never have to experience anything unpleasant?”

These thoughts are entertained under the assumption that you had something to do with these feelings, perceptions, and thoughts showing up the way they did. If only you thought different things, than these unpleasantries wouldn’t show up, right? 


WRONG! 

They showed up. That’s all. The rain shows up. The clear blue sky shows up. We don’t question them showing up whenever they wish, then why do we insist that our moods, feelings, and thoughts are conjured up by us? 

“What do I do then when unpleasantries show up?”


 The same thing you’d do when the rain shows up. You watch it out the window. You use an umbrella when appropriate. You don’t mind it any business and continue sipping on your chai latte. Basically, you move on with your life while these feelings move on with theirs. They only linger when you try to solve their existence. 

Just as you wouldn’t try and solve the rain’s existence,  don’t try and solve the existence of your internal weather.

More from the Lucid Dreamer

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Observe and Notice




“It takes only alertness to see habits of thinking and how these contract us. When we see that almost all of our existence is mechanical repetition we automatically step out of the pattern and into observing… Observing itself has its own taste and needs no addition.”

– Jean Klein, Who Am I?



This quote goes hand-in-hand with Nisargadatta's I AM THAT. Observe the "I" before everything else: before thoughts, before actions, before the person does or says anything. There's always that moment before anything happens. Unfortunately, in most people that moment seems so fast and fleeting, they hardly notice it. But it's there. And it's also there during thoughts, conversations, and actions. The observing is there before, after, and during the personal dramas. If it wasn't being observed, how would you know anything is happening at all?


Notice "I exist" before everything else.


Notice how repetitive thoughts are. They're like a broken record, the sole purpose of which is to tell you who you think you are. Thoughts don't tell you who you really are, they just repeat everything you've learned over the years—the things others have told you and things that you've heard—in order to establish an identity. But notice how thoughts only derive their information from the past and the projections of the future. They're never in real-time. The only thoughts you experience in real-time are the ones about what happened or what could happen.


But even as thoughts happen, there is something that is noticing them. That's the gold mine right there. Borrowing Peter Brown's favorite phrase: it's not nothing. It is full. "It has its own taste and needs no additions." The desire to add something to ourselves—more information, more things, more people, more money, etc—is a thought-driven/identity-driven phenomenon. And as already discussed, thoughts are nothing more than repetitive garbage collection of the past and the non-existent future. Notice the fact of that.


Before anything else, I AM. Feel it. Know it. Stay with it.