Prayer for 2012

May we all rest more from busyness. May we take time to connect with Mother Earth; where thoughts are cleared out from the mind, and stillness is felt again. May our hearts be unburdened as we rest in the soft peace of remembering eternity. Of remembering fearless being, where there is no need to hold on tight to any thing. May we feel connected to everything, and spend our moments and days doing what we can to help, to love, to give, to care for all that we are. May we not worry, but live in peace, love and joy. May we create from the genius of our being. May we create from the infinite love that we are made of. May the world be washed over with kindness, forgiveness, compassion, and willingness to live as one.

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Occupy Well Being

I’ve been interested in the Occupy Wall Street movement, as it feels like there is an awakening in our society from a slumber of inertia, of ‘it’s just the way it is, I can’t do anything about it’. And this is a crucial beginning. Indeed there needs to be a calling out of greed and inequality in our culture. People should not seek and be content to prosper at the expense and suffering of others. The education and future of our children should not suffer due to lack of funds while the rich get richer. And our environment should not be desecrated and destroyed, for anything, especially the increased wealth of a few.

Seems to me we need a powerful group of leaders, who have a very wise and thought out plan. In different areas; finance, education, environment, etc. We need serious corporate reform, and we need serious government reform. And with ‘we the people’ insisting on it, in  an active, organized and determined way, I believe we can make changes that reflect far greater consciousness and far greater support for the welfare of all.

There is a slow and waking realization that ‘we the people’ have more power than we realize. When we have a cause that is clear, that we believe in, when we have wise leaders to lead the way, and we are organized, we can bring on a revolution to change the way we live life on this planet.

I’m doing things to add my two cents. I’m writing talks, I’m writing songs, I’m recording a new cd of conscious music, supporting environmental and other social programs, and I am living as consciously as possible day to day. Always learning, always reflecting on how to refine. I look around and celebrate the expressions of greater consciousness in so many friends and people I meet, who are finding ways to contribute to the well being of the earth, of all beings, of all people. And for this, I give great thanks giving.

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Sedona Inspiration

It has been a very inspiring week. I spent 8 days in Sedona, sharing music, speaking, connecting with old friends and new ones, and taking walks deep into the red rock desert. The moments in the desert by myself were perhaps the most profound.

I would go to some spectacular vista, find the perfect rock to sit on, the perfect place to “receive”, and then sit my body down. First I would take in the magnificence with such awe and overwhelming gratitude. Then I would close my eyes and open my being. Then I would feel a flood of presence. I would call as I do to The Mother within (and in all things), and would just feel this answer as a flood of light and silence deep within.

Tears would follow. Tears of just being so grateful to be alive. Grateful to feel this immense love and peace. Grateful to love life so deeply. And just feel so very moved by the power and beauty of Mother Earth.

So much beauty abounds here. The desert flowers are blooming, lots of yellow and lavenders and pinks. Saw an amazingly beautiful little snake, tan and brown, with a mesmerizing pattern. The red rock formations are each just so stunning, and each one is uniquely shaped, majestic, and other-worldly. The sky seems about 4 times as big as it does to me just about anywhere else. Maybe that’s because I live deep in the woods of Mt. Shasta.

Yet Sedona reminds me of Mt. Shasta. There is a very palpable stillness that comes so easily when one just quiets down and opens up. There is something about this magical place that calls to my heart and soul.

I feel I may spend considerably more time here. We’ll see how that unfolds. For now, I have loved connecting with all the lovely souls I have shared with over this past week. And I take a feeling of fulfillment with me from all I have received. How blessed are the moments we are blown away by life on this beautiful planet.

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Non-Dual Being~ a Journal Writing from July 29, 1991

There is an experience
beyond the many endless concepts,
classifications, beliefs, and even
imaginations of the mind
where there is freedom
that is perfect beyond any organization.
Where there is no preference
no distinctions are made
where nothing is identified
and there is nothing separate
or other than,
merged. Only One. All of all.
This is real.
All struggle and striving in Life
is longing for this experience.
This experience has no pain
it has nothing, no thing.
Therefore, the mind can never know it.
And words, worn out tools,
can never be it, nor give it.
Surrender yourself.
In painful revelation of falsity
in your life, be willing regardless
to surrender it all.
Willing to die
for you will when you surrender.
For death must be, for birth
A birth of your Self
true You
that is I
a return to no time, no limit
no end, no beginning

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An Awakening

Back in 1991 I had an awakening that dramatically changed my life. I had been living a life of meditation, yoga, chanting, devotional concerts, walks in the old growth forest and daily soaks in the hot springs as an artist in residence at Breitenbush Hot Springs for a year. I was slowly becoming more and more subtle. On this day, I went so deep into silence that “I” was completely gone. There was no one left. There was no thought. There was imensity of silence, as if silence “was” something, something that went on forever out into infinity. It was a greater bliss than I ever knew was possible. There was knowing without thinking. Knowing everything, because one ‘was’ everything. You knew it, because you were it.

This lasted many, many hours. Slowly there was a thought and an awareness that there was a body. For months after, it was just a bliss, a stillness, a great love for all that is, and a moving the body around in space. When the body was settled, it was resting in infinity and stillness.

I realized who “I” am. Something so very vast, that the body is just a drop in the ocean of That.

And since then, it has been “after the ecstasy, the laundry”. It has been integrating and watching when thoughts and patterns want to appear and how the mind wants to grab hold of them and say “this is me”. But there is a knowing of who I am that cannot believe in any particular story of who I am, no matter how lovely.

How blessed are the moments we see the truth. They inform us forever more.

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Just Love Them

My very dear friend just found out in the ER he has a brain tumor. He will have surgery tomorrow. He hopes to wake up. When I said good bye to him tonight, I realized I may not see him again. And I realize tonight at home that what life seems to demand every moment is a form of love. He just wanted to feel loved, deeply loved. That was by far the most nourishing thing I could give him.

Sometimes love is holding a hand. Sometimes it’s bringing someone food. Sometimes it’s telling someone it’s time to grow up. Sometimes it’s planting flowers. But there is a distinct feeling within the heart. There is a softness; an openness, a sweetness, even if it feels like it’s breaking.

My heart has been stretched so wide in these last few months. And I feel like love is living me. I feel like I have given myself to it, and it has taken me over. And there’s no room to say I can’t handle this. Or that. There is just a constant meeting the moment. A constant opening to how love will use me today.

So many changes are happening in the world. We are having to meet immense change, on a moment’s notice. This is when we put into practice the ability to breathe, to rest in an untouchable peace, to find the strength that comes from our source. We can be love in our actions, and we can at the same time rest in the unchanging depth of our being. It is such a beautiful and mysterious paradox.

Give your self to love. No wiser words could I offer.

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Where do you place your attention?

It’s so clear that we vibrate with the energy of what we focus on. We become like what we place our attention on.

I recently had the most beautiful retreat experience, giving a retreat at Lake Tahoe with my dear friend and co-facilitator, Sarah McLean. We had such a lovely group of people, almost all women, and one brave man! Something about our group was particularly open, there was a certain willingness and consciousness that was ripe to open even more, to experience a greater love and a greater joy. It almost astounded me where we collectively went. We were there committing to deepening our spiritual practices of meditation, chanting, prayer, affirmation, self-reflection, and communion with nature. And together we reached such an experience of unity. In that feeling of one melted heart, there was a truly wonder-full bliss. There was a remembering of our eternal being and a resting in that.

I notice since I’ve been home, that I at times get temporarily involved and identified with limited realities. Watching too much news, one can get identified with much suffering, as that is the dominant focus of what mainstream news reports. It is not that I do not want to know what’s happening in the world, but if all I attend to is suffering, if my attention is mostly on what is painful in life, and what is not working, I lose my strength, I temporarily lose my inner peace and forget who I am and identify with limited aspects of this world.

I see in my teacher, Amma, Mata Amritanandamayi, an ability to fully be present with each person who comes up to receive her darshan. She feels for them, and with them, yet as she so fully knows her eternal nature, she does not get lost in all these realities. At the end of the day, she knows herself to be the Mother of Immortal Bliss (that is what her name means). She knows herself to be blissful, eternal being, that has no death,  no limit,  no end. She does not get stuck in any realities or stories of this world.

And so, it is my challenge, and perhaps yours, that we take time regularly to focus on, to place our attention on, the peace, the well being, the calm, our illumined presence that is free of the world. As Christ said, “I am in the world, not of it.” I believe he was like Amma, able to stay awake to his true nature, in spite of a world that could look so dark and at times could inspire despair.

Let us love, and serve, and remember our truest nature as peace, bliss, stillness, eternal being. Let us help those who need our help, do our best to be kind and useful in this life, but not get lost in looking for a sense of security in the ever changing world. Instead, if we take time to feel the love of the One within, the peace that is in the sound of the raindrops falling on my roof right now, placing our attention on peace that is here now, we can rest from worry.

I am readying for a drive to Lake Tahoe again this Thursday to provide music and chanting for a Silent Retreat Gangaji is offering at Fallen Leaf Lake. I will so welcome the silence, the time in nature to empty out all identities, to let go of all roles, to chant the prayers of my heart, and rest again in the awareness of who I am. I do this for all that I am, all beings everywhere. May all beings be happy. May all beings know their true self as bliss, and completely free from all suffering and bondage. May all beings be at peace.

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