Explaining the “I”

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We all have buddha nature, or “the Christ Consciousness,” but we are asleep to it. And when we are asleep, we think in opposites. Awake, there is only the Christ Consciousness. And if you think it is easy to wake up, you would be wrong. You have to stand alone against the whole world of opposites to gain entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven. Every student is tested endlessly. The tests arise from the opposition of ego to other egos.

That is the situation. The solution is to wake up. And to wake up, you have to die to your thoughts.

Words are useless in this process. Silent awareness is the goal. And this requires a deep humbling of the thought-self.

It is not enough to read the wise words of saints and sages. You must drop the division between you and them.

Hallowed ground must be tilled by intention.

You will reap the harvest when you have seen that all is well. Truly, that is the meaning of the human journey. To see that you have always been resting in the hollow of His Hand.

Vicki Woodyard

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The Soul’s Company

So here’s the deal. School is mandatory; we all know that. Just like we know how miserable high school was. And then we get kicked out into the real world and that is miserable for anyone who is a sensitive. You don’t fit into that round hole, being a square peg. And so you search the bookstores for things you resonate with about awakening. And you probably read Yogananda, some Joel Goldsmith, A Course in Miracles, Muktananda, the Niz and Ramana Maharshi. They all speak about being as the key to enlightenment. And they are right.

But your ego is not fixing to give up without a fight to the death. Half-way routes don’t work. And being lukewarm, you spend decades trying to have it your way. Trying to have your cake and eat it, too.

Finally small cracks of light begin to come into your dense little skull. Golgatha means skull for a reason. The escape from your head must be made, but forcing it keeps you there longer. What to do?

Nothing is the correct answer. And nothing takes as long as it takes. Because something always interferes. You are neck-deep in teachings and your heart is snoring away. It is totally bored with how you are going about things.

But if you are sincere, something will come along that rocks your world, and in a good way. And then good things begin to happen and you didn’t cause them. What is that all about? So you throw the books away and realize it was never about the books. It was about energy. And the energy protects itself in the only way it can. By asking you to lift yourself into a higher level by sinking to your knees in humility.

No one could have taught you this. You had to come to it on your own. And then every teaching you ever read comes alive. And you now feel that progress is being made at last. And it is. Just not by your head. The head teachings are for the pharisees and there are plenty of them to go around. You just smile and say no thank you to most invitations now. You had rather be at home alone with the soul’s company. After all, you went without it for so long….

Vicki Woodyard

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Show me….

Show me the hole in the fabric of pain.
Tell me the story again and again.
Mention the mystery will heal me in time.
Rock me to sleep in a sweet foreign clime.

Open the sky to a far deeper blue.
Fasten the shutter so I won’t see you.
Let the rain fall on the graceful green fern.
Let the rose drink while it still has a turn.

Move all the pieces of puzzle in place.
Refigure the love on that dear little face.
Remind me that loving is nothing to steal
and that mercy is always behind me at heel.

Vicki Woodyard

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Introversion, gotta love it!

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Yesterday I was in conversation with a number of introverts online and we can’t get enough of the discovery that we are not alone. We just feel that way! You see, we are wired to get tired when we have been in social situations too long. Our nerves begin to fray and we want to find the nearest exit but often there isn’t one.

My son helped me a great deal with this, giving me two books on introversion. He was giving me permission to be myself. And since he is introverted as well, we lead a quiet life. He takes his bike out for a ride on the trail almost every day, taking in the natural world without people messing it up.

And I spend almost all my day writing online, being in silence and watching TV in the evenings. It may seem a dull life to many, but I am happiest when my introversion is honored. School days are when introverts have the toughest times and again in many work situations. Idle chatter is a necessity and we introverts simply don’t like that.

Being on the spiritual path is also one of the things that introverts love. Coming to know ourselves is what we were made for. Studying the great laws of the universe connects us to a much larger dynamic than water cooler chat, doesn’t it?

Of course, other factors are involved. I was the oldest child, so had a great sense of seriousness about everything. I wanted to be perfect for my parents and so I swallowed a good deal of my emotions. That led to a life of anxiety and panic attacks as I got older. It is just these last few years that I have come into my own. If you ask me what that means, I can only say that idleness is a very good thing to experience. My hands are not the devil’s workshop but the hands of an apprentice in the temple, given over to writing as I am led to write. Trusting source to guide me as to what to say. And so, dear fellow introverts, you are not alone. You are in good company. Dare to be yourself. As some wag said, “Everyone else is taken.”

Vicki Woodyard

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Can an Individual be Enlightened?

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Can an individual be enlightened? Only when they realize they are a part of the infinite and by that time, there is no one there to ask the question. You see, that question was asked by what Vernon Howard calls the False Self, or ego. The True Self, or essence, is the answer to the question. Now we have discarded the false and embraced the true. We are all the living presence of God.

How can I be so bold as to say this? Only by living it, by being it, by transmitting it effortlessly. The minute I put effort into it, I have become false. And the world, by nature, is false. Christ said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” Truer words were never spoken.

Last night I went to a kirtan. The grace flowed forth from every person present. Not just from the musicians, but from everyone there. No one was separate from anyone else. We felt this, we tasted this. What can’t this happen everywhere? Only because a state of sleep rules humanity. It takes a certain energy to escape from this world and most people don’t want to be bothered. And even if you do, it will take your whole life to become the One Life. Your ego death has to occur moment by moment by moment.

I just submitted my final manuscript for editing. I got down on my knees, literally, and gave it over to God. I am learning that is the only way for me to get anything done. On my knees knowing that Vicki is an artifice from start to finish. But beneath the veneer lies the Kingdom of Heaven if I choose to enter in. And I do. I choose it endlessly, ever new, ever present, everlasting.

Vicki Woodyard

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A Beautiful Letter

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Aug 21, 2016

Dear Vicki,

I hope you are having a wonderful morning. I had a whole page of great, profound words I wanted to write about how much I love your book, but my cats keep walking in front of the computer screen!

I finished Life With A Hole In It It last night and wish I had your words to tell you how much it touched me and how much I want to share it with others. There are so many parts of the book that I underlined, put stars around and marked so I could go back and read them to people. I will have to order new books to give as gifts.

I’m a photographer so I thought I would express my gratitude to you for your gift of words and light with a picture. Two days ago I felt the need to go up to the Blue Ridge Parkway and walked a beautiful, overgrown nature trail in perfect solitude. I sat next to a tree and placed my hands on it because it felt so healing. When I read about your reading with Julia Melges-Brenner “…keep reaching for the light, moment by moment, reaching out and reaching up, and in this way, blossoming beautifully,” I wanted to share a photo of the tree which made me think of your spiritual journey.

Thank you so much, Vicki, for your courage in sharing your heart-breaking, yet uplifting and healing story. I’m now ready to begin “Bigger Than the Sky,” and am so excited about your new book. I also am getting ready to buy A Guru in the Guest Room.

I hope you have a wonderful Sunday. It feels like the heat is breaking here in the mountains. I’m sitting here next to my open window feeling a cool breeze come through after a steady rain all night. It’s heaven!! And this year we’ve had no mosquitoes which has been wonderful. In previous years we had to cover our heads with towels, run to the car and then spend 10 minutes in the car waving our arms around like maniacs to kill the ones that got in the car! I thought South Carolina was bad, but who knew we would have so many mosquitoes here in the mountains! On that thought, I will shut up now!

Take care.

Tibby’s website is here.

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The Thorn that Precedes the Rose

As we age, we perceive that time is running out. We foresee an end to our lives as such. But something will live on without the fuss and furor of our personal lives. There is no point in thinking about it because we can be it right here and now. You see, we can live our lives from the still point of our soul, not forgetting our eternal nature. Or if we do, swiftly returning to it.

There was a time when you had neither speech nor understanding or the ability to walk or feed yourself. Perhaps at the end of your life that will happen again. Your second childhood, as it is called. Or perhaps you will be like our dear friend, Jeff Belyea, who wrote a magnificent poem called “Bird of Paradise” and simply walked into another room where God was waiting to receive him back as an immortal.

It may sound like hokum, but some believers have such faith as to move mountains. When I read of Jeff’s stroke, I cried buckets. Now I know he is one of those, one of the people that had such an experience of grace that they never forgot it.

How do we come to grace except through suffering? I don’t know because that has been my journey. From loss to light. From experiencing the dark night of the soul to knowing the darkness was as necessary to me as breathing.

Leonard Cohen instructs us about the darkness in his words and music. He is a light-bringer and a way shower. But he never avoids talk of darkness. To do that would be hypocritical. He speaks of the broken and the holy hallelujah. To that I can readily attest.

Time never runs out for the eternal soul residing in all mankind. Only for the thorn that precedes the rose.

Vicki Woodyard

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I can’t tell you why….

I can’t tell you how or why I am on the spiritual path, a way that some call a cliche and others scorn. It doesn’t go over with fundamentalists and I come from the Bible Belt, so I rarely speak about it to anyone. I keep it in my heart and in my writing.

It would appear that my mother’s interest in the path was a factor, but that can’t explain it because often children go in the opposite direction from their parents.

I have just always had a knowing about life and about people. I can see through what passes as love and happiness and it never held much appeal for me. I don’t know why I married a man who was also obsessed with the idea of true love and virtue, but I did. He was more normal in his approach to God than me, though. I wanted to explore the whole spectrum of esotericism while he focussed more on Christianity.

I can’t tell you why I didn’t give up my interest in it after my little girl died. But her death made me more convinced that ever that I needed to get to the bottom of the “why’s” in my life. But I still can’t tell you why things happen.

No religion or philosophy has any real solution because they are man-made and man messes up everything he touches. No, I wanted God. And the Work of the Fourth Way is what drew me into its philosophy and teachings. I didn’t know Vernon Howard was a Fourth Way teacher for some time. Then suddenly it clicked. He was teaching what Gurdjieff and Ouspensky espoused, that man become real, must find his true nature and identity.

And I was in for the long haul. And still am. I belong to this way of being in the world. It is strict and uncompromising on the ego-nature and its mercy is often hidden. But as Vernon Howard reminded us, “You always get your spiritual gold.” No matter how often you fall down, just keep getting back up. Until you realize that the self that is falling down and getting back up is imaginary.

During the long years of training, you might call it, what Robert Johnson called “slender threads” were thrown out. Threads that drew me further along on the path of awakening. The last happened recently when a woman from India messaged me. She had had a dream that clearly showed her that my husband wanted me to know that “the thorns were over and the roses were now happening,” or words to that effect.

And I find myself overflowing with gratitude. For the deep wisdom that is transmitted in such strange ways. Ways that change sorrow into joy. Ways that are mysteriously healing. And so I walk on with renewed hope. Nothing can stop me from feeling gratitude for taking the road less traveled. God never gives up on anyone; all we have to do is show up and put one foot in front of the other.

I can’t tell you why my work is not about the intellect or even the emotions. I just write directly as I am led to write. One paragraph after another, until the cows come home, until Little Bo Peep finds her sheep, until the prodigal son returns again and again and again. I don’t know why but hope springs eternal to the true aspirant. Despite the falls, just keep getting back up….

Vicki Woodyard

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Being Whole: Surrendering To Your Essence Life

I finally get it, and not a moment too soon or too late. I am already whole and already surrendered. That means there is nothing more important for me to do than be. Being is my natural state, my default position when I am under no pressure to conform or perform.

I have just finished my fourth book in a state of uncanny peace. My essence is perfectly sure that I did the best that I could possibly do and therefore I have no worries about it. So I have opened a new file for new material that will unfold exactly as it is meant to unfold.

I have turned in my card as an aspirant and become who I naturally am. Vernon Howard said we would all reach this point. “No mountain, no teacher, no student.” Just pure being with no labels. No place to go and nothing to do.

Heaven is whole. Heaven is here and now. Heaven is open 24/7, no deposit required.

No commentaries need be written on who I am. No new teacher need try to cram one more fact down my throat. That ship has sailed. I am not in it to win it but to be it.

There is a certain amount of dark humor connected with this, for I have become who I really am. A rather feisty woman with unremitting insecurity on the personal level. But since I am not a person, I can laugh my ass off.

Who gives a darn if I am antisocial or aloof or any other labels you would like to paste on my forehead. No one gives a darn if I am Mother Teresa saving the world either. So I am free to sit here alone pecking out words as if they mattered and they don’t. Only freedom matters and I have been chained too long.

I am deeply happy for no reason. And it’s about damned time.

Vicki Woodyard

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