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The falling of the veil

One day the veil falls and you find yourself out of the wheel, out of the dream, out of all you knew to be real.

Or the veil never falls, no matter how hard and how long you’ve tried.

Or maybe on the very last breath it falls anyhow, uncalled and in spite of you.

The veil may still be in front of you, or it may be gone. You may never have been interested in what could possibly lie behind it; or maybe you have been a spiritual seeker for decades, digging alone into your inner world and searching out there for someone to guide you.

It all doesn’t matter really. Who you are doesn’t care. Covered or uncovered, aware or unaware, free or in bondage it doesn’t make the slightest difference. Your essence, your true face, your original nature remains unchanged.

Being awake is who you are. Being awake is the ocean behind the waves. Being awake is the very stuff existence is made of. There is nowhere to hide. Even death cannot help you. Being identified with the dream and losing the connection with what you are is a very human struggle. It is part of a bigger unfolding where consciousness plays with all possible combinations. Consciousness is all there is and consciousness doesn’t care if it moves through Nirav or through a tree or through a lightbulb. Whether Nirav is aware or asleep and identified makes no difference at all. Consciousness couldn’t care less. In fact consciousness means that there is no one here to care. What an extraordinary absence!

In the fire of Arunachala- my latest encounter

17-jan

A few months ago I had been riding a beautiful and smooth wave for a while. Life was easy and generous. Not much drama or frustration, and I could feel myself sinking deeper inside. Maybe that was it. Maybe I was at last letting go. Each time I would contemplate on life or death I would find no fear nearby. Maybe I was finally at peace.

I went to Tiruvanamalai at the feet of the sacred mountain Arunachala, where I love to spend a few months every year. I soon started to get quite sick, and after about 3 weeks of severe headaches, high fevers and chills I one morning decided to go to the local hospital and give my blood. I ordered it checked for Malaria, Typhoid and Dengue fever, hoping they would find me positive for one of those and treat me.

The next morning when I went to collect the result I was pulled aside. The 2 doctors looked concerned. I was testing positive for everything!  Yes I could be cured and yes they could help me. I had however to stay here as my platelet count was well within the danger zone. I was given the choice to either go to a high end Hospital in the big City of Chennai 5 hours ride from here, or get hospitalized here and then. The risk of internal bleeding was high and going home on my own was no option.

From that moment onward, death had me by the neck and never let go of it for another week. It was a constant 24/7 connection. The overdose of Chloroquine they gave me in order to treat the malaria gave me petrifying hallucinations. I started to lose my eyesight. Death was once again knocking, checking where I was REALLY at, and scaring the shit out of me. Not only was I facing the possibility of dying here, but I was clearly going to go mad first. I spent those first two nights wide awake, terrified, convinced that those drugs were destroying my brain.

In my experience Arunachala acts like a mirror and will expose and burn whatever bullshit and illusions are still there.

I ended up healing completely, and the experience of those days and the weeks that followed is still with me today.

Those days were not only scary and on the edge. I was living completely moment to moment, breath after breath. In magical and strange ways really I was once again in touch with the divine. The biggest shock was probably to face the fact that death was still scaring me to the core. How could the only certainty in this fleeting life be such a terrifying prospect? How free was I really if a mild taste of death was still affecting my wellbeing and inner peace? So many questions got hold of my deepest beliefs and left me in state of inner chaos.

I am not sure if it burned to ashes, but the spiritual ego definitely suffered a major blow.  This experience connected me in the rawest way possible with my vulnerability as a human Being and brought precious humility into my heart. Although I would not wish that experience to anyone or to myself again, I feel deeply grateful for the disguised gift that it was.

Sometimes nothing works out

Sometimes nothing works out and I feel hurt, pissed, sad, angry, frustrated. I just want to sulk and hide under the blanket.

In those moments, I wonder where the joy in my heart has gone, what has happened with the ease and flow I was experiencing just a while ago?

Where is my connection with the divine, that space of total acceptance, that embracing of all there is?

I feel the dark side of the moon showing itself, the shadows of my inner world knocking on my door. I feel drawn into a space of discomfort, a space I had wished extinct, a space that challenges to the core who I believe I should now be.

Attempts to move out of that space and look for the light seem so futile; trying and change the situation seems utterly old fashioned, overdone, exhausted.

I feel trapped. I can smell the depth of the discontent, the darkness of the night, the helplessness I am in.

There is no way out. And now the way in too has been taken away.

Knowing that “this too shall pass” doesn’t help; understanding that in the world of duality everything has a shadow side doesn’t soothe the pain.

This pain is the yearning of the soul, the tearing apart of all the beliefs, the un- and rewiring of the mind. In those moments this pain is all there is, all there need be- it is all and nothing both. This pain is the remembrance that life is an eternal unfolding, a mystery to be lived, a mystery to die into, and a mystery to be celebrated in all its glory.

 

 

 

JOY

Joy is a feeling of oneness in my heart. Joy is trust, Joy is love, Joy is total acceptance of what is.

Joy is what’s left when the false sense of separation disappears, for a moment or forever. Joy is the unhindered movement of life, the beat of the universe going wild in complete freedom.

As I write about my inner journey through life and recall all those stories, as I notice with amazement how dangerous a journey it has been and how death has been so close on so many occasions, there is constant Joy outpouring.

This Joy has nothing to do with some kind of light or happy life; it is about presence, about connectedness, and about the complete embracing of everything. What is being embraced is in that respect irrelevant. Accepting and welcoming your darkness will bring Joy. Living a so called happy life without presence or gratitude won’t bring any.

When Love and Freedom meet there is a spark. That spark is called Joy. It is the stuff the Universe is made of. Joy is your innermost nature, and it is closer to yourself than any thought originating in your mind; it is what connects you with everything you think you are. Joy is your very heart.

Jungle of stories

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I never knew that I had so many stories to tell.

Yesterday after I had decided to write one a day for 3 months, hundreds of them literally jumped on me in the middle of the night. They came up with more and more details, more and more colours, as if they were all competing to get my attention.

I even had a flashback of a day sometimes in the late 80’s in Kerala, India, when I went off to the jungle near Kumily in the Periyar wildlife sanctuary, alone and against the advice of my Guest House owner. I was smoking lots of oil those days, and although I would not know exactly what it is anymore, I still remember the feelings and how strong it was. Certainly I was high and in touch with nature. Those days I was barefoot wearing a black sarong around my waist, I had long natural dreadlocks and I always carried water. I got lost and dusk started to descend. I wasn’t that far from the village and if I moved in the right direction I would see the first house in less than 20 minutes. In that moment when I was contemplating what could happen if I didn’t move in the right direction, just then, as I turned around I was face to face with an Elephant. I had never seen an Elephant in the wild before; it was my first time, and it was a direct encounter.

One moment, one in millions of moments in a rich and colourful life. An incident that I kind of remembered, but also kind of forgot and very rarely talk about. But here I was yesterday, lying in my bed, face to face with this situation that happened almost 30 years ago, seeing every detail, noticing every shade, and in contacts with all those incredible sounds from the jungle. I probably could write a few chapters about what happened then and about the unbelievable night that was to follow. I may.

Those who know me are aware that the best way to annoy me is to tell stories. My passion for the truth seems insatiable; my longing for depth and my love for what is real are always running the show.

With so many stories coming up I feel confronted to find in this what is really burning in my heart- because in truth very little else interests me. It is a stretching challenge, one that tickles my juice and creativity at new depths, and I love that.

It seems that all stories lead to one place and one place only. Here I am, feeling myself unburdened, light, and just perfectly okay with the unfolding of life.

an inextinguishable fire

I touched an abyss that scared me

I did shit my pants and felt my heart rip open

A darkness that felt so bottomless

I was sure I would die

There was no torch in that moment, no candle to be found

I simply was alone, alone, alone

I struggled and went through hell

I fought with all my strength

Until I fell flat and let go

Let go, let go, let go

In that moment of acceptance fear disappeared

Love appeared

Gently falling into a darkness that became an inextinguishable fire.

What a well-disguised gift

What a well-disguised gift
That cornered me within
No way to control or manage
A life I thought was mine

What a well-disguised gift
That swallowed me within
To a bottomless abyss
I would never suspect

What a well-disguised gift
Taking me to places within
Where the pains and the emptiness
Are so beyond imagination

What a well-disguised gift
That is taking my hand
And guiding me within
With such authority

What a well-disguised gift
That is calling me in
So gently, so irresistible
Destroying all I thought I was
And leaving me empty and unable
Full of the unknown

Oh Arunachala

 

Energy rising

Behind those eyes

Wide open

Intensity settles there

An invisible hollow pressure

An absent lightness

Am I going to crack open and explode

Into nothing?

Oh Arunachala

My sleepless nights and days

Staring into this

Oh Arunachala

I don’t know who you are

Nor what stuff you are made of

Oh Arunachala

I don’t want to know

Just take me

I am all yours.

11/11/2010, 6am back from Ramanaashrama