Enlightenment Is A Dirty Word (Redux)

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Enlightenment Is A Dirty Word. That is the title of one of my essays written when my husband was dying. As I was lying down just now, a thought came over me and I had to get up to write this essay, so pay attention. I gave up a nap just for you.

The idea that someone can be enlightened by listening to a teacher or guru may be true or untrue. But something is wrong with this picture, which is the subject of cartoons, jokes and serious tomes. Even if you DO get it, it will not change your character or your essence.

There is simply no such thing as earthly paradise. It can only be a paradoxical experience to be human. You may be enlightened and be a gambler or a womanizer. That is the cold hard fact. You can spend money or crawl up a thousand steps to a temple but you will return the same way that you came.

I started walking the path before I knew what I was doing. I had a question I wanted answered. How can I be enlightened? In today’s spiritual market place, plenty of people claim to be able to enlighten other people. But they cannot change anyone’s character. Read it again. They cannot change anyone’s character. There are people selling you enlightenment that couldn’t get security clearance at Walmart.

Yeah, I am not exaggerating. Pay attention to one thing and one thing only. What are you like inwardly? Don’t bother to tell me because I already know. Scared, lonely, awkward, etc. and so forth. Enlightenment might as well be sold in aerosol cans. Some people would pay a good price to be ripped off.

Oh, there are many people with integrity and character giving talks on awakening. But many do it for a living, for profit, because they have an extraverted personality and charisma. I doubt they know any more than you do. They just present well.

Look inside. The guru is in there. He or she has been hiding all along. The opening is within. The heart is within. The world is an illusion and it is playing you for all you’re worth.

You may get enlightenment, but it would be wonderful if you got kinder, less driven, more motivated to go easy on yourself and certainly more at ease in your own skin.

Until then, seek enlightenment like your house is on fire. And while you are, notice if you are kind to people, including yourself. You are in dire straits, caught in a dying body, watching your loved ones suffer for various reasons.

Embrace the ugliness, the crashing fatigue, the endless hours of housekeeping and chore-doing. The guru is inside of you. Laughing his ass off. Waiting for you to turn around and say to yourself at long last, “I sure do love you. I really, really love you.”

Vicki Woodyard

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I woke up early….

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“Suffer the little children to come unto Me.”

I woke up early this morning. Tried to go back to sleep but failed. So here I am at 7:03 in the morning with the day stretching ahead of me. Here is what it looks like so far. Wash my hair. Go to Walgreens and the rest of the day is unscheduled. Some exciting life, huh?

When I survey my life, I see how simple it has always been. One thing drives me and that is an interest in truth and goodness. As Nicoll said, first truth is taught, then goodness. That is right order. The truth is stern and unyielding. It is what it is. That was what Vernon Howard taught.

After his death, the new teaching was about goodness. Hard to speak much about the order of these things. It is an esoteric teaching not given to the masses. The masses sleep happily on, despite the fact that the world is going to hell in a hand basket. Give them trash TV and they are happy. They go to church and convince themselves that this will change them.

One only changes by the grace of God and long hard inner work. The two go together. Paradox is the point of power. As Vernon said, “The hard way becomes the easy way and the easy way becomes the hard way.”

No one can live up to the standards of the Christ Consciousness. The old man or woman must die and it is not up to them when it happens. On the long journey back home, signs are given and grace unfolds.

Vernon said that all of his true students would be broken. That has proven to be true. No one I know has gotten out unscathed. Christ surely did not.

Well, I am only preaching to the choir so I shall stop now.

Grace and peace be on thy house.

Love,
Vicki

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The Light of the World

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What happens when you shake the dust off from your feet? You realize you have always and only been on holy ground. This is just one step in a journey of new beginnings for me.

I have been carrying sorrow for many years and that is finally falling away. The alchemy of awareness works; it truly does.

I have published 3 books and am happy with them.

But now I have to once again leave any and all spiritual groups. They prove to be toxic at some point. They either lull you to sleep or come at you from all sides. No good comes of them.

It is like the disciple having to leave the guru. It is a law of life. You must leave the protection of the guru. Then you must leave the jungle where you will always be under attack.

The only place left is to be your own light.

I will let you know how it all works out.

If this resonates with you, great. If not, great.

Just don’t expect me to “discuss” it. That word is ridiculous. I don’t have to discuss the taste of an apple with myself before I eat it.

I know who I am and what I am about.

And it’s about time.

Vicki Woodyard

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Who is an I-Opener and Who Isn’t?

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There has been much discussion lately in the nonduality circles about transparency and ethics when it comes to spiritual teachings. What to do?

This is a matter for each individual soul to decide, for the law of levels is absolute. When your inner knowing speaks, you must listen. We are all cowards when it comes to that. For when we listen, we hear love speaking directly to us. It says, “Come, follow Me.”

No outer rules can help the soul here. When it lies down in that grass.

The heart has its agenda and the intellect another. When the intellect ripens and falls to the ground, the heart awakens.

Man speaking about God is always suspect, whether in the church or out of it. Only the ego follows second-hand teachings. The Christ Consciousness tends its sheep.

The way is narrow and the mountain steep but the heart will continue, leaving the mind in the dust.

Even if a ethics board was commissioned, it would exist on the same level as political agendas. Rules are made to be broken.

As I reread this, it sounds like drivel. But some of you are nodding in agreement.

If you don’t know what to do, simply be with yourself in silence. That is not an easy thing to do.

Answers are all around us. The awakening of the heart happens simply and quietly and is an ongoing process.

Synchronicity speaks louder than rules, always. Pay attention to what comes to you without effort. Claim it as a teaching and you will never have to wrestle with ethical issues. Love prevails.

Vicki Woodyard

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FHFD Syndrome

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Who I am is not easily discernible. First off, I am throwing off signals in every direction. We all are. We do it automatically, like breathing. The atmosphere is filled with vibrational conversations between both human and non-human species. We are electrically charged and emotionally-driven. We are, you guessed it, fully human and fully divine.

I know I must cut back on sugar but I am drawn to it like a bee to honey. I open the lustrous metallic wrapper on a piece of coconut candy. Ah, this must be sensory enlightenment. And yet it is bad for me. Such is the condition of the FHFD Syndrome.

As I sit in the mellow January morning light I know the state of “No mind; I am the Self.” I am the filtered light on the river birch trees in my front yard. I know the absolute and I know the relative. And thus you might say I have come to self-knowledge. And I still get scared and feel my heart pouring tears into the atmosphere.

As the Self that I am, I am being tailed by the Divine Presence. It also goes before me to insure I am in the right place at the right time. I am fueled by grace and fed by Source. And yet I look in the mirror and wish I had worn braces. Sometimes I like myself and at other times I reject myself. All in the name of God’s Play. As Dr. Raynor C. Johnson said, “There is light and shadow all the way.”

I love Leonard Cohen’s line, “I’m guided by a signal from the heavens. I’m guided by this birthmark on my skin.” I have a birthmark on my right little finger. When I was learning left from right, my mother would say, “Your birthmark is on your right hand, Vicki.” And now it is so much a part of me that when people ask what happened to my hand, I say that it is just a birthmark. I think God is the same way. He is so much a part of us that He is taken for granted.

When you have self-diagnosed as having the FHFD Syndrome, you can relax a bit. You can quit aspiring to perfection and relax into what God created you to be. Himself and yourself, which is exactly the same thing. Cool.

Vicki Woodyard

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The Heart Speaks

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I have noticed that my cup runneth over when it comes to head knowledge. And I don’t have enough paper towels to mop it up, either. That would be a futile enterprise. Oh, I know, I have been quite disgruntled with online nonduality teachings for a long time. Some judge me for that, but so be it. I am just telling it like it is for me and for no one else.

My book, Bigger Than The Sky, goes into the story of my friend Peter and what brought him to the state of “no mind, I am the Self.” Due to a series of strokes, he lost his feeling of “me” and became bigger than the sky. Those were his words and he shared them with many people.

Peter and I were quite intimate with suffering. I was nursing a dying husband and Peter himself was dying a slow death. Each day brought its challenges to him and yet he still reached out to me. “For what it’s worth,” he wrote, “I hold your hand in this.”

The “this” was life itself, unfurling itself in a certain direction whether we liked it or not. Peter had found his peace before we connected via Jerry Katz’ Yahoo list (The Nonduality Salon). He was therefore able to share deeply with me. Since so few people could relate to my degree of suffering, I was grateful for his connecting with me so easily.

We did not talk about suffering as much as we skipped over it. He wrote of his cats, especially Alex. He sent me her picture at one point and I use it on my website every now and then. I only have one photo of Peter and in it, he is wearing a baseball cap. I don’t have it on my Mac, just a printed version of it. And that not even in color.

But back to the subject at hand. Too much book knowledge is an invitation to simply notice what is going on around you. Oh, true enough. My husband was getting transfusions and chemo. Peter was falling down on a regular schedule. I was crying my eyes out while working harder than I had worked in a long time.

But our minds were so in synch that they leapt the gap and found themselves in the No Man’s Land of the Heart. And there we remain, for the heart is timeless. I could go on, writing a few more paragraphs, but I hit paydirt as I typed “they leapt the gap.” I know enough to quit while I’m not in the head.

Love,
Vicki

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Our Own Sweet Song

Female Cardinal Landing (1)

Silence comes when all judgements go.
When the mind stops going to and fro.
Here a thought that wants to natter.
There a grief that wants to shatter.
None of this can really matter.

A female cardinal at the glass
I see her, letting life just pass.
The brittle leaves are silent in
the absence of a whipping wind.

The cardinal now looks at me.
I think, “God bless you, you are free.”
And the same thought returns to me.
We all live on the same tree.

Silence comes when judgements go.
Everything falls in a row.
Gratitude for each new song
because each leaf just lasts so long.
None of us can do it wrong
as long as we sing our own sweet song.

Vicki Woodyard
Author, Bigger Than The Sky

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Dilemma

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This is deeper than it seems.
We are only in our dreams.
You can’t let on. You can’t despair
that you are all and everywhere.
You see the sun; it’s in your eyes.
And that you’re it is no surprise.

The moon so lovely, also blue.
The stars are laughing now at you.
The fear is waxing like the moon
as you chant, “Too soon, too soon.”
The veil is rent and you’re not content
for you arrived before you went.

Time is shuffled like a deck and
you are now a mortal wreck.
Pick a day, any day, and soon it
will be hell to pay.

You rattle like a skeleton
until you’re through, until you’re done.
I write this deeply letting go
of all I am and all I know.

Vicki Woodyard

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Home is Where I Am

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“The greatest hazard of all, losing one’s self, can occur very quietly in the world, as if it were nothing at all. No other loss can occur so quietly; any other loss – an arm, a leg, five dollars, a wife, etc. – is sure to be noticed.”
― Søren Kierkegaard, The Sickness Unto Death

My own inwardness keeps calling me home. Being an introvert, I am always being called back to the stillness, the oneness of who I truly am. The world would have me deny this, just as the world would have us deny the Christ Consciousness.

I studied with Vernon Howard, who taught esoteric Christianity. That simply means you live it but seldom discuss it unless there is a genuine interest shown. You don’t cast your pearls to people that would disregard them.

Self alone is where we come alive. We cannot come alive listening to the outer world. It is a cacophony of chaos, a din of distraction.

For me, I take refuge in my inwardness. When the world has driven me to distraction, I retreat within. I sometimes pull a book from the shelf at random and open it. There I can see the light of wisdom awaiting me.

I watch myself caught up in fear and doubt about what others may do to me, or what God may do with me. The mind is never at ease.

Today I am resting in my own sweet company, the sure knowledge that home is where I am and nowhere else.

Vicki Woodyard

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Here’s the Thing….

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Having been on the path most of this lifetime, I can now say with assurance that I am still chock-full of flaws. And since to study the self is to study the way, I know that everyone else is as well.

Even the mega-teachers, having reached great heights of wisdom, fall into habits that the rest of us do. Words are not the thing. The Thing is the Thing. And no one messes with The Thing. Sorry, my funny bone is lurking right behind this intention to be serious.

With apologies to no one, because unless you are no one, you have not arrived— I proclaim all of us innocent for the next 5 seconds, at which time we are all free to go out and sin again. To get one’s own thing on. But sadly, our thing is usually not The Thing.

The Thing can’t be coerced into doing what we want it to do. I have tried to mold it like Silly Putty, pressing it into a photo of myself. All I got was a failed experiment.

I have tried to put The Thing at the top of the stairs and set it into motion. It refused to act in a Slinky-like manner.

I have tried to show The Thing off to lots of people but it always develops a case of shyness. Sometimes I suspect, yea, even know, that The Thing is not amenable to my plans.

The Thing is what it is.

One fine day I will figure out what I can do with the Thing and then I will probably become rich and famous and I will be able to sell you The Brooklyn Bridge.

Until that happens, and it probably won’t, remember that I am insinuating things, making inferences to the ridiculous things we try to do with The Thing. The Thing of Things.

Some call it The Way, and The Thing is just an alternate and temporary word for it.

Misuse it at your own peril.

The Thing will always forgive you. Not only that, it will feed and clothe you and rebirth you as many times as necessary.

All hail The Thing.

Vicki Woodyard

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