Tag Archives: illusion

Simply Be


What would happen
if I just let go?
What would happen
if I set down the illusion of control,
and I just let myself be held?
I’ve been praying for guidance,
yearning to yield gracefully
to the flow of life in and through me.
But how does one actually let go?
I can grasp the idea,
but holding a thought
is different from the actual experience
of surrender in my body, heart, mind, spirit self…
I’ll keep breathing and praying,
hoping that eventually I learn
how to simply be…

Past and Future


I can’t know what’s next;
I can only know what’s now.
I’m not sure how
much of me is really here
to look deeply into what is.
I wonder how much of me
is truly available
to receive this present.
I keep practicing.
One day,
I might awaken
to what I already knew
long ago
before the world
taught me
past and future.

Today Is The Day


Dear One,
Today is the day
you awaken from the dream
of powerlessness,
the dream of lack and limitation,
the dream of unworthiness,
the dream of fear, self-doubt,
the dream of weakness.
Today is the day
you wake up from the dream
that has kept you in prison.
Today is the day
you stand in the light
and know
how free you are
to live,
to love,
to enjoy
this one precious life.

Peace Was There


And like that, peace returns to my heart.
One could argue it never left,
but try to explain that
to a weary soul at 2:30 am
full of fear, heart bruised by loss.
But the dark night passed,
and the sun rose,
and the day marched on,
and I got done what needed to be done.
I was blessed by sleep and connection,
beloveds appearing with smiles,
open minds, open hearts,
and the desire to really, truly help.
Yes, the peace never left but in my mind.
It sure is wonderful to discover
peace was there all along.

Beyond the Illusion


Just as water
appears to change states–
here liquid, there solid,
sometimes vapor,
sometimes sublimated
into tiny particles of
ice suspended in the air–
yet its essential nature
remains the same,
so do we appear to change–
now joy, now depression,
sometimes stagnation,
at other times elation–
and yet our essential nature
always remains the same.
How can this be?
The awakened heart-mind,
the bodhichitta,
is never marred, never broken.
Even in the depths of our
greatest despair
when we are blind to all else
but our own pain–
still the jewel of
our awakened self
remains pure and shining.
Consider the clouds
obscuring the sun from our view.
Has the sun changed?
Of course not!
So it is when thought clouds
obscure the light of consciousness.
It remains there,
ever shining, ready to illuminate
the whole world
as we remember
what lies beyond the illusion.

The Sound of Being


Time well spent
What does this mean?
Time is a human fabrication,
a lie,
an attempt to measure the immeasurable,
a system by which we collectively agree
to structure our moments, our lives.
When we sit in the moment, in stillness,
there is no time, only being.
We use time so that we might
know how to make our paths converge,
so that we might get our teeth cleaned
or our hair done,
or be interviewed,
or learn,
or be operated on,
or be entertained…
but sometimes life has different plans.
So much can happen in one instant,
and where are we left
if our illusion has been shattered,
and suddenly we are broken open,
thrust into being?
Slowly, I want to dissolve my own
attachment to time,
and become more patient,
create more space within
to experience everything that is happening now,
that I might really see it, this moment,
and not just the incessant turning of hands
the ticking of seconds,
the clanging of alarms.
I want to be fully absorbed in this moment,
beyond time, space, and physical phenomena,
that I might hear my breathing,
and through this listening,
hear the very universe
as it breathes in and out,
singing one song,
pulsing one single droning note,
the sound of being.

My Post for Saturday


In twelve hours I will be getting the room ready for my workshop.
It is already tomorrow, the day of my workshop,
but I’m writing this for Saturday,
which passed in the blink of an eye.

It’s funny to think about time,
how silly it all is actually,
how wrapped up in it I become,
and how this moment,
just as it is,
is all there is.


Practice First


I decided to try something different tonight and meditate first.  Often when I come to my blog at the end of the evening, it’s a struggle to just put a few sentences together, and afterwards it’s even more of a struggle to sit still in meditation for thirty minutes, attempting to stay awake.  My body is tired from teaching four yoga classes this weekend, my mind is tired from having little sleep the past six nights. I ended up stopping my meditation early because I was so drowsy I kept losing focus.  I made it through twenty of thirty minutes  though, and that counts for something.

With ten minutes remaining, I opened the laptop and logged in to my blog.  Now here I am.  It seems like the words can flow more easily now that my mind is a little clearer, more spacious.  Even though I felt so drowsy a moment ago, now I feel more alert.  A yoga teacher once said, “Practice, and all else is forthcoming!” I can really feel this now, after making my meditation the priority and attending to it first this evening.  I wanted to save my alertness, the best part of my mind for my practice, and even just twenty minutes have refreshed me somewhat and given me the space to simply be with these words without judgment.

What would happen if I made my practice my priority every evening?  Would my evening posts go more smoothly?  It often feels like I’m struggling to find the right word, but having come from meditation, I sense that there is no right word or wrong word, there are just words, and they point to the essence, the underlying unity of all things.

There is snow in the forecast, and lots of it.  My daughter’s preschool has already been canceled for tomorrow, and I most likely won’t be going in to teach my Monday morning yoga class.  This means I will have a rare, cozy day to spend inside with my family, and right now, this inclement weather seems to be a very precious gift.

As I look forward into the month, I will be spending some time exploring the third step of the Twelve Steps of AA.  The third step is all about turning one’s life and affairs over to the will of God as we understand God. Since I read about this, I’ve thought so much about how much I try to control in my life, and how fruitless and painful this delusional struggle for control can be.  Giving up this illusion, I find the clarity to see my life as it is now, and I have a receptive, open mind that can be led to make decisions for the greatest good of all concerned.

Just for the heck of it, I began today with this idea of “turning it over” to God.  I found myself getting frustrated with other drivers on the road who were pulling dangerous moves, not using their turn signals, dawdling at green lights because they were on their phones.  As I saw myself growing increasingly frustrated, I reminded myself that peace is in this moment, only in this one moment.

I began to say out loud to God, “I turn my anger, rage, resentment, irritation, impatience, and anxiety over to you.  I don’t know how to handle this on my own.  I put this in your hands, that you may show me the way to peace.” I breathed deeply.  I had to keep turning my road rage over to God, because the other drivers kept giving me opportunities to feel irritated, frustrated, annoyed…oh the unsavory words escaping from my mouth!

Then, in the next moment, “God, I turn this anger over to you. I trust that your power will help me to heal. I have tried everything I know how to do, and still I am angry.  Still I react with impatience. God, please show me how to live in alignment with your light and love.”

I turned my marriage, my family, my parenting, my friendships, my work, my creativity, my body, and my mind over to God today.  Every time I felt worried or irked about something, I would turn whatever it was over to God.  The newness of this felt refreshing; it introduced a quality of lightness into the moments where I was challenged by my own negative thinking.  I’m so often trying to mold situations to my liking, and the internal pressure that builds as I push against the things I don’t want becomes profoundly uncomfortable, dark, thick, heavy.  To feel even a little lightness began to ease the pressure I have placed on myself to get it right.  So I kept turning things over, practicing a willingness to let go, if only for a second.  I sense that right now I’m mostly intellectualizing this giving up of control, but over time, with earnest effort, I might actually experience what it is to set down the illusion of control and allow God to show me the way.  I look forward to this grace.

Time for bed.  This mama is tired!

Climb the Mountain…Blow It Down


Just a quick check in to say, I have a mountain of laundry that threatens to bury us all, and an equally large mountain of resistance to doing the laundry. I want to finish my daughter’s rainbow tote, I want to rest, maybe do some restorative yoga–I feel exhausted from this week. I’d rather create than do more work to keep the house in order.

This morning, as I was trying to help smooth the breakfast routine along, I was rinsing dishes at the sink thinking about what stands in front of me when I sit down to write. I always have this feeling of being blocked, like I really don’t have anything interesting to say, and even the first words I type will be wrong, meaningless, unimportant. If I try to come up with a title first, then there is resistance to that process, and the thought that the title won’t be pertinent.  I might try to reassure myself that I can choose a title later, but then there’s an argument to that thought too–I need to have an idea before I proceed, otherwise this will all be blather. A title gives an idea of what is coming. It helps to bring some structure to a piece.

So it came to me in a flash, all of these fear thoughts from the perfectionist and the inner critic–they really have no substance. Like really well-designed scenery on the stage of a play, they look substantial, impressive, maybe even quite real–but in the end, if you stroll behind them, you’ll see that they’re just an illusion. But they’re BIG, and intimidating, and it takes a minute for me to step back and have a good look at them; very often because they are so relentless, I might not even realize that I am not those thoughts I’m having about myself.

If I do step back, I see Mt. Everest. It’s huge, it’s impassable, and on all sides of me there are boulders, crevasses, huge chunks of ice. But no wait. That’s not really Mt. Everest. That’s just the scenery on the stage of a play. If I stroll behind it, I see–it’s a cardboard Mt. Everest! One great big breath and I blow the scenery down. Now the path is clear ahead of me.

Now I can write.

So today, I will climb the mountain of laundry…I will push through the mountain of resistance…I will blow down the mountain of fear. The first mountain will take some time to tackle. The second will take some discipline and will. The third takes just one big breath.

I can do this.