Tag Archives: mindfulness

Two-D Auditorium Paperdolls

I recently had a strange moment − one of those oddities that stayed with me and made me ask: is this how dimensions might look when you can’t see them?

I was in the audience watching Wayne Dyer, somewhat zoned out in the pre-lunch moments, when the view I had from row four shifted from the normal into a semi 2-dimensional view. I saw height and width but no true depth.

Imagine a room where depth is occupied not by full bodies and space. But instead, you have something like those old carnival shooting galleries. Have you been to any of those? There’s a backdrop and in front of it a few lines of tracks and tin duck silhouettes are moved back and forth along the track.

As the room shifted into this odd sight, with Wayne Dyer on one track, his posters behind him on another and then the blue curtain backdrop behind that, it was as if all of us were paper doll images set up along our parallel tracks. My track was row four and we, too, were flat.

I share this because I have since wondered if this helps to see what our world would look like from other dimensions (and yes, I am assuming they exist, though I have no way of knowing what they are or who’s there, if anyone).

In trying to imagine what 3-dimensional life might look like to that 5-dimensional being, or a 6-, 7-, or 8-? − I might come up with something like this − a world that is missing a dimension I’m accustomed to seeing. A world somehow not real. Flat. But not totally.

It was just a moment, but a curious one; I suppose everyone has these moments when the world shifts a bit and then shifts back again. Where would I go to read about them?

Searching

Searching

For what?

And why?

The stars and oceans

whisper.

∞ Listen.

NASA photo-segment of the Andromeda Galaxy

Courtesy of NASA – a small segment of the Andromeda Galaxy from a Hubble photo.

Notes from a Lecture by Wayne Dyer

I go to see Wayne Dyer to hear his latest thoughts on the oneness of all; along the way, he shows us our own individual sparks of possibilities, while all the while helping us to see that we are one.

He never uses the word, non-duality, but Wayne Dyer paints a picture in a day of lectures and meditation that brings me closer to a sense of nonduality, of something I might call universal consciousness. I watch this man who has spent a lifetime studying, thinking and teaching us, the masses, and who’s come to a place of spirituality in his 70th decade. How did he get here? And where is “here”, I can’t resist asking.

It’s April 19, 2015. We sit in the Portland Convention Center on marginally padded chrome chairs and begin the day with Wayne Dyer’s daughter, Skye, singing “I am Light”, an India Arie song. Music sets the tone for the day, becomes a refrain and hums in the background of the hours. Skye will return to the stage after lunch break and sing the song again. It’s a nice touch, I think, but I soon find it’s more than a “touch” because, as we’ll see, Wayne is attempting to take us beyond intellectual understanding of his topic. He wants us to feel it as he does, and what better way than to immerse us in beautiful music?

He follows up the music with a video of a NASA Hubble image reaching deep into Andromeda Galaxy and with that, he has hold of the two threads that he is tying in a bow for us.

NASA photo-segment of the Andromeda Galaxy

Courtesy of NASA – a small segment of the Andromeda Galaxy from a Hubble photo.

Here is what he sees when he looks at the billions of stars in these pictures of the galaxy:
he sees limitlessness.
He “sees” Infinity, if one can see that.
Or better said, he feels it.
He grasps the oneness of it all. And simultaneously, he feels the immensity of it.

“This is who we are,” he says, standing beside the big screen with the Andromeda Galaxy spread above him and the camera revealing more and more stars as it dives further and further into the panorama photo. We are this “infinite nature.” There’s no beginning and no end.

I’m mesmerized by the millions of stars in this one small segment of this one single galaxy in a universe of millions of galaxies – and more – billions, I have no doubt.

But Wayne Dyer does not leave us floating in the unimaginable stretches of space, time and universe. He moves on, connecting the dots he’s laid out for us.

What a privilege, he says, to be incarnated in this body and to be able to explore such depths![my paraphrase]

We Are Light

Wayne Dyer has the gift of carrying us along with him as he tells his story. “We are light,” he says, and we agree. The audience of almost 1,300 souls relaxes into their convention floor chairs. “We are infinite,” he says, and we grasp this, too. I follow him as he talks and I capture a glimmer – just a twinkle − of my own feeling of nonduality.

He quotes William Blake, one of his favorite poets:

“If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, Infinite.
For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.”
[William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell]

Throughout the day, Wayne will return to these thoughts again and again. He’ll have several more quotes from several other authors and poets. We’ll meditate. We’ll also listen to Anita Moorjani tell her riveting story of awakening. Wayne will present us with metaphors and stories. I’ve heard many of these before. I’ve heard his metaphor of the clay pot – it is the space in the middle of the pot, not the clay, that makes it a pot. I’ve heard most of his stories and jokes. And I’m not alone in the room, as very few people in the audience are brand new to Wayne Dyer.

But I do not go just to be entertained by stories; I go as I would to a good friend, to walk alongside him, to attempt to dive as deeply into the world of life as he has − to have him lead me into Blake’s cavern so I sense my unwanted creation of that dark cave, so my desire – my need to see more than what the narrow chinks in the wall show − will demolish the cavern and along with it, the illusion in which we spend our days.

Many philosophers talk of non-duality, and they explain the concept clearly; I read them and I appreciate them. But for me, understanding the philosophy and feeling the oneness are not the same.

As 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.

I ask myself. What is consciousness?

(c) DepostPhotos.com -njnightsky

(c) DepostPhotos.com -njnightsky

I watch a seagull dive into the calm surface of the Columbia River. Are we connected, this bird and I? Are we entangled in the folds of eternal consciousness?

∼∼∼

What are these ideas of consciousness that the world of physics and spirituality talk about so much and that I understand so little?

I come to this discussion acutely aware of my own materialist understanding of the world. I am Western-educated in the old-school sense of the words, and I question all things that whiff of spirituality unless I’m presented with tangible validation of their factual existence—material evidence. This matter-based view of mine is deeply engrained, imprinted even, and I struggle to catch glimpses of the world as it exists in its deeper realms.

Sometimes I think I see it, or feel it, or tangibly sense consciousness. And my world is akimbo with this evidence, off-kilter as I analyze what I saw, felt or sensed. I stand, off-balance and teetering, because, you see, just recently I began to know on an intellectual level, that it’s there, or here—that an intangible consciousness is at work under, around and above all material aspects of the world; this is a new knowing and it pinches my mind.

∼∼∼

I seek out explanations of what this consciousness is.

I like the simple ones, those easy to grasp. “Consciousness is awareness: the two are synonymous….Consciousness is the potential for all creation.” says Deepak Chopra in The Book of Secrets.

So, I ponder his clear, simple statement: Consciousness equals awareness. Yes. We get that.  But then comes his zinger: it “is the potential for all creation.”  And later: It is “pure potential”. My challenge is not just to understand this intellectually but to really “get” it. I struggle.

Consciousness is a “field of pure potentiality,” and we, as part of consciousness, tap into that field, either intentionally or not.  Clearly, to be intentional about it is preferable.

In reading Peter Russell’s From Science to God and listening to his talks, I come to see his view that consciousness is in all things; all creatures and all systems down to the atomic simply have varying experiences of it. We humans like to believe ours to be the most evolved, but is it? I’m not sure if Russell thinks that it is, and I’m no longer so sure that I can believe it either, or that it matters who’s king of this particular hill.

∼∼∼

This change has happened rapidly for me. It was not so long ago that I looked for consciousness in my body; maybe my mind created it or, somehow, my heart, I thought, and I meditated on that. I could not find it.

I should have just picked up a book by Deepak Chopra or Eckhart Tolle or Peter Russell or Francis Lucille or so many others. They would have told me in a heartbeat that the spirit of all, consciousness, is not in a body, that it is instead nonlocal, everywhere, that it is not a thing residing in time and space.  They might have used terms new to me, like non-duality, as they explained the complexities of this realm. And my head would have been akimbo.

My sister told me the same thing, by the way, and she does not consider herself a philosophical scholar. She just knows. She told me that Sunday School misled us all those years ago. There’s no soul sitting cross-legged somewhere inside our chests, she said.  Consciousness is nonlocal.

As I read and study, trying to grasp this mind-altering change from matter to consciousness, from a mechanistic view of the world to one in which the intangible realm of consciousness creates all, I am often stopped in my tracks by the beauty of it. Of course, then I start up again.

∼∼∼

The vision slips.

The seagull swoops away, white against a pure blue sky.

And I yearn to see it again.

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?