The spider, my master teacher, Part 7: When you remember who you are, you forget who you weren’t.

Dreaming, weaving and embodying a whole new web of life in the age of Covid-19 amid sweeping social, economic, and political transformation.

This is the last of a 7-part series. For context, please read the previous posts.

We are all being called to remember who we really are; and to finally and forever forget who we weren’t. We live at the cusp of an enormous personal and planetary evolutionary leap forward. We can no longer be who we have been nor can we continue to do what we have done both personally and planetarily.

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times.
But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

–J. R. R. Tolkien

Stop! Listen to the silence, to your Self. No, not the concept of silence, not the thought of silence, but just dwell in the experience of silence. Then you will finally hear your Self and not all the other noise. This is the invitation for all of us now—to dive deeply into the wealth and depth of our souls and to remember and to become, individually and as a human race, who we really are.

As Stuart Wilde wrote: “There is a gentle, loving, peace-filled silence here and now in this moment. It has always been this way. It is always here. It is right here within you and all around you, a stillness, an apparent void, a seeming nothingness out of which everything arises, exists, and eventually returns.  You know this. You have felt this. There is nothing more than this. You are this.”

When you are quiet, you can eavesdrop on God, and thus you can hear your Self and another.

More than ever we now need to learn how to listen to ourselves and to others. Learning how to listen is the most important life skill one can develop but, unfortunately, most of us have no clue how to do it.

Listening is not a cognitive function as most believe. It is a function of the heart. It is a “feeling” state, not a “thinking” state.

Listening is not an active, assertive, masculine state. It is not a state that judges, measures, or analyzes. It is simply a state of “being,” a state of silence, a state of openness, receptivity, and allowing. It is a “feminine” state.

Listening is quiet and still and does not pay attention to words or appearances; instead it senses the “essence” of things. It looks into the soul of people, experiences, and all things. It is a state of simply being present and just “knowing.”  

It is a surrender, a merging with, a communion; it is just being present with no agenda. It can only occur in the silence and receptivity of the heart.

We are being called to remember, listen to, and re-experience our essential divinity and then, with joy, love, freedom, and peace, express it in our lives, moment to moment and heart to heart.

The time has come for us to longer live in the shadows of our ego, but instead in the brilliant light of our soul. What we thought was real was actually just a fleeting specter. For we have now learned to shine our light and see through the illusions and into the essence of our being and into each other’s brilliance.

Let us let go of the limiting ways of being, the old, energetic cocoon of homo sapiens, its dysfunctional operating patterns and beliefs and its connection to the old energy forms. And instead let us allow our luminous essence to emerge, by connecting to the space of grace, by learning to live in its brilliance, and by laying the foundations to make our lives an extension of our true nature, homo luminous.

The brave spider is inviting us to dream and weave the new human (race), no matter what it takes, no matter how much we have to change. I am joining him/her. Will you?

Live in your light and not in the cobwebs and shadows. Fully awaken the sun within you. Everything is now finally being brought into the light.

The spider, my master teacher, Part 6: A “Groundhog Day” rerun

Dreaming, weaving and embodying a whole new web of life in the age of Covid-19 amid sweeping social, economic, and political transformation

For context, please read the previous post in this series.

Continuing on with my personal story, ending up in the hospital for sixteen days six years ago with a severe case of pneumonia that required breaking a rib to get out all of the infection and required an operation to implant three stents in my heart, and then adding that to my most recent experience this Spring, finally has forced me to see that my heart was breaking and that I was grieving, all because I wasn’t listening to myself. I was not being true to myself. No matter how “noble” the work was that I was doing and no matter what the number of people was that I was able to serve in my spiritual work over the years, I simply was not being true to myself. Thus, I did not love myself. So, what was the point of it?

This is not a metaphor for me. This is what I actually experienced. And it’s certainly on all levels what Covid-19 and all the social, political, and economic upheaval that has arisen on the global level is all about. Many hearts are breaking and copious tears of grief are pouring out. It’s interesting to see that the impulse many are having is to get back to “normal” as soon as possible—i.e., get the economy rolling again, go on vacations, get to the mall, and basically just sweep all our personal and collective cobwebs and shadows under a rug. 

Yeah! Well, that kind of an approach of going back to the old normal didn’t work for me six years ago, so I know it won’t work again for me nor for you nor for us collectively. We’ve all had many wake-up calls in our lives and so has civilization in general. This time, though, we have no way out but to go with-in. We must come to “know” and love ourselves and each other and act accordingly. Nothing will or can be the same again. We are at a major evolutionary turning point.

So, I could go on and on about my “stuff” and how it relates to the macro level, but I don’t need to. I know you get it.

I would just like to humbly encourage you not to run away from the uncomfortable feelings and thoughts you have about your life, but instead lovingly and deeply explore them. Don’t run away from the challenging choices you will have to make going forward; embrace them fully. And, please don’t tell yourself that you’ve got your act totally together and my “story” is not yours. There is no time for that! At least to some degree we all have a similar story. We are all here to learn and grow. None of us has our “act” totally together. Please, I figured that out about myself and others when I was in my teens.

Tell the truth to yourself and to others with love, but remember that you can never speak your truth until you hear it yourself. Know ThySelf.

So, let the light shine on your shadows and let it fully awaken the sun within you. Up to now, collectively and personally, we have been stuck in a freeze-frame, a Bill Murray “Groundhog Day” movie rerun. I suggest we drop the facades, see what is really there, get newly inspired, weave/dream a new vision, lay a new foundation, birth the new human, and build a new, sustainable, inclusive, loving world.

Besides all the shadows that the coronavirus is bringing up within us personally, so, too, our inability and unwillingness to look at the massive injustices that have been perpetrated on human beings because of their “otherness:” skin color, gender, culture, etc., must finally be healed. Otherwise our collective shadows will ensnare, bury, and destroy us in a web of deadly dystopia.

We must let the light within us emerge. We are in an e-merge-ncy.

The spider, my master teacher, Part 5

Dreaming, weaving, and embodying a whole new web of life in the age of Covid-19 amid sweeping social, economic and political transformation.

Is this for me to do? I have a bigger ‘yes’ burning inside of me.

Spend quality time with yourself. You are your most significant other.

Reflecting on my life, I realize that I wasn’t totally being true to myself. Yes, I sought to do things that were of service to others and to do work that was sacred, but I wasn’t doing things that brought me real joy and that were really deeply in resonance with who I am. I wasn’t asking myself this singularly most important question: “Is this for me to do?”

I was instead often acting out of guilt, lack, and fear. Guilt that I wasn’t worthy, so I had to always do more and more even when what I was doing to assuage my guilt really did not resonate with who I really was. As well, I worshiped at the altar of Iack: I was not enough, I would never add up to being enough, and I would not have enough. And lastly, fear—fear that my unworthiness would be found out.

None of this was fun.

Too often I did things in order to “earn” something: respect, recognition, money, etc. It was always an uphill battle of doing more and more in order to “earn” it. But really, we are all fully worthy of receiving, period. A flower is a flower, it doesn’t “earn” its beauty. It is inherently beautiful.

Same with us, there is nothing we have to do to “earn it.” We are inherently magnificent co-creators made in the image of god/goddess. Also, there is nothing to “get.” Life is a pure, sacred gift—no attachments, no grasping, no hoarding, no indebtedness—it is a beautiful flow of giving and receiving eternally gifted to all.

Yes, I have been very blessed to have had many diverse and unique experiences in my life and there certainly have been moments and periods of ease, grace, inspiration and joy, but as I am being honest with myself, that was not the dominant space I was operating from and living in. So, from my point of view, ultimately, it would be best if we all became super observant of our own energy and start tuning in to see if we are living from a place of grace, joy, peace, love, and deepening and as well acting from a place of pure presence—with much less doing and more being.

Life is not a race; proceed at the speed of grace.

What dream are we living and weaving now? Is it yesterday’s dream or is it today’s? Whatever it is, was it ever our own dream? If not, why not? Whose dream is it?

These are all questions for us to explore personally and collectively. What are our motivations for what we do personally? Collectively, how and why have we created the social, economic, and political systems that we now have? What dysfunctional worldviews are they based on?  

You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage—pleasantly, smilingly, unapologetically—to say ‘no’ to other things. And the way to do that is by having a bigger ‘yes’ burning inside.Stephen Covey

What is the personal “yes” burning inside of you? What would our collective “yes” be?

Continued in Part 6.

The spider, my master teacher, Part 4

Dreaming, weaving, and embodying a whole new web of life in the age of Covid-19 amid sweeping social, economic and political transformation.

A web of disempowerment and separation

Now that I am very gratefully back in my body,, I have come to really, really appreciate it. I realize that basically all of my life I have taken my body for granted and not truly honored it as the sacred temple of my soul and as the vehicle through which I experience the incredible deliciousness of life and of 3-D relationships, especially with Jaime, Sean, and so many of you.

As one who has meditated for over 50 years, I have come to understand that, on one level, “I am not my body.” Yes, I get that, but I’m certainly very happy, blessed, and grateful to be back in my body and to be able to experience a walk outside during this glorious spring; the smell of flowers blooming; the resplendent, beautiful colors of the trees and plants; the singing of the birds; sweet sleep; the delightful taste and smell of foods; the wiggling of my toes; an in-breath and an out-breath. How blessed I am and so are we all.

It’s truly time to come to peace with my body and to honor and listen to all the trillions of cells that support me through my 3-D experience. This was not something I was doing that well up to now. The body has a wisdom and is always speaking to us. We just need to learn how to listen it.

As well, having very viscerally experienced my mortality face-to-face during this experience, I was also unceremoniously introduced to my immortality. They are one and the same, actually, and can only be known as we fully face and embrace them both. Just as my master teacher, the spider, had to almost die to get my attention, I, too, needed to almost die in order to re-member who I am and what I really came here to be, become, and experience. In all the hyper activity I was engaged in, I actually was running away from death—my mortality—and, as well, I was running away from my immortality—my divinity—which is who I really am. I have come to see that almost all of us are actually afraid to face both of these. And this ultimately translates into the fact that we are afraid to face life itself.

I now realize more than ever how deeply I was caught up in patterns of thought and emotion that are simply the deep-rooted vestiges of a lack-based un-illuminated belief system of separation, suffering, and soullessness. Yes, I was on the spiritual path all my life, but I wasn’t really being fully honest with myself, however much I was endeavoring to be. I had aimed high, but missed the mark.

It’s become so clear to me that it is time to finally and fully recalibrate and release my attachment to fear, striving, and ego attachment—all of which were clouding my vision and enmeshing me in a web of disempowerment and separation.

As well, these issues are some of our many collective, deeply-embedded biases, shadows, and blind spots. How do we gracefully move into our next evolutionary chapter? It’s both an inside job and an outside job. As Ken Wilber has reminded us, we need to “wake up” (go within); “grow up” (take full responsibility); and “clean up” (create the new human and build a new earth).

The goal is inner simplicity and outer harmony.

To be continued in Part 5.

The spider, my master teacher, Part 3

Dreaming, weaving and embodying a whole new web of life in the age of Covid-19 amid sweeping social, economic, and political transformation.

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right-doing, there is a field.”

Picking up where I left off in Part 2….Our very dear shaman friend, Sarah Hawk, Jaime, and another friend helped me piece together some aspects of where I “went.” Apparently, during those 90 minutes, I went up into the spirit world and onto a rainbow where I was intensely discussing the current situation on earth with a couple of Asian masters. And, of course, I was also joking a bit with them. Given that there was still a lot more for me to “do” in the 3-D realm and that I really wanted to be back with Jaime and our son, Sean, I eventually finished my deliberations with them and returned to my body.

I’ve had a few conscious glimpses of what I just described, but honestly, as I really “tune in” to where I went, I realize and very much appreciate that I simply fell into the arms of The Embrace. A “place” where all there really is, is: one sacred sound; one brilliant, healing light; one voice; one answer; no questions; one Why; one How; one mantra; one breath; one beginning; one ending; one re-membering; one knowing; one heart; one river; one mountain; one ocean; one valley; one human; one four-legged; one winged one; one finned one; one plant; one stone; one tree; one flower; one insect; one solar system; one galaxy; one universe; one multiverse; a luminous void; all of which are the infinite expressions of the one Love and one Embrace that is the essential nature of all. There is/was/will be nothing else. There is nothing else to say, to seek, to know, to remember, to explore, but all we need to “do” is simply to recognize and experience this Love in all its infinite forms and to humbly bow to its perfect expressions. It is eternal: it was never created nor can it ever be destroyed. It simply is.

Rumi expressed it well:

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right-doing,
there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase “each other”
doesn’t make any sense.
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doors
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep.

It’s really rather simple. We are being asked to remember our beginnings and who we really are. We are being asked to not fall asleep and to come out of our shadows and cobwebs and into the light and to see and live through the brilliance of our soul.

We are living in a time when we collectively are finally and clearly becoming aware of our many deeply-embedded biases and shadows. We are witnessing an entire world that is struggling to honestly face its fractured history so that it can move into its next evolutionary phase of unity and oneness.

How can we more skillfully, artfully, and heartfully heal as individuals, as a community, as a nation, and as a single human family and as well honor our unique differences and reaffirm our underlying unity?

Love said to me…there is nothing that is not me.—Rumi

To be continued in Part 4.

The spider, my master teacher, Part 2

Dreaming, weaving, and embodying a whole new web of life in the age of Covid-19 amid sweeping social, economic, and political transformation.

A quiet early Spring Sunday morning walk: Where did I go?

Recently on a quiet early Spring Sunday morning, my wife, Jaime, and I were walking our dog. I felt uncommonly dizzy early in the walk and said to her, “Let’s stop and go back home. I really don’t feel good.” We turned around and started back home. Ninety minutes later I awoke to find myself in the Emergency Room of a hospital. I had totally blacked out.

Apparently, I had walked about a block with Jaime, headed toward home, when I let out a huge scream and fell unconscious on the sidewalk. Jaime, the police, and an EMR gave me CPR and put me in an ambulance, and off I went to the hospital.

While I was unconscious, they tested to see if I had had a stroke. Fortunately, I hadn’t. At some point I became fully conscious and the next thing I knew I was in another ambulance on my way to another hospital where a heart operation team was getting ready to perform surgery on me.

Soon after I got there I was sedated and the surgery was performed. It turned out that it wasn’t as bad as they initially thought. A peripheral artery in my heart that had always been unusually narrow and had narrowed even further. So, a very small stent was put in and I remained in the hospital for 3 days as they poked, prodded, and stabilized me.

It was a rather surreal experience to say the least. Jaime having witnessed it all, and talking to all the doctors and nurses along the way, helped me piece together most of the timeline and get some of the facts of what happened clear. Otherwise, I was clueless. It was only when I got home that, with her help, I was able to fill in the gaps.

By the way, had I not received such lightning-fast and expert medical care that morning I would not be here writing this reflection. This was “the real deal” of an experience and I am still in the process of recovering.

But the most interesting part of the whole adventure is…where did I go during the 90 minutes that I was “out?” I’ll continue in Part 3.

The first and the final frontier is the journey within.

The spider, my master teacher, Part 1

Dreaming, weaving and embodying a whole new web of life in the age of Covid-19 amid sweeping social, economic, and political transformation.

“…his body will cast no shadow on the ground for he will have awakened the sun within him.”—The Way of the Essenes

Until you have taken the time to look within, you are literally in the dark about yourself.

The time has come for us to no longer live in the shadows of our ego, but instead in the brilliant light of our soul. What we thought was real, was actually just a fleeting specter. For we have now learned to shine our light and see through the illusions and into the essence of our being and into each other’s brilliance.

For as long as I can remember I have put a glass of water on my night table when I go to sleep just in case I need to take an herbal sleep aide if I feel agitated before going to bed or if I wake up feeling hyper in the middle of the night. A few mornings ago, upon awakening, I found a spider in my water. That was quite the surprise to say the least. As I carefully got the spider out of the water and put him outside and he ran off into our back yard, I knew I should take the time to meditate and read up on the “medicine” and metaphysical meaning of the spider. So, later that morning I did.

“Why would a spider risk its life to get my attention?” I asked. I felt there was something very important that I needed to know.

What came to me quite spontaneously while meditating was that the spider wanted me to understand that just as it was for him, so it was for me—that the web of dreams I had been weaving for so many years had to be torn away from me and new dreams needed to be woven. Actually, on all levels, a radically new reboot, a new life’s vision, was essential. The old web had gotten cluttered and muddied with longstanding debris, blind spots, and worn out dreams and thus had created a dense cloud of “things to do, people to see, and places to go,” with no real overarching coherence or sense of connection.

Of course, we are all experiencing something like this now as a result of Covid-19 and the coming to a head of so many years of social, political, and economic inequality and other collective shadows. The spider’s message is certainly a metaphor for all of us and not just for me, to stop, look, and listen. But before I say much more about the spider’s message, in Part 2 of this 7-part series I will give you a bit more of my personal context for why I am writing about this now.

The heART of intuition, Part 8: The final frontier is within

This is the last post in this mini-course, so let’s review the concepts we’ve covered. You can use this list as a review but I suggest you also meditatively reflect on what each one of them means for your life. Journal about them to help you internalize them, and start applying them to guide your life.

Some concepts that summarize this mini-course

  • Listen with your heart and not your head.
  • Speak before you think
  • Feel first, think later.
  • Speak your feel.
  • Quiet your mind and open your heart.
  • Learn to “go within” and thus you will never be “without!”
  • Learn to “see” from the inside-out and you will thus “see” the whole picture. You no longer need to skim the surface of life, but now you can jump all the way in.
  • The true treasures of life are free, but invisible to the physical eye and unknown to the overthinking mind. Come learn to “see” again.
  • The final frontier is the journey within.

The opening heart is the most beautiful flower of all.
The greatest beauty in the world is compassion,
Love shining free from attachment and grasping.
– Tharthang Tulku

The heART of intuition, Part 7: A picture is worth 1000 words

If you really want to get an intuitive “read” on a person or situation, the best technique I have found is the following:

Close your eyes and imagine that the individual you are focusing on is a rose. Then just see what kind of rose they become: what size, color, texture, luster, glow, etc.  Note whether the petals are vibrant, velvety, or dried out, whether they are open or closed, etc. Notice as well whether the rose is all alone, in a bouquet, in a rose bush, in a desert, etc. Notice, too, whether it is sunny, rainy cloudy, dark, etc. Is it winter, spring, summer, or fall? Just keep looking at the rose and it will, in the picture it paints for you, tell you more than 1,000 words about that individual or situation. 

Don’t force this process and don’t use your cognitive mind. Instead, use your intuitive, creative, imaginative faculties to “read” and “feel” the energies.  Feel, don’t think.  Analysis will lead to paralysis.

You must allow the rose to spontaneously form before you and then just trust whatever intuitions, inspirations or feelings you get. This will give you truckloads of information.

For example, notice the color of the rose and then sense what that tells you about the mood of the individual. What might that be saying to you about the person you are focusing on? Just keep on “looking” at different aspects of the rose. As well, notice the environment that the rose is in and what that feels like. Keep “sensing into” what kind of a picture/feeling is emerging of the person you are tuning in for.

You must first have the knowledge of your power; second, the courage to dare; third, the faith to do.Charles F. Haanel

The heART of intuition: Live from the inside out, Part 6

Speak before you think. Feel first, think later. Speak your feeling. Talk your feel.

Intuition is really a gift. It truly makes it possible for you to know who you really are. The difficulty in defining it—the difficulty in working with it—is that it’s not something you “do.” It’s something you “allow” to come through you. You can’t “do” it with your mind; you simply allow it to flow through your heart. It reveals itself as inspiration and not as perspiration. It’s a “non-doing.”

When I teach my intuition classes I tell my students, “Don’t think; speak before you think.”  Your parents may have taught you to, “Think before you speak.” But in the case of intuition, you must, feel first, think later; feel first and speak your feeling. 

Again, intuition is not a cognitive exercise, it’s not a striving, it just flows through you in an inspired way. You start speaking your “feel” and you have no idea where what you are going to say next will go. You follow the “golden thread” of your feelings. It’s not scripted; it’s inspired. It comes from the heart and not from the head. And, if you allow it, it weaves a beautiful tapestry of meaning and purpose right there before your eyes.

But it does require you to learn to trust in and listen to your higher Self, which is the creative, inspired part of you, rather than the limited, scripted, calcified part of your ego mind.