This morning I came across a beautifully articulated post on Facebook by Unmani (one of many I might add). She recently unexpectedly lost her husband and has been sharing openly her journey/processing throughout this difficult time – it’s beautiful, raw and brave and I see that this is very much what she is being called to do, for the benefit of herself and for all those who read what she writes.
“Walk through life with the palms of your hands open to what life brings;
no clinging, no denying, just this – what’s here right now.” – Imogen
There’s so much of my spiritual path/story that I haven’t yet shared on this blog or social media. Not because I feel the need to hide it, I’m not particularly attached to privacy even, but because I’m still living it each and every moment. The implications not yet seen, the fullness of understanding not yet known. And yet the more I walk this path, this world, the less and less the need to understand, the need for certainty seems to matter to me.
These days I find the words are there less and less. The *need* to communicate less and less. But somehow these last few weeks it feels like there’s an elephant in the room that I’ve not been addressing, in the past few months its been somewhat stopping me from publically writing more than a few snippets here and there. More and more my private writings seem to be addressing this. There’s been a shift in my focus, but somehow to talk of it I feel the need to contextualize it with my story a bit more.
I don’t require you to be anyone
to turn up
to be someone
Here in this space
I have no use for concepts and opinions
assertions and knowledge
here in this space we can just BE
Be as we are
naked and vulnerable
strong and fiery
broken and lost
angry or sad
joy-filled and blissful
or nothing at all
Here in this space we can explore the depth of humanity
traverse the fields of experiencing
sit in this divine Isness of life
but most of all be free
free to be
free to be without attributes
free to be whatever and whoever we are
free to sink into this moment
10 years ago today Maharishi Mahesh Yogi died.
I remember the day clearly, we were in the Dominican Republic on a holiday marking our 1st year wedding anniversary. I turned on the TV (probably the only time I did) to see it on the BBC news tick-a-tape completely out of the blue – “THE BEATLES GURU DIES”.
At the time we were living in the epicentre of Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation (TM) moment in the US; Fairfield, Iowa, the place we had called home for the last 2 years, and would go on calling home for the next 7 almost 8 years. But TM was much more to me, it was something that shaped and formed my whole life, my formative years, something that I had inherited, 20 minutes twice a day, as natural to me as brushing my teeth, I never knew life without it.
I learnt TM when I was six years old
“As long as you want life on your terms there will be something to gain or lose;
the opposite of freedom.” – Imogen
I have gone from living the (American) dream… good job, beautiful house, wonderful friends, two beloved cats, more stuff than we could ever want or need, plentiful money, gorgeous and loving husband – I wanted for nothing… and now I have nothing (except the husband of course 😜 I’ve still got him thankfully).
We have no home – not even a real base, we move from house sit to house sit every few weeks, new place, not knowing anyone, not knowing the area, living out of a hand luggage suitcase. No money to speak of – most people would be shock at how little we live on right now, no possessions – I literally mean it when I say all we have is a hand luggage suitcase each that fits all our stuff, no friends or people we hang out with (because of the said nomadic lifestyle) – just us two 24/7. Nothing really that we need or have to do, no purpose or meaning, no ambition and drive, no desires.
And yet I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. So happy
Again and again life has recently been showing up with this question of what is compassion? What is love? Compassion can look like a lot of different things, but for the moment I wanted to talk about compassion for those around you that act in ways that you don’t understand, don’t like and don’t find their behaviour to be acceptable at all – maybe they’re behaving like a complete asshole.
The most compassionate thing you can do is not write them off. Bring them into your heart. Their asshole-ness is covering up a non-acceptance of Self in themselves. When you accept your whole Self, when you accept all that you are and all that you experience, all the ‘world’, then you aren’t rejecting anything. You aren’t creating a sense of separation – all is you. So pull into your heart that someone, see that
Keep letting go
that dogged determination of seeking
whether it be experiences and pleasure-seeking
better and more ‘stuff’
vaster and deeper knowledge
more experienced and valued skills
let it all go
just for a moment
and experience this moment.
Experience what it is to live life as awareness
unadorned with the commentary of the mind
theres nothing to get rid of, no bad thought
all must be held in the tender embrace of acceptance
for the real blossoming of life lived in truth and freedom
to be recognised as your birthright all along.
“None of the contents of mind is intrinsically you, it’s passing through like clouds in the sky.
Recognize that you are the substrate, the ‘sky’ if you like.” – Imogen
It’s so easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you have to do XY&Z in order to realise the Self…. as if it’s like a cake that you put all the exact ingredients in the bowl in the right order and put it in the oven and ping, you have yourself a perfect cake.
Except it doesn’t work like that, that’s the mind’s imaginings of what it is. What I’m talking about is prior to the mind, and therefore can’t be grasped by the mind. Anything the mind thinks it knows or understands about this is just the mind imagining what it thinks. It’s not an adding to, it’s not a changing of, its a realisation of that which you cannot NOT be, that which you already are, that which you always were, that which you always will be whether you realise it or not. It’s like waking up from a dream; before… you were in the dream and you didn’t realise that you were dreaming, but you were. Then you wake up and realise it was a dream. It doesn’t change the dream, the dream is still there, playing out at it was, but you realise you are dreaming now.
Self realisation, or enlightenment, or whatever you want to call it is not a ‘thing’ that you get… it’s your very nature, and that is recognised…. which changes everything, and yet it changes nothing. It’s not something that I can describe to you and you will ‘get’. I’m just pointing, in my own imperfect way, to something in your own experience that’s maybe being overlooked, but like I said… if you’re reading this and trying to ‘get it’ with the mind then you won’t able to.
It will seem like a riddle.
“There’s nothing more beautiful, intimate and vulnerable than another person saying “I see you, all of you.” Be see-through, be transparent, embrace that vulnerability, dare to look in the mirror that they hold up to you and share yourself with open abandon; with great risk comes greater rewards – freedom.” – Imogen
I don’t have any designs to be a teacher,
or even a student,
to be anything or anyone.
I simply am.
Living this life in the present moment of pure grace and spontaneity,
meeting each and every moment with the fullness of my heart
and the truth of this moment as I know it.
Never is there anything to be rejected or avoided,
never is there anything to be clung to and grasped;
all is perfectly playing out on this stage of experiencing.
For who am I that can possibly DO any of this,
who could claim any ownership of this moment?
What this isn’t is some spiritual pose,
some ‘way’ of being.
This is just a description of what naturally happens
when the dropping of all pretences,
the dropping of any held view,
the total openness of Sahaja,
the natural state,
when What-Is is.
In the silence I hear the calling.
Be at peace.
You are home.
“Keep Quiet… leave life to it’s inherent and natural unfoldment.” – Imogen
We tend put value judgements on what we want any given moment to look like, and so when the present moment doesn’t look like how we want then we seek to change it; we seek for the ‘good’ to stay and the ‘bad’ to go. This futile seeking to change the here and now causes immense suffering because life can look like anything.
And yet in reality good or bad it doesn’t matter, it all comes, it all goes, nothing stays around for very long. NOTHING. If we can sink into the reality of that for a moment we can see the futility of trying to hold on to anything; then the peace and sense of freedom that opens up in its wake is quite glorious. The physical feeling of tension and heaviness is lifted, the space of being right here right now is felt. Nothing to change, nothing to do, nothing to be.
Look at the world as if you know nothing,
don’t draw any conclusions
about what you experience,
or who you are.
Innocently move through life
experiencing what is
without the burdens of ideas,
judgements and conclusions.
Take each moment a fresh,
knowing that this moment will never be again.
Lovingly embrace each experience of life,
how lucky we are to have the play of life
grace us with its beauty and light.
Embrace all, reject nothing –
see that you are the master of none but the father/mother of all.
There’s an assumption that when I say “you are awareness/consciousness” that I’m talking of I-personal/ego/individual I/you. Firstly I want to clarify that when I speak of I/me/you in conjunction with awareness I’m talking of the non-personal ‘I’ that is consciousness. That is awareness. The you (big Self, I-I) that IS awareness-consciousness.
It seems to be common that when someone realizes that who they took themselves to be (the mind-body ‘I’) is untrue, it’s seen that at the heart of experiencing there is nothingness/emptiness/awareness. This is true. But I urge you to not stop there, look/inquire deeper into this recognition.
“Stripped of all your beliefs & assumptions the beauty of raw truth shines through
and there you stand, free.” – Imogen
Wow I feel like a lion has been unleashed. This brutal honesty in service of truth that cuts with the precision of a well known blade is quite a surprise to me. This sharp intellect that can spar and duel with words unknown to me, spilling out like nobodies business.
There’s still a tendency that’s been around all my life – that when confronted with an assertion by someone, to shy away, to back down without even looking, to assume that they must be right… “who am I after all? I know nothing.”
I stand in truth.
Can I accept that I may be judged,
I may be questioned,
I may be ridiculed?
Can I accept that,
can I be brave?
Can I stand in my own truth,
without qualification and explanation?
Can I stand sure,
knowing that it’s the right thing,
it’s the only thing?
Can I stand in truth,
unashamedly without reason,
and with no excuse?
Can I stand up for mySelf,
stand tall for the realisation of my very being?
Can I stand up for the truth of my own reality
that I know so well,
Can I live my life without the influence of shoulds and should nots?
Can I say to hell with it all and be as I am?
Can I stand in all my glory,
warts and all,
honest and vulnerable?
Can I accept all of it,
every aspect of me,
every aspect of life,
can I embrace it into my heart without exception?
So I stand in my truth
and in turn encourage others to stand in theirs.
For it’s the most loving thing I can do for myself and others.
Drop all the games,
all the masks,
all the pretences,
all the false concepts and notions,
drop it all.
Stand naked and open,
don’t hide your light.
Let reality, truth and honesty be the guiding movement of life.
Let the truth of your being shine through.
“The only path is the path of Grace. All is Grace.” – Imogen
Life has become about living; living not in past regrets or future worries but life lived in this moment… None of the second guessing, the questioning, the “is the right thing?”, or shoulds and should nots. The age old – before awakening, chop-wood-carry-water and after awakening, chop-wood-carry-water is so so true it’s laughable. Being a seeker you imagine some different ‘state’ where everything will be beautiful and blissful – life will be perfect. Well… life is perfect, but not in that way, perfect in that it IS. It’s happening exactly as it is, nothing to do, nothing to change, nothing to be; even in amongst every imaginable phenomenal occurrence. That’s where the miracle of life is to be found, in the very ordinariness of existence.
You are, and always have been exactly what you seek. You are the freedom that was/is always here, it’s only a matter of seeing through the trees of ‘personhood’ to see that the ‘person’ that you take yourself to be is such an incredibly limited and narrow view of you. We take ourselves to be the body; the body that has changed, morphed and grown since birth, the body that will die. We take ourselves to be thoughts; the thoughts that tell us one thing today and something completely different tomorrow. We take ourselves to be the emotions and energies – sometimes blissful, sometimes not. You get my point…. In all of these we are, but we are more than this, we are prior to this, we are the one that sees all of this. We put so much emphasis and importance on everything that can be perceived, everything that can be experienced, yet we put almost no attention on who is perceiving and experiencing life. What is the nature of this one, what are the quality & attributes of this one, how can this one be described.
That One never goes, never changes – that one is YOU!
The image of relationships and enlightenment don’t normally go hand in hand. The stereotyped image of the ‘enlightened monk’, shunning the material householder life is something that’s been around in spiritual traditions for a long time. So out of this there comes the common misconception that you can’t be in a relationship and be successful on the ‘spiritual path’. But being in a relationship doesn’t necessarily mean that awakening can’t be there too. The relationship doesn’t have to go, only the attachment to the relationship has to go. Don’t get me wrong, the result of that dropped attachment may actually be that the relationship ends. Ultimately that’s what was meant to happen, and all attachments do eventually fall away – what’s left is what’s left, maybe the relationship will be there, maybe not.