Annihilation and Kisses

Many years ago, I shared a kiss with a man who is one of my soul mates in this life.  A force opened up which moved through us connecting Heaven and Earth.  It poured down from Heaven through his body and rose up from the Earth through mine, sealing us together with electromagnetism so powerful that we both heard the roar of the Nada Brahma, the original, “unstruck sound” upon which Creation rests.

Due to the circumstances of our lives, there was no place to take this, so we let it go.  I wrote poetry.  He took comfort from my writings, and eventually, the balm of time did its magic work of helping the experience to fade from memory…  until a few weeks ago when once again my breath and the breath of a soul mate entwined, and now all those memories are crashing back.

kiss.001

 

 I find myself asking if Free Will exists.

And I find myself yearning, not for the human being who held me, but for the Infinite force which embraced me through him.  I find myself wondering if it is not the flesh and blood man whom I love, but rather the transcendent power of Love itself.

For the human being who is the vessel for the Beloved this time is often clueless or in denial.  He runs about trying to label the experience.  He says he has never before felt ‘not in control of [his] own body’.  It terrifies him.   He feels almost usurped by forces he cannot explain.   He claims Love is utmost in his life and that he has been in Love more than once, but in truth, he has never before experienced what it is to have Love reside within him so completely that his ideas of who he is are first dwarfed and then annihilated.  So he runs away.  He stands me up, leaving me alone yearning in the dark.  If I am upset, instead of hearing me with a compassionate heart, he becomes defensive, thinking, “What is so wrong with me?”  so he loses his temper and barks like a mindless dog, saying things to hurt me, saying he loves other people more than me.  And on a good day, he simply makes a million excuses to prove he will test my patience, cause harm,  and persistently be unworthy.

And I have seen all this before, so what can I possibly say?  Big Love is terrifying.  It shows us all our darkness, all our pettiness, all our inadequacy, every growing edge we have.  We glorify Love, idealize it, romanticize it, but really most of us prefer the vague empty isolation of safety to the formless void of annihilation and the utter powerlessness of real surrender. To love requires tremendous courage and if one genuinely persists in the practice of loving, one will unfold into fearlessness.  This is the Path to Liberation.  It is.

Most human beings are quite willing to settle for an imitation.

So if I see all this, how can it be that I love this man with all his shortcomings, fears, ego control strategies and pockets of immaturity who runs from what I know is the only Real Reality? I cannot possibly love him, eh?  Why would I?  And yet I do.   With all my heart and soul.   And when he runs away or hides, every edge I have still to polish, every rough, unfinished place inside my soul is brought to light and I, too, am childish, immature, fearful, struggling for control.  I, too, am far less than worthy.

But when we touch,  we melt.  We disappear…  We vanish. And in these incredible moments of magic, gazing back at me through the eyes of this human being are thousands of lifetimes, eons, of recognition… Infinite Love… Eternity.

The why and how of who Love chooses is an eternal mystery.  If it were solved, that solution would most probably deprive life of much of it’s magic.  For, certainly, we Love beyond reason, and that is exactly what stretches us in ways we would never consider stretching if Love were not burning us with its fire, torturing us with its yearning and seducing us with its warm, deep ecstasies.   That is what Love does to us– it drives us toward Life.

We like to believe we choose Love, but that is all the greatest hubris.   Love chooses us.  And ultimately, Love does not choose to make us comfortable, it chooses to destroy our limitations and liberate us from the prisons of the mind, to do whatever it takes to awaken us to its own ineluctable Reality.

Fierce and Tender Love,
Murshida VA

__________________________
Credits: Image

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

The Main Course

you think i want you for my lover?

that would be nice, don’t get me wrong, that would be… nice.

but really i would only be softening you up
for the main course
i would only be marinating you to be served at God’s table.

you see, i want your freedom
more than anything
more than your hands on my body
more than your breath inside me
more than your warm, deep kisses

you thought you could come to Kali’s house
and play with fire
without getting burned up
on the cremation grounds?

what were you thinking?

the Mother is dancing, naked, laughing,
bathed in ashes, grieving your death
while you are still here breathing.

She is celebrating your death,
while you are still clinging desperately
to all your ideas of who you are.

and you still think I want you for my lover.

Stupid! I want to mesmerize you with bliss
until you drop your guard for just a moment
until you slip for just a moment
into surrender

into surrender
for just a moment

and then I’ll pour what’s left of you
into God’s mouth
like the finest red wine
to wash down the meal

and you and God will be so happy then
like two lovers after hours and hours of love
punctuated by a perfect feast
prepared by the Chefs of Heaven
with warm tummys

resting entwined
engulfed devoured
happily exhausted

breathing together
like the waves
of the ocean

yes, you and God will be so happy then
that it will not matter what I did to get you there
you’ll forgive me,

laughing and crying all at once
for how I tricked you

you’ll forgive me for tricking you
into believing
i was just a woman who wanted you
for my lover

and you’ll know it’s true then–
i could never only want that
i could never only want that

because once you see
once you know
once you feel the bliss of God

you’ll know, that really,
all this human lovemaking is just…
well… it’s just for practice.

–Murshida VA


————————–

Notes:

It is partly correct to say Kali is a goddess of death but She brings the death of the ego as the illusory self-centered view of reality…  Of all the forms of Devi, She is the most compassionate because She provides liberation to Her children. She is the counterpart of Shiva the destroyer. They are the destroyers of unreality. The ego sees Mother Kali and trembles with fear because the ego sees in Her its own eventual demise. A person who is attached to his or her ego will not be receptive to Mother Kali and she will appear in a fearsome form. A mature soul who engages in spiritual practice to remove the illusion of the ego sees Mother Kali as very sweet, affectionate, and overflowing with incomprehensible love for Her children.   –from: http://www.goddess.ws/kali.html

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.

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.

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