“There is no order of difficulty in miracles.
One is not “harder” or “bigger” than another. They are all the same.
All expressions of love are maximal.”
I won’t share from A Course in Miracles every day, but although I find many lines and exercises in The Course strange, others resonate immediately, like the quote above. Also:
Miracles as such do not matter. The only thing that matters is their Source, Which is far beyond evaluation
Miracles occur naturally as expressions of love. The real miracle is the love that inspires them. In this sense everything that comes from love is a miracle. (snip)
Miracles are a kind of exchange. Like all expressions of love, which are always miraculous in the true sense, the exchange reverses the physical laws. They bring more love both to the giver and the receiver.
[Full list is on Wikipedia]
The miracle is a learning device that lessens the need for time. It establishes an out-of-pattern time interval not under the usual laws of time. In this sense it is timeless.
To this list I will add from my own experience:
Miracles are like dreams. They have no origin as such. They unpack forward and backward, open on all sides. This is why The Course describes them as expressions of timelessness.
What has happened in my country is complex. Many are facing the reality that blind spots and complacency are sometimes not just shocking, but dangerous. The truly tender-hearted, who may have voted or not voted, who may have stood on one side or another but not taken seriously the threat of latent bigotry that is coming to the surface in the wake of (this) change, will now either close their eyes and pray or open their eyes and pray, and act.
“There are no enlightened persons, only enlightened activity,” saidSuzuki Roshi.
The feeling of brush, paint, paper… stirs comfort, ease.
Then Prisma makes the image shareable, muting colors that were too bright or didn’t mix as well, highlighting stroke detail… even imposing a few things I might have added with greater skill, or if I’d be using my preferred medium of oil. Acrylics dry so fast!
I never know what I am thinking until I see it out in the world. My mind is full of trees, dancers, angels, women in elegant rags…
It is some insight of, not getting rid of attachment and aversion, but genuinely accepting both in a light and open way. To see through ‘the game’ could mean to play it deeper, or could mean moving on.
A few nights ago, I was struck with energy of a sort that could be called inspiration, yet didn’t feel particularly special. Rather, it hit like a practical nudge, to write a list.
Probably, this was a build up that started with a question posed during a Brahma Kuhmaris meditation workshop last weekend, about a figure in one’s life who displays admired qualities. I had chosen someone, yet in that choosing had also fathomed others who would fall into that category, then teachers in general, and spiritual friends who have graced my life.
As I began to write the list, a flood of other lists and figures began to appear. A teacher category was soon at 50, then over the next few days, grew to an honest 100. I say ‘honest’ because there were some figures who arose that were not quite teachers, but friends and influencers none the less, and then there was also a darker side of those categories… thankfully, much smaller. A separate ‘friends’ list then formed, grew, and branched into other figures who were ‘neutral-positive’ or neutral-negative due to lingering misunderstanding or discomfort. Then came another list – those on the edges with whom I’d like to be closer.
But it was the teacher list that kept growing, because behind each teacher, were other teachers, and those I’d spent deep lifetimes or love affairs with in books, or who had shown up in various guises or dreams along the way. When I reached that territory – the dream and vision territory – another wave came through. Now, it wasn’t just teachers, but lessons and stories. So I began another list, branching even more.
I have tried to intentionally write out insight stories and dreamy moments before, but they have usually waited for some context to float up, if to be shared. This was different.
Dreams and stories that I hadn’t thought about for very long, began to pour out onto the page, big ones next to little ones next to what had felt at the time to be side thoughts, numbering into the hundreds. I thought about how hard it had been at the end of last year, to write out even ‘100 accomplishments’, and how in contrast, this had all seemed to just appear.
So tired, I kept trying to go to sleep. As soon as my eyes would close, more would come up that I didn’t want to risk losing, so I’d write them, releasing a whole ‘nother wave.
Eventually, I remembered Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED Talk about inspiration and muses, and assured myself that whatever was going on could be continued the next day.
And it was, but only sort of. Rather than adding much to the list, this time my hand went to the list of teachers, writing a word or two about what I felt to have learned from each, whatever came forward strongly. From one – spontaneity, from another – confidence, another the question ofsuchness. With some I had first experiences; some imparted or deepened feelings, evoked emotion, or pushed me over edges at crucial times. Some were not people, but ‘events’.
I made no effort not to repeat myself, yet there were no repetitions; each role was entirely unique and yet, when I would stop writing and see the whole, each also easily flowed easily into another, each other. Longsightedness was also there… to see that there might be more, or a different way of seeing time that I might move into… more comfortable clothes.
It was like staring into a living, loving, mirror. Just openness to openness.
I’m not sure who the teacher was, who first exposed me to the concept of Indra’s Net, but to convey the way this practice unfolded, one would benefit from visualizing:
FAR AWAY IN THE HEAVENLY ABODE OF THE GREAT GOD INDRA, THERE IS A WONDERFUL NET WHICH HAS BEEN HUNG BY SOME CUNNING ARTIFICER IN SUCH A MANNER THAT IT STRETCHES OUT INFINITELY IN ALL DIRECTIONS.
IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE EXTRAVAGANT TASTES OF DEITIES, THE ARTIFICER HAS HUNG A SINGLE GLITTERING JEWEL IN EACH “EYE” OF THE NET, AND SINCE THE NET ITSELF IS INFINITE IN DIMENSION, THE JEWELS ARE INFINITE IN NUMBER. THERE HANG THE JEWELS, GLITTERING “LIKE” STARS IN THE FIRST MAGNITUDE, A WONDERFUL SIGHT TO BEHOLD.
IF WE NOW ARBITRARILY SELECT ONE OF THESE JEWELS FOR INSPECTION AND LOOK CLOSELY AT IT, WE WILL DISCOVER THAT IN ITS POLISHED SURFACE THERE ARE REFLECTED ALL THE OTHER JEWELS IN THE NET, INFINITE IN NUMBER.
NOT ONLY THAT, BUT EACH OF THE JEWELS REFLECTED IN THIS ONE JEWEL IS ALSO REFLECTING ALL THE OTHER JEWELS, SO THAT THERE IS AN INFINITE REFLECTING PROCESS OCCURRING. –Wikipedia Indra’s Net
Coming out from a pleasant nap… the last fifteen minutes an interesting spontaneous meditation about ‘world’ and ‘body’, and how I often function as though body is in a separate world from mind, even while not believing that.
During summer I go inward – not exactly cave dweller inward, but unless traveling, I tend to spend more time indoors, which means museums, malls, and movies. This year it has also meant diving deeper into meditation, progressing a little with writing projects too. Which is great, except that there is this young girl inside of me who wants to be included in everything… all the “fun in the sun.”
Qualities was the key word for the meditative workshop, beginning with “one quality that (you think) describes you.” People around the room gave words like “kind” and “loving” and “creative.” Mine was curious, although after saying so, I thought “inquisitive” would have been more accurate. This was an ice breaker before a time of meditation.
Next we were asked a few deceptively easy questions like, “What makes you happy?” and “What makes you sad?” Again some answers were shared, that blended together.
(what makes me happy? bamboo)
The third question was the one to reach my sweet spot. It was about a figure that has inspired, and the qualities they manifest, one would like to develop. I surprised myself by choosing P, although it is S I consider my ‘heart teacher’. But what sprang to mind was P’s spontaneity, his lack of embarrassment, his overall joyfulness.
Today’s meditation at the library was more chaotic than usual. There was an issue with a generator that began making an upsetting noise as soon as we began.
Due to past training I guess, for me there was a humor about it. It was distracting and I would have liked for it to stop, but it wasn’t upsetting like it was for another meditator. I did let my mind wander though, thinking of stories of teachers like Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche arriving late to a gathering, to annoyance in the air… but in this, a chaotic energy to work with.
So in a sense, as the meditation leader told us today, what we engaged in was an advanced practice.
Have continued to attend the library meditation. Eyes open meditation in a group with others is a unique and powerful experience, not because anything unusual happens, but because you all are just there with what is.
Although one couldn’t call the group secular, the meditations are, as is required. Usually there is a recording, and a guided process, but sometimes music alone. I particularly liked the spontaneous meditation led by one of the two women that have been there each week, and the “prayer for the world” that was not a vague peace wish but felt to tap actual resourcefulness somehow… and underlying connection that was tangible and even gritty.