Ruminating On Rumi

As you start to walk out on the way, the way appears.

~ M. Rumi

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Way

Starting a new way, The Way face book page. The Way is epitomized by the Rumi quote, "If you start to walk out on the way, the way appears." The Way is unwayed in the wonderful words, only pointers, in the Tao Te Ching, "The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao" (Tao means the Way) This is the Way. In a practical, relative sense we are not only on the Way but we are the way. The way of the Way is waking up to it. The way is being okay with our inherent humanness, our complexities, our simplicities, our conditionings, all senses, all forms that guide us to the "knowing" that we are all of the formless.

At the Victoria Zen Centre, we chant, "Affirming Faith Mind" with the first two lines as "The great way is not difficult for those who do not pick and choose. When love and hate both disappear the way stands clear and undisguised."
Byron Katy writes, "I'm a lover of reality. When I argue with What Is, I lose,
but only 100% of the time." This is what not picking and choosing means, what is is.
Eckhart Tolle reminds us in "The Power Of Now", "Nothing ever happened in the past; it happened in the Now. Nothing will ever happen in the future; it will happen in the Now". Now is the Way.

In Kurt Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse Five" he continuously used the now famous words, "So it goes".  So it goes is also the Way.

The Mary Oliver poem, "Where Does The Temple Begin, Where Does It End? is the Way.

Where Does the Temple Begin,
Where Does It End?

There are things you can’t reach.  But
you can reach out to them, and all day long.

The wind, the bird flying away.  The idea of God.

And it can keep you as busy as anything else, and happier.

The snake slides away; the fish jumps, like a little lily,
out of the water and back in; the goldfinches sing
from the unreachable top of the tree.

I look; morning to night I am never done with looking.

Looking I mean not just standing around, but standing around
as though with your arms open.

And thinking: maybe something will come, some
shining coil of wind,
or a few leaves from any old tree –
they are all in this too.

And now I will tell you the truth.
Everything in the world

At least, closer.

And, cordially.

Like the nibbling, tinsel-eyed fish; the unlooping snake.
Like goldfinches, little dolls of gold
fluttering around the corner of the sky

of God, the blue air.

~ Mary Oliver ~
(Why I Wake Early)

Please share your experiences, quotes and thoughts on the Way:

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Depression As A Self

Where does depression come from? Perhaps it is our body, mind and soul's response to an unspoken and unthinkable dis-ease in the way we perceive the world. Perhaps depression is just a deeper form of sadness or even of simply feeling flat, dulled by the expectations and demands of a world that measures self worth on having and doing. Perhaps depression is a gift that if we accept it and open it, it allows us to be exactly as we are, sad, confused, lost. Indeed it is all of this.

Just begin to understand that on a deep level depression is not who we are, it is something we are going through. Depression is not a self. Unfortunately, the world we live in does not necessarily support the down time and the need for self examination and acceptance that is needed to move through the feelings of emptiness.  So how do we navigate through this depression or sadness or indeed any of the gamut of feelings that may be in the field of depression?

I would say start right now. In this moment, be still. Find a comfortable relaxed position to be at ease. Close your eyes. Simply become aware of your body in space at this moment. Allow your awareness to lightly touch on the activity of breathing. Feel how air comes into the body and becomes breath. Is the air cool or warm? No need to judge or label, just observe. What does it feel like as air is breathed through the nose, as it moves down through the throat, into the upper chest, the abdomen the belly? Notice just before the exhale there is a pause, a turning of the breath and on its own accord and by it's own nature the exhales arises up and out of the body.  There is nothing to do just simply notice the breath. In this simple way, observing the breath and its qualities, we may begin to become aware that breath is breathing us. And as it breathes us, there really is no problem.  (If you wish to inquire further into the nature of the breath, I encourage you to explore Donna Farhi's "The Breathing Book".)

I think depression is the external "problems" of the world becoming internalized. Focussing on the breath, we focus on what is present, right here, right now. Not on what has happened or may happen, not on scary thoughts of future or regretful thoughts of past. Being present right now with this breath we can experientially sense that all is okay at this very moment. Being present with what is is a practice. It is not something to acquire or to make perfect. It is what it is. Eckhart Tolle says when we notice that we are not present, we are.
Being gentle, kind and loving to ourselves and using breath we can bring our awareness back to this moment as it is.

We are physical expressions of the formless. We are the space where all this, in and around us, appears. We are consciousness itself. We are life! Moving around in these bodies with these thoughts and feelings and with the ability to manifest other forms is a game of hide-and-seek. Consciousness looks for itself in the outer but ultimately awakens from the inner. And in the truest sense of awareness, there is no outer and no inner, no separation. The fox in Antoine de Saint Exupéry's "Little Prince" says, "Here is my secret. It is very simple: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."

Indeed this is it, right where you are, in this very moment, with this very body, these very sensations and feelings, thoughts and perception. All of this, including the feelings of sadness and depression.

Friday, October 21, 2011


Outside my french doors of my beautiful little garden suite, sits April May June. This is her in early summer. As sun and showers nourished her, she wore the abundance of life with the radiant glory of serrated red and green leaves. Now, as the weather chills and the growing time of summer has past, she is in the autumn of her life this year. Leaves are shrivelling and dying, browning and falling    as her outer radiance withdraws inward to keep roots healthy. It is in a sense a time out that is accepted as it is. It is only us humans who are incredulous of change even though it is the most obvious experience. 

April May June
in July 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Depression As A Journey

Depression. Just being depressed is depressing. We, as a society, attach a value to the attribute of being depressed. Depression is negative. Either we accept it as a terrible experience or we dismiss it as an excuse for laziness or some other undesired character defect. Perhaps, we're wrong. Perhaps depression is the body and mind's natural shutting down defence. In other words, when we don't rest, when we don't stop this perpetual motion of acquisition, be it for stuff or knowledge, our being may just respond enough is enough with depression.  And when in depression, we still don't listen to our inner wisdom and exhaust ourselves with ways to "get rid" of our current state, we may find ourselves on a wheel of physical pain and emotional depression. When I say we, please include ME in capital letters.

A question which may be asked is which comes first physical pain or emotional/mental/spiritual depression? I think the answer would likely be it really doesn't matter. What matters is that when it becomes apparent that life no longer brings us joy (much not all of the time), we need to become aware of it. Easier said then done, it may not be so obvious to the one depressed. Even when loving individuals &/or trained professionals try to communicate the outwardly obvious depression, the one affected is able to negate it. (For after all, much of our lives, we have been taught to negate our feelings particularly the ones that are deemed not nice.) With others a diagnosis of depression can equally be depressing because now we may jump on the wheel of allopathic medication and psychiatric care. In other words, we want someone else to fix what we see (or may not) is wrong with ourselves. Once again, feeling out of control, we may think the answer is to give control to someone or something else. (Maybe this is also a clue, the notion of controlling our lives may also contribute to depression.) Perhaps the only thing wrong is that we just don't notice or haven't been taught that our body naturally depresses or slows down because we need to care for ourselves. Perhaps we truly need to feel this to heal it.

For me, that care has been in the form of learning to be okay with depression. In the book "The Zen Path Through Depression", Philip Martin writes, "Depression is an illness not just of the body and mind, but also of the heart. Depression offers us an opportunity to deepen our spirit, our lives, and our hearts. There is much that we can learn about ourselves and our world through this journey. Through attentive, compassionate practice with the depression, it is possible to experience an even deeper healing, and grow in our spiritual lives."

When I first saw my incredible counsellor Myrna, we talked about the many "tragedies" of my growing years. I thought I had dealt with those ghosts, spent time with them, explored them, forgave them and understood them. This learning to live with the stuff of our experience is indeed a sticky business. Myrna used a model of a spiral. As relative times passes and we move through the spiral that is life we bump up with the old but from a new place of experience. At this time, if we typically stuff feelings or even not, some past experiences may need to be revisited (not necessarily resolved) to move on.
Perhaps this is where sadness comes in. If typically we turn away from our sadness and don't allow ourselves this time out from our work-a-day world than perhaps that is where it escalates or rather sinks into depression.   It is only a matter of degrees when sadness becomes depression. My dear friend calls sadness, "feeling flatter then pee on a plate".

More on this next blog....

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Turning Point

Wow!  The first member has joined The Pigasus Project.  Blumoon2, definitely an honorary member, deserves my big thanks.  Thank You!

Is it an ego thing to want to have members or followers?  To some degree.  Ultimately, I would really just like to offer a blog where folks with similar ideas and values can connect and share. I don't want it to be about me.  I have thoughts and ideas only because they have come from the greater community of thoughts and ideas which may have been siphoned, channelled, shared by another individual which ultimately all comes from the one source, the one field of consciousness. (As Eckhart Tolle says over and over again, even these words are just pointers and not it.)  Indeed, we only appear to be different individuals with different stories on a relative level, on an absolute level we are intimately connected.  The story I call mine and the story you call yours is a story of human conditioning, human needs and all levels of consciousness. And it is relative. Nothing on the relative level can easily be pinned down because all form, be it form of substance or thought changes. All ways, always. No thing remains the same. We are all verbs, action, change.
On the absolute level, we are indeed all-with-one. Many forms manifested from one source, awareness, energy, consciousness, presence, whatever words you want to use to reduce this ultimate mystery to a bite-size understanding.

This is beautifully worded by Lao Tzu in the Tao Te Ching, chapter one, (as translated by Derek Lin, and Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained, published by SkyLight Paths in 2006.) Tao simply means the way.

The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named is not the eternal name
The nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth
The named is the mother of myriad things
Thus, constantly without desire, one observes its essence
Constantly with desire, one observes its manifestations
These two emerge together but differ in name
The unity is said to be the mystery
Mystery of mysteries, the door to all wonders

Saturday, October 15, 2011

We Are They

More thoughts on we are they. Finger pointing and name calling won't solve the problem. Our need for fluff and stuff that we believe will make us happier has fuelled corporate greed. Our insatiable hunger for commodities bigger, better and faster has turned us into consumer fodder that fuels the corporate monsters. We have become the commodities of capitalism. We have allowed media to monger fear and the entertainment industry violence because of our hunger for sensationalism. We have bought into the notions of a pill for every problem. And that external beauty, at all costs, is more important then inner beauty. We have given up our freedom by not questioning self proclaimed authorities. We do not ask often enough who benefits from me buying this product, believing this study or that news story. We need to wake up. From this consciousness, we begin to make choices from a place of compassion and love for all. For indeed, we are one-with-all.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Just Had To Share

Tuesday at Misha's Yoga she read "The Journey" by Mary Oliver.  Hearing it opened up my heart and touched the very nature of my soul.  To me, in the moment, it was as if a lantern was held up and a path out of this depression was now visible. So, I wish to share Mary's poem with complete and utter gratitude, awe and respect.

The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice --
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do --
determined to save
the only life you could save. 
~ Mary Oliver ~
(Dream Work)

Another Ramble

Okay, here I am.  I made a promise that I would write every day in my blog.  Later then usual, past eight, but a promise is a promise.  This is, for me, a practice of not being too hard on myself about the way I arrange words and ideas in sentences.  Thought forms are constantly changing and so too are the ideas and words, I wish to convey.  I need to trust that what comes through this mind and this body through this keyboard on to this field in this blog is okay.  However, I find both in the written and spoken word when I make a statement or opinion, my thoughts on it are likely to change as it is coming out of my mouth or through my fingertips.  Thus is the changeable nature of the world of form. No thing stays the same. Every thing that is of the nature to be born  is also of the nature to decay and die. In fact, birth is a death sentence. However, what we do between our first gasp and our last is a wonderful, ever unfolding, ever changing dance. Somehow being okay with change and on speaking terms about death simply sweeten this activity of living. It is an art to learn how to savour each bite of life without clinging, without aversion, without comparing what it tasted like in the past or thinking it will be better in the future.

How wonderful and mysterious!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Practicing With Not Good Enough

The devious belief "not good enough" is cloaked in disguise.  It is loaded with the expectation if I recognize that I am not good enough, I will be encouraged to do better.  This is a falsehood.  Much of the time "not good enough" inspires only more of the same and the attitude of "why bother trying at all". My writing becomes paralyzed when I cling to the "NGE" belief.  It comes in the form of an initial "great idea", a short period of intense creativity and then after a day or two dissolves into apathy of what was created.  Exactly what is this about?! A part of me says, "be grateful for this gift you have, it's not yours to hoard, it's not even yours".  Another part says, "NGE". So this self created ego loop is self fulfilling. Yet, by blogging I am trying to simply recognize the NGE and let it go. Today, I have written; tomorrow, I intend to do more of the same. I will try and be gentle with the NGE as I would in gently correcting a small child.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I Sense That ~ Hold My Hand

... we are coming to a tipping point.  I feel that this transformative process that is running through this body is the same as the one that is moving humans as a species.  I sense that it is a do or die time. As more souls beckoned on to awakening, all become a cumulative part of a global shift  in consciousness.  It seems that this shift is picking up in momentum because of the wonderful world wide web.  Communication and consciousness are part and parcel of this collective rubbing of our eyes, yawning and stretching and waking to this present moment.  With twitter, face book and other social media we can in the virtual sense of the world join hands around the universe. I wonder if it would be possible to send an e-mail around the world linking our hands in virtual solidarity.  Embracing our uniqueness as human beings yet at the same time our oneness with all form.

Hold my hand. Let us join hands in peace, compassion and love for all sentient beings on this planet.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

This & That

Where to from here... no where only now here.  So, I am back sitting with The Pig Blog not knowing where to start with words. Trying to connect with that still place where the sweetness of the words is fresh and true.  Before I had this notion that depression was doing me but now with a laugh I can say I am doing depression. Not even always. Just enough to recognize it creeping back into my mind attempting to cloud present moment.  Accepting it for what it is, gently acknowledging it seems to be the best medicine for going beyond it. I remind myself this is not permanent. No thing is.  No thought form. No life form.  As all it's a transformation; a transformation that I have asked for. Simply being okay with this process is the how.  Even when the feelings are dark, deep and fearful, I still can sense the stream of consciousness. When I wake up to that sense, I can dip my toe into it. Ahhh, there is the flow, go with it. "Know" that suffering is the path to that stream.