Fool(ish) Musings

Today we will take some time to think about “the fool’s” journey through life. This theme is represented in literature with works such as “the Epic of Gilgamesh” and ”Alice in Wonderland” among many others. Joseph Campbell, American writer and professor, described it as the archetypal hero story.

These themes are prevalent in our own lives as we grow from child to adolescent to adult, gaining insight and experience along the way. We begin our journey as the uneducated novice, (infant) bound in pure awareness, with no sense of self – hence, the fool.

Our modern language has negative connotations associated with the word FOOL, however, when looked at through the eyes of experience we see that the fool is unencumbered by societal trappings and norms. It is the fool who experiences life in all its splendor, tasting experience for what it is. There is no shame, no guilt – only pure being.

As babies, we have no sense of self (as in self-consciousness), purely instinctual beings. Our whole experience is based upon survival- cry to be fed, changed, consoled. All our energy is concentrated in the root chakra. As we grow, we develop a sense of separation, of otherness. It is at this point our energy moves into the sacral chakra. We experience the separation based upon sex and slowly become aware of the power sex and sexual identification has in our lives.
Like the fool/hero on the journey, we must come to understand that power is limited, controlling and lacking Love.
If our karma in this life allows, we move the into the third chakra, some of us developing a stable sense of self, or we become lost in the anxiety of tring to fit in. Most people are living through the energy of the lower 3 Chakras.

Progress moving the energy upwards becomes difficult due to our physical plane of existence which is constantly telling us we need more to be happy, to be loved, to fit in. Beings stuck here are trapped by instant gratification-always seeking outside of themselves.

The fool/hero, however is able, after some time, to move beyond the physical plane of power. This can happen gradually or some trauma can rend open the heart instantly allowing the experience of the power of unconditional love. This subtle energy allows us to bridge the gap between the lower and upper chakras.

This love can then assist us further on our foolish yet heroic journey through life. It allows us to see the world for what is in in pure love. It invites compassionate speech, action and opens our intuition allow a depth of understanding: everything is exactly as it should be in every moment.

This is the most difficult pill to swallow. War, greed, suffering are all intrinsic parts of human existence. They are the opposite side of the coin of love, compassion, and empathy.

At a point in history we began to see everything as duality (Eve eating the apple/Gilgamesh and Enkidu) and we lost the pure taste of awareness.

Those of us whose karma is ripening for awakening feels the “something not quite right” in how we are told to experience life.

The fool’s/hero’s journey is never straight. It is a crooked path with many missteps and falls along the way.

Take time to look at your life from the perspective of story telling. Can you identify points in early life where energy became stagnant in the lower chakras?

In working with these ideas we must remember that we are most likely not fully awakening in this go-round. We are the fool – just beginning to open our eyes to the light of truth. This is a journey of many lifetimes, unpredictable and long.

It is with this realization ( which cannot be intellectuallized) that we begin to see the face of god in everyone we meet. No one better than us, no one less than us. All god, all one. All beings moving toward the light in their own way, in their own time.

The person that cut you off on the highway is god, the megalomaniac, hell-bent on persecuting other beings is also god. It is all energy in form. All one.
As Ram Dass says “ it is all grist for the mill.”

Everything we meet is the path.

Namaste

Stop doing. Start being.

“Did you read that poem?” Dorrance asked from behind Ralph. “The one that starts ‘Each thing I do I rush through so I can do something else’?”

Steven King, from Insomnia

How many of us rush through what we have to “do” because it is boring or tedious or we just do not feel like doing it? We are leading unmindful lives, allowing moments to rush by in a flurry of frustration and angst always thinking the next thing will be better, more entertaining, more rewarding.

When we go through our days unengaged with the present moment we have a tendency to forget our days, conversations and moments. We are so caught up in thoughts and to-do lists that “doing” becomes frustration. So we need to learn how to flow through our days in a state of being, a state of awareness.

Photo by Mikhail Nilov on Pexels.com

Being comes from our authentic self; our deepest inner knowingness. It is effortless, flowing, dynamic, honest. Most of us have experienced moments of awareness, true focus and immersion into what it is we are doing. Those states of flow, when the background chatter is reduced to non-existent, we become one with our task. I experience these stretched out moments of awareness when reading, painting, or drawing. Notice these are all creative endeavors. We are inherently creative beings, which is why a flow state is so natural in artists, writers and musicians.


Through practice we can begin to experience this moments of flow, of pure being more frequently. We can align ourselves with the Universe and live in harmony.

Escape is doing. Gentle awareness is being.

In addition to mindfulness practice/training we also need to look deeply at our motivation and intention. We need to understand the WHY of our actions. When we participate in practices that encourage mindlessness it is usually for escape. We try to escape stress and unpleasantness whether from our work, families or our own minds. Incessant scrolling on social media or imbibing substances recklessly are both examples of escapist behaviors. Escape is doing. Gentle awareness is being.

We must learn to sit with our toxic and unpleasant emotions when they arise. The next time you get frustrated doing the dishes or taking out the garbage, ask yourself “Why?”. What about performing a task (that must be preformed) is frustrating? Does your frustration actually relate to the task, or is there something deeper that gets triggered when performing certain tasks?

When we can take a moment to pause and look at the cause for the frustration, we begin to peal back the layers until we reach our central motivations. For example let’s say I get frustrated every time I take the garbage out. I recognize my frustration and pause to consider why. Perhaps I have repeatedly asked my son to take the garbage out, then I’m frustrated with his negligence. This could be evidence of a deeper issue, perhaps my son is lazy and this is one more example; yet I choose to ignore the connections to avoid confrontation. Magically we have arrive back at me. If I have problem with confrontation then I am most likely frustrated with myself for not dealing with the situations; instead blame-shifting first to my son, then to the garbage.

(My son would probably give me a look if he read this as he take out the garbage 98% of the time.)

A lot of the time our frustration is because we have expectations of others that are not met. Again, the problem lies within. We cannot place unrealistic expectations on others. Life happens and sometimes it is no ones fault the expectation is not met. We need to be able to pause and see situation clearly and not through the lens of “how it only affects me”. This takes practice. In order to experience more flow in our day we must make time for stillness.

Through practices such as yoga, meditation and breath work we can begin to feel some ease and adjust to a slower pace; allowing space for gentle awareness to arise naturally. We begin to stop doing and start being.

Namaste.

Please contact me if you would like more information on how to start your own personal practices of ease and flow.

Healing

heal[hēl] VERB (of a person or treatment) cause (a wound, injury, or person) to become sound or healthy again.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Life isn’t perfect. We are not perfect. We stumble, we fall; we try to pick ourselves up. Sometimes we can. Sometimes we need help from others.

Asking for help is the first step in healing, yet it can be so challenging to admit we need help.

Healing is a one moment at a time journey. Our needs influence the boundaries we must set to foster a safe healing space/time.

A vast expanse
silent chaos
echo’s blissful awakening
Ephemeral grasp
slip
slip slip
Sweet seductive sleep
silent chaos
drowning in entropy
crash
crash crashing waves
The ocean of mind
Surfacing
a breath
Perfect darkness expedient
latibule for the soul



KMS

Inspired Beginnings from Bittersweet Endings

A friend sent me a message this morning, only one word, yet it changed the flow of my entire morning from a “Thank God it’s Friday” vibe to “What exciting things are just over the horizon” kind of vibe. The word: ONWARD. That’s it. One simple little word. Onward.

My response back was “I think that is the perfect theme for the coming week.” Next week is full of endings and beginnings. It is strange, (or maybe not) that as with most things in life it seems to be feast or famine. Once I started thinking about the flow of next week, I realized it is an opportunity. Instead of stressing myself out over the myriad of activities, I can allow myself some space to actually be present for what is to be a shift in my life and others. Allowing myself to experience these blissful moments.

The busyness of next week begins with the Upperclassmen Awards Ceremony at my son’s school. For seven years I have enjoyed seeing the accomplishments of these dedicated kids, and it seems too all too soon that my son, a senior, is now to be honored for his accomplishments. Yet, it is not about being honored as much as it is about what each of these amazing individuals have done over the course of years to arrive here, now. It is about who they are. This is but one moment in a lifetime of choices moving them ever onward.

Following the Awards Ceremony are auditions for the fall musical. Two weeks ago my son performed for the last time on the Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons stage and next week he will begin assisting with directing the fall show. As it was bittersweet for us to see his last performance, I am in awe of the how the program has shaped him these last six years. It is these past experiences that furthered the desire to give back to what has become his drama family. These things wouldn’t of been possible with out the people who have inspired him, one of whom is also in the midst of vast change, moving onward.

For the last six years, we have been blessed with the grace of Mr. Adam Biggs. The hats he has worn are too enumerable to list. Regardless of the hat, his actions are dedicated to the betterment of others, whether students, colleagues, or friends. He has been a role model for my son and I have had the pleasure of working along side him for 6 years. As he will be moving onward to new beginnings, Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons set the stage (pun intended!) for his future successes. I am very grateful to continue to work alongside Adam with the NDBG drama program even though he is moving onward to St. Thomas the Apostle School.

In addition to the new beginning’s of our beloved drama program next week, it is also High School Graduation. Once the honors are presented and the accolades given, I expect a brief ebb in the energy that has infused these last few weeks. All of the effort and hard work for this part of the journey is complete, as the young adults receive their diplomas next Saturday, their dedication to strive for excellence in High School sets the stage for their future endeavors; the past moving us all ever onward.

“The past is but the beginning of a beginning, and all that ever is and has been is but the twilight of the dawn.” ~H.G. Wells

Onward, my friends.


I want to thank Paul O’Brien for his one word message this morning. Amazing what a simple word can do at the right moment.

Paul is the former English Department Chair at NDBG and an author. His books, such as “Keys on the Road: A Country Boy’s Memories” can be found at The Open Door book store on Jay Street in Schenectady.

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