Lessons from Roy

Lessons from Roy

Mountain Valley Retreat just finished its first four-day retreat.  I invited Roy Dopson, a Canadian man I met years ago, to come and share his experience of life with us.  Being with Roy has helped me to remember what is important to me.  It has helped me to realize that I want to move in the direction of contentment.  I understand that contentment is not dependent on any external condition or circumstance.  It is within me.  Happiness is within me.  The path to happiness, to pure contentment, is through the letting go of thoughts that drive me to action, always seeking happiness through some external event or condition.
Thoughts arise. They are random. They are meaningless. They are simply chemical firings of the brain creating the experience of the senses. Thoughts are the mind’s attempt to prove its existence to itself.
Every movement of the mind, every thought, is a movement away from the Self.
Notice movement of the mind and ask yourself, “Who is doing the moving?” “Who is doing the thinking?” “Who am I?” “What am I? “I am.” “I.”
The “essential Self” is only found in the stillness of mind. The “essential Self” is before thought, before mind, the nameless, the potential that is “prior to” movement of mind.
“Step” in and out of stillness. Stepping out of stillness of mind is the engagement of mind for the purpose of serving the body. Serving the body is acting on movement of mind. IE: I want this…I don’t want that…I like this…I don’t like that…the mind measures everything it perceives. The mind is our sixth sense. It craves focusing on something, anything. For in that focus on something outside of itself, it affirms its existence. I am not that, therefore I am this. I think, therefore I am. The mind is constantly trying to prove its existence by comparing itself to everything it perceives through the five senses.
When you stop the movement of the mind, the mind turns in on itself. It moves from the duality of “I am this and you are that” to the oneness of “I am that.” Oneness is the source of all existence. Oneness is the essential Self, All that Is. Oneness needs nothing for it is Everything. All seeking stops. The experience of Pure Contentment arises. Bliss. Nirvana.
Practice sitting in stillness. Notice what is arising. Let it go. Invite the mind to stop. Notice without judgment. Give no thought any credibility. Remember that no thought has any value to the Self. Thoughts only have value to the ego and the body. They feed the belief in separation.
In the experience of duality  (everything that is more than one) is polarity. For every yin there is a yang, for every high there is a low, for every happy there is a sad. There cannot exist one without the other. Living in duality is a constant roller coaster ride. It cannot be anything but this. We are up and down, in and out, pushing away, pulling toward, constantly in flux between this and that. As long as we allow the mind to run loose, life will be this way.
The other choice to become master of the mind. Choose when the mind is allowed to think and when it is still. When I gain control of a muscle through exercise and strengthening it, I choose when to engage it and when to relax it. Exercise and strengthen the mind through the practice of sitting in stillness and observing the mind. Choose when the mind can think and when it will be still. In stillness, experience the blissful state of pure contentment as the mind stops chasing the highs and running from the lows, endlessly seeking what can only be found when it stops seeking.  The final paradox.  Stop seeking and find that you have within you what you have been seeking.  Liberation from suffering. Freedom.meditation pose silloette

Ms Mouse

IMG_3584Some of you know that Ms Mouse disappeared yesterday and by this afternoon after hours of searching we decided she had stepped into the Circle of Life and become a coyote lunch…a powerful lesson in forgiveness and loving what is…which I was working on but hadn’t quite made it to homebase. Meanwhile G was feeling gratitude for the year he had known her. He walked up to the high fence line to watch the sunset when he heard her. Thinking at first it was an illusion of wishful hearing, he was compelled to follow the sound and as he walked up Old Mine Road she saw him and let out a howl.

We rescued her with an extension ladder about 100 yards west of the road in a oak forested area. She was up an old oak, about a foot above a tree opening that is home to an large hive of honey bees…luckily is was dusk and cool and they were mostly in for the night. The tree was also home to stink ants which were happy to celebrate our homecoming by crawling up our sleeves.

Ms. Mouse is happily at home with her brother Dozer and she appears no worse for 24 hours up a tree with bees and ants and greatly appreciative of a bowl of food and a big drink.

We are grinning happily with a few ant bites and our family intact again.

What an amazing day this has been.

Thank you for your prayers and words of encouragement.

Surrender

As I experience through my friends and family as well as my own, the many walks of life, I am constantly reminded that life is a thin thread, precious, complicated, impossible to make sense of. Beyond our reasoning mind, our personal journey offers opportunities for growth and the development of a compassionate heart. At the end of the day, it seems to be about surrender. Surrender requires deep trust in the unknown and a willingness to let go of control of the details of our experience. It feels to me at times like falling off a cliff and at other times like being swept down a swiftly moving river… and then there are the landings…the pause in the eddy, the floating to the ground, and my trust is validated. As I learn to stay in Spirit, laying my ego on the altar and trusting the flow of life and death, I am at peace.

Learning to Love

couple sillouetteWe look with uncertainty
Beyond the old choices for
Clear-cut answers
To softer, more permeable aliveness
Which is every moment
At the brink of death;
Something new is being born in us
If we but let it.
We stand in a new doorway,
Awaiting that which comes…
Daring to be human creatures.
Vulnerable to the beauty of existence.
Learning to love.
— Anne Hillman

Notes from the Session

Notes from the Session on Feb 23, 2014

Zero Balancingetheric meditation Session with Melinda

Session Intention:  Clarity

Within five minutes a belief came right up to my consciousness!

Surfacing Belief: “I can’t trust men”’

The movie of my life ran through my mind reviewing all of the betrayals I suffered at the hands of men from 6 months of age through the present.

I asked myself:  Is this belief true?

Myself said:  Apparently!

Me:  Are you absolutely sure it’s true?

Myself: Well, in fact not only can I not trust men, I can’t trust women either…the truth is, I can’t trust anyone…not even myself! 

I’ve betrayed myself more times than any other single person!

Me:  What if you could trust everyone?  Play with that belief.

Myself:  “I can trust everyone.”

I can trust that humans will behave like humans and human beings cannot be trusted to be any certain way on any given moment.

When I choose to believe “I can’t trust people”, I am being too simplistic.  Trust is incidental.  For all of the betrayals I have suffered there are many more equally significant experiences of support and love. 

Why does one betrayal cancel out one-hundred acts of love?

 Myself: I am seeing an expanded view of this discussion.  Beyond the single belief that I can or cannot trust humans, I am realizing that all beliefs are concepts.  The human mind conceptualizes, that is, it takes its limited body of experience (finite) from the limitless pool of possible experiences (infinite) and creates a theory based on that incomplete experience.  Beliefs are human perceptions attempting to bind the boundless!  Beliefs are our attempt to control that which cannot be controlled. 

Trying to make the infinite finite is the labor of all beliefs.  A belief implies that the same outcome will happen over and over again…that there is a truth that can be depended on. 

Not so in this Universe.  We (this Universe) are a living, breathing, infinitely expanding experience.   Nothing can be depended on.  Nothing is finite.  Nothing is true. The only constant is change. 

There is no belief (human concept) that is supported by our universal experience…without exception.

Me:  So where does this leave us?

Myself:  In any given moment, I recognize that I am in an ever-changing environment, in which nothing is as it appears, and all is expanding and evolving perpetually.  I survey my environment and use discernment to determine my next step. 

Human beings can only be trusted to be themselves, unpredictable.

I perceive myself as more than this body and mind, this human being. 

It is in that experience of “more than this” that I choose to trust.

I trust in the Tao.

The Way of Life

Fran, Gary and Laura have left…bittersweet ending to a wonderful visit. Stubby is going to stay with us while they are off on the adventures of their individual and connected lives. Finding their own way into the unknown future.
It is the exciting and courageous path of the uncertain future that lies ahead for all of us. I believe in the sacred path and I notice that the Way changes. I am now mostly in the slow rooted, Earth Way and but I have had times when my path was in the mysterious flight and deep connection of the Air Way, other times in the sometimes flowing, sometimes crashing and sometimes stillness of the Water Way and yet other times when I was in the fast ignition path of the Fire Way.
No matter the Way. It is all the Tao. To remain centered in the Way is to be in harmony with life. Then the world becomes a paradise. I feel at peace. I then realize that my name and form is provisional. I know that when the institutions lose their function it is time for them to end. I know when to go and when to stop and thereby I avoid danger.
All things end in the Way as all rivers flow to the sea.
Knowing others is knowledge. Knowing myself is wisdom.
Mastering others is strength. Mastering myself is true power.
Because I realize I have enough, I am truly rich.
As I stay in my center, embracing all that is with my whole heart, I will endure forever.
Lessons from the Tao Te Ching by Chery Owens

Air Way Earth Way Fire Way Water Way

Praying the Medicine Wheel

I am in Sedona working the Medicine Wheel.  I seek the support and guidance of Spirit as we co-create the upcoming year, the 64th act in the play that is my life.  As I step onto the stage the scenery has changed and a new cast of characters wait in the wings.

I speak now to my Soul and to the Infinite Intelligence of the Universe of which I am a part.

“I am ever grateful for the boundless gifts of my life which continue to amaze and delight me.

I seek your continued support as I step into this new stage of my life.

I recognize the origins and patterns of my limiting beliefs and now release my fear of lack and recognize abundance and success that exceeds my ability to imagine.

I dedicate myself to a life of service.  I willingly share the abundance I realize and use my gifts and talents to assist and facilitate the growth and expansion of myself and others.

Thank you, Sweet Soul, for your infinite patience, love and guidance.

And so it is.

Ah-ho”

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