On Embracing the Darkness

“The modern hero, the modern individual who dares to heed the call and seek the mansion of that presence with whom it is our whole destiny to be atoned, cannot, indeed must not, wait for his [sic] community to cast off its slough of pride, fear, rationalized avarice, and sanctified misunderstanding. ‘Live,’ Nietzsche says, “as though the day were here.’ It is not society that is to guide and save the creative hero, but precisely the reverse. And so every one of us shares the supreme ordeal- carries the cross of the redeemer- not in the bright moments of his [sic] tribe’s great victories, but in the silences of his personal despair.”

The concluding paragraph of Joseph Campbell’s, “The Hero With A Thousand Faces”

It Was the Right Place to Come

you came here asking for help
it was the right place to come.

now the pot is boiling and you want to get out
but there is no getting out because there is nothing that is not the pot.

you think there is a place to hide
but it is already over
it is already over.

you will see…

the Truth of who you are will stalk you into every night
it will follow you…

God takes all bets and wins.

so go ahead, do whatever you want.
It’s already over.

turning back from what?  turning back from where?

the Truth of who you are is stalking you.
the Truth of who you are will grab your sweet ass
throw you down
break you open
and smash your heart so wide that it bursts into a billion trillion stars

La illaha il Allah haqq

and then there will be only
joy
only
bliss
only beauty

and you and I, we will laugh together again, then, my friend.
we will laugh and play and sing together again.
like children.

—-

in Loving Kindness,

–Murshida VA

Three People Dancing

It was a menage a trois.

You stood in your impenetrable reserve, silently watching,
while he stepped onto the dance floor…
and gave passion somewhere to go.

and he knew where to take it

so we burned up the floor, he and i,
while you stood, still, slowly sautéing
in your impressively impeccable indifference.

and we burned up the floor, he and I,                         until you walked away…
then it ended.

No more dancing then.
Not because we needed rest, he and I,
but because, really, his desire to dance

was responding,  somehow,
to you and me,
and the magnetism between us…

wasn’t it?

Ahhh, yes…  it was.

And I adore him, of course, I do, and I adore you too.
And the root of passion that night,
where was it?

Was it with you?
Yes.  It was with you.
Yes.  With you.

And perhaps so was his…

I have no idea.
I have no idea what floats his boat
could be anything…

after all, when you walked away
he stopped dancing…

didn’t he?

Yes… he did. Yes.  He did.
Yes.  He did.

So how could I know anything?

All I know is the dance

which, for a moment,
was more
deeply satisfying

than making wild naked love with most people.

And, of course,
sex is so far beyond, so far beyond
what most people even consider real

that no one
noticed our little menage…
no one at all…

even though we were
the only

three people dancing.

 

 

Murshida VA

On Beauty and the Onset of Pain

Yesterday, I had an opportunity to speak with the lovely young woman with the awakened heart who is the subject of my recent blogs, https://murshidava.wordpress.com/2010/03/12/earth-offerings/ and https://murshidava.wordpress.com/2010/03/12/god-in-the-heart/


She spoke with me about her experience reading Earth Offerings.  She told me that when she first read the blog, it was so poetic, that she immediately and rather automatically recoiled into an unexpected cynicism, denying, for a moment, the validity and depth of her own experience.

Recovering from this state, she realized how human her response was and spent the night pondering this phenomena which she called, “a deeply cynical denial and invalidation of what is most beautiful to us.”

What emerged from our dialogue was an awareness of the difficulty we human beings have loving ourselves and how that stops us from loving life, and one another, completely.  If we think and believe, “Oh, I could not possibly be that beautiful, my life could not possibly be that beautiful, the mind will create a trap to stop the flow of beauty through the heart.

I asked her why she thought people do this.  Her answer: “I think people reject what is most beautiful to them because they are afraid of the pain of losing it… because it will hurt more to lose this, it will hurt more to lose so much beauty.”

So, yes, much truth here.  Impermanence is inescapable.

Truly masterful non-attachment is the ability to feel everything, completely, to be completely alive, and to allow all that which moves through us to just keep on moving through us.  It is to neither cling nor reject while at the same time feeling everything.

The Path we are walking is through experience, through life and the body, with awareness.  To stand in ourselves fully and burn from the inside out with passionate love or ache with grief or shimmer or tremble as fear travels by, to feel the spirit gradually lift and lighten as guilt is removed from the crevasses of the heart, all of this is… life.

When we fear feeling, we begin to construct limitations with our minds that inhibit the full spectrum of our experience and we get ‘stuck’ in clogged corners of ourselves, while the rest of  us is left screaming, “Hey, wait, I’m in here, see me, feel me– wait!!!”

But the Voices of Reason, guarding the door, just calmly shush us, rationalizing our outcries.

The Cynic waves her hand and says, “None of this is even real,” relegating huge parts of the soul to the realms of Shadow where the pressure continues to build and build, toward inevitable breakdown or explosion.

Often, in this condition, we begin to feel persistently trapped as if we must escape from our lives to save our own lives, and so we run from one commitment to another, or one place to another, but in escaping we only bring the clogged stuck mess inside us along wherever we go, wondering why nothing ever really seems to change.

My beautiful young friend caught herself in the stuck place and wiggled free.  Now she is feeling all of life, including the trajedy of our own humanity resisting it.

God in the Heart

When I was a child, I felt God in my heart all the time.  My earliest memories are of this energy in my heart, this spinning, whirling love that “looked” to me like sparkling electric green-blue and white light.  I always knew this energy was God.  I never doubted or questioned it at all.

I can hardly even imagine what it would be like to be this sensitive young woman from yesterday’s blog entry, praying and praying but feeling nothing and then suddenly, at the age of 22, awakening with such force to the interconnectedness of everything.  What a shock to the system to suddenly feel alive, to suddenly feel connected to Life, to all of Life.

For me it was a shock to suddenly feel dead.  I remember being about nineteen when it happened.  There had been trauma, oh, lots of trauma, but what I did to myself was the last straw.  The cocaine was the last straw.  One day I woke up and that place in my heart was simply dead.  It was as if it was frozen, ice ice cold.

In an interview with a man named Peter Miller who is doing an extensive research project on the shamanic qualities of plants, I described this experience as having appropriated the power of the spirit of cocaine as my own because I felt so powerless, had lost so much of my own power to the relentlessly abusive and psychologically violent patterns of my family of origin.  The Cocaine Daemon, filled that empty place inside me and gave me the illusion that I was empowered.  But actually, it was sucking my Qi, my fundamental life force energy, right out of me.

I had attempted to appropriate it, and it was appropriating me right back.

If there can be such a thing, I was a fortunate addict.  ‘Rolling Stone Magazine’ published an article on Cocaine Addiction in 1983 and I checked off all the signs and symptoms of withdrawal.  A little switch went click in my head and I knew, just “saw” that my body was having a chemical reaction to the cocaine which was creating the addiction. I realized that if I continued putting cocaine into my body, that same series of chemical reactions would keep occurring.  So I stopped.  Right then and there.  I never did another line again.

Well, I did get my nose repaired a few years later and the standard anesthesiology for rhinoplasty is liquid pharmaceutical cocaine, but after the surgery, I breathed through the cravings.  I did not relapse.

There never was NA or AA for me.  Not that I was rebellious, just that I didn’t know the options existed and the shame was so terrible, at having hurt myself so deeply, that I confided in no one what I was going through.

Yes, I was really one of the lucky ones.

It took almost ten years before the craving stopped, and for another five years I would still periodically dream I was snorting lines and wake up terrified, shaking myself out of sleep into the deep relief of my clean life.  I did all the right things– I cut all my ties with anyone and everyone from that world; I turned to exercise, meditation and daily spiritual practice and developed a better diet; I tried to really process every single feeling I was feeling, leave no stone unturned and cry a lot, more than most modern, industrialized humans.  I really really cried a lot.  And as much as possible I did not criticize myself for crying, or for feeling anything.  Gradually, I even learned to set boundaries with my family and say “No.” to cruelty and meanness, not with a rising battle of well-I’ll-show you, but with a bow and a “No thank you, please.”  Gradually  I relearned that incredible gift I was born with– loving kindness– and in relearning it, I learned also to protect it this time, and never ever to take it for granted.

Yes, I am definitely one of the lucky ones.

By the time I heard about 12-Step groups, I had been clean so long it really seemed moot.  Instead, still struggling with family issues, I attended Al-Anon for several years. That was incredibly helpful.

Years later, I ran an addiction recovery program in the Lowell Prison.  It was my 12th Step work.  I was very very good at it.  The women in that program helped me to heal my shame, to forgive myself, finally, for everything I had done to myself. They helped me to see myself in each of them, in their terrible stories, in their loneliness and desperation and deep sense of powerlessness.  Together we survived all of our parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles, processed the collective ignorance, cruelty and selfishness of humanity, and helped one another to heal and to love.

I didn’t exactly follow the NA guidelines.  After all, I didn’t really know them.  But that wasn’t my job:  my job was to be helpful.  So I taught awareness.  And it helped.  It helped all of us.

And that feeling of God in my heart, of God being alive within my own heart, that eventually, after 17 years or so, came back home to me, and now, after almost 28 years clean, has continued to grow stronger and deeper.  There is not a single day that I do not feel grateful for simply being and for being able to love.

Sometimes people find me strange– I am so grateful, so appreciative, so deeply aware of how precious life is and how easily it can be taken from us.  Gone, gone in a moment, vanished.  Sometimes it makes people uncomfortable to be around me.

Sometimes they leave.  Sometimes they stay.  I go on loving them anyway.  Just as life goes on being precious– whether we dare to truly feel that or not.

in Loving Kindness,

Murshida VA

——

To participate in Peter Miller’s research project, take the online survey at: http://www.botany.hawaii.edu/era/PsychoPlants/

Earth Offerings

“It appears to me as if the omnipotent intelligence of planet Earth is recognizing the advancement in the level of evolution in human beings.”–Shahabuddin David Less.

The beautiful young woman on the phone was describing her experience in the forest, hearing the voice of the Earth speak to her of thousands of years of pain.  As a child, her parents and all the elders told her to pray. They told her that if she would pray, she would feel God in her heart, but although she prayed and prayed, she felt nothing.  And then this, this mystery, this miracle, this sitting on the Earth and hearing, simply hearing the voice of the Mother herself, telling the story of her pain.

And her heart broke wide open and she began to feel everything and hear everything– all of the feelings, all of the voices of the One Being.  At first the voices of pain were easier to hear and she felt her life slipping away into the Abyss, her soul tumbling into fear and desolation.  But as she fell, another voice reached out to her from beyond the Void, penetrating her heart, filling her soul with light and hope.

“Go back to the earth and make love, little one.” it said.  “Make love on the prairie, on the beach, on the forest floor.  So many people are raped on the Earth nowadays, but so few people lie down in love on her body.

“Make love on her.  Make wild love on her.  Make crazy love on her.  Let her feel your ecstasy.  Let her feel your joy.  Let her know how grateful you are for your life.  Let her know how grateful you are for your life.  Thank her for the gift of your life with your whole body and everything you feel– what prayer could be more beautiful than this?  What prayer could be  more beautiful than this?

“Tell her, tell her you will do whatever is within your power to do to help to heal this world and ask her to heal you, ask her, humbly and openly, to heal you, to heal you completely, so that you may serve the healing of this world.

“Then put all your attention to your healing.  And when it is done, when it is done, when the healing is completed, live your vow– give all you are able to give to the healing of this world.  You will see miracles.

“You will see miracles.  And you will be Magic.”

Let her feel your joy.

That was my voice.  I am her Teacher, her Guide. And these things I learned from my Teacher, my Guide, but when the world was cracking open for me and rushing into  my heart with all it’s pain and joy and horror and beauty, and the tears did not stop for more than four years, I did not have a Guide.

I am lucky to be here in this world.  So fortunate not to have been consumed by desolation and darkness.  When I first met Shahabuddin, he pointed me out from a group of about 75 people and said, “You almost didn’t make it.”  And I knew it was true.

So I am here, now for the young people of our community, holding the light as they traverse the darkness, throw themselves headlong into the abyss, penetrate the Void, all in the name of finding that Truth which Awakens within us as Embodied Divine Love.  Hopefully, their journeys will be easier than mine because I am here.  Hopefully, I will save them some time.  My mother always said, “A good teacher will save you time.”  One never knows, though.  One just does the best that one can do every moment and the rest is up to the brilliant Universe.

We rarely talk about ourselves as individual “I’s” in the Dervish tradition, but my life is all I have to offer to the world.  It is the most precious gift God has given me, and it is the most precious gift I can give.  So I talk about my life.  I write about my life.  I love my life.  I live my life.  And I strive to inspire others to live their lives in this way- with complete fullness, with uncompromised vitality.

Amidst all this pain and suffering, there is so much beauty here, and as we learn to love through and beyond it all, as we learn to transform the darkness within and around us, not by denial but by embracing, we become, one by one, part of the healing.

The Message which came through for this beautiful, sensitive young woman opening into her enlightenment, is a Message for All of us–  if we can call up the courage to heal ourselves, we can heal the world.  We can heal this world.  Together.  All we have to do is heal ourselves and it will begin.

In Loving Kindness,

Murshida VA

On Our Work and Human Evolution in the 21st Century

This came today from Shahabuddin, the man who has been my teacher, my guide in a human body, who trained me, and who is now my strong ally and enduring friend.

The resonance in his letter today is so deep, with the work of our community and especially with the theme of protection which has recently arisen through this blog and in our lives here, that I felt powerfully called to share his words with all of you.

We are all doing this work and it is working.  And it is crucial to courageously and lovingly confront the limitation, the fear, the anything-within-ourselves-or-one-another-which-would-degrade-the-exquisite-beauty-of-the-human-spirit or attempt to prevent the heart rising to it’s most ascended condition of freedom.  It is crucial to stand up for the best in ourselves and in one another.

Only the old habits of the mind can prevent us from claiming the glorious reality of our birth right, of who and what we truly are and were born to be.

One of my students called me the Destroyer a few days ago– she said I destroyed fear.  But she let me in.  She let me be that.

It is true:  I can often see where we need to go, but there is no power I have that you do not give me. For those of you who are willing to live with courage, I thank you, with all my heart.

In Loving Kindness,

Murshida VA


Here is the Message from Shahabuddin:


Shahabuddin David Less

Greetings everyone,

It is my belief that the 21st century will be a time of a great shift of consciousness in our planetary soul.

This era can be a moment for humanity and our planet to take a great step forward.

It appears to me as if the omnipotent intelligence of planet Earth is recognizing the advancement in the level of evolution in human beings. Prior to this point, because of the lack of respect for human beings by human beings, the planet was less of a player, in a sense, in changes that occurred in human history.

As we read history, although it is spiced with natural disasters, it is a story of human cruelty and greed, with brief moments of hope and illumination.

In this century, hope and illumination will predominate, and the forces of human cruelty and limitation will begin to diminish. There are many who refuse to let the old model go and are firmly entrenched in the idea that egocentricity and limitation are part of the human being and cannot be expunged.

This habit of thinking is the product of eons of souls leaving the earth with this impression and passing it on to the next generation or generations. But at the beginning of the 20th century there was a wave of positive thought, albeit small, that began to produce seeds in the heavens of a different and more positive perspective of what life could be like on Planet Earth.

Those seeds have grown into plants, and those plants are beginning to flower.

We saw pockets of this in the 60’s, and see it appearing once again now, 50 years later. From my perspective, this is an evolutionary pinnacle, but instead of descending from this point, we will jump to a whole other level of compassionate energy.

The work of Rising Tide and other spiritual communities and groups of awakened people is to act as protection for these flowers, and also to fertilize the future, by teaching people how to live and die with awareness so that the lessons will not be lost, the beauty will not be wasted, and the future will be assured.

There is a cooperative consciousness that is emerging as a reality, but it is still in a delicate condition.  Our dharma is to make sure that this consciousness is protected and shared.

It’s quite a challenge, and it requires all of our experience and courage. It is critical to remember that we are not alone, but are held lovingly in the arms of each other.

Deep Love and Blessings,
Shahabuddin David Less

(For more on Shahabuddin, see:  http://risingtideinternational.org/shahab.htm