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Posts Tagged ‘Love’

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I’m going through an intense process right now where I’m learning the way of the heart. It’s something totally new to me. It has felt like a knowing beyond thought or emotion and it has been powerful. We’ve been in this pilgrimage and staying true to that, the truth that I cannot even see. I find myself standing in pitch darkness, as this way of living, feeling and breathing is not something familiar to how I used to be, but with some profound sense of grace that seems to keep guiding me, as I stand firm in the dark, I begin to see even the dark transformed into a kind of light… I am still learning to find the words to be able to express this in a very grounded and practical way, but trust me on this – this way that I am discovering is revealing itself to be far more practical and efficient than anything else I have ever known. I believe the words through which I can express this to others will come more clearly in time.

The simple joys of life… its actually what I am also using as a foundation for every step that I am taking now… a foundation of keeping the simple pleasures as a real treasure and gift… and it seems to propel me somehow to a deeper sense of knowing who I am.

I guess that is the question that has gained in intensity for me over the years, to truly know what and who I am not merely as a soul, but as a presence, in my very essence, beyond this body and my circumstances…. it is not only for me that I ask this question, but out of love for the world and everyone and everything that I cherish.

There is an old saying that I am truly beginning to understand now – you may have heard of it – “Physician, Heal Yourself First!” Only then can I truly help to heal others, by resolving my own blocks and fears. I feel this is a worthy path – a powerful way to walk in life. My deepest love to you and for you.

Brother, ‘go with the flow’ has become such empty meaningless words that stand more to say, “do whatever you feel like’ rather than about following one’s true INTENT – which can create NEW FLOWS – which is the Master of the flow itself. What people in the world most find themselves struggling with now is these empty philosophical cliches they carry around, deceiving themselves that they are somehow ‘faking it to making it’… but there ARE WORDS – perfect words – to express in every single moment, that are an emanation of the Sri Yantra… of the primordial fractal…. there are indeed words for this… and by saying I am learning to find the words, the deeper intent is that I am learning the mystery and mastery of alignment with oneself. The flow is a servant to the divine, not vice versa.

But to do that, first one aligns with the flow… one becomes merged with it… and then one CHANGES IT.

I know when I say your ‘new age cliches’ of ‘follow the flow’ are a block to you, you find yourself then faced with not knowing WHERE to STEP or what CHOICE to make… which is why you keep running back to the cliches… but as a dear divine friend told me a few days ago, there is great joy in PUSHING against one’s own shackles.

I wish to see those around me free, I wish to see myself free – in order to do that I have had to muster the balls to truly, objectively, look at the texture of my own prisons… those handcuffs I have painted gold and yet named them my prized jewels… and though there is a truth in that my own blocks, wounds and fears, as I become free, become the very weapons of freedom that I can then pass onto others… first they still must be seen for the prisons that they are.

I am learning not to get caught in catch-22s and circular arguments – as they are slow and life-sucking, and ultimately – FALSE.

There are no catch-22s. The paradox is that there is no paradox. That is not a circle.

This has become a very simple question for me, simple yet incredibly potent – the intensity of the question – WHO AM I? WHAT AM I? And what stands between ME and ME?

Do you truly ask yourself this? Or do you run from it? It is a question to be asked from the very core, to at the very least be honest about the choices we are making. I refuse to lie to myself any longer – it makes me evolve at breathtaking speed, and I embrace it.

Others can muster the courage to keep pace…. or to die slowly rotting in their own dungeons and fears… but sacrifice is not the way of true joy. I must FLY to my ancient home. None and nothing shall stand in my way now.

Much love.

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So I was considering what to do with my job situation. I asked my supervisor for an opinion in order to strike up a conversation to keep the lines of communication open in case I wanted to sign another contract with them. Also, I needed to know something about the number of vacation days on the contract which, as it is written, is quite ambiguous. Depending on the interpretation of that, I was ready to sign up again immediately.

She was initially almost in tears asking me if I was going to marry my girlfriend. This threw me a little off, because I thought my supervisor had gotten over her attraction to me and just considered me a friend. I made a pretty dismissive comment about the idea in order to calm her down and then proceeded to talk to her about the amount of vacation time I would have.

Now, I’ve been in friendly enough terms with my supervisor that she already knows I want to take a ten day Vipassana meditation time. Also, she knows I was speaking with a Zen teacher a well. What was interesting was the amount of condemnation she ended up heaping onto my wanting to do these things. She is, herself, a Buddhist and had scheduled a meeting with a famous teacher on the South of the island during Chinese new year. Instead of attending the meeting, she cancelled it and rode horses all week long.

Now, what’s interesting is the elaborate reasoning she comes up with about my spending time meditating. The thing is, she does it in a way that appears quite well-meaning, and remarkably sincere. Her favorite is, “you probably already have the answers” to which I responded, “yes, perhaps, but I am looking for a teacher or some time to spend to help me see them for what they are” and she goes on that I’m impatient (to which I respond, I’m not hurting to wait, but I’m also not trying to waste any time) or that I’m being selfish (to which I respond, I am kind to others, but it seems that if I’m completely lost, I may not even know what kindness IS) or that I think too much (but anyone whose spent time meditating has discovered that yes, you think WAY THE FUCK TOO MUCH, and meditation is the only hope you have to get that chatter to cease)….

How sincere and reasonable she is in all this, enough that I found it unsettling. Mind you, it didn’t seem like “attacks” or anything at the time. I am sure that in her mind, it’s all kindness and “realistic” ways of thinking of things (as if pragmatism demands selling one’s soul to join some world of conformity). I was thrown off by all this until I remembered the beginning of the conversation. Then I remembered that she is in love with me and wants me to stay near her, and every things she says is to serve that purpose. Does SHE even realize this?  My guess is no.

Pretty much everything is a tactic, a ruse, or a strategy. Even being honest just gives one a personal sense of justification, and a socially granted one as well. Ghandi, along with plenty of Jewish scholars and Christian theologians, pointed out that Jesus’s ideas about turning the other cheek, walking the extra mile, and giving someone who sues you for a cloak, your shirt along with it might have been very strategically useful for the oppressed Jews of his time. I’m not saying that it’s ‘wrong’ in any sense, to use whatever method one feels is most congruent and effective in order to finish a task, I’m just saying that it is what it is.

I teach kids. I see this every day. Doing well on a test gets appreciation and acceptance from teachers and parents, and a boost to mood and feelings of personal security and well-being. 99% of my kids don’t give a shit about learning ENGLISH per se. When someone sees a reason to learn it, like my student who loves computers and noticed that the BIOS is always in English, my job is easy and they learn quickly. Until they get inspired, I just manipulate social cookies to coerce and convince them to do what I want them to. It’s a sickening game sometimes.

“Following the rules” may be anything from a way to manipulate others into giving one what one wants to a way to feel justified in self-pity when things don’t go one’s way. “Nice” is a nice way to create a reality that believes oneself to be a “good person” or some such crap. At the worst, ones self righteousness is a game to build ones own ego without reproach because you can threaten anyone that gives you a well-deserved ass kicking else with state violence. The thing is, I’ve played all these games, and I watch kids do it, and I watch people do it, and I’m sick and fucking tired of it, in myself more than anybody else!

So, it’s hard as fuck to know what I’m doing right now. I’ve looked inside myself and seen the same thing. I, yes I, use an immense amount of sincerity as a means to an ends… I use a ‘pragmatic approach’ sometimes, or a ‘ruthless’ one, or ‘the one that fits the situation’ but it all seems to be ego-gratifying as well as basically self-serving WHATEVER I do. What I would give right now to know my own truest intention!

From a standpoint of innocence and pure intention, means is irrelevant. You are always choosing means anyways, to serve whatever intention you have. And until I am coming from a standpoint of innocence and pure intention, even honesty is a lie.

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And with every death, a rebirth.

I noticed the moment of change.  I saw it happen.  I’ve gotten good at seeing it and I love Aranofsky’s films above all.  Mickey Rourke’s character has asked the stripper to have a regular relationship with him.  She said she couldn’t do it.  He screws things up completely with his daughter, but the stripper comes back to him.  It happens in one perfect instant.  You can feel it, she opens up.  Two human beings in a dance.  Everything he’d asked her for, laid there in front of him, her trusting her innocence enough to make that leap.

But he misses it, he’s already closed down, maybe because of his daughter or maybe because he’s lost faith in himself.  I can only recommend “the Wrestler” as one of the best films I think I’ve ever seen.

I love watching movies to see these kinds of changes.  It’s beautiful to see even in a stupid movie like H.E.A.T. where DeNiro has a clear moment, his dying motion, in the hotel when his girl wants him to just leave with her and he jumps back into this murky, deadly world he cannot seem to let go of, long before Pacino guns him down.  Contrasted to Kilmer, who keeps his course and walks away.

I see them in my own life, as I saw the moment where everything changed with my girlfriend.  I felt it as certainly as you might notice the sun break the mountaintops.  It’s a worthwhile practice, noticing what changes.

The other thing I recently caught was my tendency to judge my actions in a situation by how peaceful, blissful, or easy the encounter felt.  However, I’m also seeing that the right thing doesn’t always flow that way, sometimes deceptions are called for, or ‘worse.’  And my judgements do little but get in the way.  The only barometer I can find for this is my own innocence.

The last few weeks, I needed to make sure I wasn’t loosing it to chemical reactions in my head when I entered the dance with my girl.  “Love” is pretty common and about as “special” as taking a shot of whiskey (both stimulate the opium receptors in the head).  I choose to stay aware, continue growing and learning.  My intention is to build connection, not just read a lot of magical mystical bullshit into an endorphine high.

The only way I find is to center myself upon the reality of death, coupled with a type of self-enquiry, and the transience of everything becomes clear.  For keeping a steady mind, death is the only worthwhile advisor.

Still today, after such a deeply intentional strike a couple of weeks ago, severing the head of a decades-long addiction, I find the difficult part is when no decisive strikes are needed…  indeed, the times when NOTHING is needed.  The hardest thing, perhaps, is silence.  I still want to think of myself as “the one who did this or that,” worse yet “the one who does this or that.”  ….and I feel that’s the road back to hell.

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“In every victory is a defeat, in every death a rebirth.”

In our KungFu, WuJiFa, we focus on connection, intention, groundedness.  Through deceptively simple exercises we refine these to a high degree.  This is how we excel at “the Qi Kung of dancing, drinking, and fucking.”

Maybe you knew me long enough to know that I didn’t want being transgendered to dominate my life.  Maybe you knew me well enough to know that while I make no judgements about it in general, I knew that some aspects of it were obsessive for me, tantalizing, crazy-making.

The biggest trigger point has always been relationship.  Opening my heart, I could feel as if the whole universe were wrapping around me, holding me, reaching out to lift me up and support the liquid flow of openness between two people — if and only if I were a woman.

Thus, many times I shut my heart.  In fact, while sometimes I would go awhile without feeling gender dysphoria, I never managed to make a sexual connection in my life without it, and I mean a hefty dose of it.  Enough to drive me close to suicide many times.

Recently, though, I used the Qi Kung.  I let myself feel all the sensations of connection, of opening and beautiful flowing, touching, holding that I once only reserved in the box I called “womanhood”…  I used my orgasmic breathing techniques to amplify all this.  Then I very specifically connected all this in a grounded way, with touch and movement and awareness, back to my own body, simply….  flowed in it.

For months I’d been praying to lord Ganesha, every time I would find myself in the throes of teeth gnashing addiction I would focus on him.  And that act, that final act, clear focus and grounded connection was a killing blow.

So here I am, feeling the blankets on my own skin like I’ve never felt before, feeling my weight through my legs, feeling my shoes, feeling my fingers and toes, everything so lucid.  And I’m in a relationship, my heart is open, I feel her clearly, I listen, I appreciate her without any pain.  I don’t feel blocked in my affections or any flow of any part of myself….  It borders on miraculous considering I’ve been unable to do this for the last fifteen years I’ve been dating and having sexual relationships.

Now, senses emerging, feelings of self and openness….

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The heart knows no boundaries.

Yet, I reach for some sort of content.

In love, The universe answers my questions, and my heart feels a pure and simple connection, like a great silver liquid flowing freely.  I can follow freely, not based on exclusivity, but simply following a knowingness.  Truth is, I can do little else.

Yet, I try to fill in details, to make a love story.  I correspond birthdays, or I look for commonalities.  This is why a book about the heart of magik lacks any sort of formulas.

In ethics, who is watching?  Who might I be justifying myself to?  What image of myself do I wish to believe?  What morality is there on an island alone?  Or in the darkness of sensory deprivation in my own apartment?  What about when I am alone on the street?  So which one am I holding internally RIGHT NOW and why?  Such fine, subtle deceptions, though they hint at morality, they masquerade as ethics…  However, with no reference point other than self-trust, the purest heart is born, the most innocent of intentions open up.

Free of ethics, they may seem unethical.

Free of morality, this may seem immoral.

But I haven’t glimpsed a purer light.

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“All sickness comes from loneliness. ALL.”

Loneliness. To feel incomplete, empty, unfulfilled – to yearn for something you feel you don’t have yet. In an illusion of time, to forget about timelessness. To constantly journey to fill oneself up, to walk to and fro, from school to work to retirement, every now and then being hit with loneliness and falling sick. And when the loneliness is really gripping, it manifests into greater diseases. If you don’t want to fall sick, all you have to do is find your completeness – to be self-sustained – self-fulfilled. Because to feel incomplete is to leave yourself feeling broken, only half-fixed, half created, easy to fall apart. Even structurally, no half-constructed building can last nor stand firm. Then, how can the body, when the mind feels incomplete?

So lately, my social life has about been a bust.  It seems that many times I’ve tried to go out and socialize, romantically or just with pals, a million things have gotten in my way.  If I go to all the trouble to get out to Taipei, then something bad happens, stuff gets complicated, someone can’t meet with me, I get sick, wires get crossed and meeting times are mixed up, etc, etc, etc.  It’s been a strange situation.  Part of it is because I live in a somewhat remote location now.  It takes a lot of effort or expense (often both) for me to go anywhere that other people will be.

And I’ve had the most persistent sickness I have ever had in my life.  It started with a fever.  Then I had a week of being unable to speak.  I had a week or two of a cold.  I had one week when I could barely hear at all.  I had gotten used to it almost, having been sick for 7 whole weeks.  I had adapted to the point where I just accepted I couldn’t do much on the weekends and wondered if I should cancel business meetings and tutoring sessions during the week.  It’s been wretched.

I know some things require moving through with definite intention (optimally like Qi Kung pushing hands — always moving forward but never resisting).  And I know some things require not fighting and just going with the flow, the intention being acceptance.  I’ve not really known if this is a time to notice what choices I’m making and move forward, to seek the answer to this situation and make a new choice, or just sit back and accept that it will all work out.

But, Saturday night I went to a concert.  I had heard about it through a new friend who lives in a different city.  When I arrived, I checked my email and discovered my grandmother seems to be winding down, finishing up, getting ready to leave this planet.  It was a bit odd because I really only found out by reading facebook updates from my family.  I felt saddened, or at least very introspective.  Had I done a good job of treating her well when I was there?  Did I make peace with her when she was alive?  Is there anything else I need to do to contribute to my family?  What about the situation with my uncle, should I use this opportunity to speak with him?  Could he listen and maybe bond with his brother during this time of grieving?  I almost decided not to go to the show.  But after walking around for awhile and eating some M&Ms, I went back to the concert hall and walked in.

I am very glad as the music was quite special.  The band had a vibe light seeing beauty in darkness.  They played these wide, expansive washes of synths and distorted guitars that morphed easily from bright light to pulsating darkness with stark echoing vocals overlaid upon them.  Underneath, the beats made the music very danceable.  The snippets of lyric here and there were consistent with this vibe . . .  all from a tight and experienced professional band.

Now, my friend who had told me about this band is rather into movies and music that put one against the darker side of life.  Her favorite movies are very intense ones and the music she loves has all these textures of life, like i described above.  As the show progressed and I got into the vibe, I felt that the band’s purpose really was to help people see beauty in loss and uncertainty and certain universal senses of darkness.  I could feel the foreboding aspect of the beautiful washes of sound really affecting the people around me at a primal level, even as I felt the music driving me to see above the ocean of hopelessness we can sometimes feel as humans….  To dance on those vibes was to truly see the light in the darkness.

Of course, music like this, like a good story, is discovered, and the band could replace any of its members — the music is of a popular sort nowadays and it feels like it has an important purpose, even if it is subconscious to most listeners.

Also, the way I was dancing and paying attention to the music helped me to feel it much more deeply.  I was taking a Wujifa stance to dance from, which felt as if I were moving the whole world underneath me with my feet.  This enhanced the awareness of my own heart being the center of the entire universe, and of the feeling that everyone in the room was myself reflecting back to me…  it was even as if the lights and the support beams were one with me, and just myself speaking back to me (this is a meditation that a close friend of mine had suggested — but until that night I hadn’t been able to do it without a lot of effort and concentration).  The dance felt like a powerful Earthquake.  Earthquakes are one of my favorite things in the whole world.

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After the show, I met my friend from Taichung who had told me about the show.  Actually, I had met a few other people, including the band that I was to see on Sunday night.  Those guys were really cool.  However, I and my friend from Taichung were quite excited to see each other.  We got to spend a little time walking around, hanging out.  But she had also come with a work friend (mostly, I think, as she didn’t have any money and needed someone to give her a bit of a loan).  So, though I would have loved to have just sat in a coffee house and chatted with this girl into the night, or walked around a park, we needed to part ways so they could get to their hotel room.

Several of my pals were at a birthday party at a club, but I decided I wasn’t in the mood to go dancing.  So I called another friend, who invited me to come by her house.  Both of us have clearly had sexual intentions for some time.  However, after I was around her for a few minutes, I started to get the clear feeling that she really needed someone to speak with.  She told me a very long story about the last few months of her life, and what had been drawing her down towards feeling depressed and self-hating.  Also, she’s lost a lot of friends recently, which is always sad.  She asked me for advice.  I gave her advice on the practicalities of a dispute she was in.

But more importantly, as we talked, it came out that she had been trying to live more authentically.  I shared something I say to a lot of people, but most people don’t seem to really grok.  I said that it’s very easy to use the truth as a way to market myself.  Like I have my collection of stories I tell under certain circumstances.  I can gather from a situation if it would be good for someone to think of me more in one light or another, more safe or more sexual, more respectable or more badass, more femme or more masculine, etc, etc….  so I can just cherry pick the truth to build the vibe I want for whatever my intention is.  This is 90% of why I am very socially savvy.

I told her about this and told her I’m pretty sick of doing this kind of marketing and I want, more than anything else, to just be real and honest all the time.  She actually felt the same way, and was beginning to try and do this herself.  It was so nice just to share that with someone.  By the time we’d finished talking, I was sack tired, and also the sexual vibe had kind of melted away…  I went to sleep feeling a bit lonely.  I had come over and largely done for someone else.  I guess this girl also told me a couple of times that she loves me, which makes me tend to tread quite carefully.

Beyond that, the vibe wasn’t quite there for me.  I mean, when she came back out wearing her underwear, I felt astonishingly turned on.  But at the same time, it’s very easy to look at a person and feel where they’re coming from and know what it would be to share time with them…  to have them in my bed…  to spend time being romantic or just to fuck.  Honestly, I just don’t feel it with this girl.  Not that I don’t like her.  It’s only that right now I don’t think she has the feeling I’m looking for.

I say I went to sleep feeling a bit lonely — actually, I was feeling very lonely.  I think the reality of my grandmother’s death was still sinking in, along with just feeling dog tired.  And the girl was clearly playing with where her emotional barriers were with me.  My guess is that she couldn’t tell if she felt safe with me or not…  and all that oddness, moments of extreme openness mixed with distance and pushing away, was taxing me as well.

Immediately after I fell asleep, Taiwan had its first Earthquake in months.  A very large one by everyone’s account.

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I woke up sicker still.  Sunday was pretty bad.  Monday was far worse, and I had to work on Monday.  But by Monday evening, I was starting to feel it waning.  I bought some whiskey and honey, damming the codeine cough syrups and decongestants that the doctors had given me, and sipped at a half shot of each.  Then I decided to go to the hospital, as I was in reality very very sick.

Now, I hadn’t expected much from this visit, as I’d gone to the doctor on average almost once a week since getting sick.  People spoke with me as if I must have neglected this illness in order to have been sick for so long.  But once again, the doctor told me this isn’t something that can be treated by antibiotics.  He gave me those SOLELY to prevent a secondary infection, but just gave more decongestants and told me to try and keep my sinuses unobstructed.

But I’d already started feeling myself getting tuned back into a sense of wholeness.  I have to be honest and say I haven’t fully gotten it yet.  However, I can feel it as one choice to be made, one current to be tapped into.  And perhaps I can learn to let go of the attachments that I see so starkly clear that created the loneliness that plunged me into such a long and intense sickness to begin with.  Attachments to companionship, mostly.

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Amidst my loss of equilibrium earlier this week, I opened Tantric Quest at random.  I came to a place where Devi was describing how nothing can be rejected in Tantra, how we have too many half-fullfilled desires, too many half-accomplished actions due to all the cultural hazings and moral restrictions posed upon us.  That to create an asceticism that nurtures some kind of ‘purity’ born of all those concepts would be to kill the spirit. 

In the same section she also described how the “distractions” and “disturbances” that arise during our meditation can be incorporated into the process instead of trying to cultivate them out.  That in fact, they nourish the calm even further, the way the clouds nourish the clear sky or the shooting stars nourish the night time.  (I apologize, I cannot quote directly as I lent my book last night, I will later make an addendum)

She also mentioned the heart meditation, observing the breath passing through the heart chakra.  So I returned to this meditation, simply watching my breath go by, as I centered myself at my heart, like the wind blowing across my face in a train station as the train goes by.  In a little while, I started feeling equanimity again, relaxed and alert.  And the heart’s equanimity truly rejects nothing, makes no distinctions.  It is all bliss.

The practical effect yesterday was this:  I drove to a party last night with a friend.  It was a nice motorbiking day across our tropical island to a country club in Taipei.  It was nice to have a partner to ride with as well, someone to share the experiences, the beautiful places we passed, the wind, the sun, the rain.

But the rain started really coming down after awhile.  And riding a motorcyle this is hard to deal with, almost impossible in a gale.  My helmet doesn’t have a visor, so I could barely see at times.  Yet I continued doing the heart meditation, and I started noticing what choices I was making.  I noticed a very solid, powerful choice. 

Though I considered trying to stop and abandon my scooter for a cab and then find it again later, though I found the squinting against the driving rain difficult, I still noticed that my heart was making a choice for solidity.  Any of these paths would have been okay (continuing driving, taking public transportation, getting a cab).  In the past, I might have “pressed forward” with an attitude of one foot in front of the other, or some other ego need to make things go a certain way. 

I had enough equanimity to not be worried what happened or what I choce to do, yet enough clarity to know I would get there and get home just fine.

The Kung fu of this was very powerful.  Again, my vision was incredibly limited, yet I was able to drive perfectly well, and very safe, even following a bus across Taipei to get to the party (which is hard because the bus can make left turns at intersections, but I had to go to the right, then wait for the light to change, then catch up again).  And the ride back, somehow the stinging rain in my face on the freeway was irrelevent, pleasant even as we flew down the coastal road.  As for my limited vision, it just allowed me to tune into the what I could see and feel and go forward with alertness and calm.

I drove in these conditions for a total of three hours or so, aware of absolute calm and certainty inside myself the whole time.  The entire experience was of the type of Kung Fu that would allow me to lead expeditions across jungles.  I also realized it would keep me alive in a battle, or help me make the right decisions in a very tight situation.  It was a beautiful choice, not made from the mind, but made through the equanimity of my heart.  A very powerful kind of freedom.

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