The Manna of “I am”

Jesus said, “I am that bread which came down from heaven.” There is a whole teaching here. The manna of “I am” is always coming down into the heart of the conscious student. It is all you need to traverse the complications of this world. For Jesus also said that He has no part in this world. The prince of this world is the devil of mechanical thought and most people have no idea that this is true.

Having studied truth in depth for many years and also having studied the world of the mind, there is only one conclusion to be drawn. We keep ourselves out of the kingdom, because its door is always open. Our own blindness keeps us from walking through it. We are just not ready to leave the world and its attractions quite yet. Sadly, some never even see the door of the Christ Consciousness and they die in their sleep.

I am as human as the next person. No amount of celebrity can bring a person one whit closer to God. And we all seek celebrity whether we admit it or not. It might be a small seeking, a desire to look good or to sound good or to achieve success in your own little pond. However it manifests, we are put to sleep by it and fail to recognize the manna of “I am.”

Esoteric Christianity will never be popular because it demands a daily accounting of oneself. This is not easy, not easy at all. We would rather lie in our cozy beds and dream that we are special. Ha! I will always remember Vernon Howard and how he relentlessly exposed the hiding places in our heads. He is still teaching today via his books and recordings. They are for the few; it has ever been thus.

I am not a member of any of his groups, however. I feel the need to write as the words come to me, as he did as they came to him. Each generation has its own manna to receive, but the source is always the same. The source lies within everyone’s “I am” awareness.

Vicki Woodyard

A Candle Sputtering….

There is the fire of earthly desires and the fire of purification from them. We generally choose the former and let the latter only come to us as a last resort. I know this to be true.

There is an easy path and a hard path. We choose the easy path and are led astray until the hard path knocks us down and keeps us there for longer and longer periods of time.

I have known both, as have you. The fire of earthly desire keeps me on Facebook looking for Likes. the fire of purification bids me leave it altogether.

I am wavering back and forth like a candle sputtering.

Soon enough time will reveal to me that I have run out of choices. Only the hard road will be left.

The hard road leads to death of the ego. After that, surrender is not just a word in the dictionary. It is what finally breaks you into so many pieces that you surrender into your primal nothingness. At this point, miracles happen.

Vicki Woodyard

In the presence of the great mystery….

Rob is quite the photographer. This is a lovely shot of azaleas somewhere. When our energy is purified, all that we see is holy. When it is not, nothing looks right. Take the time to allow beauty to enter through your eyes. Or for words to penetrate your soul. Or for food to linger in your mouth.

Be grateful that you are a sensate being in an earthly body fueled by higher forces than the human. Be humble in the presence of the great mystery.

You matter to yourself more than you know.

The Third Day off of Facebook

This is my third day off of Facebook. The element in the oven has quit working and my toilet is not flushing properly! It is as if the house is talking to me, saying “You never pay me any attention.” And I tell the house, “I’m getting the moisture problem in the basement repaired. Isn’t that enough?” But the dishwasher pipes up and says, “If you’re getting a new oven, you might as well replace me, too.” And so the house has much to say.

My dreams are dire. Last night I dreamt that I was screaming at my husband to quit traveling and stay at home with us. He said no. And some authority figures agreed with him and not me. My little girl was staying in a hospital basement with no sunlight or windows. I woke up deeply depressed.

The carpenter will be here around ten o’clock to assess the basement situation, so I have washed my hair and gotten dressed. I also need to call the plumber about the toilet.

Other than that, I am fine, she says ironically. Of course the house represents the Self in a dream. And I know that this summer will bring repairs of all sorts.

Having been on the path for much of this lifetime, I know myself well. At the same time, the great mystery is unknowable and unreachable by the ego. The ego loves Facebook because it can see itself in the mirror, so to speak. Everyone can like you and say nice things about you. On the other hand, they also dis you and speak disparagingly of you.

I spend a great deal of my day in silence; that is just my nature. I am not surprised to find many problems rising up to threaten it. I don’t like having repair people underfoot (no one does.) But such is life.

I favor simplicity on every level. I reach for truth like someone gasping for air. The first statement that comes to me is this: Work hard gathering energy when you have no problems. That is an essential truth to work with.

See you later,

It’s Four in the Mornin’….

I woke up deeply rested around four a.m. Got up and had the usual bowl of oatmeal and a cup of chai. The dream rumblings will not be denied. Last night was the third night in a row that I dreamt of a dilemma I had. What was it? I had said I would take a small part in a play and now I was nervous about it. In this latest dream my mother was telling me to tell the author/director that I was not going to do it because I had agoraphobia.

I had agoraphobia as a teenager and have had social anxiety as well. These days I am well over it, but a larger issue looms. When I am going to leave the stage? Vernon Howard spoke of this all the time. It is the old “die before you die” ultimatum. I have to leave the stage. This dream is clear in telling me this.

We are all like balloons with microscopic pinholes in them. Day by day we lose a little of our mortality. One fine day we leave. In last night’s dream I was getting my child ready for bed. I ran my hands over her body, including the long scar on her leg caused by cancer surgery.

If I leave the stage, I enter divine wholeness, not such a bad trade. I will come into my true powerlessness in the world. Jesus gave up his earthly power. He let himself be crucified. But we are not strong enough to do that. Are we?

Vicki Woodyard

It Was Only a Dream

I woke up this morning realizing I had revisited the dream of the night before. In that dream I was very anxious over being in a play. Last night I was in the backseat of a car driven by the director of the play. I was worrying about the huge amount of fear I had about playing even a bit part. I asked him if I could read the lines the first time I said them in rehearsal and he said that was okay. The dream went on until I woke up. I am reflecting on it and realize I have other choices. I can leave the dream! It is not working out for me; it never has.

Pieces of the puzzle are falling into place. I am not a dreamed character but reality itself. This is what is meant by Tao, surrender, grace, dying before you die. Sure, I have read about this, but have I ever had the strength and wisdom to begin living a surrendered life?

Ironically, I never left the surrendered state. I just think I did. God loves a good paradox, because that is how the life of the mind is structured. He has heaped paradox upon paradox, but He has also heaped paradise upon paradise. There is a catch; there is always a catch. You just have to die to how you think your life should be.

Beneath the ego lies paradise, found only in the death of time and space. Love arises as you sink deeply into grace. You may revisit the dream but you can always remember it is only a dream. Row, row, row, your boat….

Vicki Woodyard

Remember Love

Alone with myself I understand the dilemma of the ages. It is how to be alone but not lonely. How not to fill the minutes mechanically but to spend them like gold. They will not pass this way again. Time does not go in reverse, but it does go in circles around the face of the clock.

And as the minute and hour hands go rhythmically by, our faces show the marks left by time. I look in the mirror, see new signs of “clock damage.” It takes longer for me to retrieve names and I quickly forget what I had for lunch. We are being riddled with the bullets of time.

The light plays on the leaves of the juicy green poplar trees in the backyard, but it means business with me. My neck crunches when I turn it and my tummy, once so trim, now is softly rounded just like my mother’s was.

Memories play around the edges of my mind. Most sad, melancholy, fraught with tenderness for what never was. The daughter never grown up, the husband never grown old. But me, I am left with that job.

What keeps me going? The vitality with which I approach the keyboard, striking letters to make words into sentences and sentences into paragraphs. This is what I am charged to do; in this way I stay eternally connected to God. I dip into the timeless state like a diver in search of pearls. I never tire of it.

The day has gone by slowly. The biscuits didn’t rise in the oven. A new heating coil must be ordered. I ate them almost done but not quite. I am reading a book set in a restaurant where everyone speeds through their shifts, one step ahead of the hounds. I move at my own pace. I drink coffee and eat cookies. I companion myself in the silence of wisdom. Wisdom hovers over me as I type, lest I leave out the most important reason why I write. What is it, I wonder. What is it?

I write myself into existence. Otherwise I would be no one doing nothing. Take away my keyboard and the silence lays claim to the space again. Silence owns everything and in a good way. I will let it have the last word at some point, but not today. Today I live the dilemma and I share it with you. Don’t paper over your discomfort and struggle. Let it live until it dies, until love itself takes its place. Remember yourself always and everywhere. That is what M. Gurdjieff advocated. Vernon Howard yelled at us to do that. Jesus alluded to it. We must find a way back home. That is one reason to write. To remember love.

Vicki Woodyard

Dipping my pen in sorrow….

An Indian friend used this phrase in saying that I was able to do this, in so many words, to mend the gap between heaven and earth.

It gives me solace to do this; it comes easy and naturally. What comes hard is adjusting to a world gone wrong, both within and without.

We live in the Hand of God in a reign of evil. We are paradoxical creatures asleep to whom we owe our only allegiance, our Father in Heaven.

It has always been this way, since the seamless garment was torn apart. Since living in a world of opposites threw us into confusion and a sense of lack.

I am getting older and trying to become wiser, but it is hard-won. We must die to the ego in order to receive it.

I am restless in my peace, torn in my wholeness and grieving in my abundance. What to do? There is only one thing left to do. Please don’t ask me what it is. Just be it.

Vicki Woodyard