“perception leads to knowledge through the grace that God has given … to be His gift to everyone who turns to Him for truth.” ~ a course in miracles
this week i am gratefully attending a retreat with non-duality teacher, rupert spira. i was first introduced to his work during finders course, a progressive six-month meditation training offering an array teachers and modalities that would integrate their way into my life practice and teaching.
garrison institute is nestled in the rolling mountains of the hudson river valley. now ripe with the colors of autumn just brimming for transformation – we are called to let go of the branch, to surrender to what we once thought we were in order to fall into grace.
halleluyah! the setting is transcendent and the timing synchronous!
i settle into the grand meditation hall …
all around me is is a diffused light of being – loving humans and curious minds who appear as a dream on the screen of a shared consciousness. it is a light which has no preference, illuminating a script that’s spontaneous and shifting. it is, as rupert shares, “a screen that conceals our boundless capacity within the image projected upon it.”
in awareness, in the capacity to ‘know’, we are opened to the unlimited potential of Love.
as rupert guides us in meditation, he inspires words of happiness – of peace and of love – which point to the ‘content’ of life that, without awareness, arrives to measure and possess this happiness. these are the thought objects that ‘stake’ out our territory – the ‘stuff’ that we wear and take off – the ‘stuff’ that’s projected on the screen which makes our true nature unavailable.
indeed! we are here to ‘willingly’ shed our ‘stuff’ … to be naked and connect with the infinite, boundless aspect of ourselves – to become available to life – to be happy!
in an instant …
tears fill my eyes. i think about my mother, how dementia is stealing her away from me – from our family and from the world. and, though there’s no choice in what’s happening in her body – in her brain – i have a choice in how i am going to use this experience to support her and from which to grow.
my mind lets go of the intention to see rupert and when it does, his voice travels through me, like the light now filtering through the stained glass windows of the hall.
coming in and out of images, i rise and fall with each word, provoked by the perceived boundary of our shape, inspired by the possibility of what we can become. when we’re together, i can see her searching … searching for the senses that had abandoned her years ago – to hear, to smell, and to taste. i see her searching for the signposts that once pointed toward HAPPINESS – for the catalogue of information (the thoughts, emotions and memories) that once filled the room of her life – the objects of accomplishment, of beauty and of love.
now in a dark room with this lonely disease, she can no longer see. she’s forced to feel her way around and i am witness to the growing anxiety and agitation that overtakes her as she bumps into objects once known and soft, now foreign and rigid.
what betrayal …
to walk into a room empty of memories! was it really just ‘stuff’ – objects with which we filled and adorned ourselves? wasn’t there something important in how life experience fills us from within — something in the way it oozes into the dark caverns of beingness to reveal the shape of life?
my mother had no such shape – only an overwhelming, uncharted abyss; and, without something to hold – without something to fill – without some destination or map, she felt lost.
i recall our last meeting, and notice her search to find what her body and mind is sensing from me; it is my story – my expectancy that’s triggering her to search for the construct — and i am challenged to let go of the expectancy of past content in order to allow new content to appear — to recognize that the expectation is also happening in me and that i am vibrating this cause out to her.
i am challenged to let go of this idea of me – that i exist in the way that i believe.
to forget life …
is to re-learn how to be, not having to hold onto anything, not having to create something. with this intention, i am free from any perception. this is my truth. but, my mother no longer knew what was true. the ledge of ‘what’ she knew had been erased – forgetting had erased her dreams, her memories.
did she remember God? did she need to remember to be in His grace?
and, if grace is not learned, could this open mind accept its new home – the one without walls? would there be a need to clarify that which has already been learned in the heart and body through the spirit?
grace awakens me …
it’s clear that expectancy is reflecting my own limitations. and, that in the absence of recognition, in the absence of perception and experience and image, there’s only shining … a light that accepts my grief – her confusion – and which illuminates everything and nothing at all.
like the gravitational pull on the maple leaf outside, grace beckons me to return to the ground of my being, reminds me that i must let go of who i thought my mother was in order to allow her to return to who she has always been.
i let go of the desire for her to be any one at all and this surrender allows us to share what we know – this silence that is Now – to return to our innate wholeness.
outside, the wind rustles the leaves, calling us in to the inherent grace and peace that is called God.
i let go, i fall and i am found.
I am eternally grateful to Rupert Spira for sharing this loving awareness which relieves us from suffering and which allows us to return to Oneness and to Love. Blessings to all the loving beings that filled this retreat.
We arrived as many and left as ONE.