You Are The Self

Peter's Cat, Alex

You are the Self

Below is a transcribed talk given by Vicki Woodyard. Vicki mainly writes, but she has also recorded a series of spontaneous talks such as this one, where she blends meditation, poetry and story line from her life and mixes it all up into a powerful, commanding, yet gentle as a breeze talk that is a pleasure to listen to and brings deep peace.

You can go to her website and listen to her talks there, so I guess I type them up here as a tribute really, because this is for the love of truth….

Renaee Churches

You Are The Self

You are the Self….
in the midst of multiplicity, neurosis, suffering, crisis —
you remain the Self that you are….infinite and eternally the Self,
Nothing you can do to not be who you are,
It just feels like that sometimes!

Yes, it feels catastrophic, and I speak as one who has been broken at least twice during this lifetime.
The first time was when my daughter died at the age of 7,
and again when my husband died at the age of 63.
We had been married 38 years and everyday of his illness I worried about
how I would survive such a devastating loss. As it played out, it worked out.

And I have been protected by the Self that I am every step of the way.
As we all are, as we all fear we will not be.
But what can remove us from the presence of God?
From the Self that we are?

The violent scary movies that we show on the screen of our mind that we project “out there….”
But they are really happening in the inner theatre called “I think I am separate from the Universe.”
No. We are the universe. We are the whole enchilada.

We are the animating force of the cosmos.
We are blue Sky
Green bough
Red blood
We are vibrantly here to give our gift.

And if you are wondering already what your gift is, then you are thinking.
And your gifting to us is never thought.
It’s always your being, your very presence, your wholeness.
That’s what we need from you.

When I begin overthinking things— like everybody does,
I know that I have forgotten just what I said at the beginning.
That I am the Self.
I am bigger than the Sky, as my beloved friend Peter used to say.

Peter was injured in an accident many years ago and had a series of strokes.
For a long time he didn’t know who he was; he couldn’t recognize friends and family.
He didn’t know how to read and he certainly could not walk.

One fine day, Peter said he realized he was as big as the sky.
He said, “I lost my me.”
Peter remembered himself, in a much larger way.

I haven’t heard from him in many years now,
because it was so hard for him to even compose a single email.
It might take him over an hour to answer and he had been a brilliant writer.
He embodied the Self.

He said when everything else was beyond him,
He would sit outdoors and watch the robins run across the grass,
Put his little cat on his chest and they would breath together.
The bliss of being became his.

He walked through those years of my husband’s suffering.
He told me, “For what it’s worth I hold your hand in this.”
And he did. And he always reminded me to just be.

He suffered a lot of pain,
And he said, “When it hurts I yell and when I fall down I go ‘Ow!’
And sometimes I lie there and look up at the beautiful sky and the tall grasses.”

That was Peter; that was my friend.
And Peter has vanished from my sight—as has my husband.
But other things arise and present themselves to me as the Self that they are.

This is the only heaven or hell that we shall know.
Both states are within us.
But hell is just mechanical thinking and feeling.

Vernon Howard said this: “You are already going through it—why not go through it consciously?”
There is not a lot to do to be! (laughter).
In fact there’s no doing involved at all!

It’s quite safe for us just to sit here together and Be.
Me holding my little microphone and you listening and us giggling together.
And thinking “Ah so— we know as much as the Third Chinese Patriarch!

Yes, we do. We just know it in a modern context.
But it IS knowing it.
So go forth and have a joyful day.
And thank you for listening.

Vicki Woodyard
Note: Click on my Audio Page, Vicki Woodyard Speaks, to listen to You Are The Self in an MP3

Comments welcomed....