Archive for January, 2011

Red fox presence

January 30, 2011

Red foxes have recently appeared in my life. The real thing trotted across my back yard at dusk about two weeks ago.

From my shamanic practice, I know that when an animal appears in my life, I need to pay attention. Two other instances nudged me along the way and I have succumbed to the realization that red fox is here to teach me something.

From Ted Andrews’ book, Animal Speak, I supplemented my meager knowledge about the red fox. The red fox is imbued with the feminine magic of camouflage, shapeshifting, and invisibility – an indicator that something in my world is growing and shapeshifting.

One of the great powers that camouflage and blending grant me is the ability to come and go unnoticed, and move silently without revealing my intentions . . . this sounds more mysterious than it really is. The truth is that most people are self-involved and unconscious so anyone can be invisible by making sure you don’t do anything that is going to distract their attention away from themselves. I have often been accused of being invisible, which was fine when I was sitting in my fifth grade classroom and had not read the assignment the night before. It is not so fine walking across a busy intersection. Sometimes in doctors’ offices even after I have obediently signed in and sat down to wait, I have not been seen and had to make a ruckus. The staff have always claimed they did not see me. And, here, all along it has been my fault, not their’s!

There is the little matter of my aura, though. I have to learn to control my aura and adjust its frequency and intensity so that I harmonize more with others. Okay . . . a little more harmony never hurt anyone. This will probably be my greatest challenge because I can’t carry a tune much less harmonize. Oh, wait. Not THAT harmony. Okay, I get it now. Become more like the group who I am with (whether I believe in it or not).

Foxes are most likely to be seen in the “between times” at dawn and dusk – “between times” is where the magical world and our ordinary world intersect. As such, the fox is a guide to enter the Faerie Realm and its presence signals that the Faerie Realm is about to open for me. Last night, I dreamt about a man whom I know in real life. While we have an attraction, our clear and present boundary is that at least one of us is committed to another person. It is a boundary that can be crossed, but that we would not cross (it is called being a responsible grown-up). Interestingly, in my dream the boundary had been removed and it became somehow reasonable and expected that we would pursue a relationship . . . NOT a real relationship in waking life. The man is simply a symbol of what I have always believed to be off-limits. I am curious and fascinated just by the thought that I get to investigate a world I have up until now believed was closed to me. Heck, I am going to be happy to know what that world is!

The fox has some particular physical attributes that serve me well. Its tail is used as a rudder which helps the fox make sharp, abrupt turns giving me the power to navigate sharp turns in my life. Its thick fur makes it look larger than it really is. I can learn to use this energy to make greater impressions in my life. The tail also insulates the fox from the cold as the fox wraps its tail around its body shielding its nose and feet. The fox totem can help me insulate from anything that is cold, including in relationships. I can become warm and cozy in myself.

A fox totem gives me acute hearing so I can hear what is not being said along with the whispers. It has excellent eyesight and can see moving objects at the edges or borders of areas. People with fox totems can develop the ability to see spirit, see the beings of the “between places” and the fairies and elves. I would not mind seeing a few spirits, but am not sure of what my reaction would be if I came across a fairy or an elf . . . even one wearing a red suit and saying “ho ho ho!” Foxes also have a strong sense of smell and are able to discriminate and discern situations indicating to me I should “sniff out each situation” to help me know who to avoid and who to connect with.

Areas where the fox and I already walk common ground: we are both excellent swimmers, have great stamina, are very monogamous, are often solitary, and comfortable with being alone. We are both survivors with great instinct and have learned to avoid potential danger.

Cunning has never been my strong point. In fact, I am so slow as to have realized very late in life that I did not need to disclose every single truth about myself to everyone. The fox has a very cunning hunting technique: it charms its prey. Charming is not a word found anywhere within a thousand pages were I to write my life’s story. This is going to be a tough one. Evidently, the fox performs antics close to the prey it wants – leaping, rolling, and chasing its tail so that it captures the prey’s attention all the while drawing closer and closer. I haven’t leapt in 15 years, ever rolled anywhere, and can’t even find my tail much less chase it. But I need to learn because this is a behavior camouflage technique. Imagine that: behavior camouflage. Now I have to write a whole blog about that. Anyway, once the prey is enamored with the fox’s behavior, the fox pounces and that’s all she wrote. As I develop attunement to the fox, I, too, will learn behavior camouflage and how to capture any prize.

Note how well I have already learned. I sucked you in with my gaily prolific prose and wit making noise about learning something and here you are at the end wondering: why isn’t any of this about me? It’s all about her!

©2011 by Barbara L. Kass

the presence of beliefs

January 20, 2011

The same message has come to me three times recently: the universe is living and manifested through me. I am enamored with this quote from the January 2011 Science of Mind: “there is a wholeness, perfection, love, and beauty in the universe that is seeking permission to live through and as your life.”

My intellect wants to examine this message with detached curiosity. My mind wants to convince myself that it is true. My heart would like to feel that belief in all its intensity. My presence is silent on the subject. Perhaps, at that deeper level, I already know this to be true.

And, if I choose to believe this, then it must be true for everyone, not just for me.

In yet another round of dual unveiling of self, Ben and I recently had this exchange in the presence of challenge:

Ben wrote “I notice as I move towards the thing that really calls me I run smack dab into my beliefs, boundaries, and comfort zones. That is why I really don’t believe in beliefs and yet I see I have them — some deeply hidden away. Those beliefs are the boundary I self imposed that I am not getting beyond or is creating the suffering and discomfort. I am holding onto some idea, belief, or concept about how my life is supposed to look.”

I responded: “Beliefs ARE self-imposed boundaries and someone created them — we absorbed them from the adults in our lives when we were very young and created them from our experiences. Not believing your beliefs has two facets: the first is some people don’t believe they have beliefs (they are delusional) and the second is as you say not “believing in beliefs” because they are just those thoughts/ideas we create to make a boundary for ourselves.”

That I received these messages about the universe and beliefs simultaneously made my inquisitive little investigator perk right up. What beliefs am I holding on to that hold me back? That cause me suffering? That keep me from becoming the being I truly am? Can I let go of enough belief to make room for the idea that I can be the universe manifested in wholeness, perfection, love, and beauty? Does believing make it so? Can I disband the boundary that I and the universe are separate and apart?

Like Ben, I am following the bread crumbs that I toss myself as I seek the path that lightens my heart and quickens my breath. I am seeking the magic that will unlock the words, the feelings, the living, the thoughts, the intents, and the manifestations of the universe incarnate. I find some paths are blocked with gates and locked with heavy steel barricades.

But I think the universe just handed me a key.

©2011 by Barbara L. Kass

the presence of challenge

January 12, 2011

The belief taught in the Lotus Sutra provides no easy answers, no escape route from the difficulties of human life. In fact, it rejects such easy answers; instead it implores us to take up the two tools for exploring life, belief and understanding, and use them to continually challenge and work to perfect ourselves. And it also provides us the energy to do just that. -Daisaku Ikeda (sharingbuddhism.com)

Life has its easy moments . . . remembering that “easy” is a relative term. What I sweep through like a breeze might be a hardship for others. The idea that life itself is easy appears true for only a few individuals. Even then, what we see is the appearance that life is easy. We don’t see the struggle and work behind the scenes. Many people I know who seem to have the easy life worked very hard to get there.

Life is not always hard, but life is always work. In a recent post, my friend, Ben, wrote “the challenges in the world today . . . are forcing us to seek something new in ourselves and only in this moment. That is all we have.”

He is right – we only have this moment to meet the challenges of our lives. Because life is not static, each moment brings a new challenge. Even if those challenges appear to be the same old challenges, they are not. We are unwinding and unfolding along with that challenge in each moment. More of our selves are exposed and available. Thus our abilities, our perspectives, our understanding are changed and there is more of who we truly are to bring to that challenge.

I have a few friends who have physical handicaps. One of them has multiple sclerosis and has had it for 40 years. He copes by reinventing how he meets that challenge each day, in each moment. When one technique stops working, he finds something new in himself to meet that challenge. He gets creative and is willing to do the work required to deal with the new challenges life brings him.

Ben goes on to write that the moments of our lives are “the alpha and the omega.” Each moment is its own beginning and its own end. Once we get inside that knowledge, we realize this moment is the eternal present and this is the only chance we have to find that something new in ourselves to meet our challenges.

Find something new in you today, tonight, tomorrow, and all the moments you encounter. Be that new creation, that new thought, that new action. There is a reason why we set all of this in motion and leave it in motion. None of it was designed to become cold and still . . . and that includes you.

©2011 by Barbara L. Kass

the presence of thinking

January 8, 2011

A little miracle occurred in my head this past week. I don’t have to think anything about anything ever at all. I can choose to be thoughtless — which is not the same thing as being inconsiderate, unconscious or unaware. It simply means I can choose to think or not think about anything.

A person who often comments on my blogs introduced me to Jan Frazier. (See the discourse at the presence of obligation.)

Frazier says that “the thinker produces the thoughts. But what is not so obvious is that the thinker is really just another one of the thoughts, basically. An elaborate thought, maybe, but invented just as sure as the thoughts are invented. You think yourself up and then the self you thought up thinks thoughts.”

I am a product of my own imagination. You would think I could have been more creative with that product or at least given myself a metabolism that could easily handle a quart of ice cream a day.

Frazier goes on to say “What’s important in all of this is to realize that there is something within a person, an intelligent knower that is not the same as the thinker. That is actually of an order of reality different from the one the thinker and the thought occupy. When you wake up, you realize that this other something is what you really are.”

What is this presence, this “knower” in me that allows me to observe my own thinking? Some might say that it is the mind. Frazier acknowledges it is a different “order of reality.” For me, it is the eternal presence I have always been. I wonder if I (the eternal presence) created me with certain characteristics and specifications because I (the eternal presence) knows what I need to learn to evolve. I purposefully gave me the obstacles I perceive in myself to challenge me enough to develop the spiritual muscle required to take me to the next level.

My new challenge is to not think any particular thing about anything: any situation, person, idea, object, animal, insect, or even a thought. When my mind begins the whirring and spinning that elicits some kind of response, I think “I don’t have to think anything about this.” The hundred gears that make me process life don’t grind to a complete halt, but they sure slow down a lot and some of them get a little creaky. A new game begins. I purposefully think different things about whatever is before me. I waltz with various positions, flip perspectives, and pause to consider the feelings that result from each of those thoughts.

When I actually get a chance to find my mind silent, an open channel to connect with my eternal presence opens up. There isn’t anything to say or think. There is just being. Thought stops.

I know all of you are crying out in angst wondering what the heck I am going to write about here on Eternal Presence if I don’t have any thoughts to write down.

Fear not. We are hardwired by our creation to think something. It helps keep us alive. I will still be here shooting my fingers off from the keyboard, except I will be more who I truly am.

©2011 by Barbara L. Kass

2010 in review

January 2, 2011

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 3,300 times in 2010. That’s about 8 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 123 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 28 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 2mb. That’s about 2 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was December 4th with 119 views. The most popular post that day was The presence of holding space.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were mail.yahoo.com, mail.holessence.com, holessence.wordpress.com, anewgaia.ning.com, and buildingpersonalstrength.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for eternal presence, hawking “the grand design”, bishop spong hawking, presence of water on earth, and +”save someone’s life” +responsible +sutra.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

The presence of holding space April 2010
2 comments

2

My word creates my world March 2010
4 comments

3

Earth consciousness March 2010
10 comments

4

Powerless presence May 2010
24 comments

5

Thinking purposefully March 2010
11 comments

The presence of obligation

January 1, 2011

Well, it’s the new year and, no, I don’t have a single resolution. I left resolutions lying by the side of the road when I took my first steps down my reality path. They are probably all still lying there in a jumbled decaying heap occasionally oozing out a noxious trickle of good intentions gone bad.

It was the obligations that wore me down. Once I make a resolution, I feel obligated to fulfill it. As the year makes its relentless appearance day after day after day, the new resolutions I make tangle with the old ones and suddenly my life is full of these obligations to myself, to others, and to imagined beings I think hold the key to my destiny. Often, they are contradictory and in direct conflict with each other. Sometimes, taking good care of me means saying “no” to someone in need and exiting the presence of nasty people.

My personal scrutiny discovered that obligations are not always solidly and clearly defined. They tend to get amorphous, bordering between the wants and choices and the musts and shoulds. It also does not matter. An obligation is a burden. It is a burden made by some agreement.

My obligations can come from a sense of love or duty. I feel obligated to contribute to my granddaughter’s well-being. I let elderly people or people holding babies have my seat on the Metro train when it is crowded.

My obligations are delivered through course of law. I am obligated to drive my vehicle safely in a manner that does not endanger others. I am obligated to pay taxes on my income.

There is an obligation that is a debt . . . it is attached to the favor that someone did for me. The bank lent me money to buy a car and I am obligated to pay the bank back. If I ask someone for a ride to work, I feel obligated to contribute towards the gas.

What about favors that people do for me that I do not ask for and do not expect? Is gratitude enough of an obligation or am I obligated to return the favor in kind? What about people who upon first appearance seem to be causing me problems yet as I work through the problem, I discover something amazing about myself or end up helping another person? What obligation do I owe that person who first appeared to stir things up?

Some people are out there doing favors for others with the expectation that the favor will come back to them in some form. Are they then being truly altruistic or is the favor really a bribe to the universe?

Because I have resources, am I obligated to share those resources? And, if so, with whom? When?

So many questions . . . and it isn’t even noon yet.

The year is already laughing at me.

Typical.

©2011 by Barbara L. Kass