Tag Archives: no mind

night night, little monkey

12 Mar


I walk to the grocery, enjoying our warm weather and the longer evening of light after the time shift on Sunday.  While I walk, I calmly listen to the monkey mind.  Such a hyper little thing, at times. I am struck by his (why male?) sheer exhaustion.  For years and years,  the poor thing hardly lets up on his break-neck go go go go go.  Whew.  Deep exhale.

There is space and quiet present; the sound of birds, the distant humm of cars, the breeze on skin coexist with the chattering guy in the background.  Watching him in this way, I see and hear his exhaustion.  The mother role sees his fruitless efforts and wants to soothe his modus operandi on down.

“Hey, think about this.  Hey, look over here.  Hey, judge this situation; judge this person; worry about this thing.   We need to make a plan; we got to think everything through.   Listen to me, emergency over here.  The story of me is who I am…I am, I am, I am… Don’t shut me down, Nooooo!”  Jumping around, all the while.

“There , there little monkey.  No worries.  There is nothing that needs to be done.  I’m not going to shut you down; I’m just watching you from over here, with love.”

He reminds me of the sort of kid that goes full-tilt,  the sort of kid I think will never go to sleep; he is so wired until so very late…and suddenly,  I find him curled up and passed out under the dining room table; his face a reflection of utter peace.

sleeping monkey

God Dives Right In and Lands Behind Our Eyes

15 Feb

Alex Grey

Alex Grey – Transfigurations

The divine had had enough of just wondering about experience.  Upon diving in, she divided, fragmented, shattered into these infinite portals of views.   Landing behind our eyes is much more than a camera view; it is a breathing experience through many sets of eyes, the whole shebang of eyes – of each -and every – thing.  The eyes behind the eyes of the trees, the eyes of squirrels, the eyes of wind, rivers, humans…

I can only relate through my own eyes.   My goal is not to take a walk down memory lane for marga but to explore my memories because perhaps what I remember is much like all of our experiences with this…this…what?  What is a word?  Epiphany?  Realization?  Sensation?  The experience of knowing you are more than just you?

I was in 8th grade when I remember recognizing that odd outside perspective of something experiencing itself through me.  I was walking the long, weird hallways of my middle school, going to the bus at the end of the day when saw the world through my eyes as though I were someone else.

 I said to myself in that moment, “I am a Camera,”  (I didn’t know of the British Film from the 50’s) and I gave my eyes over to IT for a better view.   I showed the viewer, “This is how we wait in the cold, dark mornings for the bus to come at the top of the hill, this is how 8th grade girls talk in the bathroom, this is what they say in the lunch line”…I had a constant viewer with me for a while, observing my life and my mind.

My brother had been diagnosed with cancer and the ego could no longer claim its identity as the sister of the  popular, athletic, older brother, but now I was the sister of the kid with cancer.  By the next winter I was the sister of the kid who died.  Perhaps this explains the sudden shift in perspective.  The unfolding in front of me no longer made any sense in a traditional way.

And then on my wedding day, that same oddness; who sees through these eyes?   Who is watching me do this thing?

Back and forth in every moment, doing and watching the doing, me and not me.

Sometimes I imagined a whole planet of beings were experiencing our world though the portal in my head.  I tried to show them what it was like, objectively.  Perhaps I am responsible for the delay in Contact 🙂

This process is written about in past tense, as if the divine long ago at the creation of the world chose to dive in, but perhaps it is more like a continual process, an infinite interplay in EVERY moment between divinity and creation.

The ego with its serious thoughts continually seems to push aside these moment, but actually this interplay is always present, always right here.

We all share these experiences, don’t we?

Some begin to cultivate this observer perspective – openings can occur here.

This music is not everyone’s tastes, but here, is yet another window of eyes, experiencing:  complete, with a freaky video, too:

Parabola, Tool, Lyrics

So familiar and overwhelmingly warm
This one, this form I hold now
Embracing you, this reality here
This one, this form I hold now, so
Wide eyed and hopeful
Wide eyed and hopefully wild
We barely remember what came before this precious moment
Choosing to be here right now
Hold on, stay inside…
This body holding me, reminding me that I am not alone in…
This body makes me feel eternal
All this pain is an illusion

We Are All Skywalkers

7 Feb

My brave friend Sheila gifted this to me today.  Halfway through my watching, I realized I wasn’t breathing.

I am a skywalker, bravely out on that wing with the earth fall ever present beneath me, repairing the tire to avoid a crash.

My daughters are skywalkers, going through school, friends, parents, body, culture minefields everyday, with courage.

My students skywalk into my classroom everyday, feeling deployment around the next bend, walking a mile to the bus stop pushing a baby in a stroller-holding the hand of a toddler, sweating out the money for their next meal or living arrangements, hands shaking because they haven’t been in a classroom for years.

You are a skywalker, taking on this life on a planet in a body with thoughts.

We look each other in the eye and recognize what we share out here on the wings, in the wind, with a mission to breath and be.  We take on a body and feel the exhilaration of that dreaded fall from the sky:  in our thoughts, in our muscles, in our jaws, in our spines, in our eyes, in our ears, in our dreams.

So strange it is that there is no sky, there is no ground, there is no fall, and there is no body to be hurt.


Rough Morning – Vent – Beauty Enters Again

6 Feb

Oh God, save me the ugliness of my own pity party this morning.

My mind state is my own though in this moment, I do shake my head in wonder at the journey I’ve chosen for myself.

I wonder at the energy, pain, and vicious attacks that are relentless from a teen.  Even as I smooth myself, lose my reactivity, words still hurt.  I am to blame for all unhappiness, suffering, failure in her life and she heaps the hurtful words over my head daily.  There is no back up, there is no escape, and in her thoughts I am to be punished relentlessly until I cry uncle, and then it still doesn’t end.  I am so exhausted and defeated and overwhelmed by the volume of this attacking misery.

When I went into labor to give birth to this child, the pain was relentless.  Hours and hours of out-of-body pain (I actually found myself on the ceiling at times), camel backing contractions, and finally my body was torn open from the inside as she and I hung in the state between life and death.  The thrashing and ripping was killing us both.  This is not a tale I tell.  It is very gruesome and difficult, and it took me out of this realm.

I didn’t want to come back.  When I was told of the trials ahead,  I burrowed into the arms of the immense loving one who held me and said it was all too much.  But back I came making a choice to do this life, and yet I do wonder at this thrashing now?  Through these words I type,  I remember.  I was told; I knew it would be tough; I agreed to do this.

I am not reacting anymore, she’s given me that,  and I imagine that I have let go of expecting improvement.  I imagine myself the sturdy oak tree with deep roots that others are clinging to in the damaging winds of emotions.  I imagine there is nothing more asked of me than to remain in my tree body and trust in the roots that we all share.

tree in wind

Jonathan Worthington :: Photos :: Trees blowing in the strong windTrees blowing in the strong wind

I see other families struggle, but ours seems something out of a horror film: words to rip flesh, relentless positioning, love and affection banished forever, though I hold them in an open grab bag for all.  I sit in my still point of this hurricane force winds and know…I can only wash the dishes, grade the papers, pick up the mess, go to bed, wake again to tea, and breath, and stillness in a storm that seems it will not let up.

Here are some words for me this morning:

“When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That’s the message he is sending.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

“Feelings, whether of compassion or irritation, should be welcomed, recognized, and treated on an absolutely equal basis; because both are ourselves. The tangerine I am eating is me. The mustard greens I am planting are me. I plant with all my heart and mind. I clean this teapot with the kind of attention I would have were I giving the baby Buddha or Jesus a bath. Nothing should be treated more carefully than anything else. In mindfulness, compassion, irritation, mustard green plant, and teapot are all sacred.”
― Thich Nhat HanhThe Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation

Letting it out in words this morning to avoid a mental, pity party.  Sometimes, I’m thinking it helps to let it out, so I can get back to chopping wood and carrying water.  🙂  Posts should come with a warning label…don’t read this!   I hope you heeded my advice and didn’t.  If you did, I send you love and support in your trials, and share an angry thrash dance with you, too!

Here’s my angry day song:

There Are No Shoulds

4 Feb


My mother and I are different in many surface ways, and if there were a Match.com for mother/daughter relationships, we might not even be paired.  But of course the wisdom of the universe understands a much deeper level than we even know of ourselves, and thus we are paired for reasons beyond simplistic, exterior match ups  – we are paired by our souls.

My mother is a deep, blue body of water.

I discovered this fact my freshman year in college when I was far away from home.  I was a Theatre major, and in theatre one does all sorts of in-class assignments most other majors could never imagine.  One stark and leafless Ohio day, I remember the feel of the cold wood floor under me as we were led through a long, guided mediation that had me fairly far outside my physical body into a realm I never imagined accessible before this day.  We were asked to connect with someone we were closest to in this life.

At that suggestion, I found myself swimming in the deepest, most calming blue waters of my mother – and I knew then and now looking back that I had found her essence.

We may disagree about most things people believe in, join, wear as a labels or identities, etc, but we hardly ever tromp into those places when we talk.

I think it was about 20 years ago, after I was chastizing myself about something,, my mother said to me,  “There are no Shoulds!”  She stopped me cold.  Really?  No Shoulds.  What freedom in those words!  What a gift she gave to me that day!

And since that time, we have said this phrase to each other as often as we needed to hear it.  Sometimes she would forget herself, get lost in the role of MOTHER, and tell me something that she thought I SHOULD do;  then, I would say to her, “There are no shoulds,”  and she would immediately drop the should and say, “You are right.”  The love and detachment in this instant transformation she can make after a daughter’s scolding are a beautiful gift and mirror to me.

From Neil Kramer’s The Unfoldment: The Organic Path to Clarity, Power, and Transformation:  “The outcome of making a wrong decision is often portrayed in the mainstream media as a life-shattering failure.  It is a very binary equation in the unreality of the distortion:  win or lose; black or white.  But reality is not like that.  There is no failure on the spiritual path, other than the temporary postponement of not walking it.

A conscious decision to not do something is as valid as choosing to do something.  One must consider the personal relevance of a thing from one’s own inner core before exercising will.  Contemplate removing should from the process.  There is doing, and there is not doing.  Should doesn’t come into it.  If I feel that it would be good to go and visit my elderly neighbor and help her chop firewood, then I do it.  If I don’t feel that, then I won’t do it.  No should is required.

Should compels people to act from imbalance – from outside their truth.  It is closely allied with public expectation and social standing, which are habitually flawed, as they are mired in the distortion” (95).

The gift we can give to ourselves and to others is releasing the expectations – releasing the shoulds.  That word should should just go away; shouldn’t it?

Bill Murray and Actualizing the No Self

1 Feb


Somehow I was not surprised when this quote from Bill Murray appeared to me and synchronized so seamlessly with the title of this blog.  His face has become way too familiar to me since I often show Groundhog Day to my Composition Classes for a Film Analysis assignment.    After my 20th time of seeing this movie, I wonder to myself: has his face somehow now become a canvas for the everyman?  How is it now that I might have merged character and actor into the cheeky poster boy for the hero’s journey – a life lived by making one’s own path through the forest?  How did this once seemingly silly man  become Nietzsche’s Ubermensch?  (Okay – I know I took it too far…AND, I am unqualified to drop a Nietzsche reference.)

I make the students write an analysis about the changes in Bill Murray’s character, Phil, who goes through a life journey by reliving a single day. (Sometimes good insight can slip in a door that looks like fluffy pluff.)  While discussing the movie, I often found myself using the phrase SELF-ACTUALIZATION and remembered that the phrase came from Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.   When I first learned about Maslow’s theory in high school, his outlook so fully articulated the consensus of the life path within our modern culture that, at that time,  I internalized “belief” in this chart without realizing it.

Here it is:


The basic idea implies that we need to start at the bottom and work our way up in life.  In this theory, we first figure out how to make enough money or situate ourselves to get our basic needs met, then we can gradually get all the other stuff on the pyramid, working up to greater levels of psychological and spiritual development in the process.

My life has led me up and down this pyramid over and over again, wiping out whole rungs at a time.    The way I see it now, some of the levels of this pyramid can actually get in the way of self-actualization, concepts such as security, achievements, belonging, safety, self-esteem!  These concepts are rabbit holes of delusion, stories of a false self, each one of them.

Think about how many are living by this idea.  Think how conditional self-actualization would actually be, according to this chart.  First you get enough physical security, then enough conditional love and acceptance from others, then enough status and respect, then finally, you are ready to learn who you really are enough to find purpose and meaning.

This is one of the lies that constructs our world.  You cannot find enough security, acceptance, and status to know the self; it isn’t even the right trail, yet most everyone is marching around as if this were true.

If you know the true self, you don’t need the other steps to prove your worth.  You take another journey altogether, a journey that doesn’t require you to be GOOD ENOUGH to know yourself.  The bloody pyramid is a constructed  mental HELL…sorry.

Seems to me  that self actualization in the human journey could be the first step, and then the other needs would either take care of themselves or become irrelevant.

Or do we need to go up and down the pyramid steps a bit in life in order to learn to point toward self-knowledge?

And what about this term  SELF-ACTUALIZED?

The path of remembering (the TRUE self beyond this world of duality) takes away the faulty concept of the constructed self so perhaps it should be, ACTUALIZATION of the NO SELF.


Happy Groundhog Day!

The Punches Go Right Through

30 Jan

It is a magical, moody morning here.  My life blesses me with a ride to a central bus stop for my daughters on a road named Harbor View Drive, along which, we cross a marsh and see the sun coming up over the harbor.  Earlier this year, this ride was full of angry angst, but now, after all the learning and growing, this morning, we enjoy:  the clouds that hang just at the top of the trees, threatening rain at the same time the sun is rising,  reflecting water, exotic birds, and the plot line of a crazy show involving twins switched at birth, conveyed with dry wit followed by giggles.

Eyes cry, eyes dry, anger comes, anger goes, laughter builds, laughter fades…blessings to blow one away in every moment.

It is a very unsatisfying feeling to punch the air – I have seen that play out.  This morning I am enjoying the plateau in suffering and the view this stop along the mountain climb affords.

My sudden realization during Mooji’s brief talk was this:  the pain body of others is exactly the same as the ego/mind voice inside.    If there is nothing anywhere to be hit, nothing can land.  Boxing is no fun without an opponent 🙂 outside with the play of people or inside in the play of thoughts.

Who is listening to the outside voices?  Who is listening on the inside?

There can be no one home in my body and no one home in my mind!   Who is even talking now?  grin grin grin.

“Where is My Mind”

Oh – stopWith your feet in the air and your head on the ground
Try this trick and spin it, yeah
Your head will collapse
But there’s nothing in it
And you’ll ask yourselfWhere is my mind [3x]Way out in the water
See it swimmin’

I was swimmin’ in the Caribbean
Animals were hiding behind the rocks
Except the little fish
But they told me, he swears
Tryin’ to talk to me, coy koi.

Where is my mind [3x]

Way out in the water
See it swimmin’ ?

Barn Burning

28 Jan

Barn’s burnt down —
I can see the moon.

-Mizuta Masahide (水田 正秀?, 1657–1723)


(Winter Moon over Farm Field – Jill Battaglia)

My dear friend sent me this quote when one of the slates of my life was being wiped clean.  When I read the words of this tiny poem then, I saw the barn as my marriage and the definition of my life that I had held up to that time.

Now, a year and a half later, I see more.  This poem is actually quite large.

I see now:  I am the barn.  I am blocking the moon.  And I am burning down!

I know I am repeating myself from other blog posts, here,  but  I sense that I am getting this same burning realization over and over again, on finer and finer levels, until there is nothing to talk about anymore.  Do the fingers just go silent at some point?

I’ve been sent such intense, difficult, but perfect fires.  I see now why some call for trials; I see now all the constructs these fires burn away.

The barns of other people may be blocking their moons, too, but really, it’s my own barn that tires me so.

Oh, girl, go away altogether already.

I love the glimpses of the moon no barn gives me.   Imagine no obstructions evermore.

Let’s keep the fires going.  Come on over, but bring your own marshmellows 🙂


25 Jan

One of my favorite teachers, Stephen Levine, has such a helpful metaphor for accepting what is:  The Soft Belly.   After reading several of his books years ago, I realize I am still ever grateful for this instantaneous physical pull back into the moment, into acceptance and into softening, so counter-intuitive in our world of Hard Things!

excerpt from: Guided Meditations, Explorations and Healings, by Stephen Levine.

“The more one thinks that he or she is the body, the tighter the belly will be at times.  There are so many levels of letting go into the enormity of being, but when there is a holding in of the belly the heart is not so available….

We are constantly auditioning for the people we want love from.   Our parents, our children, our lovers, our co–workers, our mates.  Hard Belly is always auditioning, posturing, angling for control.  But this is it.  You’ve got the job.  You’ve taken incarnation.  Now, deepen soft belly to make room in your life for your life.”

Seems We all have a Buddha Belly we can rub for good luck 🙂

And suddenly a beautiful linking connection through the eye of M.


laughing buddha

The Flavor of Suffering

23 Jan


We have our own taste bud preferences for suffering.  The clearer you get, the more you can see them in yourself and in others.

These flavors, if indulged, can actually affect the earth suit, causing it to take on the shape of the suffering itself.  I once stood in line behind a woman in the grocery store who had the most strongly defined Martyr Mask I have ever seen.  Her suffering went something like,” I always do everything, but it is okay; Don’t worry, I’ll do it all, I  always d0.  You just relax, while I work.”  This very mindset was worn into the deep expression on her face and in her body.  In that moment, I wished I could massage the lines and setting of her very self, to see if we could smooth it all out.  She was alone, in a store, wearing her suffering like an outfit while those whom she imagined imposed upon her were no where in sight.

I can read minds.  It just isn’t that interesting, so I don’t.

People have no idea how much information they send out into the world through the flavor of their suffering.  Each mind in suffering is individual, but similar in a collective of delusion.

The Clear are sharing in the field of unity.  I don’t pretend to understand, but I know when it flows to me.

When I stand in front of the classroom now, often I no longer worry about what I know and what I don’t know.  I am often plugged into something beyond me that fills in the right answer at the time in a way I never would have “thought” of…there is no planning for that.  When I perceive of myself as separate, I can stop this flow, going for a laugh, thinking of something smart, worrying that I don’t know and I should.  When I am clear, none of those postures come into play and I tap into something beyond.

It is worth it to get out of the way and let it flow.  And the universe lets me collect the paycheck, though I didn’t do the work. 😉


Hey Mister can you help me sir I plead for your sympathy
Rains came pounding us down again
Your horizons they crawl up to my chin
I started to drown in your vision
I looked through your windows as they flew through the air
All I could find was a river in pieces

How long should we play the Martyr? x2

Hey Mister come down and see see your misery
Rains came pounding us down well again
Through your weakness I shed my skin
Open wide to my spirit
I looked through your windows as they flowed through the air
I was Left swirling in your pool of aggression
How long should we play the martyr?

Various unspeakable chants

Hey Mister can you help me sir I plead for your sympathy
Rains came pounding us down again
Your horizons they crawl up to my chin
I started to drown in your vision
I looked through your windows as they flew through the air
All I could find was a river in pieces
(c) 2002 Island Def Jam Music Group

%d bloggers like this: