Tag Archives: Buddhists

A Day in a Life: Turning

Worry like heavy stones comes…

Between us, Chuck and I have five children, his three and my two. All in their twenties, all on their own journeys, we worry about them nonetheless. Some days we hear from them as they express deeply painful challenges. On other days they call with good news, glowing in their accomplishments, bubbling with happiness and self-confidence. At other times we hear nothing at all for weeks on end. One of our greatest challenges as parents is to let them all go into the world and have their experiences, whatever they may be, knowing that they are learning how life works, deciding how they want to live their own lives, just as we’ve done.

During my intense recapitulation period, which spanned three years, I received hundreds of messages of guidance. They came from many sources—from dreams, from the signs and synchronicities I’d encounter in everyday life, from otherworldly sources, from the ever-deepening recapitulation process itself—as I dove deeper and deeper into my past and discovered what I harbored in body, mind, and spirit as a result of that past. Last night, as I was drifting off to sleep, a familiar voice came to visit and delivered a message from my days of recapitulation.

“Just turn away from that which comes to occupy your mind, turn away from worry, for worry is nothing more than a cogitation of the mind,” the voice said. “Turn away and you will see that it is nothing; it only exists if you let it.”

And so I turned. Each time I woke during the night, I’d automatically turn, and in so doing I left whatever was seeking entry behind. Without thought, I’d turn away, instinctively knowing that it was the right thing to do. But I did notice that each time I turned something seeped away from my awareness; I could feel it fall away from my head and land on the pillow behind me. A thought that was just about to anchor, easily flowed out of me, for I would not allow it to get a grip. And I realized the truth of worry, that it’s like air, flowing through the universe looking for a crack to seep into, looking for an opening. In turning, I refused it. “Nope,” I said, “you can’t land here.”

Eventually the void clears…

For some reason lately, worry has been seeking me out. I feel it coming to me, asking me to engage it. The Shamans of Ancient Mexico, from the lineage of Carlos Castaneda, talk of worry as an entity, seeking to attach and siphon our energy, and that is exactly the way I feel it, as a foreign entity looking for a way in, seeking sustenance. I feel it tickling me, asking me to please let it in.

As a clairvoyant, I’ve made a concerted effort to not let certain “knowings” in, to refuse to accept some of the things that I intuit. There are things that it just isn’t right to know and so I turn away from them as soon as I sense them trying to occupy my psyche, for they too will siphon my energy. In the past, I’d get clear messages of knowing, seeing the unfolding of events, seeing deaths. Such insights aided me in trusting my psychic abilities, but now I don’t need such things, for I accept where I am and who I am. I understand that this “knowing” is natural, part of being human, and yet it must be carefully considered and utilized in the right way.

In addition, I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter what I know, that the most compassionate thing is to just be present for people as they go through their lives, to be available when sought out. The Buddhists say that it isn’t right to interfere with another person’s life, and I understand that, that we may be interrupting a process many lifetimes have been spent perfecting and is perhaps on the verge of being resolved. I’ve learned that you can’t tell anyone anything either, no matter how clearly you see. I believe that people will get what they need when they are ready, and only when they are ready. And they will get it in their own way.

And so, last night, as worry about others came to tease me, asking me to attach and give it life, I paid attention to my message of guidance and turned away. For I also believe that in attaching to worry my energy would feed it, grow it, and perhaps even manifest it, when in reality I know that in the lives of others there are so many possibilities, so many outcomes, so many paths to unfold.

And so I refuse to influence another’s choice, another’s life in that way, even energetically. By attaching my worry to another, to their decisions, I believe that my energy will interfere. Instead, I choose to send positive energy out into the world, loving energy that says, “Take your journey!” At the same time I continue to train myself in compassionate detachment.

And so, I practice compassion…

I learn compassion as I step back and let others live their own lives, learning as I once learned, by living my own life. As a teenager and young adult, the only thing I wanted was to be freed of others, of my parents and the life I’d had with them. And yet my father was a supreme worrier and so—clairvoyant that I was—I sensed his worry and his fears, and they burdened me. With all that I carried inside me, his burdens were the last things I wanted, and so I was forced to reject him, turning from him so many times because I could not bear his thoughts. I told myself I would never do that to my own kids. I would never burden them with my fears and worries. And so each day, I energetically send them off on their own journeys, freed of my worries.

I know that we all have to live out our lives as we must. I cannot change another’s path, make their choices for them, or direct the outcomes of their lives. I can only work on my own. And so I continue to turn.

Compassion enfolds me at every turn. Love embraces me at every turn. Life fully expressed asks me to come into its arms, receive it, and keep going with it to a new level of understanding and growth. And so I turn and turn, night and day, finding my way to energetic freedom and compassion for myself and others. No matter how much I love the others in my life, I must let them go so that they may fully live, as I too wish to fully live.


And yes, it was the voice of Jeanne that came to me last night, in a deeply loving and compassionate way, so reminiscent of my days of recapitulation.

A Day in a Life: Contemplating A Most Challenging Scenario

Death is a twirl; death is a shiny cloud over the horizon; death is me talking to you; death is you and your writing pad; death is nothing. Nothing! It is here, yet it isn’t here at all.” *

What would I do if my parachute didn't open?

I ponder something I read in the local paper recently. A man went skydiving to celebrate a friend’s 50th birthday. Strapped to his instructor, he had never jumped out of an airplane before. They jump and begin the free fall. As the instructor pulls the gear that will release the parachute that will bring them safely to the ground, he is knocked unconscious, struck in the head by part of the gear it is surmised. The chute does not open. The two men, strapped together—the unconscious instructor and the novice—plummet to the ground, the twisted parachute totally useless, while the rest of their party, floating in the air around them, watches helplessly. They both die.

I feel deeply for the families of these men who died, for the rest of their group, devastated by this tragedy, and yet I cannot help but think about death as I contemplate this scenario. As the shamans are fond of saying, we are all beings who are going to die. If I know that I can die at any moment, don’t I want to be prepared, aware at all times that death is constantly stalking me?

I experience the shock of tragedy as I read of these deaths. I feel the pain of facing death in this manner, a most challenging scenario. And yet, I know it is really no different than any other death. In the scenario that I describe, the novice is with an expert and yet suddenly, at a most critical moment, the instructor, the expert, is suddenly unavailable. The expert is unconscious, the novice alert, yet he has no recourse. Death is certain. The novice, left on his own, must face his death. Yet, in the end, I must face that it will be the same for all of us. Whether our death is sudden and violent, whether it is slow and painful, or calm, coming in our sleep, we will all have to face our death alone.

I shift my thoughts to the teachings of the Shamans and the Buddhists, who spend their lives preparing for death. We can elect to spend our lives in avoidance of death, in worry of death, in fear of death, or we can spend our lives in acceptance of and preparation for death, not in a morbid way, but with awareness of its inevitability and its evolutionary potential. This is what the Shamans and Buddhists do. They understand the role of the instructor and the novice, the aware self constantly training the novice self, in waking life, sleeping and dreaming life, at all times learning how to remain aware no matter what scenario they find themselves in. They know that at some point there is always the possibility that the instructor will become unconscious and the awareness of the alert novice must take over and carry them through.

When one has nothing to lose, one becomes courageous. We are timid only when there is something we can cling to.” **

I wonder. Perhaps these two men had prepared themselves well. Strangers though they were, perhaps they came together that day fully aware that they would die together. The reality is, that’s just what happened, they died together. Did they know? Now I must turn and ask myself: Am I preparing for my death every day, with awareness? Am I doing enough, saying enough, living and dreaming life to the fullest?

If life is indeed illusion, if this world as we perceive it, does not really exist—as the Shamans and the Buddhists, as the metaphysical thinkers, mystics, and quantum physicists alike declare—can I work to free my attachment from it more fully? Can I detach from this world that I live in, while simultaneously fully using it to train my awareness to be alert at all times?

Detachment, as I understand it, is not a negation, dismissal, or refusal to fully live life in this world, but a total living with awareness, keenly aware of the illusion, while taking full advantage of every moment to learn what that really means. Detachment is being curious, open, thoughtful, unafraid of that which is different or makes us uncomfortable, like contemplating death everyday. If death, as don Juan Matus explains to Carlos Castaneda in the quote I use to open this blog today, is nothing but part of the grand illusion, then death is now. As illusion, “it is here, yet it isn’t here at all,” as he states.

Will my parachute open today?

This idea is quite challenging, but if all that we perceive is illusion, then so is death. Death asks us to contemplate the self as nothing more than a novice skydiver, come to take the leap. Life asks the same of us, for we are all spinning and twirling to our deaths all the time. Are we aware of this?

I ask myself: Can I prepare myself to greet the inevitable, so that when I am in the same predicament as the man who dared to skydive, facing my own death, I will remain fully aware that I am leaving one illusion and about to enter another, even as the solid ground of this earth-time illusion comes rushing up from below to meet me with its solidity?

There really is nothing to cling to.

Contemplating the grand illusion I find myself in today,

*/** Both quotes are from A Separate Reality, as presented in The Wheel of Time, don Juan Matus talking to Carlos Castaneda.

A Day in a Life: Get What You Want

Be careful what you wish for…you might just get it! This phrase has been going around in my thoughts for weeks now. It has been echoed by Mick Jagger’s voice, singing:

“No, you can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometime, you just might find
You get what you need”

The other night, I dreamt of flying over the Valley of Death, a dark landscape of half-exposed corpses stuck in a black bog, thousands of them rotting away in the stagnant scene below me. From my perspective I did not perceive the rotting corpses as horrifying or nightmarish, but as a natural consequence of being human. At one time I might have startled awake, shaking in fright, but this time I calmly noted: “Yes, our bodies will become like that, corpses rotting in a bog when we no longer need them. They are carcasses that will one day reside in the black Valley of Death, but our spirits will live on.” Indeed, as I thought this my dreaming spirit heard a voice that said: “Go toward the light, turn always toward the light.”

I know that once the body’s work is done, we must leave it behind and, without attachment, go into new life.

One outlook

The Buddhists and the Shamans alike suggest that we create our own reality. If we focus only on negativity, in thought alone, we keep ourselves stuck in negativity. Negativity and negative entities will attach to us, as we become feeding grounds where they know they will find sustenance. We actually compound the situation, bringing more on ourselves, one bad event leading to another as we energetically attach to crisis upon crisis. If we constantly bemoan our state of affairs, crying that our lives are terrible, that nothing goes right for us, that only bad comes to us, then that is what we will get.

I have experienced this myself. In fact, I once believed that I had to accept everything that came to me. “I can handle anything, good or bad,” I said to the universe, feeling powerful, “bring it on!” But one day I got fed up. “I’m sick of bad,” I said, “I only want good now!” And with that simple though hard-earned declaration things began to change significantly for the better. My whole outlook on life began to change too as a result of a new, more positive attitude.

As good began to arrive in my life, the negative slunk away. I learned in the process how to accept goodness from the universe, from others, and, most significantly, from myself. I softened and began to learn how to love myself. I learned the lessons of the Buddhists and Shamans: that I am largely responsible for the world I live in, in fact, that I create it.

Another perspective

In asking for good, I also had to confront what that meant. I got what I needed to propel me forward as I reconnected with my spirit and listened to the truths it told me. I had to leave a lot of my old life behind, leave it to rot in the Valley of Death, without regret and resentment. Those were some very challenging times, but they were also the most transformative times of my life as well.

The biggest challenge of that transformative period, during which I did my recapitulation, was learning how to face myself and my life lived without fixating on having been bad. I learned what it meant to be without judgment. I learned that everything that had happened in my life was necessary. I had to get to the point where I could view everything from a different perspective, as I did in my dream the other night, and clearly see how everything fit together, how everything was meaningful and significant and absolutely necessary for me to get where I am now.

As I turned away from the Valley of Death in my dream and looked into the light all around me, I knew that our spirits always seek the light. They seek what lies beyond the negative, nightmarish outlook we tend to attach to with fear. In the light there is no fear.

If we shift our focus, as the Buddhists and Shamans suggest, to focus on the light, the darkness will shrink away from us. If we change our thoughts to thoughts of joy and peace, love and kindness, as we reject the entities that seek to siphon our energy, we will begin to understand the necessity of their presence in the first place. Shifting our perspective begins with closely and honestly looking at our fears. Rather than focus on them as frightening, and on the Valley of Death as a horrible outcome, we must question the meaning of such symbols in our lives. Where are they leading us? What are they showing us? What are they trying to tell us? Eventually, as we face the darkness within ourselves with curiosity rather than fear, the darkness without will sense our disinterest. It will loosen its hold on us, and our attachment to it will diminish as well.

A whole new viewpoint

We may not be able to control how our lives unfold, but we can certainly control how we react. We create our world with our thoughts and what we choose to attach to, but there will come a time when our spirit will ask us to shift our perspective and it will be up to us alone to accept responsibility for doing so.

Accepting responsibility for our lives is perhaps one of our biggest challenges. We may spend a lot of time blaming others, blaming our circumstances, the raw deal we got, the universe colluding against us from the moment of birth. But living life that way, steeped in victimhood, gets pretty stale after a while. Eventually, we learn that our life will not change if we do not make a move on our own behalf.

Today, I wish that joy and peace may be yours, that goodness may come your way, that your thoughts may turn positive, that you may turn toward the light, and that self-nurturing healing and transformation may always be yours,


A Day in a Life: Peeling Away Fear

Each day as I wake up I must face who I am. I am not perfect. I am not special. I am nothing.

These words may sound like negative mantras, but in reality they are extremely freeing. In the context of the world we live in, it may be hard to understand what that kind of freedom means. It means that, as I do my inner work, I slowly free myself from ego, judgments, attachments, greed, etc. I free myself from the desire to be special and, in so doing, I can simply be. Largely, this kind of freedom means facing my fears, for really there is little else that keeps me caught. As I see it, fear is the biggest challenge to overcome in this life.

The Tangled Web of Fear

If I ask myself why I reacted a certain way in a certain situation, I will find that at the root of my reaction was fear. We all suffer from fear. There is fear of what others will think or say about us. There is fear of doing or saying something wrong. There is fear of making the wrong decision. There is fear of getting hurt or hurting others. There is fear of financial loss, of loss of our jobs, our homes, our lovers, and those closest to us. There is fear that we are not enough, that we have failed to live up to expectation, that we are unloveable, bad, not pretty or handsome enough, that we are too fat or too thin, that we are doing everything wrong. And finally there is fear of death.

When we look at all the things we fear we see only negatives; depressing truths or untruths, perceptions or judgments that keep us caught in an endless cycle of suffering. Fear is tied to being inadequate, unfulfilled, unevolved, imperfect. So how do we accept that we are not perfect, not special, that we are in fact nothing, and actually feel good about it?

The Buddhists say that we are here to suffer, that it is how we evolve. That evolution is tied to transcending suffering, but only by facing it. The Buddhist sitting in meditation confronts what arises, going deeper and deeper into the dark space that yawns wide open inside the self as fears arise. What we discover as we confront our fears is that they lead to truths, whether hidden and totally unknown or known and rejected, they all eventually give way to more fears and more truths. Each layer of fear and truth asks to be explored and reckoned with. This is the same process that the shamans engage in while doing recapitulation. Both meditation and recapitulation offer the means of facing fear, the means of finding out why we suffer, and they both offer the transcendent quality of nothingness that we reach as we go deeper and deeper into the self.

Meditate with Open Mind and Without Fear Face The Truth and The Answer Will Come

As we meditate or recapitulate with an open mind—letting loose those ideas and judgments that I spoke of earlier—we allow what comes from within to guide us. As we mediate or recapitulate with an open mind, we ready ourselves to face each fear and ask, over and over again, “Why do I have this fear?” And then, as we meditate or recapitulate with an open mind, we allow ourselves to explore deeply—until we hear an answer.

Our answers may be as varied as we are, but I guarantee that our answers will eventually lead to just another fear, another thing we are afraid of, lying just beneath the last thing we were so afraid of. As we face each fear, we peel away judgments and perceptions—some self-imposed, some imposed by others—and find a little bit more of Self, a little bit more of who we have the potential to truly be.

As fear after fear gets peeled away and the thick layer of our suffering selves begins to thin, we begin to feel lighter, better, less negative, less attached to the old self. We gradually become more and more intrigued by our process. We want to see how far we can actually go. We want to know what else there is to learn about us. We want to become as free as possible.

In undergoing this process of peeling away our fears we offer ourselves access to what it means to be imperfect, to not be special, to be nothing—and to be totally satisfied with being in this state. In fact, we might discover the joy of being in that state of non-attachment. We might discover that our suffering has a greater purpose; that it has the potential to lead us beyond the confines of this world, tapping into far greater freedom, enlightenment, new life, and wholeness than this world alone can offer.

In facing our fears we face our humanness in its entirety, and yet we also face our immortal, infinite selves, for in doing our deep inner work we face all of our fears, including our fear of death.

It may seem like a daunting task, but facing our fears will lead to the freedom of non-attachment and opening the door to greater exploration of our fuller potential now, while in this life, so that our death becomes just one more seamless exploration of our greater potential.

I am not perfect, I am not special, I am nothing,

A Day in a Life: Take a Ride on the Wings of the Eagle

Here are some thoughts from M. Scott Peck, M.D. in his book In Search of Stones:

“One age does not turn into another overnight. Between the Age of Faith and the Age of Reason there lay at least three hundred years of confusion. An old Age does not die easily. Today, firmly ensconced in the Age of Reason, we look back upon its pioneers—men like Galileo—with admiration and respect. For the Inquisition that persecuted him, we have only disrespect and find it hard to imagine how the authorities of the church could have been so narrow-minded, stupid, and downright cruel. Yet were we able to look through the eyes of those authorities at the dawning of the Age of Reason, we would not only have seen a crumbling of faith, we would also have been filled with terror at the impending disintegration of civilization and loss of all that gave meaning and coherency to life. Perhaps the greatest sins of religion are not those of faith per se but of faith threatened.” –page 6.

Here are some quotes from Carlos Castaneda in his book The Wheel of Time:

“To change our ideas of the world is the crux of shamanism. And stopping the internal dialogue is the only way to accomplish it… When a warrior learns to stop the internal dialogue, everything becomes possible; the most far-fetched schemes become attainable.” –pages 118-119.

“Whenever the internal dialogue stops, the world collapses, and the extraordinary facets of ourselves surface, as though they had been heavily guarded by our words.” –page 128.

“Human beings are not objects; they have no solidity. They are round, luminous beings; they are boundless. The world of objects and solidity is only a description that was created to help them, to make their passage on earth convenient.” –page 135.

“Human beings are perceivers, but the world that they perceive is an illusion: an illusion created by the description that was told to them from the moment they were born…” –page 137.

Here are some interesting quotes from The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche:

“To see through the eyes of the mountain eagle, the view of realization, is to look down on a landscape in which the boundaries that we imagined existed between life and death shade into each other and dissolve. The physicist David Bohm has described reality as being “unbroken wholeness in flowing movement.” What is seen by the masters, then, seen directly and with total understanding, is that flowing movement and that unbroken wholeness. What we, in our ignorance, call “life,” and what we, in our ignorance, call “death,” are merely different aspects of that wholeness and that movement. This is the vast and transforming vision opened up to us by the bardo teachings, and embodied in the lives of the supreme masters.” –page 341.

“To see death, then, through realized eyes, is to see death in the context of this wholeness, and as part, and only part, of this beginningless and endless movement. The uniqueness and power of the bardo teachings is that they reveal to us, by showing with total clarity the actual process of death, the actual process of life as well.” –page 342.

Here are some thoughts from me:

I believe that we are always in the middle of a tornado, our world collapsing, in the process of death while in the throes of life, but that we do not perceive our world in such a manner until something shakes us out of our complacency, out of our narrow-mindedness, out of our internal dialogue, and out of our ignorance. I believe that we are being gifted with one of those times of shake-up right now.

Look around; look at what is happening. Take a ride on the wings of the eagle and realize that this is the time of confusion before the dawning of a new Age. But, as the shamans, the Buddhists, and deep spiritual thinkers suggest: this collapse is constantly presented to us—we are just not aware of it. And this is where Harold Camping, the end of the world predictor, gets it wrong. The end of the world is an every day occurrence and we all have the opportunity to grab onto the freedom of that clarity every day.

If we can learn how to let go of our reason—our internal dialogue, our conjuring mind, and our description of the world as we have been taught—and open up to the realization that everything is an illusion, we can enter a new reality. We can do this volitionally, learning how to shift our perceptions and how to experience the endless movement of energy, our own included, as it flows in the universe.

Through the process of recapitulation we learn to shed our old selves, our old perceptions and ideas of the self and the world, our self-importance, our attachments to the illusions of this world that we so solidly stand upon. In so doing we relieve ourselves of adherence to beliefs that do not truly serve us if we are ready to evolve into a new understanding of life and death.

We can experience our energetic wholeness in total freedom by constantly challenging ourselves to shatter our world as we have always perceived it, by refusing to attach to the illusions of this world. Those illusions are placed upon us from the moment we are born. If we can break our fixation with reality as we have been taught to perceive it, we might just discover that what is happening in the world, every day, is nicely set up to help us shatter those illusions. Even a momentary glimpse of a different idea of ourselves offers us the opportunity to gain in awareness, to aid us in letting go—just a little bit more—of all that holds us so attached to what we believe is so important and so dear.

Today, across America, many people are waking to a shattered world, everything gone. The tornadoes that have been touching down bringing the end of the world to so many lives remind us that we cannot hold onto anything. In such a moment we are offered the experience of impermanence. So what do we do when we stand there with nothing, when our dreams and our lives are shattered, totally gone?

This is the moment of enlightenment, the moment of freedom in collapse, the experience of death in life. The big challenge is to retain the experience of this moment of death; of ourselves without attachments, without belongings, totally released from the familiar. The is the gap moment that allows us a glimpse of our eternal selves while we still stand firmly in this world.

So, can we accept the convenience of our solidity long enough to embrace the fact that it is offered as a means from which to launch our awareness, as the shamans would pose? Can we allow ourselves to embrace this moment of impermanence, as the Buddhists would call it, as our big moment of evolutionary enlightenment? Can we hold onto our experience and use it to truly shift us away from our old ideas, needs, and desires? Can we use it to enter a new Age, an Age of true Enlightenment as the deep spiritual seekers understand it?

These are the challenges that the shamans, Buddhists, and deep spiritual seekers know are the moments that teach us how to face our deaths, but also offer us the opportunity to face our lives in the same manner. These are the moments of shattering the illusions we hold onto, though what we are really being shown is that we cannot hold onto anything and we don’t need to either.

We are beings who are going to die, as the shamans say. Yes, it’s a very scary thought, but can we live each day with that foremost in our thoughts, basing our lives on that idea? Can we live beyond the illusions of this world, and enter the flowing movement of unbroken wholeness? It’s not really that hard to do, we’re already doing it, every day!

Perhaps we just haven’t fully perceived it that way yet, but we have so many daily opportunities to do so. Every day is the end of the world.

Just trying to remain aware,