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.

Friday, October 29, 2010

When There's No Reception

Everyone has had the experience of being in a dead zone, a place where a cell phone just doesn't work. Or, sometimes the wireless internet cuts out when you're in the middle of something important.

The other day I was playing bridge online with several family members from all over the world and my wireless internet disappeared. I was suddenly cut off from my family in the middle of the game. They didn't know what happened to me and I had no way to tell them.

I know how to reboot the internet so I went into the back room where the modem and router are located and I turned off the power, counted slowly to 30, and then flicked the power back on. I raced back to the computer hoping my family was still waiting for me to return. Nothing. The internet light was still off. I paced around the room in frustration. All of a sudden, it occurred to me. Maybe I had accidentally turned the wireless switch off. Maybe the problem wasn't in the internet. Maybe the problem was in my receptor. Sure enough. The switch was off; I turned it on and clicked back into the game.

When the Big Dude appears not to be listening, when I can't seem to contact the divine spark, I tend to rail at the Dude. I tend to pace around saying, "Can you hear me now?"

When there's no reply, I'm apt to hurl my spiritual cell phone at the wall. I'm even more apt to curse the Big Dude, hurling invectives at him for ignoring me, for leaving me alone with my needs. "I WANT to get back into the game, but you aren't helping me!" I say.

That happens a lot actually. Just as my cell phone is often turned off and my computer is accidentally not connected to the internet, my soul is also turned off. Often when I think the Big Dude is not in touch with me, if I check my receptors, I'll discover that I'm not receiving HIM.

Getting back in touch with the Big Dude is not always as easy as turning the switch on my computer. I have to sharpen my awareness, tune up my consciousness. This is a mysterious process, and different things work for different people. Personally, I need to sit in meditation. I need to breath slowly and regularly. Be aware of the weight on my shoulders, the anxiety in my gut. I need to slow down, to stop. It may not happen as I'm meditating, but by turning on my receptors, I make it possible for the Big Dude to contact me.

Why don't I want to do this? Why don't I meditate? Why do I seem to want to wallow alone in my sacred shit? I don't know the answer. It's probably the same reason I don't want to exercise. I don't seem to like good habits. Maybe it's part of the human condition. If we really, really wanted to "be" with the Big Dude as much as he wants to be with us, we'd probably have ascended into some angelic realm already.

The pull of the earth is strong, we cling to it. We want to satisfy our physical bodies. We want food, pleasure, satisfaction. We want to think our thoughts and feel our sorrows. We want our computers and Ipods, Blackberries and cell phones. We want our cars and beds. We don't, alas, always want the Big Dude.

It's only when the computer seems to crash and we lose contact with the internet that we care about the internet connection. Perhaps it is only when our lives crash that we care about God. Then, we frantically go in search of the switch that will pull his protection back into our world.

Hey Dude! Keep sending the signal day after day, even when my receptor remains implacably off. Roxie

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Bad News: Chariot's Not Comin'

There are periods in life, sometimes called dark nights of the soul, when we simply can't connect, when we scoff at good news yet cry at the bad. I like to think of these times as being up shit creek, but to put it in nicer terms: the good news of the Gospel or the enlightenment of Buddha aren't present to us. The "chariot" of the gospel song is not in the neighborhood.

These gaps in our soul consciousness, these hours spent in shit creek, populate everyone's spiritual development. That doesn't mean we like them. Pema Chodron, a Buddhist writer of note, tells of flinging a rock at her husband when he told her he was leaving her for another woman. That's such a comforting story. She's highly evolved, fairly enlightened, AND she needs to fling a rock now and then.

I wonder why we have these dark periods. Why does the shit we're swimming in just not feel sacred at times? Perhaps I'm asking the wrong question. A psych teacher I once had said, "Never ask a client a 'why' question; it triggers the intelligence and not the gut." I guess that means you can't think your way through emotional shit or soul shit. So, what to do?

The old psych teacher would have said, "Ask a feeling question." Questions like: Where do you feel that in your body? What's the sensation that goes with this issue? Or, just plain, what does it feel like to be up shit creek today? So, I'm noticing that I have lower back pain where I haven't had any pain in several months. Oddly, I'm also having pain in my left ankle.

I know that lower back pain symbolizes lack of emotional support. Aha! That feels true. It's been a rough 48 hours and I haven't been able to speak with any friends about it. Someone suggested that at such times, we need to have our coping and survival skills validated. We need to shout at the world: Do you GET how brilliantly I am coping with all of everything?

This is not my most profound spiritual posting. It needs to be said though. Sometimes, we're in a heap of trouble or pain, and faith or inspiration elude us. I checked in with the Big Dude and he said, "Roxie, the bad news is--that chariot's not coming today. The good news is--that chariot will come eventually."

Ha! Not a very comforting thought, Big Dude. I'm going out to fling some rocks. Roxie