What a beautiful observation of the nature of reality… — Nicole
Legendary US film critic Roger Ebert’s wife Chaz recounts her personal memoir of her husband’s passing after an intense battle with cancer in Esquire:
Ebert’s detailed history with cancer can be read elsewhere, but I was most taken with these words Chaz wrote about her husband’s last few weeks alive. It sounds very much as though Ebert got some clear glimpses of the nondual shortly before he died:
The one thing people might be surprised about—Roger said that he didn’t know if he could believe in God. He had his doubts. But toward the end, something really interesting happened. That week before Roger passed away, I would see him and he would talk about having visited this other place. I thought he was hallucinating. I thought they were giving him too much medication. But the day before he passed away, he wrote me a note: “This is all an elaborate hoax.” I asked him, “What’s a hoax?” And he was talking about this world, this place. He said it was all an illusion. I thought he was just confused. But he was not confused. He wasn’t visiting heaven, not the way we think of heaven. He described it as a vastness that you can’t even imagine. It was a place where the past, present, and future were happening all at once.
Sunday, January 5, 2014 – Editor: Dustin LindenSmith
What would it feel like to feel complete within yourself? Is there something that has been holding you back? A fear? An old wound?
What if…you were able to dive into that fear, down into the belly of that whale, and then re-emerge again safe, whole, and healed?
In the silence between the thoughts, anything becomes possible. Take the chance…Try sitting in silence for 5 minutes today and see what happens.
If thoughts intrude, don’t be discouraged! That’s what brains do. They create thoughts. Good news! You’re human! Simply acknowledge that your brain has a thought and return your attention to the silence in between.
Even if you are only able to do this for seconds at a time, it is still a few seconds of peace. Peace from thoughts of fears and projections. Peace from any interpretations of who you are.
The Greek story of Demeter and Persephone celebrates the springtime. Persephone, who had been spirited away beneath the earth by her uncle, (they did that in those days…) Hades, to become the Queen of the Dead, returns in the spring to reunite with her mother, Demeter, the Goddess of Fertility and Harvest. This return to the light and the world of the living, mirrors the return of longer and (hopefully) warmer days. That which had been dead is now reborn, along with tulips, daffodils, and Cadbury chocolate eggs!
What will you do now that you are entering this time of renewal and emergence into the sun? Is it time to write that book you’ve always had burning inside you? Is it time to learn more about who you really are? Or, is it just time to sit on your deck, porch, or lanai and let the sun gently caress your face, enjoying the sound of the birds chirping and lawnmowers beginning their springtime rituals…
The words below from the film Hugo speak to the importance and interconnectedness of everyone and everything…You exist exactly as you should and your life will unfold perfectly. (That doesn’t mean you will get everything you want, but the story of your life is always an intricate masterpiece of sheer perfection!)
“I’d imagine the whole world was one big machine. Machines never come with any extra parts, you know. They always come with the exact amount they need. So I figured, if the entire world was one big machine, I couldn’t be an extra part. I had to be here for some reason. And that means you have to be here for some reason, too.”
Experiencing the world from a Non-Dual perspective, or in other words, through the understanding that nothing is actually happening other than the manifestations of mind, does not exempt one from “falling back into the drama again.”
In order to explain to “others” how a shift in perspective can reveal a change to the storyline of their lives, words and dialogue are often used to bring about an understanding. There is usually wonderment that these friends/students/colleagues can’t see how simple the shift is, and seem to cling to these stories of problems and people doing them harm. In real detachment, it is possible to see one’s/the Self as everything, and the stories the mind conjures to interpret the world and its phenomenon, merely phantoms and silliness.
But…when one is in that place of story and of identifying themselves as a person in conflict with another, it is quite amazing how the ego mind creeps back in and grabs a hold of us once more!
Recently, I had this experience. Old dynamics at play with a family member triggered an emotional reactive response. I spent days trying to figure out how to respond to possible verbal/emotional attacks and how to express to this person how they made me feel. I was exhausted and wary and defensive and annoyed. I began to think about how I could “fix” it or avoid it…whichever proved easiest and most permanent, but to no avail, because the emotions wouldn’t leave me. It was then that I remembered what my teacher had once said to me,”Feel the emotional story of your conflict, not the details of the story itself. It is never about the ‘other’ person.” It is the same teaching I now offer to others. But it is easy to forget when our own mind’s triggers arise. Once the emotional story is connected to, we can realize that the “other person” is nothing but an actor in the play of your life, offering the opportunity to experience any old unmet emotions, long since repressed deeply into your psyche. It is an embrace of the difficulty, so that old energy can be healed. And even in that, there is no need to heal anything, as it is consciousness itself causing it and sustaining us simultaneously.
I recognize that this post may resonate with some and be disturbing to others. It is not for me to convince anyone of anything. But on this Thanksgiving week, I am grateful for these teachings, as they offer me the tools to navigate life; a chance to awaken further, to peel away yet one more layer of the onion to reveal the Self in all its glory.
“This being human is a guest house. Every morning is a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor…Welcome and entertain them all. Treat each guest honorably. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.”
The mind is an extraordinary tool for your remembrance of who you truly are…if you are willing to embrace the possibility that what you think is real undisputed truth, is but a dream. As Rumi wisely pointed to, if every experience felt in the body (whether joyful or heart-wrenching, ecstatic or rage-provoking) is an opportunity to see the illusion of the mind’s stories, then we get multiple opportunities every day to see through them to what is really there. For one moment, ponder what your response would be if every experience, no matter the emotional story that arises in you, is experienced as Love. Even the nasty painful stuff. What if that love took the form of suffering? If everything is one, and everything is that consciousness, or God, then how could anything not be Love?