Stars

In the silence of remembering, I breathe and choose to focus on the sensations that breath brings into my body. And on the sensations’ shape…the gentle wave rolling from belly to ribcage as my lungs fill and empty. I notice how the lungs frame my heart like wings, how they swell and ease in rhythmic slow motion to sustain the heart’s lift and, therefore, my own. How they raise me up.

Next, I remember my feet, my hands, and bring breath into them until they warm with my intention and attention.

It’s when I invite breath into my wrists and ankles that something new comes in. As I’m appreciating their complexity—the unsung strength and delicacy of their bones and connective tissues, the way ankles make it possible to walk the Earth, and wrists make it possible to hold and manipulate and make and shape almost anything we can imagine—I start praising them and all of the body’s other connections: the hip joints, knees, shoulders, vertebrae. And the whole spine—queen suspension bridge and central channel uniting the upper and lower realms.

And it occurs to me, as such things sometimes do, that if we could light up all those remarkable junctions—all of our bodies’ connectors between long bones, all the places and joints that allow us to bend, pivot, and dance—and highlight only those, so that the rest of each of us was veiled in black…

…we would all look like constellations of stars.

Photo by Guillermo Ferla on Unsplash

What is enlightenment?

For years I have been collecting definitions of enlightenment and calibrating their degree of truth using the siddhi of Resonance Mapping. While many of the definitions resonated very highly for truth, none of them ever felt sufficiently whole to me. A whole definition transmits the realization energetically and directly at the level of awakened consciousness. A whole definition, when written from that same consciousness, is like a beneficial program that enters the mind of the recipient and initiates an operating system upgrade. In this case, the whole human being receives the “enlightened human OS.”

So I meditated, and meditated some more, on what would be a most comprehensive and utterly clear definition that would uplift people wherever they are on their journey of realization. Finally, on my birthday in Varanasi, India, near the banks of the river Ganges, the following articulation came together and clicked into its final form with a resonance of “Not Representable.” Thus what you are about to read is a transmission of enlightenment itself, rather than a representation or a talking about enlightenment. The words are simply the crystalline vehicle for opening the heart and mind. The transmission will do the rest over time.

Abiding Silent Certitude

The first awakening of enlightenment
privileges the devotion to silence,
which lifts away ignorance.

The second awakening of enlightenment
expands the direct knowing of Unity expressed as forms.

The third awakening of enlightenment
establishes agreement between the form level of experience
and pure awareness.

The fourth awakening of enlightenment
encourages straying children of totality toward their true nature
while knowing that all manifestations
conceal a subtler substrate on which form rests.

Enlightened service,
offered in ways appropriate for each occasion,
undoes fear and liberates Being itself
into pure all-encompassing bliss.

The enlightenment revelation
builds to the release of all negation,
including the subtlest doubt sustaining the shattered mind
that perceives separation.

Enlightened presence
graces in silence and in the certitude
that all is abidingly well.

Enlightened embodiment
is that which is revealed when enlightened presence emanates
from every manifestation
of the entire Cycle of World-Play.

Varanasi, India, 21 November 2019

Photo by Zoltan Tasi on Unsplash

How to use your intuition in daily life

Editor’s note: This is part six of a seven-part series on developing your intuition.

It is always with excitement that I wake up in the morning wondering what my intuition will toss up to me, like gifts from the sea. I work with it and rely on it. It’s my partner.

When I worked on the polio vaccine, I had a theory. I guided each [experiment] by imagining myself in the phenomenon in which I was interested. The intuitive realm…the realm of the imagination guides my thinking.

Intuition will tell the thinking mind where to look next.

Jonas Salk

Intuition is my most valued business tool.

Lewis Platt, former CEO of Hewlett Packard

Learning to use your Intuition is like learning a new language. Once you are fully conversant in the new language, you no longer need to think about what you are going to say; it just comes flowing out of you.

So, too, intuition can become second nature. Instead of thinking in a left-brain, analytical mode all the time, you can learn to “think” in a right-brain way, too. Instead of experiencing “analysis paralysis,” you can experience great success and fulfillment through inspired creativity.

Intuition uses a “language” made up of pictures and feelings. Over time, you can create your own easy-to-use “language.” For example, if you want to get a read on someone or some situation, try visualizing them as a car, a book, or an animal. See what kind of car, book, animal, etc. comes to mind and then trust that the “feeling” or image you get is an accurate read of the person or situation.

In time you will learn to trust your impressions and use them to easily, accurately, and quickly “read” a person or situation with this simple, yet very powerful tool.

For example, if I imagine someone as a car and then “see” them as a bright, sporty, red Lamborghini, I’m initially sensing that this person is a major extrovert who is always on the go. But then as I dig deeper and enter the car, I might see that the interior is strewn with garbage and tons of books and papers. That would tell me that this person’s internal life is a mess. So, within just a few seconds of tuning in I have a lot of information about this person. If I chose to look more closely at other aspects of the car, the engine, the trunk, etc., all this would reveal even more to me about the person.

This may sound too simplistic, but I can assure you that after having done hundreds, if not a thousand readings in my life, this technique can reveal a lot about a person.

Please see my next post for further suggestions on how to use your intuition in your daily life.

Aweville

The other day, I half-jokingly posted on Facebook that I had searched Google to see if there’s a place named Aweville and, finding none, was inviting others to create a new town by that name with me.

I actually got a few responses, including one from someone who said he has the land to create it. While I am clear about what Aweville would look and feel like, I didn’t pursue the possibility. I was thinking to myself that it had only been a whimsical post connected to childlike imaginings. But was it? And how else do dreams take shape if not by starting with such things as stargazing and thinking, “What if?”

To that end, I’m going to draw back the curtain on the field of imagination to describe my version of Aweville, in the hope that others will add their own versions of a place that would inspire daily reverence and awe. It’s time to activate these possibilities as we awaken to the newness of our evolving consciousness.

Here are the key elements of my Aweville:

  1. Healthy, multi-generational interdependence with cross-generational tutoring for life-long learning.
  2. Energy efficient, eco-material housing that is sufficient to live comfortably without the need for excess accumulation.
  3. Community gardens both for food and beauty.
  4. Highly creative, playful population.
  5. Access to larger nature and/or designed with an abundance of natural features, such as parks, solar-sewage walls (greenhouses) for processing waste, aquaculture, atriums, “charging stations” for sun-gazing and Earthing, building designs that blend with and mirror the landscape, multi-use paths.
  6. Beautification through murals, artisan walkways, benches, sculpture, music, theater.
  7. Free energy that doesn’t require grid systems like high-tension power lines.
  8. Mixed-use offerings, such as what would typically be found in small Old World villages.
  9. A plaza where people could gather to socialize and celebrate at no cost. It could even be partially covered for weather.
  10. An attunement with one another that allows for transparency and telepathy because there is safety in being authentic. Along with that, an ability to self-correct when a conflict occurs, through compassion and reminding each other of who we really are.
  11. Lots of laughter and healthy hugs.
  12. An advertising-free skyline.
  13. And so much more . . .

This is a stream-of-consciousness list, not necessarily in any ranked order. It is also not exhaustive and will morph to reflect the personality of the population over time.

With this type of beginner’s, artist’s mind, spaces that are currently lifeless, such as abandoned malls or environmentally damaged areas, could become a canvas for overlaying the features I’ve listed above. Certainly there are visionary, life-affirming developers who could see the value of composting what is draining energy, to create new possibilities that emphasis environmental, social and economic thriving.

Let’s start speaking about Aweville and trust the hand of life to open to possibilities that are waiting to be expressed as the New Earth. I have a lightly packed bag and I’m ready to pioneer a new frontier. How about you?

Image by Poison_Ivy from Pixabay

A story: What we are

I was taught to look outside of myself for God, Divinity, for any sense of supreme power. It has taken a lifetime to come home and find that Divinity within.

As a child growing up in a home with two parents who argued, fought, cried (my mother) and slammed tables and slammed doors (my father), life didn’t appear to have any meaning. That apparent absence of meaning scared me. I fantasized about a world where things either came together in a coherent way or I was invincible, powerful—in control.

My brother and I were taken to Sunday School, where we were told Old Testament stories that, to my mind, reinforced the appearance of an insane and violent world. By the time I was 4 years old I began asking questions: “Why would God want to kill the first-born son in every family? What had those babies done wrong?” I was a son and the idea that there was such an angry, vindictive, and arbitrary force was the stuff of nightmares.

Sadly, I never met a minister or any adult who could offer anything better than a sop: “We cannot understand God,” “God moves in mysterious ways,” or the all-encompassing, “Have faith.” So I abandoned God and to a large extent I gave up on adults as a source of reason. At least, I gave up on their words; I found their actions much more informative.

I’m very grateful to my parents. Despite the on-off emotional chaos in our home they each showed me what they believed-in through their lived actions.

My father lived from a place of faith that I didn’t really recognize until I was in my mid-teens. That faith meant he trusted that what he needed and what our family needed would be there when we needed it. He demonstrated, too, that LIFE gives us what we need when we meet life with a willingness to do our part: show up and get engaged.

I was going to have to go into life and experience all my own chaos and my own violent responses to fear, and I’m not sure I would have made it through without the benefit of my parents’ demonstrations of a deep faith in the goodness of life. A goodness that was expressed in kindness to neighbours and to strangers; expressed through sharing when there was little to share.

In my own journey the anger and fear from my childhood set me on a self-destructive trajectory starting at age 12 and ending with a crash and a whimper at age 34. In those 22 intervening years I put tremendous energy into not believing in a supreme intelligence and into fighting against my own deep devotional inclination. This was a fight with God, and so it was a fight with the essence of what I am. It’s not a path I would recommend.

When I quit drinking alcohol in 1983 and began looking for a way to believe in something greater than myself, I had a transformative experience. While walking on a local beach, I suddenly fully heard the ocean’s waves as they washed up on the shore and felt the wind on my face, in my hair and tugging at my body. I heard a gull cry. I was engulfed in the wholeness of that place and that moment. I KNEW for the first time that I, this separate feeling self, did not create, could not create, any of this. And, in my spirit, I stopped fighting.

That moment marks the beginning of my conscious search for a living connection with Spirit/God/Life.

In the years since, I have engaged in workshops and trainings and meditation, all aimed at bringing me to a place where I could know who and what I truly am. At times I have wanted to give up in frustration, believing myself too weak, too lazy, lacking in commitment, and perhaps even inherently bad. Thankfully, the yearning to KNOW has never let me quit.

I believed that one of my great strengths was that I knew how to work hard. When I quit my first job out of high school they had to hire two people to do what I had been doing. Like all strengths, this turned out to be, if not a weakness, a handicap. I worked similarly hard at waking up, and that approach succeeded only to the extent that it exhausted me and brought me to the point where I stopped pushing and began to learn to relax.

In the past two years, I have eased out of searching and seeking and, little by little, relaxed into being. With this change in orientation, insights have begun to arrive. These insights aren’t anything I can claim to own; they present themselves to me like gifts, to be accepted or not.

This brings me to what I am and what we are. I am not any story I may tell about my self, nor are you reducible to any story you may tell about your self—no matter how enthralling or beautiful or sad.

WE, each of us, and every particle of existence, in form and formless, are all expressions of the SOURCE. In our known world of form, none of it can be judged better or worse, good or bad, right or wrong. This source is infinite potential expressed exactly as it is. As I understand it at this point, I and everyone are God’s expression of the infinite, and any limitations I believe in are only concepts; they do not exist in reality and are not inherent to the truth. We each choose the limitations that allow us to stay within a certain zone of comfort, and we can choose differently.

I have had experiences where I have seen—really seen and entered into—Oneness. And seen that “I” is integral to Oneness and that there is a single “I” seeing through all eyes. My intuition is that every time I or you or any person fully awakens to the Truth of this Oneness, we set our self and every other self free. It may not be the absolute freedom of enlightenment, but there is a setting free, nonetheless. The seemingly single point of awakening is in fact the epicenter of a great ripple AND, for me, that is the most compelling motive for any “personal” awakening journey.

Photo by Aarón Blanco Tejedor on Unsplash

Even more ways to use your intuition to gather information

Editor’s note: This is part five of Yanni’s series on how to develop your intuition. You might want to go back and review the earlier posts.

The intuitive mind is a sacred gift; the rational mind is a faithful servant.
We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.
Albert Einstein

So, as you are walking down the street and something or someone catches your attention, take notice! Pay attention. There are no coincidences. The Universe is talking to you all the time, reflecting back to you something you need to “see” or know about yourself or a situation or person. Read the “signs.” The Universe is a mirror. Everything speaks to you! Watch the language of life’s symbols. Every person, thing, and experience is mirroring some information back at you.

For example, not long ago my wife was contemplating a change in her job. She’d been offered a new position and was unclear whether it would be the best move for her. She decided to stop thinking about it and just trust that she would be guided. A short while later, while driving back on her regular commuting route, she saw a sign at a Real Estate office that just jumped out at her. It read: “It’s Time to Move Now!”  The sign had been up for ages, but that was the first time she’d noticed it. She knew right then that it was time to change. By the way, her new job is a million times better than the old one.

Here’s another suggestion about how to develop your intuition: When you are in a conversation with someone, really “feel into” every word they are saying rather than “think” about what they are saying. Also, become aware of the spaces and pauses between their words. Don’t get lost in your mindless chatter or theirs. This is the key. “Listen” more to their energy and less to the content of their words. There is usually more information in their silence or the “feeling” they are projecting than in their actual words. 

So, take a deep breath and just feel into what they are really saying. Really pay attention. Practice awareness and discernment. This technique helps you understand someone and be present for them. It’s also an excellent way to develop your intuitive faculties.

Slow down, take a long deep breath, ask for ease and grace to enter and take over, and allow for inspiration to lead the way.

…To be continued next week.

“We are the river of gold”

Don Paulson’s “River of Gold” arrived on a postcard a while back. Anne Stadler sent it to us from the IN & OUT installation at the Vashon Heritage Museum on Vashon Island near Seattle, so we could pass the message along. IN & OUT chronicles the LGBTQ community on Vashon. The installation’s co-producer, Stephan Silha, generously provided the clear image we’ve used here.

I’d never heard of Don Paulson, so I did a little sleuthing.

Don Paulson, 1933-2012, chronicled Seattle’s Gay culture, especially the drag scene, and coauthored an in-depth look at the drag culture in Seattle in the 1950’s and 60’s, “An Evening at the Garden of Allah: A Gay Cabaret in Seattle.” The text of the postcard appears in quotes with no attribution in an article he wrote years ago for Seattle Gay News. My best guess is he was quoting someone from the book.   

These are strange times for humankind and Earth. I get can as caught up as anyone in grief and dismay. But when I think about how much has changed in the 50 years since the Stonewall riots in San Francisco surfaced a gay rights movement that had been slowly building up behind the scenes, I remember that some things have absolutely gotten better. Hugely, ginormously, heart-openingly better.

Thanks to the Gay Rights movement and its transition to LGBTQ advocacy, straight and binary-minded people like me are beginning to understand how richly varied human genders and gender identities actually are. We’re being shown more colors for the palette, more flowers for the garden, more lights for the show. Fifty years are barely a heartbeat in human history. And think of what’s been accomplished in that time.

I’m not claiming LGBTQ rights are secure. There are still places, communities, cultures, religions, and whole countries where being gay or someone other than cisgender can mean death, abuse, or abandonment. But the past 50 years have proven that vast numbers of human beings can learn, change, adapt, deepen, and open.

Don Paulson may have been thinking specifically of the gay community when he wrote, “We are the river of gold.” I believe his message applies to all of us, now.

“Who would think that we would drink from the river of gold. That we, too, may dine in the light and sleep safely through the night. Who would think a lowly stream could sweeten a bitter sea. We have the right to win the fight for justice and liberty. We are the land. We are the free. We are the river of gold.” — Don Paulson