We are the home for all our children. The difficult one; the angry one; the sorrowful one. Our arms are big enough to contain and protect them all. We do not say “oh child, because you were angry, I cast you out forever” no, we love them through it all; even the dark times. Paraphrased from my notes at Jeff Foster retreat.
I’ve spent my life being ashamed of the past, stuck in a loop, repeating the same old patterns. My ‘children’ have been looking in through the frosty windows, occasionally banging on the door. I have cowered behind the sofa, ignoring their pleas for too long. It’s time to let them back home again. I can’t do this alone. My mind-made arms are too feeble, but the arms of presence stretch across the universe. Oh God please give me the courage to face and embrace my shame and allow it to be there for no ulterior reason; not so I can get rid of it later, like I’ve tried to do so many times before. My heart yearns for freedom and rest but I thought that meant ridding myself of the chains that bind me, but no – the chains are there to guide me.
Brexit has been a great exercise in focusing on what really matters for me. I had felt like I’d been stripped of something precious to me – I identified more as European than a little Englander. I’ve since realised that what I was identifying with was only really a concept. It’s not really who I am. I am one with all peoples everywhere! So politicians can play their games but I am part of the whole, a much bigger ‘organisation’ that encompasses all that is, forever!
The reason why humans act the way they do is incredibly simple. There are two states:
1) UNCONSCIOUSNESS (just able to function; however, constant mental activity drowns out any awareness of love, beauty, creativity or joy)
2) CONSCIOUSNESS (aware of the present moment and thus connected to the life force that runs the universe).
All humans dwell in 1) -unconsciousness for some of the time. Some humans are able to be conscious much of the time (rare). Most have varying moments from not much at all to quite a lot. ALL humans know, at a deep level that peace and joy etc are ONLY really available when they are present to the moment and hence receiving energy from the universe to grow and prosper. But most humans put off awareness of this to try one more thing that puts them in sole control and proves the lie that we can be god-like and determine our own destiny – the great deception. This deception ultimately results in war, mental illness, sometimes physical illness and unhappiness across the globe. It’s simple. Either be aware or not. It’s the only choice you really ever have.
When you’ve done it again,
And there’s no one to care.
When it all unravels,
And you cannot repair.
It’s the Universe whispering,
‘Come back home’.
And the Universe whispers,
‘Come back home.’
When you cry your tears,
When you’ve made your bed.
When you stray from the moment,
With no rest in your head.
It’s the Universe calling,
‘Come back home’,
And the Universe calls,
‘Come back home.’
When the heat is on,
When tomorrow brings fear,
When there is no dinner,
And yesterday’s still here,
It’s the Universe crying,
‘Come back home’.
And the Universe cries,
‘Come back home.’
What stops us from being present is the fear of now. Why else would anyone not ‘be here now?’ Why are we so afraid of ‘now?’ What drives us away from home, from BEING with people, from BEING with the situations of life? The present moment is frightening – it’s scary; so much so we will do ANYTHING to not be present. But we have a dilemma: deep inside we know it’s home. We know it’s where peace, joy, and love is. So what do we do? We invent substitutes for Presence. We invent cigarettes to simulate the stillness and calming effect of breath. We drink alcohol to simulate the effect of being together, not thinking too much, we take ecstasy to simulate oneness, joy, even love. If all that’s a bit too obvious, we use TV, gossip and food instead or a mix of all of them or the internet or sex, romancing or any damn thing as long as it doesn’t involve being present. Just being ‘busy’ is a good one! What’s the problem then? Fear is the result, but what do we fear? God? Losing ‘our life’? Losing all the shiny things we have as substitutes for life? The unknown? What keeps us from what we all know deep inside? Instinctively we know. Not as second hand concepts or cheap words or stuff we learnt as a child – but deep down instinct – the same place known to birds, animals, even trees on another level. It’s not knowledge as we know it – it’s a wisdom not of words, not belonging to the world of ‘how to create more sophisticated substitutes for being present’. It’s the same source of ‘knowing’ that enables birds to fly in formation to another land thousands of miles away to warmer climbs. It’s the inner knowledge that enables elephants to remember where to go to die, enables bees to communicate where their food is and how far away it is, trees to know how high to grow to get the right amount of sunlight. Knowledge is not only the preserve of thinking. So why are we afraid to trust our inner ‘knowledge’? Because it’s not ‘ours’. We don’t ‘own’ it. We didn’t sweat over exams to get it, learn the hard way. We didn’t produce it and at the end of the day we want to be gods. ‘I did it myyyyyyyyyyyy wayyyyyyyyyy!’ (Eyes fill up with pride!). There’s nothing man’s ego (and yes, it’s usually the men that wanna be gods – and not just any gods, but top gods!) won’t do to keep up the pretence; even if it means dying for the cause. ANYTHING but being present. So don’t just think it’s simple, just get present to what is – it isn’t. Our whole psyche is geared up to finding ways to keep busy, to keep from being present. Thousands of years of unconsciousness had led to this moment where you are reading this!
No wonder it’s hard to just sit and be with the breath! No wonder we soon forget to be mindful and get easily distracted! Don’t beat yourself up about it – just recognise it. It’s not just irony that led Abel to bring a substitute to the alter – it was a deep inner knowledge – he knew the fruits of HIS labour were not enough – they all represented substitutes for being with ‘God’ – the fruits of the ego, attempts by man to be gods. So Cain killed Abel and has borne the mark ever since. We all bear the mark. That’s why is so hard to stay present. So be kind to yourself. Be gentle. Even a second of presence is OK. Becoming AWARE is everything. Abel was not innocent of trying to be like ‘god’ – the difference was he SENSED he was missing something fundamental, he was aware he wasn’t really a god – so God accepted his sacrifice as authentic. It was an admission of guilt and that was enough. What keeps us locked in suffering is not admitting we are trying to be gods and so we continue suffering!
Enough. These few words are enough.
If not these words, this breath.
If not this breath, this sitting here.
This opening to the life
we have refused
again and again
Climbing the stairs
Making a cup of tea
Getting up to walk,
Do you notice the experience,
As you experience it?
Maybe you notice how you don’t want to notice right now?
Do you notice how you want to put-it-off until you feel in the mood or when you feel a bit more inspired?
That’s ok, just notice your resistance,
Resistance is just another thought form, spawned from a controlling mind. Resistance is futile!
What does it mean
‘to be’, ‘to be love’, ‘to be yourself?’
Or what does it mean
‘To follow your heart’?
‘To know your heart’?
Can you ever know your heart –
in your head?
You know when your heart whispers –
That’s when the head resists!
What does it ‘mean’ to
Can you ever ‘know yourself’ –
In your head?
Perhaps our heart knows more
Than our head
Perhaps our heart is saying,
‘Know your experience’ or better still, Experience your experience?
You cannot give what you do not have. Your highest purpose is to give yourself the unconditional love that is your birthright. Then and only then is the world truly served by the radiant love that emits from your eyes!
- Pay attention to your own experience of life right now.
- Accept your experience as valid and necessary for you – right now
- Appreciate your experience – it’s just what you really need – right now.
- Embrace your experience unconditionally with affection – not when it’s the ‘right’ time but – right now.
- Allow your experience, don’t resist it – you know it’s needed because you are having it – right now!
Notice any resistance? It doesn’t matter. What makes the difference is simply noticing your resistance.