Thursday, February 28, 2008

Pissing & Liberation

I walk out of large, heavy double doors that open towards the parking lot at the Targhee Ski resort in the Teton Mountains. I left Karen in the parking lot just moments ago to finish strapping on her ski boots, while I sprinted for the restroom. I had to go since we started climbing the mountain in her Subaru, and we didn't get there until about a half an hour later. A cup of coffee and a bottle of water runs through me quickly at 8,000 feet.

"Peeing is a lot like enlightenment," I say, "when you're about to go, it's the only thing that matters."

Karen laughs. She thinks I'm being funny, which I am, but I am also being dead serious. When you have to pee, you're on a mission. You'll do anything to pee. You drop everything else, you think of nothing else, and you can't relax until it happens. If something or someone holds you back from peeing, you might consider killing them. The same is true with enlightenment.

* * *

This goes further.

When you start peeing, there is simultaneous relief and the knowledge that it can't really be stopped. I was once running errands in Los Angeles before a big Asia trip and I had to pee. I had to stop in at Dancing Shiva to get some herbs, and decided I would go there. Dancing Shiva was closed, and at this point I was about to explode. I pulled over in the alley and began peeing against a garage. Sweet relief. Voices. Shit. Someone opened a door just three feet from me and walked out. They stopped and stared at me. I continued peeing.

"What the fuck are you doing?" the man asked.

"What the fuck does it look like I'm doing?"

"Stop." He looked angry.


"You're pissing on my garage. Stop."

"No. I can't just stop peeing once I started. It hurts. You know that."

"You need to stop right now."

"No I don't." I can't believe I'm peeing still. This is a serious piss. Why is it so clear? Is that bad?

"If you don't stop, I'm going to kick your ass."

"No you're not. I'm twice your size. My cock is the size of your arm. I could beat the shit out of you while holding my dick and pissing. You're going to stand there until I finish, and then I am going to turn around and walk away. It's an alley. Relax." Never try and stop someone while they are peeing - it's not nice.

Finished. "See, I'm finished now. Have a good day." I shook, zipped, and got in my car and drove away." I should bring this up in class. There's probably a good metaphor here. I can't believe I'm actually a teacher. I piss on people's garages while threatening to beat them up. I'm going to hell.

Once you start, no matter what happens, you can't stop.

* * *

This goes further, still.

In India, you can pee wherever you want. I like this and I hate this. I like this for obvious reasons: when you got to go, truly wherever you are, you simply pull it out and go. I hate this for obvious reasons: you walk in other people's piss all day.

You can imagine India as a metaphor for almost all spirituality (sort of the Mecca for the western "Spiritual but not religious" types): whip it out and piss whenever and wherever you want. There's no build, there's no one-pointed got to piss sprints for the restroom to finally experience the sweet release of being empty. Whenever your heart desires, you simply whip it out and go. It's all right there for you: you don't have to think, surrender, let go, become consumed to the point of peeing on someone's garage without any concern for human nicety and formality. Nope, it's all right there: here's this teaching you'll never apply to your life; here's this mantra you'll repeat forever and still remain completely attached to basically everything including the mantra; here's this guru you'll just end up projecting all your parent wants and issues on; here's this ________ .

It has to build. It has to not only become the most important thing, it has to become the only thing that matters - like peeing. Think about this next time your scrambling to unzip while hoping you won't piss on yourself.

Empty Mind

Why are you so attached to having an empty mind? Yes, you. I'm talking to you.

The nature of a full mind is emptiness. The nature of an empty mind is emptiness. To chase an empty mind misses the point completely.

Why are you even meditating?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Live in the mystery. Abandon yourself completely and let the flowing mass of reality unfold and over take you effortlessly. Give yourself completely.

Most people like ideas like this; at least most of the people I know. Though, when it comes to the application, most sort of, kind of, maybe live next door to the mystery, but not in the mystery itself - for in the mystery is liberation, freedom, and ease. Most consider just an ounce of ease to reflect a life in the mystery - it's much more than this! It's so much more!

Abandon yourself completely. Let it all go. No knowing, no beliefs, no opinions, no preference, no intention (or manifestation boards), no limitation, no agenda, no perspective held too close, no intuition, no clairaudience, no clairsentience, no clairvoyance, no Claire from the Breakfast Club, no subtle knowing, no perspective of shifting space or consciousness to something more liberated (what is not liberated?): let it all go - let it unfold. Have no idea what it is you’re about to do and why it is you are going to do it. This, my friend, is freedom.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Futility and Levity

I sometimes come up with interesting spiritual stuff to talk about - really interesting enlightened spiritual stuff. The sort of stuff one could begin a whole spiritual movement with. For example, I was just sitting in the bathtub reading and I had a brilliant flash of insight. A sort of ironic parable about freedom and truth, which would be a golden finger pointing at an auspicious moon. But by the time I walk over to the computer, sit down, and log in my mind has become much like this field I am typing in now: empty. Empty content. Now I am simply typing because I haven't thought of anything better to do.

Tara is in bed and I can't sleep, so here we are. We're in Tucson at the Anusara Advanced Intensive. All of the certified teachers, and soon to be certified teachers, get together once a year to practice together and chit chat. We spent most of the day talking about the relationship between the so-called absolute and the so-called relative realities. Conversations like this make me want to kick people or toss back a handful of Xanax. We might as well talk about what it might be like to play NFL football. Point being, unless you play NFL football there's no reason in talking about what it's like, because you really don't know. There is certainly nothing wrong with this, but it just really doesn't help. (It doesn't help to think about it either.)

Most of spirituality is like this though: people talking about things that they don't know and are completely irrelevant. Wake-up first, and if there still is an absolute and a relative, then figure out what the relationship is.

A glass of water is now the better thing I am going to do.


Thursday, February 14, 2008

I Hella Heart Oakland!

Varanasi, Assi Ghat. Circa 2008, byotch.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Universe, may my heart unfold

I open my eyes,
to look into the world,
and I only see my own heart.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Personal Responsibility

The most important teaching my teacher Sally ever offered was she refused constantly to be my teacher. We spent a great deal of time together: weeks on retreat, weekends in workshop, constant email and phone conservations, as I spent my time trying to resolve the various adventures my mind came up with. Constantly bagging my head against the imaginary non-dual wall I created for myself: what is it?, I would wonder.

It took me a long time to understand. I thought that I could somehow force or trick her into being my teacher. But she slowly and steadily wore me down. One afternoon, on retreat in Northern California, we sat in the woods for a talk. It was one of those beautiful and clear northern California days; crunchy leaves and everything. We had sat down for many of these talks - it wasn't the first time. "You're not getting it," she said, "I am not going to be your teacher."

I got it. I let go.

Initially, I thought, I was just letting go of having a teacher. But later I realized that I was letting go of a lot. I realized that I was letting go of someone else making me enlightened. For years I thought if I could just find the right teacher, I would be able to get it. When I let her go, I let go, just a little, of the need for someone to make it work for me. I became responsible for myself, my experience, and my practice. This letting go was an important step in waking up and being free.

Be responsible for yourself. You create your experience in each moment. Create freedom.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Transmission, Saktipat, and Diksha


Does the "transmision of grace" (energy/shakti/whatever) really have anything to do with "awakening"? If not, then what does it have to do with? This just popped in my head and I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. More pointedly: transmition from a teacher, as in sitting with a guru.

My meandering thoughts:

Nothing has anything to do with awakening, and simultaneously everything has to do with awakening. All things are awake within consciousness. It's obvious that most things do not perceive the awake and empty nature of all things. Some expressions of the infinite mystery are aware of the awake and liberated nature of reality, some are in a process of recognizing this, and some simply never will. Awake is not more important than delusion. Awake cannot, truly, observe separation, and thus there is no real hierarchy other than what is self-imposed.

It's important to remember, though, that this is just the appearance of things. All things, as they are, are already awake. In the appearance of the process of awakening, many things will happen that appear to be helpful, and the so-called energetic transmission of a teacher is one of these things. The nature of awakening is a direct, continuous, and immediate intuition of what has always already been present as all things. Feelings of bliss, ease, insight, equanimity, giddiness, happiness, clarity, joy, and freedom are all aspects of energetic teacher transmissions. Some people feel certain things when they hang out or work with me. I have no idea how important this really is, and my feeling around this is that there has been too much importance placed on the grace of the guru.

It's a mysterious thing, no doubt. Even though something like this seems to express itself through me, I in all honesty have no idea how it works. It works how it wants to, and that's really all I know about grace. I like it this way and don't plan on learning any more about it. Grace is a mysterious thing, and to me, a true experiencing of grace is a direct intuition into the nature of existence - the fluffy nice feelings are just by products. The mind likes fluffy by-products, and so by-products gets the most attention.

As Kashmir Saivism teaches, and I certainly agree with and experience this, a true saktipat is one of liberation or at least the initiation of a process of liberation. What is being called Diksha now by the Oneness University and what is called Saktipat by traditions like Siddha Yoga, is really just energy transmissions and the awakening of subtle energy - perhaps this leads to liberation and perhaps not, but it's certainly effective for organization building. All of this is great, and perhaps, in the appearance of a path and process, an important step. But returning to the awakening, it's not really important at all.

Awakening happens however it wants to. Enlightenment becomes enlightened through the mysterious means it chooses. The appearance of a teacher giving a transmission may be a part of this and it may not. I know a lot of people that have had transmissions and saktipats that are still completely deluded and unaware, in their appearance and expression. If it's necessary, it will become necessary. The most important thing in the process is honesty and intuition. With honesty, follow the impulse of intuition, and this will guide you into freedom. The universe knows how it is going to become awake through you. Follow this knowing.

Instead of enjoining the bliss and clear expression of a teachers' transmission, use it to inquire more deeply. Most people simply hold on to it, hoping that this time it's really the big it, and waits with fear to see what happens. The energy and sensations are the by-product of something. Find out what that something is.

Someone offered to give me diksha on Friday. Why not, I thought. After having their hands on my forehead for five minutes she said, "There's nothing there. I can't feel a person in you. Your vibration is so high, the diksha just disappears in you."

"Yeah. I know," I said.

This really means nothing about me or reality, but we can choose to make the meaning that transmissions carry the base energy of being and awakens the awareness of this intuition. Most people seem to just enjoy the bliss, but I encourage to use this as another edge of inquiry. Challenge it, play with it, and see what happens.

In the end, nothing helps one wake-up. The expression is one of grace, and the opportunity rests with the appearance of each individual.