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Posts Tagged ‘love’


When you think you cannot let the world in because it is so full of heartbreak, you underestimate yourself. You think, “I can’t let any more in,” because you feel like you are breaking apart. If you don’t follow that thought, can you simply allow your heart to let it all in? Not just the current disasters, but the disasters throughout time; not just the external disasters, but the internal disasters of your own life, your neighbor’s life, your friend’s life. Just really open the heart with no resistance.
That is the letting and the facing that I speak about. When you surrender to the pain, the heart does break, and there is profound grief. In the willingness for the heart to break, separation breaks also. Unless we resist or indulge it, the concept of separation disintegrates.
I am speaking of a very sober, still opening. I am suggesting that you just let it come in, and let it come in, and let it come in. Then there is a discovery that the heart breaks totally, forever open. This is possible for everyone. And all that keeps us from that is the thought, “I can’t do this.”
Gangaji

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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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the blossom

His Holiness, the Dalai Lama has said:

“My true religion is kindness.”

Mata Amritanandamayi, Divine Mother  has said:

” My religion is love.”

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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.
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“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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Practice allowing your essential nature to shine by not enforcing judgments on yourself that were imposed by others. Remind yourself that you don’t have to do anything: You don’t have to be better than anyone else. You don’t have to win. You don’t have to be number 1 or number 27 or any other number.

Give yourself permission to just be. Stop interfering with your unique natural being. Lighten the burden you carry to be productive, wealthy, and successful in the eyes of others; and replace it with an inner assertion that allows you to access the Tao.

Affirm: I am centered in the Tao. I trust that I am able to straighten myself out, and so is the world. I retreat into silence, knowing that all is well.

Wayne Dryer

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“On a more somber note, Raphaele once told me of a meeting she’d had on her first visit to Tibet, in 1986, with a man who’d had an appalling time during the Chinese invasion. “He invited me to sit down on a bench and served me some tea he kept in a large thermos. It was his first time talking to a Westerner. We laughed a lot; he was really adorable. Children kept coming by to stare at us in astonishment, and he showered me with questions. Then he told me how he’d been jailed for twelve years by the Chinese invaders and condemned to cut stone for a dam being built in the Drak Yerpa valley. The dam was completely useless, since the riverbed was almost always dry! All his friends dropped dead of hunger and exhaustion around him, one by one. Despite the horror of his story, there wasn’t the slightest trace of hatred in his words or the least bit of resentment in his eyes, which beamed with kindness. As I fell asleep that night, I wondered how a man who had suffered so much could seem so happy.”

“Anyone who enjoys inner peace is no more broken by failure than he is inflated by success. He is able to fully live his experiences in the context of a vast and profound serenity, since he understands that experiences are ephemeral and that it is useless to cling to them. There will be no “hard fall” when things turn bad and he is confronted with adversity. He does not sink into depression, since his happiness rests on a solid foundation. One year before her death at Auschwitz, the remarkable Etty Hillesum, a young Dutchwoman, affirmed: “When you have an interior life, it certainly doesn’t matter what side of the prison you’re on. . . . I’ve already died a thousand times in a thousand concentration camps. I know everything. There is no new information to trouble me. One way or another, I already know everything, and yet, I find this life beautiful and rich in meaning. At every moment.”

Matthieau Richard

From Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skills,

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I remember one afternoon as I was sitting on the steps of our monastery in Nepal. The monsoon storms had turned the courtyard into an expanse of muddy water, and we had set out a path of bricks to serve as stepping-stones. A friend of mine came to the edge of the water, surveyed the scene with a look of disgust, and complained about every single brick as she made her way across. When she got to me, she rolled her eyes and said, “Yuck! What if I’d fallen into that filthy muck? Everything’s so dirty in this country!” Since I knew her well, I prudently nodded, hopping to offer her some comfort through my mute sympathy.

A few minutes later, Raphaele, another friend of mind, came to the path through the swamp. “Hup, hup, hup!” she sang as she hopped, reaching dry land with the cry, “What fun!” Her eyes sparkling with joy, she added: “The great thing about the monsoon is that there’s no dust.” Two people, two ways of looking at things; six billion human beings, six billion worlds.

– Matthieu Ricard from “A Way of Being

from Tricycle’s Daily Dharma

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