Thanks to everyone who participated for another wonderful Not Church gathering.
Choir-oke gets better every month…it’s amazing what can be accomplished with a little practice and some margaritas.
Gratitude for the present moment and letting go help unlock the doors to liberation as we were reminded in Martina’s story..
Liberation is not a destination
by Bodhi Martina
For many reasons, I left the church at 14. I loved Jesus, but this God they talked about who was vindictive and judgmental and liked to smite people….was pretty frightening. The straw that broke the camel’s back came when I was told that it was God’s will that my mother, suffered a 10 year battle with cancer and died at 43, leaving 3 children. I wondered, “What kind of God was that?!”
But it was this – that began my spiritual search. 20 years later and books, therapy and teachers. I was still searching this illusive understanding of the truth. I wanted to be happy. Why couldn’t I make that happen? I love to write, so I wrote a book, Call From the Heart, that told of my spiritual travels. I took the manuscript to the Shaman whom I had been following. She gave me a ceremony to do in order to birth the book. I had chosen not to bring children into this world, until I was sure I could make them happy. This wise woman said the book was my baby. Following her instructions, I journeyed to southern Baja and camped on the beach at the edge of the exquisite Gulf of California – a cathedral of nature – was for me the true church. I climbed a little mountain to its top.
When I was finished, I did not feel relieved. I felt frustrated and angry. I still did not understand, what I was after? Why couldn’t I rest? I was still in a state of deep yearning for something I could not name. I looked into the vast blue Baja Sky and crying out to the invisible guiding ones, I begged. “WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME? I HAVE TO KNOW NOW!” It sounded more like a wail, than a prayer.
Suddenly, it was like being thrust into that blue sky above…a clarity overcame this very small Martina. This “me” I thought myself to be disappeared into the vastness. There was nothing! Yet it was everything! IT was VASTNESS no words or names could touch. It was so sudden, I was filled with wonder and awe.
I began to laugh. The pure joy of laughing consumed me and I could not stop. I knew everything and it was nothing at all. I came down the mountain in a state of euphoria for days in the beauty of land, sea and sky. The great birds spoke to me of freedom. Yet, ever so slowly, the egoic mind began to nibble away at the experience, until I found myself “me” again. A “me” with a name, a story, a past and a hopeful future. I was truly saddened, “I” thought I’d lost “IT”…but you can’t lose what is not an object.
Since this mountaintop experience, there have been many more such gifts of awareness, as well as painful challenges, rising up to test the truth. But they are an experience and as we are learning, these experiences are subject to change. Experience is impertinent, joy comes and goes, pain comes and goes, LIFE comes and goes and so does the experience of Liberation. For most of us, Liberation is never complete, it is always unfolding like the lotus. Moment to moment Liberation. You can’t speak of liberation, because as soon as you put it into words, it is only a story of an experience in the past. We can only hope that the story points out the direction. Each moment is an awakening experience. Mental thoughts and words cannot touch the Vastness of being. What we seek, is Here and Now, so simple it is overlooked. SIMPLE? Yes, but not easy. Our minds don’t see simple. The mind looks for something really hard to do. That is its job. In order to attain, we have to work hard. The ego does not want to lose its job, so it sends us on a search outside of ourselves – as we have been taught to do.
We have entered a new millennium and this gift of the Universal Life Force, that some call God, is so very present, right Now, HERE in this room, in each beating heart. Liberation happens when the yearning for something other than what we have, STOPS. The search is over, when finally we have absolutely no doubt in the VASTNESS that has NO name.
Come join us May 7 at Poco Cielo for the next Not Church gathering.