The Gathering Room: The Blessing of the Curse

– Hi everybody. How you doing? I’m glad to see you here in the gathering room, waiting for people to pop on (exhales) How you all getting through the summer, it’s July 29th, the back of summer should just about get broken in the next few weeks And we’ll start veering in toward fall– Hello Wendy, from wealth, you were here last week What? – The opposite from (murmurs) – Row the Australian, she’s reminding me that in Australia it’s the difference, it’s the opposite The back of winter is just getting turned towards spring So, if you’re in the Southern hemisphere, welcome to the dead winter If you’re in the Northern hemisphere, I hope you’re staying cool because Europe is boiling and America is boiling – There are fires in the Arctic circle – There are fires in the Arctic circle I’m just looking forward to a time when we all go on vacation to Antarctica to get away from the heat at the North pole (laughs) (mumbles) Shannon from Ottawa is here Don is here, Rachel from New York city Isn’t it great to be here together I just love you guys And we’re up to 118 and a 100 is my magic number So, here we all are You may have noticed that I am in the same room I’m always in, when I’ve done the gathering room, that wasn’t supposed to happen What was supposed to happen, is I was supposed to move like three weeks ago and everything was awesome And somebody was buying our ranch And then we bought this beautiful house in Pennsylvania That was just like the most gorgeous thing we’ve ever seen So then, got to the very day of closing escrow on the ranch and the buyer didn’t show up, and basically said, “the check is in the mail.” And has been saying so ever since So, that didn’t happen And that was a little like running full speed into a glass door because we literally everything’s in boxes, the movers were coming, everything was set And we were just like, what? And then, but we still had this beautiful house in Pennsylvania and we had to go to the owners and say, we’re so sorry And it just broke my heart to have to say, we can’t move yet We don’t have a sale on our house We were so sure it was going to come And then another wonderful person came forward and said, “I would like the ranch.” And this person is amazing And we adore this person and I’d be so, so happy to return this beautiful place overturn to her And we’ll see what happens with that, but, we were thinking that we’d probably be able to go back to the Pennsylvania people tomorrow or the next day and say, yay, we’re here And it had been on the market for three years. So whatever So, then yesterday we got an email saying, “we sold it today.” Which was like running full speed into another glass door And it was just like (mumbles), because in our heads, we’d been like already living there And we had everything planned out where we were going to put stuff and all that Oh my God! Lisa’s coming in from South Korea. Woo! So, my point here is that yesterday after we heard that we said we’re not really living here anymore We’re in the process of moving The place we were moving to, is not available anymore So, we don’t know where we’re going And there’s this feeling of like (murmurs) talk about a liminal space Like, I don’t know where I live anymore, literally Now I know this is nothing compared to what so many human beings have been through Think of these kids who are still separated from their parents on the board, who were separated from their parents and the parents were separated from their children Oh my God, you guys, I know that my life is so blessed and still it was quite like unsettling So, I took my dogs for a walk and the way it happened was so interesting Whenever something happens with these weird coincidences, it’s like our realtor said, “yeah, people show up and say they’re going to buy a place and then they don’t, but they don’t go right to the closing date and then not show up and not give any explanation or anything.” And this house that we wanted and been on the market for three years and to get it purchased on like the day before we were able

to make an offer, another offer, it felt like when things are that coincidental, I say to myself (sniffs) I smell God (laughs) I smell, if you read my book “expecting Adam”, I call it the bunraku puppeteers, these Japanese puppeteers who hold these big puppets And the puppets are big They’re like four feet tall And that the puppeteers just wear black and they stand right there and they move the puppets And you would swear the puppets are moving themselves Well, sometimes I feel like fate moves us that way And often it’s very subtle, but sometimes it’s like, wait a second, that’s just too coincidental And I feel God, like we’re under a curse, but I know from past experience that whenever you feel like you’re under a curse, there’s actually a blessing in there, somewhere Everything’s happening for you and not just to you So, I was so demoralized after having to detach from this new place And I was taking the dogs for a walk and I thought, I don’t even feel like I have the energy to take the dogs for a walk I don’t know where I live ’cause this was like literally right after getting an email, I went out with the dogs and I was walking along and I saw some deer I looked at the sky and by the time I’d been walking five minutes, I felt completely fine And I realized that all the meditation that I’ve done, actually has had a little traction And here’s what I know and here’s what I felt and here’s what I saw And I really want to talk to anybody out there who feels like maybe you’re under a little bit of a curse and it could be just a bad, bad day where everything goes wrong or it could be something really huge You’ve lost your family You’ve lost your health You’ve lost all your money You’ve lost a job There’s a lot to lose And when you have a big loss especially if there’s a series, it really brings you right up against the truth that you will lose everything, like this body is decaying It will go and so will the bodies all my loved ones And so, every tree on this property and so will the mountains around me, it’s all fluid It’s all leaving. It’s all arriving and it’s all leaving So, you come up against the noble truth of impermanence, which is a really hard thing for the body person, for the meat self to face But I realized, especially since what we lost was a house that we’d never even lived in, is that we go home in our souls to a place that does not change I said this last time, maybe the week before, oh thou who change does not abide with me that old him If you get really quiet and you look inside and you watch the hurricane of your emotions, you realize that the hurricane is taking place inside space and space is not moving at all It’s like, there’s a cork, and it goes up and down with the waves of emotion, but it doesn’t get pushed around It just sort of stays there And that’s what was happening to me My emotions were going up and down, but because I’ve spent a lot of time looking inside myself for that piece at the center that doesn’t move I was just bobbing like a cork I’m like, I’m up, I’m down but I’m not drowning I’m not dragged by the current I’m just like bobbing here and I’m home And I saw that when I go home, then I can imagine circumstances I can imagine having a particular person in my life, a particular house, a particular job, a particular type of success And I project onto that thing in my imagination, the joy of home So, I find the blessing inside myself and I projected out onto the material world, and that’s creative power you guys, that’s spiritual energy That’s consciousness manifesting form that’s beautiful, that’s wonderful The only place we make a mistake, is when we take that feeling of home, we projected onto circumstances in the physical world And then we think that that feeling is coming from those circumstances We think that feeling is coming from our lover First, we imagine the perfect lover and then we get it so clear in our minds what would feel like because we know what the lover is inside our hearts Then we find a person and we forget to come from the heart and we projected onto that person And now we say, you if you were perfect would make me feel home and it’s not working anymore You need to change And this is true in every relationship I’ve ever had And every relationship most people have because we’re taught to project heaven, home onto our especially romantic relationships, but also relationships

with children, parents, therapists, whoever So, what I realized walking is that if you see from the place of home, how everything is passing all the time, but the feeling of home always comes from within you It’s like the sun shining and the circumstances pass in front of it But as each cloud passes, the sun still shines And if you learn not to identify yourself with this house or that relationship or this way of your body looking, when I was thinner, when I was younger, when I was pretty or whatever it is, when I was stronger If you remember that that’s not where the happiness comes from The happiness comes from the essence of your being It comes from something so still it’s not even made of atoms Maybe it’s dark matter I don’t know what it’s made up, but it’s always, always, always available right here You are home right now and home isn’t even your body Home is the stillness from which you are looking out through these human eyes What’s looking out from those eyes It’s not made by the body That would be like saying that a radio was playing Mozart because Mozart lives inside the radio, that’s crazy The radio is a transmission device and music comes through it and the body is a transmission device and God shines through it God sings through it When you look into your mirror, if you look at just the body, you’re seeing a home that will disappear You’re seeing a curse every day, a little more of it goes away And if you look at what’s looking through from the center, then you were looking at the blessing and you realize that the very loss of what you wanted is exactly the blessing you needed to wake up to what you really are If I had gotten that particular house, I may have made the mistake of thinking that my happiness came from the house It doesn’t, it comes from home, which is here And at that moment, the curse is seen as a blessing And in that moment, you bless your own curse It becomes nothing but gratitude It becomes nothing but the thing you’ve wanted most, which is to wake up, to not suffer from this transient form of living And you get to look out at the world through eyes from a being that doesn’t have to fear loss or death or change or separation because it is home It is connectedness. It doesn’t change It is pure love having a big adventure So, that’s the blessing of the curse And I don’t know if you’ve been putting up questions, but I would love in the next few minutes, if you have a thought about this or a question about it Type it into the comments and send it up “Damn, this is fire,” says Cari Yeah, it is. It’s the burning I mean, I’ve been writing about this in my book, “the integrity cleanse” that I’ve been following Dante Those of you who were in “write into light”, you know this metaphor, when you get pushed to the center of hell by losses and by the suffering of this world and Dante and the divine comedy gets pushed right to the center of how where the pressure is incredibly intense Where there’s nothing but evil There’s nothing but suffering And his guide says to him, “keep going.” And he says, “I can’t, there’s no where downer to go than this.” And the guide says, “no, there is a hole in the center of the earth, right around the body of Satan.” He says, “go through that.” And Dante says, “if I go through that, I’ll cease to exist.” And the guide says, “you have to go anyway.” And this is what we call eagle death in Asian traditions, where the eagle literally dies and drops into annihilation But suddenly Dante, as soon as he’s through the hole, he finds that he’s headed up and that he’s on solid ground And then he’s fine, he’s home He’s headed toward paradise So yeah. Okay. Here’s a question Diana says, “I struggle with this because then why do we bother seeking things we desire that make us feel like we’re home?” What a wonderful question I think it’s because we’re here to play We’re here to play and experience the joy of living in a material reality, which is part of real reality It’s not the entirety of it, which is the illusion we have here, but there is joy to it that I think we’re meant to feel So, I always, I’ve seen videotape of secretariat the great racehorse And he won the triple crown and he ran the first two races

and he won because they were sprints And then they said, “he’s going to lose the last race because it’s long distance racing and he’s going to fade, he runs too fast at the beginning.” Then they let him and they said, “he always started in the back and sprinted past at the end.” And in that last race, instead, the jockey said, “I’m just going to let him run.” And so, right from the first secretariat jumped out in front and everyone said, “he is going to die, he’s going to be in the last place, he can’t keep this up.” And secretariat, long story short, won that race by 31 lengths And at the end of the race, he was still speeding up And I watched the film of that and I thought God wanted to be secretariat God wanted to be the horse that could run that fast God wants to be you who can do the things that only you can do God wants the experience of being us And then even more the experience of waking up which horses as far as we know, either they’re always awake or they cant We’re different, we’re different in some way And one of the ways is that we can be awake and alive to the unchanging while we’re changing And that means that we get to be in this amazing gorgeous playground of a world And we know we’re safe I put on Facebook, something Adam said, “we were listening to the sounds of the planets.” Go check it out if you haven’t seen it, because the Voyager spacecraft took these electromagnetic particles, recorded them and translated them into sound waves And you can hear the sounds that planets and stars make And they’re always different for every planet every star And sorry if you’ve read this, but it’s really good I never would’ve thought of this in a million years My son, Adam poked his head in the room He said, “what are those sounds? I have those sounds in my body.” Which first of all is a very weird thing to say, because they’re very weird sounds And I was like, dude, And he’s like, “what are they?” I said, those the sounds that the stars and planets make And he said, “Oh yeah, they’re calling us.” and I was like, what? He doesn’t speak very clearly It’s like, “they’re calling.” He does this telephone, “calling us they have a message.” I said, what’s the message? And he said, “that we’re safe.” And then he just walked off (laughs) and I just kind of (murmurs) I did not see that coming, but I think he’s kind of, in his weird little way he’s awake And I felt that from the moment I conceived him, long a good, 30 some years ago, 31 years ago So, we’re here to play without fear in a place that is real, but not ultimately real And in that place, joy and beauty are their own excuses for being So, Donna says, “I’ve always thought happiness would be a tenure track position that would give me certainty and that feeling of being home However, now I realize maybe that’s not true Is Homeland security similar?” Yes “Can I release this angst and demoralizing quest for tenure security to find my way home?” Absolutely yes For the small self for the eagle, there is no tenure track There is always and the irony is, professors get to tenure track, they still die Like there’s, you never hold any position forever You get old, you get dementia, you die There’s an illusion for a while having something permanent And we claim to that We mistake that sense of permanence for the inmate security we have in our souls So, the way you reach the way release the angst, is for me the only way I’ve known is to be very still And for me, it’s sitting meditation work really well For you it might be a walking meditation and walking is also very helpful for me or for you it might be chanting or some other form of practice, but you really have to turn your attention from the outside world to what’s happening in worldly There’s almost, there’s a world inside us experientially, that’s as big as the outside world And in the West, all our focus, all our study, all our science has gone to the outside world In other traditions, huge amounts, of incredible human intelligence have been directed at the inside reality And the inside reality is that we feel joy and security in certain states of mind and in other states of mind, we feel we are in hell and nothing is enough We think material circumstances will make us feel safe again And we project that feeling of happiness that we generate within us from pure consciousness We projected onto things that are beautiful and lovely in the world Then we make the mistake of thinking that’s where the joy is coming from and it’s not So, that realization that the joy doesn’t come from circumstance but that there is something beyond circumstance within you,

that you can only experience subjectively I can tell you about it until I’m blue in the face, until you look inside yourself and begin to pay attention to it, which your culture has never trained you to do You won’t be able to know it It may sound good when I say it, but you will know it only when you look within So, I would say set your intention to find a practice that takes you home That takes you to the blessing in the middle of the curse And there are stories about, and I don’t presume to this, but there are stories about Tibetan monks who had spent years meditating, and then they were captured by the Chinese and tortured And one of them after being like systematically tortured for literally years, he was finally released and he was back among his other monks And they said, “how did you tolerate it, were you in real danger?” And he said, “yes, once I was in real danger, once I thought it was their fault Once I thought it was the people torturing me, I thought they were the problem and I almost got lost But fortunately, because of my practice, I was able to come home and I knew that all of this was just waking me up, waking me up, waking me up And so I felt compassionate again and I was safe.” That’s where you get, if there’s enough practice And it doesn’t take long, 15, 30 minutes a day of sitting That’s how I’m doing 30 minutes a day now, and it’s more than enough And it’s really not that much to pay for, peace of mind Linda says, “and this is not spiritual bypassing Like, when we don’t get something and we’re like, well, it didn’t hurt that badly, I didn’t want it anyway, is the difference that we feel the feelings?” Absolutely Linda, we are the cork that goes up and down and up and down I really was stunned when our buyer didn’t come through, I found this YouTube video of two cockatoos trying to catch a laser light in their claws and they can’t catch it And they keep saying in human words, “what the f what the f,” only they don’t say f, “they’re like, what the f what the f,” and that’s how I felt And I felt some anger The guy kept saying, “the check is in the mail.” He’s still saying it We don’t want his check even if it is in the mail (coughs) Yesterday, I felt a sense of loss I felt this And I just, you infuse it with mindfulness You allow it, you surrender to it You say, this is my human self and this is what human feels like Just like maybe to go on a horse feels like secretariat running or secretariat dying They’re equally valuable And there’s such a range of feelings in the emotional life of a human And we came to experience these things, not to avoid them, not to say, Oh, I’m just like I was before I was human, when I didn’t have any suffering No, we’re here for the experience of being human We’re here to infuse it with awakening, so that we can both experience intense variety and be continuously at peace And that is beautiful As my massage therapist once said something very deep happens when you’re suffering a lot and you know, you’re safe So yeah, no spiritual bypass That’s just called denial (laughs) I’ve done that Natalia says, “I feel cursed not having found romantic love by now being over 30 What do you do about that, how do you bless that curse?” That’s a really hard one I watch my son go through this, and he does go through it, even with zen masterness And I don’t know if he’ll ever find someone who loves him romantically But I also watched him infuse it with mindfulness And what we do is we realize that the feeling like allow yourself to imagine the feeling of being deeply loved by a perfect lover Like really imagine what that is like, get all that yearning in your heart and then say, what would be the sensation that fulfills this yearning? How much would that love? How deep would that be? How sweet would that be? How unconditional would that be? Let yourself imagine it and realize the way you feel that is taking you home And when you get to that feeling, it’s yours And here’s the thing you guys, really listened to this ’cause it’s the answer to all the Abraham Hicks stuff and all the law of attraction stuff, it is finding home in yourself that causes you to be able to manifest form in the physical world The other world is more real They’re both real, they are equally real So, when you find the perfect lover within you and you look around and say, “Oh, he’s not here yet or she,”

but whatever turns you on Know that you’ve found the lover You have found the deepest source of love in imagining what it would be like to be loved And when you realize the ability to picture that and sense it, is God within me created, and God feels that way How do I know that God feels that way? Because I want so much to feel that way And when I let myself feel that way, I’m happy I am my real self And if I get attached to now, it has to come in a physical body right away And I think I can’t access that God self, or even if the lover comes and he’s perfect Guess what? If you attach your happiness to him, he’ll do something wrong, he’ll get sick, he’ll go away Something may happen And then you’ll think he’s been torn from me and I have no access to love anymore I’ve lost everything That’s another opportunity to wake up That’s another curse to bless And then you start creating again from what would be the consolation What would be the tenderest most loving, most compassionate thing that God could give you, just being able to touch that is to touch God And the part of you that is one with God And then more circumstances arise to match that And it cannot be otherwise, everything you love, you will lose, but everything you love and lose will come back to you in another form If you continue to be love Yeah, it’s not easy, guys. It’s not easy So, River, Hi River? “On days when it’s difficult to do anything, how can you shift into home? Into the hope and belief that you can do what you’re here to do?” Well first of all, you realize I’m here to be human and I can take off that box right now, done I have fulfilled my destiny, because if we were really here to do something in the material world, it would be meaningless ’cause it’s all going to pass away We wouldn’t be Ozymandias the King of Kings in the desert If you’ve read Ozymandias, the poem is this statue of a couple of feet, and it used to be a massive statue of this King And he says, “I am Ozymandias King of Kings, look upon me and tremble.” I forget the exact words, but he’s dead and gone His civilization is dead and gone The statute fell down. It’s nothing We’re not here to do any specific thing that will be lasting We’re here to have adventures It’s like the reason you read a book, is not so you say, this book is the answer to everything, I will just keep reading it for the rest of my life, no Going on the adventure of reading the book, enriches your experience You don’t go to the movies so you can just watch the same movie over and over again You go to have an experience that enriches you, and then you move on That’s the illusion of time here, it’s so that we have experiences that we then move on from And we have to cope both with the uncertainty of knowing what will happen in the supposed future, and the fact that everything that happens will go away, everything So, let go of it And on the days when you can do nothing, surrender, surrender to doing nothing And what you will find is that when you stop struggling against what’s real for you, I guess your deep truth, which is I can’t even move right now When you say, okay, I surrender, I allow What you find if you say, I’m going to stay, I’m going to take it easy, I’m going to tell people if they want to know that I can’t do things I’m too upset on too sad, I’m whatever If you relax into it, what happens then? It’s what Roomie says, “You be helpless, dumbfounded, unable to say yes or no, lying in a zero circle then a stretcher will come down from grace and gather us up.” So, the blessing comes when we allow the curse to be And also when we say, because we’ve been through it before, because somebody else has been through it ahead of us and tells us this and it’s like, that sounds good, but it means nothing to me But try experimenting with the belief that all of this is happening for you And that pain passes just as joy passes, but that the ultimate home, which is beyond human pain and pleasure, never, ever changes Never ever disappears, is eternal That doesn’t mean lasting forever in time It means outside time Time is an illusion that we experienced within it, but boy is it ever fun to be a horse or fun to be a human? So, from my home, one last thing I wanted to tell you, we found another house today on online And we looked at the blueprint of it

We thought that looks nice And I’ve never seen this before One of the rooms in the blueprint of this new house was the gathering room and it said it right there And we were like, this is not a coincidence, God winks at us from the middle of chaos and tells us, “we’re always home.” So, from my home, in my heart to your home, in your heart, I love you We are never separated and everything is safe Mwahh! Mwahh! Mwahh!