Wednesday, April 29, 2009

How to Have a Conversation - Being Vulnerable

What is the purpose of using words? It is to articulate and make known the inner being of oneself.

It is also to give voice and expression to the indwelling divinity - the Self that is part of God.

Many feel that words cannot adequately describe their inner state, and some have great difficulty finding words at all to represent themselves with.

The point of speaking is to make oneself known. To say, "I Am." This is not just for the listener's ears but for one's own ears. And it is not just to express the ego-self, but the self that is a creation of the Divine.

Fear of self-expression sometimes creates a hurdle that one must leap over in order to be seen and heard. In order to leap, the willingness to be vulnerable is needed. The willingness to be nakedly seen, to be viewed with flaws or limitations and also to be viewed in one's beauty.

There are many who have an easier time being viewed in their flaws which they are familiar with than in their beauty.

One learns to have a conversation through practicing the art of listening, but one also learns to have a conversation by practicing the willingness to be vulnerable.


Sunday, April 26, 2009

The World of Possibility

The 'world of possibility' exists within each moment. It comes into being through our relationship with the Divine which is the strongest creative power in the universe. This creative power flows through all moments, yet is invisible to us when we are closed to it - when we view ourselves as formed and shaped by the roles we play and the past we have lived through.

On a collective level, this past has separated the physical from the spiritual and held visible evidence to be the underlying structure of reality rather than invisible grace. Based on separation from the Divine, our collective past has created a world that predicts from the past to the future based on what has been seen and known. This view conditions our expectations and restricts our hope. It also restricts our hope for the possibilities inherent in each moment.

Today, this worldview is being challenged by the new awareness arising in many. This awareness is expanding perceptions beyond the visible and revealing new realities that have never been open to us before. Beyond logic or reason, Divine life and light are bringing into being the confluence of spirit and matter. They are closing the gap between the spiritual and the physical and making what was impossible before, possible.

Our outlook, then, if we choose to flow with the Divine in each moment, must be that something new can take place if we allow it. We can be new, because the fixed identity of the past is now loosening its hold on us. Divine light is causing the heart to awaken, and with it a deeper truth about who we are.

We cannot be new if we are afraid of change or if we believe we are the past. These beliefs must be let go of for they close down the moment and limit the possible. However, we are being invited to claim our Divine heritage, to join with the sacred core of who we are in a unity that has always existed, however unrecognized.

This movement into unity is the reason things can be new. For we are joining with that part of ourselves that has never left the grace of God, the love of God, the oneness of God. We are joining with the higher aspects of our selves and entering the realm of multidimensionality. This is the world of our higher self or soul, now able to express itself more clearly within our consciousness and within our life upon the Earth.

More than anything else, fear of the Unknown restricts the opening of the 'world of possibility'. Fear that the Unknown is not trustworthy. Fear that the Unknown will not guide us. Fear that we will not be led, or shown, or illumined in ways that will teach us how to live. This fear is based on what has been, and also on the transition we are in - one in which a new reality is emerging yet has not fully emerged. And so we are unsure of its stability and its ability to be the firm foundation for a life.

Fear diminishes and confidence increases through embracing the Unknown – through allowing it to teach us, and guide us, and shape our actions and decisions. When we believe in our capacity to live a Divinely guided life, we have already begun to build the foundation for that life. We have opened the doors so that the currents of creative inspiration can enter.

Today, we live in a time of change and of awakening upon the Earth, of letting go of the past in favor of an unknown future. In this movement, the light within all things is leading us toward a life that is fluid rather than solid, undetermined rather than known, changing rather than static. To be in this new life, we must learn to swim with the currents of change.

Today, we are being called, each and every one of us, to embrace this shift and to become fluid. For it is the time of possibilities and the Earth itself is now moving from a state of pain and limitation into a new state of beauty and grace.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Looking in a Mirror

What do you see when you look in a mirror?
Do you see the form and think it is you?
Now see the solidness of the form blur and become softer,
see it emanating a field of light.

If you are tired, see through that.
If you are frustrated, see through that.
If you are physically ill, see through that.
If you are unhappy, see through that.

All of that is connected with the form.
Beyond the form and within the form
you are a radiant being of light.
This never changes, no matter what you see in the mirror.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Visit From a Bear

A bear came for the first time late last night and knocked over the bird feeder. It took its mighty paws and bent the entire post down to the ground in its search for food. I did not know this till the morning, yet as it approached, the wind chimes hanging in a small tree not too far away tinkled in the windless air. I heard them, wondering in the stillness what kind of animal was announcing itself, and why, of all the places it could have passed through, it had brushed up against the chimes.

This plausible communication might be thought an accident by some, a deliberate gesture by others, leading to the question of why make an announcement?

No interaction in life is truly accidental. None is meaningless. The sound of a bear moving past wind chimes interacts with my ears and heart, and creates a relationship. In that new creation is a choice - the choice of how to respond, the choice of how to acknowledge another.

Statistics would tell us that bears in the springtime in certain locales are on the prowl for food. The heart might tell us that the bear was looking for something in addition to food and thus announced its presence. Which we choose to believe determines how we respond to life and with what degree of presentness. Neither explanation rules out the other. Both take into account the beingness of another life.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


A Spring day, the birds have returned,
In the earliest morning each shouts
its note joyfully,
calling to God in a chorus of praise,
drawn to the light.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

How to Have a Conversation

Conversations can be about many things. Some of them may be approached in a superficial way, some may be explored deeply. Here is a brief guide to achieving depth in a conversation. It is not the entire answer to the question of communion with others through speaking, but it is a partial answer. It has to do with listening.

What we listen for while speaking with others relates to what we hope to hear. What we hope to hear has to do with the meaning we give to the act of speaking with others. We can hope to hear little. We can hope to hear much. We can hope to share little. We can hope to share much. These are choices the heart makes about how much to invest in a conversation with another. Some people make a big investment, some choose to be barely there at all.

The act of listening is an act of the heart. It is a choice for love and a choice for intimacy. It is the expression of the desire to see, to hear, and to know another soul, often but not always for the purpose of participating in the life and the healing of that soul.

When we listen in a conversation, we may perceive various layers of meaning in what we hear. Each layer is real in its own right, but some are more real than others.

At the top or surface level of the conversation, we can hear the content of what is being said. This content is like a garment one wears. It is the obvious outer level of what is being said.

At the layer beneath this, there is the layer of personal meaning – the meaning attributed by the other to the content of what they are saying. Conversations can be invested with passion and great importance, or they can be treated casually or indifferently. One can speak within a conversation as if one were telling a story about someone else, or one can be fully present.

At the layer beneath the above, there is the expression of personal identity revealed through the meaning given to the subject being discussed. This is not the deepest level of identity, but the way in which the conscious self of the other feels about the self and about life.

Finally, at the layer beneath that, there is the revelation of the soul wanting to find an avenue of expression. The desire of the soul to express through the channel of words does not depend upon the skill with which words are used or the clarity of expression. It depends more than anything else on the degree to which one experiences one’s deeper self and lives in the world with integrity.

Listening to another in a conversation can be the source of great reward. In a world in which love is paramount and in which none are strangers, it gains us access to the essential self or soul of others, and with that access we may find a way of loving better, sharing more, and of participating in the healing of the world more fully. These are the goals of the heart and they are the goals of life itself.

In the next part of this discussion, we can look at another part of achieving depth in conversations, namely, through the choice to be open and vulnerable.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Woman Who Searched for a Song

I met a woman some years ago named Nightengale who longed to find the song she was meant to sing. Her name had been given to her, I assume, expressing the hope of her parents of what she would become.

Her heart, which had grown very pure, sought this song within herself, around herself, when she went for walks, when she tried to write, when she went to sleep at night. She told me that many songs came to her in bits and pieces, but the true inspiration that would come from the deepest place in her heart could not quite be grasped.

Over the years, inspirations came to her and inspirations went. When I met her again years later, she had traveled to India to find inspiration and some songs had come to her but they were chants from an ancient past. They were not her song. She had traveled to New York City and lived there for a while among struggling artists and musicians who were each trying to 'make it' in the music business. Some were looking for their inner song as well, but many were looking for a song to sell.

She rented a little house by a beach and lived there for a while, walking in the early morning sunlight, listening to the ocean waves, listening to their rhythm. She described how her heart, beating to the crashing of the waves upon the shore, beat more loudly in her chest. I could see her footsteps, light upon the wet sand.

Despite the beauty of the ocean, she could not find her song at the beach, nor in the city, nor in India, nor in any other place she traveled to. When I met her again most recently, she was still looking. Life had claimed her attention with the practical matters of daily life, but her heart was still searching for that inner musical thread.

I mentioned to her that inspiration comes from a Divine place within. It is the flow of the soul seeking a channel for expression. Sometimes a door opens for a brief period when that channel is found, then it closes when the impulse has passed. Nightengale said: "That's an interesting 'take'. I'll have to think about it."

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Fullness of the Moment

Each moment contains a world within itself. This world is multi-faceted like the prisms of a jewel whose sections hold different reflections of ambient light, or like layers of light that intersect with each other. At the same time it is unified through the Divine current of life that runs through it.

On the one hand, there is awareness of what is going on around us - the sound and light show set upon the world stage. On the other, there is the internal stream of thought and feeling that contains its own richness and vitality - the life of the mind, heart, and body.

What is outside and what is inside are both part of the present moment, one not more than the other. As a result, we can be aware of responses to what is as part of an interactive pattern, without blaming what is outside for causing what is inside, and without eliminating any portion of the wholeness.

Part of each moment also has to do with our spiritual will. Spiritual 'will' is will united with Divine intent. It includes both our willingness to accept what is and our desire to transform what is into the highest state of inclusion of God's light and love that it can contain.

Acceptance of what is and transformation of what is into its higher counterparts are not mutually exclusive. The first creates peace and a deep communion with the sacred essence of life. The second creates healing and the desire to bring greater light, hope, and truth to a suffering world.

The first acknowledges our essence as part of the Oneness and offers an experience of that Oneness. The second allows our higher self to express as an agent for bringing all of life into a greater state of love and unity.

The human experience is multi-dimensional and is meant to be so. It is about revealing to the conscious self all that consciousness is capable of. At one end of the spectrum, this may be about concealed feelings and motives that the awake self would rather not know about. At the other end of the spectrum is the capacity of human awareness to experience itself as part of God.

Each human being has within itself the knowledge of what, in this moment, requires the greatest degree of attention. This knowledge allows us to see what is with the full measure of our inner wisdom guiding what we see.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Only through the eyes of love can we see truth.

From: Love and Truth

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Man With Several Tattoos

I met a man with several tattoos on his arms and legs and a very kind heart. His heart was so kind that when he saw a need he wanted to fill it, even if he hardly knew you. I recognized this as a deeply spiritual quality, though his spirituality had no outer form.

I asked him where the tattoos came from and whether he had been some place that had prompted them.

He said "No, I just make tattoos as a hobby. I do it for other people, too. I don't charge for it. If someone has an idea and they want one, I just give them a tattoo."

"You must feel very creative," I said, "being able to offer this to people."

"No. It's just a hobby," he said. I don't know why I do it."

"Your tattoos are really intricate. Is this what you do after work?"

"Not really. I have alot of tattoo equipment sitting around that I bought years ago. But I don't use it much. Most of the time I spend fixing up my motorbikes and then reselling them."

"How many do you have?"

"Oh, four or five right now," he said. "I've been doing it for quite a while."

"You must be good at it. Did you ever think of making it a business?"

"Not really. It's just something I play around with. It's just a hobby."

No matter what I said to this very generous man, he diminished its importance. If I took something seriously, he made light of it. Unwilling to recognize the deeper impulses operating within himself, he resided comfortably in his own view of what he was about. This view, in its fundamental structure, had been chosen on a soul level prior to birth. And yet its choice also created new opportunities for growth and healing of the very things that involved limited thinking. Thus, his relationship to his inner life was one of the main paramaters of what this incarnation was about.

In relation to healing of any kind, fear, more than anything else, perpetuates the desire to remain unconscious or shut down. Fear of feeling too much; fear of seeing too much. Even fear of having a spiritual life. These fears travel with us from lifetime to lifetime, often unknown to the outer self. As a result, one may choose, for a time, to remain fully immersed in the outer world rather than the inner, and to see everything as "just a hobby."

Soul-mysteries belong to everyone, for each heart has its own secrets, often kept from the outer self. This was the case with "just a hobby." "Just a hobby" means 'it doesn't matter much'. It's not serious'. And so it was that this very kind-hearted, secretly spiritual man passed time, for a while, with things that didn't mean much, before he could allow himself to return again to things that had deeper meaning.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Man Who Loved Butterflies

I met a man today who loved bees and butterflies.

He did not announce himself thus, but came in the role of a helper with household things, a skilled artisan with a fine eye for beauty, a sensitive nature, and a gentle way of speaking. His hair was gray but his step was sprightly, and there was a certain sparkle in his eyes that made him look youthful, even childlike.

When I speak with someone, I am engaged in an act of love, wanting to know more, to share more, and to encourage more of what is deepest in the other's heart. The content may be about anything. The purpose is what is important.

And so a passing comment led me to understand that this man was one who offered his heart's wisdom through classes he gave on butterflies and bees, and who had a deep caring for the Earth. This caring took the form of letting people know about 'pollinators' - those winged creatures that travel from flower to flower and plant to plant carrying the powdery substance that enables plants to reproduce. He conveyed in his way of speaking how important butterflies and bees are to the food chain and to the ecology of a habitat, and how important it is that human beings become more aware of the current threat to the lives of these beautiful creatures. This threat could be reduced if many were to begin to cultivate their own natural gardens, produce their own food, and in this way assist with the renewal of ‘at risk’ species and with the restoration of the health of a habitat.

This was not what he said. It was behind what he said.

As I listened, my ears heard words and content, but more than that, I witnessed the great beauty of the soul of one whose spiritual path had taken him in the direction of nature study - his commitment to Life expressed as a commitment to the life of the Earth. This was his path to the Divine and to the sacred – not just the Divine beyond the Earth but the Divine within the Earth. Attention to this sector of reality was a calling at the deepest level, accompanied by a need to help awaken others to the plight of a planet and the importance of existing in harmony with nature.

Each person has such a passion and such a callling. Each has something within themselves that makes the heart sing and is a path to the Divine. Sometimes these inner loves are revealed nakedly and unashamedly, and sometimes they are concealed behind more practical and ordinary concerns.

Each person's heart has a secret tenderness, a secret song to which it beats more strongly. It may be something the world would deem worthy and important such as love for family and children, or it may be something that is less ordinary such as love for swimming, or mountain climbing, or for the world of insects. The passion of the heart, in its deepest root, is the gateway to the soul. And every heart has such a gateway. Every heart has its own version of a love for butterflies that one can join with and celebrate as part of the great beauty of human expression. This inner song, whether revealed outwardly or not, gives life to an individual life. It is the secret treasure that warms the heart and nourishes the entire being.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Sea Voyage

To travel lightly one must relinquish
ownership of life,
giving back to the Creator what felt
like a possession
but was really only a borrowed form -
the sail of a ship floating
on uncharted seas,
filled with the Breath of God.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Open Moment

Each moment in God's reality is completely open. Unconditioned, unshaped, formless.

We close the moment by bringing to it preconceptions - expectations of others based on their past behavior, projections onto them of how we think they feel, beliefs about ourselves and what we are capable of. Such expectations and projections close the moment. They attach to it the shape of the past and prevent it from being new.

To live in an open moment one must travel lightly through life, without excess baggage that contains old wants and fears. With no baggage, we become part of the Infinite, part of the flow that is everpresent in which all things are possible and all things are new.