It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to...
It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain! I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see beauty even when it’s not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!”
It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.
It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
Oriah Mountain Dreamer
copyright © 1999 by Oriah Mountain Dreamer.
Dying into Life: A Mystery School of Loss & Endings
by Darlene Rollins
Life is a Mystery School. We all live at the heart of a great mystery, this experience called life. More accurately, we should say, this experience of Life & Death. They are a fundamental unity as far as we know. There is never one w/o the other. This journey of Life and Death is a Mystery School. It is great mystery why we are here and what will happen when we are no longer here. It seems so profound and unanswerable we gravitate towards either ignoring it or adopting a set of “beliefs” that we then try to impose over the experience itself. The Pathwork is a path of experience. It is a path of embracing life and death by truly living through it and discovering that we can both transform and transcend our experience by embracing it all.
Yes Life is a mystery that we are born into and from that moment we are moving through and towards death. While we “know” this, we live trying to forget it, until some death confronts us. It is a shock, a horrible twist of fate that we then resist, resent and struggle to control but we cannot.
It could be death of a loved one or our own terminal illness, or some major disappointment or crises in life. It could be some brutality from an unc0nscious person or system, some ultimate unfairness in life. These aspects of existence, the ego really cannot outmaneuver. As the Buddha noted, to live in the field of time is to experience loss.
Our religious institutions do not really address well, the big or little deaths that life brings. Beliefs try to give us comfort, but this often falls short in the face of the real experiences. Or we act out our appropriate role and suppress everything else. This is another form of death.
Whenever we contract against life in its movement of dying, instead of moving along to the rebirth, we get stuck. When we block the response to death which is grief, when we hold up, back, out, in, or together, we block the natural movement of grief through our bodies, and we cannot seem to move on. But holding is what we want to do and what others want us to do.
Our whole culture is afraid of grief and thus afraid of dying. We try to insulate ourselves in every way we can, but the Pathwork asks us to learn a different response.
It is often through these deaths, the undergoing, the experiences themselves, that we open to a larger spiritual existence.
We need to learn a new approach to Life and Death. New maps, and practices that help us traverse the territory of our own experience.
We die many emotional deaths before we reach physical death. And if that physical death is prolonged as many are in these times, we will die many emotional deaths in the process of physically dying. Many also experience chronic illnesses that act in the same way. Lost dreams and other loves are also forms of death we may have or will face.
Each of these deaths calls forth our grief response. The stages of grief described originally by Elizabeth Kubler Ross continue to be encountered. The final stage of acceptance holds something other than defeat. Hospice nurses and family members are often witness that the dying person comes to be in a transcendent state of love and peace for some time before they physically die. Consciousness somehow transcends the suffering and loss, and expands into grace and love.
This class proposes that perhaps this is the purpose of this great mystery.
Perhaps this dying process that we begin the moment we are born, is really a journey of expansion into the greater Self, our pure awareness. What dies is only what is not that.
Perhaps each time we face a disappointment or events that get in the way we were expecting life to go, we practice this art of dying. If we take this on more consciously it yields a great spiritual gift and capacity for the ultimate letting go.
“Who am I? ”is the question all religions try to answer and paths to enlightenment have us ask within. If we let go of identification with all our roles and preferences, and identified with awareness rather than the content of awareness, who would we be? Nothing, or Everything?
Being a spirit in a body, among other things, seems to be a process of limitation and separation so from this perspective dying might be seen as this process of letting go of the temporary limited self, to embrace the eternal self.
Through facing the limitations of the physical, we ultimately learn not to identify with them, or fear them. This then expands consciousness to embrace life and death. And conversely once we embrace dying it seems we more fully embrace living. From there we can respond to the “Invitation”
So the Pathwork is a spiritual path that understands that our fear of death creates a fear of life, and that this fear restricts us, and causes a form of suffering that is not naturally part of life.
This is what makes us unhappy and frustrated with ourselves and our lives. All our “problems” boil down to this. We struggle to become happy by getting everything in order, trying to make it happen the way we want, or how we dream it. It always falls short….How we learn to die those deaths will determine the maturity of our consciousness and our ultimate happiness and satisfaction in life.
Learning to work with this life vs death deep dynamic within us before we are actively dying, can create in us a powerful initiation in consciousness and a greater capacity for life. And as we learn to embrace all the little deaths within life, we learn how to surrender to the “final death” of this lifetime.
This Fall I am offering a wonderful way to engage and explore this rich territory. We will form a group that meets together 4 times over a 9 month period and will have contact and homework in between. We will explore our lives with this lens and we will experience what it is like to create an overview of our lives, examine the story that we are weaving from our experiences and discover how our interpretation is a form of psychic spin and we become attached to a negative story. We challenge this and find other interpretations, more life giving stories and we see how we got lost in our negative story. We also discover some ways of dismantling our defenses so we can stay expanded instead of contracting in the face of difficult stories and experiences.
Held In a beautiful retreat center on the foothills of the blue ridge mountains 20 miles north of Charlottesville, participants will enjoy the beauty of the land and the wonderful food.
Dates are being reserved up for the Fall into Spring 2016-2017.
Please contact Darlene Rollins for any questions, and all prospective students must have an interview to determine if this work is appropriate for you. 540 752 5540.
If you cannot do the program but are called to this kind of approach get in touch with me at 540 572 5540. Blessings, Darlene
In addition to this year long program, Darlene offers this approach in her individual sessions and groups and workshops.