Feel it all, and let it all crack you open and open and open and open...................
Usually everyone around us is assuming that there is something about themselves that needs healing or improving, so really seeing that there is nothing wrong or missing, can seem a little strange or even arrogant in comparison. It is, of course, arrogant if it just taken as an attitude or belief about myself, but if it really seen that this moment could never possibly be more than what it is right now, and to doubt that is simply ridiculous, then this is simply reality and not a belief or attitude. The belief that I am not enough, or the attitude or pretence of being invincible or tough, are both just cover-up games to cover the real vulnerability that we all feel and are. What we often don’t realize is that the real power is in feeling the vulnerability. The real power is already here and doesn’t need any trying or forcing or pretending. It is the nature of Life itself as it is already. It is in the vulnerability of feeling whatever is here. It is in the already present energy felt physically. It has nothing to do with the thought interpretations around it and about it (although that too is the Life energy expressing in that way too). Without the labels, this energy is every sensation felt.
By questioning the assumption that there is something that needs to be added or improved, we can see that without just blindly believing it, we don’t know that there is anything really missing or wrong with the way things are. We start to see and feel that life is, of course, enough as it is. I am already whole and complete, and don’t need to add anything. We start to see that there is nothing that we could possibly do to make myself more perfect, more worthy of love, or more enlightened.
As this starts to be a lived reality of knowing that any thought that says there is a problem or something lacking, is simply a joke, then more energy is freed up to just be as it feels to be. Thought is no longer taken as seriously and no longer given that much attention. Thought is only pretending to be a restriction or limitation, but is never really that. With less energy on thought, there seems to be more availability to feel what is felt physically. As the limitation and boxes of thought are seen for the farce that they really are, the Life energy is free to move again. Perhaps there is a felt sensation or an expression that thought would normally assume means something frightening, but in not believing in thought then the energy can just be felt without any suppression. Even though there may be more uncomfortable physical sensations felt, paradoxically more freedom is experienced with it. Life is lived with less and less limits. This is the freedom to feel the discomfort or the joy.
In this living with less believed-in limits, the real power that you are, can start to be felt and appreciated. Thought is seen to have never really limited anything. The walls are seen to be only pretend walls and the prisoners are set free, and even seen that they were always free. In fact there is so much freedom that thought doesn’t know what to do with it. Thought can not direct it or restrict it any more. It has no control any more. Life can be chaotic, and perhaps even crazy. It doesn’t fit into the thought boxes of how things should look or feel. Perhaps it is not socially acceptable. Perhaps it is even illegal. Perhaps the fear is that it will be so strong that it will shock or hurt others. Perhaps you risk losing people who you love, or losing your position at work, or in society. Perhaps its been suppressed for so long that you fear that it will just burst out in a way that might be unbearable. Perhaps it will be nothing like what you fear…
If you really step of the way and stop assuming you can control it all, you will see what this Life energy does on its own. Risk living in wonder and surprise.
This Life energy is here all the time. It is every sensation felt, every sound, every thought or image. It actually can not ever be contained by thought or by anything else. There is no actual way to do that. However, if you believe that you can suppress this energy (whether it is anger, sexuality, passion, violence, ecstasy, love or anything else), then it will seem to play out that way. The experience will be of the energy being squashed into certain rigid ways of being. Slowly but surely it starts to burst out in small ways, and eventually it breaks all the gates and bursts out completely.
However, if there is no need to suppress the energy then it doesn’t need to burst out. If it is all okay to be here as it is, then it doesn’t have to rebel against the restrictions and barriers put around it. It can just come and go and be felt or expressed as it does.
The problem usually is that we are so afraid of this Life energy. We are afraid that it is so alive, that it might even kill us. In the expression of overwhelming joy, I might lose myself. In really feeling the violence and hatred, it might be so destructive that I might never return to normality. In completely falling in love, I might be utterly consumed in its fire. In really feeling the sadness that I try to avoid, I may end up killing myself. In losing myself to this aliveness I might not ever be able to piece myself together again. Everything will be lost. There will be nothing left to hold on to. Fear comes up. ‘How will I function?’ ‘How will I relate to others?’ ‘Will people accept me?’ There are no answers to these questions coming from fear. But fear is included in this aliveness. Fear is this Life energy felt physically. There is no escape from it. It is felt.
We all know this power of Life that we really are. We long to feel and express it more and more. But at the same time we are so terrified of it because it is the death of who we think we are. It is the loss of all boundaries and all limited identities. Just Life feeling or expressing itself, however that happens. Out of control. Out of bounds. So free that nothing can ever contain or hold it. So, it is a ridiculous joke to either pretend that you are not enough, or that you are so tough, and can control or handle it all. Have the courage to keep seeing through belief and assumptions of thought. The courage to feel what is really here. The courage to feel the fear, pain, shame and whatever other sensations are here. The courage to feel the joy, love and freedom that is here, and know that it is all the uncontained, uncontrollable, wild power of Life that you are.
Unmani, April 2012
'Love is love, and has nothing to do with union or genders, or being in or out of a relationship. Love is wild radical freedom that does not depend on what you think, or any labels that seem to separate or unite. Love does not need to look or feel in any particular way. Love can not fit into any concepts or beliefs. Love has no limits. Love is who you are.'
Thank you to you for being me.
♥ Happy Valentines Day! ♥
To me the word nonduality has always felt so very dry and masculine. As a woman, although I am often called a nondual teacher, I have shied away from using this term much myself. The word ‘nonduality’ seems to have attracted a lot of men interested in playing with words and concepts rather than diving into the depths of feeling and sensation. It has also encouraged women and men, to think that they should understand those concepts, and if they don’t, then they don’t ‘get it’. But in the last 8 years or so, of teaching, I have explored the feminine expression of nonduality. The feminine expression seems to touch a lot of people in a way that they don’t necessarily understand. They may come to a meeting expecting to get or to understand something, and instead walk away having been stripped of everything.
Both men and women have ideas about how the feminine expression should be or is. In my own journey, I have never known what it is to be a woman - and in that space of not knowing, the natural flow is continually expressed. You may assume that a feminine expression would be all ‘lovey dovey’ and about having nice relaxing experiences of love and sweetness. However, you may soon be surprised at the loving, but uncompromising sword that chops your head off.
I have explored pointing to the nonduality of Life itself in many different ways. There is never the perfect way of saying it. There are never the perfect words or concepts that can ever fit the way it is. In fact the nature of words and concepts is to take something which is so unbelievably abstract and turn it into something tangible, something specific. The nature of words and concepts is to create separation and to be dual. However, in my experience I have found that nonduality can be pointed to beyond all the words and concepts. It is much more risky and sometimes frightening because it is often the first time for many people, to look at what is beyond all the words. We are so used to trusting only the words and analyzing what they mean in a very logical and rational way. But the words only dance on the surface. What is under the words is not known or understood.
The feminine expression of nonduality is beyond the words. It is in the Silence that is despite the words. This is what the feminine expression is really. It sings from the Silence. It does not care what the words say - they are almost irrelevant. They are only the individual notes in the piece of music. It is a complete resting. Such a resting. Such an anchor that nothing can budge it. The Silence is truly deafening. And then there is the invitation into that Silence…
Although the feminine expression of nonduality is not all ‘lovey dovey’, it is about Love, but Love is not always the sweetness and light that you may normally imagine. Love is the radical compassion that will not stand for any nonsense. It calls a spade a spade. It undermines every belief. It spares no prisoners. It doesn’t dance on the surface, it dives to the root of it all. It is the Love that refuses to listen to the words and concepts, and doesn’t buy into any fear or emotion, but tirelessly points beyond them all. It is the Love that loves so much that it listens only to Love itself and meets everyone in that Love. Whether it’s in the words or in the Silence, this radical sword of Love works its magic of lifting veils and uncovering reality. You may not like what you hear. You may not want to hear it. It may trigger all kinds of reactions, emotions or fear, as each veil of belief or assumption is lifted. But it is all held in Love. It is always pointing back again and again to what you are.
There is the assumption that nonduality is a prescription, whereas it is actually a description. The feminine expression of nonduality is like singing a song. It is a creative expression of the Love and Gratitude that underpins all the words. It is the expression of that beautiful yearning that most people feel. But the yearning has found a resting place in the Silence. It no longer yearns for something more than what is, but instead it expresses the Silence. It is a passion that comes from Life as it expresses itself. In fact it is like listening to a piece of music that touches you and makes you feel alive. When you come to a meeting let the words touch you. Let the words crack you open. If you find that you are trying to understand them, stop and relax. Don’t understand them. Trying to understand them only uses the imagination to imagine that the words are prescribing things that you need to know or do. Let the words sing their song and crack you open.
Although it may seem like it, I am not denying the intellect here at all. In fact it is included in this Love. Often in meetings someone will come up to have a dialogue and will have lots of intellectual questions or objections. Each one is met with a song that turns the question around to look for the questioner. In seeing for yourself that there is no questioner, the whole question drops away. The intellect is seen for what it really is. It is not bad or wrong, but just limited to what it knows or can figure out. It can not know what nonduality is, as its very nature is to describe and understand duality. Therefore, in relation to the recognition of what you really are, it is seen to be moving away, imagining, dreaming up some other possibility of separation and duality. All there is here now, is nonduality. This is the Oneness and Wholeness that we so often long for. But unbelievably, it is already here right now.
In intimate dialogues we explore what is real right now. In meetings and retreats if you want to ask a question, you have to take the risk of exposing yourself by coming up to the front. There is often fear or embarrassment. But if you are not willing to risk exposing your vulnerability in front of other people, how will you be willing to risk losing everything you ever believed in? It is stepping into the fire willingly, knowing that it will burn up everything that you believe in. These meetings, and especially retreats, are not for the feint-hearted. If you want to wake up to the reality of the way it is beyond all the words and concepts, you will have to risk it all. The feminine expression of nonduality is not interested in playing around with the words and concepts of nonduality. It simply pulls the rug out from under your feet and leaves you with nothing but the freefall of Life as it is.
I embrace the word nonduality, as it is a word, a note in the song that sings beyond all the words. The feminine expression of nonduality rests in the Silence. It is this that melts the belief in separation, just as all the words try to do. This Silence is such a powerful force. It is the destroyer of illusion and anything that is not real and true. It is not soft and fluffy, and it is not dry and logical. It loves so much that it chops the heads off both.