OSHO Day 5: Love & Meditation Go Hand in Hand

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“Be ordinary. Nothing is wrong with ordinariness, because in your very ordinariness you are extraordinary.” ~Osho
Now is the time to meditate. If love and meditation go together, you will have both wings, you will have a balance. Love and meditate, meditate and love, and slowly, slowly you will see a new harmony arising in you. Only that harmony will make you contented.
Thought for the day: “I ground my love through daily meditation.”
The problem with Love is that many people spend so much time looking for it outside of themselves. They don’t meditate. They don’t look within. And when you put two non-meditative people together? All there is is confusion.
Today, Osho said, “Unless meditation is achieved, love will remain a misery.”
We must learn to enjoy our simple existence. If we do not, if we do not learn to meditate, we will continue to look for the problems of our relationship in the other. Our partner, who is a mirror, will only reflect the ugliness we see in ourselves. And instead of blaming ourselves, we blame the one holding the mirror. This is not the way. Meditation is the way. Looking within is the way. Not blaming the other, and not blaming anything at all is the way. Facing the problem, and learning the problem, with awareness, the two of you, is the solution.
Osho says, “No one is making you look ugly. You are ugly. Sorry, but that’s how it is.”
We cannot blame the other for showing this to us. It is what it is. We mustn’t be angry. We must be grateful for the other, because he/she helps us look and go deeply into your selves. Love shows you who you are, where you are. But we mustn’t forget meditation when we are in love.
Without love, you will become unconscious of your problems because it shows us where we need to work. It shows us what traumas, what triggers, what things need to be healed. What things about ourselves need nurturance. What things about ourselves need to be let go. But this is scary.
This is why people don’t like love. They don’t like the work, rather, the ego doesn’t like to do the work. If you decide to turn your back on love, like Osho says, “Just because the mirror is no longer there, doesn’t mean you don’t have a face.” You will still be ugly. And with each new mirror you find love in, the problem will continue to be reflected back at you, until you decide to finally  settle in and DEAL.
With meditation, with love; meditating with love, and loving with meditation, we can find the necessary harmony to find our beauty again. With both wings attached, we can fly. With both, we find balance and can move past the past, and regain a sense of hope.

Today’s Homework & Meditation

“Allowing the Heart to Open Like a Flower”
This meditation uses our breathing … which is happening all the time even
though for the most part we are not aware of it.
Take a moment now and loosen your clothing, especially around the stomach
so that this area can move more freely.
“Sometimes the heart full of love is there … but it is like a bud, not like a
flower, the petals are closed. This bud can become a flower.” Osho
It should be noted here that there is a heart muscle and there is a heart center
– sometimes called a Heart Chakra or Heart Center, located between the
breasts. In this meditation we are dealing with the Heart Center. If you like you
can imagine your heart center as a flower of your choice.
This is a small and simple breathing technique to help the heart center to
flower.
The Method
Sit in a relaxed position while keeping your spine straight. Take a moment and
become aware of your breathing … not to change it, but to become more
aware it, of HOW it is happening. Is it deep, or is it shallow? Is it happening on
its own…? Or do you observe that you make an effort to breathe in or to
breathe out? Do you feel more comfortable on the inhalation or on the
exhalation?
We are going to breathe in a particular way, first I will explain how it works.
First of all exhale till ALL the air is out of the lungs; now pull in your stomach,
and use that action to push out any remaining air.
When you feel all the air is out, pause and let your lungs remain empty for as
long as possible. (No need to be afraid, because whenever necessary the air
will come rushing back in by itself.) When the air comes rushing back in, it will
open the petals of the heart center. This is one of the most significant devices
to open the heart.
So get ready now: Exhale deeply, pull in your stomach, and throw ALL the air
out of your lungs.
When you feel all the air is out, keep it out as long as you can… let it remain
out as long as possible. …
And when the air comes rushing back in, feel it opening the petals of the heart.
Do this once more:
Exhale deeply, pull in your stomach, and throw ALL the air out of your lungs.
When you feel all the air is out, keep it out as long as you can … let it remain
out as long as possible.
And when the air comes rushing back in, feel it opening the petals of the heart.
This simple technique can also be used whenever you want to change your
mood – maybe you’re feeling jealous, or annoyed with something at work, or
upset by something someone has said to you. Just take a few moments and do
this simple technique of throwing all the air out of your lungs … and with it, all
the negativity you are feeling. Throw it out. And when the air comes rushing
back in, allow the petals of your heart to open.

OSHO Day 3: Meditations on Anger

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“The science for transformation of life is called meditation. Through analysis, physical science reaches the atom and atomic power, but meditation reaches the soul and soul power.” ~Osho
In Osho’s words, Remember, we pour our energy into anger, then only does it become vital. It has no energy of its own; it depends on our cooperation. In watching, the cooperation is broken; you are no more supporting it. It will be there, for a few moments, a few minutes, and then it will be gone. Finding no roots in you, finding you unavailable, seeing that you are far away, a watcher on the hills, it will dissipate, it will disappear. And that disappearance is beautiful. That disappearance is a great experience.
Thought of the Day: “Today I acknowledge any feelings of anger and allow them to harmlessly pass by.”
“The way to deal with any angry emotion is not with repression for angry expression but of watching Let it surround you, be a silent watcher. See that this is anger. When it arises, listen to tit. Listen to its message. Keep alert, don’t fall asleep. You are not your anger, you are its watcher. That is the key. You become separate from it and so detached and so cool and aloof so much that it then doesn’t seem to matter at all, and in fact you begin to laugh. You begin to laugh at all the ridiculous things you have done out of anger. Because you are not anger. It is there, out side of you. But it is not you. Anger has no power of its own, it depends on us to participate. It depends on our cooperation.
Anger will disappear when we no longer participate. Finding no roots in you. Finding you unavailable. Seeing you far far away on the hills watching it will dissipate. And that disappearance is a great experience. That disappearance is beautiful. Seeing the anger disappear, great serenity arises. The silence that follows is blissful. You will be surprised that each time anger arises and if you can watch, you will fall into such tranquility that you have not known before. You will fall into such deep meditation. When the anger disappears you will see yourself so fresh, so young, so innocent as you have never known yourself. And you will be so thankful, you will even be thankful for anger. You will not be angry at it because it has given you a new beautiful space to live in. An utterly new experience to go through. You have used it. You have made a stepping stone out of it. This is the creative use of the negative emotions.”
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So, Beloveds, what does anger mean for you? When was the last time you were angry? What were you angry about? Why? Was it a person, and were they really the reason you were angry? Or was it something else?
Today we were freely given the following as homework.
“Changing the Pattern of Anger”
It often seems that anger is just boiling below the surface, just waiting for the
opportunity to erupt. And even if you throw out your anger and find a way to express it,
unless you go more deeply into discovering the source of it – finding what it is inside
you that triggers it – the underlying pattern does not change. If all you do is throw it
out, afterward you start accumulating anger again and the pattern continues.
The meditation we present today is one that can break the pattern that makes us
accumulate this anger again and again. It is a method that uses the body as your
guide. Do it with sincerity, and then see what it brings you. The only way to find that
out is to actually do it. You can practice this method in your own time. You will need
about 20 minutes.
The Method
Each day, for 15 minutes, any time that you feel is good, close the door to your room
and, sitting or standing, start to become angry – but don’t release it, don’t express it.
Go on forcing it, go almost crazy with anger, but don’t release it, no expression … not
even a pillow to hit. Repress it in every way.
At first you might have to remember a specific situation where you found yourself being
really angry, just to bring back the feeling. But let your body be your guide, let the
feelings you had in your body at that time be your focus – not whatever it was that
caused the anger in the first place. Don’t intellectualize, stay in touch with the physical
sensations that come up when there is anger. And allow those sensations to become
more and more intense.
If you feel tension arising in the stomach, as if something is going to explode, pull the
stomach in; make it as tense as you can. If you feel the shoulders are becoming tense,
your hands want to make a fist, you want to hit somebody, make the shoulders and the
hands even more tense and tight.
If you find you are clenching your jaw, that you want to scream, clench your jaw even
tighter. Let the whole body be as tense as possible, almost as if it is a volcano boiling
within, but with no release. That is the point to remember – no release, no expression.
Don’t scream, otherwise the stomach will be released. Don’t hit anything, otherwise the
shoulders will be released and relaxed. For 15 minutes get heated up, as if you are
trying to reach the boiling point. For 15 minutes work the tension up to a climax. Put on
an alarm clock or timer and at the point the alarm goes off, try the absolutely hardest
you can.
Then, when the alarm has stopped… sit silently, close your eyes, relax the body and
just watch what is happening. Be a witness for at least another 5 minutes, more if it
feels right. Relax the body, and just watch.
If you find this method suits you, then do this sequence every day for two weeks. This
heating of the body system will force your patterns to melt.
And if you feel that anger is not your issue, you can substitute another emotion where
you would like to change the pattern – sadness, jealousy, fear –and adjust the exercise
accordingly.

OSHO Day 2: Love and Relating

Osho if you love a flower

“Sometimes lovers feel that when love is there, they are not. To feel this in love is easy because love is gratifying, but to feel it in hate is difficult because hate is not gratifying. Lovers, deep lovers, have felt that it is not that they “love” – love is not an activity – rather, they have become love.״ ~Osho

“Relationship means something complete, finished, closed. Love is never a relationship; love is relating. It is always a river, flowing, unending. Love knows no full stop; the honeymoon begins but never ends. It is not like a novel that starts at a certain point and ends at a certain point. It is an ongoing phenomenon. Lovers end, love continues.

Love is a container, it is a verb not a noun. And why do we reduce the beauty of relating into relationship? Why are we in such a hurry? Because to relate is insecure and relationship is a security. Relationship has a certainty, and relating is just a meeting of strangers, a meeting, an overnight stay, and in the morning we say goodbye. Who knows what will happen tomorrow? We are so afraid that we want to make it certain. That we want to make it predictable. We would like tomorrow according to our ideas. We don’t allow it freedom to have its own say. So we immediately reduce every verb into a noun. You are in love with a man or woman and immediately to start thinking of getting married to make it a legal contract. Why?

Why? In a better world, with more meditative people, with a little more enlightenment is spread over out onto others, people will love. And love immensely. But their love will remain in relating not in relationship. And I’m not saying that their love will only be one moment. There is every possibility that their love will go deeper than your love and may have a higher level of intimacy and may have something more of poetry in it and more of god in it. And there is every possibility their love will last longer than your so called relationship lasts ever. But it will not be guaranteed by law by the court by the police man. The guarantee will be inner. It will be a commitment from the heart. It will be a silent communion.

If you enjoy being with somebody, you will like to enjoy them more and more. If you enjoy the intimacy, you will like to explode the intimacy more and more. Forget relationships and learn how to relate. Once you are in a relationship you start taking each other for granted. That is what destroys all love affairs. Relating means you are always starting. You are continuously trying to be acquainted again and again. You are introducing yourself to each other over and over. You are trying to see the so many faces of the other’s personality. You are trying to penetrate deeper and deeper into his realm, into his inner feelings, into the deeper recesses of his being. You are trying to unravel a mystery that which cannot be unraveled, and that is the joy of love. The explosion of consciousness.

And if you relate and don’t reduce it into a relationship, the other will become embodied into you. Exploding him, unaware that you will be exploding yourself too. Getting deeper into the other, knowing his feelings, his thoughts, his deeper stirrings, you will be knowing your own deeper stirrings too. Lovers become mirrors to each other, and their love becomes a meditation.”

“And then Love becomes a meditation.” Mmm! Isn’t that so poetic! The explosion of consciousness, the explosion of Love and Relating. But how do we get there? How do we get to that spot? Well, it starts first by loving yourself.

Thought of the Day: “I am ready to experience love in every moment of my life.”

So start. Start experiencing love in every moment. Learn to appreciate the flower instead of picking it. Learn to look in awe and wonderment at the world around you. Even if it is just ants and concrete. See the beauty, see the art in the movement of the ants. See the sparkling flecks of mica in the concrete. Watch the sunshine reflect off of windows and mirrors and buildings. Notice the rainbows in street signs. Look in the mirror and see your own beauty. You are not a leper. You are worthy of this world. You are loved and you are lovable. You are.

Today, we were given two meditations. One to do on our own, and the other to do with a partner, lover, or friend. One to embrace the feeling of Self Love and the other to embrace the love connection you have with someone else.

The partner one is really moving, and the one on your own is very important. I ask all my clients to do something like this at least once a week. osho love meditations Enjoy!

 

Finding Your Flow Final Journal

The following daily medicines are ways to radiate what we have already found and activated in the previous weeks. They are nudges. They are examples. They are suggestions in how to tap into the flow of your own Being.

Granted, I first shared these on Facebook, and am now just getting to it to share them here.

Soon, there will be another 21-Day Challenge from Deepak and the Chopra Center. Until then, remember all of the ways that we can express these qualities about ourselves for a healthier, happier, and more whole life.

Namaste~

Day 15

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Today’s medicine: Tap into your own peaceful warrior.

What will you do today to be a grounding example of protection, peace, and stability to the world today? When someone in your life is going through a struggle, take a moment, breathe, ground yourself, and lend a helping hand. By being a force of security, we can express the strength of our inner selves in the face of any storm.

Radiate your complete peace and security. Om Bhu, Express your stability into the world.

Day 16

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Today’s medicine: Laugh and smile at a complete stranger.

What brings a smile to your face? How do you share your happiness with others? Is your laugh infectious, sending waves of joy outward in all directions? Look at this image. How can you not laugh with ecstasy and complete joy? Deepak says that “when we tap into the flow of true happiness, we become a beacon for others to do the same. As we practice sustaining our connection to this infinite source of inner joy we access the uplifting support of happiness no matter what may be happening around us. We are now empowered to shift the state we are in by choosing to pause for a moment as we find our way back to the flow of positivity. As we live mindfully responsive to life, choosing to access and express our inner joy, we affect a larger circle of people than we can know. As others are exposed to your happiness, they have the opportunity to open to it, receive it, and effortlessly pass it on. Each moment we have the ability to say yes to happiness. Lead the way and watch the world around you transform!”

Radiate your happiness and generosity of spirit. Om Bhuvaha, Express your happiness into the world.

Day 17

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Today’s medicine: Surrender, let go of your fear. Remember that you are powerful.

“Spiritual power is the flow of universal power focused through us to support and benefit others.”

Oprah mentions that by surrendering to the flow and trusting that which is greater than ourselves, we “radiate a vortex of strength and power.”

Deepak adds that by expressing power through the solar plexus chakra, we gain access to a “core of support that knits together mental, emotional and spiritual strength.” These three kinds of strengths are what we need in order to overcome obstacles, reach our goals in life, and share our strength with others.

Radiate your strength and support. Om Swaha, Express your confidence into the world.

Day 18

love

Today’s medicine: Take someone by the hand and tell them that you love them. Hug a stranger who looks like they need it.

Why do so many limit how they express the energy of love? Is it because it is socially acceptable to love our friends and family but not humanity? Is it out of fear or timidity or because our love is blocked by memories of love gone wrong? Or because we are afraid of what might change, what might happen if we do? All of these are a part of human experience.

Stop. Feel the love you have for your child, your parent, your sister, your pet, your lover.

What if the love you’re feeling right now could be the predominant energy that rules the world? Well, it does. Your deep personal spark of love is the same magnificent love that powers the universe. Imagine then what happens when we each of us, expand our energy from feeling love, to BEING love. That is what we begin to do today.

Make a conscious connection with love today. Any time you feel a positive emotion, acknowledge this is love flowing from your true self. You don’t have to express your love at that moment, you can simply enjoy it then, right there in the present. Feel the love of the warm sun on your face. Feel the love of a laughing child. What’s important is that any positive feeling can be a moment of expressing your love outward to others. Know that by opening to, activating, and expressing your love creates the paradox that you ARE love itself. Know this to be true. It doesn’t always have to be romantic love, or sexual love, but a sustaining energy all the time as you go about your day. There is great joy in transforming a small moment along the way into an expression of unconditional love. “Knitting together the fabric of wholeness one stitch at a time.”

Radiate love from your true self. Om Maha. Express your love into the world. You don’t have to be afraid anymore…

Day 19

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Today’s medicine: Encourage others to BE themselves, and throw negative self talk out the window.

It isn’t unbelievable to think that you are wise, creative, loving, and universal. You have infinite potential waiting to be opened. Don’t hold back. We all need you to shine forth. Don’t restrict your self in the mind, body, or spirit.

Radiate your unique expression. Om Janaha. Express your uniqueness to the world. Today, and every day. Embrace your weirdness. Who actually WANTS to be a dull cookie cutter version of themselves? Relax, take a breath, and BE WHO YOU ARE on the inside. Your true authentic beautiful self.

Day 20

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Today’s medicine: Greet everyone you see today with a “hello,” “I see you,” or “Good morning,” and smile and say silent blessing.

Greet them, and truly SEE THEM. Acknowledge the same divine spark of Truth in them that is also reflected in you. Ask yourself, what is your True Self? Can you relate to their True Self as well? Aren’t they the same underneath it all? In the essence of connection, express your Truest wisdom and intuitive self. Open up and believe in it. Stop hiding behind the clouds of societal masks, and shine! Rumi celebrated this by saying, “There is a community of the spirit. Join it, and feel the delight of walking in the noisy street and being the noise. Drink all your passion, and be a disgrace. Close both eyes to see with the other eye.”

Call it what you will, but radiate your Truth and be an inspiration for others. Om Tapaha. Express your Truth into the world.

Day 21

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Today’s medicine: Smile with your heart, look into every mirror you pass and know that you ARE enough.

The past 21-days have not only been just about sitting in meditation. It has been a walking, breathing, and living meditation. Every day has been a new insight. A newexpression of my True Self.We can all open, awaken, activate, and radiate the immense energy that is within us. There is great security, joy, confidence, love, truth, wisdom, and healing to be had by looking within and confronting your fears and demons. Everyday is an opportunity to overcome past trauma by living your light! We were all born from stardust, reclaim your birthright to shine! Find your flow and awaken your hopes and dreams.

Radiate and share your Light with everyone around you. Om Satyam. Express your pure awareness into the world.

“When you realize how perfect everything is, you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.” – Buddha

OSHO Day 1: What is Meditation?

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“When mind knows, we call it knowledge.
When heart knows, we call it love.
And when being knows, we call it meditation. ” ~Osho
“Meditation is a state of no-mind. Meditation is a state of pure consciousness with no content. Meditation is the awareness that “I am not the mind.” When the awareness goes deeper and deeper in you, slowly, slowly, a few moments arrive – moments of silence, moments of pure space, moments of transparency, moments when nothing stirs in you and everything is still. In those still moments you will know who you are. This is meditation.”

Thought for the day: “Today I begin my journey beyond the mind.”

Osho once explained that His name is derived from William James’ word ‘oceanic’ which means dissolving into the ocean. And is this not what we do in meditation? Dissolve into the ocean?

Is this what it means to be “beyond the mind?”

By changing ourselves, by going “beyond the mind” into the ocean of our inner world we can utilize meditation, connect first to our bodies, and reach toward enlightenment and higher consciousness.

Osho tells us that meditation is a natural ability, it is our natural state as children, that we are all born with, but have since forgotten, but it can be regained. Because we have all known it before.

Because, we are not our mind.

Meditation is how we learn the science of creating a distance between us and our own thoughts.

Because, with a little digging we will find it again, the memory of what we have forgotten.

Meditation Technique

Do. Don’t go on thinking. Start doing it. Walk with awareness. Don’t be discouraged. Be alert. Take every step with knowing. Eat, chew with your food with awareness. Don’t do things mechanically. Do them with full alertness. Be conscious. Do. Reach for something pick it up. Then be aware of your hand, feel it, from the inside out. Let go of tension. With awareness reach for the object again. Pick it up. Feel its texture, see how your hand wants to respond to this object. To play with it or to hold it still. Be aware. Feel the change. Walk with alertness and grace. Feel the difference. Observe the difference between doing things mechanically vs. doing them with awareness. Do. Do with pleasure. Taste. Be alert. Chew more. Feel tastes more. Feel fulfilled. Meditate while doing regular things with awareness.

OSHO: A Course in Meditation

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Osho has always been one of my favourites. And actually, my sister gave me His Book of Secrets for Christmas. Now, we have an opportunity, for 21-days, to meditate and learn from him for FREE.
“If you are ready to uplift your meditation practice and your life, you have come to the right place. Get ready to be transported to the deepest levels of consciousness, with world renowned, contemporary mystic, Osho.
You will notice a difference from the first day of this groundbreaking series. The words you hear from Osho are intended to get your attention, heighten all your senses and show you the value of using your whole being – spirit, mind and body, to reach new spiritual heights.
Meditations such as these can release you from the need to follow any particular ideology or outside guru. Instead you begin to be led by your life’s greatest guru – the one that was born in you when you came into the world of effects. This is the beauty of Osho’s brand of inner science. It takes you on a journey to rediscover your self.
Each daily session is about 15 minutes long in which you will listen to Osho and a facilitator which will guide you through the daily meditation.”

New Moon Blessings of The First Stage of Endurance

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Welcome friends to a 7-Part Series of Deep Psyche Digging & Surgery.

In her book, Women Who Run With Wolves, Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, writes about the Initiation into the Underground Forest, the underworld of intuitive knowing, through the story of the Handless Maiden.

“It is a wild world that lives under this one. Were we are infused with instinctive language and knowledge.” And from this “vantage point we understand what cannot be so easily understood from the point of view of the topside world.”

Through what Jungians, Freudians, call, “participation mystique” and “projective identification,” we story tellers know as “sympathetic magic”: the ability of the mind to step away from its ego for a time and merge with another reality, experiencing and learning ideas there it can learn in no other form of consciousness and bringing these back to consensual reality.

Basically, I am going to share a story with you, so that you may identify with, let go of past trauma, rebuild your power and then heal from through the rite of endurance.

Yes, Endurance means, “to continue without cessation,” but it also means “to harden, to make sturdy, to make robust, to strengthen.” We just don’t keep going on and on because Endurance means we are making something.

“The teaching of endurance occurs all throughout nature. The pads of wolf pups’ paws are soft as clay when the pups are born. It is only the ranging, the roaming, the treks on which their parents take them that toughen them up. Then they can climb and bound over sharp gravel, over stinging nettle, even over broken glass, without being hurt.”

The story of the Handless Maiden has many names all over the world. Some call her the “Silver Hands,” the “Handless Bride,” and the “The Orchard.” In this story you will learn something about yourself, I promise you that. You will learn, and heal, and grow on. You will surely taste the Blessing that is Endurance. So, without further ado, here is the story of “The Handless Maiden.” After you read, there will be a brief talk about the story, and how we may use it to meditate and descend into the psyche and find strength and be initiated into the renewal of the wild….

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“ONCE UPON A TIME A FEW DAYS AGO,

the man down the road still owned a large stone that ground the villager’s grain to flour. The miller had fallen on hard times and had nothing left but the great rough millstone in a shed, and the large flowering apple tree behind it.

One day, a she carried his silver-lipped ax into the forest to cut deadwood, a strange old man stepped from behind a tree. “There’s no need for you to torture yourself by cleaving wood,” wheedled the old man. “I shall dress you in riches if you will but give me what stands behind your mill.”
“What is there behind my mill but the flowering apple tree?” thought the miller, and agreed to the old man’s bargain.
“In three years’ time, I’ll come take what is mine,” chortled the stranger, and he limped away, disappearing between the staves of the trees.

The miller met his wife on the path. She had run from their house, apron flying, hair askew. “Husband, husband, at the stroke of the hour, into our house came a finer clock upon the wall, our rustic chairs were replaced by those hung in velvet, and the paltry cupboard abounds now with game, our trunks and boxes are overflowing. Pray tell, how has this happened?” And even at that moment, golden rings appeared on her fingers and her hair was drawn up with a golden circlet.

“Ah,” said the miller, looking in awe as his own doublet turned to satin. Before his eyes his wooden shoes with the heels worn to nothing so he walked tilted backward, they too turned into fine shoes. “Well, it is from a stranger,” he gasped. “I came upon an odd man in a dark frock coat in the forest and he promised great wealth if I gave him what is behind our mill. Surely, wife, we can plant another apple tree.”

“Oh, my husband!” wailed the woman, and she looked as though she has been struck dead. “The man in the black coat was the Devil, and what stands behind the mill is the tree, yes, but our daughter is also there sweeping the yard with a willow broom.”

And so the parents stumbled home, weeping tears on all their finery. Their daughter stayed without husband for three years and has a temperament like the first sweet apples of spring. The day the Devil came to fetch her, she bathed and put on a white gown and stood in a circle of chalk she’d drawn around herself. When the Devil reached out to grab her, an unseen force threw him across the yard.

The Devil screamed, “She must not bathe any more else I cannot come near her.” The parents were terrified and so some weeks went by and she did not bathe until her hair was matted, her fingernails like black crescents, her skin gray, her clothes darkened and stiff with dirt.

Then, with the maiden every day more resembling a beast, the Devil came again. But the girl wept and her tears ran through her palms and down her arms. Now her hands and arms were pure white and clean. The Devil was enraged. “Chop off her hands, otherwise I cannot come near her.” The father was horrified. “You want me to sever the hands of my own child?” The Devil bellowed, “Everything here will die, including you, your wife, and all the fields for as far as you can see.”

The father was so frightened he obeyed, and begging his daughter’s forgiveness he began to sharpen his silver-lipped ax. The daughter submitted, saying “I am your child, do as you must.”

And this he did, and in the end no one cold say who cried out the louder, the daughter or the father. Thus ended the girl’s life as she had known it.

When the Devil came again, the girl had cried so much the stumps that were left of her limbs were again clean, and the Devil, was again thrown across the yard when attempted to seize her. Cursing in words that set small fires in the forest, he disappeared forever, for he had lost all claim to her.

The father had aged one hundred years, and his wife also. Like true people of the forest, they continued as best they could. The old fathered offered to keep his daughter in a castle in great beauty and riches for life, but the daughter said she felt it more fitting she become a beggar girl and depend on the goodness of others for sustenance. And so she had her arms bound in clean gauze, and at daybreak she walked away from her life as she had known it.

She walked and walked. High noon caused her sweat to streak the dirt on her face. The wind disheveled her hair until it was like a stork’s nest of twigs all tangled this way and that. In the midst of the night she came to a royal orchard where the moon had put a gleam on the fruit that hung from the trees.

She could not enter because the orchard was surrounded by a moat. She fell to her knees, for she was starved. A ghostly spirit in white appeared and shut the sluice gate so the moat was emptied.

The maiden walked among the pear trees and somehow she knew that each perfect pear had been counted and numbered, and that they were guarded as well. Nevertheless, a bough bent itself low so she could reach it, its branch creaking. She put her lips to the golden skin of a pear and ate while standing there in the moonlight, her arms bound in gauze, her hair afright, appearing like a mud woman, the handless maiden.

The gardener saw it all, but recognized the magic of the spirit who guarded the maiden, and did not interfere. After the girl finished eating the single pear, she withdrew across the moat and slept in the shelter of the wood.

The next morning the king came to count his pears. He found one missing, and looking high and looking low, he could not find the vanished fruit. When asked, the gardener explained: “Last night two spirits drained the moat, entered the garden at high moon, and one without hands ate the pear that offered itself to her.”

The king said he would keep watch that night. At dark he came with his gardener and his magician, who knew how to speak with spirits. The three sat beneath a tree and watched. At midnight, the maiden came floating through the forest, her clothes dirty rags, her hair awry, her face streaked, her arms without hands, and the spirit in white beside her.

They entered the orchard the same way as before. Again, a tree gracefully bent itself to her reach and she supped on the pear at its bough’s end.

The magician came close, but not too close, to them and asked, “Are you of this world or not of this world?” And the girl answered, “I was once of the world, and yet I am not of this world.”

The king questioned the magician. “is she human or spirit?” The magician answered that she was both. The king’s heart leapt and he rushed to her and cried, “I shall not forsake you. From this day forward, I shall care for you.” At his castle he had made for her a pair of silver hands, which were fastened to her arms. And so it was that the king married the handless maiden.

In time, the king had to wage war in a far-off kingdom, and he asked his mother to care for his young queen, for he loved her with all his heart. “If she gives birth to a child, send me a message right away.”

The young queen gave birth to a happy babe and the king’s mother sent a messenger to the king telling him the good news. But on the way the messenger tired, and coming to a river, felt sleepier and sleepier and finally fell entirely asleep by the river’s edge. The Devil came from behind a tree and switched the message to say the queen had given birth to a child that was half-dog.

The king was horrified at the message, yet sent back a message saying to love the queen and care for her in this terrible time. The lad who ran with the message again came to the river, and feeling heavy as though he had eaten a feast, soon fell asleep by the side of the water. Whereupon the Devil again stepped out and changed the message to “Kill the queen and her child.”

The old mother was shaken by this request and sent a messenger to confirm. Back an d forth the messengers ran, each one falling asleep at the river and the Devil changing the messages that became increasingly terrible, the last being “Keep the tongue and eyes of the queen to prove she has been killed.”

The old mother could not stand to kill the sweet young queen. Instead she sacrificed a doe, took its tongue and eyes, and hid them away. Then she helped the young queen bind her infant to her breast, and veiling her, said she must flee for her life. The women wept and kissed each other good-bye.

The young queen wandered till she came to largest, wildest forest she had ever seen. She picked her way over and through and around trying to find a path. Near dark, the same spirit in white as before appeared and guided her to a poor inn run by kindly woodspeople. Another maiden in a white gown took the queen inside and knew her by name. The child was laid down.

“How do you know I am a queen?” asked the maiden.

“We who are of the forest follow these matters, my queen. Rest now.”

So the queen stayed seven years at the inn and was happy with her child and her life. Her hands gradually grew back, first as little baby hands, pink as pearl, and then as little girl hands, and then finally as woman’s hands.

During this time the king returned from the war, and his old mother wept to him, “Why would you have me kill two innocents?” and displayed to him the eyes and the tongue.

hearing the terrible story, the king staggered and wept inconsolably. His mother saw his grief and told him these were the eyes and tongue of a doe and that she had sent the queen and her child off into the forest.

The king vowed to go without eating or drinking and to travel far as the sky is blue in order to find them. He searched for seven years. His hands became black, his beard moldy brown like moss, his eyes red-rimmed and parched. During this time he neither ate nor drank, but a force greater than he helped him live.

At last he came to the inn kept by the woodspeople. The woman in white bade him enter, and he laid down, so tired. The woman placed a veil over his face and he slept. As he breathed the breath of deepest sleep, the veil billowed and gradually slipped from his face. He awakened to find a lovely woman and a beautiful child gazing down at him.

“I am your wife and this is your child.” The king was willing to believe but saw that the maiden had hands. “Through my travails and yet  my good care, my hands have grown back,” said the maiden. And the woman in white brought the silver hands from a trunk where they’d been treasured. The king rose and embraced his queen and his child and there was great joy in the forest that day.

All the spirits and the dwellers of the inn had a fine repast. Afterward, the king and queen and baby returned to the old mother, held a second wedding, and had many more children, all of whom told this story to a hundred others, who told this story to a hundred others, just as you are one of the hundred others I am telling it to.”

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The First Stage of Endurance

In the first stage of the story, the vulnerable and materialistic miller makes a very poor bargain with the Devil. He hoped to become rich and live forever, but the price of that bargain was very very steep.

We all make horrible bargains sometimes. We give up something in hopes of a better future. And that image of greener grasses is not actually what will bring us True happiness. That something turns out to be the very thing that we most cherish about ourselves. Through life we constantly give up dreams, or parts of our personality to fit in or to “compromise” with a loved one. However, in the end, the only one who is compromised is our selves.

“Though we hate to admit it, over and over again the poorest bargain of our lives is the one we make when we forfeit our deep knowing life for one that is far more frail; when we give up our teeth, our claws, our sense, our scent; when we surrender our wilder natures for a promise of something that seems rich but turns out to be hollow. Like the father in the tale, we make this bargain without realizing the sorrow, the pain, and the dislocation it will cause us.”

But within making these awful bargains there lays an incredible paradox: although poor pathological choices of self-destruction are traumatic, they also offer us vast opportunity to “redevelop the power of the instinctive nature. Though there is loss and sadness, the poor bargain, like birth and death, constitutes a rather utilitarian step off the cliff planned by the Self in order to bring a person deep into their wildness.”

This is where the initiation begins.

By choosing what appealed to us at the time, without knowing we surrendered “dominion over some and often every part of our passionate, creative, and instinctive life. This choice causes us to then sleepwalk through life. During this stage, we “walk, we talk, yet we are asleep. We love, we work, but our choices tell the truth about our condition; the voluptuous, the inquiring, the good, and incendiary sides of our natures” are not fully awake.

In the beginning of the tale, the maiden is in a daze, forever sweeping with her willow broom, never learning anything. “Her metamorphosis has no metabolism.” So in order to wake her up, the all knowing Self concocts an acute betrayal. And with the father part of our psyches, who is supposed to “guide us in the outer world, is , in fact, very ignorant about how the world and inner world truly works, something just must be done to teach us. Because when the fathering function of the psyche fails to have knowing about issues of soul, we are easily led by fake promises of others and are only asking to be betrayed.Innocent naivete has its pros and cons, but here you can see that someday if we are not prepared and pay attention, our hands- our personal power- will get cut off.

And this betrayal, this trauma of the severing of our sovereignty, this horrible moment in our lives that has done this to us and our psyche, “marks a dramatic beginning for us; a forthcoming consciousness shift and shrewdness.”

Beloveds, “no sentient being in this world is allowed to remain innocent forever. In order for us to thrive, our own instinctive nature drives us to face the fact that things are not as they first seem. The wild creative function pushes us to learn about the many states of being, perception, and knowing. These are the many conduits through which the Wild Woman speaks to us. So this loss and the betrayal are the first slippery steps of a long initiatory process that pitches us into la selva subterranea, the underground forest. There, sometimes for the first time in our lives, we have a chance to cease walking into walls of our making and learn to pass through them instead.”

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Living through the demise of our own innocence, we are given a hidden blessing of “working hard to understand, to peel back the layers of our perceptions and our defenses to see what lies underneath.”

This is a fucking rite of passage, and is to be applauded.

Because we have endured and must continue to endure and continue to learn and process.

This rite of passage “takes raw material, in the form of ideas, feelings, thoughts, and perceptions, and breaks them open in a way that makes them usable for our nourishment. When we process, we sort through all the raw material of our psyche, all the things we’ve learned, heard, longed for, and felt during a period of time. We break these down into parts, asking “How shall I use this best?” We use these processed ideas and energies to implement our most soulful tasks and to fund our various creative endeavors. This is how we stay sturdy and lively.”

But to get there to this, we must ask ourselves, “when did we become zombies?”

“There appears to be a natural slumber that comes upon humans at a certain time in their lives. Usually it descends  upon children at age eleven or thereabouts. When they begin to take acute measurements about how they compare with others.” Eyes once clear become cloudy and hooded. Instead of our lives being filled with the possibility of enlightenment, we are covered over with a kind of “endarkenment” instead. Our outer ability to see into the nature of things and our inner seeing are both snoring away so that when the devil comes a-knocking, we sleepwalk over to the door and let him in.”

And boy do we let the “Devil” in, over and over again, until we learn our lesson. Until we wake up. Until we know we will have to burn to the ground in one way or another, and then sit right in the ashes of who we once thought we were and go on from there. 

It is normal to not want to do the hard work. There is another part of us that is desirous of languor, desirous of relaxing, of lounging, of taking the bargain of staying on the couch and watching TV, instead of exercising our minds, bodies, and souls. We give in to the Devil, we give in to Resistence that natural force that tries to keep us like zombies still asleep and barely conscious of our days and lives.

But when we shun our work, our art, our passion, our power, our sovereignty; “when we shun the chopping of woods, the hands of the psyche will be chopped off instead…for without the psychic work,” the deep work of figuring who we really are again, without this, we and the very things that we need to defend ourselves from the world, wither down and die.

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Why is it that a woman or man “marries for the wrong reasons and cuts off his/her creative life?
Why is it when a person has one sexual preference, but forces themselves to another?
Why is it when we want to be, go do a big something, yet we stay home and count paper clips instead?
Why is it that when we want to live life, but we save little shreds of life as though they are string?
Why is it that even though a woman or man is their own person, they give an arm, a leg, or an eyeball away to every lover who comes down the pike?
Why do we flow with radiant creativity, and invite our vampirish friends to a group siphon?
Why is it that when we need to go on with our lives, something in us says, “No, being snared is being safe.?”

This is what is called a “devil’s bargain.”

Now, I do not believe in thee Devil, but I think you can relate to what I am saying here. There are people who do not always have the best of intentions our there. And sometimes they don’t even know that they don’t. You can’t help it. It is a force of nature. It is what Steven Pressfield writes about Resistance in his book The War of Art.The Devil of the psyche is nothing but Self-loathing.

It is selling ourselves out. It is forfeiting our potential. And we are all guilty of doing this at one time or another in our lives.

“Yes, you have suffered for it, no doubt. And you may have given it away for years, even for decades. But there is hope.”

The mother in the fairy tale announces to the entire psyche, “Wake up! See what you have done!”

And then you wake up. And it hurts. But it is still good news.

Because you have awakening from the bargain.

You are becoming conscious.

And over the long term there will be even more good news.

“That which can be given away can be reclaimed. it can be restored to its proper place in the psyche.”

You will see.

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So Beloved, meditate. Meditate with the New Moon.

What bargains have you taken in this lifetime or in past lifetimes? And what can you learn?
And what New beginnings can you begin now that you’re awake?

Creative Commons Photography courtesy of: Nikola Ostrun, William Ellison, Kaoru, Moyan Brenn.