How up for grabs it all turns out to be: that enduring impression of a self, having substance and boundary, requiring vigilance, deserving of respect and maybe even that vaunted thing, self-esteem. [Read more…]
How naturally a person tends to equate accepting something with liking it. It’s easier to see this in the negation: If I dislike the thing that’s occurred, of course I reject it. It’s natural to rebel against any idea of accepting it.
It was like I’d been robbed. As if someone crept into my dark house in the night and made off with what had always been my dearest possession: my sense of who I was. But gently, without confrontation or uproar, like a cat burglar, or a pickpocket. No evidence of thievery: just the quiet but unmistakable space of the absence.
This is a 90-minute interview Jan recently had with Shawn Nevins on Spiritual Teachers.org. It may be listened to via several online sources, as well as downloaded (all without cost).
I used to picture time – the collective moments of a lived life – as a horizontal line. The present moment was a point on that line, with everything to the left of now constituting the past (the already-lived moments), and everything to the right being the moments-to-come. As I saw it, the present-moment point was constantly moving to the left part of the line, like a bead being slid along a string, with the new present moment slipping in to replace it from the right side of the line. Time was flowing. The present moment was in motion. [Read more…]
Jan Frazier has just recorded the final section of her second book, The Freedom of Being: At Ease with What Is. The recording is available for free listening/downloading on the audio page of her website. The total listening time is two hours. Titled “The Solitary Traveler, With No Place to Go,” this portion of the book contains nine chapters, which can be listened to one at a time.
How surprising it was, one Christmas not too many years ago, to feel myself moved in a new way by the sacred music of the season. I’d always loved the music-as-music; Handel’s Messiah was in my bones, so that I barely needed a score to sing it each December. What hit me that one time (and every year since) – like a tender, overwhelming wave – was the force with which Jesus “registered” in my heart, my body. [Read more…]
“What is real?” Or, “What am I?” These are two ways into the heart of the matter, the essential thing – the thing a human life is, at bottom, about. The thing all earnest seeking means to uncover, to come to rest in. [Read more…]
Conscious awareness is often confused with vigilance, an enforced self-observation having the goal of catching oneself at something “unspiritual,” so a correction can be made. Growing ever more aware of mental (and emotional) trouble-making, some seekers adopt this kind of vigilance, supposing it’s a good thing. There’s an intention to be less judgmental and resisting, to be alert to the starting up of a story in the head. To exert control over the inner life. [Read more…]
It’s a rich thing to contemplate: what it’s like to no longer identify with body, history, opinions, thoughts – and yet to still be a person. To live a life, love people, do things. Be in the world, engaged, without being blown about by its inevitable rough weather. It’s instructive to reflect on what it is to be physical, mortal, sensory, experiencing pleasure and pain, without feeling you are your body. Or your work, your relationships, your upbringing, gifts, imperfections.