Tag Archives: life

For Wayne Dyer, the Journey Continues

We are not our bodies, our possessions or our careers. Who we are is divine love and that is infinite. ~~ Wayne Dyer

I’m holding Wayne Dyer close to me today, close in peace, harmony and joy.  Sadly, I am not alone, as millions are hugging him to their hearts today, the first day in 75 years that the world has been without its Wayne.  He has been a brilliant presence, persisting and growing through the years, going from motivational speaker in the 1980s to one of the people named on the top ten list of spiritual leaders in the world. (For a good chuckle, hear Wayne Dyer tell of his placement in 2011 as number 3 spiritual leader behind Eckhart Tolle and the Dalai Lama.  He tells a good story and his stories always have a point. —Or rather, I should say, “told” and “had”.)

He had the gift of compacting big thoughts into small sentences– aphorisms and memes that now appear across the Internet. But make no mistake, his wisdom and his gift to us, the world, is not in the aphorisms; it was in his generosity and persistent intention to take as many of us along with him on his journey as would go.

In April, he visited my hometown and my thoughts and appreciation are the same today as they were in my notes then, though today I would expand that one day as an expression of the full journey:

… I metaphorically walk with Wayne through the day, I catch a glimpse of what he wants us to achieve − the complete acceptance, expanse and joy of being. Capture that, I think, and you have captured the meaning of life. Or, no. You have captured life itself.

He leaves us with so much wisdom so well expressed. Here are just a few quotes from Wayne Dyer:

When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way.

Begin to see yourself as a soul with a body rather than a body with a soul.

I see death as simply removing a garment or moving from one room to another. It’s merely a transition.

When Wayne Dyer’s family spread his ashes off the coast of Maui, Wayne’s face appeared in the waters. Coincidence? Wayne Dyer taught us there are no coincidences.

My Friend

My friend tells me he is dying.

He jokes, “The doctor gives me four weeks if I don’t take the chemo treatment. (pause for effect) Four-and-a-half if I do.”

I am quiet. Even though I have seen his six-year struggle with cancer, I am caught off guard.

“I’m joking,” he says.

I realize how much I love this guy who has been an absent presence in my life for four decades. He came into it, the childhood friend of my late husband, as part of the package. He appeared on our doorstep on his vacations. Then he was gone, off to create special effects for Hollywood. Then back, on hiatus and living out of his van in my driveway. A familiar, quirky pal to me right from the beginning. Well, we like to call it quirky. Others sometimes see him as a bit eccentric, sarcastic, prickly, passionate and opinionated. An artist. He is all of that and we loved him quietly through the years, watching him meet up with women, briefly, then move on, ending up back in our driveway again.

He built a complicated speaker system with my husband, the two of them working well into the wee hours, creating the perfect parade speakers for our Cajun/Zydeco band. He came to performances and sat with our group. Sometimes. He disappeared for months to work on a movie, then back again in between and blending in with our twosome of a family life. He regaled friends and families (and still does) with stories, like the one about puppeteering the backend of Mighty Joe Young, a movie gorilla. — ”Someone has to be the butt, and it’s not as easy as you’d think!”

Three friendsNow, so many years later, I revisit those days, stepping back into that time. I smile. Those were good times, when I would go to bed listening to him and my husband laughing and bantering over the intricacies of PC vs MAC, of how to Photoshop a jpeg, the drone of the discussion humming well into the night.

Did I enjoy those moments enough? Did they?

I wonder.

To live in the moment, to fully embrace the joy in every speck of time – did I? Do I now? Do I reach that underlying joy that is the universe at play? Did he? Did they? – taste, feel, see, hear and touch it?

Did I? Did they?

When my husband died, I thought I would die, too. After almost five days when food turned to dust in my mouth and I found it impossible to eat, our friend appeared to take me out for a smoothie, to help me taste the world again. It tasted like a banana milk shake on a warm summer day with the smell of an ocean breeze and a vision of white clouds against a blue sky, seagulls squawking in the air.

I’m just joking,” he says. “It’s not four-and-a-half weeks.”

But the doctor advised him to get his final documents in order, to sign the DNR. And my friend did.

And, still, I thought I would have another chance to talk with him.

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.

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.

Zen Cairn with flower (c) Depositphotos.com, Anegada

When the Trappings Go, What Next?

I am surprised sometimes when I look around and the trappings of my life are gone.

Some of them.

I’m in my office and here’s what happened to get me to this point of blank walls and space on the shelves. I looked around my office one day not so long ago and I saw photos of me, my partner, my family, my business, then more of me. Big ones, small ones and some in a packet on the shelf. I saw a poster of Portlandia and two wall calendars. On my shelves were stacked books upon books, stuffed alongside with CDs. On my desktop were piles of folders and stray papers, spreadsheets and notes. Against all four walls were plastic boxes of files and maps and grocery bags full of stuff temporarily placed and waiting for someone to move them on. Hanging from the curtain rod was a boomerang. Somehow, when I looked around on that one day not so long ago, the room, which has been my office for more than three years, just did not feel right anymore.

The photos and posters seemed wrong, and so I took them down, fully intending to rearrange and put them back up. The books were overwhelming and the folders had become relics of projects long past. The boxes and bags weighed my room down, filling it with heaviness. And the boomerang? A souvenir. This was over a month ago and now, as I look around, I see just a few things on the walls – a poster of doors, which I like for some reason, an eco version of a calendar, a small printout of a photo of my partner, and an old license holder that says Les Bons Temps Rouler.

Nothing else has made it back up on the walls yet, and I cannot think of anything that could.

My room is in transition, shedding the old and waiting for the new to arrive.  I know this room is a reflection of my journey, as it is my room, the one room in the house that is not shared, and so, I wonder – what belongs on the walls now?