Posts Tagged ‘healing’

Kahlil Gibran

AND a woman spoke, saying, Tell us of Pain.

And he said:

Your pain is the breaking of the shell
that encloses your understanding.

Even as the stone of the fruit must break,that its
heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.

And could you keep your heart in wonder
at the daily miracles of your life, your pain
would not seem less wondrous than your joy;

And you would accept the seasons of your
heart, even as you have always accepted
the seasons that pass over your fields.

And you would watch with serenity
through the winters of your grief.

Much of your pain is self-chosen.

It is the bitter potion by which the
physician within you heals your sick self.

Therefore trust the physician, and drink
his remedy in silence and tranquillity:

For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided
by the tender hand of the Unseen,
And the cup he brings, though it burn your lips,
has been fashioned of the clay which the Potter
has moistened with His own sacred tears.

:- a poem by Kahlil Gibran from “The Prophet”

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“…. we must look back over our lives and look at some of the accidents and curiosities and oddities and troubles and sicknesses and begin to see more in those things than we saw before. It raises questions, so that when peculiar little accidents happen, you ask whether there is something else at work in your life. It doesn’t necessarily have to involve an out-of-body experience during surgery, or the sort of high-level magic that the new age hopes to press on us. It’s more a sensitivity…. the concept that there are other forces at work. A more reverential way of living.”
an interview with James Hillman
The Soul’s Code

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It has been years since i took the time to rewind a movie and write down the words being spoken. I did after watching Heaven and Earth. I think the last time was many years ago while watching the Piano. Something Ada said resonated with my life at that time of undergoing the beginning phases of awakening of K Ma without a frame, language, or understanding.

“At night! I think of my piano in its ocean grave, and sometimes of myself floating above it. Down there everything is so still and silent that it lulls me to sleep. It is a weird lullaby and so it is; it is mine. There is a silence where hath been no sound / There is a silence where no sound may be / In the cold grave, under the deep deep sea.”

I saw the Piano a year before going into the Void experience. I would lie still and meditate and would go to the ground of being, self would dissolve and there was just dark spaciousness without any sense of boundaries or self. Each time was a diving into dying and finding open expansion. The above words where like a godsend for they expressed a bit of the space where i did not have words.

These words by Phang Thi Le Ly captured so much  feel these  20 years later.

Heaven and Earth is an Oliver Stone movie, i believe the third in a trilogy of Vietnam. It portrays the life experience of Phang Thi Le Ly that co-authored the two memoirs on which the film is based. This is a great movie.

This part of the movie was when Thi Le Ly had returned to Vietnam, after coming to America where she continued to a new kind of hell with her American PTSD affected husband. The first is Thi Le Ly listening to her Mother’s final blessing of her life and then moves into a Le Ly reflecting on her life:

Le Ly’s Mother:  “My Le Ly you have completed your circle of growth; low tide to high tide, poor to abundant, sad to happy, beggar to be a fine lady, the past is now complete My destiny of your Mother is now over.”

Le Ly: “That night i slept in the house of father had built, afterward he found no need to visit me in my dreams.”

” I gave my offering to all the dead of the village. I had come home, yes. But home had changed and i would always be in between South and North, East and West, peace and war, Vietnam and America. It is my fate to be in between Heaven and Earth. When we resist our fate we suffer, when we accept it we are happy. We have time and abundance and eternity to repeat our mistakes, but we need only once correct our mistakes and are at last, hear the song of enlightenment, where we break the chain of vengeance forever. In your heart you can hear it now, it is the song your spirit has been singing since the moment of your birth.

If the monks are right and nothing happens without cause, then the gift of suffering is to bring us closer to God. To teach us to be strong where we are weak, to be brave when we are afraid, to be wise when we are in the midst of confusion, and to let go of that which we can no longer hold. Lasting victories are won in the heart,not on this land or that.”

I do not believe in suffering, but i have known suffering. . .and all people have varying degrees of suffering and it is possible to overcome suffering. Most of us come into the world whole but in darkened awareness of our wholeness, we quickly grow an ego that wants all kinds of things to fill the holes. We are born into a body that rises and falls, lives and dies, the body is corruptible and will go through a dying process that involves suffering for many people. To deny that for our self and especially as a judgment for others is to lose our compassion.

But having said that, I deeply believe it is possible to rise above suffering, for I have. There comes a place where as we loose attachment for the physical as being our identity. We are able to shift our identity to a truer space, and suffering turns into a pain that can more easily be released.

I have observed animals in pain. Often times veterinarians says that animals do not experience pain. I do not agree. They experience pain, but unlike us humans they do not contract and hold on to the pain. Most of our suffering comes from holding on to pain and turning it into a badge or identity, expressing as enhancement or deficiency. Ugh!. . .turning into neurosis. And those too can be endearing or maddening.

For me the process of becoming has led to transcending the attachment to suffering. I can best represent that with the simple Tao symbol. For years i danced back and forth with pain and pleasure, me not me, good and bad, all the dualities which clutch and pull one into wanting something other than how it is. When i was not accepting what is and thinking something out there could fill it or something that did not occur was the cause, that turned to suffering. But there comes a time we take responsibility and rather than projecting something unfinished or unacknowledged out there as the cause of our suffering we learn to contain it. At that place of containing something miraculous can occur instead of identifying with the yin/yang of suffering attachment/rejection, we can find with the circle that has everything within. At that place suffering dissolves and something else occurs; because we have learned to embrace all within, we find we can honor others and allow them to be as they are without judgment or contraction.

Suffering was once a teacher, and i gave suffering the knife time and time again she wielded it against me until one day i said, ” No more, i shall not resist, i embraced it all, come here dear suffering, for you are so afraid of dying, and suffering you are just a way to keep me separate from the most profound embrace of love and oneness with all. Come here suffering let me hold you for a moment as you disappear.”

Now i know suffering is so very different than pain, pain is part of life, and suffering is when i block or move into defense to keep from feeling what is . . . and what is amazing is once one can just feel “what is” without judgment, blame, or shame . . . it turns into  lightness and validation which strengthens the heart and soul.

Soon the embrace of life, both pain and pleasure, brought a wholeness  ” such as it is “, ” and this too”. . . .

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Caroline Myss in Newsletter, explains why it’s better to focus on what you really love than to look back on your pain if you hope to experience the true power of healing.

( I have read Caroline Myss off and on for years, and for me it is and/both. . .Without the release from the blocks of the past our life force energy becomes contracted and we are not able to move into the natural flow with is our true life experience, being a therapist for a number of years i know the deep healing found in removing the blocks to love so that one can fully reside there.  I found this to be such a tender story.)

” Many insights and experiences ultimately inspire a person to write a book. Defy Gravity, my new book, grew out of my desire to share my observations about the nature of healing. In particular, I wanted to introduce something I have come to believe is absolutely true: Healing is ultimately a mystical experience and not one that is generated by the force or determination of the power of the mind. By “mystical,” I’m referring to experiences that require grace in order to transcend the barriers of our minds, which are so often weighed down by the need to know why things happen as they do in our lives.

The truth is that when it comes to life’s traumas or sufferings that are rooted in memories of humiliation, there are no logical reasons we were the recipients of undeserved suffering—certainly not ones that will satisfy us. We can search for years to understand why we were not as loved as we should have been or why we were abused but in the end we are still left feeling hurt. Those scars, it seems, never really go away. They don’t go away because they can’t. They are a part of us. They formed us. So rather than seek to do what is impossible, we must strive to do what is essential: True healing requires that we find a routebeyond our pain so it does not control us or cause us to want to punish or control others. It’s also true, however, that we cannot “think” our way through an act of inner transformation, which is exactly what I’m describing. This type of inner work demands we defeat our reasoning minds and enlist deeper resources within ourselves, namely the power of our souls. And getting in touch with that power is without a doubt an act of grace generously given to those who ask.

When it comes to matters of the soul and grace, healing and personal transformation, I realize we’ve shifted to more etheric subject matter. So it’s been my experience that grace as a force of healing is best illustrated through a true story, and this is one that hopefully will touch your heart as deeply as it did mine. I put this in the category of a mystical healing experience because of the effect the interchange had upon the daughter and upon me. Perhaps the grace of this story will pass on to you and you too will feel for a moment what it means to “defy gravity”—that is, to be fully present in the here and now of your life, dwelling on love and not regrets. And let me tell you ahead of time that as incredible as this story may seem, this is exactly what happened.

While on my recent book tour for Defy Gravity, I had lunch at the Ritz-Carlton in Philadelphia. Seated at the next table were a mother and daughter. I learned through the fine art of eavesdropping that the daughter had taken her mother out for lunch to celebrate her 92nd birthday. Even though the mother was all dressed up, she still reminded me of a lovely little hummingbird, so tiny and fragile. As is the case with most people in their 90s, they no longer initiate conversation. So it was her daughter who did most of the talking, and since the daughter and I were practically seated back-to-back, it was impossible not to hear her as she reminisced about people who had once filled their lives.
“Well, those people were bad news, Mom. They weren’t really that nice to you,” said the daughter.

“Oh, I don’t remember that,” was the mother’s response as she kept her eyes on her lunch, reorganizing her salad with her fork. The subject changed to the mother’s sister, and though I couldn’t hear the details (as I really wasn’t eavesdropping in full gear—yet), I then heard the daughter say: “It’s true. Your sister was no angel.”

Hearing that comment, I glanced over at the mother to see her response.

“Funny, but I can’t recall those things,” said the lovely birthday hummingbird as she kept her eyes focused on her lunch. Her daughter then shifted the conversation to memories of her mother’s marriage to her father. Though I could not hear most of the specifics, it just happened that I heard her say: “Oh, Mom, I could tell you stories about Dad, believe me. You had a rough time with him.”

“I did?” the mom replied, never revealing her eyes. “I don’t remember.”

“You sure did.” And just as the daughter began to elaborate on those difficult times, this little hummingbird of a mother put down her fork and made direct eye contact with her daughter. With the most gentle smile on her face, she said: “I don’t want to remember those things anymore, Ann. Remind me, now, of what I loved. Remind me of what I loved about your father. I only want to be reminded of love.”

That line not only drew the breath out of her daughter; it completely captivated my attention. I sat perfectly still. I could actually feel the impact that request had upon the daughter’s heart. The mother had shot an arrow directly into the bitter wounds that were obviously possessing her daughter.

Now my eavesdropping on their intimate conversation was deliberate. I had to hear the daughter’s response. I had to watch her face as she grappled with her mother’s request to utilize her heart as a means to access memories of love she herself could no longer recall. It was obvious the daughter wanted to refuse her mother’s request, but how could she? This was her mother’s 92nd birthday. Saying no was not an option. I even found an excuse to adjust my chair so that I could observe the daughter’s expressions as she psychically allowed her mother’s well-worn heart to board her shattered heart in order to travel back in time. Sojourning into memories in search of love instead of pain was not something the daughter had anticipated. Love, after all, is the most healing of graces. She took a deep breath and with a much softer voice, she said, “Well, Mom,” then in a much softer tone of voice, “you loved the way Dad used to tease you.”

“I did?” the mother asked.

“Yes, you did. And he always gave you roses on your birthday, Mom. Today Dad would have given you a lovely bouquet of roses because you love roses,” the daughter said.

“Oh,” said the mother, her smile becoming more illuminated. “I think I remember that.”

“And you know that heart [necklace] you always wear, the one around your neck right now? Well, Dad surprised you with that on your 25th wedding anniversary,” the daughter said. The mother reached for the small gold heart around her neck, touching it gently with her fingers.

“No wonder I never want to take this off,” she said. Then, this exquisite little hummingbird of a mother noticed her daughter was wiping away tears from her eyes. She reached across the table for her daughter’s hand and said, “Honey, don’t wait until you’re my age to have to ask someone else to remind you of what you loved in your life. Be wise enough to remind yourself of that every day because someday those memories might just fade away like mine did and the memories I miss the most are about the people I know I loved.”

By this time, I was wiping away tears. As I watched this mother and daughter embrace, I recognized the healing handiwork of grace as only grace could so elegantly and silently transform a conversation filled with pain into one that lifted the weight from a daughter’s heart. Only the power of grace could transform a mother into the rare air of the Sage, gifting her daughter wisdom from her soul so powerful as to transform the whole of her life within the content of a couple of sentences.

This conversation captured the essence of what it means to “defy gravity.” In an instant, this daughter had released the weight of past wounds, replacing them with the healing force of wisdom and love. Ordinary words could never have accomplished such a feat. Healing is indeed a mystical experience, and one never knows when grace will come to call. I left that lunch having imprinted the request of that precious 92-year-old woman into my heart: Remind me of what I love. What could be a more splendid prayer of reflection than that? And what a gift they were to me on my book tour. I will always believe that being seated next to them was no accident.

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( This came my way this morning and was going to just put some highlights but after contemplating this one know it is one that i will want to return to in it entirety.  )

An Ear to the Ground

Uncovering the living source of Zen ethics.

By Lin Jensen

OPINIONS ATTRACT THEIR OWN KIND. Offer one and you get one in return. This can be true of even the most benign assertion. The fact that you like peaches obligates others to declare their preference for oranges. I do this myself frequently enough to wonder what attraction opinions hold for me. And I suspect that having an opinion is a way to stake out a secure and identifying mental territory for myself. Who would I be without an opinion?

When someone’s giving his view of things, I’ve caught myself taking a position before he’s even finished laying out his point. It’s a contagious sort of reaction that’s greatly magnified when an opinion concerns the moral right or wrong of something. Judgments on right and wrong are a nearly irresistible enticement to pick sides. And that’s exactly why the old Zen masters warned against becoming a person of right and wrong. It isn’t that the masters were indifferent to questions of ethics, but for them ethical conduct went beyond simply taking the prescribed right side. For these masters, the source of ethical conduct is found in the way things are, circumstance itself: unfiltered immediate reality reveals what is needed.

I’m sure you can appreciate how contrary this is to traditional ethics, even the more traditional Buddhist ethics. When I first encountered this teaching in Zen, I simply couldn’t get it at first. Among the farm people where I grew up you were expected to know right from wrong. And the right and wrong you were expected to know was of a consistent sort that could be recited, chapter and verse, when the occasion required it. Those who couldn’t do so were disparaged as ones who “don’t know right from wrong.” That’s how traditional ethics works: conduct is based on reference to fixed principles. But this approach is limited, because any fixed ethical principle is a generalization, while events are specific. A precept such as “Do not kill,” “Do not steal,” or “Do not lie” applies to a respective category of human behavior. Since an actual event isn’t a category, ethical precepts serve us best not as an immediate dictate of behavior but as an instrument of inquiry. Daishin Morgan of the Soto Order of Buddhist Contemplatives taught that the purpose of the precepts is “to guide us beyond their form in a legalistic sense to the spirit that lies behind them.” The precepts are something to live with rather than live by, and living with the Zen precepts is ultimately humbling, softening our hearts to accept our own imperfections and deepening our resolve to live without harm.

If I want to see clearly what’s happening now, I must put aside external points of reference. What’s happening now is neither what happened before nor what I might hypothetically imagine happening in the future. As Erich Fromm said, “Contact is the perception of differences.” While an ethical generalization is derived from perceived similarity, a discrete event is made specific by virtue of difference. If an event seems familiar, it’s a likely lapse in attention that makes it so. The Chinese Ch’an masters saw that the most unassailable right or wrong is also the most likely to lure us away from present reality, substituting in its stead a familiar and comforting perception. All of us on the neighboring farms, children and adults, gave homage to the ancient ethic of not killing. “Do not kill” was understood among us as an undeniable good urging us to preserve life. But when a farm cat I’d raised from infancy dragged herself onto the porch steps, its hindquarters and legs crushed beyond saving, I put her to death. And only afterward did I weep with regret at the life I’d brought to an end.

Once, my mother on her way out the door to a women’s tea asked me how I liked a hat she’d bought for the occasion. I thought the hat was perfectly horrid. She was such a beautiful woman. It seemed a shame to let her go looking that way, but I lied and told her the hat was lovely. Was I wrong to do so? I certainly broke the literal precept. But I would have violated the promptings of a sympathetic heart had I told her the truth. The living moment exposes the limits of principled behavior. Yet it’s also true that Buddhism has developed and stated certain ethical principles. The very first teachings of the enlightened Gautama included the teachings of Right Speech, Right Action, and Right Livelihood. And from these first teachings have been derived a series of stated precepts that Zen Buddhists accept and practice to the best of their ability. Most of these precepts will seem indistinguishable from the ethical principles of other religious and philosophical systems. Zen Buddhists formally vow to take up the way of not killing, not stealing, not speaking falsely, and so on, and these precepts combine to support the overriding Buddhist ethic of noninjury.

Zen ethical principles, like all systems of ethics, are derived from an exhaustive observation of life and are a synthesis of painstaking induction. So where does the critical difference lie between Zen ethics and other traditional ethical systems? It lies in the way a Zen Buddhist works with ethical principles. For the Zen Buddhist, an ethical precept is a question to be held up to the light of circumstance, an inquiry rather than an answer. And the nature of this inquiry is not so much the dubious enterprise of trying to figure out the right thing to do as it is an offering of an unaided heart. After all, it’s from this heart of ours that the precepts themselves once arose. At the threshold of choice, the Zen Buddhist trusts this ancient heart above all other authority. It’s not that the Zen Buddhist reinvents the ethical wheel every time he faces a new situation; it’s just that he goes back to the source itself. Ethics is not an invention but an expression of the heart’s core. What’s most needed in the moment of choice is an empty hand.

The person of right and wrong for whom right is always right and wrong is always wrong never risks an empty hand. I’ve discovered that when I advocate from a moral persuasion and I’m wrong, I can be pretty hard to take. But when I’m right I’m insufferable. My “rightness” leaves me vulnerable to my own arbitrary judgment of the matter. “A Place Where We Are Right,” a poem by the Israeli poet Yehudi Amichai, shows this consequence perfectly:

From the place where we are right
Flowers will never grow
In the spring.

The place where we are right
Is hard and trampled
Like a yard.

But doubts and loves
Dig up the world
Like a mole, a plow.

And a whisper will be heard in the place
Where the ruined
House once stood.

(from The Selected Poetry of Yehudi Amichai, translation by Chana Bloch and Stephen Mitchell, University of California Press, 1996, used with permission of the translators)

Zen ethics is grounded in the realization that one does not know what’s right. This “not-knowing” is the refuge from which all moral action originates. It’s a refuge that can’t be relegated to the role of moral abstraction and remains a free and alive expression of the moment. What’s offered us in the place of moral certainty is doubt and love, which are nearly synonymous. Doubt wears the hard edges off our best ideas and exposes us to the world as it is. When the great Zen master Ikkyu was asked, “What is Zen?” He replied, “Attention! Attention! Attention!”

This very attention to a world that’s not of our contrivance is an act of love, for we can only love what we truly see. I can testify to this in the most mundane way, as can any of us. But here’s an example. I was once traveling in a car with a friend, and a mosquito kept buzzing around my face and neck until eventually I felt the telltale itch that told me the mosquito had fed. And then it appeared on the windshield of the car, its tiny body made translucent against the sunlight. I could actually see a little red thread of my own blood shimmering inside the mosquito, and I was touched with admiration and affection for this beautiful creature whose eggs would feed on an offering of my own body. I said to my friend, “Look, Ralph, you can see my blood in the mosquito’s body.” And before I could object, he’d smashed the mosquito with the flat of his hand, leaving nothing but a red smear on the glass. I don’t blame Ralph. I’d looked and he hadn’t. We touch here the crux of Zen ethics that equates simple mindfulness with the capacity to love. And what else is moral action if it isn’t compassionate responses? We don’t get love from principles; we get love from occupying the ground we stand on.

And the ground we stand on is a field without signposts, in which we must find our way without conventional supports. There is a passage in Sarah Orne Jewett’s The Country of the Pointed Firs that aptly describes the nature of our situation. Almiry Todd, a character who while describing a tree could just as well be describing herself, says,

There’s sometimes a good hearty tree growin’ right out of the bare rock, out o’ some crack that just holds the roots, right on the pitch o’ one of them bare stony hills where you can’t seem to see a wheel-barrowfull o’ good earth in a place, but that tree’ll keep a green top in the driest summer. You lay your ear down to the ground an’ you’ll hear a little stream runnin’. Every such tree has got its own living spring; there’s folk made to match ’em.

While a Zen Buddhist may cherish and recite her preceptual vows each day of her life, she nonetheless learns to keep her ear to the ground, listening to her own living spring and trusting that above all else. She receives the waters unwittingly, the living spring flowing into her from all sides—the scrape of shoes on the city street, the studied precision of the cook cleaning the kitchen counter, the girl swinging her hair with a twist of her neck, the guard with his feet planted, an old woman’s cough heard from an adjacent room, a hand nervously clenching and opening, the tone a voice takes, a hesitation in mid-sentence, a child snatching at a pebble sunk in the creek. She doesn’t accumulate these bits and facts of life like evidence on which to base a judgment. She doesn’t accumulate anything at all, nor does she form an impression of what she sees and hears. She lets the waters enter her body like sap rising from roots. She trusts that the limbs will grow in their own way and that the leaves will unfold in time.

IT’S POSSIBLE TO DO GOOD and equally possible to do harm, and so we’re stuck with the necessity of choice and consequence. And no choice can ever be encompassing and conclusive because the moment is a movement and requires continual adaptation and adjustment. We can faithfully adhere to a precept, and yet end up doing irreparable harm. We can never trace the ultimate consequence of our choices, but it’s safe to conclude that whatever we decide to do will be fraught with certain error and fall short of the best intent. An old Christian story attributed to the Desert Fathers touches on this human fallibility. The story goes that a monk asked Abba Sisoius, “What am I to do since I have fallen?” The Abba replied, “Get up.” “I did get up, but I fell again,” the monk told him. “Get up again,” said the Abba. “I did, but I must admit that I fell once again. So what should I do?” “Never fall down without getting up,” the Abba concluded. Falling down is what we humans do. If we can acknowledge that fact, judgment softens and we allow the world to be as it is, forgiving ourselves and others for our humanity. The Buddha’s First Noble Truth—that suffering exists—is, in itself, a permission to be human and not demand more of ourselves than we’re capable of. Our compassion arises from our very fallibility, and love takes root in the soils of human error.

Knowing that we’re certain to make crucial mistakes from which suffering will follow, we seek moral redemption through sustained attention. We stay around to clean up the mess we’ve made. If we really want to keep the Buddha’s house in order, we can’t afford to hold anything of ourselves in reserve. To be truly and wholly present even for the briefest moment is to be vulnerable, for we have arrived at the point where the obstacle that fear constructs between ourselves and others dissolves. It is here that the heart is drawn out of hiding and the inherent sympathetic response called compassion arises. We cease seeking our own personal happiness at the expense of others, because we see that the suffering of others is our suffering as well, and we see that our happiness too is inseparable from that of others. This expansion of self is what it means to be whole: it’s what we truly are when the living spring of compassion wells up in us, watering the deserts of discord and distrust with a love that can’t be turned aside. Ethical response is just such an unasked and unimpeded flow; it’s not a talent I can perfect and carry around with me and apply to situations. It’s always new, always for the first time.

The old masters placed the site of ethics within the inward, instantaneous and entire grasping of circumstances, a living dharma not divisible into categories of right and wrong. We can know things most directly when we lay no claim to knowing anything at all. The Zen Buddhist does not ask what’s right and wrong but rather, “What am I to do at this moment?” She has no opinion to put forth. She has learned not to acquire answers, and so holds her question open wherever she goes.

Lin Jensen is the author of Bad Dog and the forthcoming Pavement: A Buddhist Takes to the Street (Wisdom Publications, Spring 2007). He is the founding teacher of Chico Zen Sangha, in Chico, California.

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loving ourselves

As a human being related to all living beings we must first be related to ourselves. We cannot understand, love and welcome others without first knowing and loving ourselves.
Jean Klein

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there is a brokenness

There is a brokenness out of which comes the unbroken
,A shatteredness out of which blooms the unshatterable.
There is a sorrow
Beyond all grief which leads to joy
And a fragility
Out of which depth emerges strength.
There is a hollow space
Too vast for words
Through which we pass with each loss,
Out of whose darkness we are sanctified into being.
There is a cry deeper than all sound
Whose serrated edges cut the heart
As we break open
To the place inside which is unbreakable
And whole.

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From Chapter Children of the Orient by LLwellyn Vaughn Lee

The feminine carries the connections of all life within her, and for many centuries this has been her secret. Even when masculine degraded and punished her, abused and rejected her instinctual understanding, still she carried this wisdom, even as it became hidden from her own conscious knowing. Now this wisdom is needed. It can no longer be hidden,but needs to become conscious. Women carry understand in the cells of their body. They feel the pulse of life in a way that is inaccessible to men. The cells of a woman’s body carry a light that is not present in a man’s body. This is because she is part of the sacred mystery of creation. She is always a part of the whole of life Her knowing is not abstract but lived.

The connections of life carry the seeds of the future, of what is being given to humanity. It is through these connections that the energy of life flows Our understanding of the energy flow of life depends upon our knowledge of the interconnectedness of all of life and how these connections are made. We also need to know how connections can be damaged, torn, destroyed, and how to repair, to mend what has been broken. We need to regain the knowledge of how the threads of life are woven, how the tapestry of creation is formed. We need to bring this feminine wisdom into consciousness so that we can learn to relate to the whole of life.

We need to regain an understanding of the dynamics of the relationships that bind together all of creation. The feminine holds this natural knowing within her. It is a part of her instinctual connection to life: she contains withing her body the sacred essence of creation. But to protect this sacred knowing from the ravages of the patriarchy and its misuse of power, she hid her wisdom. It was never written down in books, but transmitted from mother to daughter, from priestess to initiate. Then when the wise women were persecuted and burned, when it became no longer safe to have any access to this knowing, it was pushed into the unconscious.

Many times in the course of humanity, esoteric wisdom has been hidden and so protected from misuse. Sometimes this wisdom can never be regained: for example, many of he secrets of sacred geometry have been lost forever. But if there is a real need, then the wisdom can be recovered. Certain scarifies have to be made, however. The women who hold this knowledge are still fearful of the power of the patriarchy and its potential for misuse. They carry in their ancient memories the scars of persecution, and often a deep anger towards the masculine. But they have to put aside their own misgivings, and bring their inner knowing into the light of consciousness. Certain connections need to be made within the foreseeable future.

If the connections of life are made known, then light can travel through these connections, awakening centers of consciousness within humanity. The light of masculine consciousness cannot find these centers without the full participation of the feminine. The connections cannot be made that will awaken them. Without the activation of these centers of consciousness, humanity cannot take the next step in its spiritual evolution It will not have access to the wisdom, power, and love that it needs. Humanity will then remain fragmented, rather than learning to function as a dynamic, interrelated whole. Patters of energy flow around the planet will remain dormant, or function on a lower level. Once again humanity will have missed an opportunity.

Certain women have already made this step, and a certain knowledge has been given back to humanity. But the next step is the most difficult, because this involves the knowledge that is held withing the physical body of woman. Women have been physically abused for so many centuries that this knowledge is covered in pain and anger. To bring this knowledge into the open would require a degree of vulnerability that is frightening. Yet it is necessary. Without the full participation of the feminine, the energy of oneness cannot become part of the earth. The physical body of the feminine is the connection between heaven and earth. Without the connection a quality of boy and belonging to God cannot be lived; oneness will not be made manifest.

Through suffering life can be made holy. A woman know this in her body. Through suffering the immortal spirit takes on form, the soul comes into manifestation. This is not self-inflected or self-indulgent suffering, not the suffering behind which we hide, that protects us from life or our self. This is the suffering that life brings us naturally, that is part of the destiny of the soul. Suffering can transform us and help us remember who we are. It can lift the coverings of the soul. In the words of Keats, this world of tears is also the “the vale of Soulmaking”.

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the suffering of the Earth

Women carry in their body not only the consciousness of their own suffering of the collective and personal suffering, but also the suffering of the earth. Women carry the imprint of all creation within their body; it is part of their instinctual relationship to the whole of life, the sacred bond that women have with life. The suffering of the earth, wounded and desecrated by a patriarchal culture that sees God only in heaven, is held within the cellular structure of every woman. The pain that many women feel in the core of their being is also the unacknowledged paoin of the earth, whose very eco-system in now inn danger. This suffering needs to be accepted and sanctified; otherwise the energy of life cannot flow freely within the earth.
The earth has cried and women have felt its tears. In these tars a deep sorrow and wounding are acknowledged and through the heart offered to Him who is source of all sorrow and all joy. On our individual journey, sorrow takes us deeper within our self, for ” God enters through a wound.” Through the world’s sorrow a healing can take place in which the consciousness of divine love can be infused into the hidden places of the earth, as well as the bodies of women. This love can link the two worlds in a way that has not happened before. Through it Divine grace can flow freely bringing alive the meaning and magic that lie at the core of creation, the secret of the word Kun! (Be).
If women are prepared to recognize the sacred dimension of their own and earth’s suffering at the hands of the patriarchy, to see that it is part of the mysterious destiny of the soul of our world, then much can be redeemed. We can step fro the arena of personal antagonism into the landscape of our larger destiny, and the forces of life can flow in a new way. The divine can become conscious more completely, the oneness become known more fully. The soul of the world is crying to be heard, and only those who have suffered can fully recognize Her. Behind the veil of her tears she has a new face, and in her eyes the stars are again visible. But we cannot wait too long in the antechamber of the heart. The soul of the world needs to know she has been heard, so that her tears can be washed away by the waters of life. Then once again life can become sacred. Only then can the joy of life returns to each moment. Only then can the imprint of Her face become visible, the glory of Her oneness be made known.
To live this dream takes courage and foolishness.
Llwellyan Vaughn Lee

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working with oneness

Ceiling of the Taj Maha, weaving

Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee from Working with Oneness

“I am by nature a spiritual traditionalist. My journey has taken me down the ancient path of the mystic, and although it has been a solitary journey, from the alone the Alone, I have walked in the footsteps of those who have gone before. In the writing of the Sufi masters I have found guidance and reassurance, knowing that they have mapped out the stages of the heart, the mystery of the heart’s awakening to the divine presence. “New Age” spiritual teachings held little interest for me. Therefore, I was surprised to find in January 2000 a new energy arriving unannounced, an energy that carried with it promises and ideals that extended beyond my own spiritual horizons.

At first i thought that his energy was just the next step in my own journey. But it soon made known to me that it was not personal, but belonged to a whole new beginning. With power and speed it swept aways years of spiritual conditioning, and brought with it a quality of fun and pure joy that I knew I had always been waiting for. Mercilessly, laughingly, it began to change my life, my way of thinking, my way of relating. This energy is alive, demanding change and needing to be lived in the midst of life. And it has a quality of oneness that brings with it a stamp of divine presence.

A few months after this energy awoke me with it demanding intensity, I visited an old friend in London, a seventy year old woman whose clarity , humor and down to earth spiritual wisdom i have valued. I told her about this energy, and she said that she had also experienced it, and see the effect it had on people in her meditation group: how it brought things to the light which had long been kept hidden, ad had a clear personal quality. Then i began to see this energy arriving in the dreams and visions of other friends, expressing a new image of divine oneness that is now alive in the world. One friend had a dream in which she was part of a membrane of light and love that covered the whole world. One friend had a dream in which she was part of a membrane of light and love that covered the whole world. . .Another friend dreamed of the earth, “and around the earth is a beautiful web of light, and everything is in movement, like little stars and suns. I was fascinated by the harmony within everything–so few collisions.”

” One friend had a vision in which he saw “a gigantic golden grid composed of either circles or octagons, each circle perfectly melded into the next. I knew that this had just come into being, as a whole, or as a part of a whole. I had just been created, and was awesomely powerful.”

Another friend describes a similar picture she was shown in meditation: ” I saw a nearly round golden net against a total blackness. It was made of extremely fine gold wire, and the threads which went to the center where at some points folded or bent into Arabic writing which i could not read. But somehow I knew that i had to do with the aspects of God. The center was an empty circle or octagon. The threads that crossed the spokes where without writing. Only the spokes carried the aspects. . .

These dreams and visions all carry a quality of light and wholeness, and an energy that is alive with the oneness of divine presence. And they have the sense of something coming into being, arriving at the threshold of consciousness. Mystics have always worked at the threshold of consciousness, where new life comes from the unformed and uncreated into manifestation. Lovers are familiar with the unknowable vastness, the infinite ocean from where love flows into the world. It is here, at the borders of the beyond, that changes first take place, and it is here that this new energy is now dynamically alive, flowing down into creation.”

This energy brings with it the promise of a new future, a future born not from the past but from the eternal moment. And it carries the joy of life, unpolluted and unconditioned. It is impersonal and powerful, and needs to be lived. Only through being lived can it be brought into the world. It requires our full attention and participation; otherwise its promise will not come to fruition. It is very fluid and organic, and has the capacity to change very rapidly, to adapt itself while staying true to its essential nature. And yet because it has not yet reached the plane of manifestation, it has little form, is hardly visible.

Everything that is created comes from the inner worlds. The energy of life flows from the uncreated emptiness out into the planes of manifestation. This is why events first constellate on the inner planes. As the energy of life comes into manifestation, it becomes more visible. At first it takes form as a pattern of energy, a fluid, dynamically flowing reality out of which the primal oneness of creation begins to differentiated itself. This is the archetypal dimension where undifferentiated energy constellates into the forms behind the physical world. Finally the energy of creation enters the physical plane and becomes part of the world of the senses, at which time it becomes fixed into matter, into a physical form or event. Once energy become embodied, takes form on the physical plane, it is fixed and more difficult to work with; it requires more effort to change. On the inner planes one can move energy through conscious attention, while on the physical plane change often involves laborious effort. . .

The future is here and waiting to be lived, and it carries the stamp of divine oneness. The energy that is needed to change everything has arrived, and although it has not yet come into manifestation, we can work with it. The energy of divine oneness is not separate from us, and individual consciousness has the capacity to become directly attuned to it. Through conscious attention we can work with this energy as it comes into manifestation.”

The Substance of Sirr

” At the core of creation is an axis of light and love. Within this axis of love stands the Friends of God (Amma) fully merged into the Mother Divine.”

The axis of love spins at a very high frequency, and the children of the God are dynamically attunded to this spinning. Through their spinning, a web of light and love is spin into the world. In this way, the axis of love creates a web through out the world, throughout all the levels of creation. Through this web of light the world is sustained by a direct access to love that is not distored by the patterns of illusion. Loved is present throughout all of creation; it is the substance of every atom. Yet this substance of love does not know its own meaning or potential, it is not charged wtith divine consciouness.

Love that is charged with divine consciousness has the potential to awaken humanity to its real nature and purpose. The Friends of God are here in service to this work. They have the ability to infuse a quality of divine consciousness, sirr, into the web of light where it is needed. This is why “transmission” or” sucession”( the conncection from teacher to teacher) is so important. Through this lived link the energy of divine consciousness, sirr, is given. Without this link the energy of sirr remains on the inner planes and does not penetrate through all the levels.

The web of light is the highest energy pattern in the world. Humanity cannot take its next step in evolution without it. . . . A current of divine energy, come together both on the inner and outer planes. These currents of energy flow faster and also merge together into oneness. In oneness they do no lose their individual quality, their particular vibration or note. Rather this is amplified, made perceptible and accessible. At the same time each path sings the song of divine oneness. The coming toether of spiritual paths enables His hidden oneness to become more visible and with this will come the knowledge of how oneness works in the world.
Only by recognizing the energy of oneness itself can we learn how to work with it.

From the axis of love, the hearts of the Friends of God, a new quality or frequency of love is being released, given to the world, to help with this work. This is love charged with divine consciousness. Love and knowledge are being brought together in a new way, so that we can have more direct access to the knowledge that we carry within our hearts and souls.

Part of the work of the lovers of God is to weave together the inner and outer worlds so that the inner can become visible, so that what is written in the book of love can become known. The worlds are being woven together with the substance of their hearts, because this is the way lovers perform their work: they give of their own essence. As the worlds are woven together, the knowledge of love and the secrets of oneness can flow more freely unrestricted by the distiction between inner and outer.

The hearts of many different lovers are being linked together, because love flows fastest through the open hearts of lovers of God. When love flows through their hearts, it brings with it the knowledge of oneness. This knowledge is imprinted into their hearts, form where it can come into consciousness. With the knowledge of oneness, comes the work that each one needs to do, and how we can best participate in this miraculous unfloding. As we participate, this knowledge is made acessible to us—the more we participate the more complete the knowledge that is given. This is part of the way oneness works in the world. At the beginning we get just a hint, an intuition. We do not know that this hint is like a seed that contains within it a blueprint of our work. But as we live the hint, as the inner becomes part of our everyday life, the blueprint becomes gradually more accessible, it details more visible. If it is not lived the seed dries up, its potential unrealized, ad the knowledge of oneness fades away.

The combinatin of the inner and the outer brings alive the secrets of life. These secrets are waiting to be lived, to come into being. Through the inner and outer union the child of the future is being born. With union much more energy can flow. So much magic is waiting to happen. The Divine has so many ways to reveal Itself, to help us know we really are and why we are here.”

Llewelllyn Vaughan – Lee


Life’s natural simplicity has been forgotten. . . It is the simplicity of relating to life as a continual flow rather than relating to a multitude of events that fill our day or years. It is as if we are flowing faster and faster down the river of lie, and as our attention remains focused on the river banks, we see objects, people, situations move past more and more quickly.


We cannot stop the river, just as we cannot slow down the evoulution of our culture. But we can learn to look at life in a different way. If we see life just from the perspective of the objects on the banks, our life will become an indistinguishabel blur as we try to assimilate everything that is passing us by. But if our attentiion shifts to the flow of the river, to the water that carries us, then a fundamental implicity will retrun. We will realize athat we are part of the natural process of life itself that is always changing and yet retains its essential qualities.


Looking to the banks of the river, we see the isolated incidents of life the seemingly static objects that pass us by. The faster the flow, the more these seem to change, and the more anxious and insecure we become as we try to hold on to what is passing. Although we are caught in a flow we cannot stop, and even slow down, we try to give ourself an image of stability by keeping our attention on the fixed objects on the river banks. But maybe life is trying to turn our attention elsewhere, to have us realize a different attitude, one that does not define life by distinct objects or fixed events, but by movement itself, by the very dynamic of change.


Earlier cultures saw life in terms of the chnging seasons, a natural turning of which they were a part. In this continual change everything has its place; even ties of drought or hardship were valued.


Life is a dynamic process of continual change, and we live at a time in which this change is more and more visible. It is no longer a gentle succession of the seasons. The changes are no longer local, but global. In the West where these chnges are most apparent, they are producing stress rather than joy. Are we just the victims of our own technological success, which has created a monster we can no longer control? Or is it that we are jut looking at life in the wrong way, unable or unwilling to make the shift that will reveal what life is offering us? Perhaps making this shift is as easy as attuning ourselves differently, to the flow of life rather than to fixed objects our our desire. So much of our identity lies in what we possess? To become attuned to the flow of life means to recognize that things are both lost and found. We have the opportunity and responsibility to see life as it is presenting itself to us now—not as an accumulation of desires or goals, but as movement and change. We can regain the simple wonder of life if we relatte to life as a flow of events, as a pattern of continually changing interreltationships. Life then becomes our partner in the great destiny of uncovering our own soul.”

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