From the beginning there never was a secret, every mystery you have ever wondered about has been hidden in plain sight.

We are the Ātmeśvara Mārga School, and if we took ourselves seriously enough to have an "official" voice, this would be it. We are dedicated to the process of human integration, of moving from the segregated, mechanistic, conditioned state, to the Integrated, unconditioned state of the awake, adult human.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

knight in shining armor

Remember the Tin Man? Protected, yes. But immobilized by his armor. Lacking in life experience and doomed to merely watch from the sidelines. Longing for some heart.

Who, or what, can protect you from experiencing pain? The fear of pain and discomfort is one of the biggest blocks to the awakened state. I was driving down the street recently and a flash of brightness caught my eye. I noticed that up on the roof of an auto parts store was what appeared to be a medieval knight in shining armor. Above it all, looking down on the street, the silver metal flashed in the sun, but revealed nothing of what was beneath it.

The pain of truth is temporary, but the pain of lies goes on forever. In the awakening process, the remote, protected knight must strip away her armor, come down from the roof and stop pretending to be a participant from afar. The metal plates must be peeled away, one by one, so the tender flesh beneath is revealed, and may revel in the bright light of truth. The vulnerability of this process is often painful and is best undertaken with gentleness towards self.

Truth is. As simply as that. Can you remove your armor, one piece at a time, to allow the experience of truth? At first it feels like there are many bits to Truth, but that's more a condition of the small ways it filters in. Once the armor of un-truth is completely gone, Truth will be experienced as it is- that which cannot be simpler. In the meantime, keep de-armoring yourself. Come down off that roof. Become unguarded.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Leaving lonely

All is illusion; separation and connection, both.

My teacher recently remarked that he remembered the day he realized he no longer experienced loneliness. How at a certain time, the feeling was no longer there. What does it take to lose loneliness?

To confront the illusion of separation is welcomed. We long for the cozy togetherness of One. Dismantling the illusion of connection is one of the greater challenges of the awakening process. The paradox is that the process of gaining ultimate oneness is a lonely one. In order to achieve it, we must leave the comfort of false camaraderie behind and tread a solitary path strewn with long, lonely stretches of self confrontation.

It takes courage and determination to make this journey. In a sense it is akin to the processes of birth, differentiating and growing up. How painful it is to leave the comfy warm womb and get squished through the dark birth canal. The solitary way to leaving loneliness is a reminder of learning to sleep through the night. A child must learn to comfort herself in order to have a good night's rest. How painful (for us and for others) to begin differentiating in toddlerhood. And growing up - in order to become one with the larger community, we must leave the comfort of family and stand on our own.

How much of the connection we think real, is actually a shared illusion? A common painful story? A way of continuing the false separation? We bond over negative experience....I need you to tell me I'll be alright...I need you to help me feel good about myself...I agree to do the same for you and we'll both feel better about it. Even in the places where we try to make the relationship about accountability rather than co-dependence, we are still dancing in the duality of You and Me.

In the quest for enlightenment, we must learn to recognize false camaraderie when it offers a comforting distraction from the task of learning to be fine with our own company. This loneliness is a temporary condition which will dissolve when we are willing to be with it.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

In the Gap

Can you "hold space"?  This is a term thrown around a great deal in the world of personal growth. We are asked to hold space for our feelings or those of another. What does this actually mean? As it is used in this way, it means to contain experiences. However, "space" is the gap. Space is the emptiness between matter...feelings...experiences...stories....stuff.  

Sometimes the space between words stretches out. A gap occurs which may feel uncomfortable. This is a time of power. In the gap we can open focus to see the larger picture. In the gap we can become aware of the ratio between matter and space. Our "stuff" is reduced to mere protons, neutrons and electrons. It is a good practice to become comfortable with, or at least accepting of the gap, rather than attempting to fill it. Can you imagine holding space for the emptiness, which in fact, is the much greater portion of what is?

Let yourself be in the gap.