Category Archives: Daily reminders

our mother tongue

Last evening before dinner, I sat in a common area and spoke with a man attending his first retreat with Rupert Spira. During an abrupt transition in this retreatant’s life, he found a YouTube clip of  Rupert teaching. He said, “I didn’t understand all of what Rupert spoke about that first time I listened to him, but I did recognize it as my mother tongue.”

Yes! Tears filled my eyes.

If you, like I, explored countless pathways and discovered that none of them have fulfilled what your heart yearns for, when you are introduced to this understanding something may flutter in–or batter–your chest: an apprehending, a knowing, an avowal even, that you have come home. This is the beginning of a lifelong integration.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2017
image credit: By Mokkie – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

2 Comments

Filed under Advaita, Awakening, Daily reminders, Musings, Non-duality, nonduality, Rupert Spira, spirituality

pain as free medicine

In early February, I ruptured a disk in my low back: first an ache, then a burning two-inch poker, then an angry nerve’s lightning bolt searing down my leg. For the next week, until I saw a spinal specialist who prescribed the right nerve medication, I hobbled with a cane, couldn’t sleep, was unable to sit at my desk, and had no appetite. Intractable pain is exhausting.

And yet!

Sometimes, while lying awake, present to the moment which was busily announcing its presence—where else could I be?—I focused on severe pain as rich sensation. Although the aching and burning didn’t let up, the sensations did fluctuate, always subtly shifting. For brief periods, the margin between agony and ecstasy melded. Such a mystery.

Other times, I rested in and as the “field” (a simpler word for “consciousness”—more plainsong, less full orchestra). That’s the apparent choice: either be the sensations, or be the field in which sensations arise. In neither instance did the pain go away. Thisness is thisness—there is no choice but to be it all.

Apparent choice? No choice? Which is it? Once I heard Adyashanti answer a student’s question this way: “If there’s an apparent choice, make it.” I giggled with delight and slipped that expression in my pocket. Of course, both—“both” is a concession to the failure of language to express the inexpressible—are true. Neither are true. Nothing is “true.”

Because of this teaching—this ever-evolving-no-place-to land-understanding—no story formed. I had no fearful thoughts of the future, or story-building about what caused it to happen—which would have added suffering on top of acute sensation.

Gratefulness flooded for the extravagant pain, my husband’s precious care, the abrupt interruption of teaching, driving, and writing. Gratitude lit me up: this apparent paradox of field and sensation, the ever-inseparable unmanifest and manifest, never other than what it is: outrageous, unstoppable, and luscious free medicine.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2017
photo credit: Emily Polis Gibson of the Barnstorming blog
credit for “free medicine

10 Comments

Filed under Awakening, Daily reminders, Musings, Non-duality, nonduality

bedtime epiphany

molded-ear-plugsMy husband snores lightly, and it seems to start about a half hour after I go to bed. It’s unexpected, and uneven. I can’t fall asleep.

A couple of weeks ago, I asked my audiologist to make me a pair of molded ear plugs. He stuck a small cotton wad attached to a thread into each ear, then injected soft material that hardens in five minutes–red for the right ear, blue for the left. In fifteen minutes, I left his office delighted, earplugs in hand.

I headed to bed that night looking forward to trying them out, sure they would make a huge difference.

Here’s what I learned: even fitted to my specific ears, plugs block very little, because ears hear. That’s what they do; that is their nature, whether we are awake or asleep.

In the same way, consciousness is always awake. That’s its nature. Our bodies may be in deep sleep, but awareness–which is unlocated–remains ever-present, eternal and infinite.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2016

2 Comments

Filed under Awakening, Daily reminders

what is this?

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 16: Abbey D'Agostino of the United States (R) is assisted by Nikki Hamblin of New Zealand after a collision during the Women's 5000m Round 1 - Heat 2 on Day 11 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 16, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

What is this?
This outrageous, ever-unfolding display:
decapitations, orgasms, bombastic politicians,
premature babies born with everything wrong, struggling to breathe.
Grannies rock them back to life.

Two runners fall, one tears her knee.
The other, a competitor, eases her up–
forgoes the race, and trots beside the hobbling athlete.
They cross the finish line together, dead last.
Now friends for life.

Prior to this erupting chaos,
prior–but not in time–
is the ineffable:
empty of things,
but full of possibility.

Rest there–or better said,
rest here
in this ground of being
and, still resting,
join the show.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2017
image credit: Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images

4 Comments

Filed under Awakening, Daily reminders, Dzogchen, Musings

peeling the onion

Peeling the onion—
after the center is stripped away, what is left?
Nothing
I find no thing
Only perfume of the one taste

 

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2016
image credit

1 Comment

Filed under Awakening, Daily reminders, Musings

hot tub epiphany–parenting

Iman big eyesThe price of manifestation in this one-song-uni-verse is a wild, open, chaotic stew, where every thing and all things erupt.

The suffering my adult son is experiencing–all mothers carry this: “the mother gene,” with a scouring empathy for our offspring. If we allow, it burnishes us empty.

I bear suffering differently, now–as everymother, shouldering this particular flavor of stew.

It is not personal.

The only way, is through. All that is required is noticing, which by its very nature, is infinitely compassionate and eternally loving. No longer diving into the painful soup with him does not make me a bad mother. I’m a better mother for not doing so. I’m here, available, filled with love for my son-who-is my-very-own-self.

He knows my cell number.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2016
I took this snapshot about forty years ago.

 

 

3 Comments

Filed under Daily reminders, Musings, parenting, Surrender

self-abandonment, a hot tub epiphany

While soaking last night, I considered a comment my counselor made to me around five years ago. She said, “Don’t abandon yourself.” This has been a bit of a koan for me, and I’ve returned and considered her statement many times.

Now I understand the deeper meaning. Nicole wasn’t speaking of everyday self-abandonment, where we treat ourselves badly, or allow others to do so–neither of those was occurring. It was far more subtle than that. She was pointing to Self-abandonment, with a capital S–getting so caught up in worldly challenges and chaos that Awareness, the ground of being available to each of us in every moment, is apparently veiled and neglected.

Today, while carrying deep concern for my son, I’ve remained with the source, too–tangible, yet without qualities. Right here, right now.

Thank you Nicole!

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2016

4 Comments

Filed under Awakening, Daily reminders, Musings, Non-duality