The Guru Within

cropped-meadow-0329131.jpgThere is a meadow by my house. On one side of the meadow is a beautiful view of Mount Shasta. On the other side is a slightly obscured view of Mount Eddy. Like my neighborhood, the meadow is on the edge of nowhere. Directly west of the neighborhood is an abyss of nature full of all sorts of things that can be scary: bears, mountain lions, maybe even bigfoot.

I have spent most of my life in the wilds of skyscrapers. The wilds of bears and mountain lions actually scared me when I first moved here. I would walk with my friend Riley around the neighborhood and peer into the meadow. Riley would look up at me with longing eyes as if to say, “Let’s go in! It’s fun!” Riley showed me how much fun the meadow could be.

I have had a lot of blissful, wonderful experiences in the meadow and in the surrounding woods here. I am no longer fearful of what I might find, or what might find me.

Yesterday, Mark came home from a meeting with a spiritual friend in a state of bliss. I asked him a little about the experience, but he said I had to ask him questions about my own life or my own observations, and then perhaps he could share a little of what he got.

mount_shastaI started talking about the meadow, and how I was realizing how important it has been for me. I recounted a few of the experiences I have had there, connecting with nature, strange noises that seem to come from everywhere and nowhere at once, time slippage, and deep meditation and connection with what is real. I talked about how I have recently taken this natural beauty for granted, how I have not really been diving into it and experiencing it. I was starting to feel that this luxury of an experience in Mount Shasta was ending, and that it was time to go back to the “real world.” I told him how, since Riley’s passing, I’ve been going back to the meadow and remembering. It is a magical place for me, and I am grateful to re-experience it again.

Mark replied, “You are the meadow.”

With those four words as a response to my five minute monologue, he helped me dive deeper into the experience of what I was sensing. Yes, I am the meadow. The meadow is me. It’s all a part of me.

I spent too many years of my life afraid to go into the part of myself that opens up when I visit the meadow. I have turned away from that very large part of myself where magic happens, where I open up.

Riley showed me not to be afraid in the physical world. He showed me that what I really wanted was right there on the other side of what seemed scary to a city girl. Now, Riley is gone. I have Alex, who has of course never been afraid of the meadow. And I go into this magical place and just walk around experiencing the opening of the bluest sky I’ve ever seen, the mountains, and the earth.

And myself. The external magic of the place reflects back something in a deeper part of myself. The meadow, on the edge of an abyss of magical forest, reflects the abyss within myself that I have only danced around in this life of mine. I’ve stayed rather safe in my quite adept mind that likes to think it’s got it all figured out.

When I go into the meadow within myself, there is something much larger waiting for me to meet there. This is what is real.

meadow-032913The meadow is my doorway to the guru. And the guru is within me.

After Mark said this to me last night, I had wild dreams. In one, I was taught to fly. I was adept at it, taking my physical body to fly over everything. One of the places I flew in the dream was my meadow. Then I saw someone do something that angered me, so I tried to fix it. And I couldn’t fly as well anymore.

Sometimes these experiences feel like a luxury. To be able to walk every morning in such an amazing place, to be able to have spirit gift me with such obvious dreams, and to be surrounded by such loving beings in my family, friends, and neighbors. I am so blessed in ways far beyond anything I could ever buy. I am blessed by magic. I am blessed by just-in-time synchronistic experiences that ensure that I am cared for, provided for abundantly, and graced with opportunities to grow, to love, and to experience joy.

In this place, everything is a miracle.

Sometimes we think things are happening to us in life, when the real magic is that there is a larger part of consciousness that is ensuring things happen FOR us. Everything about this magical place I call home has been inviting me to explore the abyss of the guru within myself where only love resides.

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.”
— Rumi


The Blessing of Manjushri

Tibetan monks visited Mount Shasta. I wanted to visit and connect with them, so I went to a meditation. I went to the only one I had time to do. It was a Manjushri empowerment meditation and blessing. When I told Mark that we did a Manjushri meditation and learned the mantra, he replied, “Oh no.”

“Oh no? Really? Why?” I asked.

“Don’t you remember? That’s the name Rajneesh/Osho gave [former business partner].*”

manjushri“That’s actually kind of hilarious. Manjushri is about cutting through illusion. See?” I showed Mark the image of Manjushri with the flaming sword. “He uses the sword to cut through illusion. [Former business partner] is all about perpetuating illusions for his benefit. No wonder he has so many problems! If you’re not cutting through illusions, I suppose being called Manjushri would be somewhat of a curse.”

We laughed a little about it, and went about our day. As time went on, I was starting to get messages about speaking out about our time in Austin. You see, neither Mark nor I have said much about our time there. We’ve alluded to things – like his blogs about the types of teachers which angered his former business partner greatly.

But we haven’t talked much about why we left.

I’ve tried my best to move on, and I feel like I have. Shasta has been an amazing home for me for the past 4 years. I feel like a completely different person. I’ve done a lot of healing here, healing I would have not been able to do anywhere else on earth.

But I get the sense that it’s time for us to get clear — really clear — on what happened in Austin and why we left. It feels like there is a bit of unfinished business, like someone left a garbage can open.

Of course, as per former business partner’s MO, that’s my manifestation because it’s in my reality. That I am being judgmental, and thus I am the one with the problem if he does something egregious. He gets a blank check, doesn’t he. He gets to judge, he gets to write lies and untruths, and if I say anything about it, I am only looking in the mirror.

Sigh. That twist of logic happened a lot during those years.

If I said anything about former business partner — for example being horrified that he went on a drinking binge during an event (May 2008) — then I was told to clean on it and not judge. He always had a way of telling people that if we didn’t like what he did, it was a reflection of something wrong inside of us that attracted his behavior.

So, if someone calls me a bitch behind my back (as he did), I attracted him doing it. If I call him a jerk, I am the one with a problem.

It’s a double bind isn’t it. I cannot practice discernment, or else I am judgmental. But he can judge me.  It was so perfectly convenient for someone who wishes to remain above reproach. If you try to defend yourself or even call out him on bad behavior, he turned it around and blamed the victim. It’s all your fault I spent the weekend drinking in my room. It’s all your fault I called you a bitch. And if you don’t like it, that’s your problem, too.

Here’s an important distinction. I get to judge. I get to discern. I get to say, “I don’t like this.” I even get to say, “That’s pretty messed up when you spent the weekend drunk instead of interacting with our event attendees that paid to meet you.” I even get to say, “You’re an asshole!”

There’s nothing non-spiritual in calling events and behaviors as I see them. There’s nothing non-spiritual in saying any of that. It is a contrast.

What I do own is my emotions surrounding the experience. The sadness, disappointment, discouragement, and negative feelings are all my own. I own them and I work on those. Those I clear. But remaining silent in the face of lies serves no one except the liars who intimidate those who might speak out.

Manjushri, take me away!

I know this was not an unusual situation. Having worked in the corporate world, I ran into a lot of personalities like this. However, for someone who was working in the personal development field talking about spiritual concepts, someone who called himself “the buddha of the internet,” there are much higher expectations. He set it up that way. If you don’t want to be called on your behavior, don’t call yourself the buddha.

It finally got to the point where even Mark couldn’t take the games anymore. We had to leave Texas.

We’ve done our best to put the whole experience behind us. He comes up on the radar every once in a while because he’ll write something somewhere. He accused us of “stealing his list” and promptly deleted that portion of his blog entry when Mark called him on it. It’s just an annoyance from a little fish in a big Law of Attraction pond who really doesn’t matter.

His latest exhibition of judgmental anger is in his new book. Chapter one is a laundry list of lies about Mark for which the great guru has expressed his holier than thou forgiveness. Yes, forgiveness for things that never happened is easy when you’re not forgiving yourself. The book is full of untruth couched in spiritual “wisdom.” (Is that Manjushri laughing?) I could go line by line and refute everything. But the people who believe he’s a spiritual guru will never hear it. They are the bamboozled, “hypnotically marketed” into a place where they may never recover.


And those who are not bamboozled don’t need to hear it because they already see through the games.

Mark has been chomping at the bit to speak out, especially about the lies in the book. He wants to set the record straight. I’ve asked him not to. It’s not worth it. But spirit has asked me rather loudly today to write this post. Perhaps it was the Manjushri blessing from the Tibetan Lama.

Perhaps it’s just time to put this behind us. Perhaps none of it matters anymore.

Perhaps I just need to get it off my chest so I can continue writing about things that really matter. Because these ridiculous games of pot shots at us every 3-6 months from Wimberley, Texas are getting old and tired, just like the same stories he tells over and over again in his books.

Or maybe that’s just me being judgmental and I’m the one with the problem.

I do find it ironic that I receive Manjushri’s blessing, and then three times today I am asked to speak about false gurus by synchronicities and friends.

Cut through the illusions

Illusions. There are a lot of them in this world.

It’s all an illusion. All of it. All of the games we play with each other. The fears we express. Even the actions of Mark’s former business partner are coming from anger at his ghosts and fear of losing it all.

These illusions are not us, they are merely the games we play.

But even though they are not real, we still believe them. It’s one of the reasons I don’t write about the former business partner when he acts like a petulant child, and why I encourage Mark not to also. Some people need to believe in the lies, they need to believe the illusions. Even I have had to at times. Perhaps I still do about some things. I never did about him. I found a lot more power in the truth. Unfortunately, the truth is hard to get to unless you really extract yourself from the charlatans and start finding the guru within.

This is the path the real buddha gave us. It is the path of enlightenment and awakening. No course, no clearing audio, and no guru is going to do the work for you because that journey is within yourself.