All posts by Pausha Foley

About Pausha Foley

I live in a world where trees are friends, mountains are peers, animals and humans are partners and allies. In my world there are no rules, truths nor ways of being, there is only being whatever I wish to be in whatever way I like.

There is no reason to think

experience1

 There is no need to think. I said that once, I thought it often (yes, I see the contradiction here) and I stand by it.

There is never any need to think.

It is hard to accept this idea, I know. One goes straight to working, making, fixing, planning. The everyday tasks organized by mind, by thoughts, by explanations and definitions, by understanding.

I go somewhere else. I go to the place from which life is created. From which my life is being created. This place is not one of thinking, but of being. And of experiencing.

I was there when I chose to move to California. I said “yes” in jest without a minute of hesitation, yet I arrived at San Francisco airport three months later.

I was there when I realized I wanted to marry Christopher, though I’d known him only for three weeks. I thought about dolphins and whales at the time when this realization descended upon me.

I was there yesterday when, lost in pain and confusion, I could not see a way out. “Love” came the solution. Not figured out, not thought out, not devised nor contrived.

There was no thinking involved. There was never any thinking involved in the key moments of my life. The most crucial choices were not the result of a careful deliberation but of a sudden, clear and undeniable experience.

An experience, not understanding.

And if this way, this way of taking the most important steps, lead me to happiness and comfort — surely taking the smallest steps in this way will bring nothing else.

Surely there is never any need to think.

More by Pausha Foley:

It’s You.

Is happiness a myth?

Don’t give your power away.

See more at http://sticksandstories.com/no-reason-to-think/

Is happiness a myth?

experience-happiness

 It began with an exchange I had this morning. There was a question, I gave an answer. “Well, that’s a claim. Can you back it up in any way?” I heard in response.

“No” I said. “No I can’t and no, I don’t want to.”

I thought about this later. I thought about whether I was being obtuse, or maybe only uninterested in further discussion, but the more I thought the more I stood by my answer. No, I do not want to back it up in any way. Because I don’t need to. Because the claim is mine, the belief is mine, the truth is mine. I do not need anyone else to believe it, I do not wish to convert, I do not wish to convince. Therefore no, I do not wish to back it up in any way.

Why do I bother answering at all then? Ah, and here is the key of the matter: I answer to share a perspective. I answer to offer a possibility. I answer to present a truth. Not THE truth, not ONE truth, not the ONLY truth — but my truth. I speak my truth, and I wish to hear the truths of others in response. Not to adapt them and follow them, to exchange my truth for theirs, but to learn, to grow. To see reality in a way others see and I don’t, to gain a perspective others have and I lack. So that I can open. So that I can expand. So that I can develop my truths, round them up, add dimensions and facets until they shine like jewels.

So that my truths can grow as I grow, as my life grows, as my world grows.

This is happiness, I thought. This is happiness, right here, owning my truth. Every truth, each and one of them. This is happiness when I am myself and every truth is an expression of what I am. When life is an expression of what I am. Then there is nothing but joy and bliss in the world.

This is happiness: owning my truth.

That is my truth.

See more here.

Do you want to become a Buddhist – or the Buddha?

path

 Do not become the Buddhist – become the Buddha.

There. It is right there. I searched for it, chased it, tried to catch it and pin-point it since last night. Since the conversation about following a path.

I couldn’t see why. I couldn’t see why I would need to follow a path to myself. I am here after all, already here. Everything that I am — me, God, Buddha, everything. What path? What path is needed to take me to what I am?

But then, I thought, to realize it, to feel oneself, to find oneself among the noise, among the constant, overwhelming, imposing and dizzying hubbub of the mind — maybe there is a path there. Maybe there is something that has to be done, worked on, achieved, to see clearly. So what would I do? What did I do? What was the first step on my path? It was looking for someone who could help. It was to look outside. To look to others.

That was my first step on the path, on the journey to becoming a Buddhist, a student, a spiritual seeker.

Ceasing to look to others for help was the first step on the path to becoming myself.

Because it was myself I wanted to find. Not the Buddha. Not the enlightenment experienced, envisioned and described by others — but myself. I did not want to become a Buddhist. I did not want to become the follower of Buddha, or Christ or anyone else at all. I wanted to become myself and, to become myself, I had to follow myself.

And it was in that moment, in that very first moment of making the choice to follow myself, my own path, my own way, that my journey was finished for I reached my destination.

It did not require esoteric practices, twenty years of meditation, chanting, praying. All it took was the choice to be me. All it took for me to be me, was for me to listen to myself, to look into myself, to follow myself. Because I was already there.

All I needed to do

was to trust myself.

Don’t give your power away.

take-responsibility

 When I say: “pain offers understanding, suffering happens when we lose ourselves in pain” do you think I am blaming suffering on people’s attitude towards pain?

Some do.

I don’t.

 I do not blame anyone for suffering, but – and this is a very big “but” – I do believe everyone is responsible for it. Everyone who suffers. Everyone who is in pain.

Why do I say that? Is it because I am a cold-hearted, apodictic bitch devoid of empathy and without an ounce of compassion? Possibly, but even if that’s the case, still there is more. There is that it is by taking full responsibility for the pain, the suffering, that we achieve the power and the freedom to heal it.

As long as the pain is something that happens to us, that has been done to us by others (whether other humans, faith, destiny, God) there is little we can do to change it.

And yes, sometimes the pain is overwhelming and sometimes it is excruciating and sometimes it is unbearable and even so – what’s so is what’s so. I can only heal and transform that which is mine to heal and transform.

Before I can affect it – I have to claim it. As mine.

It’s You.

limit1

 Isn’t that a lovely stick? Inspiring and uplifting and what not? Truly a stick worth posting. Yet it begun like this:

limit

Yup. This is how I felt the last few days, the last few weeks, the last few months, the last few … well, all my life, likely. Though there were times of clarity and times of denial, times of unconsciousness and times of presence. Lately I experience times of my trauma being up in my face so strongly, so clearly, so harshly that nothing but facing it is a possibility. So I am facing.

I am facing and I see pain that dates to my birth. I saw some pain from before that, hidden all the way back in the shadowy endings of the previous life but that’s irrelevant here. What is relevant is that what happened when I was one day old comes to light and demands to be seen.

There is pain there. Pain caused by neglect and fear and loneliness and … well, pain. The pain I was born into. The pain of my parents that made it impossible for them to surround me with nothing but love. There was no love. There was no love at the very beginning of my life and I look at it (again) and see how quickly it became my fault, how quickly I became unlovable and how that burden of blame and guilt crushed me, and then I realize that…

… that it was not my fault. It was not my fault that there was no love waiting to receive me when I was born. But it was my responsibility. It was my responsibility.

And this is when the strings, the cords and strands of trauma loosen up a bit and I see that it was all me, from the very beginning. It was all me. And it still is.

And then I see that the trauma that binds me and traps me is there because I keep it there, because I believe it, because I mistake it for reality. I mistake it for life. I mistake it for the world. And then I see that this trauma’s purpose is to create life that it wants me to have. The pain wants me to create more pain. The fear wants me to create more fear and the lack of love, the loneliness, wants me to be alone.

And when I see that — the bounds fall off. They do not disappear, no, but they lose their power over my choices. They lose their power over my perceptions. I can see them for what they are now and they can no longer blind me and mystify me. They can no longer pretend to be real.

And then they leave. They are not needed anymore and I am left in the world where there is love because I am love. I am left in the world of my own creation, designed by me in the process of loving, of accepting, myself.

You Matter

you-matter

 “Don’t think about me. Don’t think about how I will respond or what I want you to be. Just be what you are. You have to find yourself.”

This is what my husband told me today and I must tell you, I squirmed. For a few reasons.

First and foremost — because he was right, damn him! He said it when it should have been me. Me, the terribly wise and present person who thought herself oh so … whatever … ah, in short – I was ashamed of myself. My pride smarted because I could not deny the fact that he was right and I was thoroughly messed up.

Which was another reason for squirming? I am not supposed to be getting messed up anymore. I am supposed to have outgrown it.

And then there was the fact that I knew he was right because I saw it before we had this conversation, and my seeing it made no difference at all. I collapsed nonetheless. Back into my messiness, back into the uncertainty and fear, back into the endless “what am I going to do with myself” questions, the “why am I here?”, the “what is being done to me?” questions.

Questions, questions, questions that plagued me and worried me and hurt me. Questions that made me scared of life, scared of the world, scared of myself.

I’ve been lost in them for a very long time, and then I looked up for just a moment and then I was myself again. Myself. Here. I could feel myself and there were no more questions. Instead there were my choices. Nothing was being done to me anymore – I was doing. I was choosing. I was creating. What? Oh, that mattered not at all. Answers mattered not at all because I was back and I did not need to look for answers anymore.

What mattered was that I was back, me — the creator of answers. And I was safe.

You exist outside of rules.

rules

 Do you know what happens when I say: “God is love. Love for everyone and everything”?

Someone immediately asks: “Including murderers and terrorists?” Sometime they add rapists, too.

And I say yes, including murderers and terrorists. And rapists too.

But of course that is not an answer that would satisfy anyone so I elaborate, like so:

“God might know, you see, that you, yourself, are God. That you are love, that you are the boundless, limitless and timeless existence . God likely knows that nothing wrong can ever happen to you because you are what God is, and there is no “wrong” in God. God knows that you did not appear at birth, nor will you disappear at death, but you will simply change, shift, transition. God might know that death is as wonderful an experience as birth is — a grand adventure, a graduation.

God will likely know that the pain and fear you experience, the suffering that plagues you, is caused by you forgetting who you are, and that it will pass eventually and you will remember yourself again. Because, you must remember, God knows that you are God, even if you do not know at times. Knowing that, God might see your pain and hardships as something you created yourself as an opportunity to outgrow it.

From God’s perspective, from that place, murderers and terrorists would appear very differently than they do to a human, don’t you think?”

And then, of course, the inevitable response always comes: ”Um, this doesn’t make any sense.”

Which is when I say:

“Of course it doesn’t make sense. Its God we are talking about. In order for God to make sense to a human it would have to be a human invention. In order for God to make sense, God would have to be subject to the rules that are human inventions.

But God exists outside of those rules.

And so do you.

All You Are Is Love

are-love

 

“No! I will not look there, I can’t!” my mind screamed, I screamed in reaction. I pulled back, pulled back from the pain in my being, back into the pain in my body. The pain cut and clawed and tore. There was nowhere to run. I knew. I couldn’t, I shouldn’t try to avoid this. I knew that too. I touched the pain again, tentatively, only to collapse in a wave of dizziness and disorientation. The world melted into a liquid swirling mud, it made me nauseous, It made me dizzy, it drowned me, I could not get out! I had to get out! The panic rose, my hands shook, my head pounded. I must get out of this!

Breathe, I thought to myself, breathe. There is no way out. You can not get out. You must calm down, you must open, you must … no! I will not face it! I can’t feel this!

But I could not give up, not easily. Reactions I trained in, the drilled responses took over and run themselves even while I drove through the night in search of drugs. “Feel. Let it be, let it open, allow the pain, ride the pain” … my mind chanted as I drove to the hospital. I needed to get unconscious. I needed to feel the pain. I needed to kill the pain. I needed to heal the pain. I needed to let it open. I needed to make it go away. I could not stand it. I had to stand it. I knew I had to.

The painkiller scrambled my thoughts, turned my mind into mush that drowned the vicious pounding in my head and I closed my eyes, willing the pain, the cutting, tearing pain, the agonizing, disgusting pain somewhere at the very bottom, at the very end, at the very beginning of me, to recede. To wait. To let me sleep.

I woke up to it. It was right there, right under the surface. I sat up in my bed, propped against my pillows. I closed my eyes. I reached for it again. There was no panic this time, nothing in my body, nothing in my head. Only the pain. The dark, black pit with nothing to hang onto, disorienting, groundless, endless, cold. Empty. “Feel” I thought to myself “feel this to the very end” I thought, and I moved deeper into the blackness.
There is no love here, I felt, there has never been any love here. I saw it now, I saw it clearly at the very beginning of this life, at the very beginning of my being human. No one has ever loved me simply because I was.

Tears flew down my face. The thought cut through the blackness with a sharp, vicious slash. I doubled over, I run from the bed, into the bathroom. I crumpled on the floor. I wept hysterically. For a while. Silently. I opened my mouth and screamed. Silently. I did not want to wake anyone. This was mine.

I came back to bed. I sat up, propped against my pillows. I closed my eyes. I reached for the pain. No one has ever loved me simply because I was. Now it was a statement not a complaint. Not an accusation. A fact.

I moved deeper, the blackness brightened with an orange glow. Ah, I knew this place! I was here before. I remembered being here before.

No one has ever loved me simply because I was. But then no one should. No one needs to. Only me. Just me. I am love.

The orange light flashed into a brilliant golden glow and then whiteness. A blazing whiteness. An endless all encompassing whiteness. I am love. This is love. All is love. This is what I am, this is where I came from when I decided to be born. When I chose to be a body. When I chose to be a human. When I was conceived – it was when the white love dimmed to an orange glow and then died in the darkness. The black, cold darkness. The darkness of pain and fear. Love was gone. And I was gone.

Tears flew down my face. My closed eyelids could not hold them. They squeezed between my lashes, slid down my chicks, fell from my chin, splashed against my chest. I opened my eyes. I looked at Christopher. He watched me. With concern? With fear? With interest? What did he see? Whom did he see? The white flashing love I once was? The layers and layers of fear and pain and trauma that covered me up, that trapped me, that squashed me? He looked intent. Serious.“I know why we don’t remember who we are, after we are born” I whispered to him. “I know why we don’t remember where we came from. I know why we don’t remember our past lives”. I spoke. He looked at me. He listened.“It is such a shock, you see. It is such a blow to come from love, from where there is nothing but love, from where love is what we are, to a place where there is pain. Where there is fear. Where there is trauma. The shock is so terrible, so hard and so sudden, that it knocks us unconscious. We black out. After that there is nothing left but survival”.

But then, I thought to myself some moments later, we are what we are none the less, and what we are will respond when called, when invoked, when invited. It does not take wise words, I thought, to bring it up again. It does not take complicated computations, unshakable truths, sacred practices, subtle philosophies nor holly scriptures. It is enough to love to invite love to open. To invite who we are to open. To let us come back to ourselves, to what we are.

Ha, it just might be that all we need is love, after all.

You have everything.

have-all

 

What would be the best advice on life you could give to a twenty-year-old?

Mine was: “don’t listen to other people’s advice”.

“That is, quite simply put, the worst advice I ever heard in my opinion” came the inevitable response, and then, a bit surprisingly, a question:
“What’s the up-side of not looking for advice?”

“Doing what you want the way you want to do it” I said in response,
“discovering your own, original, unique way.
Making your own choices.
Being responsible for your own choices.
Owning your life.
Owning your experience.
Owning yourself.”

Still he didn’t give up.

“The whole purpose of asking for advice is to make progress, by learning from the mistakes of not only ourselves but the ones before us,” he retorted. “Where would we be if we didn’t ask for advice?”

Where would we be?

Where would we be if we did not follow into footsteps, if we did not turn to others to ask what life is, how to live it, who am I?

Where would we be? What would we do if there was no one to tell us how to live?

I asked those questions, and as I did and an image popped into my mind, straight from some dark forgotten corner where my long gone zen past hid: a pilgrim with a sac carried over his shoulder, and in the sac everything he needs. Everything he will ever need. To be who he is. And then I knew, without any doubt I knew that I have everything I need, that I know everything I need to know, that I am everything I need to be…

to be what I am.

I do not need the support to be myself. I do not need advice on how to be myself, in fact such advice would be impossible to give because there is no one out there who knows how to be me. No one knows what it means to be me — only I do.

No one knows what it means to be you, either. No one knows how a life that is an expression of who you are should look like. Only you do. And you do know.

You know everything you need to know, you have everything you need to have and you are everything you need to be,

to be what you are.

Feel Reality

panther

The growl was rolling in my throat. A rhythmic, vibrating accompaniment for the movements of my body, the soft steps, the stretches and contractions of muscles. I moved a paw forward and my lips lifted over my fangs. Wild. I was wild. I was a wild cat. Another step crumbled a pile of dry leaves, I moved my paw, I moved my hand, I touched the soft, rumpled blanket. Bed. I was in bed. There was silence and soft breath near me, there were the heavy spots of warmth where dogs slept. I was in bed.

I was wild. I closed my eyes again. The forest was warm, pulsating with life. Life I could feel … I can feel it! I thought “I am a cat and I am the forest”. The thought brought others along, “I am the cat” I thought, and the cat became distant, distinct, separate. “I am being the cat” I thought, and stopped being it. I was thinking now, moving back into my body, back in my mind watching, observing, describing … “no!” I thought, “No! Stop thinking, stop thinking … be…”

I padded through the forest, with the forest, as the forest. I felt it on my skin. I felt it in my muscles. I felt the tension, the softness, the presence. I felt it as my body. I felt the trees and their silence, the buzzing of their flesh, of my flesh, stretching high towards the sky. I felt the water spilling over a damp earth. I felt pulled downhill with the rushing streams, I flew over rocks in the rapids with the dancing rivers. I felt the fear and submission of prey hiding nearby, in thorny bushes and earthen holes. I felt their timid presence. Their rapid, pulsating life was my own.

I felt another life, strong, powerful. Present. I felt it and knew I must meet and confront it. My authority against it’s. We must try each-other. The tension must be resolved. The strength must be tested. Hierarchy must be established.

I felt the forest, I felt being, I felt life. I was life.

“Now you know,” said the cat, “now you know how you can be wild in the world.”

“Yes. Thank you”

There was an acknowledgment. The cat left.

I lifted my head, I opened my eyes. In the midst of the night I was wide awake. “I was a wild cat!” I whispered to my husband. “Oh,” he said.

Oh.

There was nothing more to be said.

More by Pausha Foley:

I am that I am

Life After Facebook

You Create

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