I love these pics of new grads of the Soulwave One: Initiation training from last weekend. The experience they shared at the end was a deepening of love as a palpable reality, and the practical experience that it is safe to completely surrender on the wave of the soul, and everything will be handled, all will manifest. Read what some of them said here: http://www.soulwave.org/testimonials.html
Also in the pic are various old grads from motherwave/soulwave who were there assisting. At the beginning of the training we went round and people said how long they had been in the work. I was amazed to hear "11 years," "8 years," "5 years, and it's changed my life." Someone asked Jeff Wessman in what way it has changed his life. "Just look at me," he said.
As for me, I'm feeling good. Having all kinds of adventures with the high integrity, loving people in my life, including some wonderful new ones.
ADVENTURES IN COMPASSION
One of the things I'm learning ever-more-deeply is how one's values - what might be called ethical/moral development - are an essential factor on the path of awakening. The Dalai Lama expresses this simply: "Kindness is my religion."
I went recently to see Satyong Mipham, son of the late Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, (one of the most controversial and brilliant Tibetan Buddhist teachers to [literally] "hit" the West). The whole point of his talk was that we need to develop compassionate mind, for real, okay? for real. He said that he was brought up in full-time spiritual practice, and one of his great Tibetan teachers, somebody, somebody Rinpoche, was also one of the Dalai Lama's teachers. Satyong and his buds would ask, Can you initiate us into the secret enlightenment teachings? "Yes I can," responded the teacher, "But it will do you absolutely no good if you haven't developed a completely compassionate mind."
Satyong kept on saying it, repeating himself over and over, then apologizing, then repeating it some more. The friend I went with was snoring gently, but I was saying (inside, as it was a serious Buddhist talk, not a Southern church), "Yes, preach it! Preach it, preacher! I'm with you!"
Compassionate mind resolves everything. It doesn't mean no boundaries. This morning as I woke up, a girlfriend who had stayed the night was dangling my cat's toy in my face. As I batted at it with my paws, a voice said, "Buddha would have loved boundaries." I had left a Pema Chodron talk playing on my i-pod, and that was my awakening line.
Jeff ("Just look at me!") and I had a long conversation yesterday. He was talking about some awakenings he has had through Vipassana, and reflecting on how they interconnect with his soulwave experience of many years. As we chatted I came to realize that I am clearly in a curriculum of love. A loving higher power––whether I think of it as a personal God who carries me through the valley of the shadow of death, which I often do, or as an impersonal void or higher level of organization of consciousness, as in chaos theory––is taking me through Its own training. Since I design trainings to expand consciousness as my life's work, I can only marvel at the one I am in.
CLEANING OUT THE SHADOWY CORNERS
A curriculum of love means that I have to get honest with myself about the corners of my soul with their piles of shadow material - the stuff I don't want to feel that lurks within me. The thing is that if I don't own it and feel it - and melt it down - I will project it outwards. My shadow stuff is my business, your shadow stuff is yours (unless you hire someone compassionately ruthless like me to scour out the corners faster - I go to someone ruthless to help me with this!).
My commitment to not project my own fear/anger/judgment/pain outward is my way of living in love. It's very challenging. I recently had an interaction with a new friend that stimulated all kinds of old material. It would have been easy to dismiss this person - I could easily get my close friends to collude with me if I did. But I knew it was about me, even though it really, really, really seemed to be about them. So I melted down my intense feelings (the Meltdown is a technique you can learn in Soulwave Two and yes, I really do use it all the time).
The air cleared within, and I was soon able to share what had happened. Our friendship (just good friends!) deepened. By doing this, I lost a certain advantage, in terms of the power game of relationships. Owning stuff isn't the prettiest path, and it won't necessarily get you "the prize" within the general system of human interactions, so many of which are based on mechanics of power struggle, projection, love addiction, and so on. If I feel bad about myself at deep levels, then being right, putting you down, judging you, making you wrong, can give me a temporary sense of being okay. As well as using these dubious feel-good techniques, I have been at the receiving end of these kinds of dynamics a lot. For one thing, being projected on is par for the course when you are a seminar leader.
WHICH EGGS DO YOU WANT?
There is a great line at the end of Annie Hall. Woody is saying something like this about his repetitive romantic escapades:
"Relationships are like chickens. Not real. My brother-in-law thought he was a chicken. We never told him it wasn't true, because we needed the eggs."
So which eggs, which "prize" do I want? Do I want to play the fear-based game and get the unreal eggs? Or will I trust in the value of the real eggs, God's eggs, you might say? Slower, quieter, deeper flavor... Sometimes in my life the underlying fear has been so great that even though some part of me knew I was doing this, I wanted the false eggs anyway. I was a bit like that corporate logger guy that we all love to hate and judge, who cuts down the rainforest for a short-term profit, not considering that he is living in the same planet that he is destroying for short-term gain.
My challenging passage over the last two years has really woken me up to the fact that I am on an eternal soul journey. Everything I do has karmic consequences, and the karmic consequences I receive now were created at some point by me. I'm truly committed to living as a conduit of love. Love doesn't always look the way someone else might think it looks, as we all know. Sometimes someone wants us to be a certain way, and it is not in accordance with our highest loving guidance. But there are ways of expressing our boundaries that are loving, and ways that are a dump.
BOUNDARIES OR VIOLENCE?
A bit more about this distinction: in her book "The Hero Within," Carol Anne Pearson explains the Hero's Journey (which Joseph Campbell has described in rather masculine terms as a lone, heroic quest) from a more female, relational perspective. It's a fantastic book which I used to give to everyone a decade or so ago. She describes various stages of a person's life, and one is Martyr, which is followed by Warrior. Many people who are into personal growth, both men and women, are in the middle of a transition from Martyr to Warrior. All of a sudden a person "receives" the realization that she has been exploited, is being used, or is not being recognized as deserving her own choices, power, or freedom. It is clearly someone else's fault and they are going to pay!
Watch out! This is the stage, the author says (I'm giving a vague remembered version here), where a person can become a worse perpetrator than the perp she is protesting against (like the patriarchal system, or her father, or whoever). From one day to the next, her friends and family, or even the mailman, are subjected to her new practice of "boundaries," or "personal power." Ahem! That ain't personal power, ma'am, it's violence! Your empowerment is none of their business. Be careful how you go through this doorway, or you won't really get through, and you can accumulate some quite instant karma. It can be quite hairy to be on the receiving end of someone in this phase, as they use you to work out their new "assertion" muscles. True assertion is loving, kind and peaceful, and always makes everyone around feel better.
The Warrior in Pearson's book evolves into the Magician, who can see and integrate all points of view and levels of self. Who works through love. Who changes everything through changing herself.
We are all in a curriculum of Love. A Course in Miracles says the curriculum is not optional, just when you take it is.
THE GOLDEN RULE
Talking of the curriculum of love, I have a new poster on my bathroom door which has the Golden Rule, as stated in every single religion. It's incredible! Every single spiritual path says the same thing. Many say it is the basis of everything else. For example, from Sikhism, "I am a stranger to no one, and no one is a stranger to me. Indeed, I am a friend to all." From the Bible, we all know this one: "In everything do unto others as you would have them do to you, for this is the law..." Matthew, 7:12.
And check out these accounts from people who died and came back, from my favorite book about Near Death Experiences, "Lessons From The Light," by Kenneth Ring:
"All of a sudden... my life passed before me... What occurred was every emotion I have felt in my life... And my eyes were showing me the basis of how that emotion had affected my life. What my life had done so far to affect other people's lives, using the feeling of pure love that was surounding me as the point of comparison. And I had done a terrible job. God, I mean it!... Looking at yourself from the point of how much love you have spread to other people is devastatin'."
"(During her life review), I remember one particular incident... when, as a child, I yanked my little sister's Easter basket away from her, because there was a toy in it that I wanted. Yet in the review, I felt her feelings of disappointment and loss and rejection. What we do to other people when we act unlovingly!... Everything you have done is there in the review for you to evaluate, and when I was there in that review there was no covering up. I was the very people that I hurt, and I was the very people I helped to feel good..."
I belong to the Beloved,
have seen the two worlds as one...
Outer, Inner, Only Breath....