Tag Archives: gratitude

words!

river sunriseAh, the blessing and curse of beloved words. Yesterday, I said “return home to what I am.” Chuckling as I reread that now, because there is no leaving home, ever. It’s not possible.

Yet somehow, the busyness made it feel as though I’d been somewhere–and awaring sipping silence felt like a return. Feelings are as insubstantial and impermanent as thoughts. Not to demean either–love them, too–simply to notice.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
photo credit

1 Comment

Filed under Advaita, Musings, Non-duality, Silence, spirituality, thoughts, Truth

unbolted – a different kind of grace

rollercoasterI remember the day that my belief systems unbolted and fell away, never to return. What a moment of grace–but that was not my experience then.

Anger flared first–anger that I had wasted decades looking in all the wrong places. Then came, what now? Now, how do I live? The years since–that occurred in September or October of 2009–have been the steepest rollercoaster. I have learned to hold my hands up to the sky and holler, barreling down one steep hill and clattering up the next.

Unlearning has momentum! Are you ready?

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
photo credit

2 Comments

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

prayer

Buddha hands-prayer NO beads blue-greenI used to pray a lot–it was an integral part of my daily practice.

I remember the day that changed, and I realized that prayer, in the way I had understood and used it, no longer was a part of my life. I felt angry and hurt at that discovery. Now what? I thought. That emotional response lasted for about three months.

I don’t pray anymore. I can’t imagine how I could. What, exactly, would I be praying to that is separate?

And yet prayer is alive–in each breath, each action, each thought. It is, as the old Sufi saying goes, closer than my jugular vein. It turns out that nothing at all was lost, simply perceived differently.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013

2 Comments

Filed under Advaita, Musings, Non-duality, spirituality, thoughts, Truth

open, lucid, transparent, awake

Orion NebulaOpen, transparent, lucid, awake–in 2008, Elias Amidon gave us these four words to breathe. I sensed, even then, that they each pointed toward that which cannot be adequately described. This is how these words point for me today:

Open–that which welcomes whatever shows up, whether hard or sweet. Might as well, it’s already here. Then, if change is called for, initiate change.

Transparent–that which can hold all is also empty of anything. No qualities, nothing to be found, and yet the whole cosmos can erupt within this nothing.

Lucid–that which is clear, because the unseen light within illumines.

Awake–that which is empty, yet filled with bright knowing.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
photo credit: NASA Archives

1 Comment

Filed under Advaita, Musings, Non-duality, spirituality, thoughts, Truth

vulnerability

humming bird nest in handI found a photo of a man holding an empty hummingbird nest–it does not even span the length of two segments on his finger! The only word that came to mind is “vulnerable.” I hadn’t realized how small the nest I’ve been watching on the video cam really is.

Now, whenever I’m feeling vulnerable–a feeling that, by its nature, comes and goes–I remember this tiny hummingbird nest and the even tinier hatchlings. The baby hummers are eight days old. They don’t really have feathers yet, although a covering is developing–they are little vulnerable bags of rapid breath. The whole nest rocks from the pulse of their breathing. They raise their heads and open their bright gold beaks begging for food, they defecate, and sleep. If mama bird doesn’t return, they quickly die. In the same way, every moment we are open to the rawness of life. Truer than that, we are life living vulnerability. That’s how life is.

PS Just saw a brief youtube video of the orphan hatchling, named Pip, being added to the nest, and Phoebe, the mother, adopting him within minutes. Amazing! For your watching pleasure –three minutes of delicious vulnerability.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
photo credit

Leave a comment

Filed under Advaita, Musings, Non-duality, spirituality, thoughts, Truth

whatever comes to visit

unwelcome guestNo matter what comes to visit, treat it like a gracious guest.

It’s coming to be recognized –so being rude, ignoring it, or sweeping it under the refrigerator will only postpone the inevitable.

Our guest will come back again and again–we can be sure of that–until we are willing to greet it pleasantly.

But once we fully meet it with a resilient internal willingness, something will shift. And we will discover, much to our surprise, that we are grateful.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
photo credit

2 Comments

Filed under Advaita, Musings, Non-duality, spirituality, Truth

listening to the moment

listening dogMore and more, it becomes patently obvious that until the moment arrives to make a decision, I can’t possibly have all of the information required. Input shows up in the moment, and then it’s clear what to do. So why spend time worrying, obsessing, in mental gnashing?

I’ve been pondering whether to take my son for an experimental stroke treatment next week (airplane tickets already purchased) or first have him seen by an adult congenital cardiologist. That question has been sitting inside for a few days–and nights–ever since I learned on Tuesday that adults who had this particular heart surgery as young children are running into problems now that normal cardiologists are missing. A whole new specialty has been invented to address these challenges. Last evening, I received an email from a friend of my son’s, posing the exact same question but from a different angle.

The answer arrived in the moment that I read the email: delay the treatment, eat the airfare, and walk through the insurance steps to get him to the specialized cardiologist first. Of course, my adult son needed to make the choice–but when presented with the information– and why–even though he was very disappointed to delay the experimental treatment, he realized the solid common sense of waiting. As he said, “Mom, I think I’d better be safe than sorry.” I was relieved that he made that choice.

So now we move on, living and breathing in this very alive moment that perhaps it is not filled with what we wanted, but is filled with just what we need. I am very grateful tonight.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
photo credit

3 Comments

Filed under Advaita, Musings, Non-duality, spirituality

love what is, take two

sticky noteMost people mistakenly believe that if we welcome what is–especially when it includes pain–that somehow the pain will stick around longer.

But this is actually the opposite of how life works. Resistance glues us to our painful feelings. When we accept what is instead of resisting, our reactions and feelings flush out faster. They still come up–we’re human, after all–they just don’t stick around.

So why add suffering on top of pain?

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013

Leave a comment

Filed under Advaita, Musings, Non-duality, spirituality

Distraction

Anna hummingbirdWhen I say that I’m distracted, I usually mean that I’m not able to focus on the task at hand. As I write, the Anna and Rufous hummingbirds are chittering, holding territory wars over the feeder.

I look “distraction” up in the dictionary, and the clearest meaning is “that which divides the attention.” But can attention be divided? At the core, attention isn’t different from native awareness. We notice. In any moment, awareness notices the whole vast show. That display is made up of what humans parse into trillions of parts, and then label, but really, it is all one vastness. A clearer description might be that when attention is drawn away from the basic ground of all to the wild display, we see what the mind understands as parts—this and that.

I rest my view on the woods behind our home: one person might say that there are hundreds of trees growing there—oaks, maples, Doug firs, cottonwoods. Even though I can see the different species, I don’t feel hundreds of trees. I can no longer separate one tree from another because they have no true independence. When I attempt to follow one tree back, there is nothing in the manifested world from which it is separate. It’s dependent on air and sunlight, moisture, and the seed from which it grew—which is dependent on the tree before it, all of it dependent on the planet—which would not be fertile without the sunshine, and so on—a never-ending tracing back that dissolves into basic awareness.

Take a moment and look around. Instead of labeling and dividing as the mind is wont to do, move upstream into…

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
photo credit

1 Comment

Filed under Advaita, Musings, Non-duality, Truth

Protection (written in 2009)

dockI’m at a four-day retreat in Eugene, Oregon. For the first time in the six months I’ve been attending these events, I go up to sit one-on one with the teacher.

Resistance is very subtle. It seems like it’s mostly gone, not showing up much in life—and then in an instant of sitting with one who sees through, with no words exchanged, he notices the resistance and names it—correctly, and with love—as protection. What the ego—an imaginary overfilled balloon—wanted to hide was the fear and uncertainty of sitting with someone new, in front of a community that offers unknowns as well. The heart thud-thud-thudded in the chest, and I hoped that would be overlooked? Not really true. As much as I wished for it to be hidden, there is a much stronger pull for it to be seen: therein lies true grace.

No call for self-flagellation, another outworn motif. Nothing needs to be done, no action taken. The willingness to sit with the discomfort is there—to feel the old pattern of wanting to be perfect, the little, frustrated one pounding on the floor, the whole messy stew—all of that, held. It still plays—but it’s not very engaging anymore. The old story out of which the pattern arose is just that, an old story that left a groove. Each time the reaction to that story crops up—I acknowledge, hold, love, and allow it to burn away.

It is such a privilege to sit with one who sees through the veils that clearly. If that opportunity shows up in your life, run toward it—push through fear, through anything your mind pitches up to block the way. What you stand to lose is what has held you hostage for so long. Run toward this opportunity as though your life depends on it.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
photo credit: Panhala Poetry

Leave a comment

Filed under Advaita, Musings, Non-duality, thoughts, Truth