Monday, June 19, 2017

The Day My Buddha Burned - part eight

The Loss of ‘The One’
Ever since I was a little girl, I, along with countless others, was trained to believe that there would be a ‘one’.  If you asked me straight to my face, I would have to say no, it’s not sane, I don’t believe that, and yet, in actual fact, when the situation arose, I have to say, I finally thought ‘ahh, now, here is the end of my search.’
Please remember at this point in time, that I am someone who at a relatively young age lost what she thought was her belief system, only to find that there were still beliefs to be lost. The angst of knowing better and yet being pulled along by a force so much stronger than I could bear mingled with every stage of grief.
It was love at first sight. I have never experienced it before and have never experienced it again. A certain knowing that he was ‘the one’. A figure so unlike what I might be attracted to, and yet a face known and recorded deep in my mind from a time past that I have no recollection of it. Yes, it felt like destiny.
After countless misunderstandings and a myriad of disappointments, I let him go to a barrage of tears and sudden aging.  Lines appeared where there had been none before. Skin sagged and for the first time in my life, I looked my age. But I prayed. I trusted the will of the Universe. I waited.
A year passed until I heard from him again. And this time, I felt the strong urge in my body that said we were destined to be together and at the same moment, it didn’t command me. I was not swayed by it. I was patient, watchful, and part of me was healthily indifferent. Non attached. It felt different than ever before. I was not a victim to the overpowering flow of feeling. I experienced it, but I was not it. It was a significant moment that I remember clearly. Being rooted in the observer.

And even after the words ‘I think I have misjudged you’ I did not flutter in hope. I saw clearly into the fear and confusion in his own mind and I knew that it was not to be. He called later with suspicion and his own delusion fully intact and I let my ‘the one’ go. I shed no tears. And indeed, it was a relief. It was another illusion that I had passed through, and this time I was getting the hang of it, understanding the feel of emotion in the body and its influence on the mind. I’d had time to absorb it all and learn from it, and to repeat the experience from a different foundation. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

The Day My Buddha Burned - part seven

Integration
It seems that I didn’t truly die. The old ideas, the old me slowly came back and reformed about the body I was in. I became a ‘me’ again. I  never truly believed the stories, as I did before this grand awakening experience, but I have been blinded at times by the power of my patterns.
After the first initial break I started the long slow work of digging up the foundation stones of what I believed I was. I worked arduously, vigilantly and with continual dedication. I faced loss after loss. I held moments of clarity so bright it felt as though there was no going back, and then  finding myself suddenly  tripping on another layer of stone work a little deeper than the one before. Very well then. The sun does not rise all at once. It takes it’s time.
(And even this, ‘it takes time’ is a belief that needs careful scrutiny and is addressed accordingly in Myss’s Defy Gravity.)
I was 14 when I was left with my grandparents. I saw children as a burden. I saw them as annoying, cloying creatures that ate into your ‘real’ time. I certainly was not bought up to think of myself as a mother and I was not a female who was interested in children in any way shape or form.
Imagine my surprise when I discovered I was pregnant! At 28 I looked at the plastic stick with the blue markings and straight into the eyes of Responsibility and said I do. From that moment forward, I found myself wrapped in duty towards my unborn child, regardless of what those responsibilities meant to myself. I turned to my partner of three years and committed myself to a ‘family’ with all that it meant to me.
You know what is coming. The loss of my ideals. The second great crash of my belief system, after the loss of my father, was the loss of the ‘ideal family’.  I promised myself that no child of mine would grow up like I did. There wouldn’t be lies, secrets, strange rules, drugs, instability or confusion. There would be love, support, two stable parents, honesty, hugs and more ‘I love you’s’ than a child could count.
Before my son’s second birthday I was a single working mother in a foreign country. My son was handed between the kindergarten, a baby sitter and the Japanese family I lived beside. I came home one day to my son speaking Japanese better than I could and calling the woman of the house grandmother and I realized, perhaps erroneously, that I needed to get the hell out of there. I didn’t know the smallest thing about my son. I was too busy feeling depressed, alone, victimised and confused. I was suffering the death blow to my family values. The ideal family was pure fiction inside of my head. What I had was exactly what I didn’t want. And I was still alive and thriving and in retrospect, better off than I had been before. I had support, money and care for my child. But I couldn’t see it at all. I was only feeling the death toll of another belief system.
The father did not exist.
The family did not exist. 
And I was soon to find out, ‘the one’ did not exist.

Monday, June 5, 2017

The Day My Buddha Burned - part six

This is part of a novella. You can go straight to the beginning here, or go back to the previous post here. 

Loss of the belief that there was no God

Journey of the Magi ts eliot

One of the first thoughts that entered my head was but, how am I going to tell my mother?
We were brought up atheists. My family laughed at God and made bad Jesus jokes. People who ‘believed’, people who went to Church, people who changed their behaviour to comply with religious beliefs were all subject to ridicule for their blatant stupidity.

And here I was, suddenly, with no rational means to explain what had happened to me, what I felt and saw, what shifted inside of me, and what it meant to my life. I lost all connection to people around me who thought in the old way. I lost connection to the old ideas I had. There was no way to follow back along the tracks when the storm had utterly destroyed them in its wake.

I lost interest in the things I used to be interested in. I didn’t care for the music I used to like. I stopped what little interest in fashion I had. I cared nothing for my hair or face. I was only interested in discovering a way to fit back into society with the experience that I had had.  I lost contact points with everyone around me. I was anchor-less and felt I had no guidance. I was not mature or knowledgeable or confident enough dwell with all that I had. My mind had already taken over and I was reborn.


I was 21, my life wiped away in a flash, and I had no purpose whatsoever.  But there was God and the existence of the All in all things and that was that. And for a very short time, that was enough.

Monday, May 29, 2017

The Day My Buddha Burned - part five

Rebuilding

Slowly, I started to reform myself. I started the inevitable building of myself around this body. I reviewed the past through washed eyes and I wrote letters of forgiveness and apology.  And I knew, in the depth of my being, that God existed.

God being within and part of all things. God being All. No thing exists without God. God as alive, awake and Life itself. A no thing and yet, a some thing that lies within the core of every thing. One is not different from another.

I realized that because of the enclosed shell of hate, fear and unhappiness I had built around myself  I had cut myself off from the human experience. I was judgmental, critical and arrogant. I couldn’t find a point of connection with humanity. Humanity was, for  me, a great mistake. I had believed that humans were basically evil. They lied, betrayed, killed, stole, cheated and were selfish to the core. I had watched the news as a teenager and felt that the world was about to explode with human stupidity at any moment. To maintain any level of sanity, I had to dissassoiate myself from being human.

After my awakening experience, I made a vow

Monday, May 22, 2017

The Day My Buddha Burned- part four

This is part of a novella. You can go straight to the beginning here, or go back to previous exert here.



A Light

At 21 I lived for almost a year as a caretaker of a farm. I wrote, gardened, took care of dogs, inquired into life and forgot about the world out there. I needed to get away from people. I needed to escape from the noise in my own head.

One day, walking the dogs, the dried up grass gold on the ground, Light struck the top of my head, changing my vision for ever.

For three days and three nights I was only light. My vision was clear, my body was nonexistent and I saw beneath the surface. The top of my head was aglow, burning bright and beyond. And I experienced, without doubt, down into the cells of my body, out into the apparent differences in shape and form that we were indeed, all One.


I saw underneath the apparent surface, everything was made up of similar ‘stuff’. This stuff infused all things, including air, and the space between things. There was no here, there was just everywhere that existed in one moment. Up close and far away were the same. Just ever increasing expression of shapes and colours. But we were all the same stuff. Glowing alive magical stuff. 

Loss

I lost my centre. I lost who I thought I was. Everything was washed away with a light so bright it penetrated every aspect of my previous self.  There was no me. There was only light.

Loss of identity.

Loss of ideas.

Loss of beliefs.

Loss of ambition. 

Loss of purpose.


Loss of all the things that came together to make me ‘me’. It was gone. There was nothing, at least for those three days.

Read more

Monday, May 15, 2017

The Day My Buddha Burned - part three


Part Two 

‘Wounded, abandoned, orphaned
How many of you value the ability to think independently? … to feel like you’ve taken the lead…
Archetypically '…   gods say to you.. pursue a` reality… that is independent…’ Jesus’s contract… by getting you strong enough to see, you need to be born into a family that doesn’t want you.’
- Caroline Myss

‘Sometimes it feels painful, but I promise you,
the effort of feeling and
allowing feeling,
is like discovering gold.’
- Tiffany Jones

Of course I cried. I cried bitterly. I was angry and confused. I felt abandoned and set adrift. I was left where I was not wanted and I felt defiant to the last.  ‘Let everyone suffer.’  I couldn’t go beyond that.

It was my 14th summer.  Some weeks earlier I had been dropped off at my grandmother’s house with the promise that my father and step-mother would come pick me up in a week.
It is a phone call I remember etched with detail; the beige telephone in my left hand, looking into the brightness of the old fashioned kitchen, my right fingers entangled in the spiralling telephone cord, the cold bench I leaned upon, the noise from the small TV behind me, the greasy scalp of my grandfather near my elbow. I was conscious of his withdrawal and active internal world and knew he wasn’t listening to my responses.

My step mother told me, over the telephone, that she and my father hadn’t had enough alone time. They had been together for seven years and they had been surrounded by children; children from their previous relationships.  They had decided I was to live with my grandparents, and they weren’t coming back.

My father, for the first and last time said ‘I love you’, over the telephone.

All I could feel was a rush of fury towards my step-mother, coldness quickly followed and then raging disbelief. I remember saying ‘OK’. I remember being obedient. I remember hanging up the phone and living through those hours in front my grandparents as if everything was alright. When I went to the fold out bed set up in the ‘best’ lounge room where nobody ever sat, I turned my face to the pillow and screamed with rage and frustration and hate. And I cried bitterly.  And I promised myself not to be hurt again. And to do that, I needed to hate. And that’s what I did.

On the Subject of Loss

On that day, over 25 years ago, I lost my father. I lost everything he meant to me. I lost trust, faith and protection. I lost my idealisation. I lost one of the foundation stones of my belief system.  I lost a story.

I had been a daddy’s girl. He had special rules. He was a thief and a conman. He stole for a living and he was paranoid and difficult to live with. He was also charming, personable and he was the only rule in my life.  There were rules for the inside of the house. There was another set of  rules for outside of the house. There were things we didn’t mention. There were things we didn’t talk about. Intuition was important and valued. Reading people was important.

Life drained out of me. Everything that had sustained me thus far in my life, my belief in my father, was taken away from me. I felt as though I didn’t have anything left. It was certainly death for me.

Between 14 and 18 I had the most stable environment I had experienced in my life. I slept in the same bed for four years. I ate at regular hours. I had a grandmother who cared for me and asked me how school was.  I had a grandfather who drove me places.  I made friends.  And I was festering with self-loathing, bitterness, rage and despair. By 17 I was suffering severe migraines and was on daily medication to cope with the pain.

At 20, for no apparent reason, I suffered sciatica so severely I was sometimes unable to walk. Doctors couldn’t find a reason. Massage and osteopaths didn’t help.

I had cut off my relationships with my high school friends. I felt like my life was a huge lie. I had never spoken about my father’s lifestyle to anyone.

Once outside of the structure of high school and the assumption of University for a bright girl like myself, I was lost. I didn’t know what to do. I was continually suffering rage, hatred, fear and confusion.

I decided to move to the country. And I did. I needed to get away from the maddening crowd. I needed to find answers. 



Monday, May 8, 2017

The Day My Buddha Burned - Part Two

Here I am holding my big sisters' hands in the early 70's.

This is part of a novella. Here is the first exert of The Day My Buddha Burned 

Ideas like Building Blocks

We are like small children with coloured building blocks.  We sit there totally absorbed in placing one block on top of another and either because we haven’t placed our blocks well, or because we get fed up, the blocks fall and quite happily, and without questioning what we are doing at all, we rebuild. We often rebuild without seeming to learn anything from the last structure we built. We build without any view to an end point. We build until it collapses.

And then we start again.

The coloured building blocks are ideas and belief systems we individually construct within the walls of our minds.

We are all born with the building blocks before us. Some of the ideas we build are based on the blueprints handed down to us by our family, friends, society, culture and country, and others are drawn up in direct consequence of what we have perceived as positive/protective responses to life’s events.

Deconstruction and re-planning occur in the teenage years when our hormones coupled with an expansion of perception create some of the biggest conscious changes we have thus far been aware of. Many people don’t change their mental landscape again until their retirement.

However, for others, we have been forced by personality or circumstance, to abandon ideas housed within our minds and perhaps to put up temporary structures to aid us in different moments in life. Perhaps some of us can even be called nomads, resting in easily constructed rooms for comfort and being able to adapt according to the changing seasons.
I’ve written down some of the changes to my thinking in the past 40 years.





Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The Day My Buddha Burned - Introduction

I've been writing this short novel for several years. This is the first instalment. You're welcome to leave comments.

Here I am writing in my journal on a train in India, 2007


This sacred journey through life hits upon moments of intensity that we know are special, different, as if they’ve been dabbed with a fluorescent marker, to stand out as important. I’ve written down a few.


I do believe we’re here to take another step or two further along the pilgrimage of our soul’s journey. The sacred centers are those moments that stand out high and above the normal every day scenery and represent moments of clarity, of learning, of wisdom, choice, power. They are the sacred centers of our life and sometimes we are so obviously shaken out of the normal, we know we are in vibrant times, though sometimes we only recognise them in the hindsight.

This book is dedicated, with love.



The second part of The Day My Buddha Burned.

Friday, April 21, 2017

I am a Public Speaker

I am a native English guest speaker centred in Barcelona.
I've been giving talks on yoga, meditation, health, archetypes, tarot, travelling and other topics for the past 6 years. You can see my profile in LinkedIn here.





Monday, April 3, 2017

Videos about Being Human

I just started doing videos again. They're off the cuff and with no editing.If that's your thing go take a look.
One about why we should forgive, or 'what's in it for me'?
And the first one, 'Let's start talking'.

I started vlogging (cringe) because I just don't have the time to write like I used to! This is an easy way to get what I want said out there.