Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Divine Synchronicity at Occupation Wall St. Tonight: Therapy at Liberty Plaza

During yesterday afternoon's general assembly a spokeswoman from the medical team was addressing the need for volunteer counselors at the “Occupy Wall St.” site.  This instantly caught my attention as I felt a calling to be involved [amazing how the internet can connect us to virtually anything going on in our social world at any given time].  Given my background as a therapist/coach I knew this could be something very suiting for me.

When I arrived this evening I went straight to the medical team located on the east side of liberty plaza.  A very nice woman who was eager to get me involved greeted me, took my information, and told me she would be in contact with me by the end of the day tomorrow. 

[Now here is the kicker…read the following carefully and see how this all divinely fits together]

I asked her “what type of help has been needed here, what have you seen?” She told me that, generally speaking, the people who have been occupying this space are starting to really feel stressed and warn out given the constant high energy of the environment, rain, and general stressful conditions.  She also told me about an incident involving a man who was in serious need of attention from the night prior.  She told me he had lost his wife a few months ago and too cope he was using a heavy cocktail of painkillers and drinking heavily.  She told me that he was brought to medical last night after an incident of self-abuse.  She digressed and I assured her that I was ready to help in anyway possible.  We discussed a few ideas of how we could address general mental health issues in the plaza and shortly there after I left the medical area.

The night progressed; I met other occupants and participants.  It was a very cheery night filled with a lot of passion, courage, and non-fear sentiment.  As evening General Assembly meetings commenced I made my way to the GA area were everyone gathered to listen.  At some point during the GA meeting hunger struck and I walked over to the “kitchen” area to grab a donated dinner.  At this point I started to talk with a man who was also feeding himself.  Let’s call him Anthony for the sake of confidentiality.

One thing led to another and we started small talk.  I asked him if he had been occupying the space or simply coming down to visit during the day.  He told me he was coming here every night, but for reasons that I found out later, he was “busy during the day.”  His demeanor was lethargic and it seemed as if he drunk, not completely out of it, but he definitely was a little cloudy.  Regardless, he started to share with me his life story.  I got the feeling he trusted me and felt comfortable to open himself up.

He had told me that he had been out of work since June.  I asked him “why where you laid off?”   ...    He paused and then looked down at the ground… “It’s complicated, my wife died in June.”  He had been out of work and homeless since then because his life was to much to bear due to the emotional realization that the love of his life, his wife,  was no longer was alive.  He was a bartender before all of this occurred.  To give you an idea of his family situation: the day his wife died he called his father to tell him.  His father’s response was “Go to work, lets talk tomorrow.”  With nothing left in his swollen heart he resorted to pain killers and found himself unable to “function” in this “normal” society.  He was around 30 years old, homeless, and hopeless.  Occupying Wall St. seemed to be a suiting fit for him, given his knowledge and belief that corporate America is destroying the liberties this country was founded on.

{At this point it all hit me! Here is Anthony! This is the guy that the medical team told me about! And out of the thousand or so people that occupied the plaza I met him…I firmly believe there was a divine power that brought us together…so much so that in that moment, despite his tragic story, my ego lifted, and I was fully there with him, fully immersed in his journey…

He continued to tell me his story.  He told me how he used to love going to the super market with his wife because she was a great cook.  She was Northern Italian with blue eyes and blond hair and she cooked up a mean lasagna.  He told me how perfect she was, how beautiful she was, and how she was an angel to him because she kept him on a straight path. 

He seemed to be really relieved to talk to someone who was not placing judgment on the situation and allowed him the space to simply speak his truth and too speak his experience without any worry. He even showed me how he was self abusive the night prior.  

He told me of the tragedy of how she died, and to respect both Anthony and his deceased wife I will not share the story here…but let’s just say it is extremely tragic as she died in his arms.

We talked more for a short while before he told me he needed to find his sleeping bag because someone stole his the night prior.  I knew that at this point he had expelled enough of his experience.  He was now ready to step into the "moment beyond talking about his pain."  As we stepped away from each other he looked at me and stated, “Yo man, I feel a lot lighter right now, thank you, let’s talk again soon.”  My heart was filled with life and I looked at him and said “Thank you Anthony for sharing your story with me.  You are filled with great courage!” We walked away, and I realized that for that time I was lifted out of the intensity of the plaza and into something moving, serene, and divine.

Given my “position” now at the medical team at liberty plaza he knows how to reach me.  After this encounter I went over to the woman who told me about him and I told her about my “random coincidence” with bumping into him and having, pretty much, an impromptu therapy session.  We were both blown away by the divine synchronicity that had occurred! 

I will be down at “Occupy Wall St.” most of my nights, connecting, giving, and receiving from all the real compassion that is unfolding there.  This is not some “hippy” movement.  This is a real, progressive movement, of loving folks who want the causes of injustice and profits over human need to end.  It is not just about reforming our economic system…it is about waking up the world to show everyone and each other that we are part of something greater than each individual…to realize that we are part of humanity and we should start acting like that and create a society that respects this fact to its highest degree.  I will state it here…Living and acting for the sake of profit will only divide us and destroy the world in which we inhabit…It is time to seek a different way…and that is what this movement is all about!

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Wall of Mind, the Freedom of Body

There are countless times when we condemn situations and experiences in our lives. From the little things like the troublesome reaction to a loud firetruck that passes by or something larger like that of being disappointed with a current life situation [i.e. your work situation, or something of that magnitude]. Yet, what is it that makes one situation more pleasing than another, or more desirable than another? Is it not the mind that passes judgment on such experiences? And if so, what is the mind using to assess the situation?

What other than mind is the aspect of self that witnesses the world and judges it? Yes, the body reacts, but the body does not judge. The body does not label anything, that is the reactionary endeavor of the mind. Yes, the the mind may decipher for the body what it is feeling, but can it accurately do this? Can words convey the entirety of the human experience? And if the mind does try to do this may it not create a reality for the body that is based on the accumulated past? The mind is the repository of memory, and hence is of the past. So how can the mind, which knows only the past, dictate for the body what it is feeling, now, in this present moment? Yes, the mind may observe the body and find it to be familiar, but is this familiarity not than directed into the past and away from the present? Is it possible than that the body becomes a prisoner too the mind? So how do we figure this out? How do we find out what is really going on here and how to break the chains between mind and body?

To figure out what is going on one needs to simply be aware. Be aware of the thoughts, be aware of the body, yet hold an awareness that does not let the mind control what this awareness means to you. I read in Osho last evening that the body has its own means of intelligence. Simply observe animals. They function with much greater ease than we do, and that is becuase they do not have a self-reflective mind that tries to circumvent this body intelligence. The animal is in a constant state of meditation...that is the animal is in a constant state of body meditation. That is what awareness is a sensitivity to body without an interference of mind projections upon that body. The thing is, any mind projection is always inherently a projection upon the body...for the body is the vessel of the soul and the mind is the mechanisms which was created to understand soul [the fountain of human experience].

The mind is not here to understand intellectually what this soul experinece is all about in the way of analysis and deciphering, the mind is here to understand the aspect of soul by allowing the soul to be projected into the world with conscious intent. The soul does this by discovering what the body is doing and how it is reacting, nothing more. It is as if the human experience, and what it could be about, is to experience the "being" experience [the sensitivity of body experience] in a heightened experiential way. The rest of what we have let unfold is the the constant judging and criticizing of what is...This is the ego.

When we observe a situation with a negative reaction what is occurring, unconsciously, is that the ego is attempting to try and do away with a situation by judging and reacting to it in a way. Why would the mind, the ego, act in a way if it did not believe it did not have some power to control the situation. This is obviously an irrational action, for this sort we cannot control the exterior world with out minds. We can only control the internal reaction to the exterior world.

Yes, this is where the point lies between the creation of a new world or the perseverance of our ego centered world. Yet we should not be of concern of this, for we are only have the ability to control the inner experience. And to what end do we serve, but none other than feeding the ego if we believe we can actually change the world? Yes, great leaders have held this notion and persevered into great depths of social transformation, but I would propose that these great leaders understood that real change occurs from within, from having no attachment to results, nor expectations of how their work will proceed. In this they became self-less, they became ego-less.

So when you find your self judging the exterior reality...ask yourself and be does this judgment serve you? Yes, it may perpetuate your sense of individuality, but too what cost and too what pain? Can you imagine a reality where you were connected to the all that is, as opposed to observing the world as something outside of you, that you wish was different? Are you than, in a sense, not condemning yourself when you judge the exterior world becuase that sense of condemnation comes from a place within you? Maybe that is the wish of the ego, so that its sense of existence may continue. The ego, the mind, unconsciously clings onto the notion of individuality so that the exterior world can be something to which it can be defined against, yet when we step out of mind and into body we may begin to realize something so profoundly beautiful...It is a feeling that brings you home and brings you back to being...Only you than will know what that feeling of inter-connectivity is like...

Here is the kicker...both your individuality and your unity "with the all" exist at the same time. When the body senses this the ego will be put in its right place. It will be put in its place of simply observing the "what is" without any desire to change it, for the change is within you...not without. And a human race that realizes this is set free from mind, liberated by body awareness, and brought back into unity...but a type of unity that is beyond anything we have felt or experienced be excited...becuase eventually we will all end up there [in fact we are already they we have just yet walked into this realization as a collective society, but you can now!]...this is the inevitable destination...and what it feels like I cannot describe...Just simply be aware...and let the cosmos unfold the destination of your inevitable spiritual progression!