Become a Follower of the Big Dude!

Meet the divine Dude in this blog. This Dude has had and seen his share of sacred shit. He's not afraid of it or of its language. I can't relate to a god that's been crucified, but I can relate to one whom my government has imprisoned and humiliated. I can relate to one who's been raped by his own holy men. I can relate to one who grew up playing baseball or soccer and who dated the Prom Queen. I can relate to the god who knows the working of corporate conglomerates, pimps, and teen-age girls who are pregnant. I can relate to the god who loves alcoholics and drug addicts just a tad more than wall street hotshots. This Dude thinks all of us are mortal particles in an ocean of sacred shit. This Dude recycles.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Author and The Word

It's hard to be unfolding spiritually without a spiritual practice of some kind. My normal process is meditation and I haven't sat in meditation for several days. Hence, it's no surprise that I haven't posted anything. What IS surprising is that sacred shit sometimes comes just because you need it and not because you practiced.

That's the beauty of my Big Dude. He speaks to me when I least expect it and even when I don't consciously want it. Like now.

I was annoyed at the remaining papers that need to be graded. I went in the kitchen to get a chocolate mousse pudding (60 calories), carefully squirted light whipped cream on it, added a few sliced almonds, and there He was.

"Write in your blog," He said. So, here I am. Aware of the fireplace fan whirring, the grey skies outside the window, and the sweet taste of chocolate in my mouth. This moment's blessings.

"Don't try so hard," He says now. I know what he means. My forehead is scrunched in effort as I try to get in touch with SOMETHING that I could write about.

My mind goes into doubting mode. What if sacred shit is nothing at all, a figment of my imagination? I suddenly see that I was first a figment of the Big Dude's imagination and eventually the characters in his novel played their parts and I was born.

This is about my birth-day. On May 24, 1945, I entered the human story and changed it forever. You did the same when you entered, and you, and you. I "get" creation in a semi-mythological way. I get its relationship to authoring a text. You open up a field of energy and you begin to form it. As soon as you begin to form it, it rips away from you and takes on its own life. Your characters refuse to behave the way you imagined they would; things play out differently than the plot you conceived.

So it is with Creation. The Big Dude set some energy field in motion, be it a Big Bang or Light or Whatever. Simultaneously, the field began unfolding towards the world we experience and the worlds beyond our experience. Bad things happened and good things happened. Characters like us cry out: "Why did you let that happen? What kind of God are you?" "I'm the Author. I'm the Word," the Big Dude can only say having lost all control of the characters, the scene, and the plot.

As an author, I also know that the Big Dude doesn't worry about the Creation anymore than I worry about my blogs or other writings. You set out to say one thing and something else gets written. In the end, it comes out just the way it should, a better way than you had imagined. That's how I see the Big Dude. He's in there being the author and believing in his book/blog/poem/Creation. He tweaks here and sets up a new scene there, but it's surprising how little control we have of our writing or He has of His great work.

He loves it though, the way you love something or other. I wake up and the first thing I do is open up my blog to see what's happening. Who's been there? Are there new followers? I add something to it. All day, I'm thinking of trying this or posting that. I LOVE my blogs. That's how I know that the Big Dude loves us. He loves us with the disinterested intensity of an author. Roxie

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Beacon in the Night

In another blog, I came to the profound realization that the green light or green video camera next to my son's name on gmail affected me like a "beacon in the night." He's far away geographically but when I come online and see that light, I know he's in his space and in mine simultaneously. He's working away at his computer in Germany and I'm working away on mine in New York. Just a family working together!

It kind of reminds me of that amazing piece of sacred shit called "grace." When I light the candle and sit to meditate, the big Dude is there with me. I know he's doing his god work far away. He's in his space and in mine simultaneously.

The pervasiveness of the internet gives us a metaphor for the omnipresence of the big Dude or Spirit. If you are connected anywhere in the world, you are connected to everyone, good and bad. Venues like gmail enable a light to come on next to the name of every person who is connected at the same moment (wherever they are). What if every time you put yourself in openness to God, a light came on for you and every other person who at that moment is connected. The big Dude would see these green lights filling his screen next to the names of his people.

Hey, big Dude! We're a physical, tangible bunch. We need those little lights to remind us we're all together. Couldn't your people talk to the Google people so that the next time I meditate, the light comes on? I need that beacon in the night. Roxie

Monday, May 10, 2010

Last Rites of Passage

I'm standing at an important moment in my life. I'm about to turn 65, surely an important milestone within human accounting of such things. It's more than that though. I am celebrating my survival.

This year often felt like a time when I should be getting the last rites as it didn't seem that I would ever get to an actual passage through this particular sacred shit. The year started with big changes at work and my taking an early retirement package. I was totally unprepared for retirement but the state of my health combined with the offer of early retirement was too much to withstand.

So, a little over a year ago, I cleared out my desk and office from the detritus of a lifetime of accumulated big and little things that go with work. My favorite framed pictures came off the walls. My books got packed into multiple boxes. My mementos, gifts, notes from my children, and coffeepot followed me home. Almost immediately I went into the hospital for hip replacement surgery that was long overdue. I came home to a long recovery as the soft tissue damage in the thigh and leg was and probably always will remain painful.

As I worked my way through that recovery, measuring my success by how many steps down the road I could take with my walker or how many times I could life my leg, I began to see an empty life ahead of me. I was a worker bee suddenly out of the hive. I had no idea what to do.

This is when I began to experience that passage as a kind of last rite. I thought it would never end and that life, from that point on, would be, as the saying goes, "a bitch" and then I'd die! I was sad and angry, frustrated and bored. After a lifetime of spiritual practice, I didn't want anything to do with spirituality. I couldn't meditate to save my life. I couldn't get in touch with much of anything.

Having taught mythology and knowing full well the dark passages that the hero pushes through to get to the next elixir or spirit guide, I suddenly couldn't remember any or that and, if I did, I didn't believe in it. I couldn't remember the trials of Odysseus, the dark nights of Mary, or even the many deaths of the little hero in the Zelda game as he makes his way through the various levels and saves the world.

When you're in the dark and you can't find the light switch you're in a phase called "disorientation." The familiar, the taken for granted, the ground you stand on is not there. In the tales of the Hobbitt, swamps become alive with ugly creatures underfoot, whole forests pick up and move, giant spiders block your passage through a mountain tunnel. The hero went to sleep eventually in complete despair. Disorientation. Every life passage includes disorientation--the end of a way of life in its most intimate details and a period of time when the new life hasn't yet been born. Students leave home and move into dorms, drinking and sleeping themselves into oblivion: disorientation. Newly weds can't figure out how to sleep in the same bed amicably or how to share a bathroom: disorientation. The newly divorced walk through an empty house or apartment at the end of the day, instinctively shouting, "I'm home!" Disorientation.

The trouble with disorientation, one of its key symptoms, is that you don't know when you're in it. You deny it. You believe you should be doing fine or you think you ARE doing fine but you aren't sleeping very well; you're eating too much; you're crying or drinking a lot; you're numb. You don't know you're going through a natural, productive human situation that will move towards Odysseus arriving home, students taking up the mantle of scholarship, and the various heroes saving the world.

There needs to be a very spiritual ritual for every passage. The churches have that part right. So, where is the passage for disorientation. Where is the clergywoman saying, "Ah, you're in disorientation. It will pass." Where is the smudging of your soul? Where is the Native American shaman to throw you into the river and refuse to let you come out until your soul has returned to you?

For that's the problem, isn't it? You've lost your soul. Rituals of calling and naming and bringing back are needed during this time. Rituals that stand at the brink waiting while you flounder in the deep water waiting for your soul. That's what we need. We mostly don't have them.

But, when all else fails, time is a great shaman. Time passes and you grow inspite of yourself. You find the light switch in your new dwelling place or time. You eventually can find it in complete darkness.

I want to celebrate my rite of passage through disorientation. With two of my friends, I'm throwing a giant birthday party for my 65th year. I'm meditating, watching for signs and guides. I'm singing and moving. The Red Sea has parted and I'm on the other side suddenly. I don't know how or why, but OH I want to celebrate.

I want to celebrate making it through the worst year of my life (or so it seems). I want to celebrate a new, patched-together existence that is more satisfying than the previous one. I want to name all the guides who helped along the way. I want to name my loving children and friends. I want to build a monument to myself.

I want to fall on the ground in gratitude for the grace of this new life. Thanking the Dude for my sacred shit, Roxie.

Friday, May 7, 2010

What's In A Name?

I sit here trembling a bit at the audacity and what some might call the "sacrilege" of Roxie's spiritual blog. At the same time, it feels right.

So, let me talk about the title: Dude! And Other Sacred Shit.

First, I want to share a contemporary God. This is an offspring of the Jesus who lived on the streets and spoke the common tongue. In case you haven't noticed, the most common way that people address their friends today is: "Dude!" The feminist in me struggled with the seemingly gendered nature of that term. All I can say is "Dudette" didn't work (LOL). Plus, I confess to more than one god in my spiritual galaxy. There's God,Lord, Cara (guardian angel), Buddha, and Mary to name a few. The god who speaks to me comes as a gentle male voice. Do I think the God is male? Not for a minute (well, maybe for a minute . . .). I don't believe that physical gender and spirituality go together. I think my Dude has what we might describe as male and female qualities. Dude is a hybrid, still evolving and complete at the same time. A mystery (as he should be).

Dude is a spiritual being of our time. He's rooted in Christian and Buddhist language and concepts since those are the languages I know; those are the languages I can interpret. But, this Dude (like Jesus and Buddha) speaks of this day and age and its manifestation of the sacred. This Dude has a Blackberry and a laptop, plays the Wii. He also sleeps on city streets and eats from dumpsters. He's at a football game and in the mountain lake where you take your kayak. He's a black rapper and a college president. He's a brilliant woman scholar and an abused child. When you tell Dude your story, no matter what your story, he's been there and she understands.

This Dude has had and seen his share of sacred shit. He's not afraid of it or of its language. I can't relate to a god that's been crucified, but I can relate to one whom my government has imprisoned and humiliated. I can relate to one who's been raped by his own holy men. I can relate to one who grew up playing baseball or soccer and who dated the Prom Queen. I can relate to the god who knows the working of corporate conglomerates, pimps, and teen-age girls who are pregnant. I can relate to the god who loves alcoholics and drug addicts just a tad more than wall street hotshots. This Dude thinks all of us are mortal particles in an ocean of sacred shit. This Dude recycles! Roxie