Stop trying so hard, my child

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Stop pushing and forcing the fabric of existence to give you what you believe you want.
When the well is empty, when the tap is broken, you can’t force it into being.

Rather allow what is so it can become anew. It is by letting go of resistance, letting go of attachment, by letting it slide your back, that you arrive at a new opening, new flow.

Listen again, with fresh new ears. Discover newly.
It is by letting it go, again, and again, and again, that the flow keeps flowing.

The Mystery is right here, can you feel it?

Let yourself be filled with it.
Let yourself breathe it into being.
Let yourself follow the stream.
Fall into the oceanic waves of being..

That’s all that ever was and ever will be.
That is the one place you truly to reside in.
It is your very own true nature.


The Agony of Love

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I remember the first time I tasted Death. I was bitter, it was crude, it was fucking painful, and yet so magnificent.

It happened, ironically enough, on Halloween of 2008. I was in my motherland, Poland, visiting my parents for the first time since I moved to Vancouver, Canada. It was a beautiful sunny morning, a day like any other day. It was 10am when I heard a phone ring. I picked up the phone and heard my husband’s s voice. He felt different, he sounded solemn, deep, and strangely calm.

“I had a close call today and almost died. A truck showed up out of nowhere to my left, and somehow the car suddenly swerved to the right and landed on the sidewalk. It wasn’t me. I don’t know what happened. I saw my whole life flash in front of me, from the moment I was born till today. I saw all the mistakes I’ve made and all the lessons I was to learn from them. I’m calling because I got a message. I will die in a car accident within a week, and I need to make peace. I have a series of requests for you, will you help me fulfill them?”

I heard what he said. I felt how real that was for him. I sensed the conviction behind every word. Some part of me knew he was telling me the truth and, yet, I resisted. I wanted there to be some semblance of safety and comfort. I wasn’t ready. I closed my mind and heart to the possibility of that ever happening. I told myself he was simply afraid and still in shock.

He kept listing his requests. Most of them were about calling particular family members and friends in Poland, apologizing for being disconnected from them and to send them his love. He wanted me to call them right after our call. Other requests were more trivial, like making sure I will know how to get a Can drivers license and social security number. Then he made me promise that I would come back to Canada to attend his funeral. “No matter what it takes. Ok?” he kept saying. I didn’t understand why he was asking me for these things, but I sensed how extremely important they were to him, so I accepted and declared “I will.”

And then he asked: “Is there anything I should know about before I die? Is there anything that you haven’t told me about? About John? You can tell me the truth, I won’t be angry. I just want to know. Please tell me. Did you love him? Did you ever have sex with him?” I shriveled and got scared. I already told myself that it was not going to happen, I wasn’t going to open pandora’s box, I wasn’t going to admit it. The painful truth was that I did love his brother. We kissed, several times. He fingered me, once, at their cousin’s wedding. I took a deep breath in, I swallowed guilt, and twisted my own knife into my own heart a little deeper: “No baby. There is nothing. I never loved him. Don’t believe him, please. There was only that one time I told you about. Nothing else. Baby, don’t believe him. You know how many times he lied to you before..Are you going to believe him now?” Everything quiet, my breath pacing, my shameful heart waiting for the verdict. And then he speaks: “Ok then, baby. Thank you. I can go with peace now. I love you so much. Thank you for being such a gift to me.” We ended the call and I exhaled with relief. I was a murdered escaping the scene of the crime, unscathed, untouched, unmovable. I then called his Dad, then our friends, and one by one delivered the message, as promised. Little did I know what was about to unfold next.

Each transformation is going to be painful because the old has to be left for the new. It is painful, but don’t avoid it. If you avoid it you have avoided the greatest opportunity to grow.  Go into it, suffer love, because through the suffering comes great ecstasy. Yes, there is agony, but out of the agony, ecstasy is born.

Few hours later, while sitting on a big comfy brown leather chair at my mom’s work, something very strange begun to unravel. First, the edges of objects as seen by my very eyes begun to dissolve. My mom’s lips emitted the strangest of sounds, none of which my mind could grasp or understand. My body was being flooded with previously unknown landscapes of emotions. I loosing its grip on reality, on the brink of a break-down. The atmosphere turned gloomy, dark, and surreal. “What is happening here?” a voice spoke in my mind. Confused, perplexed, and messed up I followed my parents into the car. As I walked I could hear them arguing in a distance, for who knows what reason this time. I sat at the back seat exhausted while they continued battling in the front. Tears of gratitude fell on my cheeks as I remembered that I was going to be in Poland only for another 3 weeks. Only three weeks left and I will be with Albert again. Only three weeks left and I will be home again. Being with my husband again was the one and only thing that was bringing me solace.

As I opened the door to my parent’s house, a memory flashed through my system. A memory of this exact moment and moments after. A deja vu. A sudden knowing pierced the tar bubble surrounding my very being. Goose bumps. A flood of truth from within. “I’ve seen this before!”. I saw myself opening the door, walking through the hall, hearing the phone ring, and picking up the phone. I heard Albert’s dad’s voice on the other side. He said..wait a minute. He said that Albert had died in a car accident! I was now waking up. I was waking up from a very deep long sleep. I was now waking up to the realization that everything had already happened, that no such a thing as time exists, and I’m simply watching a movie, a dream of sorts, and I’m watching it scene by scene, one moment at a time. Even writing this now fills me with chills.

I opened the door, walked through the hall, heard the phone ring, picked up the phone, and heard Albert’s dad’s voice on the other side. “Albert died in a car accident over an hour ago, and there was someone else in the car with him. They also died. We don’t know who it was just yet.”

I fell to my knees and wailed like a wild animal. I already knew it was Koyo, his best friend. As I cried another flash of memory came to my awareness. I now remembered when Albert, Koyo, and myself drove in the same car, and had a similar close call experience, when a truck showed up from out of nowhere, and we ended up on the sidewalk, without a scratch. I recalled the somber silence of that moment, and the quiet prophetic voice inside. That voice, that wasn’t my own, told me: “They didn’t die in the car today, because you are here and you are meant to live. It will happen the third time.” It all fit in together like a puzzle. It did happen the 3rd time around, and they did die.

I lost my mind and entered the most painful, most insane, most intense realm of agony. The memories kept flashing of all these small signals along the way preparing me for this moment. I remembered Albert saying that he had always sensed he was going to die at the age of 27. I just didn’t want to listen. I remembered him saying that had he had the choice he would prefer dying in a car accident, as it is the shortest and least painful way to go. I remembered his nickname ASH. I remembered all the quiet moments when I caught myself arguing with him and thinking that he could die any day, and yet still not choosing love.

It was too much. The agony reached its peak. It felt like The Universe was playing a prank on me, but I wasn’t laughing. There was some greater power that orchestrated all of this, and I was right in the middle of it, being played. I’ve had my share deal of pain but this hurt more than hell itself. The Universe was giving me signs all along but I chose to ignore it. The Universe was warning me, but didn’t want to see it. Now, it was too late. Me, my life, my dreams, my truth, my reality as I knew it, all of it was dying.

The reality of entering into the Unknown hit me so deeply.  There was nowhere to hide.

Go into the womb of the dark night of your soul, and you will reach into the beautiful sunrise of the morning Sun. Disappear as the due drop and become the ocean. When you’re used to identifying yourself as the drop and You’re becoming the ocean- it hurts, you feel you’re dying. Your illusion is dying, and that hurts.
~ Osho

So many people are stuck in their minds until the heart, emotions, or body finally brings them to their knees and brings them back to Love. It is Nature’s way of releasing the death grip of the mind, in surrender to a greater power.
~ Baba Dez Nichols

The next few weeks I kept sitting in pain, shame, and grief indescribable in words. There was also this immense sense of awe of the synchronistic events out of our last phone conversation. His requests were beginning to make sense. It was as if he exactly knew what was going to happen after he’s gone. I had no reason to go back to Canada. My husband, my everything, was gone, and with him our best friend Koyo. At that point I realized I had no life of my own, no friends, no money, no job, nothing to return to. All I had was immense guilt and shame for what I had done, the secrets I held in, and this heavy feeling that somehow I brought it all on myself. It was time to pay my dues. It would have been so easy to stay in Poland, and be with my parents, in a safety of the family cocoon. And yet I couldn’t- I promised him I would go back and that promise was the only thing that kept me alive. That was the only clue left to pursue. All I needed to do next was to fly back, and be at his funeral.

Being back at our home was a torture. All the things that seemed so important and valuable before lost their meaning. I couldn’t care less about having a big house, a fat bank account, a white fence, a hot tub, beautiful furniture, or a wardrobe full of clothes. Everything seemed so trivial, so empty, and so useless. Being with his family was the greatest torture of all- I had to face my husband’s brother & his wife and my in-laws, knowing what I had done. As it turned out they all knew it all along, and that truth was disgustingly hard to swallow. Brilliantly enough, there was nowhere to go, nowhere to hide. I had to face My Self.

Up until that point I had not spoken to God for about 9 years. In fact, I lost all faith in anything sacred or divine. My life was a perfect testament to this truth. Now, sitting in agony the only place that was bringing me any sense of release was gut wrenching sorrowful asking, begging, and screaming to God. I would smell Albert’s clothes, caress his photos, and beg this higher power to bring him back. I kept saying “Please, I will change, I will be good, just bring him back. I will do whatever you want, just bring him back, please!” No grand voice appearing from the sky descended to save me. Only Silence.

This is when I entered the furnace.

In the state you have attained, you have become gold; 
now you must transform even more of yourself into gold; 
you have to come to a time when you will enter the furnace, begin to boil, 
and offer yourself up for hammering on the anvil of mortification by the blows of the Coiner, 
so you can become a ring worthy of Solomon or an earring that could adorn an Emperor. 
Most of the seekers you see are just imitators;
they will become authentic when they dare to enter the hearth of love, 
and when they endure on the anvil of patience the blows of misery and suffer impossible situations; 
then, after many ordeals, they will find purity, and become the mirror of God.
~ Rumi

The hammering began. The days and nights kept rolling on and I was finally getting in touch with the actual pain, the actual hurt, that which I’ve been hiding underneath my whole life. My consciousness travelled from memory to memory, visiting all the moments where I chose to separate through lies, pretenses, stealing, hating, hurting others or myself.  As I kept watching and feeling the movie of my own life I became present to tremendous regret, shame, guilt, and sadness. I finally faced myself and it was not a pretty picture. As I became aware of the perfect mosaic of my choices that led me to this very moment, it made perfect sense that I would find myself alone in this dark room, in a foreign country, without family or friends, and with no resources to go on, and no purpose to live by. The house of cards crumbled, and there was not even a tinge of denial left in me. What was present was deep gut wrenching discomfort and heart contorting pain of my ego’s ending. Something had to die.

Fall back into the fire and let it take you. Use it to burn away your resistance, your identity, your stories. What’s left will be the Real You: infinite abundant radiant love.
~ David Cates

I woke up suddenly. It was 3:23 am, I knew right away that this was going to be yet another sleepless night of purging and hammering. This time, for whatever reason, I felt more afraid. I sensed that something big was about to happen and I didn’t know whether I was going to come out the other end. My mind begun rolling, my feeling body travelled with it, and here it was- the final moment. The reality of me lying to Albert when he was alive and on the day he died has finally caught up with me. Knowing that he now knew and saw the whole truth, was too painful to bare. He saw how much I loved his brother. He saw how much I longed for him. He saw how I sneaked out of family dinner that one time to lovingly and passionately make out with him. He saw all the love letters and all the photos I sent to him. He saw that he has now become the only glimmer of hope for me, as he was the only real remnant I had left of Albert. The only reflection tasting of wholeness.

My heart swelled up and contracted with sharp pain. I gasped for air, but couldn’t breathe. The pain was so strong that I couldn’t even move or make a sound. It hit me right there and then- I was getting a heart attack and I was about to die. I was going to transition out of this Earthy plane, but my next destination was not going to be heaven. I knew inside of me that I was going to go to a lower realm, a nightmarish realm of separation and loss. It was too late to change it. “No! I’m not ready. No, I can’t accept this. I can’t accept that these are the consequences! I can’t accept this death!”- my mind kept screaming. I was getting closer and closer. I wasn’t breathing for at least a minute, panicking, gasping, in pain. I suddenly felt drawn to look to the right of the room, and noticed a dark figure in the room. It seemed to have been wearing a cloak and it was made up of a deep, steady, primordial vibration. “This is death coming for me! This is really happening! I don’t want to die! No! Please! Please! I cannot accept that this is really happening to me!”- my ego kept fighting. The figure was coming closer and closer, I kept noticing my fear and my grasping for oxygen, while the reality was finally sinking in. I had no choice- I could die screaming and fighting or I could surrender into ease and acceptance. The essence of what this life was for, of what I ‘ve learned, and of what I would do differently washed all over me. I was ready to go. “I accept. I surrender to this dark unknown, and I accept this consequence fully. Thank you. I can die now.” My head fell down onto the pillow, body dropped on the bed, no part in resistance. I released the ego’s grip and surrendered to what was coming next.

This Love is deeper than the ocean. This Love is higher than the stars. This love is wider than the Universe for me. I will never be let go.
~ Chad Wilkins

Out of nowhere, I notice a light body on the ceiling- a human body, but made up of glowing golden orange light. I looked at it’s face and realized that it was Albert! He had the same eyes, same eye brows, the same beard.. He looked exactly the same, but made up of light!
“Oh my God, you still exist! You didn’t die!”- I wailed out in my mind. “Yes. And there is nothing that you can do to not deserve my love”- he quietly and sweetly replied inside of me. Everything became mushy, wet, and warm. My bed, the sheets, the entire room. I began sobbing and as I sobbed my body begun to unlock. I opened my arms and my heart.. Mercy flooded me completely. “I’m still loved,  I am still good, I am forgiven even though I cheated and lied to him” I kept wailing. And then I noticed an emanation of beautiful, glowing golden and pink lights cascading down from his heart into my chest. The Aurora Borealis entered the density of the pain in my heart, melting it, and then filling my entire body with wet warmth of liquid light and loving. This one moment changed everything, it awoke the real me, the love that moves the stars and everything in it, it awoke the truth.
With Albert’s arms embracing me, I dissolved.

The morning after was the first day of the rest of my life. The soil was now ripe for the new. I was free, I was peaceful, and for the first time in a really long time I was connected to something larger than myself.  Even though my husband was still physically gone, I understood and knew he was still with me. I felt him, I spoke to him, I heard his guidance- he was trying to help me reveal the bigger picture, the Grand Unknown. The following weeks were filled with deep inquiry into what this life is really all about, what is important, and why I was here. Slowly and steadily I was beginning to discover that my husband is a part of a larger Presence. The voice and feeling of my husband began shifting into something deeper, grander, more majestic. My nights were still sleepless, but this time they were filled with teachings. I was speaking with God. Any question I had was being revealed through a myriad of snapshots of memories, words, feelings, and symbols that I experienced once before, but this time they formed a moving collage revealing the very Mystery itself.

What unravelled for me from this rich and beautiful time with the Mystery was that I am here for one thing only:


What I’ve also come to realize is that Agony and Death are my greatest allies.
It is in this Furnace, in this Death that I experience healing and transformation.
Death opens the gateway to the next step, to my next journey. Symbolic and literal.

Today, 6 years later, I am married once again. I have learned my lesson. As I look into Dave’s eyes I already know that he will die. I already know that our journey will end, I simply do not know when and I do not know how. He could die in a car accident, get sick, divorce me, or meet someone else. As I look into my husband’s eyes I see Albert’s eyes. You see, Albert was the first one that touched the Real Me inside- abundant radiant Love.  Whenever I am in touch with this Loving Presence I see Albert’s eyes. Because these are the eyes of Love, my own Eyes.

The gift of this truth allows me to be grateful for this present moment, in the here and now. 
The gift of this truth allows me to feel more and be more as love, to hold nothing back. 
The gift of this truth allows me to be open, completely transparent, honest, and speak my truth even if it hurts.

And when Agony shows up again, I welcome it with open arms as I know it will clean me out for some new arrival.

Shine inside and out!

Is that all there is to life?


SHE says:
There is this deep well in me.
There is this deep unbearable longing, this yearning to be ONE with You.
And no matter what you do, it is never enough.
I always want more. I will never be truly satisfied.
No matter what you do, I long for more.
It is exhausting.

HE says:
There is this deep purpose in me.
There is this path I must walk.
There is this deep unbearable purpose to serve.
And no matter what I do, it is never enough.
I can never contribute enough, do enough, serve enough.
No matter how much I do, I will never be truly satisfied.
It is killing me.

SHE says:
We could be making love right now.

HE says:
I could be making a difference right now.

We are YIN and YANG manifest in form.

And after we have sought and sought, found much, and realized it still hasn’t been enough, we come to the place where..

“There is nothing to do
There is nowhere to go
Nobody is going anywhere
Nobody is coming from anywhere
We’re all here
In eternal Time and Space
We’re always going to be here
We’re just doing the Divine Dance
Dancing & Dancing & Dancing
Dance after Dance
In one body
In another body
Him and Her
We’re all here
And we’re all staying right here
And all of it is irrelevant”

~Ram Das 

May you realize this place of pure being, where you simply dwell.
And where ALL is whole and perfect as it is.
And where you sit is at the lotus of your heart.
And your heart is free.


How I Lost Myself in Doing and Found Myself in Being

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Lately I’ve been obsessed doing everything.

If you were a fly on the wall in my life this last month, you’d see me pursuing my dreams. You’d notice that my week was filled with a lot of coaching and teaching, replying to clients’ emails, rehearsals for my first burlesque dance performance, rehearsals for my first solo singing performance with a band, practicing piano, writing, and cooking. 

This pursuit of an extraordinary life is usually so purpose-full, so rich, and so satisfying for me. It is what makes me feel most alive, what my life is for.

This last week, however, everything was different.

Every time I sat in front of the piano, I couldn’t play. Every time I sat in front of my laptop, I couldn’t come up with anything. Every time I practiced my song, I just wasn’t feeling it. Every time I tried to do anything at all, I would fill up with visceral torment.

And yet, my mind kept saying:

You should be working
You should be accomplishing things
You should be practicing
You can’t just sit there and do nothing!

This experience was unbearable and exhausting. I felt raw, vulnerable, and utterly self-conscious. I was taken over by something larger than myself. Whatever I put my hands on would bring relief only for a few minutes, and then subside into sheer utter angst, no release. It was clear to me that I was not in control. Some force larger than me was making me be.

Last night, after a week of fighting and striving, I finally gave up and gave in. Nothing to do, nowhere to get to.

I put on Chad Wilkins‘ album, put a blanket on the floor, lied down on my belly, and exhaled. It only took me a brief moment for me to notice all the holding in my body. I was all wrapped up, contracted, and intolerably uncomfortable.

And then, unexpectedly, this simple line in a song touched something in me:

When we love the mysteries get revealed.

That thought cracked something inside. Amongst all the density, contraction, and resistance I noticed a tiny crack. This crack offered a new choice. I begun sobbing.

Allow. No need to fight. Love what is, as it is. 

A door opened.

What came forward was a presence so familiar, so deep, so real. It was my soul. It awakened and released my mind. I was at home once again. I opened my hands as I opened my heart. I decided that no parts of me were going to remain unseen. The LOVING that poured into me was almost unbearable, I could not stop weeping. My entire being convulsed and wailed out into a song. The song celebrated my beauty, my freedom, my unique expression, my right to be ME. 

Within moments untold stories, unfelt feelings, and unknown insights arose from the inside.

I realized something.

This pressure to be doing more begun with believing that BEING as I am is not enough. All my efforts to strive for more, accomplish more, and create more are simply a result of wanting to be approved of, to be like one of them, to belong on Planet Earth. From early on I was counseled I need to do better at school, be successful, have more money, find a good husband. I must fight to have the life I want.

Now I was seeing that I had it wrong all along.

What if BEING is the secret to all treasures? What if allowing myself to feel at home in my own soul, wherever I am, is the only thing to do, the only thing worth living for?

This one really hit me.

I remembered living here before. I remembered living from this space as a child. I recalled the endless wonder and possibilities ever present in each moment. Every moment so rich, full, and magical. No need or desire to fill it, to make it better, or make it more. It was already perfect exactly as it was. And I already had it all. And all of it was for me!

It is so simple.

Last night The MYSTERY opened itself to me. It reminded me that I am deeply related to existence, and that existence cares for me. It reminded me that tremendous love is falling on me from all dimensions. It reminded me about my reason for being here, my contracts, my gifts, and all the loved ones who support me from beyond this Earthly plane.

And it was the most beautiful thing there is. And, funny enough, I didn’t need to do anything for it.

I give thanks.
I give thanks.
I give thanks.

And I wish it for the world.


Shine inside, and out…

On FInding “The One”


“My Love, where are you? When will you come?”

I can so appreciate this longing…

I’ve had it too, most of my life actually. I kept looking and searching for my Beloved, who was going to save me and make me happy. I waited, and prayed, and cried, and yearned for him. I would walk down the city streets, scanning crowds of strangers, listening, wondering if he’s close, wondering if I’d feel him from a distance. I would go to events, community gatherings, and parties, all with one goal in mind- to ask “Are you here?”

I would yearn to feel his warm naked body close to mine. For his mind, cutting me from illusions. For the depth of his heart, penetrating me, opening, melting. I would yearn to dance, to cry, to laugh, to play with him. To share my life with him. To stare at sunsets, make love till dawn, and drop dead asleep in each other’s arms. To wake up to his soft loving gaze as I open my eyelids in the morning. To share coffees, and breakfasts, and lunches, and everything else.

And every time someone would show up- “Here he is, he’s the one!”. I’d desperately cling, I’d attach, I’d source my happiness from them, and I’d forget myself. Guess what happened every single time? Every one of these relationships fell apart. I was lost. I didn’t know who I was. Who I really was.

And then this happened.

I woke up one sunny morning, looked out the window, and out of the blue and I heard a voice: “What if he never comes? What if you were to spend the rest of your life alone? Is this how you would live? How would you live if you knew that you will be alone till the day you die?”

A truth immediately washed over my body. A tunnel vision appeared before me. I begun to watch the movie of my life as a single woman on fast forward, from that moment onward, unto death. I saw a life of creativity, beauty, friendship, travel, and wisdom. I saw myself on a death bed, without a family, without grand children, but surrounded by immense Light.
Happy. At peace. Connected. And in awe of my life.
And I accepted that.

As I let myself receive the question, and the vision, I begun to look around me- at the home I was in, at the city I lived in, at the life I lead, at the relationships I was in, and suddenly everything became crystal clear. The answer finally appeared- this life here was not my real life. This life was created in an attempt to find “The One”. When I was finally really honest with myself, I realized I didn’t want to be in that home. In that city. That work.
I didn’t want any of it.

The door closed on me and I finally met myself.
My own wants, my own desires, and my dreams.

And I let him go. I let it all go.
I gave him up. And I chose me.

With that decision, I completed my life in Vancouver, Canada. I gave my notice. I gave away most of what I owned, besides a backpack, and some clothes. I transferred my clients to other practitioners. I became celibate, in a primary partnership with myself. And I went off, to travel the world on my own for the next 8 months.

By becoming my own best friend, partner, and lover I finally stopped looking outside.
How freeing and beautiful that was.

My Beloved was right here.

You can only truly get something when you give it up. And only then.

On my 7th month of travels, I met someone in the kitchen of my camp at Burning Man.
I was ready. I was ready because I didn’t need him. He didn’t complete me.

He was so beautiful, though.
So beautiful that I wept as he held me.

I asked him: Where have you been?
He replied: I’ve never left.

And I realized he’s been with me all along. He is..
“.. a thousand winds that blow,
..the diamond glints on snow,
..the sun on ripened grain,
..the gentle autumn rain..”

It is Love, this Openness that rings through everything. This beauty. This. Everything. Right here.

We’ve been married for 3 years.

He is my reflection.
Of my stuff.
Of Love that I am.
He is “The One”.

But is he really?

Keep on shining, inside and out!

My Journey into Vipassana

“A spiritual tradition is not a shallow stream in which one can wet one’s feet and then beat a quick retreat to the shore. It is a mighty, tumultuous river which would rush through the entire landscape of one’s life, and if one truly wishes to travel on it, one must be courageous enough to launch one’s boat and head out for the depths.”
Bhikkhu Bodhi

Launching my boat off the shore to explore the waters of Vipassana meditation I had no notion of the depths that I’d get to plunge into. I haven’t had any preexisting points of reference or precedents to warn me of the magnitude of its silent yet penetrating healing powers. Not only was it going to open all the doors into the fields of deeply rooted ignorance, but also granted me time, space, and support in facing the contents of the most hidden islands, shadows, blind spots, and treasures of my being-ness.

Yes, dear ones, no more hiding. No more running away.
No more denying the truth of our intrinsic human misery.
You see it like it is. For real.
And then you face it. And you disintegrate it. And you dissect it. And you dissolve it.

And then you go deeper. And deeper still.
Only you and the boat.
You persevere.
Until you reach total liberation from suffering and full enlightenment.
Untill you become purely GOLD.

Rumi seems to understand this very process when he writes:

“In the state you have attained, you have become gold;
now you must transform even more of yourself into gold;
you have to come to a time when you will enter the furnace,
begin to boil,
and offer yourself up for hammering on the anvil of mortification by the blows of the Coiner,
so you can become a ring worthy of Solomon or an earring that could adorn an Emperor.
Most of the seekers you see are just imitators;
they will become authentic when they dare to enter the hearth of love,
and when they endure on the anvil of patience the blows of misery and suffer impossible situations;
then, after many ordeals,
they will find purity,
and become the mirror of God.”

The Context:

Vipassana, one of India’s most ancient meditation techniques, was rediscovered by Gotama the Buddha more than 2500 years ago.

Vipassana, a Pali word is often translated as insight or clear-seeing, simply means seeing things as they really are. Seeing their ultimate truth. Top to bottom. Front and back. Sideways. In all dimensions.

Vipassana is a process of self-purification and alchemization by silent self-observation. This scientific and simple method of directly experiencing the natural changing nature of breath, mind, and body unravels immediate insight into the truth of one’s reality. It unveils the magnitude of the impact of one’s mind’s defilements on the quality of their inner and outer life. It is the way of complete eradication of all sources of suffering and bondage at their root. These sources, according to Buddha’s teaching, are craving, aversion, and ignorance. Meditator starts walking on the path towards the absence of hate, fear, greed, and delusion, and the presence of peace, happiness, love, and equanimity.

The 10 day course:
All who attend take refuge in the Buddha- the qualities of enlightenment.
All who attend take refuge in the Dhamma- the laws of nature.
All who attend take refuge in the Sangha- the qualities of enlightened persons.

All who attend a Vipassana course must conscientiously undertake the following five precepts for the duration of the course:

  1. to abstain from killing or hurting any being;
  2. to abstain from stealing;
  3. to abstain from all sexual activity;
  4. to abstain from telling lies or speaking in a harsh, slanderous, or rambling manner;
  5. to abstain from all intoxicants.

For the duration of the course students observe complete Noble Silence.

The course timetable:
4.00 am- Morning wake up bell
4.30 – 6.30- Meditate in the hall or in your room
6:30 – 8:00 am- Breakfast break
8. 00 – 9.00 am- Group meditation in the hall
9:00 -11:00 am- Meditate in the hall or in your room
11:00 -12:00 pm- Lunch break
12.00 -1:00 pm- Rest and interviews with the teacher
1:00 – 2:30 pm- Meditate in the hall or in your room
2:30 – 3:30 pm- Group meditation in the hall
3:30 – 5:00 pm- Meditate in the hall or in your own room according to the teacher’s instructions
5:00 – 6:00 pm- Tea break
&.00 – 8.15 pm- Discourse in the hall
8.15 – 9.00 pm- Group meditation in the hall
9.00 – 9.30 pm- Question time in the hall
9.30 pm- Retire to you room; Lights out

My journey as a Vipassana student:

Ever since I was a young child, I would be told to abide to an all mighty powerful vengeful external God whom I am able to coerce into saving me from hell, if I am to be a good girl. I still remember my teacher’s words, at a mandatory religion class in elementary school: “It is better to believe, even if at the end of the road it turns out God doesn’t exist, that not to believe and get sent down to hell at the finish line. Guys, can you see that you have nothing to loose. You can only gain.” Now, entering Vipassana, I was told to set aside all superstition, all mysticism, or all my magic tricks, and simply work for my own liberation. Work hard, work diligently, and work patiently. Liberation lies in my own heart, in my own being, within, rather than with an external invisible God in the sky.

For the first three days I was to practice Anapana meditation. That means to sit still for almost 10 hours a day, and observe respiration flowing in and out of the nose, noticing, acknowledging, and accepting all that comes up. As I discovered later, this was only the prelude to the real work.
Why I put myself through such a rigorous challenging process? To free my Self from the shackles of mental slavery and negativity, to free myself from old destructive patterns of avoiding or reacting to certain body sensations, and establish peace and harmony. Once and for all.

I was stunned to notice how quickly the stuff shows up. It was pretty immediate. Within 5-10 sec my mind would take me on a roller-coater ride into all thoughts, feelings, sensations, memories, fantasies, and habits that weren’t loving, truthful, empowering, or compassionate. I had not a slightest idea nor any conscious recollection of all these petty tugs I had created and had let slide. Like, for example: I am 12 years old when I deliberately run in front of an old lady on a wheel chair thinking ‘ha ha, you can’t run like me’. “What a little discriminating ignorant jerk!” I reacted. Immediately, my body got flooded with gross unpleasant sensations that my mind interpreted as guilt and shame. It was full blown aversion and ill will towards myself. No more focus, no more peace, no more willingness to face anything, no more compassion. Yet, I am supposed to not react, to simply observe, accept, and maintain equanimity. Well, sometimes it ain’t easy. We struggle and persevere. What other choice remains? To remain in the dark? Thanks, but no thanks.
This example above is simply to illustrate the most inner direct experience of what this process might look like. And there were thousands of such mini dramas. And, this was very tinnie vinnie caliber ammo. I think you get the picture?

On the fourth day, we were introduced to the actual technique of Vipassana. It took us three days to develop fine tuned concentration and a pattern of non-reaction before we were allowed to do the real work. I will never forget the heavy density in the room, and the utter discomfort where I was, as we scanned the entire body for the first time, in search of sensations. That means any sensations, such as heat, cold, pressure, tingling, throbbing, pain, numbness, etc. That means seeing the ultimate truth of the reality within the framework of one’s body. Seeing it as it is, not as we would like it to be.

Immediately I was struck by my unhealthy addicted mind, heavy painful body, and a strong hold of my personality on my being-ness. I was terrified of facing the truth. I was terrified of letting things go. I was terrified of the strength of my ego-ic habits. I was terrified of doing it all on my own. I was terrified of my my own deeply rooted inclination to react. I was terrified of having to be so vigilant, moment by moment. I didn’t want to wake up. Once again I say, it wasn’t easy. As the days progressed, I reached deeper and deeper in the closet, deeper and deeper into the hidden chest, deeper and deeper into the boxes in it, and deeper and deeper into envelopes neatly stacked in each box. It seemed like a journey of no return, no exit, no finish line, going on and on and on. “Does this ever end?”- I kept asking.
Systematic, increasingly refined and increasingly subtle self-observation, eventually without reaction, started to induce changes. Intensity, magnification, as well as amount and type of circulating thoughts and sensations were altered. Anger, fear, passion, and pain became less overwhelming and less threatening. The biology and composition of the body, thought and reaction patterns, eating habits, daily lifestyle, and expressions of distress and pleasure were altered.

What remains still and will wanting and craving and attaching as well disliking and creating aversion, and not being aware of what I am not aware of. The difference is that it’s up to me to react to it and run around after distractions to cover that, or to sit, breathe, and face it. To observe. To accept. To move through it. To love myself, and others. To have compassion, for self and other.

Keep on shining, inside and out!

The Path of the Warrior

The way of cowardice is to embed ourselves in a cocoon, in which we perpetuate out habitual patterns. When we are constantly recreating our basic patterns of behavior and thought, we never have to leap into fresh air or onto fresh ground.
Chogyam Trungpa

As I was rushing through some day-to-day tasks the other day, my restless mind on a mission, body on fast and shallow inhalations, dehydrated, my foundation flaky and weak, out of the blue a profound yet simple epiphany run through my system…

All of my immeasurably fascinating dysfunctions, neuroses, emotions, inner child stuff, moments of shame and doubt, projections, self-loathing, misanthropy, and all that completely normal insanity…was caused by an underlying ever-present fear.

FEAR of LIGHT. Fear of One-ness. Fear of Divinity. Fear of Spirit. Fear of facing the Truth. Fear of the Great Central Sun…
And what I mean by that is simply being afraid of acknowledging and appreciating my existence as a human being~ that inner basic GOODNESS, that wakefulness..our innate SOURCE of radiance, dignity, and self-love.

How many times have you been willing to look at your face in the mirror, without being embarrassed? How many times have you shielded yourself by reading the newspaper, watching tv, eating, or simply spacing out? How much have you connected with yourself at all in your life? How many times have you faced YOURSELF?

Let’s remember that acknowledging fear is NOT a cause for depression or discouragement. Because we experience such fear- we can also experience fearlessness.
It is not a reduction of fear. It is going beyond it. Going right through it.

fear= excitement – breath

So as I was suddenly hit by that realization yesterday, I made a conscious choice to lie down, feel the anxiety and discomfort of facing MYSELF, and simply follow the flow of my breath, making sure that each inhalation led to TOTAL fullness and each exhalation led to TOTAL emptiness.

So through mere practice of following your breath as it goes out and dissolves, creating space, and letting yourself BE– you are connecting with your heart. You actually develop genuine sympathy towards yourself!

When you awaken your heart in this way, you find, to your surprise, that your heart and maybe even your entire body is EMPTY. You find that you are looking into outer space. You can’t find anything tangible and solid. You feel sore, tender, and sad because your heart is completely open and exposed ..
(you might also find something very solid, tight, and contracted when you hold a grudge or un-forgiveness)

WE are willing to open up, extend yourself to others, communicate..and, to our astonishment, we literally begin to SEE LIGHT, even if it is hazy at first.

We find that we are genuine and good as we are. In fact, the whole of existence is well constructed with very little room for mishaps oh any kind. There are constant challenges but once you know your cowardice, once you know where your stumbling block is, you can climb over it. NO BIGGIE!

A true warrior is on a continual journey.
To become A WARRIOR we need to learn to be genuine in every moment of our life.

Shine, inside and out. 🙂