YOUR BODY IS PERFECT

chakra-expandedThis morning, as is often my habit, in between the tooth brushing and the hot shower, I had a shit. It was an unremarkable shit, really. Hardly worth blogging about. I only bring it up because Steve opened the door unannounced and wandered into the bathroom mere moments after the flush. And as I stood in the shower, I noticed my own reaction. I felt slightly…responsible. Like I’d encroached a little bit on his right to a stink-free existence.

For me, the shower is always a juicy place of divine inspiration. So I went inward and investigated that slightly nonsensical feeling of shame. And then I turned my face toward divine Source for further illumination.

The message that came in response was immediate and direct—and although some of the details pertain to me, it’s clearly addressed to humanity as a whole. So here it is, without added commentary, in its somewhat startling entirety. Enjoy.

Your body is perfect. Your body is an indivisible part of a perfect system of creation, chosen by you. It is not an accidental byproduct of blasphemy.

 You are a unique individuation of the one Creator. At the inception of the soul, each human is gifted with a vertical column of light originating from divine Source. It is part of the non-physical aspect of the human body; the light runs vertically up the center of the physical body structure. This stream of light goes constantly with you, it is yours. It contains the full knowledge of your own individual aspect of divinity, your own true identity, and all the love that heaven holds for you. You couldn’t lose it if you tried—and you have indeed tried. Very hard.

 Your body is also gifted with a system of energy centers, a sacred octave, each one vibrating at its own unique frequency. Everything in your world, your universe, is composed of energy in motion. The body is no exception. Everything is vibration, operating at various frequencies from very low to very high.

 Unconditional love is a vibrational frequency—a very high one. If you want to embody the state of unconditional love (and you say that you do) it is merely a matter of raising your own energetic frequencies high enough to be compatible with it.

 You’ve been rapidly “climbing the ladders” from one frequency level to the next, of late. As a result, you fleetingly experience yourself as an undifferentiated field of unconditional love, indivisibly one with all that is.

 And you are asking: What holds me back from fully embodying the state of unconditional love? What holds me back from releasing the small self and choosing divinity as my true expression on this plane?

 This is it. This is what holds you back.

The body is a vehicle of divinity. It was always designed to be so.

Yes, it has uncomfortable urges, inconvenient needs. It shits, it farts. It ages and breaks down in various ways. It demands sexual or other forms of gratification at inopportune moments. Even so. The body is an intrinsic part of the package. It is your divine vehicle. Your gateway.

 But humanity has never seen it that way. It has instead overlaid a complex system of collective agreements onto the body: The body is dirty. Its requirements of elimination are shameful. Menstrual blood, which is nothing more than the neutral shedding of the uterine lining, is especially taboo in virtually every culture.

 And then there are the agreed upon ideals of physical beauty, and the immense pain of self-abnegation that comes with falling short of that ideal.

 Shame and hatred for your own physical vehicle is deeply woven into the human psyche—and therefore into the cells of the body as well as the vibratory field you emit. If you could only see the eternal magnificence of the body’s true energetic potential, you would clearly recognize the enormity of your error.

 The light of heaven can only be metabolized and brought to earth through a body that has been wholly forgiven by the self, a body that is cherished and recognized as a sacred part of all that is. Even though its shit may continue to stink. Even though it may sprout gray hairs in increasingly unlikely places.

 World religions and cultures have promoted the idea of body shame and hatred, in part as a way of keeping you from discovering your own divinity. Make no mistake: There is no more surefire way of blocking full expression of the divine AS you, than by refusing to witness the body in the truth of its perfection. It is the gateway to heaven on earth. To lock the gate and bar the door is to simply never experience that holy union.

 Do you wish to free yourself of your history, dear one, and unburden yourself of all your negative beliefs about the body?

(Yes.)

Then rest now, in the divine light that I Am. And release every belief you’ve ever held about your own body, positive or negative. Empty out all the misinformation from your cellular memory. Let there be no interpretation at all, of what your body is. You have no idea of what your body is. Remain empty, and let yourself be shown.

(I did this. It felt…very unusual.)

Thank you, dear one. This is a process of letting go, and you have begun it. Your One Self rejoices.

A Year Without Fear: ME AND MY SHADOW

shadowConfession: Ever since the shadow-man’s nocturnal visit a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been afraid of the dark. Just like old times.

It’s a colossal flashback to a pattern I thought I cleared ages ago, and I’m a little bummed out to find myself seemingly back at this same scaredy-cat spot once more.

In the last post, I discovered it was necessary to embrace and accept the unseen supernatural world, because it’s an aspect of the self. Because I created it, and am therefore responsible for it. I learned that if I choose instead to remain terrified of it, shoving it out of my perception, perceiving it as something out there, then I’m choosing to stay separate from, and terrified of, myself.

And that’s not cool. That’s not acceptable.

In that last post I also learned that all benevolent entities, deities and protective forces are also me. And that’s fabulous news—in theory.

When both the dark and light aspects of the self are embraced equally and seen correctly through healed perception—again, in theory—my hope would be that they would balance out: The illusory dark would learn to make nice with the light, and eventually find a way to quietly melt together with it into oneness.

None of which does me much good at the moment, because of one teensy technicality—and it’s the same stumbling block that just about everybody bumps up against at one time or another:

Opposing beliefs are hardly ever evenly matched. So you experience the one you believe in most.

If you say you want wealth, for instance, but you’re way more convinced about the reality of lack than you are about the existence of abundance, then lack is what you experience. Not because you deserve lack, but simply because your belief in your own ability to be abundant is a pale, will-o-the-wisp yearning, compared to the muscular certainty of your expectation of lack. Lack kicks abundance’s butt every time, until such time as abundance firmly takes up residence as your predominant belief instead.

So …when it’s up in my face (as it is right now), it seems I believe in the scary stuff with every quaking fiber of my being. My longstanding terror relationship with the unseen world is way stronger than my newish trust relationship with those protective entities of love and light.

My unconscious mind is thoroughly convinced of the reality of the scary stuff. My conscious mind—the top 15% of the iceberg that sticks out above the waterline—has forged some delicately lovely new relationships with angels, guides and God, over the past few years, and it thinks those recent alliances are totally swell.

But those wonderful new relationships are still in the tentative dating stage. And the supernatural is a bitterly vindictive spouse that’s fighting the divorce papers with all it’s got.

Which relationship is more real to me? Which one brings more lawyers to the table?

You do the math.

So yes, it’s all me. But the terrifying ‘me’ who goes bump in the night is the one that’s in the ascendancy at the moment. And I can’t help but illogically, unconsciously believe in it 1,000%. I deeply trust it to do its malignant worst.

The joyously illuminated ‘me’ of much more recent dating history, (the ‘me’ whose parents I haven’t even met yet) is not particularly a comfort in this situation. I suspect it loves me but I’m pretty sure it’s seeing other people.

So I really haven’t committed. I haven’t fully learned to trust it or believe in it yet.

And if I don’t truly believe in that beautiful new relationship when push comes to shove—and I don’t, and it has—then it’s a fairly useless form of protection, and will be total crap as an evenly matched force for neutralizing darkness.

So that’s why I’ve been afraid of the dark ever since the night of the shadow-man: I’ve lost all protection, because I can’t be counted on to protect me from me.

•          •          •

It’s not like I’ve been passive about this retreat into terror. It’s not like the old days—I don’t ignore it or run away anymore. I don’t put healing off for some illusory future tomorrow. Every day and night I’ve indicated willingness to take that journey into darkness, to see what it’s made of.

I’ve prayed for a way in. I’ve poked at this supernatural terror repeatedly with a stick; I’ve put my arms around it and tried to love it open. But this thing has seemingly rolled itself up tight into an impenetrably armored ball.

It’s the Armadillo of Doom. The Hedgehog of Horror. And there seems to be no way of making the little monster unroll and show itself to me.

I’ve managed periodically to spend some quality moments dissolved into oneness with my highest wisdom Self, where all fearful stories are recognized, at least temporarily, as fantasy.

Yesterday, while joined with the Self, I said: “I know none of this is real in truth. I don’t care about the past-life stories or whatever else this thing holds—I’ll relive it all if it’s necessary for my healing, but I’m really just interested in accepting and releasing it, so I can know myself in wholeness. It’s incredibly uncomfortable, this crusty ancient fear—it doesn’t leave me alone. It feels like it’s clawing to get out. It seems to want to make itself known in my awareness, but can’t quite manage to come to the surface and show itself to me. What will it take for this thing to open up and reveal itself? How can I help? How do I get this process underway?”

The answer: You have indicated that you choose a quick and gentle path devoid of agony. Therefore, you’ll need to develop much deeper trust in your guides, angels and God. Before you go down this road, you will need to believe in them every bit as strongly as you currently believe in your fear. Otherwise, fear will overtake you.

 It’s all you; all the illusory beings of dark and light are aspects of the one great Self. And only Love is real. But you don’t truly believe these things yet. In order to walk through this seeming valley of darkness without experiencing great pain and fear, it’s necessary that you believe the two ‘teams’ are evenly matched. Your trust in light will need to be at least as strong as your belief in darkness. Then, as you witness the contents of your armored ball, you’ll be free to choose which interpretation to believe: The unfathomable horrors of darkness, or the unfathomable innocence of light.

 If you try to pry open that ball right now, you will find it very difficult to view its contents through the eyes of Love. Yes, the ball wants to be seen by you (for you have offered it welcome), but you must prepare yourself first, if you wish to view its contents correctly.

Give all your love and trust to those aspects of the Self that offer you their infinite Love and support in return. Forge a relationship that can’t be broken. And then we can revisit the armadillo after that.

•          •          •

It’s a bit of a Catch-22, or so it seems to me.

I’ve discovered that the story goes like this, inside the deepest crevices of my unconscious mind: Fear of the supernatural equals fear of the self…which equals fear of the one great Self…which equals fear of God. It’s all the same damn thing.

In order to trust fully in God as an ally in the release of fear, I need to first release my desperate fear of God’s supreme untrustworthiness as an ally. To stop fearing fear, in other words, I have to cozy up to God—whom I’m desperately afraid of.

Which is why God and I are still in the goodnight-kiss-at-the-front-door stage of our relationship. Right now it’s just a serious flirtation, but part of me believes I’m playing with fire.

If I invite Love in for a nightcap (whispers my darkest unconscious mind) who the hell knows what may happen?

Who knows what horrible death, what terrifying loss of identity would result if I give myself to oneness? It’s all fun and games, as the saying goes, until someone loses an ‘I.’

•          •          •

So which is worse? Being swallowed up by the devil, or being dissolved into oneness with God? To a deep unconscious mind, it’s the same thing.

I seem to be at an impasse, here. But the operative word is seem. Experience has shown me that a roadblock is only impenetrable if I say it is. All roadblocks are illusory; they’re made of smoke and mirrors. Which means there has to be another way of seeing this. I’m sure there’s another way through. I just don’t know what it is, yet.

Next time God and I get together for pizza and a movie, I’ll be sure to ask.

WAKING UP. SMELLING THE COFFEE.

love me some coffeeThere’s been a lot of talk among God’s students lately about food’s perfect innocence. How it’s neither good nor bad for you, how it doesn’t make you thin or fat, sick or healthy. How (like every other aspect of this 3-D illusion), food is entirely neutral. That I’m the one who gives it all the meaning it has for me. If I say it’s fattening, in other words, then it is. If I say it’ll make me sick—or well—then it will.

I get it in principle. I’ll bet many of us do.

Well, forget the theoretical realm. I decided to test it out for real. And I had just the perfect test subject in mind:  Lately coffee disagrees with me in a big way. And you know how I love my morning coffee. That sexy siren scent wafts in from the kitchen and I either give in and have a cup—and then spend the morning wishing I hadn’t—or I deny myself a cup and spend the morning wishing I had.

So it was a perfect test candidate, then.

Today I wanted a cup, but decided to check in first to see if it was a good idea or not. It’s the first time I ever asked for internal divine wisdom beforehand, instead of just making the decision unilaterally.  The few times I tested this food innocence business in the past, I made my choice to eat or drink something, then after that I asked my Highest Self to be present with me while I ate or drank it.  Then I ate or drank consciously, together with Spirit, giving it my best attempt to enjoy those foods I thought were bad for me.  Doing my best to let them be neutral while I consumed them.

My results were always inconclusive.

•                •                 •

Today, when I checked in prior to pouring the coffee, I got schooled on how it’s really done:

By drinking coffee with your digestive tract in its current state, worldly laws indicate you will suffer for it.

 If you want to experience no ill effect from this coffee, you must withdraw all belief from your self-created universe of hate and rage (which is the only power that upholds worldly laws), and place FULL trust in me. Through me, you will be able to see and feel the coffee’s true innocence. Not a concept of innocence, as your thinking mind would generate, but a true knowing of its innocence.

I silently agreed to withdraw all belief from worldly laws, and to lean into holy truth instead.

The coffee is neutral. Do you feel this?

“Yes.”

Good. In its neutrality, the love of God shines through it.

I saw that the moment my beliefs about it were released, the coffee’s true God-nature was revealed: It was lovely, gently radiant in its ineffable holiness.

Now look at your stomach and digestive system. They, too, are perfectly neutral. They, too, are suffused with God. More than suffused, actually. They are composed of the God Self, as is the coffee in its cup. As is the cup.

 Can you feel your wholeness, dear one? All is the God Self. In this knowledge (which is always felt, and never intellectualized through the thinking mind), nothing in this world can ever harm you. You are just pretending to shuffle bits of your God Self from one spot to the next. It’s all you. It’s all equally innocent and harmless, and it all cherishes the infinite perfection that you really are.

I relaxed into the profound safety and joy of this simple truth. My world shimmered with God-awareness.

Now, in this peaceful certainty that coffee is your own love shining its holiness, you can temporarily reunite it with a dream of a 3-D digestive system which is also shining its holy God Self. By resting in this truth, coffee can have no ill effects. Nor could it ever want to. It has been reminded of its own perfect innocence in you. It has been liberated, dear one, and welcomed back into the one holy Self.

The awareness of divine gentleness, love and safety has persisted all morning, coloring every aspect of my perception.  And oh my, that cup of coffee went down easy.

I think I’ll have another.

GHOSTS OF CHRISTMAS PRESENCE


Lately I’ve been happier and far more peaceful than ever before in my life.

Of course, that’s not saying a lot.

From day one, I’ve always had far more heart-thumping, grindingly antsy anxiety running through my veins, than actual blood.

Mind you, it’s about a thousand times better now than when I first began my spiritual journey. But (as anybody on a similar path knows), when this painful ego stuff gradually begins to clear and sanity is strengthened, the crap that remains becomes seen in ever-sharper focus. And it’s that clear-eyed perception that makes the remaining bullshit far more acutely unpleasant than the dull, unfocused ache of the old days.

•          •          •

In recent months, Holy Presence has become the basis of my spiritual practice. This form of present moment awareness is very unlike the earlier ‘now moment’ flirtations I’ve tried through meditation, or chanting, or stopping to smell the roses, or whatnot. This is a sort of up-close-and-personal, in-your-face form of presence. A vast and muscular and very Loving presence.

Back in May, I embarked on Michael Brown’s Presence Process, a ten-week breathwork course that emphasizes consistent morning and evening periods of sustained presence. In the book, he describes these steady, prolonged periods of present moment awareness as being very different from the usual spiritual practices that are meant to put us in touch with the now moment.

He says it’s the difference between visiting an old friend often for a cup of tea, (and assuming you know their house well because you’ve stopped by so many times) and actually agreeing to house sit for a few weeks. Suddenly you’re in this house by yourself for a prolonged stay, and you have all the time in the world to notice the hundreds of things about it that you’ve never seen before.

So I did the breathing, in presence, as prescribed. And I started to notice something right away that I’d never realized: Presence has a distinct vibration.

At first I thought it was just a ringing in my ears caused by the super-oxygenation of the breathwork.

But no.

Presence is a living thing; it has a mind of its own – and it comes calling for me whenever it wants my attention. My ears become filled with its unmistakable ‘sound,’ and I am gently reminded to withdraw my focus, my belief, from whatever silly ego story I’ve sucked myself into at the moment.

This has been a lasting effect of my presence and breathwork explorations, and I’m delighted to say that the phenomenon seems to be growing more pronounced all the time.

I wish I could find words to describe for you what I’ve found inside the ‘house’ of Presence, now that I spent those ten weeks house sitting. But truly, it enters that sacred realm where words can’t go.

It isn’t just that Presence has an intellect. Presence is Holy.

Presence is not only where Spirit dwells, the now moment seems to be made out of Spirit. And vice versa.

And I know…I can feel…that if I could just manage to spend quality time hanging out in Holy Presence, entirely nonresistant to it, then this experience itself would be Heaven on earth.

(See? I told you, words are fumbly nuisances here. But I’m doing my best.)

And so it has become my practice to melt gratefully into Holy Presence, and sit there non-resisting. And to try to string together as many moments of that experience as I possibly can, before my chattery ego mind slips away and drags me someplace else.

It’s sort of a combo of intensely focused present moment awareness, and a joining pool exercise. (If you’re unfamiliar with the joining pool, see The Enlightenment Project, page 141.) Except this is the funny thing – and here comes the failure of words, again: I’ve discovered that true present moment awareness IS a joining pool exercise.

So there you go — it’s the best description I can come up with. If you’ve managed to make any sense out of what I’ve written here, and feel inspired to try this Presence practice for yourself, I highly recommend it.

•          •          •

Anyway, the benefits of it are wonderful and many, including a gentle, ever-unfolding clarity.

The other day I was snugged up in my cozy English digs. It was cold and blustery outside, but I was sitting warm by the fire with my hot tea and Afghan throw, the Christmas lights a-twinkling. And I noticed I was truly happier, more peaceful and more free than I’ve ever felt before.

And then Presence came gently calling. And I was very softly pulled into it, taking me several layers deeper than usual. I adjusted my focus accordingly, and as I did it, I could see that at this more buried level I was actually seething with anxiety.

This was a profound antsiness, a thorough dissatisfaction with myself, for sitting by the fire with a mug of tea instead of using the moment more productively. I should be writing a book or something, shouldn’t I?

This dissatisfaction, this self-criticism runs so deep in me that at its lower levels I’m completely blind to it because it seems so much like what my world is constructed out of. It’s the lens through which I view and experience my 3-D reality, so I would ordinarily never back up enough to notice it as a stand-alone thing – just a lens, not reality itself.

But here’s the great thing: Unlike the old days when I believed in the anxiety message through and through, I knew this present moment was perfect and Holy, exactly as it was. And nothing at all was required of me right then, except to relax and allow it to just be.

It was kind of a startling moment of worlds colliding. But thanks to the reassurance and Love emanating from the ongoing song of Presence that was playing so sweetly in my ears, I took the time to examine that old buried ghost story of anxiety very carefully. And I saw it had no relevance here. So I made the conscious choice to relax and melt my habitually anxious worldview into present moment peace instead.

•          •          •

I’ve been experimenting with this very delicately ever since. And I find its effect has been equally profound, no matter what the present moment happens to hold.

A couple of days ago, we went on an outing to the lovely city of Bath to do some Christmas shopping. I had a client phonecall scheduled for 7:00pm (to accommodate the 8 hours difference between England and California), so there should have been plenty of time to shop and get back before then.

But as we all piled in the van to head for home, we discovered the roads were seized up in absolutely stupendous gridlock — which they specialize in, in these ancient cities where cars and traffic are always a patchwork afterthought.

A half hour went by and we hadn’t moved more than a car length or two. And suddenly the hours of extra padding between me and my client call didn’t seem quite so cushiony. And I had no way of contacting them to let them know I might miss the call.

This should have been a prime recipe for anxiety, but it wasn’t. Presence was in my ears, and I was steeped in the profound peace of this-here-now. And I knew the client call would either happen, or I would apologize when I got home, and reschedule.

The folks in the front seat started up a game to pass the time: What’s your version of paradise? Where would you be right now if you could have anything in the world?

I had to really think and think. But when my turn came, my mind was blank.

Because honestly, this moment was already it.

Stuck in traffic in the back of a van. Nothing could have been more glorious than that.

 

So on this day of Christmas Eve, dearest friend, I wish you peace, and happiness, and freedom.

And most of all, I wish you Holy Presence.

 

Sparks and gasoline

Late last night, Christmas eve, I was nestled all snug in my bed, when suddenly the book-in-progress started pouring out again. It seemed another chapter was demanding to be written now now NOW.

I threw on my robe and went into my office, where a torrent of information poured out for the next hour or more. Afterward, I gazed at my sheets of scribbled notes and couldn’t help but notice this was some of the most incendiary info I’d been asked to transmit yet.

And in a bomb-throwing book like this one, that’s really saying something.

It’s interesting to contemplate what might happen after this book is released.  A whole lot of people who sort of like my writing at the moment, might stop. They might get very upset with me instead.

I’ll be honest with you. Of those two options, being liked is way more fun.

But as I sat there in my office at 3:30 in the morning and thought about the potential backlash I might receive, an odd thing happened. Instead of uneasy discomfort, I was filled with an indescribable peace.

Backlashes just didn’t seem to mean anything, compared to the joy of fulfilling my messengering job.

And I had the distinct impression that Heaven was smiling about that. All in all, it felt like a peculiarly fitting way to quietly ring in Christmas day.

So Merry Christmas, you.

May your holiday also be filled with indescribable peace.

Double vision

What do you do when you and somebody in another part of the country have the exact same vision at the exact same time? Well, if you’re me, you sit up and pay attention.

I’d been praying recently for guidance on what’s next. And rather than trying to figure it out with my thinking mind – which, experience has taught me, pretty much always comes up with the wrong answer – I just say to Spirit:

Show me.

Point it out to me in a way I’ll understand, and I swear I’ll head in that direction. But I’m flying blind, here. I need to be told which way to go.

So I’d been praying that way for a week or so. Then on Thursday morning, out of nowhere, I woke up that day knowing clearly what sort of book Fran (of InnerVision fame) and I should write together. I understood wordlessly the book’s format, what it would be about, and how I would write it.

And then I clearly saw the book’s cover. Or, more accurately, I saw the bottom third of the book’s cover. The title and cover artwork were hazy, but I could read the bottom part, plain as day. The background was a dark chocolate brown, and I could even describe the typeface for you, although I’m not going to.

It said: By Fran Duda, with Carrie Triffet.

Fran was flying that day (in an airplane, I mean, from one city to another), so I made no attempt to reach her to tell her of my vision. I wasn’t sure how she’d respond, anyway. She’s always known she’s supposed to write a book, but the idea has seemed far too daunting for a variety of reasons.

I’ve always been pretty sure I’m supposed to help her write that book (since I’m the translator she trusts to put her ‘beyond words’ experience into language). But I also always suspected the project was likely to be a hugely frustrating pain in the ass.

Fran is a brilliantly gifted intuitive; so gifted that it’s always been hard for her to blend into society and ‘pass’ as normal. (For more about Fran, if you haven’t already read about her in my book, see any of the previous blog posts under the topic heading of ‘Sedona’s spiritual connection.’)

She’s always been terrified of going public. And especially afraid of going public through the written word.

She’s fine when speaking one on one or to groups of people, but when it comes to writing things down and letting those statements be set in stone and seen by the world, she freezes. When I first knew her, she would spend weeks obsessing over the wording of a single sentence. These days, she’s far more trusting, much more surrendered and willing to let the connection flow as it does, from Spirit through her and through me simultaneously, so that I can put the essential meaning behind her ethereal experiences into words for her.

So the collaborative writing process would be far less torturous now than ever before, but I also knew it could still have its very sticky moments because she would be writing down her deeply personal stories. The desire to endlessly edit might still rear its head if the information in the stories got too close to home.

Yet Spirit’s message had been perfectly clear, so I knew I needed to put aside all my own doubts and just agree to do it.

But Jeez Louise, I already have one book in the works and another in the hopper. And little time to work on either one. So although I accepted this vision as an answer to my request for Divine guidance, let’s say I wasn’t altogether on board with it.

The next morning, Fran called out of the blue, apologizing for the short notice and asking if she could come here for a visit the following day?  We sometimes go months without talking, so I knew this request was purposeful. And she’s a delightful houseguest, I always love having her here. So of course I said yes.

After she settled in, our first activity together was a walk on our favorite beach. While walking on that beach I told her of my vision that we would write a book. She stopped walking and turned to stare at me; I could tell she was having one of those time-stop moments of recognition.

I told her the book would be a series of recorded conversations between us, in which she verbally tells me the story of her extremely fascinating life, as well as a full description (language limits permitting) of her gifts and the nature of her InnerVision work. And that I would then fashion those audio conversations into a written book.

And then I reported what the bottom third of the book jacket would say, reading the words off to her.

And she told me then that she had had the identical vision of the book cover on Thursday morning, and I had spoken the exact wording that she saw on that bottom third.

So that’s it, then. I guess I’m writing a book. It’ll be by Fran Duda, with Carrie Triffet, and it’s bound to be a barn burner.

No idea when it’ll come out, I just know that it will. And I’m good with that.

Is it still a crisis if it doesn’t hurt?

Here’s something spiritual author types hardly ever tell you: Journeys of faith are messy. Not just yours – ours, too. We just tend to be quieter about it.

See, once you’ve embraced the goal of enlightenment, there really aren’t any reliable signposts anymore, no matter who you are. And that can be a little, um, awkward.

Ever since my book came out (the book in which I unequivocally state that A Course in Miracles is the last teaching I will ever need) I’ve been having the uncomfortable feeling that I may have misstated it a bit.

Don’t get me wrong – as far as I can tell, A Course in Miracles is a pure teaching of ultimate truth. The content is perfect. But I’ve been feeling like the form is not where it’s at for me. And not just ACIM’s form. Any teaching’s form.

It’s like I keep getting prodded in the back – lovingly, gently, but very firmly – by a Heavenly billy club, while NO LOITERING signs repeatedly appear all around me.

Keep moving, lady, nothing to see here.

So it all came to a head a few weeks ago. I got a chunk of Divine inspiration to start working on my next book. If I can pull it off, I’m pretty sure this book will be hugely helpful to a lot of people, but it’s going to require translation skills I don’t possess yet.

It’ll be the essence of A Course in Miracles brought to bear somehow on the earthly concerns of this 3-D dream world. (Tricky, I know. Maybe impossible.) A bridge of sorts, between worlds, for those who don’t yet actively aspire to enlightenment. But it means I have to strike out on my own all over again, to forge yet another new path through the wilderness and leave my cozy ACIM home behind.

Damn it.

So I freaked out a little. A teeny, cosmic WTF moment. (Hey, like I said. It happens.) And since I don’t know anything about anything, I didn’t want to make any moves at all. Not only did I surrender this whole writing/speaking/messengering gig to Spirit, I actually gave it back & walked away from it completely.

Oh, I’m still totally into it. I happily offer this earthly meat suit as a vehicle for Heavenly expression, as long as I’m hanging around here. I just didn’t want to screw around making mistakes of my own anymore.

Show me what I’m supposed to do/say, or else I’m not doing/saying anything. And if that means a few thousand copies of my current book go in the shredder, that’s ok. Or if I blow up and become some giant oddball media figure, that’s ok too. I’m just not doing anything to engineer it.

So, basically,  you could say it was a crisis of faith.

Except here’s the funny thing. I spent a few hours drowning in the drama of the whole situation that day, but then late that same night a really unusual thing happened: In one of those trance-like states of nether sleeping nor waking, Spirit spent a really long time speaking to me, and I spent those same hours carefully listening.

But I have no idea what was said. It’s not that I knew at the time but now forget – it’s more like I received the information directly into my life, bypassing my conscious mind altogether.

And when I got up in the morning, I felt no pain. No existential angst, no drama. And since I didn’t know what to do, I peacefully did nothing. (Which, if you know me at all, is a brand new thing.)

So there you have it. I’m still doing nothing. All my beliefs have once again been shaken loose and I have no idea where the hell I’m going. But thanks to Spirit, it’s a very peaceful journey.

And did I mention it’s never boring?

More postcards from the cutting room floor

Here’s another piece that didn’t make the final edit. This was originally the last story in the book, until something came along that I liked better.

Interestingly, this one mentions my next book, which I just started writing yesterday…

SPEECHLESS

A spontaneous prayer in the middle of the night:

I will trust more and take the next step in faith, whatever that next step may be.

Leave words behind when you listen to my Voice.

Note: For more than a year now, I’d been hearing Spirit not as an audible Voice inside my head (“When you’re ready, you’ll write books,” were the last words actually “spoken aloud”) but instead in much richer, broader, more abstract concepts. Whole ideas were presented at once, complete with references to my own experience so I’d grasp the specific, along with the general meaning.

But as these concepts came into my mind, I automatically searched for the most accurate words I could find to express them, and compulsively put both my silent questions and Spirit’s abstract answers into common English. I did this to make sure I understood everything about the message being conveyed, but also to ensure I’d be able to recall the conversation afterward. I have a notoriously Swiss-cheesy memory* and I was afraid these precious communiqués would slip right out of my mind if I didn’t nail them down into human language while they were fresh.

*Kids, don’t do drugs.

Spirit had asked me several times recently to try to hear without shoehorning the communication into words, but I had yet to take the request seriously. I did remember how glorious it felt to communicate without language during that Dinnertable Awakening so long ago, but that time I was a passive sightseer. A tourist. It seemed awfully scary to consciously choose wordless communication now as an authentic state of being.

This is your next step in faith and trust. Put your ego mind aside and bring only your awareness into our exchanges; trust that I know your questions before you ask them. And have faith that My answers will stay within your mind until all need for questions and answers has been transcended forever.

Do this and notice the difference it makes. At first it will feel as though you’ve ‘lost’ your communication channel, but the opposite is actually the case; abstract thought is what you are in truth, so your attempt to return to this form of thinking will actually help remove another of the blocks that keep your communication channel narrow. In truth, limitless communication is what you are – there is no boundary or channel.

To the degree that you are able to allow your obsessive need for language to recede, your ability to hear and understand Me will deepen and become more profound.

Think back to those earlier days when you first began the Barbara Brennan meditations intended to connect you with your “guides”. At that time, you were able to receive only visual symbols, remember? You knew you were obsessively grabbing these images and forcing interpretations onto them, so eventually you stopped doing that of your own accord.

And at first, without those habitual egoic efforts at jumping the gun, you were unable to see any images at all and it seemed as if you’d lost all ability to communicate. But you didn’t lose it, did you?

“No. Definitely not.”

This will be the same. Trust in Me. Let yourself fall into the abstract unknown and I promise I will catch you.

“I believe you. And I’ll do my best, really I will. But what about writing books? How will I be able to relay your words if I’m not putting any of what you say into words?”

Just trust in Me. When the time comes for the next book, you’ll know what to write and how to write it. But you needn’t worry about that right now. That’s a long way off.

“Yes, of course. The next book is a long way off. But what about this book? How do I write the rest of this one?”

My love, you just finished it.

The Meaning of Christmas – random thoughts from a Jewish Buddhist Voice-Hearer

Let me state this right up front: My relationship with Christ has always been complicated.

Messed up, really.

I was born into an Orthodox Jewish family that was still very busy mourning the effects of World War II when I arrived on the scene in 1958. Christ was a complete stranger in our household, Christianity seen as nothing but a dark catalyst for terrifying world events.

My resulting relationship with Jesus is summed up in this story (from the book) called He Who Must Not Be Named:

…On the one hand He looked like a nice enough guy—His blond, blue-eyed portrait smiling down on my sleepovers at the neighbor kids’ house. And of course it was widely known that if you believed in Him, Santa brought you all kinds of magical swag on Christmas.

Yet He was also the reason I wasn’t allowed into some of the other kids’ houses. I was a dirty Jew, or so their mothers informed me, and Jesus wouldn’t like it if I spread those cooties around.

Meanwhile, school brought a whole different kind of challenge. I learned nothing at all about Christ or Christianity at home or in my Hebrew school studies, except that He was somehow associated with unspeakable evil, and so the name of Jesus was never to be uttered aloud.

“Why? What happens if you say it?” I figured it must be bad because nobody would ever tell me. Maybe saying Jesus’ name was what killed those six million Jews?

This was back in the day when public school kids were routinely made to sing religious songs, so for these occasions I was forced to adopt a weird sort of ventriloquist’s dummy approach:

Wag-wag(soundlessly my jaw moved up and down)

Loves me, yes I know

For the Bible tells me so.

…………………….Yeah.

Does it seem insane to you that anyone would teach a child to equate Jesus with Voldemort?

Well, you’re probably right about that. But cultural context is everything.

The Jews who taught these lessons were not the slightest bit nefarious in their intentions. Just scared. Traumatized. And deeply worried that their bacon cheeseburger-loving American offspring were in danger of forgetting recent cataclysmic history.

Now fast-forward several decades to our post 9-11 world, and that 2007 story about the Muslim Mickey Mouse with his own TV show. And we think: How could anyone be so evil? And are they insane, using Mickey to teach children to hate and murder?

Well, yeah. They’ve already proven they’re at least a little insane, if only by ignoring the global reach of Disney’s fearsome legal team.

But the very embodiment of evil? I’m gonna go out on a limb here to say: I don’t think so. I think maybe they’re just wounded citizens of a deeply damaged world, trying to pass their belief system on to their kids.

So. Back to the meaning of Christmas. (Or maybe it’s the meaning of Christ that I’m really after.) It’s taken me a half-century to undo all that well-intentioned cultural conditioning from my early years. But I don’t regret any of it, because that outsider status has allowed me to approach the subject with fresh eyesight.

For what it’s worth, here’s what I think:

There’s no such thing as pure evil. There are only degrees of damage and desperately misguided ways of coping with it.

And let’s face it, we’re all at least a little damaged and a little misguided.

So my personal practice – all year long, but especially now during the Christmas season – is to overlook the damage and the mistakes as best I can, and try to see only the Oneness and perfection that lie deep within each person. I’ve been told (and see no reason to disbelieve) that everybody who’s ever lived is equally perfect and worthy of unconditional love. So, what the hey, I’m giving it my best shot.

Do I slip and forget? Constantly. That’s why they call it a practice. But on the days when I manage it, I’m enveloped in peace and joy and a sense of…holiness, really, that feels like warm cocoa wrapped in a cashmere blanket. Or something like that. To be honest there are no words to describe the feeling, except to say it’s real good.

So I think that’s the meaning of Christmas. Joy. Oneness. Letting the world off the hook for its collective “sins.” From that guy in the SUV who steals my parking spot at the mall (dammit, he SAW me waiting), to the Muslim Mickey who teaches hatred to yet another generation of children.

I’m hoping to let a whole lot more people off the hook as the season progresses.

Because practice makes perfect, you know?

Holy Dirt part 2 – The awesome power of the Travel Channel

I never forgot that church docent’s enigmatic invitation (‘YOU can come back anytime…’) so when Kurt & I returned to Santa Fe 7 years later, in the fall of 2006, we made a point of trekking back up to Chimayo.

To say the place had changed would be putting it mildly. In the years since our last visit, Santa Fe and its environs had been featured on a number of cable TV shows, the kind that focus on travel and the unexplained. ‘History’s Mysteries,’ that sort of thing. And those shows put Chimayo on the map in a big way.

We didn’t even recognize the place as we approached, and had to drive back & forth past it several times before assuring ourselves this must be it. Half a block away we found the parking lot expanded to 5 times its previous size to accommodate the scores of tour buses and cars driven there by eager pilgrims.

Sadly, on approaching what was now a huge complex of buildings and vendor stalls, we could find no trace of the Holy Chile or the shop that once housed it.

In the church I could find no sign of that docent. And I was deeply disappointed to discover that there was now no folk art.

Oh sure, the 19th century pieces were still there. But all the sad, funny, wildly tacky and heart-breakingly sincere stuff contributed by local parishioners had been swept away and replaced by shiny new plastic Kmart treasures, bland and mass-produced and completely without character.

I couldn’t help mourning the loss of the winking Jesus and the papier mache rosary and all the rest. http://twitpic.com/qe4pd

But oh, that Holy Dirt. The Holy Dirt sits just beneath a smallish hole in the church’s floor. On our first visit the hole was cordoned off on 3 sides with a sign warning not to step in it. (Again, oops.)

But this time the hole was thronged 3 deep with devotees patiently waiting their turn to scoop out buckets of that Holy Dirt into baggies or jars or Tupperware containers to take home with them.

OK now, really. If that were truly the original Dirt in that hole (the very foundation the church was built on)…at this rate of removal the Santuario would have collapsed in on itself long before this. Besides, while the Dirt looked like dirt on our first visit, this time it bore a serious resemblance to clean, commercial-grade sand from the hardware store.

I’m just sayin.’

It may sound like I’m mocking the faithful who scooped that Dirt, but I’m really not. I was serious when I named this story The Awesome Power of Belief. In 1858 one person had an authentic revelatory experience at Lourdes, but countless others who later heard her story have also experienced miraculous healings there. Why?

I don’t doubt the initial revelatory experience that happened at Lourdes (or the one at Chimayo). I can say from personal experience that revelatory experiences can and do happen anywhere. I’ve had some of my best ones while driving an offroad jeep in Sedona; in a Parisian clothing shop; and in the ladies room of Wuksachi Lodge in Sequoia National Park, to name just a few.

And I’m not saying it’s the power of suggestion that makes the Healing Waters or the Holy Dirt work for all these later people. It’s way more than that. Belief is a truly awesome (and underappreciated) force.

Let’s consider this for a moment: That we are all One infinite being of unlimited creative power. But that’s a very tough concept to take seriously while we still believe we’re separate minds housed in separate bodies, living in the 3-D world of form.

When we’re awakened to the memory of our perfect Oneness, then together we’re able to exercise our divine creative powers. But we can’t access that unlimited creativity if we believe we’re not One. As separate individuals, our unlimited creative abilities can’t be used properly, so instead we funnel all of that awesome unused power into belief.

If we believe something fully, in other words, it becomes 100% true for us. (All those fans of the Law of Attraction out there would no doubt agree.) And if all us individuals believe in something together, then that thing becomes collectively true for all of us. Sickness is real only if we believe in it; spontaneous healing becomes real exactly the same way. Regardless of whether your Holy Dirt comes from the Santuario de Chimayo or the hardware store.

So I guess the moral of this story would be to always take a good close look at what your beliefs are.

Awesome, powerful you.