A New Chapter

I’ve been writing this blog for five years! Hard to believe its been that long. When I began I had a lot to say and this blog was the perfect forum. I hope you have enjoyed reading and that in some small way it has helped you on your journey.

Its time for me to move on to whatever is next for me. I’ve recently begun a new chapter in my life – maybe a whole new book!

I wish you well and thanks so much for reading over all these years. Love, Pat

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Ladder, Climber, View

Ladder, climber, view.  I like this concept I read about in one of Ken Wilber’s books a long time ago.  Imagine a stone wall that is too high for you to see over.  Now imagine a ladder leaned up against the wall.  As the adventure of life unfolds for us, we have new and different experiences.  Some things work out the way we imagined, others not so much.  We learn.

As we learn, we are climbing the ladder, one rung at a time.  As we climb, our view of the world changes.  So, while we are in any given era of our lives we see our world from the perspective of that place – that rung. We have in us all our experiences from the rungs before this one and yet we see the world in a new way from this place where we now stand.  As our life unfolds – as we climb the ladder – we continue to see an expanded view of the world.  Eventually, we can see over the wall – no boundaries –  enlightenment.

Think back over your own life.  I expect you see yourself, others, relationship and society very differently than you might have say five or ten years ago.  Are you staying on any certain rung on the ladder of becoming or are you continuing to move to a new rung – a new view?

I read a while back scientists say everything in the universe – including us – is either expanding or contracting. So, the question then becomes – are you expanding or contracting.  You aren’t staying the same.  It’s impossible.

Attempting to stay the same looks like this:  clinging to the past; expecting a relationship to be the same as it was when it was new; continuing to treat your grown children like you did when they were young; trying to stay a child; or,  “Trying to prove he still can” as the Jerry Lee Lewis song, Middle Age Crazy, says.  You get the idea.

Ladder, Climber, View has taught me on any given day we are all on different rungs of the ladder.  Obviously, we are each different climbers.  It’s no surprise then we each have a different view of life – of the world.  So, rather than me trying to convince you of the rightness of my view or you trying to convince me of the rightness of your view, how about we each remember Ladder, Climber, View.  We simply see the world differently.  No right. No wrong.

Namaste.

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Limitless Unconditional Love

nebula-orion2[1]Limitless Unconditional Love.  Wow!  Just take a minute to consider what that feels like.  You are, you are surrounded by and you are merged with limitless unconditional love.  Everywhere and everywhen.  No need to try, to be something or someone you are not, no effort at all is required – you are love.  You are cherished, eternal, are filled with limitless possibilities of what you can do and become.  You are love. At the ground of our being, our lives are incredibly easy, filled with magic and wonder.

Consider how our lives in this material reality would be different if each of us realized this state of being.  I am love – you, too – we are the same.  And, unique – each with precious gifts to give. Differing points of view, differing beliefs – all reflecting our own lessons as we journey here.  Wouldn’t it be great if we could all go to school together and yet realize our oneness?

It is obviously easy for us to get off track.  We have forgotten we are the same – at our core – all love.  Instead we focus our conscious minds on difference – we even kill each other over our difference.  Or, at the other end of the scale – we harm each other emotionally, psychologically.  The insidious thing about our actions is they are mostly unconscious.  The product of programming by well meaning care givers, teachers, religions, politics, society, the evening news, marketing.

So, what’s the way out?  The solution?  What can each of us do to fill our world with peace and love?  We can change – at our most fundamental way of relating.  We can realize and live limitless unconditional love.

Namaste.

 

 

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Frontiers

images[11]We are all explorers as we walk in this material reality, even if we don’t necessarily think of ourselves in that way. We are all young Luke Skywalker on a great adventure.

As we evolve, we learn something new.  What was mysterious or unknown becomes known.  The mystery is solved and is now a part of our knowledge base.

Consider scientific exploration for a minute.  Think of a pond of water.  The pond represents all scientific knowledge to date.  The edges of the pond represent the frontier – the boundary between what is known and what is not known.  As scientific knowledge grows – as more is known, the water in the pond expands outward and the edge of the pond expands.  The more we know, the more we realize we don’t know.

Now consider us – just plain folks with our normal knowledge of life.  We each, too, have our own pond and our own edges.  Our own frontier between what we know and what we don’t know. Our pond of knowledge grows as we age, learn and mature.  And, our boundary between the known and the unknown also expands proportionately.  At the frontier as we are gazing into the unknown, is where humans for all time have wanted an explanation – what’s out there?

Isn’t it a hoot.  The more we know, the more we don’t know – the frontier expands.  Makes you wonder where knowledge will ultimately take us?  It sometimes feels as though we are on a never ending search.

Some of us say to heck with it and go on with life.  Some say god/creator/source/spirit is what’s out there – the ultimate explanation .  Some say love is the answer.  Some believe science will ultimately explain the All.  I’m sure you have your own theory.

We are explorers in a never ending quest in this material world.

What of the other reality?  The spiritual one. Talk about parallel universes!  Spirit really doesn’t have much to do with knowledge.  Our ground, who we are.  It’s our ground of being that’s important.  When we lose our ground, all the knowledge in the world won’t help – it might actually hurt.

I love Star Wars.  Here are a few quotes about The Force:  “It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together. . . .  Use the Force, Luke and The Force will be with you, always.”  Sure sounds like spirit – or however you define The Force.  Remember, Obi-Wan didn’t give Luke a book to study about The Force. He told him to feel it – to learn how to call upon it at will – to become it.  Good advice for us all.

Namaste.

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Enemies

orion-nebula-space-galaxy_w725_h490-to-use-nasa-public-domain-photo[1]“If you can cultivate the right attitude, your enemies are your best spiritual teachers because their presence provides you with the opportunity to enhance and develop tolerance, patience and understanding.” — Dalai Lama XIV

Well, that sort of turns the whole thing around doesn’t it?  You mean I’m supposed to be grateful for people who irritate me, are greedy, self-centered, mean, childish?  You can add your own list.

I don’t think the Dalai Lama is saying to excuse them or approve of them.  I think what he is saying is to see that their presence in your life has the potential to bring you great teaching.

OK, so let’s say you are my enemy.  Sort of always in my face, never have anything good to say to me, always doing your own thing and generally don’t seem to care about me.  If I can see you as my spiritual teacher, rather than a pain in the neck, you present me with the opportunity to walk my spiritual talk.  Can I stay centered in who I am, in inner peace?  Can I look at you with compassion and understanding?  Can I look beyond your words and actions to the human being you are inside? A tall order.

Now, I don’t believe this means I stay in your presence, or that I seek you out.  It simply means when you are in my life, I don’t allow my energy to entrain with yours.  I stay centered, know who I am and consciously practice compassion for you.

In the United States our current political climate is presenting many of us with just such an opportunity!

Isn’t it wild.  We often become that which we don’t like.  You are angry, so I become angry in an effort to protect myself.  I wonder why you don’t become peaceful in an effort to regain your ground of being?  I wonder how the world would change if we each held who we are in the face of adversity – strong, steady, centered, at peace inside.  Who knows maybe your anger would lessen – maybe if I show compassion, you will soften?

Namaste.

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The Great Awakening

genesis1[1]The following is from Illumination by Alberto Villoldo, Ph.D., a psychologist and medical anthropologist.   Villoldo has studied the healing practices of the Amazon and Inka shamans for more than 25 years.  I really like this book.  It is packed with wisdom.  Here are excerpts from Chapter 4, “Archetypal Death and the Great Awakening.”

The Shaman understands that identifying with the observer, rather than with the emotions, is the key to freedom.  The primal fear all adult humans share is the fear of death, which represents the end of the only reality we’re aware of.   Perhaps it is the awareness of our death, and not the opposable thumb, that makes us distinctly human, for no other creature is aware of its own demise.

The Sudden Awakening

The great awakening occurs swiftly. . . . This awakening must be followed with the great departure and a journey to a new destiny.

To lessen the terror that arises whenever we become acutely aware of our own mortality, we have developed a marvelous capacity for denial.  The denial mechanism is functioning continually.

Pain awakens the brain out of denial. . . . Eventually, we become tired of learning through pain and long to learn through joy.  Joy, after all, is the best teacher.

There are two great leaps in awareness that we make during our initiation:  the awakening to our mortality. . . and the awakening to our immortality.

The First Leap:  Awakening to Your Mortality

To forget about our mortality we fuss about our problems endlessly, and we start to fool ourselves that by being thus engaged in the struggles of life, we’re outwitting death.  Even if our problems cause us suffering, it’s nothing compared with the agony we’d feel if we were perpetually aware that the clock is winding down and Death is on its way to claim us.  We’d like to believe that Death won’t find us when we’re constantly on the move and so very busy. Continue reading

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Diamond Net of Indra

ku-xlarge[1]I recently saw an article on the web talking about the vast cosmic web of filaments that connect the galaxies in the universe.  At the top of this post is a picture of this cosmic web.  Due to some activity of a distant quasar the web has been illuminated so we are seeing it for the first time.  Up to now it has been scientific theory. You can see the full article here.

Some call this web of filaments dark matter.  Well, it turns out dark matter and dark energy are neither dark, nor matter, nor energy.  Those words could have been anything.  Neil deGrasse Tyson says we could call them Fred and Wilma.  He says the names – dark matter and dark energy –  are unfortunate since they communicate properties that are unknown. You can see a great interview with him here on Bill Moyers & Co.

So what does all this new science have to do with the Diamond Net of Indra?

The Vedas are some of the oldest sacred texts, dating roughly to 1500 – 1000 BC.  The metaphor – the story – of the Diamond Net of Indra came from some of these earliest texts.  So the philosophical roots of Indra’s net are deep and old.

The sutra describes a vast net that reaches infinitely in all directions. Through this net all phenomena are intimately connected – an interconnectedness of the universe or all universes.  Indra’s net has multifaceted jewels at each connection, each jewel reflecting all other jewels.  Everything contains everything else.  Through this interconnecting net all life is one.

It seems people who lived a very long time ago had an uncannily accurate view of what our scientists have recently been able to see.  They saw what we are now calling dark matter as an interconnecting net – a web showing us all life is one and that everything contains everything else.  Ummm…  I wonder what other scientific wonders we will discover that are described in ancient writings?

I also wonder how this discovery and others surely to follow will change our view of ourselves and our global community?  Remember, uni-verse can be interpreted as one song.  Now we have a multi-versemany songs?  We might want to concentrate on hearing and learning to sing and play the one song here sometime soon.  It looks like the band might be warming up for a concert.

Namaste.

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Unconditional Happiness

“In order to get in touch with the unconditional happiness in our innermost being, we need to stop running around, looking for happiness in all the wrong places and instead start to focus on our own mind.” – Tara Springett, The Five-Minute Miracle

Unconditional happiness. Think about that for a minute. Since most of us are not happy all the time, I wonder why? What if it was as simple as consciously choosing unconditional happiness.

In his life changing book, The Untethered Soul, Michael Singer challenges us to do just that. To choose unconditional happiness. Unconditional means not conditioned on anything. So, I chose to be happy and yet deep inside I believe my happiness is dependent upon: great health, a thin body, lots of money in the bank, the perfect partner, the perfect boss, friends who always agree with me, kids who live their lives in a way that makes me happy, perfect weather, never having to do anything I don’t want to do, and your own must haves. These are all thoughts and/or emotions. They aren’t real.

You see? Unconditional happiness means I commit to rest in the witness place in my mind. Sort of apart from and behind all the thoughts and emotions that arise during a normal day. I commit to watching the never-ending performance of the emotional/thought show. I simply watch. I don’t attempt to stop the monolog – I simply watch as the thoughts come and go – as they move through me. If I don’t grab ahold of a passing thought, it just drifts away like a cloud in the sky. I wonder why I choose to cling to some of them – my heart starts racing, my breathing changes, I might feel a minor pain in my body. It’s just one of many thoughts that have floated through my mind today. Why did I choose that one to hang on to? And, why am I having this reaction to a completely unreal thought?

Ask yourself when you are upset if any of it is real. Or, is the basis for your stress simply thoughts and emotions that ebb and flow like the surf at the beach. What if you could become aware enough not to ever identify with one of these thoughts? How would your world change?

Unconditional happiness begins when we realize we are not our thoughts or emotions. We are the observer of those thoughts and emotions.

Namaste.

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Winter Solstice – The Light Returns

“The Christians stole the winter solstice from the pagans, and capitalism stole it from the Christians.” – George Monbiot

Cycles. Thousands of years ago we humans lived in sync with the seasons. We were astute observers of the heavens. In the northern hemisphere the winter solstice was one of the major markers of the cycles of our lives. To the pre-Christian peoples, it was the most sacred of days.

The winter solstice occurs every year when the Sun moves into the constellation of Capricorn. This year the solstice is amplified, and many astrologers believe it may be the marker for a new era. Following is a quote from Stephanie Austin’s most recent newsletter which explains this phenomenon:

“The winter solstice occurs this year on December 21 at 8:28 AM PST [11:29 AM EST], and is greatly amplified by its close conjunction with Saturn (10’ of arc), something which has not happened since 1700 and will not occur again until 2200, signaling the initiation of a new era. Solstices and equinoxes mark the seasonal shifts, and this one is even further potentized by its proximity to the galactic center. The word solstice comes from the Latin word ‘to stand still’; for three days, the Sun appears to rise at the same place, before beginning to climb a little higher each day, until the next solstice 6 months later. For three days around each solstice, the Earth’s magnetic field is more open to cosmic radiation, facilitating the download of new energetic codes and matrices. This is a very potent time for setting intentions, as well as for group prayer and ceremony.”

Stephanie goes on to discuss how the winter solstice has been honored over time by many cultures:

“Many cultures celebrated this time of year as the Return of the Light. The Yule log was initially kindled in honor of Sulis, Sol, and Sunna, goddesses of the Sun. Ancient Rome merged Egyptian and Persian traditions into Saturnalia, a weeklong festival ending on the winter solstice, which honored Saturn, the god of agriculture, with candles, decorations of greenery, parties, role reversals, and the exchange of gifts. Christmas was initially held on January 6, Jesus’ Baptismal day, but in 350 was moved to December 25, to coincide with Saturnalia and the winter solstice. Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, commemorates the miracle of faith, the light of truth, and the flame of freedom. One of the main rituals of Kwanzaa, a Pan African celebration, is the lighting of seven candles, symbolizing the values and concepts reflective of African culture. For the Hopis, this is Soyal, where ritual fires are lit and creation stories re-enacted, as the kachinas, the spirit helpers, emerge from their underground kivas.”

She goes on to discuss our current lifestyle and the effects this has on our psychological health:

“Regardless of our religious or cultural affiliation, for the 90% of the world’s population who live in the northern hemisphere, these are the shortest days and darkest time of the year, an optimal time to be inward and contemplative, yet we are pressured to be busier than ever, with shopping for gifts, holiday parties, and family gatherings. Plants, animals, and fields appear dormant, but much is happening below the surface, in the dark. Before the invention of the light bulb in 1879, we spent half of our lives in darkness, living in sync with the Sun and Moon for thousands of years. The vast majority of our photoreceptor cells (95%) deal with night vision, peripheral vision, and movement; our rods are not only far more sensitive than our cones, but are also linked to our subconscious brain activity and our capacity for dreaming, imagination, and non-ordinary reality. Research shows that both indoor and outdoor light pollution affect melatonin levels, which in turn affects our metabolism, immune function, and endocrine system. We pay a physical, psychological, and spiritual price when we dismiss our inner world, as we need a balance of light and dark, outer and inner awareness, to be creative, healthy, and whole.

“. . . the coming solstice urge[s] us to honor our inner light, and eliminate what dims it. As we grow, things that were sources of enjoyment in the past may no longer provide the same satisfaction. This doesn’t mean they were bad; only that they are no longer in resonance with who we are now. Let go of ‘shoulds.’ Participate in the traditions that bring you joy. Know that your thoughts, prayers, and level of consciousness make a difference. We are in a time where our light is needed more than ever. Shine your light. Share your light. Be grateful for it all, and remember: ‘Self-Light is a natural part of our engagement with the world; becoming aware of it shifts our identity and sense of self. By consciously recognizing and standing in it, we can begin to see ourselves as one who is a source of the blessing and nurturing that spirit provides. This light lies as a potential within us always, but our intent makes it brighter – energizes, awakens and sets it into motion such that it is a gift to the community, we become a source of spiritual presence in the environment of the world. (Julia Spangler).’”

My thanks to Stephanie Austin for this very thoughtful, timely article helping us remember we are powerful light beings. May you be at peace at this most sacred time of year.

Namaste.

Note: Stephanie Austin M.A. is a full-time astrologer specializing in life purpose, career, and relationship readings since 1986. She also teaches astrology, and wrote the New and Full Moon column for the Mountain Astrologer magazine for 14 years. Her background includes a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a master’s in Consciousness Studies, and a lifelong involvement with meditation, Nature, and healing. For more information on her astrology readings, eBooks, tutorials, and forecasts, please visit www.EcoAstrology.com.

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The Dawn Has Come

beautiful-mountain-dawn-108975[1]The Dawn Has Come

“Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.” – Rabindranath Tagore

There are so many ways to die.  I remember the old saying – to live many lives, you have to die many deaths. Sounds morbid.  Actually, it’s not.  It’s the most joy filled times of life.

Death here is symbolic death, metaphorical death.  We see ourselves in a new way and choose to let go of – die to – an old way of being that no longer serves.  We become the caterpillar transforming into the butterfly.  A life well lived is filled with many deaths – metamorphosis after metamorphosis.  We learn to fly at new heights every moment.  See the world from completely new vantage points. What a trip!

Now, if we choose not to die to the old, then what?  A whole lot of stress for starters.  All life is in constant motion.  We are either expanding or contracting.  We are never staying the same.  When we attempt to hold onto the status quo, we are setting ourselves up for failure.  It’s just simply not possible.  It’s easy to fall into denial and fantasy.  Life isn’t real and is filled with disappointments.

Some of us want to stay young – maybe age 8 or 17 or 25.  For some those were utopian ages.  Nothing wrong with being young at heart.  I’m all for that.  Any age is simply a point in the circle of life – a time that was full and right and now has passed.  This moment – this magical, precious moment is really all that is ever real.  Here – right now – is where real love is.  Where real people are.  Where we are truly alive.  If we are always living in the past, we miss the dawn of this moment.

Consider looking around your life.  Maybe it’s time to put out a few lamps – maybe the dawn has come and you just haven’t noticed?

Namaste.

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