Friday, October 29, 2010

So, What's Your Story?

Pause for a moment. Close your eyes and imagine if you will that you have no name. What does that feel like? This started happening to regularly occur for me back in 2002.  I would be in the middle of teaching a yoga class and have no recollection of what I had just said, where I was, or how much time had passed. I was completely aware and present. Another instance of this, what I call a pause or a gap in the stream of thought, happened while walking to my car one day. I saw my mind panic having to remind myself of my name, the day and year. Noticing the reaction that was created it got me thinking. If I don't have my name then I don't have a story. And if I don't have a story, then who am I?

This was a cause of concern not ever having these types of experiences before so I went to go see a trusted friend, Marlene. After retelling Marlene my experiences she politely smiled and gave me a few insights and pearls of wisdom and recommended that I read the book “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle, and told me it would take a year to get through. She was right.  Years filled with highs, lows, and drama came and went. The "if only I was 'there' instead of 'here' or "if I had 'this' instead of ’that’". I identified with things I didn’t have, while the things I did have were never enough. By identifying “with it all” I believed my thoughts, beliefs and ideas were me.  I bought into it hook, line, and sinker. For me that identification equated to misery, pure and simple. Of course, as I discovered, it was a complete fallacy. We lack nothing and are all equipped with everything we need. If you think that you lack something, play the detective and ask yourself ‘who’ is the one that is feeling that lack. You or your mind?

In 2005 I was a night hostess at a downtown restaurant in NYC. On this particular night we had a very heavy snowfall and after having witnessed numerous taxis spinning out in the streets I decided to take the subway home.  Emerging from underground I began to walk home, which was only a few streets away. I was nearly home when I heard footsteps coming up behind me.

Just as I felt something shoved into my back it was accompanied with “Give me your fucking purse!" I turned around and looked upon a young man’s face mostly concealed by his hood. Looking down I notice his gun pointed directly at my abdomen. I looked back at his face staring directly into his eyes unable to look away. In that moment nothing else existed. Time stood still.  No emotion, no stress, no ideas, no concepts, no beliefs, nothing. There was absolute clarity in what I can only describe as a boundlessness void. In this void I saw my mind download like you would see on a computer trying to figure out how I was going to get out of this situation, ala Matrix style. I gave him my purse without uttering a word and then followed his instructions to turn around and walk the other way lest he "fucking kill me". I counted the twenty steps and turned back around to casually walk back home.

After my mind was able to catch up with what had just happened I started to hyperventilate as everything from the experience began to sink in. The days following I noticed a fear with me when leaving my apartment. That fear soon waned and changed to anger thinking to myself, "I'll be damned if another human being ever scares me again." That anger then became the motivation to move through it all and just rack it all up as part of the New York experience.

Recently I visited an old friend and teacher I hadn't seen in a couple years. I consider him to be a fully realized person and just being in his presence you become still and abide in peace immediately. We have had many conversations and this particular conversation we were having was about the mind at which time I brought up the two experiences above. His reply was simply, "You have experienced Truth and have seen how the mind works. Some people like Robert Adams have spontaneous awakenings while taking a math test in The Bronx, while other people need a gun pointed at them. Everyone has instances where this happens. They see the mind for what it is and no longer identify with it. The mind is merely a tool. Ask yourself why do you continue to identify with your current life situation, after you've just told me you've seen how the mind works it’s not you."

Aha! I get it now.

Arriving back in NYC I immediately recognized an internal shift. This was not anticipated or expected, it just happened. I finally got that they are life circumstances. There was no more attachment to "my story". Why? My circumstances are not who I am.

So, what’s your story?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Can Society "Sexualize" What Is Already Sexual?

A heading that has the words "parents' council" or "parents' group" in it will generally get me to click on it. I especially get a kick out of it when these groups just happen to be up in arms about something. This time it's Miley Cyrus's new music video that has some parents cringing. Not being a fan of her what so ever, I had to educate myself a bit with Ms. Cyrus and her career.

Understandably, I can see why some parents are not too happy with the pop singer - her current video is not very Disney-esque. It has the seventeen year old rolling around on a bed in black boy shorts wearing a bedroom eye mask, another shot of her has her on the side of a bathtub with six inch heels, etc. All very sexually orientated. I'm sure we will see her on the cover of Maxim in the near future like the rest of the young starlet's that need to say, "Look at me. I'm not a little girl anymore".

Here is what I take issue with... why must we sexualize everything? Why is it that these young women who have been in the entertainment business for most of their lives come of age and all of the sudden feel the need to objectify themselves sexually? Does this some how make them an adult? And how long should have Ms. Cyrus waited until she unleashed her sexual prowess on to the world (her show only ended a few months ago)? If we continually put these young women (and men) out there, how can we expect people not to be attracted to under aged, i.e. jail bait, when sex is equated with youth?

These were my initial thoughts and feelings after reading the article about Miley on FOX, but after putting all that aside I had to ask myself what is the real reason that I take issue with all of this? Deciding to dive in and be a detective with these thoughts and feelings it comes down to this - I don't have an issue with it. It is impossible to "sexualize" what is already inherently sexual. People's attraction to youth (not children), but rather adolescents is conditioned. And let's be honest girls today don't look like the girls of yesterday at the same age. Not to mention humankind has always had it's eye on finding the "fountain of youth". And remember that in the not too distant past many people did not live past the age of 30. Pre-teen and early teens were a good age to begin reproducing, obviously we live well beyond that of our ancestors now, which may exacerbate this even more.

The question always comes back to the fact that society's views, an agglomeration of individual minds, never is in Truth.


Thank you to my Teacher for "pointing the way". Om Namah Shivaya. And thank you to Marko for helping me piece this blog together.

As always I Welcome your thoughts.