As the old Zen story goes, the master was asked by his student about enlightenment, what it is like.
The master replied, “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.”
What the master failed to mention is that after enlightenment, the wood burns brighter, and the water is sweeter.
Zen masters are unnecessarily mysterious.
It’s hard to admit to the degree of despair and sadness, grief and disconnection I experienced this morning.
I am a lightworker, and lightworkers are not supposed to get discouraged, not supposed to feel fear, not supposed to dwell within the chambers of lower vibrational energy. Right?
It’s naughty, perverted and wrong to give into victimhood, right?
After about four hours of agony, I decided it probably wouldn’t hurt to meditate.
I want to write out my meditation, because it will help me to remember it. If you aren’t into such things, that’s fine by me. Turn away now, because I need to churn this baby out.
As always, I am in my burgundy colored leather recliner. And right away in meditation, they said
–You are sitting on a throne of gold. Below you is your kingdom. See, there, the dawn is breaking and there is every color in that sky. See the sun peeking through? This is your domain.
–I am sitting in my recliner. I am sitting in the body. I am flat busted broke, I have a huge mess to clean up, and I am fucking tired of this nonsense. I am NOT sitting on a throne, you dicks. I am dying over here.
–You are sitting on a throne of gold…
That went on two or three times. I finally gave up arguing with them, because even as I was arguing I could see and feel that scene they were referencing. Why argue?
Then, I felt as if my house, and all the messes I always reference, well, they were solid, but on a plane I could see, sort of like I was disconnected from those symbols on that plane. I told them that I was having such enormous trouble reconnecting with my reality.
I feel disjointed from it, very disinterested, very neglectful. It doesn’t seem worth the effort, and ALL of it is IT.
Then I saw that chunky plane, all the things I worry about and beat myself up about, they began to morph it into a ball, like the earth.
–Here, see what happens now.
They then began bouncing the ball, real nice and mellow, but bouncing it, and then, they unfolded it again.
Then I saw lots of things turn into little lights and zoom up and away from that plane.
–See how they leave, and see now these other things entering. There is a displacement going on. Things of density are changing, they are transforming, transfiguring and they are leaving. See that in their place are things of a much greater magnitude, other things which can stay on this plane. It is a paradox: The things of density exit this plane, and the things of substance, weight, truth get anchored. We know this is a paradox, but one worth pondering.
And that’s what I saw. Impossibly, the things that were weighing me down the most, causing me the most distress, were levitating and lifting away, traveling, exiting, leaving, transcending. Dare I say ascending? And other things, like big crates made of gold, they were coming down to earth, and sticking.
I do need to mention that I had to ask for the crates. At first everything was leaving, and I began to panic a little, thinking, uh oh, now, what will be left? So I asked them if there wasn’t something that shouldn’t be replacing everything that was leaving? I’ll be left with nothing! And then came the gifts. I still feel weird about having to ask, but I think, really, that was the point of the exercise, and the shame needs to just be forgiven and released.
Then I got very very very angry, because I felt like they were asking me to completely abdicate my common sense and sanity. This is all just made up, and I am really just a broke, underemployed slob. I cried and railed at them for making me be here, and for me being so awful at it. As I was telling them I am mad at them, they would always remind me that I am part of them, so I am mad at myself. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m still pissed at you guys.
I was in touch with the terror I experienced as a young girl, the absolute horror of what I have had to go through, the rotten experiences, the fear and the agony, the heartache, all of it, front and center, it was all there.
Every failed relationship. Every car accident. Every overdose, all the overstimulation, being tremendously overweight, my stupid messed up car, how every time I get a house or a car or teeth they get fouled up. Bumper off, junked up, chipped. Always, within moments it seems, something that looks perfect, has symmetry, and brings me joy, it gets trashed, broken, cracked, is never as I’d hoped.
Every great gift comes with a price tag, there is always a fly in the ointment, nothing is ever perfect, whole and clean for long in my life, and I fucking hate it. I felt so much rage, so much despair.
They smiled then, and said
–It is true that this happens to you, you do this to tell yourself some things., First, you crave symmetry, and how unattainable true symmetry is in this life is a source of great discomfort for you. Symmetry drives you, and you are symmetry.
I could then sense a glowing flower of life implant or imprint or overlay my body, mid thigh to above my head.
–Symmetry is the way of all true peace, and it is contained within your reality. You have focused on the cracks and the imperfections for a reason. These experiences got you HERE, you know that. The horror and brutality and isolation, these were devices, do you see? Devices. Not true. Devices.
–You understand reality first through emotion, and then through reasoning through these emotions. This is the way of wisdom. Feel deeply, then think deeply, then sleep deeply. And now you are able to understand a few things that you did not before.
–First, the disappointment which follows you, the devastation that you have seen visit all good things, this was done so that you could understand, experience and come to know one of two poles. You have had much sadness and loneliness in this lifetime. You will know its polar opposite. That is simple physics, but that is also not the point.
–The point is that there is a place in between…
And then I saw it.
On my left was the car bumper, held onto the frame with pink and black argyle duct tape, owning two dollars until Thursday morning, having eight loads of laundry to do, every crap job, bitchy comment and act of betrayal. And then on the right was the thing whole, pure, unsullied, fresh and newly minted. And then there is the space between.
This space between is a nanosecond wide, and breath deep, it is non-existent, but it is the point of this existence. This is the moment, the thrill, the understanding and the longing for gratitude.
It hit me in great waves. I understood in a flash that every single thing in my life, every trial, every challenge, every pain and every disappointment, that each and every one of those so-called negative things can be tolerated, enjoyed even, with a heart of gratitude. A heart of gratitude. A heart of gratitude.
Over and over and over again these words rang through me. I saw me taking apart my hideous desk, cleaning up my finances, facing up to things I have neglected, that I have made into beasts, hungry scary insistent beasts, with a heart of gratitude. It is all solved with gratitude. Nothing can harm me, nothing is real except gratitude.
–And they explained now that you have experienced the mar on the surface, we can now apply the buffer of gratitude, and you will see that once this occurs, the once marred object is indeed a different object. It has not been fixed or repaired with gratitude. It has been improved, clarified and purified, glorified, with your gratitude. Do you see?
That’s about when Leonard Cohen’s song Anthem started to ring in my head. “There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”
And in a moment of wonder and splendor and raw awe, I saw my world and every problem in it crack, and fill with light. All of it. Every problem, every desire, every goal, every loss, just split right down the middle and turn into light.
And this light which was piercing through, cracking and illuminating all of it, was the reality contained within the space between the poles.
It was quite a sight.
Of course, I was weeping this whole time, just laid out by what I was understanding.
Pretty soon I was coming back down and I realized again that I have things to do, things to accomplish, and this implies that I have things within me, within my current experience, which are incomplete, that I am wanting completion with.
I asked them then to tell me what to expect. I am tired of wondering and waiting, and I want to know. I told them, promised them, I would not share it, I just needed to know for my own self, what I personally was going to experience.
–This is shielded and this is purposeful. We can assure you that what you will be experiencing is resolution and completion. And this is what you must remember: for every valley you have shivered in, for every desert that you have indeed died in, you will know its opposite. It was in physical reality, and these things will be balanced out now, within this, your physical reality.
–You have chosen the way of the observer, and you have deeply experienced all you have observed. This has led to pain. Your awareness has expanded to accommodate all your darkness. And this must by law be balanced in your awareness. Laws of physics, laws of justice, laws of karma. You need not know specifics, you like the thrill too much for us to ruin it all for you.
And then I became aware of a curious thing. I felt them, and me, and could see that I was with and like them, and that my features, like theirs always appeared to me, were shifting millisecond to millisecond. They welcomed me.
In their midst, I felt homecoming, but that old feeling of failure was present, even then.
Very profound were the next few thoughts. I will use great care in their transmission.
It was at this juncture the doubter, the trickster, came forth. I despaired because this is just in my mind, and no one will ever know it but me, and therefore it is not real. They told me no, this is not accurate, but they understand the interpretation.
They said this is the voice of my reptilian brain, and they took me to it, nestled deep in my skull, firing off fear commands and lies. And they turned it into a lotus flower. It blossomed there, and they said the reptilian mind has always wanted to blossom, but it had never been invited to within energies which could support its transfiguration.
And then, in their midst, as one of a group, I got down to brass tacks, with tears and crying, of course. I was aware of needing and finally being willing to receive the answer to a very important koan: What is my primary purpose, my signature, my raison d’etre?
And I was then in a primordial soup, screaming with my soul, “Oh My God, What Have I Done? I Don’t Want To BE Here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” I felt that primal refusal, that organic unwillingness that is my natural habitus. And they explained.
–This pain you took on, this absolute ache you have always had, this was also a device. It was the only way to get you here.
–Why in God’s name did I come? Why was I chosen? I hate it here.
–This device led you very far into the land of separation and loss. Alone, you dealt with things many chose not to. All of the great souls did it this way. It is one of very few ways to get here. You are not alone in your exquisite and guarded suffering. So that’s one thing. Another is that you came because you had the qualifications. You are our leader here. We take our cues from you.
–What do you think of me when I am wallowing?
That last bit threw us all. It was as if a great actress, in the thralls of emotional turmoil, peeks out from the crook of her arm, that she has so dramatically thrown her head into, with a wink.
It is just all part of it, the wallowing, they said, and I felt a great wave of compassion. I felt so loved and accepted, part of a greater love, a greater whole, in complete harmony with others. An amazing and foreign reality, one I want to know as my home.
I understood that it was precisely because I am alert, observant, feel deeply, and am articulate, that I came here. I have skills that are perfectly suited. I was the one who wanted to go, and I could do it, so I went. Yes, it was a group vote, but it also was a voluntary assignment.
Then there was energy work, and they gave me a mudra. I had unconsciously put my hands in a very peculiar position, and it felt SO right, so symmetrical. And then the flower of life came again, and I did a lot of hand gestures, a lot of blessings and I did something with my eyes, I think primarily because the prime focus of my reality is now different, and it was a blessing to that end.
And then I felt a blue platinum light pierce whatever remaining darkness was within me. It was so bright, so brilliant, and it was beautiful. I could feel it piercing through my chest, and I understood then what the words, “Heart of Gratitude” means.
I understand now that that space in between good and evil, right and wrong, black and white, night and day, rich and poor, blessed and cursed, that sliver of awareness IS this great light. And this great light is the heart of gratitude.
Well, it was time to come home. I needed to ground. I got here, and I began tripping through all the tasks at hand. And I asked them how the hell it’s all going to get done. I am still broke. I am still stalled.
And they said
–No you’re not. You are sitting on a throne of gold. Below you is your kingdom. See, over there, the first rays of dawn are coming up and the sky has every color in it. This is your domain. You are sovereign now.
As I think on this experience now, between auto correct and first draft editing, I am struck with a few simple thoughts. I have held a lot of shame within me this lifetime, and it stems from my having made the choice to come here and be separated.
It is expressed anymore as feeling of discomfort when I have a bad thought, become impatient, and even when I post blogs or onto facebook or tumblr. It’s a risk of exposing how truly unhappy I am, and feeling totally unwilling to accept that about myself.
Totally unwilling to admit to these longings and this pain. Feeling exposed because it’s as plain as the water in my eye that I have never wanted to be here, and this sets up a powerful circuitry for guilt and shame.
Funny that it is only now, while taking a break from the body of that meditation, so very close to having terminated this a few lines ago, that the biggest aha moment of that whole mediation comes roaring through.
While I was still with them, at the end of our time, after my wallowing comment, I had a burst of this shame, and I showed it to them whole. This is the deep dark thing that I hate to admit is mine, because I have always known it in my being that it is the biggest lie of them all, “I don’t want to be here.”
And I began weeping, conflicted as I was between meaning and meaninglessness, life and death, truth and deception. And they said
–It might be time, now, to consider forgiving yourself for all of it.
–For your unwillingness, neglect of your physical reality, your failed relationships and all of it, all of it, all of it.
And I sat there, on my recliner, and I did just that.
Even though I have always maintained that I hold no regret in this life, there they were, a whole bag of them, like shiny sweets, glistening and jumbling alongside one another. I let it all go, with the help of that heart of gratitude, that tremendous light, I let it all go.
All of it. It is gone, released back from whence it came. I called upon that light that pierces right through opposites, that heart of gratitude, and I loved myself, forgave myself everything, saw myself for the first time whole.
So, there it is. This is my proof of all that they have alluded to, in terms of the gifts and joy that is already here, already bursting at my door, overjoyed to finally make my acquaintance. I need no more proof.
And here is the kicker. I may decide to blow off responsibility again today! I could, if I chose to. I really could. I could sit here and play games and check out blogs until it’s time to go pick up Sam. God knows I have done that enough times the last several weeks.
But I was given a lot more information than I had the stamina to include in this entry, so I am working off some awarenesses which are part of this greater whole, that I just revealed to you.
I could blow things off again today, but I don’t think I am going to. Not out of duty or guilt, fear or disgust. Nope. Just because it seems to make sense at this point. I can’t seem to get worked up about finally digging into the very tasks I have been allergic to for months. I’m not sticking to the thought of doing it now. I consider doing my laundry, for example, and although I feel no great excitement, neither do I feel all the weird and unhappy feelings I used to feel, neither do I hear all the self accusations and loathing I used to.
But the proof is not in the pudding.
I keep hearing that doubter, that trickster, repeating that the only way anyone is going to believe any of this is if my life improves.
And I tell that trickster that it is misinterpreting the data.
Ha! How do you like that! Finally in the driver’s seat!!!
I am not here to prove anything to anyone.
Part of my greatest discomfort this lifetime is the displeasure I sense from other people, whether they are feeling that way or not. It is a trick of the light, but it’s there just the same.
This has led to much guilt and shame.
And the truth of it is that, on a bigger picture type of thing, I am them and they are me. But, in its more workable 3d form, they are ALLOWED to have whatever experience they prefer. Some would see my financial situation as the perfect excuse to hate the core of my being! Others, well, they are more forgiving. Some, even, are giving. And that’s their business, their choice, not mine.
THEY can think and feel however THEY wish, and their thoughts about me, although I prefer it if they are pleasant, really do not change the core of who I am. Just the outer layers might get ruffled, but not the core. And the ruffling is directly proportionate to the amount of forgiveness I have denied myself in relation to whatever judgment is up at the moment.
Pretty awesome, really.
Lots of freedom here.
Lots of wiggle room now.
So, I guess I’ll go do my laundry.
I’ll be doing it with my heart full of gratitude for the very first time.
I think this may be the start of a whole new reality.
I’ll see how this can be maintained. I’ll go on with my day now. For now, I will just chop wood and carry water.