I am doing great. Needing to be here so much that with some urging from Nan I´m staying an extra week in my `Spiritual Frying Pan` south of the equator.
I´ve realized down here that I talk way too much. I read one of the best books of my life, Nan sent me down here with `Kitchen Table Wisdom`by Rachel Remen (thanks to Sheeri). And I thought it was a food book! Ha!
Rachel says that judgement can stifle our life force and judgement does not only take the form of criticism but also…Approval. “When we approve of people we sit in judgement of them as much as when we criticize.”
I´ve realized that I´ve sought approval all my life. From my siblings, bullies and popular kids in high school, work peers, girls, etc. Hence my blabber mouth. People like me down here for who I am not what I am. There is a great prayer here, I´ll paraphrase. Maybe you´ve heard it:
It doesnt interest me what you do for a living
I want to know if you have touched the center of your sorrow
If you have been opened by life´s betrayals
Or have become shriveled and closed from fear of future pain
It doesnt interest me where you live or how much money you have
I want to know if you can sit with pain. Mine and yours.
Without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.
It doesnt interest me who you know or how you came to be here
I want to know if you can bear the accusation of betrayal
And not betray your own soul
It doesnt interest me where or what or with whom you have studied
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself
And if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
I want to know if you can see beauty
Even when its not pretty every day.
What´s far more important to me here is not what´s happening on a day to day basis in the 3rd dimension of our physical reality, (the horizontal plane) but what is happening on a deeper level (vertically), how I respond to situations I don´t like, that I do like, frustrations, fears, all of that. And this started in Boulder with all of you. Your outpouring of help and thoughts and prayers really shook me to the core. “Wait why are all these people being so nice to me? I didn´t do anything to deserve this,” kept running through my head. Then I put my head aside and started leading with my heart for what felt like the first time in my life.
Thomas Keating says, `We seek relationship with the Ultimate Reality (God, Buddha, Allah, Universal River of Wisdom, whatever) through listening to the first language: silence. Thomas Cahill also said this in The Gift of the Jews. He says in silence you can here the `still small voice`of God. So I spend most of my days here in meditation with hundreds of other people. Three hours straight no getting up, then lunch and three more hours non stop till dinner. Its really hard but equally fulfilling. Nan and I did a week long sitting retreat years ago and it helped wrap my mind around the process, but my butt and back hurt a lot.
So many disciplines push meditation: Hindu, Yoga, TM, Buddhism, Shintu, Judiasm, Christianity to find the ´seat of your soul.`
So that´s some of what I´m doing, besides desperately missing my beautiful family. I realize I jumped into the 3rd dimension a little bit here and there. Oh well I am human.
Everyone here is so amazing, I wish I could explain it in words. I saw a Toucan in a tree near my pousada. Just like Froot Loops. His beak was so big I couldn´t believe he could fly, but he did. Beautiful red and yellow parrots are flying always overhead in pairs. I think of Nan and I everytime I see them. They mate for life and never leave each others side. There is profound meaning in everything here for me. I wonder if it will continue when I come home. I hope so.
I love you all and am endlessly grateful for everything you´ve done for me and my family.
Big Hugs, Mohawk Warrior