Inter-species love . . .
Slideshow from my trip to my hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee where I spent time with my grandmother and my dad.
Every day . . . every single day . . . something happens in my life that shines light on some area in need of greater “realization of Self”. One of the “gifts” of awareness of one’s inner world is greater sensitivity to any and all unpleasant sensations. It is
always sometimes very uncomfortable to deeply engage these moments of tension, pain or stress, but looking unpleasantness in the eye is really the gift that keeps on giving. Because life is so full of suffering, we are never at a loss for opportunities to learn, stretch and grow in the throes of unpleasant feelings and situations. Somehow, if we’re lucky, we come to experience grace in the midst of suffering as we allow Life to show us how to more fully and deeply rise in consciousness of who we really are.
One of the frustrating and frankly embarrassing side effects of this “path” as I’m experiencing it is the inconsistency of the realization. While I have been living with a much higher “baseline” of peace, tranquility, joy, love and compassion, there are not-infrequent-occasions on which I still react/think/feel out of ego and the small “self”. On a certain level, I understand that being too invested in maintaining an ongoing experience of inner peace is just another game the ego plays . . . and yet . . . I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the embarrassment I sometimes feel about the limitations of my own ability to remain consciously aware of Presence. Yes, another ego game, and yet a peculiar one.
It can be a little disconcerting to have your friends and family use your own “wisdom” against you, so to speak,in an effort to show the error of your ways. I can’t count the number of times I’ve had someone tell me something along the lines of “Weren’t you just talking about unconditional love? What did you say about the ego? Didn’t you have a realization about inner peace a few minutes ago? Remember when you said . . . “
How sad is it to feel the impulse of selfless compassion in one moment, only to cede to the lure of egoic self interest in the next? How often have my friends and loved ones marveled with a mix of lurid fascination and pity as I regale them with tales of my enthusiastic spiritual practice only to later reveal the latest emotional melodrama from my love life or the hair-pulling-stress of my work?
And yet . . . how can it be otherwise? How many of us are fully realized? Who experiences total tranquility and perfect equanimity? I know of no one who has become immune to the dance of the ego and its tote bag of suffering. If there is any immunity, perhaps it is as Mooji and Eckhart Tolle teach of it: simply cultivating awareness of the dance, without attachment to or interest in its footsteps . . . like watching clouds build and dissipate on the canvas of the skies.
All of this to say: today I fucked up, knew I fucked up while I was fucking up, felt the ego’s call to identify with the fucked-up-ness, felt like crap for being so imperfect, then glimpsed the extraordinary, unchanging and unchangeable perfection within which all else arises — including ordinary, flawed ‘me’ .
I was led to the following teaching, entitled “A Love Story”, as I ruminated on these unpleasant feelings.
In this video, Mooji carries on an exchange with a man in satsang who feels that he has trouble “connecting with” God. He laments that: “I sometimes have the feeling that I am not in the right place or I don’t do the right decision.”
Some of my favorite bits from Mooji’s response:
“I don’t feel that God wants you to make right decisions . . . but more just [wants you] to be yourself. And at least, to see, there’s a saying, no? To err is to be human, or something like, the very nature of human ways is to make error. But also to be somewhat humble in our self, to see that we’re not so great. There is something in that. And something relaxes and opens up and makes possible an opportunity to see beneath the surface of our conditioning. And what you will discover will not frighten you. it will always make you realize that you’re much more a love story than you think.”
“God is not playing with you. God is playing as you.”
“Whatever caused you to be here is also taking care of you.”
“I don’t see anything in you less than what I’ve found in my own Self. And it’s not an achievement . . . it cannot be achieved. It can only reveal Itself, which is what it’s doing. And if we don’t cling to our attachments and dreams and fears and all these projections, you’ll come much more quickly into that seeing, because nothing is being withheld from you, you see? So whatever it is your heart longs to connect with or to make known or to be refreshed in, my feeling is, let’s find out what can possibly be in the way of that.”
“Even if you say you lost contact with the I Am, that cannot be true! The very I is the I Am in whose presence the sense of losing contact is felt and maybe momentarily believed in. You are the I Am, the very fact of your existence, the very fact of your perceiving is evidence that everything is issuing out of that I Am. It is the very seed of perceiving – that pulsation, that vibration of I Am . . . Maybe what you are saying is momentarily there is some distraction to some other things. But you’re going to come to see that even the feeling of distraction can only occur in consciousness and that consciousness is the I Am and you are that consciousness.”
Very interesting exchange between Mooji and a woman during satsang about the relationship between spirituality and the practical issue of improving the welfare of the planet. Takeaway: “There cannot be a peace externally if you are not in peace.”