kerrya's blog

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Between Ground and Sky ...

A couple of days ago, I experienced some very unnerving, less common, side effects of an antibiotic I was prescribed for a sinus infection. And in the course of a 24 hr period, I had intense moments of anxiety, agitation, hallucinations. Because of my practices in ASOS, in particular that of form anxiety and, even more so, Impersonal Movement, I was able to actually observe the one in me who experienced the symptoms and hold an impersonal space, if you will, for this to safely be contained and so that the personal me was not consumed or annhilated by the scary experience. As a person who had dibilitating panic attacks throughout my twenties, to be able to do this is nothing short of a miracle.

A poem emerged from this experience, titled: Between Ground and Sky. Here it is:

of prickly
caterpillar hairs
scraping against
my skin
from the inside-out
am i awake or

my eyes are WIDE open

chest collapses

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Hawk-ness ...

HAWK ... is the messenger. IT is also about visionary power and guardianship; the hawk is very protective of the young in its nest. It teaches us about providing for family and self. Hawk teaches us to be observant and to pay attention to what we may overlook. This could mean a talent we don't use, a blessing for which we haven't expressed gratitude, or a message from Spirit. The hawk has keen eyesight, it is about opening our eyes and seeing that which is there to guide us.
~ Power Animals website

This past weekend, I began to explore the animals I relate to based on the astrological forecast for November by Elizabeth Hermon. It is about seeing our strengths and weaknesses through the animals that we are. She suggested thinking about those animals whose characteristics we identify with. I had previously done a lot of work with my Fox energy, but this go-round, thanks to the inquisitiveness of a fellow non-dual healing classmate, something very different arose.

The Hawk.

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My Work to Return

Let me suffer with kindness
Oh Great Mother !
Curving toward you with my aches and pains
Offering their release into the Universal container
So that I may be free to engage with life as it is

Let me stay with these restless, racing thoughts
Wanting to distract from what is here
May I lean against your tender heart
So that I may feel my own when I cannot tolerate
Occupying my own skin

I cry out to the heavens
With my guttural sounds
Vibrating deep
From within the belly of the world
Ahhhhhh. Ohhhhhh. Ahhhhhh.

A relentless ego pummels me with its urgency
An arsenal of threads inside and outside
I stand firmly rooted, placing them in front of me
So that I may feel my own true nature
In the quiet, she whispers : “I am all I got.”

Ecstatic breaths engage this revelation
In, Out-In, Out-In, Out
Heart opens into spacious skies
There is no judgment or irritation
Just God-cleaving truth.

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Limited and Limitless

Every morning this week I have been working with the same passage from my teacher Jason's book "The Instruction Manual for Receiving God". It is about being limitless and connected to the world. The closing statement in the passage is the one that packs the punch: "All day long, whenever you have a decision to make, say to yourself: What would I do if I were completely openhearted and in love with God ?

I struggled first with embodying the words above in an authentic way. I kept feeling all the ways in which I am limited -- like how I contract and hold back and tighten. How sometimes I get really, really small. And want to quit. Or run away. Or disappear. If I'm really honest, once in a blue moon, I fantasize about exiting here for good when the going feels just too much and too tough and too tiring. It feels really good to give voice to these pieces of me.

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Getting Whole ...

When the ego is healed and not discarded; when it is held closely to the heart even in its misconceptions and troubles; when its every pain is no longer believed to be the only and ultimate truth does the ego reveal itself to be the Real Self, the connected self."
~ Jason Shulman (

In his talk here on Enlightenment Online, Jason is responding to a question from a member of the community who is inquiring about de-activating the ego. Jason speaks about the significance of the healed ego, akin to the relationship of waves to the ocean, brightness to light. He goes on to comment about the healed ego: "The self that can be intimate with all things."

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Soaring with Imagination ...

A classmate in my non-dual healing program, Lili, made a guided audio meditation using questions that were posed in a talk given by my healer/teacher, Brenda, at our retreat last weekend.

The opening question is: "Who is the WHO that perceives the future with imagination?"

I have been meditating with this and numerous other questions every night before going to sleep and, for the first time, this morning shortly after rising. There is tremendous power in allowing statements such as these to work through oneself, as is instructed by my classmate on the audio.

As I have begun to feel into my "who is" that perceives the future with imagination, an invitation from a friend and fellow traveler in the rooms of AA co-arose. It involves a dream of mine that I never actively pursued and have always said I'd do for my 50th birthday yet never really believed I would follow through.


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Celebration and Suffering

An invaluable gift of non-dual healing is that the world is no longer, for me, viewed as " This versus That" ; "All or Nothing"; it can now be seen from the places of "And this too"; "Everything has a place"; "This AND That ".

What I have come to discover in my personal house is that a room can be filled with celebration, while another one right next door can be occupied with suffering. And neither one has to be evicted.

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Plunging into Ecstasy ...

"Ecstasy is not something separate from fear. Ecstasy is something that includes fear in the price of being human."
~ Jason Shulman, The Instruction Manual for Receiving God

The American Heritage Dictionary offers 3 meanings for ecstasy:
1) Intense joy or delight.
2) A state of emotion so intense that one is carried beyond rational thought and self-control: an ecstasy of rage.
3) The trance, frenzy, or rapture associated with mystic or prophetic exaltation.

Its origin is from the Latin word for "terror".

I, like perhaps many others, have only considered the first, more upbeat, definition for ecstasy. Which is why I have spent several days on my teacher's passage above and could not make the connection to fear coupled with ecstasy. As I see that the meaning is not limited to intense joy and includes emotion beyond the rational and trance and terror, I am standing at attention with eyes wide open.

Jason goes on to say in this passage about ecstasy the following:

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Certain about Uncertainty

It is an unfamiliar and strangely calm feeling that I have had all week. Like having a lower half made of the most sturdy material and feeling the imprint of my soles with each step I take.

It involves being quite certain about uncertainty. An absolute solid centeredness in the middle of the absolute unknown. The gravitational pull downward and inward in the vortex of life swirling all around me.

I have asked myself several times: "Are you making this up and just trying not to shatter?" to which I reply very assuredly: "Nope. This is what it feels like to be in life in a real, honest, way."

My head is not filled with things like making plans or worry or wondering about what the future holds. I can feel the denseness of my inside, like a wood pole through my core. I am not shaky or trembly or otherwise unsteady.

My God-voice is whispering: "You are ok no matter what."

I trust this. I believe what my interior is telling me. It's very cool.

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No Choice But to Love ...

I posed a question yesterday in our non-dual healing school to Jason, who spent the afternoon with all of us as our 4th year class came to a close. The question was about the relationship to being in Malchut -- being in the place of meeting life as it is -- AND our kavanah -- the trustworthy intention to be in integrity in our actions and interactions with the world. The bottom line of his exploration aloud with us boiled down to this profound statement:
"I have no choice but to love".

My sponsor in AA often shares that her primary reason to not pick up a drink and to stay sober, even after the love of her life died nearly 2 years ago, is because she has no choice but to be here and to love what is here -- be it an alcoholic who is struggling, her sponsees, or the stray cats who find their way to her home. This is what gets her out of bed each morning, amid the bouts of unbearable missing and longing for her husband to re-appear and to hold her hand once more.