Category Archives: Surrender

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.

 

 

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Filed under Daily reminders, Musings, parenting, Surrender

addiction

hoarding cookiesThirty years ago, I used to be what I thought of as an “addictive personality.” I was addicted to trying to make myself feel better: through love, seeking belonging, and even regular marijuana use–to smooth the jagged edges I perceived in life.

I benefited from twelve step programs, eliminated the most destructive substances, and learned to manage more minor tendencies. For example, I ate mint chocolate chip ice cream in a tiny bowl–perhaps a quarter cup. My agreement with myself was if I couldn’t limit my portion to that, I couldn’t have mint chocolate chip ice cream in my house.

But I knew I had not found, nor addressed, the root cause of my wanting.

Fast forward thirty years. I was addicted to trying to alter my experience. I would never suggest this is true of anyone else, or even imply that my understanding would, or should work for them. But as I stopped trying to change what is, and not only surrendered to the heart of my experience, but have been willing to bring it closer rather than push it away, any sense of addictive pull has dissolved.

I am deeply grateful.

© Amrita Skye Blaine
image credit

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Filed under addiction, Awakening, feelings, Surrender

surfing the curl

Big Wave SurfingMy friend William emailed me the link to a seven minute video. His email had no note. He only sends what he feels has value, so, with curiosity, I clicked.

There I was, peering inside the curl of giant surf that hit our West Coast last week. The wave was massive—a literal thirty foot wall of water. Then, out of the violent, still center, surfed a man, riding the immensity of the curl. Wholly in the present, a slip-up away from serious injury or death, he balanced, flexing with the water’s movement, as the wave’s curl traveled.

In slow motion, his balance shifts, and the board slips out from under him. He’s caught in the Maytagging motion.

The video rides another monstrous wave, and another surfer emerges from its unimaginable depths. So much speed, yet somehow motionless, he is caught in the womb of the giant. Until, yet again, he loses that split second balance and goes down.

We all surf the wall of water called life—some of us with fine balance, some with clumsy attempts. Life seems oversized, outscaled; we appear minuscule in its grip. Apparently all there is to do is grab our boards again, wait for the precise time, launch into the vortex, and surrender.

All day, as events unfolded, some easy, some more challenging, I murmured “Surf, girl, surf!”—and found my balance inside the wave.

Wave and woman, life and woman, not two.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2014
photo credit
PS Do not miss the video! Carve out seven minutes as a gift to yourself.

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

I have a plan

planHow many times have we said, “I have a plan” over our lifetime?

When we approach life with a plan, there is always some part of us to improve, to correct, to change.

I remember that I always had an idea of what events, relationships, or even my hair styles would look like, but they never turned out the way the mind envisioned. I had self-improvement schemes, too. For example, if I were kind enough, other people would be kind in return. Not necessarily so…

I no longer live with a plan. However it is, is how it is. This makes this wild experience we call life much simpler and easier. Much less stress, resistance, and drama.

Not having a plan makes life interesting right now, because I’m taking a year-long real estate course where I’m required to make a business plan. Which, of course, I will–because I’ve committed to completing this course. I will put close attention to what they ask of us, and attend to the details. But do I “believe” in it? Do I really believe I have individual control over my life? No longer–because this is so obviously not “my” life. I’ve spent hundreds of hours noticing, and I cannot find a “doer.” And yet doing happens, and life continues to unfold. Occasionally events even turn out in a pleasing way. Just as often, they do not.

I soaked in the hot tub tonight. Abruptly, the body-mind stood, and stepping out of the tub, wrapped up in a towel. There was no plan–or even the premonition of a thought–of leaving the warmth of the tub at that moment. And yet it occurred. I slipped into bed, looking forward to deep rest before an apparently very busy day tomorrow. Forty-five minutes later, I found myself sliding my feet into slippers, wrapping up in a hoodie, and returning to the computer.

Do I have any sense of when writing will stop, and I’ll return to bed? No idea at all. Perhaps writing will go on all night. Perhaps, a couple of minutes from now, the body will put itself back in bed. Whichever occurs, or something else completely unforeseen–I’m sure to be surprised by whatever shows up. That’s part of the delight of living now–it’s all so surprising.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
image credit

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Filed under Advaita, Dzogchen, Musings, Non-duality, simple pleasures, spirituality, Surrender, thoughts, Truth, writing

desire

rocks like a waterfall smallerYesterday’s post didn’t satisfy me. I rewrote it, and it’s still kind of… unrewarding. Onward–now is now!

Desire is a harsh taskmistress– we both want and don’t want the object of our desire. For example, Breyer’s mint chocolate chip ice-cream tugs at me in the evening, but I don’t want to put on extra weight. I yearn to find a home in a community close by and move, but sigh deeply, pondering all of the heavy lifting involved. Easily, tens of additional examples are available.

That’s the mind’s game: desiring. Another name for it is seeking–seeking other than what is here, right now: warm cup of coffee, Phoebe-the-hummingbird sitting on her fresh clutch of eggs on the monitor to my right, the small, burbling fountain in the background. All perfect, when the mind rests in the present. If I rest here and notice the stream of desires that arise, I can also take note of what is aware of the desires.

That-which-is-aware has no preferences. Desires can roll on by like waves on the beach; they simply show up and fade away–if we don’t grab on to them. It has become rather playful to watch them come and go.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
photo credit: I took this photo in December, 2000, on the Oregon coast

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Filed under Advaita, Dzogchen, Musings, Non-duality, simple pleasures, spirituality, Surrender, thoughts, Truth

inquiry, take two

smiling shivaYesterday’s post quickly falls apart under close scrutiny, because in the first half I spoke about the personal, separate “I,” and in the second half, I was referring to the inquiry that brings one to understand there is no personal “I” at all–all there is, is freshly unfolding life.

This is how words continually miss the mark they aim for. And yet, I cannot deny my love affair with them. Words keep me up at night, as I lie in bed honing, mentally wordsmithing, searching for the most subtle,  direct, honest expression I can put forward.

Inquiry is Shiva. It destroys what we believed ourselves to be. What’s left has no ownership–but nothing has been lost. As my friend and teacher Elias Amidon says, “We’re ruined.” Then he can’t help but chuckle.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
photo credit

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Ripeness, by Jane Hirshfield

This poem touches me so very deeply that I share it with you.

RipenessRipeness

Ripeness is
what falls away with ease.
Not only the heavy apple,
the pear,
but also the dried brown strands
of autumn iris from their core.
To let your body
love this world
that gave itself to your care
in all of its ripeness,
with ease,
and will take itself from you
in equal ripeness and ease,
is also harvest.
And however sharply
you are tested —
this sorrow, that great love —
it too will leave on that clean knife.
–Jane Hirshfield
 from “The October Palace”
credit: the post and photo come from Panhala Poetry

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