Keep it simple, silly

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

...I was asked to write on this topic in my writing group - this is what came out..


So many spiritual teachers out there. Everyone I meet has something to teach me, whoever I’m with is my perfect teacher for the present. So I guess the question is, who taught me that? Hmm, hate to say it, but I think it was Katie. She’s taught me a lot of things: taught me to care less and as a result care a whole lot more; taught me that it’s all an illusion, that nothing is as it seems, that this is a world of my making; taught me that love is all there is. I love that.

And there’s been others. Old Buddha was a big influence, and then there’s everybody’s mate Jesus, who speaks to me daily though A Course in Miracles.

And still, this all lies inside the greatest spiritual teacher: life itself. And I suppose if life is the overwhelming spiritual teacher and life is what I make it, then I am ultimately my greatest spiritual teacher. I never even had to get out of bed! What a relief.

That’s the thing, isn’t it? Always wanting, needing, to do something, and ultimately never really even needing to get out of bed. All my teachers are inside me. They come in light and leave in light, a constant flow of beauty, a beam of indestructible vulnerability.

And every time I feel I need to be doing something, every time I feel empty, every time the torment of suffering finds its way into my life yet again, all that’s really happening is a shadow is covering that beam. The light is always there, only sometimes clouds cover it, like a grey day: the sky is still blue, we just can’t see it.

Yes, that beam is interminable, ceaseless, eternal and infinite. It’s the ‘not me’ beam: the voice that speaks when I get out of the way. And in its silence it has so much to say. Words are lies after all, so who needs them when the truth speaks so beautifully in its knowing silence?

These are the words of light, of consciousness, words we all hear in some form or other, yet are too often afraid of. We are scared of freedom because it is not what we know. To the average human being suffering seems so normal, and yet it is an illusion, so unnecessary in this beautiful heaven that surrounds us.

Oh yeah, spiritual teachers. So many, so many. My best mate Johno was a good one. He led me to the dark side and I found a whole new world to embrace. It wasn’t me though, so I left. Well, a lot of me did. Light is the amalgamation of all colours, so darkness is an essential part of it. Only if darkness is the goal, instead of the point of salvation, then the confusion begins. It’s a powerful place, all the same.

Spiritual teachers. So many, so many. My entire community at Dharmananda was one great personal teacher: a lifetime worth of personal growth in 16 months. Powerful stuff. So much pain, so much gain, so many things I’ll hopefully never have to know again, so many things I’ll hopefully always understand.

Yes, life is full of spiritual teachers. As I watch this pen move across the page and wonder what it’s going to write next I witness yet another one. Coming from inside, where the entire universe exists in a beautiful beam of light. Accessing something so far beyond me that I can but sit in awe and observe. I am so privileged to be here, an involuntary witness to the evolution of existence. Thankful, grateful, glad to be this part of consciousness in this place in eternity, knowing that nothing could possibly matter and therefore that everything intrinsically does. This is privilege. This is that point of abandonment that rewards endlessly with mystery. This is life Jim, but not as we know it. This is evolution.

So many spiritual teachers, everyone I meet. Surrounded every moment by more lessons. So much to learn, so many teachers. I have a good friend who is determined to learn something from everyone. What a lesson!

Monday, April 11, 2005

They love their noise in Mexico. It's 5 o'clock in the morning and I've just been awoken by a barrage of fireworks and ringing church bells from the top of the hill. And I mean a barrage, they've been going for at least 15 minutes. God only knows the occasion: maybe they've chosen a new pope, maybe some rich bastards (and there's some very rich bastards here) have just got married, maybe someone raided a fireworks factory and broke into a church, who knows?

Yeah, they love their noise. In Zacatecas a truck would come past around 7am every morning with a loudspeaker yelling, "GAS. GAS. GAS." You could hear it from blocks away and it went right past our window: "GAS (time to wake up). GAS (I said it's time to wake up). GAS (have you got the message yet?). And you know, the funny thing is that hardly anyone seems to wake up in Mexico until at least 9am, and the streets are deserted until 10 or 11 - except for the morning school rush, I guess.

And church bells. What is it with the church bells? They'll ring on the hour, the half hour, the quarter hour and any damn time in between if they please, and there's a lot of churches in Mexico! If you ain't Catholic, I guess that's supposed to be some kind of reminder to become one. The midnight bells don't wake me too much anymore - they come from a distant church - but 5am fireworks, they wake me.

And it's great. Evidently someone other than me knew this would be a good time to get up and write. I should go up the hill and thank them, because those fireworks must be costing them a fortune. But I won't, I'll stay here and write instead; I've seen fireworks before and my vantage point here isn't fantastic and I know that the moment I get up the hill to where they're launching them they'll stop anyway, so I'll stay here. And like the last throes of a passionate embrace, they do seem to be dying off now. The spark has gone, so to speak.

So here I sit in my room in San Miguel de Allende, fireworks (possibly) dying off in the background, at 5.30 in the morning. I've been here four weeks now and am settling in nicely, meeting plenty of amazing people and having lots of invaluable experiences: early morning fireworks; free bodywork and countless free meals; gifts of paintings and friendship and trust; great conversation; walks through cobbled streets and canyons and parks; my first paid clients with The Work; dancing; serendipity. It's all happening here in San Miguel.

It is said there is a giant slab of quartz crystal lying under this town. I don't know much about crystals, all I can see is that something is drawing an array of fascinating people to this town. All I saw when I first arrived was a goldmine of Americans, Europeans and assorted foreigners who I was sure would love to do The Work with me. Four weeks in, and it may not be a financial goldmine just yet, but the wealth of spirit here has more than made up for it. I'm so glad I came: sitting in the meditation centre each morning; 'philosophy' discussions on topics like Awareness and Endings and Friendship each Tuesday with some wise old souls; generosity at every bend; coffee shops, roadside stands, restaurants and bars. Last night a neighbour I'd never met invited me in for dinner; a few days ago someone I'd only just met gave me two framed paintings from her shop; someone I barely know is offering me a house to live in - with office space included - for the same low rent I'm paying for a single room now.

Something is happening here, but I don't know what it is. But I like it. Five am fireworks included.

So the question is, when are you coming to visit?



PS: If you're in Australia, make an effort to see What the Bleep do we Know!? You may love it, you may hate it, and you're sure to get something from it regardless. Screening details are at

Sunday, April 10, 2005

My good friend Tiff, with her ex-hubby-to-be, John. Tiff won't marry me, either.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

All my friends are having babies! This is Philil with baby Declan. You can read more on the adventures of Rich, Philil and Declan at

Monday, April 04, 2005

It is said there is a giant slab of quartz crystal lying under San Miguel de Allende. I don’t know a lot about crystals, so can’t comment on the significance of that. All I know is that something incredible is happening here.

Just over six weeks ago I decided to move here and facilitate The Work for a while. The money I had was all but gone and I came across this town full of Americans, Europeans and assorted foreigners and thought, ‘This place is a gold mine!’ I then spent two weeks in Mexico City, consolidating friendships, making new ones and attending a couple of invaluable workshops. Oh, and I guess I did a bit of sightseeing too. Finally, with a newfound focus on prosperity, I moved to San Miguel four weeks ago.

You know, if things transpired according to plan life would have no mystery, no excitement. And things, of course, have not transpired according to plan. I love it!

In four weeks I’ve put out 200 flyers and around as many business cards, and have so far accumulated one regular client. I’ve had one other person pay me to do The Work with them and another pay my to read their Tarot.

And yet to say I haven’t been prosperous would be denying the richness of the environment I’m living in. I’ve also had countless free meals, an amazing bodywork session and been given two beautiful framed pictures to hang in my room. I am living in an apartment block with some amazing people and it seems almost daily I am meeting more. The birds are chirping and my father has given me work to do on the ‘net – Australian dollars last a lot longer than pesos. And now there is a chance I could be moving into a place that could double as an office and still be paying the same low rent that currently gives me a room with shared facilities.

Life is good here. And somehow I am keeping so busy that I wonder where too much more work would fit in. And I’m writing for the local newspaper and that’s fun too.

And it is good to settle for a while. Five months of traveling is enough for me for now. San Miguel has found me and it is time to become a part of a place again, to ground myself, to belong. So far the firm arms of San Miguel have welcomed me warmly, made me feel at home.