Wednesday, July 27, 2011

From July 18th, time with Family in Maine and Clint and Emily's Wedding

I got to drive up from Boston Logan International Airport to the middle of no where town of Mariaville Maine with my brother. We rented a car. I hadn't seen Joe in over a year and a half. I'm grateful for the time and conversation in the car, through the traffic cones and the rain storms. My brother's efforts to find a job in his field in the NW have finally paid off since he moved there two years ago. He just started a job at an architecture firm in Bellingham under syncronistic events.

I had a few days to unwind with the whole family together in my old bedroom, listening to the brook behind the house, picking blueberries down the road, sitting around a campfire swatting a plethora of mosquitoes on a full moon night, kayaking out to the loons on the lake, cooking dinner with my mom, walking with my sister, going to the beach and meditating together. Wish I'd had more time with my dad though, next time :)

Then we met my brother (who'd disapeared for the bachelor party and rehearsal dinner) in Boothbay Harbor, Maine for the wedding of a mutual friend. Clint, my class mate from Kindergarten, and Emily, a wonderful woman he met in Australia on study abroad, got married on the ocean. A few of my other classmates were there too, some I hadn't seen since 8th grade graduation! We had a smart class! Most are doing such interesting, ambitious things. I love how weddings bring people together. Sometimes it seems like it is more of a gift to the relaxing participants than the bride and groom who had to do all the organizing and financing and remembering of sometimes traditional/expected recitations and rituals. Thought, I'm sure the bride and groom enjoyed the sense of this gift and the relief of the planning/waiting phase being over through a ceremonial transition in front of all the witnesses they love.The wedding was beautiful and was indeed a gift to be part of. Thank you Clint and Emily for inviting me and bringing everyone together! Thank you for the bonus lobster dinner, dancing into the night and thank you source for the happiness and blue skies presiding.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Conference: God as Us! The Sacred Feminine and the Sacred Masculine

Title: God as Us! The Sacred Feminine and the Sacred Masculine


The cosmos is too small to fit God, but when a heart is open, God will fit in it easily. An open heart is bigger than the cosmos!

The soul as an aura around us, growing that soul energy.

The union between male and female is dynamic: 2 parts with 1 flow, 2 aspects of underlying, seemless unity. That unity is beauty.

Doubt divides the heart, leaves you in the "maybe this, maybe that" paralysis.

How you relate to the world is how you relate to the divine.

If it doesn't connect you to the whole, its not sacred, its not God.

The point of marriage and sex and relationship is to allow the mirror of the other to reveal your problems and direction needed for spiritual growth.

Knowing who you are apart from the other, knowing your relationship to God first.

Love is when two solitudes protect and touch and greet one another!

Even between the closest human beings, there is infinite distance. Because each does not yet know him/herself and is still learning.

Respect - when you can respect this distance and don't presume you know the other...

Succeed in loving the distance between.

Essential give and take between solitude and intimacy.

You must choose to be alone first. Who am I now? Without other?

Friendship is the deepest kind of way. Can we be friends with others?

When two love, a third is created. The higher image of this self is held in the relationship.

God can never be an object. God is the subject of love.

The way to give yourself to God completely and love God completely is to give yourself to life completely.

Its not love that divides the heart; its the passions that divide the heart.

Read: Ken Wilber's "Grace and Grit" - required reading on love

Passions - egotism, clinging, dependency/neediness

Love unites the heart, the passions are dealt with by letting go - through kenosis.

Sometimes, it can be very good in marriage to see where a chosen period of celibacy can lead. It can do wonders for clarity and newness of relationship.

A path of kenosis - a letting things come and a letting things  go without clinging.

[the only thing to do is to stay on the path and to get back on when I get off]

Male and female energies are most different at their immature levels. And the energies are most alike at the mature levels.
Kenosis is the opposite of clinging. The practice of letting Go, of opening. Then you will know all you need to know about the path. It begins in your body. From unclenched to open.

It brings the experience of uniting with the whole, which you separated from by clinging. You're not renouncing something; you're simply allowing yourself to let it go.

The clinging to the emotions and possessions:
- the past
- knowledge, intellectual identification
We think we know where we are going so we don't know how to be helpless.
- feeling/entitlement

The fastidious discipline of letting go. Going through the physical process of clinging to open allows the brain waves to align. Voluntary moving from being stuck to something to being unstuck from it. Allowing space where you are co-dependent and needy.

Active Practice:
The energy of construction draws that energy to us.

"Christianity isn't a failure; it just hasn't been tried yet"

Through that very practice of letting go, we participate in putting the mind in the heart. The energy of awakening is actually a ray of graces that changes and transforms the physical world into the kingdom of heaven. Bringing into being what is.


"I am one with my source in so far as I too act as a source by making everything that I receive flow again"

Giving is receiving. Go through a day atuned to your body of when you're constricted and when you're open. When you notice the constriction, relax it. Notice how your reality changes.

You can practice kenosis in any form. Being in relationship can help because there's a lot more of that polishing and mirroring happening.


A human consciousness is simply ready for what its ready for.

Look up Brian McClaren

For celibacy to continue as a gift...
1) person has to have had in their childhood unconditional love from mom and dad. If that doesn't exist, the psychological foundation isn't there (and that is true for married or unmarried people too)

2) there has to be the beginning of an affectionate relationship with God. God can't simply be a belief. Divine union that really satisfies the heart because "I have been touched by God" as an emotionally satisfying experience.

3) In your whole life, you have to have a job/ministry/occupation that is creative and exciting and involves interacting with people. It can't just be a drudgery kind of job.

Even expectation is a resentment waiting to happen.

A foundational experience of enoughness. This is more than good, it is all I want, It is all I need!

A positive stance of appreciation. Everything else is pure gift. I didn't deserve my health, I didn't deserve this internship. Its all grace, kind of attitude.

Centering prayer is a daily practice of letting go. Our mind feels its job description is to comment on everything, non-stop narrative commentary on everything in life. To move from the first to the second half of life involves necessary suffering and shadow-boxing. Consciousness and kenosis - using relationships to make us more conscious.

To use every frustration in relationship as a deeper way of seeing. Each holding the other to their highest self. True love demands sacrifice - is the beginning of union at a higher plane. It follows the path of What Is.

The subject of your own deepest originality. To recognize the beloved is not absent, but lives in you - at your own deepest originality. But you can't have that with untransformed eros or as the object of desire. Love without rejecting, denying or clinging. The more one loves, the more one longs to love. The deepening of the heart by the participation of the heart. The more we dare to open our hearts, the more we are broken open. And it never stops.

Cannot have by intensifying desire, only by letting go. Clinging is never satisfied. You can only release.

How do you distinguish between the essential and the non-essential? Between what really last and what doesn't. We cannot not be present to birth and death. But these spiritual events are becoming medical events. The people at the two ends of life have the truth. Many religious people fight death more than the non-religious because of their idea of God is fear-based. Conscious birthing and conscious dying. The giving of energy (love) is the work of spirit.

When the old ways don't work anymore, the old game has failed. This happens aprox. every 7 years. In need of teachers during these gaps, to fill in the gaps. Its in these periods of liminal space, when your needs and emotions are not being met and your mind is dissatisfied, that we need teachers. You know you can't maintain the honeymoon. Must move to next level. When you don't progress, you actually regress.
Read: "The Philosophical Baby"
Suffering is the one thing you can't choose to program. You can either resist or go into the Cloud of Unknowing. Can last 2 months to 2 years.

Have I ever loved anybody as myself?

Purity being singleness of heart. Head and heart working together

Passion is constantly creating a hole within you that wants to be filled. The indwelling holy spirit. Ticking time bomb. We're not there yet, but its coming. A thirst/yearning. There's something good about wanting it all. It still means you will suffer.

"My deepest me is God that without doubt is where you are being led and that human love/relationship leads you to that. "I love you even more than the relationship with you" attitude. This is where passion leads us.

Profound body bow - keep head lower than the heart. To put your head into your heart space and see as one.

Are you capable of friendship with another who you are not sexually attracted to? Respect your own emodiment as a woman or as a man. An initiation is always when you know your eternal name. Everything is an initiation. God does not waste anything and certainly God is not going to waste something as powerful as romance, sex, and love itself!

To find God in Everything. Passion: energy of life pouring through you. "Most of Christianity talks about being aware of your passions as dividing the heart (7 deadly sins) to there is that terminology of passion. So the same word is used for two different terms that actually fight with each other and we just have to recognize which meaning and term we are referring to.

Sensation - through the body use attention to become present to aliveness of body.

Feeling - my heart is making me feel sad/heavy

Emotion - an energetic charge revolving around a sad story of self, ego

Passion - an emotion of self that has become stuck/fixated on the story of self. We have to move through passion and emotion and only there do we find feeling - "the love that moves the sun and the stars"

"Beauty is the beginning of a terror we can just scarcely bare" - Rilke

To suffer, in ancient terms, meant to allow. There is a lot of pain that can become less when we consciously allow.

Cynthia, 3:30 sat.
"Beyond right and wrong, there is a swimming pool. I'll meet you there." - Rumi

"There will come a time when her [Mary Magdelene's] tower will stand alone by mine"

Magdelene means tower, watcher of the flock.

"You can't touch without being touched"

"No conscious act if ever wasted"

Moving in the direction of loving your neighbor as yourself. If there is no communal salvation, there is no salvation!

Question and Answer Period

Question: Are the paths of conscious loving different for men and women?
Answer: R.Different events precipitate the transformation of each. Males [typically] more energized, excited; women [typically] have little growth insight experiences with details and subtlety. Again the beginnings of the journey have the greatest differences between genders.
C. What's raw and real connects all of us.  A lot of contemporary spirituality is too clean. Living in both archetypes. Contemplation being the new in word, if you're not practicing non-dual thinking, you're not contemplative. The presence of 3 makes a fourth in a new dimension. Masculine and feminine are constantly changing places like a kaleidescope! The 3rd something moves into the 4th.

Question: Is there a danger with trying to enter the 2nd half of life early (under the age of 30)?
R. Often, suffering will lead an under 30-something to non-dual thinking(both/and)/2nd half of life. Age is not a determinant of whose in what half. Many old people are still in the first half of life dual thinking phase (either/or). There is no danger in entering non-dual thinking early as long as it is not false nondual thinking and we have succeeded in dual thinking first (logical, consistent, practical thinking). After all, all children under 7 are dual thinkers and many people at death. At a certain point, in life, you hit a high ceiling. And you can't process what is above the ceiling with dualistic thinking. So you must start renewing your mind so you can understand. You can't enter into dual thinking too early.

Question: talk about GLBT in relation to all of this?
R: in India, there are very clearly 3 genders. With the 3rd being all those that don't fit neatly into dual thinking. In many people's lives, pain/wounding comes from our own gender more than the opposite. Don't be fooled by the easy male/female categories. Its never been true.
C: There are 2 stages: 1) is to acknowledge, bless, receive gratefully the identity of all gendered people. Many love fitting other people into a neatly fitting box, then they love the box more than the people who are trying to live their lives. 2) Any identification about you ultimately gets in the way and there's a point beyond the identity, do not cling, even when your identity has been so strongly fought for. Let go of both intense wounding and intense identification. Foundational, essential truth. Your gender is part of the false self. Its secondary, not foundational. It will pass away. Its first half of live stuff. Its only a metaphor we hold in our bodies. People who already begin to experience that in this world can be compassionate to all people because they know gender is the false self. Asissi, Italy is a little town with immense spiritual energy.

Cynthia: closing
The new redwood tree can't grow without the bed of the old tree. Its the common sense of wanting to grow out of the nurse tree for all of us. Thank you for the space for free inquiry, thank you Richard for modeling what a transcended man looks like.

Reflections on childhood From July 9 2011

In my first session, I told Sister Vinnery, my spiritual director for this summer internship, about a specific moment I recall from childhood. I was in the 4th grade and I was around 10 years old (because I stayed back a year in kindergarten to play). For the first time, the work I was doing in school was not only challenging me but not interesting to me. I remember distinctly the thought I had upon passing in my homework: "If 'I' didn't do it, it wasn't going to get done. I realized I had a conscious choice to do the homework or not. It was a very uncomfortable feeling. I chose to do the homework. From that moment onward I continued doing things with the underlying feeling that it was all up to me to get them done or not. I took the control, I took the independence, I took the weight of that realization I had when I was ten and I have been carrying it.

I also told Sister Vinney about a piece of artwork on my childhood bedroom wall that I remember. It depicted a squirrel smiling with its eyes shut hanging from a branch. Underneath the suspended squirrel read the word, "Faith"

I said to sister Vinney I wish I'd had that realization about faith then that I do now. She said, "But you weren't ready" I am grateful that now I recognize the support I receive in all my undertakings from source. And its okay, if things don't get done. The most important aspect is maintaining a space to listen and just be.

A few days later, I was reading the book "Centering Prayer" by Cynthia Bourgeault. The quote directly relates to my conversation with Sister Vinney:

"Our cultural conditioning tells us that we must be in charge, that we must carry out our own agendas, that we must make sure our affairs are in order, that we have to invest in our retirement plan, because if we don't, who will take care of us?

If I don't, who will? This is the attitude often referred to as 'taking care of number 1' self-reliance." (page 2)

The issue at stake here is trust. I trust that I am reliant on source for all the abundance in my life. Credit for all my accomplishments goes to that source of creativity. Out of trust and letting go, the strength will come and the insight about what to do.

The book goes on to say: "Our spiritual journey as a whole has the same fatal flaw - seeking God as if [s]he were absent. God is always within us. To assume that we must do it all is the major obstacle to spiritual development. Spiritual surrender is not passive, but, rather, the active exercise of a receptive power" (page 3)

"The cure for this willful wrongheadedness is an opening of the heart that softens us into willingness. It can come about by hitting 'rock bottom' or, if we are lucky, it can come about through contemplative practice." (page 10)

I am reliant on God to stay connected with God and to soften my heart.

Then, I opened the page of the book "Letters of the Scattered Brotherhood" I was also reading. And the line that jumped out at me was, "The greatest thing to help you is the habit of being in the presence of God" (168).

I told sister Vinney that I felt like a wobbly baby deer. She reminded me that the mother deer is always there to nudge the baby back up when it falls.

From June 30th Notes from a talk w/Chuck Hosking


Direction and Intention are what matter. Opening the space to let the intention source has for you in and to act on it.

For me, that intention has to do with being joyful and loving and giving to others through presence and also by creating more beauty in the world through creativity.

It does not matter where your position is, but that you continue to move toward that.

Recognizing the essence of personhood in all people.

Sharing the same values of intention with life partner.
- knowing your own values and intention

When you deprive people of those material things their whole life, the first thing they will try to do is get those things.

Watch on youtube "The Story of Stuff"