Sunday, September 14, 2014

Being Conscious

The lower level, “un-conscious” mind is always dualistic, which is judgmental and oppositional. It always divides the field of the moment and takes sides. Whatever is unfamiliar, or whatever it does not already understand or agree with, is judged as totally wrong. In contemplative practice, you are refusing to take sides. Contemplation goes beyond words (which naturally differentiate this from that) to experience (which has the potential to unify seeming contradictions). This requires a higher level of consciousness that we are calling non-dual consciousness.
Your consciousness is not the same as your brain. The early Alexandrian Fathers knew this. They called consciousness “nous,” which is the Greek word for a combination of Spirit and God and mind. It is a participative knowing, as if you are actually inside of a larger mystery.
The very word “consciousness” is from the Latin con scire, which means “to know with. When you really plug into consciousness, maybe it feels like it’s coming through your brain, but it actually comes through a whole-heartedsurrender to the moment—a surrender that encompasses everything and eliminates nothing. We religious people would call that everything “God.” When you’re truly conscious, you have the feeling that you’ve been connected to something much bigger than yourself—and you are right. It is no longer just about “you”!
Emerson called non-dual consciousness the over-soul. Thomas Aquinas called it connatural intelligence. It is true to my nature, but true to a larger nature at the same time. John Duns Scotus called it intuitive cognition and distinguished it from rational cognition. The great thinkers took for granted that we had access to a different and larger mind. They recognized that a flow is already happening and that we can plug into it. The most traditional word for that was just “prayer.”
You cannot know God with your “un-conscious” mind. That’s why all teachers of contemplation are teaching you to let go of your mind so you can go to that deeper mind which we would call the “Mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16). Then it’s really God in you knowing and loving God, which with ordinary consciousness you do not know how to do.

Richard Rohr

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Patriarchy is immature Masculinity

Patriarchy and masculinity are not the same thing. Patriarchy is wounded and un-whole masculinity. If we believe that we are created in the image of God - "Male and female, God created them" - then half of God is what it means to be masculine. Half of God is what it means to be feminine. Anybody who only gives you half of that truth is only giving you half of the mystery of God. The journey for all of us is to find the opposite, the contrasexual. For men, this is called the anima, or feminine soul. Patriarchy is immature masculinity. Its' males who don't know their souls, who don't know who they are. So they overdo it. Whenever you see people dominating others, you know they haven't found their soul.

Richard Rohr

Friday, September 5, 2014

The Path

Joseph Campbell once said: "If the path before you is clear, you're probably on someone else's".

There is no fixed path to enlightenment. Enlightenment is not a destination, a goal, the resting place at the end of a long journey -that's the mind's version of enlightenment. Enlightenment is the lighting up of where you are right now. 

This is very good news. It means that nobody is the authority on your path - no teacher, no guru, no religious leader. It means that nobody can tell you the right 'way' for you. It means that you cannot go wrong, even if you think you've gone wrong. It means that nothing that happens can ever lead you off the path, for the path is whatever happens, without exception. Nothing can take you away from the miracle of life, or bring you closer to it for that matter, since the miracle is all around, already shining brightly, as every thought, sensation, image, feeling, smell, sound, and as the deeper miracle of the one who is aware of all of this.

Be the awareness, shining on the moment, whatever its contents. Doubt, fear, sadness, anger, intense confusion - maybe, just maybe, these are neither enemies nor blocks to enlightenment, but expressions of a deeper intelligence, the same incomprehensibly vast and awake intelligence that gives birth to stars and moves the ocean tides and sends each and every living thing off on its paradoxical journey towards its own being.

Come out of the story of time and space and progress towards a future goal, and trust a sacred moment. Take any moment. Any moment at all. This moment. For any moment is the access point. 

There are never any blocks - only access points. You are not some separate entity on a long journey towards a future completion.

You are pure poetry.

Jeff Foster

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Contemplative Consciousness

Non-dual or contemplative consciousness is not the same as being churchy or reflective or introverted. Unfortunately this is the way the word is often used even by people who should know better. Contemplation is a panoramic, receptive awareness whereby you take in all that the situation, the moment, the event offers without eliminating anything. That does not come naturally. You have to work at it and develop practices whereby you recognize your compulsive and repetitive patterns.
It seems we are addicted to our need to make distinctions and judgments, which we actually call “thinking”! Most of us think we are our thinking, yet almost all thinking is compulsive and habitual. And educated people are just as bad as the uneducated, sometimes even worse.
That is why all forms of meditation and contemplation are teaching you a way of quieting the dualistic “thinking” mind. After a while you see that this kind of thinking is not going to get you very far, simply because reality is not all about you and your preferences! And frankly, the universe is not all about any one of us, but only all of us together and with God.

Non-dual consciousness is about receiving and being present to the moment and to the now exactly as it is, without judgment, without analysis, without critique, without your ego deciding whether you like it or whether you don’t like it. It is a much more holistic knowing, where your mind, heart, soul, and senses are open and receptive to the moment just as it is. You are not dividing the field of the moment (and eliminating anything that threatens your ego), but holding it all together.
The non-dual, contemplative mind is a whole new mind! With it, you can stand back and simply observe the self and the event from the standpoint of the “stable witness,” or what Christians would call the indwelling Holy Spirit (Romans 8:16). Now you can laugh or weep over your little dramas and dances, without being attached to them or hating them. You can look at yourself and others calmly and compassionately because you are able to see things as they are in themselves and not from the viewpoint of how they affect you.

Richard Rohr

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Taller Modelo Mariposa (Ereño, Pais Vasco, 9 y 10 de Julio de 2014)


Dejarme aprender, fue la respuesta que pronuncié al preguntársenos por la experiencia compartida en Ereño.  Al escucharlo, me dí cuenta que recogía mi motivación y, en cierto sentido ahora que lo escribo, mi aprendizaje una vez concluído el taller. Querer aprender y permitirme aprender de una misma, como experiencia de conocimiento que recorre un cuerpo y su espacio, el propio. Permitírnos aprender del grupo como cuerpo social y su experiencia en el tiempo, memoria colectiva.

Un recuerdo evoca, convoca y provoca. Su narrativa combina una reflexión en torno a las estructuras simbólicas que dan forma y sentido a nuestro estar en el mundo.  El orden de lo único posible como categoría dominante no acota el acto creativo que anhela darse.  La imposibilidad del ser como instancia acabada ante el ser en potencia, su instante en acto y posibilidad de querer, de querer saberse.  La tradición cultural de occidente, también, lo recoge "Crisálida que devora su envoltura, sed de vida: voracidad que traspuesta a lo humano es amor, hambre irresistible de existir, de tener "presencia y figura[1]Presencia sin figura, locura.  Presencia y figura, esencia presente.

Agradezco la presencia de cada una de las personas que ha participado del encuentro en el Taller "Modelo Mariposa" por su confianza y latido. A John Paul Lederach por su enseñanza y consejo, a Yago Abeledo por la oportunidad de explorar el Modelo Mariposa y abierta guía, a Alex Carrascosa e Iñigo Retolaza por involucrarse y dar forma gráfica y narrativa a la versátil aventura, a Asier Gallastegi y a Nice Lazpita por su generosa contribución al confluir en la misma. Y especialmente, a Mireia Uranga, Aitziber Blanco y Esther Canarias, crisálidas aladas, por permitir volver a encontrarnos y compartir, una vez más y junto con las personas presentes experiencias transformadoras.

Agradezco al Centro de Investigación por la Paz Gernika Gogoratuz por habilitar, desde su inicio hace 27 años, espacios de aprendizaje, investigación y práctica que permiten explorar metodologías de trabajo e inspirar iniciativas para la convivencia.

Una convivencia renovada sobre el cuidado de la vida con criterios de justicia social. Esencia presente.

María Oianguren Idigoras
Directora de Gernika Gogoratuz 
Centro de Investigación por la Paz
Fundación Gernika Gogoratuz

[1] Zambrano, María. La tumba de Antígona y otros textos sobre el personaje trágico, Madrid: Cátedra, 2013, p.30

The Transformational Life: Shifts for Today's World


Social entrepreneur and co-founder of Chrysallis discusses how we must learn how to live a transformational life if we want to thrive in the complex world we all now inhabit.

Shifts for today's world:

1. Finding simplicity on the other side of complexity
2. To grow in discernment: shift from insulted to informed
3. To grow in mindfulness: shift from scared to sacred 
4. To grow in humility: shift from stand out to kneel down
5. To grow in sustainability: from egonomics to economics
6. To grow in empathy: from "look at" to "look as"

Archbishop Desmond Tutu on Forgiveness


"If by all appearances to the contrary it is a moral universe in the end good prevails"

Desmond Tutu