Who is Watching Whom?

“You look at this magnificent tree and you wonder who is watching whom and presently there is no watcher at all.  Everything is so intensely alive and there is only life, and the watcher is as dead as that leaf……Utterly still,…..listening without a moment of reaction, without recording, without experiencing, only seeing and listening….Really the outside is the inside and the inside is the outside, and it is difficult, almost impossible to separate them.”    Quote from Krishnamurti.

I live in the trees.   I have been watching them every day…..as they bend in the wind, how the sunlight filters through them, the shadows that are cast on each other and the land, the myriad of birds, squirrels, and raccoons who come to climb and jump and search for daily delights.

My perspective has been from my eyes to other.  And now I have opened to the other watching me as I go about my days and nights.  We share the awareness.  As I just sit in ‘it’……perception…….the concept of “I” and “other” melts away.  There is no me and there is no tree…..there is just the awareness that vibrates….first in form, now freely.  There is no inside……there is no outside.  It is as it is.  Words don’t help….they only lock it in and it can’t be limited.   It is a shift in energy that defies words.

And then I am back in my body but not in the same way.  Something has changed.

copyright 2010 Andrea Avari Stevens, Ph.D.

Spiritual Bypass

“One of the great dangers of transformational work is that the ego attempts to sidestep deep psychological work by leaping into the transcendent too soon. This is because the ego always fancies itself much more ‘advanced’ than it actually is.”

— Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson

I took a seminar on awakening not too long ago.  One concept that the leader shared was that it was not necessary to learn to love oneself before awakening. The definitions of the words ‘love oneself’ and ‘awakening’ are dependent upon each person’s perception.  Who knows exactly what that phrase means to someone else? However, this leader seemed to think that awakening was all that was needed.

I do know the intent of that thought runs counter to how I have been experiencing my lessons.  The more transformative work that I do with my inner process, the more clear I am about the love of who I truly am.  It just seems to me that removing the blockages produced by the ego’s energy of fear would lend itself to opening up the awakening process more clearly.

“We have no need to teach pure motives to the mind. All that is necessary to make the mind pure is to undo the negative conditioning to which it has been subjected; then we will be left with pure, unconditioned awareness.”

— Eknath Easwaran

It seems sometimes that there is a tendency to skip over psychological work in the search for a spiritual identity. This new identity, some with a different name change, is old cake with new frosting.  The same old beliefs about self, others, and the world are there chugging along.  But now the focus is on the new ‘spiritual’ self as the old self just bubbles along underneath.

If you have listened to one of these ‘teachers’ very carefully, at times you may hear the judgment and defensiveness creep into their voices when they are challenged.  Awakening by itself without the ‘soulwork’ of dealing with negative conditioning from our lives, seems to be a shaky house of cards.  It is tempting to believe that ignoring our stinky old baggage is as easy as a cat covering its poop in the box…but it just doesn’t seem to work that way.

Stinky is as stinky does.  We are all called to clear old conditioning that no longer serves us.  It means feeling the feelings, holding them in the compassionate light of the unconditional love that burns incessantly in our hearts…….that spark of the Divine that is always with us.  And some of us just don’t want to do the work.  We want to believe that we can leap-frog it over into the land of Enlightenment and forever wear the Buddha smile.  I just don’t buy it.

My experience shows me that my life is my path.  Everything I need to clear is within me.  I don’t need to go anywhere to find it.  No one else has the answer.  I am my path.  I just need to work it.  I am both the teacher and the student.

©2010 Andrea Avari Stevens, Ph.D.

On The Path To Self-Acceptance or Who is your very best friend in the whole wide world that will never ever leave you?

When we realize that we are more than our human selves, we recognize a part of us that feels “in the zone” at times in our lives.  It is a moment when we feel connected to something beyond ourselves.  This moment may occur when we are out walking in nature, hearing the waves crashing on the beach, when we look in another’s eyes, and a thousand other moments that fill us with wonder and awe at the miracle of life.  We become ‘in sync’ with an energy that expands us, opens our hearts in a joyful feeling, creates an intuitive knowing within us that the material world is not all there is.

There is something more to us….we can sense it……not with our usual five senses of tasting, smelling, seeing with our eyes, hearing with our ears, touching with our bodies……all these senses transform beyond themselves.  We all know this place in our being at some times in our lives.  It is when we are awake to the truth of who we are.

And then we fall back into our regular human mind.  We experience judgment of ourselves.  And we know the feeling of judgment of others.  We know the place of fear in all its many disguises.  We see this fear woven into our many belief systems about ourselves and our lives. More

Being That Which We Desire

“BE THAT WHICH YOU SEEK”   Theo

So as we look back on 2009…….we can be in awe of all the changes that have occurred both externally and internally………Theo reminds us to focus on what we have learned and how we have grown through all the year’s challenges.  Often we repeatedly direct our attention to what we haven’t accomplished or what didn’t go right……..especially when times are harsh, we are called to accept all parts of ourselves even more deeply…….but if we remember to look closely, we can see all the beautiful places of new world growth in terms of global connection and awareness with new creative solutions manifesting from all quarters of the planet.

We can also look within to see the amazing new areas of growth and unlimited potential within ourselves.  Old, outdated thought patterns and relationships that no longer serve us have dropped away allowing space for a higher vibration of less struggle and more trust in our process.

Congratulations to us all for every step we have taken this year!!

Our consciousness integration occurs when we say……YES……to explore deeply whatever comes into our field of awareness…….not to run away in resistance.  All this new growth is a result of love’s invitations to stretch ourselves into new belief systems of deeper connection to our essence and out onto the edge of co-creation.

Every time we choose love over any degree of fear……….a new leaf of ourselves unfolds into its infinite beauty.  May we all move gently through the transformation of our lessons in 2010……..’being’ that which we desire so greatly.   Andrea

Dancing in the Streets

Every day one must dance, even if only in thought.
Rabbi Nachman of Breslov
So if you haven’t already danced today……..or want to keep on dancing……here is your chance…….your choice or both……….you can get up and get moving and shake it……..in gratitude of
‘All That Is’
you can also hold the cellular celebration within your inner vision
dancing with all the elements of your beautiful Self
through the trees, up the mountain slopes, across the seashore, in the streets
the pure joy of just Being in this precious moment…..
Take that moment and rejoice!   Andrea
photo courtesy freedigitalphotos.net

Happiness and Joy

Happiness and joy are not one in the same.

Happiness is the elation that accompanies good fortune,

while

joy is the evidence of God’s presence in the human experience.

Joy is not a destination, it is a way of traveling.

Mary Manin Morrissey

Sometimes joy is very confusing……it seems elusive…….and very often we confuse it with happiness.  Happiness seems to be connected to conditions and people outside of ourselves.  It comes and it goes.  They come and they go.  We are not in control of happiness…….it has its own synchronicity……we enjoy it while it lasts but if we become attached to it being there for us……it has to be there or we are upset………there will be some suffering.  The same with unhappiness……..it comes and it goes as well…….being attached to it can also cause suffering.

Joy is ever present and not in our control in the sense that we can’t make it happen.  It just is.  It is in the acceptance of what is.   Morrissey says joy is not a destination but a way of being in the world. Sometimes we get immersed in the ‘stories’ of our lives and forget that we are in an ongoing relationship with our inner essence or God (or whatever word fits for you.)  We study all the books and listen to the CDs and then promptly try to go it on our own.  The joy is in realizing God is everywhere.

It is in seeing and interacting with the light in every single person, place and thing in the world (including ourselves)…..every present moment.  It is in waking up just a little bit more every day in self-realization and knowing in our hearts that love is the glue that connects and IS us all…………….Joy is a verb……….Andrea

copyright 2009 Andrea Avari Stevens

photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Taking for Granted

“When each day is the same as the next,
it’s because people fail to recognize the good things happening in their lives everyday;
that the sun rises………..”
Paulo Coelho

What is the subtle, seemingly innocuous energy that sucks degrees of passion and appreciation out of relationships and attitudes?

Taking It All for Granted....otherwise known as complacency…..that’s the sneaky stuff that seeps in and builds up before we even realize it is there.  It begins to form clouds over our view of the awe and wonder around and within us.
If somedays our lives seems like “Groundhog Day All Over Again.”……..full of boredom and blahs…..we can make a choice to WAKE UP and remember that we are forgetting to focus on the gifts, the incredible miracles of life……large and tiny and all in between. ……and to appreciate each and every wonderful happening in our days from moment to moment …….every single day, no matter what.

Consider trying this: every morning and every night……write out or share with a friend……5 things for which you are grateful….and don’t repeat any of the gratitudes for a week or more……what we focus on expands……..the beautiful habit of gratitude and appreciation can burst open our inner doors to the heartfelt joy of just ‘Being’………….Andrea

 

 

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