The Open-Hearted Ones

There’s no shortage of fine people sprinkled throughout my life. I just did the math: I’ve lived for 69 years and 300 days. That’s 69 x 365 + 17 (leap years!) + 300 = 25,502 days. What are the chances that at least one kindness has come to me every day of my existence? I’d say 100%! So no wonder I’ve turned out okay.

Yesterday evening I went to a spiritual group in London for the second time. The host welcomed me like a long lost brother. The hostess did the same. Plus two other folks who were there a month ago smiled at me with “The Real Thing”, “The Full Meal Deal” or any other commercial image you can think of. And … I got four out of four hugs.

You can try to fake a smile but the whole world sees. You can slap someone’s back in a hug until the paramedics may have to be called, but that’s not real. We all know what’s truly real, more genuine than the clothes on your back. The eyes say it all. We love. And so it was for me last night.

I shared with my twelve companions how I long for eyes and hearts who speak the truth of love. I know and love many folks but most of them rarely if ever bring their mouths to tenderness, adoration, deep togetherness, “being with”. Last night’s circle was so willing to speak its truth, its communion. Thank you, dear humans. And I’ll keep planting seeds with the beloveds of my daily life.

***

There’s a Husky Truck Stop on the freeway near Belmont. I went there for breakfast today. Something went wrong with my order. “Fred” had joined me at the table ten minutes after I arrived and his food showed up briskly, while I continued to sit there lusting over tiny peanut butter containers (I finally gave in). I asked my server and she checked with the kitchen. “The cook lost your order.” Even though I suspected that the lady at my table had forgotten to put the order in, I realized that “explanations” were irrelevant. Life throws momentary interruptions my way, and truly who cares? I am happiest when I look over there and see the beauty of the other, whether mistakes are made or everything is tickety boo.

My food eventually came, although it was mostly wrong. My hunger almost propelled me to eat the sausages and scrambled eggs I didn’t want but I decided to get my needs met. More waiting … and then eating.

As I was slurping my last cup of coffee, my replenisher “Barbara”, laden with a pot of decaf, slipped a ten dollar bill onto my table. “You shouldn’t have to pay.” Barbara is a volunteer in the restaurant, and I opened my mouth to protest, but no words came out. I thought back to my own volunteering at school, and the kindnesses that I often send over to kids and adults. “Don’t take away her joy of giving.” So I didn’t.

I look back at my life and see that I too have been a fine person. We’re everywhere, you and me: eyes shining, hearts opening, hands touching.

Day Nine: Immense Space

I’m sitting in the library of Ohio State University in Columbus. It’s been raining for approximately 112 hours and I’m expecting to see Noah’s ark float by anytime now.

Ahh … the library. Any port in a storm.

Beyond the front door, I looked up. Five levels said hi. It felt like 500 human beings were studying, hanging out, or just generally revelling in their own existence. I asked myself what I wanted:

Glass
Long views
Space

Alrighty then. I followed my eyes up some stairs and a wall of windows called me to the left. I entered a large oval reading room. Comfy red chairs were near the glass and I saw one with my name on it. Below me spread paths of multi-coloured umbrellas, flowing towards their destinations. I sat for several minutes, smiling.

I wondered about the lives passing left to right, right to left, coming towards, venturing away. Were those lives as rich as mine? Of course. Were they sprinkled with joys and sorrows, gains and losses, pleasures and pains? Yes. Just like me.

After a mandatory bathroom break, I returned to the oval, this time plunking myself down in a brown leather chair, about ten metres back from the red ones. And the world above opened. The umbrellas were gone somewhere below. The treetops and sky welcomed me. I rested in space.

***

Now it’s later.

The heavens continue to descend in a remarkably liquid way. I’m amazed that despite the availability of Google Maps, I still get lost around here. This creates a marvelous opportunity: “Excuse me, do you know where ______ is?” Invariably a smile comes back, along with a suggested route. What I love is the moment of contact, some sort of recognition of a kindred soul. Maybe when I get home, I’ll continue to ask neighbours where such-and-such a place is, but they might look at me funny.

I don’t want to write any more. I’m sure you know the feeling, whether it’s writing, talking or thinking.

See you tomorrow … on the road to home.

Day Five: Circles

Café 64 again. There’s a couple standing just inside the entrance. I glance up at them and before my brain can get into gear, I hear words inside my head: “the beloveds”. I sit back and wonder at my mind. How can it be that my thought-less expression saw strangers as most precious human beings? Such a mystery. And what is happening to me that I may be including everyone in my love?

(I wrote a little about Sunday on Sunday night. I’ve written nothing about Monday and the same for today. (Sigh) Plus memory is not my best subject. “That’s okay, Bruce. Just give ‘er a go.”)

Now it’s a dejà vu from Saturday. Family of four sits down. Two little kids. The boy starts playing on the floor. A waiter comes by and kneels down. “What’cha doin’? Is there magic stuff down here?” Boy smiles. A waitress joins in … on her knees. “Look at that. Gum!” Boy re-smiles. And I watch the consciousness of love show up in the employees and in the child and in us onlookers. Grace is catching.

***

Now, as I remember, there also was an orientation session on Sunday. May I remember some good stuff …

There was a time when I was sitting across from a woman and watching words bubble up in my experience. A friend of mine was standing behind me. I’ll call her “Jessica”.

I saw myself standing still. Other humans touched me at various points on my body. As each did so, my hand or elbow or calf would start melting and fall gently to the floor. I was dissolving, and the waves of energy took me apart. Soon, all that was left of me was my beating heart. All those hands reached out and squeezed the pulsing organ, feeling the in-and-out. Then my blood dripped between many, many fingers.

I think it was at that moment that a jolt of lightning lifted my body up and tipped my chair backwards. Jessica held to my shoulders and I righted the ship. “I’ve got you.” Spasms coursed through me. I shook, again and again. I smashed my knees together to stop the explosions, but that didn’t work. They subsided for a bit and then blew off their lid again. Jessica loved me.

Oh my.

At the end of the day, we were placed in a circle of eight people. While person number one took twenty seconds each to gaze into the eyes of us seven, the rest of us gently embraced him or her with our eyes. Music such as John Lennon’s “Imagine” rolled us through the silence.

Communion … person after person after person. Eight humans each being the centre of attention for seven others. It was a blessing, and continues to be in my memory. We were together in love. We are together in love.

Sometimes the moment brings me to silence. Such as right now.

Just Looking into Your Eyes

Imagine that this Intelligence which pulses in each raindrop, shines in every moonbeam, cascades in every snowflake, and breathes in the Life of every being, is now looking directly out of your eyes, touching with your fingers, listening with your ears, feeling with your senses, observing through your very Awareness.  This is Spirit in the first person, Spirit as your one and only True Self, the same and only Spirit looking out from the eyes of every sentient being alive.

Sometimes I have wise things to say.  Perhaps not too often!  Sometimes I blather on about not much of anything.  Sometimes you start the conversation, be it about sports or politics or local events, and I chime in.  All of this is fine.  But what if I got simpler?

What if on some cosmic level my words fade to the background and all I do is look into your eyes?  Nothing to say but so much to be.  I don’t want to make you uncomfortable.  I don’t want to stare.  But I do want to look inside you and celebrate who’s there.  Just for a second or two, please.

We wouldn’t have to talk about it afterwards.  No analysis of consciousness.  But we’d know down deep that there was a connection.  And we would be nourished by the moment.  “Someone sees me.”

What if I built my conscious day around moments like these, rather than focusing on all the things I do and say and hear?  Just looking inside my companions for the briefest of time.

I won’t keep score but I will stay alert to the opportunity when you come my way.  And I will raise my face to yours, trusting that you’ll raise yours to mine.

Hi

The Dance

I was online yesterday with some members of the Evolutionary Collective Global Community.  Part of the experience is practicing 1-1 with one other person.  As we let go of concepts, images often come.  While I talked to “Sherry”, the dance entered my mind.  We were doing a slow waltz to the most celestial music.  We whirled so gently.  And I gazed deep into the eyes of the Beloved.  I was lost in the moving, in the glory of another human being moving with me.  Time stopped.  Even within the flow, there was stillness.  We danced.

Jody and I often danced.  We jived to the accompaniment of glorious smiles.  We did the fox trot and the waltz, imperfectly but lovingly.  We held each other close.

Decades ago, I was involved in a personal development program called Est (Erhard Seminars Training).  We leadership candidates met in person occasionally and we’d go dancing.  Fast dancing.  No-mind dancing.  We called it breakthrough dancing.  My body parts moved every whichway, unattached to my head.  When I was able to let go completely, it was glorious.

Rita and I were married before Jody and I were married.  The family lived on a grain farm in Southern Alberta.  Saturday nights during the winter were often times for old time dancing – whole families getting together in a school gym to share “The Road to the Isles”, “The Schottische” and the allemande lefts of square dancing.  I danced with lots of women, not just Rita – older ladies, kids and my dear mother-in-law Amy.  It was family.

So dancing is in my jeans.  And in my meditations.

And clearly not just me.  Here are some words from those who are danced through life:

We should consider every day lost in which we have not danced at least once

To dance is to be out of yourself.  Larger, more beautiful, more powerful.  This is power, it is glory on earth and it is yours for the taking

Dance when you’re broken open.  Dance if you’ve torn the bandage off.  Dance in the middle of the fighting.  Dance in your blood.  Dance when you’re perfectly free

While I dance I cannot judge, I cannot hate, I cannot separate myself from life.  I can only be joyful and whole.  This is why I dance

There is a need to find and sing our own song, to stretch our limbs and shake them in a dance so wild that nothing can roost there

To watch us dance is to hear our hearts speak

And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music

Indeed, wise friends
Bring on the insanity

Deer Hunting

I was driving home from London today, taking a well-treed secondary road called Dingman Drive.  At one point, I looked to my left and saw the curve of a bare field against a grove of trees.  And … sploing!  I was transported back years ago when Jody and I used to go deer hunting.

If you know me from my writing, you might be surprised that I’m a hunter.  Well, I’d be pretty surprised myself if I actually wanted to take another being’s life.  I do not kill deer.  I find them.  I gaze at them in wonder and kinship.  Or so I did with my beloved wife when we lived in Union, Ontario.

Once firmly ensconced in my Lazy Boy chair this afternoon, I knew what I’d be doing in the late evening, after tackling all the packing for tomorrow’s trip.  Scarlet and I would go looking for dear.  (I just misspelled the word, or did I?)

Sunset was at 7:48 tonight.  At 7:43, I was on the road, heading back to Dingman.  And my heart was going pitty-pat.  I remembered the pitty-pats of long ago, and the joy of seeing a graceful animal at the edge of the woods.  Oh, the joy of anticipation, of yearning for contact, of sharing the world with a four-legged one.  I would travel the quiet Drives – Dingman, Westminster, Scotland and Manning.  And maybe I’d have company.

No friends lingered in the fields of Dingman.  There was lots of corn, though, perfect for hiding the brown ones.  A thought came that has often been my companion: Even if I don’t see them, they are there.  This is their land, and the sense of deer is here.  That’s always been comforting when my searches don’t seem to produce results.

As I turned onto Westminster, I was soaring.  I was in relationship with other beings, whose lives were so different from mine.  The communion was important, far more so than sightings.

Westminster was empty of me seeing deer … Scotland as well … Manning the same.  My timing was perfect, bracketing the sunset.  Surely my friends were out there feeding, no doubt hidden by the corn.  In October, once farmers have taken off their crop, the fields will be bare and I’ll get in Scarlet about 6:30 to seek my fellow citizens of planet Earth.

Jody will be along for the ride, cheering me on.

 

Companionship

The joy of finding a mind extremely sympathetic to my own

The spiritual excitement of making contact with a soul
full of enthusiasm for the world

The satisfaction of realizing that the questions I’m concerned with
are indeed those that have animated the deep-rooted life of humanity

Teilhard de Chardin

So I search for a life companion, and for friends who are moved to their core by the majesty of living.  I search for people who are willing to open their heart as we talk.  I search for men and women who feel poised on the edge of the future, wondering with all their wonder about what human beings can become.

I know some folks like this, but for one reason or another they are not deeply present in my life.  The ones whom I see week in and week out no doubt have the stirrings of possibility inside them, but they don’t often speak it.  Or maybe they never speak it.  And that’s fine.  I’ll take any conversation and usually bring forth a silent blessing for both of us.  Still, I yearn for the dialogue.

Someday, within my red and yellow condo walls, a fellow imbiber of the spirit will sit with me in meditation and communion and emergence.  Friends of the journey will gather for food and drink and sacred dialogue.  Just not yet.

What astonishments can we create together?
This to be determined in the fullness of time

1 … 2

I am me.  Could I be we?

Walt Whitman knew a thing or two about relationship.  His poems often sang with love, and although many words passed through his fingers, my favourite ones are these:

We were together.  I forget the rest

To create a girl or boy, you need a partner.  All the solitary wishing on your part won’t bring forth a new life.  It takes two.  And to create the most exquisite spirals of consciousness, I also don’t think one is enough.  We are meant to unfold each other into realms unknown.  The whole thus revealed is way beyond the sum of the two parts.

Last night, I had a dream
We were inseparably entwined
Like a piece of rope made out of two pieces of vine
Held together, holding each other
With no one else in mind
Like two atoms in a molecule
Inseparably combined

So true.  May we entwine each other.  May ribbons of light float between our eyes.  May we see the beauty.  I sat quietly tonight and waited for the majesty of communion to emerge in a song.  What a marvelous thing – this brain – for the title came to me: Old French Lane.  From somewhere in my past, a very long time ago.

“Yes … this is what I want to share with my WordPress friends.”  But Google was silent on the matter.  YouTube was no help.  And I abided, feeling into the way home.

“Bruce, you wrote about Old French Lane years ago in your blog.  Search.”  And so I did.  And so it is here.

Seven jewels lie in the channel
South of England’s shores
Where you and I once walked together
Where I’ll walk no more

Hand in hand we would go
In the sun and in the rain
Through the streets of St. Helier
Down the Old French Lane

With Jersey sunshine falling on your hair
Shines in strands of red and gold
And eyes of green like the emerald sheen
Of your ancestral home

That was so long ago
Red and gold turn silver now
But eyes of green will never change
In my memory somehow

 

The Transmission of Love

A few hours ago, a voice in my head said “You will write in your blog tonight about the transmission of love.”  Most of my evening has been about online group calls with likeminded souls in the Evolutionary Collective, calls about deepening contact with other human beings.  We’re done now and here I sit at 11:44.  I don’t know what to write.

I’ve learned over the years to tell the difference between the raucous demanding voice and the quiet one.  I trust the softness that spoke to me earlier.  But now what?

The loud voice spews out an opinion:  “Who do you think you are, some author of personal growth textbooks?  You’re not exactly ready to create a treatise on love, bunko!”  Bunko?  Where did that come from?  Anyway, time to tune out Mr. Loudness.

So how does the depth of love move from one person to another?  Anyone can read a Hallmark Valentine’s card and speak similar sentiments but words without the soul’s participation are meaningless.  You can be a champion at sex, know where all the sweet spots are, and be well equipped for the task, and still have the other person feel like a thing.

I think the transmission of love comes down to these objects:

Two hands … as in holding
Two feet … as in playing footsie
One hand and one foot … as in rubbing
Four arms … as in lingering within a real hug
Four eyes … as in holding a soft gaze for a long time

It’s a short textbook but it’ll do just fine.

Over There

I’m part of a global online community based on the “mutual awakening” work of Patricia Albere. One of the relationship principles that Patricia talks about is being “in and for” the other person, to move my consciousness inside you, to feel the sacred space between us. There’s a practice we do in pairs that has the power to bring forth great contact, great love.

A couple of weeks ago, Patricia told us about a grandmother who was familiar with mutual awakening. She was babysitting her infant grandson and the kid was upset about something. Grandma moved her consciousness inside the young man’s head – no force of energy, just being there. And immediately he stilled. Hmm. Is this really doable? What if I took a day and gently placed my consciousness into everyone I met? Today, for example.

So I’m giving it a go. And I’ve had my moments, such as during the classical music concert I just attended. Young adults took their turns on stage – singers, pianists, violinists, violists and cellists. I went inside them, sporadically, and just rested there. I wasn’t beaming love at them. It didn’t feel like I was beaming anything. I simply hung out.

Back and forth I flipped, resting over there and stumbling over here. So brand new. I thought about my favourite colour – red, absolutely! It felt like I was now saying yellow was the best and was awkwardly trying that on for size. But the pull of red was enormous.

Now I’m in a Tim Hortons, sitting beside a young couple enmeshed in a political discussion. I feel myself moving away from their content, and being thoroughly inside me. Abiding in them seems worlds away. My distaste for politics is clouding the migration of my soul. Fair enough. My red tendencies continue to have a powerful magnetism.

When I walked in, I was hungry and my left foot was sore. Any possibility of yellow was gone. In fact I wasn’t even aware of the colour. But really, what else would I expect? What does it take to bring something new into my world? A lot, I’d say.

I’m going to three short concerts today. Just left the second one. During it I almost fell asleep, and again yellow was nowhere to be seen. “That’s okay, Bruce. Who do you think you are – Superman?” Well … no chance there.

What to do? Just begin again, over and over. This isn’t like the mutual awakening practice, where both of us are committed to going inside each other. I’m sitting in a pub and it’s time to try again. The other person will have no idea of what I’m doing, and that’s fine. So here goes …

The bartender and I were talking about the Greek salad that’s just arrived. I put myself inside her. No fireworks in me or her, no reaction at all coming my way. Not like the kid who went quiet. Maybe I’ll just keep throwing myself outwards with no expectation of anything coming back. Yes, let’s do that.

Then there’s Marvin on the next stool. We talk about the World Cup … and I’m inside. I decide to tell him what I’m doing. He smiles. “I knew something was happening.” Thanks, Marvin. Connection.

I’m in concert number three. There’s no pressure to do anything but I’ve floated inside the musicians again. The feeling is soft and yielding. Think I’ll stay for a bit.

Where is all this going? I don’t know. But here I am in Oz. I don’t feel like the Cowardly Lion, the Scarecrow or the Tin Man but I’m definitely here to find what I need. Might Kansas fade away in the rearview mirror? We’ll see.