Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Dance of Shiva / the Poem of Ecstasy.

I feel I perhaps have been spending
too much time documenting local shale gas drilling,
i.e., focusing on something I've judged to be
an unnecessary blight.

Then there is a little fear, anger, sadness.
I see lots of fear, anger, sadness in anti-fracking activists.

Here in the relative world,
yes, there seems to be a logic behind the impulse
of taking urgent action to end it,
for the benefit of all beings
to end this unsafe incursion upon our land
motivated by greed.

But from the perspective of the Absolute,
this is just another pretend drama in the field of ego.

As the poet Rumi says,
There lies a field beyond this...

This is based on a letter I sent to my friend,
who was telling me about an urgent situation,
relating to gas drilling...


Dear Friend,

This is coming up for me tonight.
It relates to our discussion about
The Listening Project.

It also relates to a discussion I had with Vera,
whom I consider a dear friend, healer, clan mother, teacher.

She gives toxic tours of gas drilling activity
around Montrose and Dimock PA.

She admits that she still has
anger, fear, and resentment come up
around for this activity (as do I)
and she also wishes it would all go away (as do I).

Yet, she is doing this practice with gas drillers,
the truck drivers, the site foremen, the drilling rig crewmen.

The way she describes her process,

She lowers her energy,
she watches her judgments,
she releases her expectations to convince them of something,
she drops her belief that she is "right",
she tries to hear what they have to say.
She tries to really listen to them, To establish a heart connection.
To find a shared field of compassion in which both sides can dwell.

This sounds very much like the Listening Project,
Nonviolent Communication (NVC),
the Polynesian healing technique Ho'oponopono,
and the Buddhist meditation technique known as Vipassana.
And somehow the dynamics of the situation is transformed.
It's not like she convinces them that she is right.
That's not the goal.

"The Game of Being Right is a game where everyone loses."
-- Marshall Rosenberg

And it's also not like the drilling activity is ceased on the spot.

But a healing occurs.
An energetic transformation happens
which everyone in the room can feel.
A human connection happens.
This is the goal.

No longer do the evil gas drillers exist
nor do the the eco-extremists.
And the anger and fear associated with each of them
disappears too!


Here is one question about "being right":

We have all pre-decided that gas drilling is unsafe.
Are we quite certain of the facts?
How do we know we are right?

Yes, we think we are right, correct, etc.
But how can we know for sure?

What if we someday discover that one or two core data
--which have been primary influences of our opinion --
turns out to be false?

As good scientists, we have to allow this possibility.
We must always have an open mind,
abandon certainty,
always observing,
never defining what is real.


When I hear anyone talk about
an "urgent situation",
or when I am feeling urgency myself,
my Yogi training is like a small voice
in the back of my head saying,
"pay attention here".

The voice is telling me
the whole idea of urgent situations
is based on delusion.

The idea of urgency says:
Something must be done NOW!!!,

Yet, simple inquiry will reveal to you
this simple truth:

Time is not real.

The future does not exist,
the past was real once,
but is now just a fading memory.

As Eckhart Tolle says,
there is only the ever changing now.

Urgent situations exist only in a field of time.
Time does not exist.
Therefore, urgency is not real.

Now, let's turn the arrow of attention
from the outside world, inward.

An urgent situation does not exist in nature,
in the outside world.

But a feeling of urgency does in the inner world.

"Urgency" is more a mind-state in a person,
a thought, a judgment, mixed with fear.

Urgency is a kind of excited internal energy.
It is a craving and/or aversion affect,
which quite often precedes
very unskillful actions, such as violence.

Noticing practice is prescribed for
Feelings of urgency.

Do not fight or resist the feeling.
Also, do not carry it or dwell in it
long after it has passed on its own.

Just notice it when it arises,
but it is best not to act out of this energy.

(...except perhaps when your home is burning!)


I was just listening to a Jimi Hendrix song.
He sings, "If the sun refused to shine, I don't mind".

If you can say "I don't mind" at each and any circumstance,
then you have become a yogi adept.

If you are no longer blown about by the Eight Winds:
  • pleasure/pain,
  • gain/loss,
  • fame/shame,
  • praise/blame

...this is what it means to be enlightened.

In yoga or Buddhism, this is called Equanimity,
which is also called: hashlamah, upeksha, stoic apatheia,
calm, patience, non-attachment,
Gelassenheit or Abgescheidenheit*
undisturbed peacefulness...

These words are all approximately synonyms.

The cultivation of this quality
is considered by many religions
to be one of the highest virtues.

No matter how this whole thing is unfolding,
we must remember:
this is all just maya (illusion),
or layla (amusement).

Life is the Dance of Shiva!

There is no such thing as death.
Life is only a dream.
We are the imagination of ourselves.
It is all just a ride.
-- Bill Hicks

Alan Watts: "Is it serious?"

Peace and Love
to you and your family
and all beings,


PS: I web searched for "The Dance of Shiva"
and I found this amazing poem.
This is very much based on

"The Poem of Ecstasy:

The Spirit (purusha) playing,
The Spirit longing,
The Spirit with fancy (yoga-maya) creating all,
Surrenders himself to the bliss (ananda) of love,

Amid the flowers of His creation (prakriti),
He lingers in a kiss….

Blinded by their beauty,
He rushes, He frolics, He dances, He whirls.

He is all rapture, all bliss, in this play (lila)

Free, divine, in this love struggle.
In the marvellous grandeur of sheer aimlessness,
And in the union of counter-aspirations

In consciousness alone, in love alone,
The Spirit learns the nature (svabhava) of His divine being….

'O, my world, my life, my blossoming, my ecstasy!

Your every moment I create
By negation of all forms previously lived through:
I am eternal negation (neti, neti). . .'
Enjoying this dance, choking in this whirlwind,

Into the domain of ecstasy, He takes swift flight.
In this unceasing change (samsara, nitya bhava),
in this flight, aimless, divine

The Spirit comprehends Himself,
In the power of will, alone, free,
Ever-creating, all-irradiating, all-vivifying,
Divinely playing in the multiplicity of forms, He comprehends Himself….

'I already dwell in thee, O, my world,

Thy dream of me -'twas I coming into existence. …
And thou art all – one wave of freedom and bliss. …'
By a general conflagration (maha-pralaya) the universe (samsara) is embraced
The Spirit is at the height of being, and He feels the tide unending
Of the divine power (shakti) of free will, He is all-daring:
What menaced, now is excitement,
What terrified, is now delight. …
And the universe resounds with the joyful cry I am."

(Note: From the translation by Lydia L. Pimenoff Noble, published in the Boston Symphony Orchestra Programme,
for Alexander Scriabin's composition, The Poem of Ecstasy October 29, 1917.)

I hope this helps someone.

(* Meister Eckhart used these terms...)

William Huston
Binghamton NY Phone: 607-321-7846

Binghamton-area discussion; spirituality topics:
Binghamton Public Access TV is Open-To-Everyone!

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