I have been traveling and hanging out with family for several days now, as most folks seem to do during the thanksgiving holidays. Following a 5-day retreat with Adyashanti, my further meanderings have included fixing thanksgiving dinner for 9 in California, wandering in the Monterey cannery area with relatives, watching a grandson’s soccer game in the rain, playing games with grandchildren, visiting friends in Sacramento, checking out the town where a son will be moving with his family next week, shopping the Christmas sales, flying to Utah to help my son and his family move, seeing a granddaughter dance and sing in a large musical called Showstoppers, and next will be a 12 hour trip with a u- haul through the snow of the sierras back to California and then a return trip to Ashland Oregon. I have read hundreds of books and met many teachers involved in spiritual awakening and never have I seen one involved in the ordinary chaos of western living that I am in. I live a long-entrenched role as a mom and grandmother.
This may suggest to some a lack of depth in my own process — someone advised me the other day “You don’t have to do any of this”. Or perhaps it suggests a complete indifference to my own further spiritual development. When I go with the flow of life there are many factors impacting the direction in which I go. They are all ages and sizes and perspectives. They can be fun, tiring, challenging, touching, interesting, boring — they are the rhythm of the dharma of this character’s dream.
I have another dharma too — teaching or giving general guidance to people in spiritual emergence processes. Some email me and for these weeks I have had to put everyone in that dharma on hold, as there has not been the empty time and space to be available.
I enjoy this dharma, which just feels like something I am meant to do with some of my time, and I enjoy the family time as well.
I once felt divided — as if the family events were preventing my real work from being done — my spiritual search or meditation or time with “spiritual” people. Now I see I divided myself, categorizing life’s experiences into favorable and distracting. Today it is all the same — a flow of meeting what is put on my plate. There is freedom to do what is wanted but no serious wants to be pursued. There is just being here and being there, and being this for awhile, and that for awhile, and nothing for awhile. I am more inclined to be spirit-full than spiritual these days.
It is as okay to be interested as it is to be tired or bored, okay to be busy as it is to be quiet, okay just to be with each day. Some days I read the papers on my computer — the NY times or LA paper or Huffington Post. I don’t know why because they make me aware primarily of conflict — at all levels in all parts of the world, and the conflict makes me feel tired, like being hit with all of your failings all at once and being too overwhelmed to do anything about them. Sometimes I have the thought of wanting to know what is going on in the world. But I do not want the emotions of knowing what is going on. I have to continually flush them out of my system, like toxins. I used to think that if I were awake I would not care, that I would have no feelings about anything (even though Krishnamurti often expressed concern for the state of the world!) I even thought (before the previous thought) that I could transcend it all and love it all the way it was. Now, even though it is fairly clear to me the world is but a dream, with billions of beings performing roles they have no control over, I still feel compassion for the lost cause of human sanity, kindness and cooperation. I can’t agree that it does not matter if people are harmed or murdered whether it be for greed or ideals. It is not possible to honestly see that we are not who we think we are and in fact do not exist in the separateness we think we are, then make this justify in any way the causing of harm to ourselves and others. Even if our forms are emptiness only, and our essence is eternal, meaning there is really no death, it is still insane to heap abuse upon another being — we are abusing ourselves, and promoting generational dysfunction for unknown future generations. We are destroying the potential expression of god in others, tearing up bodies and minds that are themselves the same divine essence we are. From the non-dual perspective this is how the world is intended to be, since it is what’s happening. Something bigger that drives all of the workings of the dream is unfolding itself in some way that is mysteriously perfect. From a mother’s perspective — we really need to clean up our act! We act like insane insecure self-destructive and self-centered children in a world which has supplied us generously with the means for every need we have.
Well I am diverging from a simple tale of my family holiday to fall into the world affairs. Perhaps they are linked within this psyche in some peculiar way — our family is the world, or because of family we want the preservation of the world — who knows? Minds like to find meaning in everything, even though thoughts and words seldom reflect genuine truth!
So this is where this being is at the moment. Just thought I would offer a report!