Everything Is

July 9, 2013

“You have to be out there, prominent, visible. You have to speak to people.” My husband told me this one hot afternoon over tea. We sat at the patio of our favorite cafe. The big umbrellas and huge sycamores spread their respective canopies over our heads. They stopped the sun, but not the heat. It was a lazy, slow and quiet afternoon and we were talking about marketing my sticks.

“You have to be out there, speaking, teaching” he said.

Teaching. This was not the first time we had this conversation and, not for the first time, I said: no. No teaching.

You see, I never wanted to be a teacher. During my early buddhist years there was the subtle competition among students for the best understanding, the best posture, the best silence. The best meditation. Every student hoped, not very secretly, to be the chosen one. The one who will become an heir to the dharma. The one who will become the successor. I later moved on from Zen into other realms  and everything changed — but that one thing did not. The desire to become a teacher among my fellow practitioners remained.

Except for me.

I saw nothing attractive in the teaching business, quite the opposite — the prospect scared me. Why? Because of the responsibility it carried. Because every time I spoke an advice, even a small, inconsequential one, I felt the weight of my words influencing the one who asked, nudging their perspective even if just a little bit, realigning their actions. And it was to much. It was too much to handle. For me.

Ha … you know … this is not what I was going to write. I was going to write about how I feel that there is no need for me to teach others because I can see who you are, all of you. I can see the perfection of you and I know that, sooner or later, you will see it as well. I was going to talk about what is simply being and, ultimately, being perfect but …

It is not all crap, exactly … but that is not the reason why I never wanted to be a teacher. Why I don’t want to be a teacher. The reason is that it terrifies me when my dog obeys my commands, let alone a human. It mortifies me that another creature, a free, autonomous creature puts its life in my hands and obeys me unquestioningly, absolutely. Even if it is only a little dog.

I cannot handle the responsibility of influencing others. So … I pretend that it’s my sticks doing it instead?

Huh, what a strange post this is…


It Is Not About Blame

July 6, 2013

Yes, I did write this story out before, yes. Many times in fact. I know.

And yes, I know it must be boring by now but it is the best story I have about a terrible thing that has happened to me. There were more terrible things in my life possibly, but this one was the most startling, most shocking and most sudden.

True, I did not get raped. I did not lose a limb or found out I had a tumor and weeks left to live, but I did get dumped by my husband. I was told suddenly, without warning and with not much preamble that he did not want to be with me anymore. We were married for five years maybe, give or take a year. He was my only family in California, in America in fact. If he left I would find myself all alone — no parents to move back with, no childhood friends, no one. Just me. Just myself.

And I thought then that that’s just it: it is me. It is just myself. It is my life. It is my marriage. It is my pain. It is all me and in me there is an answer to what happened, and why.

See, it did hurt, it hurt a lot and it was my pain. Chris did things, did not do things, whatever it was he did or did not do ceased to concern me once he decided to leave, because he was leaving and his problems were not my problems anymore. His actions were not my problem either. He was not my problem.

I was.

And yes, I was told that I am being too hard on myself. I was told that it was not all my fault. I was told that I should not blame myself. I was told that I was not responsible for the relationship falling into pieces and it sounded terrible, all of it. It felt terrible to hear those things because if I were not responsible — then I was helpless.

If I was not responsible for the pain I felt then there was nothing I could do to heal it. If I was not responsible for my marriage crumbling then there was nothing I could do to prevent it from happening again.

If I was not responsible, then there was nothing I could do.

But I was, I knew I was. The responsibility was mine, the choice was mine and that life, that painful terrible life was mine as well. I knew that for a fact and just as surely I knew that if I created one life I can create another, that if I created pain I can create joy, happiness and bliss.

It was all me, it was all mine. The pain, the disaster, the drama and the responsibility for it — it was all mine to mold and change and heal and design in any way I wanted to.

It was all mine, and I could do anything.


Design The Truth

July 4, 2013

“You know, I really don’t like convincing people that I’m right” I told my friend the other day.

He and another friend of ours had an exchange of truths. One spoke the truth, the other refused to accept it no matter how reasonable, logical and all-together truthful the truth was.

“I prefer my own truth” he said “I hear what you are saying and I understand, and I choose to believe what I believe”.

It was an interesting dance to observe. Frustrating, yes, for the truth in question seemed truthful to me too, and the refusal to acknowledge it grated on my … what exactly? What was it grating on? My rightness? My … no, I don’t know what was pulled, what was pushed, what was triggered, but something was. It made me feel uncomfortable yet, at the same time, I admired the choice my friend made: to hold on to his truth.

And I realized then, it was then that I formulated this awareness in words: I do not like convincing people that I am right.

Yes, it feels good at first, whatever get’s triggered, pushed, pulled by opposition becomes satisfied when my opponent acknowledges my rightness at last, yet that momentary pleasure leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Because I feel like I squashed someone. I do not feel like I contributed to him – I feel like I took something away. I feel I took away from his originality, from his uniqueness.

I feel, when I persuade someone to my way of seeing the world, that I know her less. That, while looking into her eyes, all I see is a reflection of myself.

And I do not like it.

So you see, in the end, if my sticks are ever to make a difference in anyone’s world it will not be because they have managed to make another’s world more like my own, but because they inspired others to have a world of their own. To have a truth of their own.

To design it. To own it. To live it.


Radical Responsibility

July 2, 2013

“Why would God allow this to happen?”

I heard this questions, in many forms, in many variations many, many times. At last I responded. This time it was about a five-year old girl who was raped with an iron rod and died. Why would God allow this to happen?

“Maybe because God considers humans to be responsible adults who don’t need supervision, but can make their own choices, design their own lives and create their own reality” I responded “maybe because God acknowledges their freedom to do so. Humans are free to choose, some choose pain, others don’t — all create their experience of life with their choices.”

And the inevitable response came:

“But the 5 year old little girl didn’t choose all of this for herself. What does God has to say about that?”

 And … and it gave me a pose. It gave me a pose not because I didn’t have an answer to that – I have an answer and it is a good one — but because I was not sure my answer would be an acceptable one. I was not sure it would be a handable one.

I said:

“God might say: you choose your own faith, you create your destiny and your life in ways you don’t yet understand. You chose where and how you will be born and you choose how, and when, you die. Your life is called “your life” not “God’s life” for a reason. That you are not aware of choosing and creating doesn’t mean you don’t choose and create.”

Is that too much? Is it too much to say? Is it too much to expect from a five year old, from a fifteen year old, from a fifty year old?

But, you see, God just might see humans differently that humans do. God just might know the unlimited power humans wield and with which they create their reality, their world, their life. God might know that there is no limit to what humans can do, to what they can be. God might know that the human world looks and works like it does because humans say so, believe so, relate so.

God might know, at last, that it is nothing more than an outward projection of humans themselves. A name, a concept to which humans assign that which they, themselves, truly are — the ultimate, unlimited creators.

All humans, even those who are five years old.

Is this too much?


Find Yourself.

June 29, 2013

It really bothered me. It really, really did.

This link a man sent me, to a blog. The blog was about enlightenment. It described it in detail. It described the shift, it described the reality after the shift. It described the world and it described life. Perfectly, precisely, accurately.

This man, this man who wrote this blog was, is enlightened – or at least he is what is called enlightened though, of course, it looks nothing like what enlightenment is supposed to look like. But he is here, he is present, he sees reality clearly and … he still does not see himself.

And this bothered me. It really did.

Seeing the reality he does not see himself as reality, seeing life precisely, distinctly, he does not see himself as life. Looking  at God he does not recognize himself.

And that bothers me.


Because of the sense of pointlessness, because of the emptiness and a quiet desperation with which this man speaks. Because of the helpless, ineffectual existence he spends observing the dance of creations resolving before his eyes. This is how he spoke and this is how I felt. This is how it feels to not know yourself for what you are, even though, or especially when the ego is gone, and the mind. This is how it feels to be in-between spaces, between the person made of limits, stories and separations and the being that is unlimited, boundless. This is how it feels to be between the person who endures and survives creation, and the being that creates reality.

This is how it feels. Empty, pointless, useless.

And it bothered me. It bothered me that this man who saw so clearly that he is no man, did not see all the way to what he is though … ah, but maybe that is what he is, you might say. Maybe he is nothing. Maybe there is nothing more to see. Maybe he does not exist, maybe there is no him, maybe there is no me and my reaction is the mind objecting to that truth?

And maybe you are right. Maybe I do not exist indeed, but — here is what I have to say to that: when I am what I am there is boundless happiness and unlimited bliss. This is how truth feels. This is how reality feels.

Emptiness, pointlessness and uselessness … that is not me. That is not the reality. That is not the truth.