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Thursday, April 26 2012

 

Cosmos and Growth:  A Story

 

        I have a serious soft spot for cosmological stories.  I don't need them to be totally factual to be true.  Here’s a story I wrote ten years ago about the universe and how we evolve in it. 

 

Cosmos

 

        In the beginning, there is no-thing, the silence of God.  The void is fertile.  The emptiness is full.  In an attempt to name this silence that cannot be named, physicists use the term “singularity.”

 

        From the fertile void, there flares forth a great blossoming, an explosion of love (the energy of God). This ecstatic expansion of love manifests as light and heat.  Creativity and destruction dance passionately together, as love gives birth, gives death, gives birth again.

 

        Time and space are born.  As the original burst of energy slows and cools (at precisely the right rate), it becomes the universe we see – the stars and planets, the rocks and trees, the animals and humans, like you and me.

 

        The universe is growing and alive.  It’s intelligent and wise.  Because its essence is love, it is not neutral and, definitely, not malevolent.

 

        In this story, love and everything in the universe is trinitarian in nature.  Uniqueness, oneness and relatedness are woven into the fabric of all that is.  Every person and every blade of grass is one of a kind (unique and individual), one with the universe (all originating in the singularity of sacred emptiness) and forever connected in a web of relationship with everything else (the ultimate internet). 

 

        Relationship is a never-ending dance of uniqueness and oneness.  We are one and we are two.  Whether we care to or not, we're all dancing with the paradoxical mystery of oneness in two-ness and two-ness in oneness.  We dance in partnership with everyone and everything. 

 

        So, in this story, Pure Being (Nameless No-Thing) becomes love, which then becomes the beloved.  All creation, including each of us, is the offspring of love.

 

Growth

 

        Human growth mirrors, in reverse image, the path of the universe – with three stages, each wonderful in its own way.  And naturally, since it’s human, our growth path is not particularly tidy or orderly.  We move back and forth among the stages, willy-nilly, true to our nature. 

 

        The stages are really tasks.  The first task is softening to love – letting ourselves be loved.  When we soften and open to the ever-present energy of love, we are healed and made whole.  Like daisies basking in sunshine, we blossom, each in our own unique way.  For a long time, as a psychotherapist, I thought this was the whole story. 

 

        The next stage is the movement from being loved to being love.  While the first stage heals the wounded ego, the second stage expresses soul.  It’s not about “me” anymore.  It’s about becoming light – shining, radiating, warming.  Naturally and effortlessly, a healed presence becomes a healing presence.  The light of love flickers at first, then grows more steady.

 

        Surely, I thought, this must be the end of the story.  It can’t get any better than this.  But no, like in the late night commercial, there’s more!

 

        The third growth movement is toward the experience of pure being, a movement from being love to being no-thing.  Mystical traditions in all religions speak of a silence, a sacred emptiness, where separation from God ceases.  All attachment and ego identity disappear.  Every thing is gone, and all things are possible.  The universe blossomed from this profound peace.  It’s where all miracles originate.

 

        At first, during times of meditation, I had only glimpses of this quiet place.  At some point, I can’t pinpoint just when, glimpses became visits.  Never boring, visits now are irregular and unpredictable, and usually don’t last long.

 

        We are the visited, not the visitor.  More than we seek, we are sought.  Sacred silence finds us, and we remember.  We never return from such encounters unchanged.  We may seem the same, but we’re not.

 

        Some people spend a lot of time in no-time, unself-consciously one with God in the silence of pure being.   It’s become home for them.  Eventually, in this story, it becomes home for all of us.

 

        Alpha meets Omega.  The end and the beginning are one.

       

Posted by: AT 10:46 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, April 19 2012


 

 

On Journeying

 

       I'm just back from a week of retreat with Richard Moss and a wonderful group of sojourners.  We adventured toward full embodiment of being:  Inhabiting the body more completely, listening more deeply to ourselves and each other, tending and attending to the field of relationship among us, working with dreams, and inviting what's in the shadow of consciousness into the light of awareness.  It was a powerful and transforming week.

 

       Here are some quotes about life's journey.  The first was gifted to me just before the retreat.  The next two were shared by members of the group on our last day.  Thanks Dana, Nicky and Bija.

 

 

To journey and not be changed is to be a nomad.

To change without journeying is to be a chameleon.

To journey and be transformed by the journey is to be a pilgrim.

Mark Nepo

 

 

Deep in the forest there's an unexpected clearing that can be reached only by someone who has lost his way.

Tomas Transtromer

 

 

One doesn't discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.

Andre Gide

 

 

Engage!

Jean Luc Picard

 

Posted by: AT 09:31 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, April 04 2012


A Love Paradox

 

       Relationship has always seemed mysterious and paradoxical to me – a dance of otherness and oneness.  The paradox invites us to embrace gently these apparently contradictory aspects of the human condition, making space for them as we dance to the music of knowing and being known in the ballroom of love.

 

       Bija Bennett, a friend of mine and fellow student of Richard Moss, wrote Emotional Yoga, a wonderfully healing book that Wayne Dyer calls: "A brilliant design for emotional and spiritual stability".  In her chapter on love, she speaks to the paradox of relationship in a thought-provoking way.

 

       "Love is the glue that holds things together as well as the boundary that defines and separates them.  This discernment quality sees the difference between two things and holds them separate so that they may know each other.  One end of love is absolute separation.  The other end is absolute union.  In our relationships, we discern our differences so that we may know both ourselves and one another…

       "This concept of love is obviously different from any idea of romantic love.  But in order to have romantic or even spiritual love, you have to have discernment.  You can't just merge with someone or something.  No matter how close you are to someone, there is always something separating you.  And no matter how distant you are from someone, there is always a connection between you.  Love is a discernment quality, a recognition of the one and the other.  It is the nexus between two dissimilar things, and this connection breeds hope, faith, and the possibility of a future.  Although love acts as a unifying force between things, the strength of love lies in the differences."  (pp. 109-110)   

 

       Honor otherness.  Remember oneness. 


    

Posted by: AT 10:02 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email

 "James has a very welcoming presence and an easy going demeanor in addition to an excellent sense of humor . We are all free to be our own goofy selves."
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