On Christmas Day


There is a new quality of exchange – conversation with the You/I interface – I aspire towards in 2019. It took writing the following, after a period of silence, then more silence still before the aha of this wish made itself known. I am a sucker for voluntary evolution and recognize this can glutton out to a proportion that kills the original pure impulse to grow. This makes for a lot of silence, in my experience, anyway. Watching children grow just in the physical sense,, there is often a movement out before shooting up. Both seem necessary. The movement up is silence, while the out engages the mouth – eating. Sometimes illness will proceed a growth spurt. So in this vein, I write now. What follows these words was written days ago and I offer it here as a way of paving the ground for the fresh quality of dialogue I envision.

My mentor once told me, years ago, that he writes when he’s sick. I had my understanding of this at the time and already knew enough then to sense that my understanding was incomplete. Naturally time and experience have expanded this understanding. Words are part of creation and in the right hands can point to the Glassblower whose breath we want to be falling back towards. To speak is a sacrifice, in a way, for speech is annihilating of the repose in presence.

I am sick at the moment. It is Christmas day and last night a very rough bridge was traversed. To put it in my teacher’s terms, the night was productive, but left the physical reality of this day difficult. Vulnerable – my word. I do not know whether or not he was speaking of my experience. I do know that when I gave sign of receiving the communication in the way I did, he said a subtle non-sequitur of a yes.

Many bridges have been crossed or burned since my consciousness started to reclaim intentionally fragmented parts of itself. I can often sense when this will happen. But not always, and last night was one of those.

Today all this body wanted to do was rest. And cry. I had been trained to suck it up. And I did, so I could perform the duty of going to the ashram as I said I would do, as I’d been asked to do more often. Not just a duty, for it held hope of company, I mean real company, company with whom one is as if naked, completely understood. And the possibility of play. Humor spawned from this situation is far more palatable than the relentless irony of teaching impressions life within this particular course can deliver.

The two dogs that act as guardians at the ashram barked once, mildly, upon seeing me, then came over in a friendly way to greet me, which I did happily. I came into the dining room and was greeted again – it was a quiet gathering and a discussion was taking place to do with a project. I sat down and took in the atmosphere, then came back to my solar plexus where I hoped to resonate my question, the question I held for the day. A fairly regular practice. My question was not well formed, but had to do with listening.

More specifically, I had been given feedback that I had not yet truly given God the reigns, to put it simply, bluntly. And this is tricky stuff because I am quite confused on the whole God thing in a way I never allowed myself to be before. Yet oddly I feel closer in many ways than ever before. And miraculous beings seem to come into my life letting me know this feeling is not just a figment of my imagination – or rather, any more so than my hands typing on this keyboard.

Without going into the details, which are too subtle to really convey, my effort to give of myself in the assembly failed miserably. My being there was exposed as a lie. I deeply wanted to stay home, alone, to get through the integration of the night’s events.  But I evidently needed to see what I did. With just a few lines that were not obvious, a lot of information was delivered. Experience has taught me to not take for granted what I hear at the ashram, or anywhere now, really. The world is the ashram. Nor is every transaction meaningful to my process in the same way. But my hearing has become more acute – though not yet enough. As is often the case, it was during my ride home, when I broke into tears over my cluelessness, that I came to realize just what had taken place, and the profound compassion behind the action taken. Or this is how the three dimensional tactile hallucination shook down on this day. Like I said, I could be fooling myself.

Everyone else there had their own interpretation of what took place, and viva la difference! I can’t help but marvel over the layers of life cake I see sometimes. Each person will take from the table their meal. Some walk away with a meal of judgment. And perhaps there is judgment present in me to be calling it out. Yet it is time to speak.

I have kept silent for a long time. And likely will again. Like right after this blog post, doubtless.

While I’d been encouraged to visit the ashram more often, obligations to a life of full time employment that feels at the same time to be aligned to my calling and the very mysterious process of awakening has rendered me unable to visit.

I check in with my ashram family periodically for balance, scrutiny. But it has become clear that things are different. It seems I must find a new touchstone. And this gets back to the question in my solar plexus about giving God the reigns. Or call it the One, the Truth. No going outside anymore, what I’m looking for is within.

Within – that’s not really the right way to say it. God, Guru, and Self are one. My relationship to this truth has changed. I have been shown in the most extraordinary and compassionate ways that looking outside of myself is futile..

Nor is it to say that I can’t or don’t learn from others. It is closer to truth for me to say that others are part of what I am and present themselves with messages. The truth of silence, however, rings louder.

It seems to be a part of my course to be ostensibly alone, very alone, for long stretches of time. I mean in ways that the average person can’t fathom. It has just been the life track I took on.While I am at the moment imbalanced – healing open wounds out loud, for Christ’s sake – I accept completely and unconditionally my state of solitude. I write this to myself wholeheartedly right here and now. And to any aspect of my being in the form of a person who might read it.

And speaking of Christ, right here and now – the dude was a magician, it can be safely said. Perhaps he came in with a lot of development, but also developed some potent energy as he lived his life, according to the story that men have told of him through the ages. Got help along the way, so it would seem, during his “lost years”, but definitely was alone. As a matter of fact all the major dudes were alone because you can’t be anything but alone to die before you die. So I’m in good company in my solitude. Not to say I’m anything like any of the major dudes. Nor that I wish to be.

I don’t want to be like any story. I’ve lived around a major dude. And I don’t even want to be like him, because it is impossible.

There was a time, before my brain changed and reorganized perception to provide mirrored reflection 24/7 of the nature of my awareness (too often not a pretty sight) – and many other effects besides – there was a time when I would have seen the day’s events differently. I would have felt insightful and intelligent in my outsider posture. I don’t.

One of my jobs within the context of the school/ashram was to commit to memory and perform a play that contained all and everything about the dharma as it is expressed in this tradition-less tradition. It is a comedy, and repeatedly the audience of practitioners of these ideas have laughed gleefully over some potently accurate demonstrations of how this tradition-less tradition works.

Gabriel, the Archangel, is repeatedly told by the Lord herself in no uncertain terms that Angels don’t evolve. (But they do). The minute Gabriel becomes aware of the extra points on his horns indicating evolution, he’s knocked down. (Extra points on his horns, yes, and there is at least a double entendre here.) Repeatedly the Lord uses resistance training to try to get Gabriel to see something about self-initiated evolution, which is the only form of evolution there is. (With a little help from a Friend)

It is pointless to make a claim in this game. And heaven knows, I have been trying to find a way to play a different one, but for whatever reason some big something or other – Guru, God, or Self – or Whatever – seems to want me to play this one. I don’t get it, really, ‘cause I complain a lot (in the confines of my converted goat shed dwelling place or car) and repeatedly say I quit quite loudly. But it is kind of like when you’re having a baby and you reach that place after hours of labor where you say, okay, that’s it, I’m done, I’m outta here, and the midwife is calmly looks at you and says, “Okay honey, now push.”

The object is to make friends with resisting force – open up to the contractions. (By the way, fear based adaptation is not making friends with resisting force – just sayin’.) Just like developing a muscle, resistance is necessary – that’s the way it is set up.

There’s much I don’t say here, suffice it to say. At one time I would have marveled over how those who seemed to judge me during today’s events can seem to remain convinced of their interpretation of what took place. I marvel at certainty like that now.

I also marvel at the absurdity of some of the lyrics to the Christmas carols played in a store run by a corporation that would, in a heartbeat, (I use the term loosely), tar and feather the hell out of a dude like Jesus if he did his moneychangers thing to the disruption of their bottom line. And people harmonizing their voices is a beautiful thing, but it would be lovelier still to see the results of actual practice eliminating the throw of the first stone of judgment once and for all.

And on that note let me say – I don’t know that what I sensed and saw as judgment really was. I don’t know much of anything but a pretty perpetual state of uncertainty, punctuated by moments of doubt.

But following the flow of tears earlier mentioned, as I drove, there came upon me a strange feeling that I’ll call peace for lack of a better word. And I marveled over (I do a lot of marveling, don’t I?) how the ashram and those in it played their parts perfectly, brilliantly, to give me the experience I had that I daresay was ultimately one of enlightenment. But I’m not making any claims.

It hurts to not be a part of the mix. Yet it is indelibly so. And I know I have provided the fodder and backdrop for similar experiences in others once upon a time, there at the ashram. I cannot assume the role those who provide the constant setting that has become synonymous with the ashram provide. Something happened to my consciousness and it is just plain different now. I will eliminate the possibility of growth as a reason, lest I be tarred and feathered along with Jesus. Growth doesn’t happen in this game. It is only diminishing returns, disappearing extra points on horns. The horn of plenty is actually the horn of nothing. And it is not to say that those in the constant setting don’t change either – I saw that the ashram is the ashram is the ashram, regardless of people inhabiting it. Taking things personally is silly in this respect.

All is as it should be in a setting like the ashram, which must, by the very nature of its intent remain, in a subtle way, the same. And I for some strange reason have the experience of change.

When, out of loneliness I try to fit myself into a square peg, the compassion comes through my mentor – or some unreasonable facsimile thereof – who tirelessly resists my need to be accepted, or verified, or helpful, even with what seem to be the best of my intentions. That’s what it seems like to me anyway. Maybe I’m way off in my interpretation. All that is wanted from me, I’ve been told, is the truth. Today, yet again, I lied. I was called on it, and saved from losing the momentum of last night’s difficult work all in one deft move.

I don’t want to be like my teacher, I can’t be. I’m not that brilliant, I didn’t come in fully conscious as he did.  I don’t want to be a part of any club or school, or ashram, or culture, from one perspective. I need love and family – or that illusion a little longer, admittedly. But I more need and wish to awaken past any story, whether it be my own, or Christ’s or Buddha’s or Mohammed’s or even EJ’s. I like company. But mostly the kind that I can see in the eyes knows the quality of solitude of which I speak. The solitude of freedom, or at least its quest.

Thank God I only celebrate Winter Solstice, for Christ’s sake. But if I did celebrate Christmas, I would wish for all, without tears, the feeling of peace I was given, albeit briefly, on that ride home from the ashram. Peace.
















About gracekellyrivera

I am a perfumer and an artist of multiple disciplines located in California.
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