Sunday, January 02, 2011

All That Is

For years I had elaborate altars in my bedroom. I’ve been a spiritual materialist for a long time (a phrase coined by Chögyam Trungpa to describe Westerners and other folks who like to amass spiritual artifacts. I own four different sets of prayer flags from Tibet, Buddha statues from Bali, India and Cambodia, statues of Tara, Ganesh, Hanuman and Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa (the one true God). I have boxes of photos of tankas, Hindu paintings, incense, incense burners, candles, votives, small household altars from India and Bali, batiks of gods and goddesses, God’s Eyes, crystals, precious stones, Native American fetishes, abalone shells, smudging wands of sage and cedar, books on Hinduism, Buddhism, meditation, yoga, tapes, CDs and DVDs. Stuff, stuff, stuff!

Maintaining a beautiful altar requires a focus and care that I no longer have. Many things have been put away and forgotten. There was a time when each of these items spoke to me in some way, evoked some feeling of connection to spirit.

My guru, Neem Karoli Baba died before I could get it together to go to India. Still his photos seemed alive to me, and I kept them all over the house, talking to him constantly throughout the day, and always receiving his messages, jokes, tricks and wisdom with joy.

Over the years I have grown spiritually. My gods and my gurus are no longer external . Somehow they have become enmeshed in my being to a degree that I no longer feel any separation from the divine.

Even as outward displays diminished, the inner core intensified. I relaxed into knowing that I am living in, experiencing always a unified field of love that is constant.

It has been easier to experience the presence of Divine Grace when I let go of the visual representations of gods and goddesses with human likenesses. To me, now, the Divine Presence is more like air or water, a living plasma, a matrix or web that I am completely a part of. I am consciousness experiencing being human and learning to function in this holographic universe.

I have tried to build an altar out of light and crystal, a shimmering white light of pure silk, an emptiness like a huge glass bowl, sparkling water bubbling over crystals and sunlight casting rainbows all around.

My god is not static but very much alive and dancing like sunlight on water and the intense radiance of color as painted by flowers. The beauty of the earth is vibrant and powerful as it streams through the animals and plants, and all of nature is alive.

I am part of all that is, and it is part of me.

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