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

On Compassionate Truth and the Dissolution of Friendships

Last night I wrote a very difficult letter to a friend.  I love this friend.  Really with my entire being, but there are times when we see something in someone’s actions and we just have to call it out.  This, for me, was one of those times.  I found myself like a wolf baying at the moon, calling for all the truth to come out of the shadows, to light the darkness of the soul.  And how this light penetrated my friend, I may never know– his response was to remove me from his facebook friends and cut all communication.

It was not a cruel or angry letter.  It was just honest, clear, penetrating, and ruthlessly compassionate, but these energies are not always something people are willing to take in.

And so, my friend may have shut me out permanently.  And, the thing is, no matter how much the head says, “Well, that is just how it has to be”  the heart still grieves.  And my heart is grieving.

When I was younger perhaps I would have grieved for days over this, but now it just isn’t possible for me to feel that kind of despair.  I have seen too much of life to feel utterly devastated by the loss of even the most beautiful and promising love or friendship.   Somehow, along the way, my bones got the message that nothing which is truly mine in this world can ever be taken from me.  And I certainly have known for many years that, “There are some truths far better than belonging.”

If I compromise the integrity of my Self to keep a friend, both the friend and I will have less than nothing.

One of my students said today that the thing about our community is that all your shit can come up, it can go right out on the table and you will be loved even more for that as long “…as you’re willing to work with it.  We don’t care what the shit is,” he said.  “We love you more for being human.”

Growth happens at these times.  Real growth.  Real change.  Real transformation.  It also requires real courage and cultivates fearlessness to go to and through these places.  It’s not for everybody.

“We are deep divers here,” he said.  “If that’s not for you, go to the kiddie pool.”

He has a way with words.

And he is very loyal.

Deep diving is not for everyone.  It does not make a person immature or less if they prefer not to dive.  We are all made differently.  Some of us are better swimmers than others. Some of us have better lung capacity and so do not fear the deep water.  For those who look on the expanse of the ocean and all they see is the terror of drowning, God has made the shallows, hot springs, cold springs, rivers, waterfalls… there are many beautiful choices.

Deep diving is only one.   And, yes, all rivers do eventually lead to the ocean, but one doesn’t have to begin on the back of a blue whale in the middle of the Pacific.

Many people still live lives where the deepest secrets they keep about themselves are from themselves and if anything shines a light into that darkness it is profoundly threatening.  Often, we will kill (some parts of ourselves, the spirit of others, or even literally kill) to protect our ‘horrible secrets’ when the most life-giving thing that could happen to us is that the secrets be dragged out of the Shadow and into the light of conscious awareness in a safe space.

When we actually have the courage to see what is underneath the ‘horrible’ things we have done or are doing, or sometimes even just thinking and feeling, then we begin to make progress in Self-Love.   Almost invariably, what is beneath these choices is some real need begging to be fulfilled.  In recognizing and honoring the need underneath the darkness, we can begin to find beautiful and powerful ways to fulfill ourselves, truly.

Carl Jung said that the Shadow, our disowned and often denied, repressed and even consciously suppressed parts of ourselves, contained some of our finest qualities.  The key to transforming the Shadow world lies in having the courage to face who and what we are, as individuals and as a humanity.

As Jesus of Nazareth said, “When we bring forth what is within us, what we bring forth will save us.  When we deny what is within us, what we deny will destroy us.”

Truth has an immutable, an unchanging quality.  It endures when all else passes away.  Perhaps this is why I prefer relationships built on this foundation– I find they persevere gracefully even in the face of Life’s most challenging passages.   So for those of us who prefer the shallows, the springs, hot and cold, the waterfalls, our time will come eventually, those waters will eventually flow into the ocean.

And in the meantime, I am working through my grief.  And it may take a while, but it is better to know now, rather than later, at a crucial time of tension or stress, who and what will have the strength to persevere.

in Loving Kindness,

Murshida VA


Notes:

Lama Tsultrim Allione has a truly magnificent CD, entitled, “Cutting through Fear” which walks the seeker directly through the process of facing and transforming these dark or hidden inner forces.  Ultimately this process becomes a way of life and is deepest when practiced within the container of a conscious community (Holy Company).  However, for anyone who is curious and wants to experiment on their own, dip in a toe or a finger, Allione’s CD a great place to start.   “Cutting Through Fear” is available through Amazon.

On Magic and the Mind Stuff: 0001

Clear communication, it seems to me, is a cornerstone of much that is truly successful in this world, including community, personal relationship and the Mastery of Deep Magic.  Magic (also spelled “Magick” to distinguish genuine inner alchemy from practices of slight of hand) is filled with all sorts of mysterious layers, by definition.  Gorgeous, it can be quite tricky and seductive if one is not scrupulously clear with oneself and others.

It is also sexy.  Really sexy.  Really!

The Unmanifest Yearns for the Manifest

Sexuality is the foundation of Manifest Life, literally, so why people do not assume that any esoteric process dealing with the energetics of life, and capable of altering experience and the conditions of life itself would not be sexy, I have no idea… possibly this has something to do with internalized oppression from the terror of the Inquisition, the Burning Times, and potentially reaching as far back as the denial of the passion between Jesus of Nazareth and Mary Magdalene, or even farther…

And here we are, Manifest God, the Mother herself.  And the Unmanifest yearns for the Manifest as Shiva’s lingham years for Kali’s yoni.  And the Manifest, yearns also for the Unmanifest, for the Wedding, the Reunion, the dissolution into Eternity.  With all of this yearning going on how could Life be anything but Sexy?

Regardless, these assumptions of other-than-sexy-ness continue, and as they continue, they continue separating God from Desire, separating humanity from completely claiming and embodying it’s own passionate sexuality, that fundamental celebration of existence itself.

The result of all this separation and denial can be much more than personal repression and  suppression leading to all sorts of  imbalances and disorders of the body and mind.  This denial, in it’s extreme, can and often does lead to a terribly dangerous blindness to the underpinnings of power as it is expressed through sexual magnetism, rendering us into perpetrators and victims of our own magnetism, turning our love into a vulnerability which can be used to destroy life from the inside out.

If we push our desires into the shadows and fail to face the power of Life moving through us, that power, will, eventually, rise up to consume us.  Jesus of Nazareth knew this.  Said it.  Or so it is written.

So, again, clarity is crucial.  As I stand in the miraculous magnetism of God Seeking God, as my feet buzz and my skin rushes with Life in the force of this Love, I have the opportunity to ask, with a deeply loving and compassionate sincerity, “What am I doing here with you?  With myself?   What is happening between us? What is the purpose of our connection?  What are the boundaries, what do they need to be in order to honor both of us, our lives, our journeys, our loved ones?”

We spend so much time on the Spiritual Path disintegrating boundaries, dissolving into the Great Oneness of the Only Being, the Cosmos. Perhaps that is why so many of us instinctively shy away from clarity, perhaps we feel, that by really breaking it down with one another we will somehow, crush and destroy these tendrils of Magic and the subtle yearnings which arise…

But why resist?  Why not simply  explore this way of being, as an inquiry, with the scientific curiosity and rigor Buddha suggested?  Why not discover if clarity and direction kills Magick or if, rather, power blossoms when it is freed from delusion into something healthy and strong like a garden of fragrant herbs that has been well-tended, or a garden of roses?  What is there to lose?  One can always go back to indirection and obfuscation if the experiment proves a failure.

And if one happens to discover, through these experiments, a real hit of the joy and lightness (as in ‘not-heaviness’) of life-giving power which blooms within the context of personal responsibility,  there may well be, for the one who discovers it, no turning back.

in Loving Kindness,

Murshida VA

Prayer

When we reach into the darkness of our own hopelessness, confusion, isolation, despair, denial, fear and find within our own heart the strength to truly believe, even for a moment, that we are not entirely alone and all is not entirely lost, in that moment, something happens like a spark of light, of fire, spitting into the cold starless night from a flint hitting stone.

And in that moment, a fire is started in the soul which is not easy to extinguish.  In that moment, a moment of simply accepting that perhaps all we imagine with our minds is still not even close to what is possible, limitations created by our own ideas, concepts, ways of seeing, ignite and burn to ash, blowing away on the winds of Eternity.

Surrender is a magic.

a Buddhist Monk prays...

Two beautiful wordpress blogs also  worth your time–

http://messagesfromgod.wordpress.com/

http://erosophy.wordpress.com/2009/06/02/prayer/

in Loving Kindness,

Murshida VA

Addiction and the Quest for God

Addiction, a brief definition from the clinical worldA beautiful young man, after Zikr last night, shared his struggles and challenges in finding compassion for a family member caught in the throws of addiction.  He felt it was so difficult to comprehend why any person would be caught in such a trajectory of self-annihilation.  But an addict is an amazing being– someone who is willing to annihilate themselves, even for the momentary illusion of being more alive, someone seeking life more passionately than many of the successful, careful and properly behaved among us may ever know.

Perhaps that is why, in 1968, God told Murshid Samuel Lewis, “Teach the Hippies.”  Perhaps God looked with great appreciation upon those reckless young people who were throwing themselves over and over at the jaws of death in hopes of a glimpse of Truth, a sweet taste of the Infinite.

It is so easy to turn away from suffering.  Addicts walk the edge, but how insane are those of us who feel that if we do not look at the suffering in the world, it will pass us by?  Do we honestly believe that by dissociating ourselves from that which is too painful to see, we will insure our safety from pain as if God were an insurance salesman and our willful blindness was a signature on His contract?

Oh, and then there are the  Fixers.   Not the healers, healers are of another ilk, but the Fixers– those of us who believe we have all the solutions, and by following the appropriate rules, all problems will be solved.  What a comforting offer! It’s so seductive, so seductive.  Here is the attraction and beauty of religious Fundamentalism at it’s core:  follow the rule book and we will be spared all pain… or at least whatever inexplicable pain we are subject to endure in this life will be explained or rewarded the next.

What addiction is the obsessive attachment to the belief that if we just find the right rule book and follow it exactly, that we will finally be saved, blessed, free of pain?  What a dark road it leads us down, over and over again, into Holy Wars and hell on Earth and yet we persist.  What ‘loss of control in limiting intake” is that?

And Fundamentalism isn’t limited to the spiritual realms.  There are Material Fundamentalists, even Atheist Fundamentalists.  For when we cry  “Give me rational proof or give me death!”  we are no different than those who cry, “Give me my God my way or give me death!”.  In these cries, we are still courting death to preserve our precious attachment to the righteousness of our points of view.  How precious is it to simply question?  To possibly not know?  To be willing to consider?  To be willing to examine the possibilities?

What if Heaven and Hell as places of reward and punishment don’t exist?  What if they are here, right now, here with us, in our minds, our points of view, our beliefs and concepts?  What if we truly have the power to bring Heaven to the Earth, or Earth toward Heaven, just by altering the condition of the human heart?  What if the addict’s painful and often horrible descent into personal hell is just the result of throwing herself into God without any flying lessons ? What if the horrible face that stares back at the addict from his mirror each day is a face humanity needs to recognize as part of itself every bit as much as humanity needs to recognize the Saints and the Prophets?  What if  “There but for the Grace of God go I” is a lie because all of us are everyone and none of us is truly free until we can accept fully and completely both the beauty and the capacity for utter devastation within us?

After all, we would not expect a child to excel at any academic discipline without recognizing and training his or her capacities, so why would we think we can fully attain our potential as a humanity or  realize, as a humanity, any real self- responsibility at all by persisting in denying the darkness within us.

Perhaps the addicts among us are actually Saints, sacrificing themselves so that we can finally see who and what we truly are.  Ask any addict in recovery and he will tell you– no matter what horrible things he did and how many people he hurt, the person who was hurt most by his addiction was the addict himself.

Notes:

On the clinical view of Addiction–

http://www.nida.nih.gov/pubs/teaching/teaching2/Teaching3.html

On Murshid Samuel Lewis (Murshid SAM)–

http://www.marinsufis.com/murshid.php

http://www.gnostic.org/murshidsam/forward.htm

Dreams, Visions, Nightmares 101

Mother of the World, of Life and of Death
Mother of the World, of Life and of Death

It was a horrifying dream.  The girl came to the Christians, the Southern Baptists,  so full of hope for humanity, and they cut off her hands and then her feet.  All in the name of God.  I woke up in waves of nausea.


In the dream, the greatest horror was that it was my story.  I was the storyteller, and so this violence, this sacrilege, this horror came from me and was offered up to the community as a story through my presence and by my will.  How could I do this?  For hours, after waking, I felt troubled. Do I hate Southern Baptists?  Do I feel the need to make them evil? And what does Obama have to do with all this?

Because, yes, Obama, was in my dream, bright as day, telling me to tell my stories to the people, and I knew he was hoping I would tell a story to inspire people to come together, to see and respect and appreciate one another, and this young girl in my story, she was the harbinger, the Second Coming, she was Jesus, and the Christians didn’t recognize her because she was telling them about the goodness in all religions, so they sacrificed her piece by piece in hopes that she would see the light or at least, through her pain and suffering become pure enough to be received by their God.

They didn’t even realize:  She was their God.   Incarnate.  Again.  And they did it again. 

We did it again

There is no separation: WE did it again. 

In the dream, the story seemed to take on a life of its own. 

dreamtime

I knew where it was going, only it didn’t go there.  And the young people, the Christian young people who were in the audience kept leaving the room, withdrawing from the story and I felt I was failing and Obama was watching (which was very embarrassing, by the way).

And then I heard myself describing the violence, the dismemberment.  And I could see it all in front of me as the audience could see, vividly, in their imaginations, the carnage my words had created.  And mortified at the violence moving through me, I wrenched myself awake and lay on my bed, breathing in the darkness.

It’s taken me all day to look at this dream.  I was first simply grateful for the young people who left, who had the good sense to get out of that room before the story turned ugly.  Thank God for their boredom.  Were these dream figures parts of myself I was protecting?  Perhaps…

But the truth is,  this is what we do, over and over again, we human beings– we kill God.

We kill God crucifying Jesus of Nazareth, and we kill God burning St. Joan at the stake, and we kill God gunning down Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi.

But that is nothing.  That is only the surface.  That is only the obvious.  These tortures and assassinations are the large and dramatic murders.  These are the public offerings, the end result of many many more tiny kills.  For we murder the joy and sensitivity in our own hearts, and we murder the talents with which we were born, and we murder the tenderness which sprouts like new shoots between us.  These are the real murders, the murders which lead to more and more layers of deadness.  These are the kills which we pass on for generations, from mother to daughter, and father to son, and mother to son and father to daughter, over and over and over again.

All because we judge Life and decide what it is instead of forgiving it and allowing it to amaze us.

And so,  my young girl was sacrificed at the hands of the Christians in her own name.  Sacrificed in her own name.  And isn’t that, after all, how so many of us dispose of ourselves, cutting away piece after piece of ourselves in a desperate attempt to make ourselves worthy, to make ourselves Holy enough…

 

Murshida VA