Saturday, July 29, 2017

On Anger

Anger is the deepest form of care, for another, for the world, for the self, for a life, for the body, for a family and for all our ideals, all vulnerable and all, possibly about to be hurt. Stripped of physical imprisonment and violent reaction, anger points toward the purest form of compassion, anger illuminates what we belong to, what we wish to protect and what we are willing to hazard ourselves for.


What we call anger is only what is left of its essence when it reaches the lost surface of our mind or our body’s incapacity to hold it, or the limits of our understanding. What we name as anger is the incoherent incapacity to sustain this deep form of care in our outer daily life; the unwillingness to be large enough and generous enough to hold what we love with the clarity of our whole being.

What we have named as anger on the surface is the violent outer response to our own inner powerlessness, a powerlessness connected to such a profound sense of rawness and care that it can find no proper outer body or identity or voice, or way of life to hold it.

What we call anger is often simply the unwillingness to live the full measure of our fears or of our not knowing, in the face of our love for a partner, in the depth of our caring for a child, in our wanting the best, in the face of simply being alive and loving those with whom we live.

Our anger breaks to the surface most often through our feeling there is something profoundly wrong with this powerlessness and vulnerability; anger too often finds its voice through our inability to speak, but anger in its pure state is the measure of the way we are made vulnerable through love in all its specifics.

Anger turns to violence and violent speech when the mind refuses the vulnerability of the body in its love for all these outer things - we are often abused or have been abused by those who love us but have no vehicle to carry its understanding, who have no outer expression of their inner care. In their helplessness they turn their violence on the very people who represent this inner lack of control.

But, anger truly felt at its center is the essential living flame of being fully alive and fully here, it is a quality to be followed to its source, to be prized, to be tended, and an invitation to finding a way to bring that source fully into the world through making the mind clearer and more generous, the heart more compassionate and the body larger and strong enough to hold it.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

On Courage

Courage is what love looks like when it is tested, by the sometimes overwhelming everyday necessities of being alive. Courage is a word that tempts us to think outwardly, to run bravely against opposition, to do something under besieging circumstance, and perhaps, above all, to be seen to do it in public... to show courage. Courage is the measure of our heartfelt participation with life, with another, with a community, a work, a future.


To be courageous, is not necessarily to go anywhere, or do anything except to make conscious those things we already feel deeply; and then to live through the unending vulnerabilities of those consequences. To be courageous is to seat our feelings deeply in the body and in the world: to live up to and into the necessities of relationships that often already exist, with things we find we already care deeply about - with a person, a future, a possibility in society, or with an unknown that begs us on and always has begged us on. 

Perhaps, this could be more accurately described as meeting an immense storm front, the squally vulnerable edge that overwhelms fearful human beings; and which seems to overpower us through various forms of helplessness like unemployment, immigration, cultural and/or technological arrivals that we feel we do not want to welcome. The waveform that overwhelms maturing human beings [or society] is the inescapable nature of our own flaws and weaknesses, our self-deceptions and our attempts to create false stories to place ourselves in the world. 

This immense wave is the invitation to give that self up; to be borne off by the wave and renamed, revealed and re-ordered by the powerful flow of a world rearranging itself before our eyes. Riding this wave is the hardest place to stay, to make a world of our willingness to risk ourselves - aware of our need to be needed, our wish to be seen, our constant need for help - and inhabiting that world with generosity, luminous vulnerability and intensity. We give up our wish for constant immunity, but gain a more robust life; not as trauma but as a necessary change of season. 

This is when the spirit warrior archetype enters consciousness; the ones who are prepared to ride the wave, without accepting any fear-based aspects of this temporary reality we call life. Spirit warriors see and acknowledge these fear-based realities; and are willing to fight for those who are unable to. They protest the issues that are detrimental to humanity's best interests; and create an awareness for those who may be beginning their spiritual journeys. 

Spirit warriors are intimately tied to a larger soul group. They tend to develop an immediate bond with the persons in their own soul group. They also feel as though they have known these people for a long time and perhaps, many lifetimes. They literally have millions of family members in their particular soul group. They have made numerous soul contracts with thousands of people; who come and go, in and out of their incarnations. They are here for a purpose and they have their mission; and all of humanity benefits from the work they are doing.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Solace

Solace is the art of asking the beautiful question, of our selves, of our world; or of one another, often in fiercely difficult and un-beautiful moments. Solace is what we must look for when the mind cannot bear the pain, the loss or the suffering that eventually touches every life; when longing does not come to fruition in a form we can recognize, when people we know and love disappear, when hope must take a different form than the one we have shaped for it.


Solace is the spacious, imaginative home we make where disappointment is welcomed and rehabilitated. When life does not in any way add up, we must turn to the part of us that has never wanted a life of simple calculation. Solace is found in allowing the body’s innate wisdom to come to the fore, a part of us that already knows it is mortal and must take its leave like everything else, and leading us, when the mind cannot bear what it is seeing or hearing. 

To be consoled is to be invited onto the terrible ground of beauty upon which our inevitable disappearance stands, to a voice that does not soothe falsely; but touches the epicenter of our pain or articulates the essence of our loss, and then emancipates us into the privilege of both life and death as an equal birthright.

Solace is not an evasion, nor a cure for our suffering, nor a made up state of mind. Solace is a direct seeing and participation; a celebration of the beautiful coming and going, appearance and disappearance of which we have always been a part. Solace is not meant to be an answer, but an invitation, through the door of pain and difficulty, to the depth of suffering and simultaneous beauty in the world that the strategic mind by itself cannot grasp nor make sense of.

To look for solace is to learn to ask fiercer and more exquisitely pointed questions, questions that reshape our identities and our bodies and our relation to others. Standing in loss but not overwhelmed by it, we become useful and generous and compassionate and even more amusing companions for others. But solace also asks us very direct and forceful questions. Firstly, how will you bear loss? And how will you endure it? And above all, how will you shape a life equal to - and as beautiful and as astonishing as - a world that can birth you?

Solace is not an excuse for withdrawal from the fray, but as a quieter foundation on which to stand for a better, more spacious, more humanly generous way forward, holding to account those who are under the strange misapprehension that they are exempt from the losses and griefs that accompany a human life; and whose defence against their own ultimate and necessary losses, is to degrade and demean others in the name of political and financial success.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

On Rest

Rest is the conversation between what we love to do and how we love to be. Rest is the essence of giving and receiving; an act of remembering, imaginatively and intellectually but also physiologically and physically. To rest is to give up on the already exhausted will as the prime motivator of endeavor, with its endless outward need to reward itself through established goals. To rest is to give up on worrying and fretting and the sense that there is something wrong with the world unless we are there to put it right; to rest is to fall back literally or figuratively from outer targets and shift the goal not to an inner static bull’s eye, an imagined state of perfect stillness, but to an inner state of natural exchange.


This template of natural exchange is the breath, the autonomic giving and receiving that forms the basis and the measure of life itself. We are rested when we are a living exchange between what lies inside and what lies outside, when we are an intriguing conversation between the potential that lies in our imagination and the possibilities for making that internal image real in the world; we are rested when we let things alone and let ourselves alone, to do what we do best, breathe as the body intended us to breathe, to walk as we were meant to walk, to live with the rhythm of a house and a home, giving and taking through cooking and cleaning. 

When we give and take in an easy foundational way we are closest to the authentic self, and closest to that self when we are most rested. To rest is not self indulgent, to rest is to prepare to give the best of ourselves, and to perhaps, most importantly, arrive at a place where we are able to understand what we have already been given.

In the first state of rest is the sense of stopping, of giving up on what we have been doing or how we have been being. In the second, is the sense of slowly coming home, the physical journey into the body’s un-coerced and un-bullied self, as if trying to remember the way or even the destination itself. In the third state is a sense of healing and self-forgiveness and of arrival. In the fourth state, deep in the primal exchange of the breath, is the give and the take, the blessing and the being blessed and the ability to delight in both. The fifth stage is a sense of absolute readiness and presence, a delight in and an anticipation of the world and all its forms; a sense of being the meeting itself between inner and outer, and that receiving and responding occur in one spontaneous movement.

A deep experience of rest is the template of perfection in the human imagination, a perspective from which we are able to perceive the outer specific forms of our work and our relationships whilst being nourished by the shared foundational gift of the breath itself. From this perspective we can be rested while putting together an elaborate meal for an arriving crowd, whilst climbing the highest mountain or sitting at home surrounded by the chaos of a loving family.

Rested, we are ready for the world but not held hostage by it, rested we care again for the right things and the right people in the right way. In rest we reestablish the goals that make us more generous, more courageous, more of an invitation, someone we want to remember, and someone others would want to remember too.