HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN
“If we can learn to listen, maybe life will tell us how it needs to regenerate. In the ancient ways, the leader was not the one who told people what to do, the leader was the one who listened, watched the signs, was attentive to the inner world.
Sufis talk about the ‘ear of the heart.’ This is something you learn in the relationship with the teacher. I spent 20 years sitting at the feet of my teacher listening. You learn through listening. You learn how to listen to what is between the words. You learn to listen to the heart, to the soul. You listen to people’s dreams, the signs in their lives. And similarly one can listen and watch the signs in the world around us.
The earth is calling to us, sending us signs of the extremity of its imbalance through earthquakes and tsunamis, floods and storms, drought, and unprecedented heat. These are what Thich Nhat Hanh calls the ‘Bells of Mindfulness,’ awakening our awareness to where it is needed at this moment in time.”
A senior monk and a junior monk were traveling together.
At one point, they came to a river with a strong current. As the monks were preparing to cross the river, they saw a very young and beautiful woman also attempting to cross. The young woman asked if they could help her.
The senior monk carried this woman in his arms, forded the river and let her down on the other bank. The junior monk was very upset, but said nothing.
They both were walking and senior monk noticed that his junior was suddenly silent, and enquired ,“Is something the matter, you seem very upset?”
The younger monk replied, “As monks, we are not permitted a woman, how could you then carry that woman?”
The older monk replied, “I left the woman a long time ago at the bank. However, you seem to be carrying her still.”
They were on tour last summer – Jason Mraz joined by collaborators Raining Jane on their new album “Yes!”
I especially like this song, because it’s a) real and b) it’s stuck in my head and c) it’s great.
Back to the earth, back to work….love it:
Nope, I wasn’t in an airplane, on the way home from a trip, buzzing your house.
I was in a dream. I remembered its details when I woke up. When I was in the dream, I felt that I had control of what I was doing in response to the things that were coming up, and did the things I thought were the best response to what was going on (this is what I do in my non-dream, waking state, which includes making mistakes, too!)
This is an approach to what some folks call lucid dreaming. With practice, people can recall bigger & bigger chunks of their night time adventures, and begin to find connections with what’s going on there.
Now, if you’re really interested in this, I have three articles that will both introduce you to lucid dreaming and give you some ideas that, when you practice them, will help make you better & better at it.
Maybe a good overview place to start is this article, “Ten Interesting Facts about Lucid Dreaming That Will Open Your Mind,” by Rebecca Turner, who has a useful website about lucid reaming as well.
While the best way to get into this is to read the article, here are the 10 things, just so you know what’s there.
1. The first lucid dreams were recorded by Ancient Egyptians.
2. One in five people lucid dream every month or more.
3. When you close your eyes in a lucid dream, you can wake up.
4. Lucid dreamers can “talk” to the outside world.
5. Lucidity arises from a special part of the brain.
6. Lucid dreaming can be mapped as a state of consciousness.
7. Certain vitamins will increase your dream intensity.
8. Lucid dream orgasms can be real.
9. Meditation is profoundly linked with self-awareness in dreams.
10. Tibetan Buddhist Monks practice lucid dreaming on their path to enlightenment.
(For more information, check out Rebecca’s World of Lucid Dreaming site.
You may find it helpful to look over this set of suggestions for getting going, which are an easy read, with easy steps – check out this WikiHow article.
Maybe this is a good way to approach all this – here’s a TED talk with Tim Post about lucid dreaming.
In 2013 Tim gave a talk at TEDx in the Netherlands on the emerging science of lucid dreaming and its potential power to enhance psychological development and overall wellbeing.
Having had numerous lucid dreams as a child, it wasn’t until he was 17 years old that Post discovered there was a special name for what he was doing. Since then he has researched, practiced and taught lucid dreaming, recording more than a thousand lucid dream entries in his journals. A graduate of educational psychology, he founded Lucidipedia and SnoozOn, online projects which support the scientific study and practice of lucid dreaming.
It’s the dream we carry
that something wondrous will happen
that it must happen –
time will open
hearts will open
doors will open
mountains will open
spring will gush forth from the ground
that the dream itself will open
that one morning we’ll quietly drift
into a harbor we didn’t know was there
by Olav Hauge
“We can smile, breathe, walk, and eat our meals in a way that allows us to be in touch with the abundance of happiness that is available.
“We are very good at preparing to live, but not very good at living.
“We know how to sacrifice ten years for a diploma, and we are willing to work very hard to get a job, a car, a house, and so on. But we have difficulty remembering that we are alive in the present moment, the only moment there is for us to be alive.
“Every breath we take, every step we make, can be filled with peace, joy, and serenity. We need only to be awake, alive in the present moment.”
~ Thich Nhat Hanh
It’s easy to say “I love you”. It’s easy to talk about love, and presence, and the Absolute, and ‘being aware of awareness’, and cultivating a deep acceptance of what is. It’s easy to teach, to say things that sound true, and good, and spiritual.
But these are just words. There is a world before words.
When anger surges, as it will, can you stay close,
and not numb it, or lash out?
When fear bursts in the body, can you breathe into it,
and not fuse with it, or run away into stories?
When you feel hurt, rejected, unloved, abandoned,
can you make room for that feeling, welcome it in the body,
bow to its intensity, its fire, its presence,
and not attack, or act out, or call people names?
Can you commit to not abandoning yourself
now that you need your own love the most?
It’s easy to talk about love.
It’s easy to teach.
Until our old wounds are opened.
Until life doesn’t go our way.
What triggers you
is inviting you
to a deeper self-love.
Can you see?
There is no shame in this:
We all have tender places.
– Jeff Foster
Lighten for a moment beautiful one.
Place down those shackles, tethers and bounds.
Allow all your responsibilities to release too.
For this special moment,
just be free.
The sun has risen and is touching us with her light.
We have grown and are touching the world with our own.
Lighten for a moment dear one.
This work is done more easily,
if we saw it not as heavy but as light.
Place down those shackles, tethers and bounds.
Let the wrestling match with life become a sweet dance instead.
For the sun has risen and is touching us with her light.
And we have grown and are touching the world with our own.
~ Sarah Norrad
Bushmen in the Kalahari Desert talk about the two “hungers.”
There is the Great Hunger and there is the Little Hunger. The Little Hunger wants food for the belly; but the Great Hunger, the greatest hunger of all, is the hunger for meaning…
There is ultimately only one thing that makes human beings deeply and profoundly bitter, and that is to have thrust upon them a life without meaning.
There is nothing wrong in searching for happiness. But of far more comfort to the soul is something greater than happiness or unhappiness, and that is meaning. Because meaning transfigures all.
Once what you are doing has for you meaning, it is irrelevant whether you’re happy or unhappy. You are content – you are not alone in your Spirit – you belong.
Laurens van der Post
[Photograph of Sir Laurens Van Der Post, with a Bushman in the Kalahari Desert.]