We are all worthy.

time lapse photography of people walking on pedestrian lane

Photo by Mike Chai on Pexels.com

OK. Alt right. You’re right.

Immigrants are awful people. Not only do I loathe to hear Spanish – but, German, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Irish, Scottish, French, Portuguese, Middle English, Flemish, Korean, Hungarian, Ukrainian, Norwegian, Swedish, etc. etc.. Oh and I guess I should hate Jews and Black people.

What do you want me to do – now that I think you’re right? Do you want me to limit their access to everything we hold dear? Run them out of town? Torture them? Imprison them? Kill them? How? Shoot them? Drag them behind a car until they are dead? What about the people who married them? Should I also kill them? Put them in a detention center? On a boat? And what about their children?

Oh, and what about people who have abortions? I hate them. Right? Should I scream at them every time I see them? Or just wait until they do something I can catch them doing and ridicule them? Should I run them out of town, too? Should I kill them?

And how will I tell? How will I tell who will not shatter the illusion of freedom that I feel when I know that by doing this I feel safe? How can I keep this feeling of safety now that I’ve run all these people out of town? Out of the country? Out of my sight? Off the face of the earth? How will I tell that someone like even you, isn’t out to steal my job, my livelihood, my whole way of life? How can I stop you from changing what I’ve grown so used to having? My comfy home and ideals? My security about my life… the -nothing changes? That feeling that things are the way I like them and I can easily force things to stay the same? How can I protect myself from someone like you? Because now that I think like you and know all that you stand for – how can I trust you? Because I know you will not stop until you feel safe. You will go to great lengths to make sure that nothing ever offends you. Nothing ever challenges you. Nothing ever asks of you to forget yourself for a moment, just a fraction of a second. And you will apply extreme measures to strip the dignities of humanity from those you fear, those you hate, so it makes you feel better, bigger, more deserving…

I’ve changed my mind, I’m not like you. I’ll never agree with you. I wish you well. But – I can not think for a second that the heart of another human being is less than my heart. I know it isn’t true. Not even you. I think differently than you. I know that another heart and my heart can do great things that makes this world an awesome place – together – celebrating our humanity.

I’m on the look out for those hearts. Hearts that embrace – not divide. Hearts don’t hate. I can not fear another heart. Hearts are not very different from one another. And hearts speak only one language – LOVE. Let that be expressed in the multiple languages of the world from the different faces that have glistening eyes. That speaks volumes. Listen. We all want the same thing. We can have it – together – it takes Heart to achieve it.

monochrome photography of people shaking hands

Photo by Savvas Stavrinos on Pexels.com

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Big Love

Can we do this? Can we see each other as we are? Can we drop all the pretenses of that which separates us and give each other the care we need to survive life together? Can we stop seeing differences and start seeing a human family?

The intellect – that which we strive to improve – those arguments – pushes us further away from each other. The adolescent neuroses – those tantrums – the me me me – drives us even harder away. And even the thought of an innocent heart – childlike wonder – can save us, is a fallacy.

This is a very small world where nothing is gained and everything is lost. Arguments need sides. A this or that. When you start separating each other out, the heart loses and the adolescent neuroses of jealousy, envy, fear of vulnerability, fear of not being special, fear of being left behind, the mental reactions in a mind that manufactures a reality from feeling alone take over.

Everyone is told that they are special. In fact, if you don’t believe in your own specialness, the thought is that there must be something wrong with you. That again – begins the separation. If I’m special, then no one else can be – because special is well, special. This specialness also is what makes people not consider others. Specialness brings with it an air of superiority which again separates us. This superiority is seen in attitudes that “you just have to want it more” or “you can manifest it if you try” – which always has an air of Well you must not be as special. That somehow your lack of success is tied to and therefore someone else’s success is tied to Specialness.

So what makes me special? And can I keep this up every single day? The answer is NO. My humanness makes me a part of you, and we are absolutely and deliciously normal. We falter, we ache, we strive, we are committed, we grow, we rejoice, we are grateful, we express an individuality that is uniquely our own, but it is no better or worse than anyone else’s.

Our way of dealing with success, loss, and forces that are beyond our control is what makes us who we are – but, we all go through this. Each of us. To ignore the ebbs and flows of our life, is not the answer. Be Present. A lot of people think that going back to childlike wonder is the way to express carefree happiness in the world. But you are not a child. Children have yet to experience and understand the world beyond their expectations of parental love. There is no way that a child can respond and survive shocks to their emotional makeup when love is withdrawn, or love is expressed inappropriately or even appropriately. Children will begin naturally, unconsciously, to develop mechanisms to shut out or gather things from a place of reaction. To be a mature adult, we really need to stay present with the world. To unravel our reactionary feelings from what is appropriate to the moment. It’s like when someone is immersed in something on their phone while driving which causes them to make unpredictable traffic errors, and reacts angrily when people start honking at them. Childlike wonder is not being present to what your life is in that moment. If you are not present to your life, how can you respond well enough to it? And express it to your full potential?

This is no way to live.

To live constantly in the shadow of specialness is exhausting. WE ALL are not special. None of us. WE ALL are not anything but normal. The most beautiful part of the human heart is to recognize this in each other. WE ALL live and strive to be the best we can be – yes. We have uniqueness in as much as each of us is an individual. But to hang our hat on Special? That, there, is a neurosis.

Social media has made our lives a lie to the world. We only show what’s good, and lovely in our lives. Is it because there’s the prevailing admonishment of anyone who says they’re struggling is just trying to get attention? Is it not true the other way around? How relieved we are to hear from people who have felt or are feeling the same way. Our struggles are universal and we are calmed to hear – I feel that, too. Celebration of victory comes from sharing in the struggle. If the heroine didn’t almost give up, then we would not feel the elation of victory.

Grow up into a mature heart that knows that life can be rough. That the fear we feel is mostly manufactured. In our heads. Maybe the answer to seeing each other as humans that are fallible, are not perfect, who hurt and cry, who sing and dance is to be like guardians, treat each other as a precious gift to watch over and watch grow. Love that is Big can weather any perceived differences the intellect throws up. The Big Heart is courageous. The Big Love is sweet.

Love like that.

#love #earth #human #freedom 

** Anyone who knows the person whose photo this is, please let me know – I’d like to give them credit. Thanks.

SPRING CLEARING – Meditation and Yoga Session

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SPRING CLEARING  4 week Meditation and Yoga Session

At Restless Spirit – Toronto!

Starts: Sunday April 26th – 9:30-11:30am for 4 Sundays (NO class Victoria Day Weekend)

Give yourself the opportunity to tune yourself into the season of Renewal and Revitalization! Come join me for 4 weeks of yoga and meditation to clear the senses and open up the body and mind to Receive the Richness of Spring into Summer!

Please go to our FB page for more info!

Why Easter Is My Favorite Holiday…

Easter should be my favorite holiday of the year.

Not because of the bunnies. Although I love bunnies!

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Not because of the chocolate and I do love chocolate!

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Not because it is Spring or Equinox although I wait impatiently for it throughout the entire winter.

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It is because it is the only social cultural religious public recognition of Transformation through Death that I know of. It is the only time we, collectively, recognize death as a part of the human experience.

It is also a time that illustrates an aspect of Spirituality that isn’t talked about much: Transformation – the cycle of Death and Rebirth.

Of course, if you think about it from a strict Christian stance I think, Jesus was the only one who could die and be reborn or resurrect. But put the word resurrect aside and call it Spiritual Rebirth then it does seem that conceivably I could do that and have done throughout my years of practice.

This kind of Death that Easter represents, to me, is not in the corporal sense as in a person dying, leaving this earth. It is not only about rebirth as in only Jesus can do it. It is about the psyche and the heart’s ability to transform.

We Die And Are Reborn In Every Moment – If We’re Lucky

I think of Easter as a celebration of the Death and Rebirth of our Psyches over and over again. Going through Transformation(s) is a necessary part of the Spiritual process toward Awakening. We die and are reborn in our lives. You may not know it, but you go through small death/rebirths with every moment. You may ignore the signs of wakefulness or ego-death, and in response to it, in fear of the little ego-death (Thanatos), you refortify your self (small ‘s’) every time you run into difficulty thereby starting the death/rebirth process all over again (karma). Without awareness, we slip back into our neurosis that veils the True Essence of our own Beings.

The Work – Practice

Any practice worth its Spiritual Weight puts the practitioner through the throes of a kind of death any time (maybe not every time) they sit on their meditation cushions or stand on their mats, or chant or do breath work, etc.. And any practitioner wanting Samadhi which is a state of transformative essence, has to accept this as part of the practice.

You’re On Your Own – As You Should Be

Growing up Catholic, Easter was about suffering and resurrection and what Jesus can do for us.

Now as a mature woman, I realize that I’ve always known there is a flaw in thinking that. No one can do this work but ‘me’. The work is available to me as an adult. It needs a certain kind of maturity that comes with experience. But not the experience that is about traveling a lot (external world) or having a lot of schooling or street smarts (intellect). It’s the experience of existence, moment to moment, life unfolding that opens you up to this process (internally) – only you, the individual can know when that time is to delve into this work.

If You Let The Divine/Universe Guide You

As psyches, we are constantly in flux. It’s like our True Self is in a cocoon for our whole lives and it starts out as an opaque vessel, hard and impenetrable. If you let the Divine/Universe guide you through your life then metamorphosis will take place. The cocoon becomes transparent and it is apparent that growth and change are happening inside. Transformation from the inside out. You can’t see it happening until the outer layer/outer body becomes transparent. And finally what emerges into the world is something other than what it started out as. The butterfly doesn’t need to die corporally in order to change and Be this change. It needs to die to the caterpillar it once was. But not only does the physical body change and it only changes in order to Serve the Essence or Spirit of what has emerged: “Dying ego-ically” as it were, in order to transform is the crux of the success of Transformation.

So then symbolically, Jesus’ story represents the Spiritual Transformation from a Secular life to a life with god, union, Yoga. This is what I would like to think the celebration of Easter is about. The celebration of Transformation from one state to another, the death of one immoveable identity to an existence without labels; An existence of Openness and Self-knowledge.

And although Christians to a certain extent can be very maudlin about the whole process, it is a time of celebration – Spirit over Ego, Awareness over Blindness, Wakefulness over Sleep. It is a celebration to recognize that we all have the capacity to change and grow Spiritually.

 

 

Madness.

crazy

This photo from this site: http://stottilien.com/tag/shadow/ (a great read btw)

 

Madness – “Crazy” and Depression are two different things. Madness or Crazy were thought to be a gift bestowed upon individuals in Aboriginal societies. You have to be sort of mad to see god or the workings of the universe. Gurus (saddhus) are mad with the knowledge of god and their culture supports and even reveres them. Most of the Saints would have been thought mad by our standards. Madness or crazy that Robin Williams was talking about I can only IMAGINE what he meant -is the crazy that is the true Creative Spirit. The spirit that makes you act in spite of criticism, in spite of rules like gravity. I don’t mean rules like laws – I mean rules like you can’t fly. The crazy that comes from seeing the truth about life. The madness is the creative spark that it takes to turn this knowing of the true workings of god or the universe, this intuitive vision into art – funny, sad, poignant, inspirational, dirty, truthful art. Depression comes from the pressure of being constantly asked, chided, cajoled, ridiculed, forced to conform to the systems of the material world – the bigotry, the separateness, the fear. It goes directly against the truth that is real and tangible only to the artist. Depression is the weight of keeping your head in this world and your heart in the creative energies of the universe. Depression is the weight of knowing you can really fly but you are tethered to this reality. Depression comes from knowing that if you don’t conform you will be isolated by and from our society (madhouses and asylums, psych-ward). There is no support or acceptance of those who fly outside the Norm. FLY in the face of it. And let those who don’t get it try to figure it out later.

 

This is in response to this comment about #RobinWilliams standup piece about keeping a little madness. He was full of the Creative Spirit. You can see it, hear it… beautiful Robin.

http://www.upworthy.com/robin-williams-advice-for-people-who-are-depressed-is-really-touching-and-important?c=reccon1

Missing the Point…

This and that.

This and that.

The 50s moral conduct police are back: *Just sit tight while I’m reviewing the attitude of doing right. There is this trend on most social media sites to *accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, latch on to the affirmative, don’t mess with Mr. In-between.

Christian Ethic As Yoga

Sound familiar? It should. It is the uber Christian Right attitude of the 50s. And although the name of the social group has changed from Christian to Yoga, it is the same thing. The mores which are associated with Yoga these days come from the same pressures of the material and social/religious worlds that the 50s (and before) were influenced by and have nothing to do with Yoga and its teachings.

Like any belief system, it is an attempt to codify, encapsulate and synthesize the teachings of the Existence of Universal Consciousness and Divine Energy into a graspable, definable, code of conduct that pretends to understand the ineffable nature of Spirit. Once the intellect tries to make sense out of this eternal, ungraspable reality – it is done the same way it has been done for centuries – it is reduced to a myopic view of how one conducts oneself in the society that strives to understand these energies.

This And That

Again, it’s about taking one thing and elevating it to cult status (positivity/god/angel) and casting the other down into the abyss (negativity, devil). Even a well-known pop spiritualist does this. The idea that: all problems are illusions of the mind, without revealing that then all successes (the opposite) are also illusions of the mind. Only half the story is being told and it is irresponsible of anyone to not fully disclose what it is. If one: 1. frees the heart from hatred, then ideally one must free the heart from loving sentimentally – both are projections of our own psyches and therefore reflections of our need to control and protect. And if one: 2. frees the mind from worry, then it goes without saying that one must free the mind from planning/dreaming – both are a result of the thinking mind and therefore as a spiritual being, one must live out one’s life following one’s dharma, not directing it. 3. live simply, again is misconstrued as something it is not. The projection is – depending on the “values” of the society, a reflection of that “value” and has nothing to do with what living simply really means. The outward appearance is taken into consideration not the attitude with which one lives simply – as in looking like a hippy could be misconstrued as living simply or taking on the protestant ethic of living could be just as misguided. It is the attitude with which we live that expresses simplicity. 4. give more – again with what attitude? If one gives for one’s own sake (I’ll look good, I get a write off, I need to feel needed, I want to help) then, personally, I do not want your charity. Really. 5. taking less – again with what attitude? You get the picture.

Who Am I?

It’s a judgement call and who’s the judge? Who is it that decides when one is giving less and taking too much? What I mean by Who is the eternal question that Ramana Maharshi put to himself and everyone he met afterward – “Who is it that wants? Who is it that needs? Who is it that asks the question? etc. Who am I?

Before one can dissolve the ego into the ‘I’, the practice then is to cultivate an attitude that ALL things within our understanding and beyond it, must be taken equally into our mind. One must not have sway over the other. The weight of one has to be the same as the other. Mr. Inbetween or the Buddhist concept of the middle way is the way to calm the mind. Then once the mind has calmed, through mindful reflection on Who Am I – the Ego can release all concepts of “this and that” and sit in the quiet knowledge that ALL THIS THAT WHICH IS SEPARATE FROM US IS the Illusion of the Mind. AND ALL THAT IS – IS ONE.

* from the song: Accentuate the Positive

** Link to Ramana Maharshi

Restless Spirit: A Beautiful Space Waiting for You

Restless Spirit: A Beautiful Space Waiting for You

Come join me on Thursdays for the BEST meditation practice you’ll ever do!

Every Thursday Evening:

6:15pm-6:45pm – Intro to Meditation: If you don’t want to jump head long into a long meditation session, why not come and learn what it’s all about.

These intro sessions are there to let us get to know one another, let you get to know what meditation is all about and give you a little practice so you can acclimatize to sitting and the space (and the teacher/facilitator – that’s me!)

7pm-8/8:30pm – Heart Path Meditation Sessions – These sessions are a gift really. 🙂

You may have some trepidation upon entering the room: What’s it all about? What are we going to do? How’s it going to affect me? (these questions can be answer in the 6:15pm class) – but after the session you feel so good and so refreshed that it is like having come out of a really great sauna or yoga class. The heat of the practice is so revitalizing and warming that stepping outside you’d swear it was Summer!

Come join me! And make Restless Spirit into a community of awesome Spirit-ness.

Please bring your own meditation benches or cushions to sit on if you have them. Thx.