tribal family

dances of universal peaceI spent today with my tribal family of forty-two years, the spiritual tradition that “grew me up.” How delicious to be with dear, old friends. I love this family. But it felt strange to be participating in practices that I have not done in five years–practices and prayers that this family is still deeply connected to and involved with. I honor the practices–some are ancient, and some are very recent. They stood me in good stead for thirty-seven years; they prepared me in a deep way for the next movement in my life.

Even though I am not moved to do these practices in my daily life, it was precious to stand side by side and take part today. We chanted, we sang, we swayed rhythmically together in the Dances of Universal Peace. I took part in a Universal Worship service, and we sang a beautiful Zikr in Hebrew and Arabic, woven together with love, offering peace to that part of the world where there is so much anguish.

We broke bread together.

If I knew how to unlearn what has moved me away from the practice of this path to simple, native noticing, I would be sorely tempted. The path is filled with a sacred, beautiful longing, and I remember being filled to the brim with that longing. But that yearning has been thoroughly taken away, and I know down to my toe knuckles that it is not coming back.

So I sang prayerfully with my friends for the clear joy of being with them–and at the same time, missed the pure, pointing clarity of the direct path, the non-dual teachings that are my spiritual home today.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
photo credit


amazing basket wanelo-comVacillation describes the “I got it; I lost it” experience, or the sense of believing that one has discovered pure awareness and then lost it again.

But if we actually look at our direct experience, how could this possibly be?

If it is “pure” awareness, that which is not findable by the mind because it has no objective qualities, that-which-isn’t-an-it cannot be lost. It is what we, and everything else, are made of. Bodies, minds, Mars rovers, exploding universes, thoughts, perceptions–all apparently occur within it. It can only appear to be covered, like clouds cover the sun, or like a movie image covers the screen.

What happens to make someone believe that he or she “lost it”?

Something objective–some feeling, thought, or event grabs our attention more strongly than the silent ground-of-all that many people experience as nothing (no thing.) This ground of all is so pervasive, so always with us, so completely unloseable, that we simply overlook it. This is why the Sufi tradition says it’s closer than our jugular vein.

If you think you are vacillating between the truth and less-than-the-truth, look again.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
photo credit