parenting by powerpoint

17 Mar

Everyday bad things happen, so-

I’ve drawn you a flow chart

to take you from point a to z

with arrows to the short cuts

so roughly won by me.

Let me help you jump over ditches

and avoid the dead-end streets.

Watch my greatest hits of

heartache, thought addiction, faux pas, shame, fear, regret,

so you can save yourself the trouble.

Look, simply, I can help you

avoid the ramifications of not heeding good advice.

I didn’t even know I had it in me, as non-linear as I can be,

to map it out for you, but I did;  I’ve a crash course on not crashing.

But I’m being asked another task, much different than what I’ve done.

The night now asks me to have a courage I don’t know how to muster –

I’m now to be the watcher and not the player and not the coach.

I’m now to calm my plotting mind.

I’m instructed not to imagine trains flying off of their tracks

even while I feel the lurch and screech

of the metal momentum – see sparking in the air.

I’m to observe as boats sink, as elevators release and fall,

as villains creep most uncartoon-like in dark shadows when you pass by;

who orchestrates such visions – where are the views of nature walks, of laughter,

of joy?   Why the fear, why the wrecks, why the destruction?

Why am I thinking of how my parents must have ached and quaked

sitting in hospital rooms, listening to white coat protocol-

powerless

except to release a real-life child to death, to unthinkable death.

I mouthed the words but I didn’t register the meaning –

because I’m still on the simpler fare—

that love is holding the tongue

and squeezing my own trembling body while

I watch and allow.

I am unable to live for another,

unable to undo words,

unable to iron out the wrinkles

of the kinks forming in the plan.

The night brings what the day allows me to hide.

The learning is only ever mine

and it can only be postponed, never avoided altogether;

now or later is  the only choice I get to make.

 

A Selection of True Awakening Experiences Part II

13 Feb

When beautiful Barbara asked if I wanted to participate in A Selection of True Awakening Experiences Part II,   I took a few days to think if I could participate because the flow is especially pressing to me right now, and writing at all, let alone reading others, has gone to the side.  I am teaching many classes which require lots of grading, so taking time for anything beyond eating, sleeping, and brief, brisk walks is rationed.  To have tasks that require my full focus is just what is needed now, because this is what is happening.  This squeezing  will perhaps bring me awareness that l need to transition to something new that leaves more open spaces for body and mind.  Or perhaps I will be able to continue to find the spaciousness of opening as needed within a challenging flow of time.  As this post is due today, I wake again at 3 AM, with a desire to write again, just in time.

I thank Barbara, who gives space for words and a place for connecting back during these February days.

Where I find myself now:

All instants are opportunity for returning to me, again and again,

second by second.

Who is this me I am returning to?

Good question.  That is the one I ask.  Who is the me I am returning to?  The non dual teachings are the ones speaking to me now.  Who is the one observing the one thinking?  The more I return to the presence the less the attention lost in the game feels okay.  Returning home becomes a known and effective possibility, even when I think I am drowning or being blown about in this life storm.

What does this observing look like in real life?

An example, one morning, as I was driving and thinking worry thoughts  about my daughter, (lost in an idea I had that moment about who I am in relation to my role as “mother”), I got on a bridge that does not lead to my workplace.  There was no turning about on the bridge, of course, so I had to carry on the road until I could do a u-turn on the other side.  My life choice to get lost in thoughts while driving forces me to WAKE UP!  One moment I was lost in worry, the next moment I was back in the present moment, on a road that forced me to return.   No curse words were uttered; there was no worry of a late arrival.  This wandering girl is loved in her lost moments.  The second I missed my turn and realized there was no way but to go forward over the bridge, I was offered many long views of water meeting ocean, the light and fog mixing to a rapturous view that was invisible a moment before.   I can, in an instant, return to being bathed in the morning light.

The world  says to me “be here;”  every road leads back to me.

When I am hurrying, confused, thinking that something is wrong, I am gone for seconds, moments, hours, sometimes.  But the returning is becoming more the normal.  The space of no thoughts, no agenda, no worry is often steady.  Joy.   The outer world dances with me – and my flow is as easy as what (and who) appear next.

My thoughts lost are mirrored to me with such compassion.  The bridge which takes me far from my destination, brings me back again.  My thoughts play back to me on the stage of the world.

The title Life as Improv becomes an ever more real instant to instant thing.  I can go about as the perceiver who meets even old friends without an idea of how the moment will unfold.

Who is appearing on my stage right now?

You.

 

I can see and feel your shifts

as subtle as snow’s first flakes, as dramatic as seizures.

You are me, I see, as you pass by,

your face, your expression, my mirrored image.

I feel your heart squeeze and know not the cause

but it is my heart, too.

Better with no words-

Better quiet now,

but instead it can be still loud, at times — as the thoughts built towers yesterday and now towers fall, regularly.

There is still the demolition, my house is still falling down.

Everyday I get to tear down another idea, closer and closer to the invisible veil.

I’m in the dungeon shining light into the corners

where the hidden dust of old ideas needs sweeping.

But I am happy to report,

the air has lost its smell –

and god willing I will build no more towers.

I  will not build new religions for the key that opens my door today.

I am comfortable in huts.

I will ever be a nomad,

even if I stay in one spot.

Beginning again again, each day,

do I see the flawless avocado for my toast?

Do I savor tea as it is sipped;

do I meet you with no yesterday story of me?

My today is frighteningly simple, even in this busy time,

as I’ve lost my yearning for most things.  The middle path was not a distant philosophy but a real clearing out and daily practice.  Now the subtlety of  desire and aversion becomes apparent – the consumptions of body and mind, clear.  The addictions of the subtlest nature are rooting out and getting dropped bit by bit.

Awakening is a heavy word – to me it is just the beginning, one dawn at the start of many days.

In vigilance and joy, driving to work, talking to students, juggling chores, buried in all the paperwork that life generates, losing my focus yet gaining it again, with less and less time in between…

remembering myself

to be

water

who doesn’t need instructions to flow

to the sea.

Up tomorrow:  Brian at  middle pane

 

all for what

30 Jan

There are spells cast

by whom I do not know

causing hours, sometimes days,

in the world to be annoying.

I suspect a conspiracy of ill will

toward a me who is just trying to get by.

This powerless creature in the corner

fights back, as any small creature does,

nail and tooth – oblivious to any other possibility.

It is a self-created corner, but do not tell that to the rat,

who vaguely recalls the days of cheese and finish lines.

Deus ex machina is in order in this corner –

Bring in the crane and lift her out,

goes out to the stage hands —

for the rat who has forgotten

where to find the elevator button;

she has forgotten the hidden zipper

in her little rat suit.

She is scratching at walls, smelling dead end corners,

biting hands that feed her.

Forgotten has she that she designed the maze

to promptly fall into

in order to be found.

There are hours, and sometimes days,

of maze running

of squinting eyes and cheese hoarding –

clips boards hovering overhead.

What is this course,

this confusing path with walls,

this capacity of ours to exist in so many

places and in so many ways

at once so fully in each?

the rat – the funder – the designer – the observer –  ocean

the mind – a sticky note storm – a hurricane the size of Africa – Om – ocean

the body –  a straight jacket – a secret word – the breath –  ocean

May we all fall into the ocean from every where.

May Jacob’s ladder be thrown from a helicopter

into our wayward dreams.

The only interesting thing is the wonder.

Where does the helicopter fly from here

when questions fall away,

when my scratching pen ceases to mark the trail?

The sky to the maze is the ground just for liftoff –

dropped is the story of chase and chased.

What comes next a mystery lived.

 

 

know it when I feel it

6 Jan

I am 1 –

a pin point on the map

where a push pin could be put

and if I download the app Find My Phone

and I walk around with this distracting device,

I would be a pulsing red (or is it blue?) circle

going from home to work to grocery to deepest woods

where even there persists the drone of cars

full

of other 1-s going to their work and their homes.

I am a pulsing circle of 1 in my bed for hours each night

secretly escaping my locale

beyond the perception

of such surveillance

in the secret room that monitors all the 1-s goings and comings,

yet

the lotus blooming in the heart of 1-s is invisible.

Caesar still collects his coins;

he never stopped, you know, and

the body gives its flesh and bones to the dirt,

but the lotus heart blossoms alone,

pulses outside detection

in this plane

beaconing to the 1 distance

that cannot be measured.

You and I are already meeting there

and here,  in our skybox seats

disguised in words

pretending to play along.

 

 

Thom York dances it…

 

Lotus Flower (Radiohead):

I will shake myself into your pocket
Invisible
Do what you want
Do what you want

I will sink and I will disappear
I will slip into the groove
And cut me off
Cut me off

There’s an empty space inside my heart
Where the weeds take root
And now I’ll set you free
I’ll set you free

There’s an empty space inside my heart
Where the weeds take root
So now I’ll set you free
I’ll set you free

Slowly we unfurl as lotus flowers
‘Cause all I want is the moon upon a stick
Just to see what if, just to see what is
I can’t kick your habit
Just to feed your fast ballooning head
Listen to your heart

We will shake and we’ll be quiet as mice
And while the cat is away
Do what we want
Do what we want

There’s an empty space inside my heart
Where the weeds take root
So now I’ll set you free
I’ll set you free

‘Cause all I want is the moon upon a stick
Just to see what if, just to see what is
The bird that’s flown into my room

Slowly we unfurl as lotus flowers
‘Cause all I want is the moon upon a stick
I dance around the pit, the darkness is beneath
I can’t kick your habit
Just to feed your fast ballooning head
Listen to your heart

 

– – – love and emergency vehicles – – –

25 Dec

To love, one must first forget all about love. Make it your aim and look for direction. As we are, we cannot possibly love.  Gurdjieff (commas added for clarity by me:)

The roads I tread have been tread before.  Fellow travelers leave their words for me.

 

It is nice to me to find clarity for what I meant when I talked about love a month or so ago.   I could not articulate clearly why I felt incapable of love, but life keeps unfolding, reflecting back information to me for the questions I ask.

Learning to love is a bit like unlearning, for me, right now.

When I was identified with love by my mind’s definitions, I became incapable of being the love that I am.

Can I relate here the reflections that arise?  Perhaps not, but experience feels like being explored with words this quiet morning:

I saw lights from an ambulance, a fire truck, and a police car all throbbing and reflecting on windows and water at the marina as I left yesterday.  The mind would define this light show as an EMERGENCY.  With my mellow mind in its quietude after walking the long distance on the docks in the foggy heat, my eyes see.  Red.  Blue.  White.  Flickering in a pattern.   Without definition, without association.  Something is happening; lights are pulsing,  but eyes are seeing before any idea of suffering.  These eyes see the emergency lights the same as these eyes see fog.

Of course, I know what these vehicles and lights can mean, but that idea is the same as all ideas, a rabbit hole.  That which needs my attention will be made clear without my ideas about any thing.

Seeing can be separate from ideas.

I feel Love arises naturally in such a state, beyond my associations, beyond my ideas about any thing, beyond my DOing.  In this field, love is unrestricted to bubble up without obligation or definition or shoulds.   This bubble that arrives is larger than my small being, and it travels through the vehicle of this body separate from my thoughts.  I think it bursts above my head and floods me a bit like this:  

At 5:20 minute (but all is speaking today):

 

a soft answer to the questioning of love

21 Nov

“Whatever we pay attention to, we care about.  It brings out our caring.  You discover the belonging that was there but hidden.  It is there with every living thing of this universe if we slowed down and we reached out.  Not only does it wake up our hearts, but it ripples out.”

I’m incapable of love

17 Nov

I have never loved another.  I am incapable of this task alone.

I have not even loved a cat, a dog, a tree, myself, no one.

There may be channel for love through release, but I don’t have to look around that corner.  That corner will come to me, not my business.

It is arrogant to imagine I know what love is.

The ones I am supposed to love by all earthy definition walk by me and at times I feel nothing but annoyance.  I might get a painful inner heart squeeze even at the sight of them, but is that love?  At times I only see reflection.  At times I don’t even see.  I am unable to define and perform in accordance with what I think that love is.  I love no one, no thing, nothing!

I release this idea of love.  I release the word.  I release.

And when I do, I am just here.

I can get still enough to stop doing what I think love should look like.

I’m left with only the senses, not the thought.

I am free to not love ever again as me.

Yet I am still here;

nothing has changed visibly,

though perhaps I sit up more as the weight of performance is taken off my back.

Mirrors mirrors on all sides

you magnify what is not

and let me simply be here.

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