Boldly Going Nowhere
Unity by the Bay, 1 October 2017
SONG (Bob Sima): How You Made Them Feel, from Thin Little Veil
———Time just is. Time doesn’t “go” anywhere.
Matter moves through – what we call and define as – time.
Matter becomes our truth.
Our truth is based on our perceptions.
Perceptions are created by history.
History contains events and experiences in time.
The etymology of experience roots back to the concept of observing and affecting through test and trial and measurement. The affect leaves imprints in matter on all levels: physical, emotional, mental, ethereal, spiritual, financial. We base our striving on where we believe ourselves to be within a comparative scale of those experiential levels.
But time remains constant. It never evolves. It never changes. Regardless of how humans try to measure time or – more accurately – measure matter’s movement through time. Time just is. Time doesn’t know itself to be anything other than the eternality of the present moment. The now. The now here. The nowhere. The nothing. The no thing. The nothingness. The is-ness. The place where all is known because nothing is forgotten. Love of the unconditional kind.
Unconditionality is the acceptance of the now here just as it is with and in time. So how do we be like time? Stop the measurements. End the striving. Arrive. Here. Now.
Make every “time-measured” moment of our matter-filled lives the unconditional and timeless now here. That moment becomes this moment and moves into the next moment. There becomes here and moves into the next there.
Fill each fleeting moment and every new there with unconditional qualities like grace, joy, love, abundance, acceptance, gratitude, and surrender. Be better prepared to arrive into each “now” when the previous “now” experience is unconditional timelessness. This is the energy, the vibration, the frequency with which you move through time.
Remember: Time just is. Matter moves through time.
Arrive. Now. Here.———
That was a channeling I did prior to our first officially branded Boldly Going Nowhere retreat. Since then, Bob and I have had many conversations that started like this, “So what exactly are we trying to create around Boldly Going Nowhere?” Most recently, we decided to get clarity about what Boldly Going Nowhere is to us so we can better articulate it. Astoundingly with our two brilliant minds, we have a hard time expressing the concept without describing some of the activities we will do. Which is ironic because the doing-ness of humanity is the polar opposite of what we want to create!
So the challenge continued. Until we committed to introduce the clarity today to our very own local hometown community. Why? Because every time Bob and I have joined together to present a Message in Music, he looks at me afterwards and says, “That one part of your talk is all about Boldly Going Nowhere!” So instead of skirting around the concept any longer, I will do my best to wrap it all into a lesson that reaches your heart.
A dear friend recently gave me a starting point to the Boldly Going Nowhere idea. It was shared with me because I was recently selected to be on the Co-Creation Council – the Board – of A Community of Transformation or ACT. If you are not familiar with ACT, you should be! The monthly gatherings happen right here at Unity by the Bay on the 2nd Sunday of each month and it is a community dedicated to collectively supporting individual, community, and global transformation. All that sounds like a continuation of Unity principles, wouldn’t you agree?
So here I am at the indoctrination meeting and Linda Roebuck says to me – in reference to the dynamics within the Co-Creation Council, “What we do is less important than how we are with each other.”
Whoa Nelly! If that doesn’t stop you in your tracks for at least a second of pondering, I don’t know what will. And of course, my analytical and creative minds began their little dance and I took it even farther to state, “How we are with each other is less important than how we are.” Period.
Did you get that? What we do is less important than how we are with each other. Yes. And how we are with each other is less important than how we are. How we are. How we be. How we breathe. How we exist.
You see, how we are “with each other” is still seeking that outward striving, approval, expectation, worthiness, and connection to anyone or anything around us. When ultimately, how we are… period… regardless of who or what is happening around us – and where it is happening around us – provides more insight about the true nature of our being-ness than anything we could possibly do or say.
Bringing it all back to Boldly Going Nowhere. Our being-ness, how we are, how we be. That all brings us into the now here, the nowhere.
Our tagline for Boldly Going Nowhere is ‘Go from Striving to Arriving’. And there we have it. How we are. How we be. How we breathe. How we exist. Without striving to add anything else to those sentences, it immediately brings us into the present moment, the now, the now here. We have the potential to arrive into the present, the gift of this moment. But what happens when we are in the here and now? Well, here go the analytical and creative dancers again…
Whatever we “do” to remove our external distractions and connections is critical to curb the motivation for striving. When we are able to settle comfortably into that space, we have arrived. Yes! Then what?!
Then it is time to be. Time to breathe. Time to exist.
When we stop striving for outside validation and realize that it is okay to just be in this moment – without anything to do, without anything to say, without anything to think, without anything to defend, without anything to judge – we begin to hear the Self behind the self. The ego chatter slows down and we are able to feel into our own being-ness. Our physical body. Our mental body. Our emotional body. Our spiritual body. Our soul body.
That isn’t always a comfortable space to be in. As human doings, we so often fall into task mode, driven by our to-do list, yearning to meet exceptions that we place upon ourselves or that we perceive others place upon us.
Rabbi Irwin Kula says in the book Yearnings: “Accomplishment and escape aren’t polar opposites. They go together. When you diminish one, you end up diminishing the other.”
When all that falls away into the nowhere, the now here, we can experience our true nature – even if just for fleeting moments – in this crazy, chaotic adventure of life. But how often do we actually allow ourselves to truly arrive? To truly be in the now here?
Gabrielle Roth is quoted as saying, “In many shamanic societies, if you came to a medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask one of four questions: ‘When did you stop dancing? When did you stop singing? When did you stop being enchanted by stories? When did you stop being comforted by the sweet territory of silence?’”
We’re going to focus on the last one… When did you stop being comforted by the sweet territory of silence?
Pema Chodron writes in her book Comfortable With Uncertainty:
——— As a species, we should never underestimate our low tolerance for discomfort. To be encouraged to stay with our vulnerability is news that we can use….
Sitting meditation is a method of cultivating unconditional friendliness toward ourselves and for parting the curtain of indifference that distances us from the suffering of others. It is our vehicle for learning to be a truly loving person….
Gradually, through meditation, … we recognize our capacity to relax with the clarity, the space, the open-ended awareness that already exists in our minds. We experience moments of being right here that feel simple, direct, and uncluttered….
When we sit down to meditate we leave behind the idea of the perfect meditator, the ideal meditation, and preconceived results. We train in simply being present. We open ourselves completely to the pain and the pleasure of our life. We train in precision, gentleness, and letting go. Because we see our thoughts and emotions with compassion, we stop struggling against ourselves. ———
That, to me, is arriving. That is the path of the bodhisattva, one who aspires to act from an awakened heart. That is a Bold aspiration. That is Going along a path of transformation. That is arriving Nowhere.
Boldly Going Nowhere. Because once we return and surrender to our awakened heart, there is nothing else to “do”. We can only be that which we know is our True Self, our True Nature, our True Purpose. Love.
So let us attempt to arrive into our own state of nowhere-ness, of now-here-ness. How? Arrive. Right here. Right now. Feel the presence. The everything. The nothing. The nowhere. Boldly Go Nowhere. Now.
SONG (Bob Sima): Presence, from Believe the Bird
So what happens when we stop striving and finally arrive to have our present moment, our now here, capital ‘s’ – full of love – Self experience? What do we do with it? What do we do after it?
This is, by far, the most uninteresting answer of all…
We simply be it.
We be it!
We don’t try to do anything besides be it, breathe it, exist with it. Because once it becomes us and we become it, there is no separation between who we are and who we are being. The outside influences don’t matter because the awakened heart is delicately weaving its threads through every thought, every word, every action, every decision, every movement. We become the example of being an awakened heart.
We be it. We are then Boldly Going Nowhere because there is no “where” to go to. We are it.
The beginning. The end.
The time. The timeless.
The matter. The matterless.
The measured. The unmeasured.
The conditional. The unconditional.
In Dan Millman’s novel, Way of the Peaceful Warrior, the main character – also by the first name of Dan – is constantly being challenged by his spiritual mentor named Socrates. One of their conversations goes like this:
——— “Soc,” I said, “I don’t know what to make of it. My life these past months has been like an improbable novel, you know what I mean? Sometimes I wish I could go back to a normal life. This secret life here with you, these dreams and journeys – it’s been hard on me.”
Socrates took a deep breath; something of great import was coming. “Dan, I’m going to increase my demands on you as you become ready. I guarantee that you’ll want to leave the life you know and choose alternatives that seem more attractive, more pleasant, more ‘normal’. Right now, however, that would be a greater mistake than you can imagine.”
“But I do see the value in what you’re showing me.”
“That may be so, but you still have an astonishing capacity to fool yourself. That is why you needed to dream your life. Remember it when you’re tempted to run off and pursue your illusions.”
“Don’t worry about me, Socrates. I can handle it.”
If I had know what was ahead, I would have kept my mouth shut.———
- How often does our life seem like “an improbable novel”?
- How can we possibly think there is anything “normal” about us as we take on this human adventure?
- Are we intimately familiar with our own “secret lives”, away from the hustle and bustle of any demands… that sweet territory of silence that can become more comforting the more time we spend with Our Self?
- Do we ever feel like the Universe throws more “demands” at us once we feel we have things figured out, the graduate-level version of the current life lesson?
- When we make it through the lesson, is it easier to “choose alternatives that seem more attractive” because we are living a new normal?
- How often do we “fool ourselves”, believing that the doing doing doing is all figured out, pre-calculated into pre-determined outcomes… the “illusion” that tempts our striving and pursuit?
- How many times have we told others, “I can handle it” when all we can really see in our current situation is one tree in an ever-expanding forest?
- How the heck do we get over everyone and everything around us to get the heart of who we truly are… and who the person sitting next to you truly is?
We let go of any belief that we have this thing we call “life” under control. We let go of our suffering that keeps us believing that we can manage the infinitesimally significant yet completely insignificant moments we choose to create for ourselves.
To quote Rabbi Irwin Kula again: “Look deeply enough and you’ll see that continuity often comes in the guise of discontinuity.”
What we do is less important than how we are with each other. And how we are with each other is less important than how we are.
That is bold.
That is going.
That is nowhere.
That is now here.
SONG (Bob Sima): The Looser the Grip, from Thin Little Veil