Archives for category: The Mind


I scrolled down my Facebook feed last night, image after image of comments, photos, memes about a fresh tragedy in Charleston. Nine souls in heaven now, countless beings writhing in anguish because someone thought it was okay – or necessary – to kill in order to try to control their environment.

Cynthia Hurd, Reverend Sharonda Singleton, Ethel Lance, Tywanza Sanders, The Honorable Reverend Clementa Pinkney, Myra Thompson, Reverend DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Reverend Daniel Simmons, and Susie Jackson have all left this world at the hands of another person. Beautiful people; this world misses them.

Dylann Roof thought he had something to protect from them.

From us.

I see posts by my dark-skinned friends and wonder if their feelings about me have changed. I look pretty darn white. I’m afraid to comment. I value their friendship; I love them, even the ones I’ve never broken bread with. I don’t want to lose them. I agree with them. I wonder if they would believe that. I sit in silence.

That’s my attempt to control my environment.

I see comments by Charleston citizens of my own apparent ethnicity, heartbroken that someone violated the ‘charm’ of their city. Much of that ‘charm’ was built through the theft of the sweat of slaves. Can I tell my friends that some of my own ancestors landed in Charleston, hundreds of years ago? There’s a street there named after my mother’s family. They went on to own a plantation in Alabama.

Shame. Secrets. Pain.

I’ve listened to relatives pine about lost grandeur, wistfully flipping through photos of elegant sitting rooms and rolling lawns. I’m riveted by the photos of the slave cabins (no one calls them that anymore; now they’re ‘out-buildings’). I’m afraid to comment. I value their friendship; I love them, even the ones who have hit me repeatedly. I don’t want to lose them. But I don’t agree with them. I wish I could think of something to say that would open their minds. I sit in silence.

Shame. Secrets. Despair.

Gender, Race, Nationality, Species, for goodness’ sake. Whatevah. But whatevah matters.

Karma. Our state of mind, our actions, bring us to our present conditions. Our world is our mirror. Everything we see and experience reflects our own state of mind. Thank goodness it’s fluid and mutable.

I believe in reincarnation. Not because it makes sense, but because of what I’ve seen firsthand (out of body experience in 1999, dreams beyond enumeration).

In recent years, I’ve explored regression hypnosis. I wanted to know if I’ve been abducted by ‘aliens’. I wanted to know how far back my Buddhist roots go. Instead of plunging back into memories of darkened bedrooms, mysterious glowing lights and little people with big eyes and elephant-hide skin, or sitting in caves in the Himalayas, I got histories beyond this world.

In every session, my mind has carried me to worlds so unlike this one that description strains possibility. I’ve been a humanoid aquatic being with golden and blue skin that flowed in rippling ribbons around my legs. I’ve been a spindly, withered being that buried himself deep in sand so he could send his mind to other bodies in other universes in order to try and open minds, teach. I’ve been a pilot of a starship trying to blast through a crusty yet etheric shield around earth – eons ago. I’ve been a young goatherd living in remote mountains who left home to travel with the star beings who visited regularly. I’ve been a fat old woman who ran a boarding house in a post-apocalyptic America-like place, having lost all family and friends and living in a neo-agrarian society without even a post office.

It’s enough to make me want to write Science Fiction, because I doubt anyone might believe they’re my memories. As if it matters. It’s enough to make me wonder how humans can be so confused that we think we’re not the same, just because we look different or hold different beliefs. And yet, each time I return to this waking life I marvel that I can be both Leslee and all those beings. If I can be all those beings, then I can also be a person killed in a senseless shooting. Or the person firing the gun.

I try to keep my vision focused on the facets of the mirror that please me, wishing to love and share and cherish others. But the hateful glimpses keep popping into my peripheral vision. There’s some house-keeping to be done.

Since I was a little kid growing up in 1960’s Alabama, I’ve been confronted with racism ranging from subtle to terrifyingly flagrant. It frightens me to the core. If humans hate each other because of culture and skin color, what’s to protect me from the hatred of others? If I don’t even identify myself as human, how can I walk in this world without fear?

In this life, here I sit as an overweight white female, trying to learn to accept it, even to love it; trying to learn to love myself. Somehow, I pray to believe, that effort works towards bringing unconditional love to this world.

Here’s what I’m up against:

Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve hated my white skin.

Not because I’m racist; because it just looks like the wrong skin. It’s not the skin I was expecting in this life. I gaze upon people with golden caramel-colored skin or deep coffee-colored skin, smile at their radiant beauty, and pray to have my skin back in my next life. It might be African, it might be Tibetan or Mayan, I don’t know or care. Just please not this splotchy pink translucent stuff. I can’t explain it; I can only confess it’s where I’m at, and I want to move to a better place.

For now, I have to deal with this white skin.

When I was a little girl, I used to check regularly to see if my missing genitalia was finally growing in. I’m not a lesbian or trans-gender; I just thought I was supposed to be a guy. When I got my first menstrual cycle, I sobbed in despair; I was doomed to life as a female. I knew instinctively at that young age that to be female in that present world and time meant to be perceived as less-than, dis-empowered.

For now, I have to deal with this female gender.

When I got pregnant, I gained 75 pounds. Twenty years later, I still carry 30 of them. I don’t recognize myself in the mirror.

Which is, of course, the root of the situation at hand.

Thank goodness I believe these transient conditions will pass. Thank goodness I can see the world changing before my very eyes. Thank goodness I believe we can come through this mess of current events with a deeper understanding of ourselves and how we connect and create our realities. Because I can’t wait to fall in love with what I see in the mirror.

I don’t want to live in a world of self-hatred, with constant reminders flashing before me on Facebook and the news.

To accomplish that, I must learn to love others as myself. It’s a process. I don’t want to feel separate from others. I don’t want resentment, anger, despair. I want love, peace and community.

To accomplish that, I must learn to love myself, so my mirror-world doesn’t show me the horror of Dylann Roof’s actions. Dylann Roof hates himself far more than those he killed. That’s how he can stand expressionless while listening to loved ones of the dead plead with him to repent. He doesn’t feel worthy of salvation; his despair runs that deep.

Does my despair run that deep? Does your despair run that deep?

Can I accept my own circumstances – the world I’ve created – and be willing to surrender my wish to control, protect, preserve? Am I willing to insist on love at any cost?

When I remember that this is just one life, just one world among countless universes, the conditions I grasp with my might-as-well-be-skeleton-hands dissolve and waft away like strands of a spiderweb in a soft breeze, like a forgotten dream.

I have work to do.

Because I have work to do, we have work to do.

You are me. I am you. I love you.

This matters. Please don’t shrug this off and say, “whatevah”. In every moment we make choices that lead us along our path in this world, and thus we choose what we will next see in the mirror of our world.

Please help me remember in those every moments, that we come from boundless love abiding in stillness and peace. We just got a little bored and decided to incarnate. We don’t have to create pain.

Please, let’s do this together.

Thank you – please accept my deepest gratitude.

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Tight Lipped Flip Flops

You’re at the beach
In a tee-shirt-dress
Tie-dyed, no less…
(By someone else…)
And flip flops.

But you hold those glutes so tight it seems you might keel over, losing your balance and center of gravity.

Loosen up, honey.

It doesn’t work if you fake it.

Dive in, the water’s just grand.

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About two weeks ago I finally got so freaking fed up with allowing myself to be drawn, sucked, entranced, manipulated into feeling… something… yuck, heavy, slow, bleak… that I charged myself with the experiment of practicing what I preach describe: to watch the mind and attend to its direction. I chose to tend it towards light and positive, without forcing…

Happy to report: it seems to be working… again.

Wishing you all a delightful weekend full of pleasant surprises!

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For the past several weeks my interests have been focused on understanding better how we appear in this world…

How do we, as physical beings, arise in a world that is a dream…

And if we do in fact appear in just that way, how do we reconcile ourselves to experiencing conflict?

Does conflict always arise from within?

I was given the analogy of water.

Flowing (following) from the words in the sketch above:

The river and the vapor are similar… Not separated by “matter”.

If we are the water – if mind is akin to a water molecule – then what are the air and the earth, plants, animals…

Ah, you’re seeing it… The water pervades everything, eh?

Vapor & water: water molecules (mind) are free to move about within certain constraints. Within bodies – plant or animal – water is contained, restrained…

Boundaries.

Mind has boundaries…

When it’s in a body.
If there were no bodies, rocks and stones, mind would have no self-awareness.

Is this a choice mind makes?

Your Ultimate Nature – of mind – is the infinite field of “water molecules”.

So, in a body, minds move like water molecules… evaporating, flowing, condensating… One mind is made up of infinite minds?

If each thought, impulse, emotion is a mind, a water molecule… yes.

So all of those – many – converge into a water droplet which is…

Awareness. Before incarnation.
Awareness requires aggregates – no need to re-invent the wheel, just quote Wikipedia…

Molecules are aggregates? There are many aggregates…

Yes.

But all water molecules are the same…

Are they? And are you sure all aggregates are not the same?

Checking…

Good. Please do.

A molecule is a model, made up of atoms, which are models….

No human eye has directly beheld a water molecule or a hydrogen atom and recognized it as such.

It’s all theory…

Precisely. So we can make assumptions, too.

Okay, so we can presume that our water molecules can be as varied as aggregates… And they gather…

Yes, thank you. Diagram skandas from Wikipedia. Let’s continue with the water anyway. Please abandon overwhelm. Stop envisioning how much time things will take. Stop thinking of time.

Okay. Atoms are skandas (aggregates), water molecules are individuated minds… (Yes) Electrons, protons, quarks… are… ?

Let’s say quarks are Very Subtle Mind, particles are Subtle Mind.

Works for me. So, along these lines, even in a river, ocean, vapor: individuated minds converge and yet are discreet…

Yes.

And even within a body’s mind, there is a collection of gross minds.

Yes.

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(Transcript of notes in sketch at beginning of post: “Leslee” did not create this world. But an aspect of yourself did. Ref: We are all One – but explain in more detail. That aspect is up the tree, so to speak… Upstream. And “Leslee” is just a rivulet. One River.

spring from within….

From a spring… into a river, then streams, then to an ocean…. And from precipitation, gathering into streams, rivers, oceans…

clouds – vapor – to rain drops or snowflakes… rivers to ocean

and clouds to drops to aquifers to springs…

It all comes from the drops, the molecules of water.

…and what I saw was cycle after cycle, layer after layer of water changing phase, it’s bits and parts moving though the air, the plants and animals, into the soil, through the rocks, and emerging again into the aquifer, emerging as a spring, flowing into a river to the ocean, to evaporate and rejoin the air as vapor again…

…and vapor condensing into rain, falling onto earth and forming rivulets that gather into streams and eventually flow to the ocean also…

…through the air, through the earth, along the surface… mind, like water, pervading all things…

…any aspect of any of us is part of all of our selves… we both create and abide in peace amongst all the virtual atoms and concepts…


It’s just a tiny spot…

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I arrived in Jacksonville Florida on June 10. As the weeks have passed, I’ve wondered: where has my “oomph” gone?

It’s so quiet and peaceful here (even though work is hectic).

I have thought about writing… or drawing… or posting… but I usually end up just going to the beach.

There, I walk. Or sit. Or swim. Or watch the birds… Or people.

Two nights ago, after dusk, I watched someone release paper lanterns into the sky… They drifted out past the surf winds, towards the apparently awaiting military helicopter, and eventually disappeared into the atmosphere or oblivion. Beyond words.

It was okay that it was too dark to see “who did this???”. It didn’t matter. It was beautiful.

I was able to just watch and enjoy, rather than quickly whipping out the phone to take a photo.

This morning, I wondered why I felt so content to just “be”. For me, this is a new experience.

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Tonight, some words arrived.

Funny, since I have been here I have felt so fat and happy. Yet the words describe experiences that lead to “diagnoses”. I chuckle. I’m the one sitting in the sand and shells. If that’s madness, call me a Hatter.

For days and daze
I have felt the quiet of peace.

Free from compulsion to
act
speak
or conclude.

And I have viewed that peace
from the crest of tactile
…stillness…
as an absence.

I have felt
…'””‘…PEACEFUL..'””‘…
… not “driven”.

Is this what we mistake for boredom?

How do we balance?
How do we swing the bi-polar arc?
Sweep up out of the valleys of the numbness of depression
And sail over the peaks of WILL.
The cycles roll despite (yet not in spite of) our yearning for equilibrium

This is being human.
This is the lesson of the body.
This is why we have come here.

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clarity of the mind…