It was my mom and me on a hot day in Baghdad (where we lived at the time). I was miserable as I was being dragged on another boring errand to the market.
I wanted to be playing. I wanted to be running around and having fun.
But instead, I was stuck there watching as she mulled over prices at the stalls, looking carefully at the grocery items. I’m impatient and antsy and she senses it. As usual, she admonishes me to stay close to her (I made adults nervous with my tendency to bolt when they weren’t looking)
I dedicated my life to only one thing; conquering death by learning to die consciously.
As a young adult I gladly and with great relief left the world and joined a group of monks in a simple small remote village. A village isolated and far removed from the activity of the world. I spent the rest of my days meditating and listening to and trying to understand the teachings of the Buddha and the wisdom of my Lama (teacher and spiritual guide in Buddhism). I tried very hard to learn how to die consciously. It was the only goal I had. Nothing else mattered to me. Why would it? The world as the scriptures taught me, is just an illusion.
She was working as a prostitute.
She lived in a tiny one-room musty shack in the worst part of town. Nighttime was her working time. She was used to all kinds of men that would come knocking on her door. Some were even doctors, clergymen, and lawyers (They could depend on her to hold their secrets).
So when she opened the door on this early evening and saw an elderly sage man, it surprised her, but not that much. She invited him in the way she does all the others. He right away explained that he was here to help her. He told her this life was no longer hers and she is meant for something better. She broke into tears. No one had ever spoken to her this way. With such belief, kindness, and caring.
I was missing a man I had been experiencing a profound and exciting long-distance connection with. He resides way over on the other side of the Atlantic. In particular, I felt a painful aching to feel his physical body close and his arms around me firmly. I longed to feel our skin touch.
This wasn’t the first time I struggled with this impossible to satisfy need. This time however I wondered if or how I could give what I longed for - to myself. I asked myself: Can I give to myself what I want from another? A curiosity arose about what could be possible
My father had a brief stay in the hospital once (it turned out to be nothing serious).
Several of us were visiting and had gathered around him as he rested in his hospital bed. He and my young nephew were hungry so someone brought some burgers and fries.
While eating my father offered my little nephew one of his fries. My nephew instinctively and gleefully took it and gobbled it up.
On the periphery we each have our stories, diverse experiences, and unique way of being in the world.
At our core, in our center, is something beyond our personal identity.
This is the only place where I’ve glimpsed true equality and unity.
This place is also sometimes called the zero-point. Where nothing is happening and yet all is possible.
Recently I was struggling with my mind and was experiencing exhaustion. I could barely focus on anything longer than a few minutes and the exhaustion felt deep and existential.
My thoughts were around how it's all so meaningless. I'm too tired to care. What's the point? It's all so meaningless. So much suffering (mine and others). So many lifetimes of seeking, of trying and what has it done? Nothing. I have nothing to show for any of it.
I've been called weird almost all my life.
Such a sore spot in me anytime someone would say this to me. Ouch.
One day last year I had something come up. Deep Sadness. Lots of tears.
As I wondered what this was about, a thought came,
“The planet is sick and dying and needs our help”
I was surprised. I had no idea I believed this. It was an awful feeling. An awful thought. It brought such a heavy feeling of sadness and dread. I continued to feel all of it and then after a few minutes suddenly the sadness lifted and the tears stopped. I felt calm and still.
A couple of years ago (actually I don’t know when exactly, I’m just guessing) I noticed this growing anxiety whenever a cop car was behind me or near me while driving. This got to the point of being pretty uncomfortable.
So I found a way to calm myself.
I would first check a few things: driving the speed limit...check! got my seat belt on...check! staying in my own lane...check! I would make sure I wasn’t driving like a drunk person (which is funny because I rarely drink alcohol these days). I then would tell myself that they just happened to be behind me and I haven’t done anything wrong, so there's no reason to be nervous.
Some of you can relate to this. The constant assessing of the mind. How am I doing? Did I do or say that correctly? Is it good enough? The comparing with other people.
Or worrying about what people think. Second-guessing. Doubting. On and on it goes. That’s what mine can sound like. Yours may have its own default trajectory.
I’ve been noticing in some people who even though they have no interest in this whole inner work stuff, they will actually light up when speaking about a dream they’ve had.
It’s really cool to see that.
They wonder what the dream means. What it symbolizes. And sometimes they will even open up about their inner world when they normally wouldn’t.
The dream becomes an opening. A safe way to take a closer look.
It’s February, the month of Love. It's another excuse to turn up the heat on your Inner Flame. Drenching each cell in your body with ruby red, juicy, and luscious love.
Even when you are howling from that deep bottomless ache inside of you. Even when life feels impossibly hard and there is pain and fear. Are you willing to open to the possibility of embodied pleasure and love? Even if it just means letting yourself feel the coziness and softness of the bed covers you are hiding under. Or smelling your favorite oil or perfume and noticing how sensual and yummy it makes you feel. Letting that in. For even just a moment.
Author: Leela Haris ~ Intuition
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