Tag Archives: Consciousness

Sometimes a Bad Day is a Good Thing

Reconnecting with Oneness, and Francis Lucille

I was having a bad day.

Houseguests made our morning coffee, creating a weak, half-decaf concoction without telling me, a woman who enjoys a strong cuppa in the a.m. We’d gotten up and dressed by 7:30 to go to breakfast, at their suggestion; then, they said, “Oh, we changed our minds. We’re leaving at 8:30.” An hour’s sleep lost. A friend sent me a photo of me, which she loved, in which I looked ancient, wrinkly and sweaty. The ego took a blow. It was hot and we have no air-conditioning. Stifling. My computer tablet refused to start; my mini-blinds would not lower to shield out the hot sun; in my irritated state, my meditation crawled from shallow to shallower, my mind jumping from one irritation to the next.  The neighbor started up a drilling/pounding house project.

I kept it in perspective – none of this was earth-shattering. “Get over it,” I said to me. But I was off center. I slipped further and further, as the irritations built. I sneezed, itchy eyes of allergies settling in; I gave up on yoga stretches and slipped further. I was at the door of a funk. In fact, I opened the door and was ready to take a step.

In a moment of synchronicity, I flipped on my Google + and  a new video popped up on my one working computer. It was from Francis Lucille’s satsang, and he was answering an online question from someone named Luke, who did not like who he was.  “That is my question,” I said. “I feel this way today, too.  I’m not liking who I am in this world.”

In Francis’ answer to Luke, he said that the one you believe yourself to be is not who you really are. That’s good, I thought, because I don’t want to be this irritable individual with hurt feelings. I sat down to listen and watch. Francis explained:

The one you really are is extraordinary awareness which is hearing these words right now. Nothing else. Stop linking this awareness to this body-mind called Luke [or Judy!]. Be open to the possibility that this awareness is independent from the body-mind that you call Luke. And that the awareness is the real Luke.…

Francis continued to explain that awareness is not a hostage to the body-mind. Or dependent on it.  And further, its freedom, power, peace and happiness derives from this independence.

“That which you want to change is not the real you,” he said.

I paused to listen again: “That which you want to change is not the real you.” But where is this awareness, this consciousness, then, when I want it and when I have slipped into an ego-driven funk? Where was it when I wanted to blame other people for weak coffee, switches in plans, crappy photos and a faulty mini-blind?

Hiding, I decided. Waiting for me to remember. Waiting for me to feel its presence. Waiting for me to get over this everyday body-mind junk focus. Yes, waiting patiently for me to remember. I finally did, thanks to a generous answer to Luke’s question from Francis Lucille.

I remembered and I moved on – not perfectly, but with a leap of intention. My heart eased and my soul let go. And that should be the end of the story. But, I admit to you that, even with all that resolve, I still do live within the powerful magnet of this body-mind.

I deleted the unflattering photo from my email, flipped on a fan, made a fresh batch of hefty coffee and covered my window with a curtain.

Oh, and I slathered on a facial mud masque, just for good measure.

The journey continues.

Standing in a State of Consciousness

Imagine you are standing on the top floor of a skyscraper.

But there are no walls around you.

And there are no floors below you.

No ceiling above.

You are standing on steel girders.

Now imagine you are still standing there on the top floor of this skyscraper.

But there are no girders.

Non-duality?

The Siren Song of Duality

Mother and baby

(c) Depositphotos.com, Baldyrgam

The world exists only as it is revealed through our senses.

And my senses are so believable.

I’m missing something when I think about consciousness, especially when I try to make the leap from duality thinking to non-duality understanding. My life is so real to me, so definable, touchable, feelable. And consciousness, that divine non-duality consciousness, is something I vaguely know, occasionally touch in meditation, and which I define mostly on an intellectual level as I listen to sages and philosophers.

Meanwhile, my slice of life – the feelings and events of my own days – are deeply imprinted in my mind and body. Let me give a small example.  Dad called last night. I’ve come to admire him over the last few years, though it wasn’t always so. Growing up, I was Mom’s pal, her biggest fan, still am. For the longest time Dad was just that man in the house who annoyed me with his conservative politics, his hunting and his assumed male privilege – if he sat, someone female would come by and serve him a cup of coffee, someone like my mother, who never fully embraced the equality of women. Not me, except under duress, and then I’d make sure the coffee arrived with a frown. I begin to digress, but do you see my point? We had a great deal to argue over, and we did.

He called last night after spending the day with my mother at rehab, helping her through her fourth stay, her fourth repaired bone in three years, this one a hip; they’re 90 years old now, and he takes care of the household for the most part with mom doing as much as she can but not nearly what she did for all those years before. I see the layers of their marriage these days, layers hidden to us kids for most of our lives, layers of caring for each other, of knowing each other completely and loving each other all the more because of it.

He called to give me an update on Mom’s progress – slow but coming along; she’ll be home in a few weeks, but it was a rough day at the rehab facility. Mom was feeling low, tired, wanted him to take her home, didn’t have the motivation to do another day of therapy, another day of not being able to walk to the bathroom without help. Dad and I talked, but mostly I listened as he went through the day, and especially, his concerns that Mom might give up. And that, we all know, is the end for someone 90. That giving up. I reminded him of her previous stay in rehab and how she, as anyone would, had ups and downs as she got through that. Our conversation roamed a bit to other things, to Dad’s charity work, to my garden, and to my niece, his granddaughter, enjoying the truck he just gave her. All good things in the world.

“Thanks,” he said as he was hanging up. “I was feeling low, and I feel a lot better now.” I could hear the change in his voice, sense the truth of it.

How often do you have a chance like that, to give a gift of comfort, to someone you love? Maybe more often than we know. Maybe not.

But that’s our slice of life, that love, that bond, and it is powerful. It fills the heart. It’s definable, touchable, feelable. It’s real. And when the feeling is good, I want it with all my being. I want to hold it, capture it − I reach out for it.

And divine consciousness of non-duality?

Can it offer something equally as palpable? As compelling?

Sometimes I think it can, and I want it, too, non-duality with its limitless knowing, and also my world, so limited by the senses.

Finding It

Why am I here

I asked.

To learn,

I thought.

To read

to explore.

But where is it?

I asked

knowing the question at last.

Not on mountains

Nor in caves

oceans

rivers?

Thinking does not get me there.

Reading does not find it.

It is in the heart

and my heart is ravaged.

Hiding.

 

cairn on water

(c) DepositPhotos.com, AGorohov

Joy

Joy is prayer; joy is strength: joy is love; joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.

˜˜Mother Teresa