Friday, May 18, 2012

The Taboo Against Ecstasy

There is a taboo in this country.   There  is the buttoned down extreme conservatism co-existent in a schizophrenic relationship with no holds barred, vulgar lowest common denominator reality TV level degeneracy.    People imagine that because they have thrown off the shackles of traditional values taught in generations past, that they are somehow free.  There are those that imagine they are creating free art.   Lady Gaga comes to mind.   None of this is free.   None of the sports, entertainments, music industry output, filmography touches on the true Ecstasy of Existence itself.   We can be decandent all we like.   We can be Girls Gone Wild, we can do all manner of hedoism in the name of freedom and youth and rebellion.  But none of it is free.   None of it really delivers.   None of it gets at the ROOT knot in the gut.   The tightness in the chest; the always present stress, that within us that makes us tail-gate while driving.  That "thing" that is aching for release.   Sex momentarily releases some stress.  Thank God....and we often do.   But stress release, even of aerobic exxercise is still....not it.   Not it and we know it.   We sense it.  But there is no outlet to even articulate what it is we crave; our heart's desire even if we KNEW what it was.

I am going to suggest that there is a taboo against GENUINE ecstasy in this country.  You may NOT be ecstatic.    You may be enthusiastic.   You may be "stoked" if you live in California.   You may be overcome by emotion...say if you win the lottery.   A little bit of bliss is allowed.   In tiny moments.   At a wedding of your children.  At a birth of a child.  Some of the bliss bleeds through and it is allowed.   But all the time?  Are you NUTS?  Besides, what are you talking about?

It has been known by the ancients that there is within the human soul a need and deep desire to connect with the Source of all Bliss.  The wise of many traditions have known that BLISS is our very nature.   The wise in many traditions have taught that there are practices which open one to that very Bliss.....the Bliss, that "nectar of the gods" which is inherent in PRAISE.   That's right.  PRAISE....of the Divine.    Are you a scientist?  An atheist?   No worries.   Bow your head to Nature.   Kiss the feet of Oxygen.   Can you live without either?   You can at least praise the existence given you by oxygen.

The point is to dissolve into absolute ecstatic bliss though the praise and awakening love by singing and/or dancing our your praise and love to that VERY ONE.   Whomoever is your Cosmic Beloved, to that one  is due your praise and love.   It is not for the sake of that ONE in whom all is suffience and contains all opulences and it for the sake of fulfill our heart's become utterly and completely given over to ecstatic, to be "beside ourselves" with Joy.   Joy, joy and more joy.  Loving whole-heartedly that which is whole-heartedly Love-able brings down the torrent of Bliss which is what we really seek in all of our paltry endeavors in the realm of "distraction." Behind very face, in every activity, we are really seeking the face of the Cosmis Beloved.  Don't you remember?

Defy the taboo.  Become ecstatic.   Get to know your true Self.

Sufis are one group who have always had a key to Divine Ecstasy.   I include this for your foray into breaking taboos.   Enjoy.  Love.

Monday, March 15, 2010

When to Speak....or Not!

Boy. This is new territory for a gal like me, so used to speaking her mind! I have always been honest, sometimes to a fault. In innocuous ways this entails telling my hubby every salacious detail of a walk with our toddler, or the carnitas lunch I had at La Mission, the moment to moment progress of my sore toe etc. It also included stream of consciousness processing of my subconscious mindforms. Oh yes. Were you to be in my family, as my daughter or my husband, any random thought occurring to me, would make its way into YOUR brain. Several months ago, however, events conspired to alert me to the fact that, GUESS WHAT, not everyone is interested in sharing to that extent! I have really reined in, therefore, my tendencies to be "honest". I try very hard now, to not cross boundaries. Just as I do at school with my little ones, give space, observe, knowing that the less interference the better I now do at home. So that is a big Yippee!

At the moment I am looking at two situations in my life with two friends. One has a spouse who is being outrageous in some pretty socially unacceptable behavior and this friend is still in denial. Another is one who has gone back to a "dark side" spiritual teacher who really stifled and hurt her before; really crossing boundaries. This man does NOT treat people with dignity or respect whatsoever. She was so relieved to be OUT of the cult at one point and really found her voice again. Inexplicably she has returned. I've barely said anything at all regarding this turn of events, but did say one MILD thing and she has ceased speaking to me. I do have ways of contacting her if I choose, but I will not.

I'm holding my tongue in both situations. This is new territory. Wish me luck.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Abuse of Power in Guru Land

I'll make it brief for today. This was said my Adyashanti, a teacher I've seen a few times. Never became a 'student' of his, but I do appreciate his point of view. Especially here when he says:

"What I tell people is that if you’re seeking enlightenment, your good sense is vital. In fact, you’re going to have to learn to trust it more and more. I think people actually know early on when something’s off about a teacher, but they think they must be wrong, because an enlightened person can’t do any wrong. And that’s not true. Enlightened people can do wrong. They can do harmful things."

My comment: HELL TO THE YES!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

How I Went from Miserable and Resentful to Blissful and Grateful in 12 Hours

It was March 11, 1981 and I was married to my second husband, Jeff, a fireman with the city of San Jose.

A little backstory: The marriage was just an “okay” match. We had fun sometimes, but there was a definite strain of competition in Jeff that I found baffling, being that I was his wife. If I accomplished anything of significance, or succeeded in an endeavor, rather than being happy for me he would say how he could probably have done it faster, better, higher, farther etc. This competitive “thing” with him was so bad that we couldn’t even play friendly board games or card games together. The last time we’d played Scrabble on a picnic by the Russian River, I’d won the game and he became so furious he took the Scrabble dictionary and threw it into the river, wouldn’t speak to me out of anger for hours.

Also I had my own baggage which I’d brought to the marriage, that being a lot of unfinished business with my mom which included heavy resentment over my childhood (she was a critical control freak who never let up from morning til night) and frustration about how she was still trying to manipulate my behavior and decisions based upon criticism and harsh disapproval. These two people were the closest TO me, other than my little 3 year old daughter. The combination of their influence in my life PLUS my poor skill level in dealing with either of them, left me in pretty sad shape. My response to be resentful, depressed, angry and irritable. Not fun.

This one particular day, March 11th, I’d gone to my first appointment with a therapist I’d been to during my divorce from my first husband, Lee. Her name was Marge Weimer and I really liked her and trusted her completely. I was there because I could no longer stand the state of my “state”. I knew I had major work to do in order to process through all of the crap that was inside of me. It was pure “yuck”. Also I knew that therapy took quite awhile and would be no “enlightenment weekend”.

At that appointment I described to Marge how I was feeling and basically, other than a few folks, I told her I felt that “everyone is not REAL, nobody is REAL!” Marge, being the good therapist she is asked “WHO is not real?” I replied “I KNOW you are trying to get me to say that I am not real, but it doesn’t FEEL that way to me right now.” We talked a bit more about I don’t even remember, probably my list of complaints J and I scheduled an appointment for the following week and I left. My mood was black. I felt that I had SO MUCH crap inside of me and that therapy was going to take…well it felt like an infinite amount of time at that point, before I got anything TRULY resolved.

I went home to my husband and Sarah. She was playing in her room and I remember sitting on the sofa in front of the large picture window in our living room. Jeff asked me a question and I think I snapped at him. I told him also how I was feeling still so much resentment toward my mom. He sympathized in his way by saying “Well your mom is a shitbird….flying around shitting on everything!” Small comfort.

That night before we went to bed, Jeff told me that he had been fantasizing lately about going to Argentina WITHOUT me. He then said, he felt that if I didn’t change my behavior and attitude, that he felt he was going to want a divorce. SHIT! That just tanked me. Not that he was the love of my life, by any means, but it was the whole idea that I would have a SECOND divorce under my belt at the age of 28! What a failure I thought I was! I couldn’t bear what that indicated about me and facing all friends and family with ANOTHER marriage break up.

After I tucked Sarah in bed for the night, I went into our spare bedroom to be alone. I laid on the floor and just sobbed into the carpet. I cannot tell you how miserable I was. I was at the end of my rope, that’s for sure. I didn’t know WHAT to do, but having been raised Catholic I did have a vague idea that there MIGHT be a God, some benevolent presence. It had been LONG years since my experiences as a child which held me in spiritual thrall at that time. I’d almost forgotten all about that. Catholicism actually had sort of snuffed those feelings out. It sure hadn’t supported or reinforced those sentiments and realizations. So at 28 I had only a remnant of a sense of spirituality. Thank God for that I suppose. I was at rock bottom in that moment and not knowing what else to do AND feeling mighty angry at FATE, GOD whatever it was I said aloud “If you REALLY EXIST godammit, then you better show me, because I’m DYING down here!” I REALLY meant it, more than anything I’d ever meant in a LONG time. Then, I took a OTC sleep aid and went to bed.

I awoke at about 4:00 in the morning and immediately felt that familiar sick, heart-sinking feeling that I’d had before I went to bed. But now, in the quiet of the night, with ONLY my own psyche to notice, I felt something new; I wanted to die. Not that I wanted to commit suicide, I didn’t. What I wanted was for that hateful, resentful, sick-minded self to DIE, dissolve, disappear. This feeling was so strong that I had an instinctive “pulling away” from within. That is the only way I can describe it. In so doing, I felt within, a sensation like a earthquake, like a tectonic plate shift, a sensation like a crack within. The very next moment, IN that crack poured an Avalanche of LOVE, so much so much so that it blasted me wide open. Suddenly I felt totally awash in Love! An Ocean of love! Monumental waves of Love just washing through me in around me and in an INSTANT all of the resentment, hate, disappointment, confusion, depression was utterly utterly GONE!

I felt an tremendous Love for ME, from a Presence in my room. There was a presence which was loving me so completely that it dwarfed the idea of parental love. Imagine the most loving, most supportive, compassionate, adoring parental love you could possibly dream of and that love was like a thimbleful compared to an Ocean of the Love I was experiencing. This presence was loving me and I saw an image of myself like a newborn in a large pair of hands. Tears of love-bliss were streaming down my face, all I could feel was love. I was feeling love for absolutely everything.

The next thing that happened was truly amazing. I began to “see” faces of people I’d forgotten completely. I began to understand from the Presence in my room (telepathically) that these were all people for whom I had held some form of resentment in my heart. I saw myself as a baby in my playpen on the front lawn of my house and forming a resentment toward the bread man who was talking to my mom! The faces appeared faster and faster and as they appeared to my mind’s eye they simultaneously passed through my heart which was so filled with love, there was an instantaneous healing and blessing with that person. It was happening so rapidly it felt like warp speed until finally within mere minutes I was in the present moment and had healed everything with everyone in my entire life.

I began also, to have “Christian” teachings in my mind making sense to me. I heard “Father forgive them they know not what they do.” I SAW that anyone anywhere who did something unloving was MERELY AND ONLY because they were not feeling the love-bliss as I now was blessed to be feeling. There was NO judgment on this! NONE! The Divine mind was showing itself to me. I SAW and more than that KNEW that the entire idea of guilt was a manmade construct! I saw the nature of God was So totally LOVE that there was no room, no space, no thought of anything like guilt, wrong, bad. ALL of us were accepted and loved and adored and cherished just exactly as I was feeling now. To include EVERYONE, Hitler, Stalin, Genghis Khan, you name it! Everyone was precious and perfect and utterly cherished just as they were, in the Divine Heart/mind. The entire Catholic and Christian teaching about Hell was totally false. We could never do anything that could separate us from the total love of the Divine and we were always swimming in this Love but without knowing it.

For about two hours I just basked in the love bliss and my heart was so full and I felt so GRATEFUL I cannot describe it fully. Such gratitude. This knowledge felt more REAL than anything I’d ever felt before. Everything else, ordinary life was sort of stepped down, ratcheted down reality, or as Jesus put it to one of his disciples “veiled”. I laid in bed just meditating on the love in my heart in a blessed out condition until the sun came up and Jeff woke up. I said good morning to him and he said to me “Something happened to you!” I mean it was THAT obvious. I was just beaming with joy and love and light….even I realized I actually LOOKED different.

That day I looked around the world and everything was incredibly BRIGHT and colorful. So many bright colors! Where before things had literally looked dim and dull, suddenly life was an explosion of color and light! WOW! it was positively psychedelic. This lasted for MONTHS. Also for months, what occurred was that every morning at 4:00 a.m. I would wake up from “dreaming” that I’d been in a realm where myself and others and ANGELS had been singing or chanting love songs to the Divine. OR I would wake up from a dream where I had been on a boat with Jesus. Or I would wake up from a dream where I had been questioning Jesus about the Cosmos. Mostly I would wake up with the sense I had just been meditating in a realm with exalted beings such as angels, but not entirely angels. Just in an exalted realm above the human, that’s all I can say.

My relationships with everyone improved very much, as you might imagine. I had the impulse to run up to everyone and say “do you know how much God loves you?! You don’t even know! You are so loved!!” But, I restrained myself. J . Slowly the brightness of colors went more back to normal but not entirely. Slowly I began to be less of a bliss ninny, but again, no entirely. What didn’t come back ever, was poisonous resentment. Also, I totally lost my ability to hate. That never returned at all.

I was changed at the core of my being and I have been a basically happy person, an optimist and a lover ever since that day. The “formula” that worked for me was surrender and prayer. That is what it took in my case. Giving up, being at rock bottom and reaching out, even angrily to God/Source/Divine….fill in the blank with what has heart and meaning to you. IT the Heart, doesn’t care what you call it…..just THAT you call it.

As a side note, I kept my appointment the following week with my therapist Marge. I related this entire story to her and she asked if I would write it down for the meditation class she taught weekly. She said this was an experience that many of them were hoping for through meditation. After our session she walked me to the door and hugged me saying “I feel as if I have been in the Presence of an angel for the last hour. Thank you.”

Thank you for listening to my Leela. J

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Can We Close the Zoos Now?

When Joelle was little (she is now almost 21) I used to take her to the San Francisco Academy of Sciences, Aquarium AND the Zoo each first Wednesday of every month. It was great because each first Wed. is FREE day and we'd pack a lunch and go with friends; the kids in strollers and the moms in sneakers.....we'd make a whole day of it. Many times, it would just be Joelley and me. The Zoo was a favorite.

At that time, I could sense the unhappiness of the animals in captivity, (the elephants were particularly depressed) but Joelle's sense of wonder, amazement, excitement and joy hit the "override" button for me.

I can see why at one time, zoos were the only way for children to learn about animals and get a sense of what they were like. At the SF Zoo, they used to have "Zoo Keys" which turned on a little tape recorder that played a brief recording on facts for each animal exhibit. It was educational. Then too, people were less sensitive to the effects on animals in captivity.

NOW, however we have Animal Planet. If you are a regular viewer, you can see just about any type of animal, up close, complete with all sorts of facts and simply spectacular footage. With all of this available, are zoos necessary? Are zoos humane, based on what we have learned about animals? Zoos came into being over 100 years ago. It is my belief that they are antiquated, far out dated and unnecessary. I hope they are all eventually closed as the current population of creatures dies off.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

SUICIDE is a Permanent Solution to a Temporary Problem

or Why the Supreme Court's Decision on Corporate Rights makes our Heroine want to stick her head in a Washing Machine on Extra Spin cycle INSTEAD of a gas oven. Part 1,613

Briiiing! Briiiiiing! Wake up Americans....time to wake UP! In case you've been inundated with only news stories about the weather (it's been raining...who knew!?) let me pass along a bit of important info: Your democracy now sleeps with the fishes. The SCOTUS has decided that Corporations (long legally considered to be 'individuals' by some pretzel logic known only to lawyers) have the right to free speech to the extent that their right to spend money on political campaigns is unlimited. Too late to kiss direct democracy goodbye...we never really had that, but now democracy, small "d" is done, over, kaput. Not only can corporations donate obscene amounts of cash to support their candidate of choice, they can spend gazillions of dollars to thwart, suppress, campaign against those candidates they do not want to have elected. Average, everyday Americans don't stand a snowball's chance in Hell now to run a political campaign. Unless they have corporate backing; sponsorship as it were. You want to run for office? You must become a product.

Future media broadcast: "Ladies and Gentlemen, the next President of the United States, Ms. Sarah Palin tm, a wholly owned subsidiary of Exxon Mobil will be inaugurated on January 20, 2013 in Google Plaza. The President Elect and First Dude have already moved into Halliburton House (formerly known as the White House) and have been settling in. Ms. Palin has been spending the past few days making plans for the redecoration of the Neimann Marcus room.

Those individuals wishing to attend the Inauguration must have their background checks processed and passports stamped by the office of Homeland Security no later than January 1st.
Persons wishing to assemble in the Designated Free Speech Protest Area must have their applications including the $1,000.00 application fee processed and approved by HSA no later than January 5th. Unlawful assembly by persons without permits will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Those convicted will be housed at the Blackwater Correctional Facility in Maryland. Authorities anticipating a large inmate population increase due to this event have made provisions for the newly convicted "overflow" to be transferred to the Focus on the Family tm. State Prison. FOTF Prison currently houses convicted abortion providers, pro-choice advocates and gay and lesbian activists.

BREAKING NEWS This just in: Coca Cola Armed Forces have announced that they intend to institute a draft as early as next September to counteract the now double digit desertion numbers among their personnel fighting in the Indian Water conflict along the Ganges River. Anonymous sources say that the new order to shoot on sight any Indian women attempting to access water under cover of night has caused the rise in desertion rates among the Coca Cola troops. Coca Cola officials state that the first round of drafts will be instituted in the Palestinian Work Camp (formerly known as Gaza) which is controlled by Israel Goldman .Sachs.

Additional Announcement: Comcast Federal Network will have three broadcast channels available for this evening: Lexipro Channel's 24 hour marathon of American Idol, Exxon Mobil News Channel and Levitra/Celias Inc. Channel's Highlights of ESPN.

So yeah, I feel like sticking my head in for a double wash, extra rinse this bad news shit outta my brain cycle, don't you? But because I have faith in human nature ultimately, if not American nature at this point, I would never opt for the Sylvia Plath method of making it all go away.

But I do believe, THIS time, the Revolution will DEFINITELY NOT be televised.