the purge

the purge - melinda blair paterson - 2015

It would appear the body needed a 24 hour purge. (I’ll spare you the details.) And yet, right there, right in the middle of it was the experience: if I follow thought, the pain and discomfort increases, and if I relax and rest back from thought, it eases. And so it went, back and forth like ping pong, watching the cramps increase and then fall away. Fascinating!

Shifting in and out of sleep. Crow medicine was clearly heard at one stage, screeching through the body, sweeping out the darker corners of resistance. Resting into the sound and giving thanks. Later a storm is passing. Lightening lights up the bed, whilst thunderous rain bashes its way past like an impatient shopper on route to that much wanted bargain. Sleep, sleep, the body just wanted sleep.

In the early hours of the morning a peace descended, both within and without. The body felt weak but strong. The being felt clear and grateful. The crows continue their healing cries: wake up, get up, live!

Mx

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there is relief

There is relief in a glimpse of blue sky


whilst wandering through grass of open fields

and picking up feathers along the way.

There is relief standing with still creek water

feeling the crack of falling branches

whilst others remain entwined like lovers reaching for the light.

There is relief.

Mx

the aliveness of life

tree snake with melinda - image by MelindaBlairPaterson (Instagram)
tree snake hanging with Melinda – image by MelindaBlairPaterson (Instagram)

Coming home and seeing a snake hanging around… literally, is a great way to experience being ALIVE! Everything switches on doesn’t it?  The mind, body, and awareness all collide and collapse into the moment of now.

I’d been away for a few days and my friend (a curious and harmless tree snake) had moved into my patch whist I’d been travelling. Here in Australia we have a number of poisonous and deadly snakes, so from a young age we are educated to approach all snakes with caution. In fact we are taught not to approach them at all, but rather back away slowly and let the creature have ‘right-of-way’. So when I found this fellow between myself and the front door my assessing of the situation came at lightening speed; i.e.  probably, hopefully, prayerfully, it was ok for me to quickly pass and get inside. (Note… I did place my bag between my body and the snake just in case I was wrong in my educated guess of it being a tree snake.)

Once inside I realised my heart was pounding and the adrenalin had amped up to such a level I just had to jump around and shake myself a bit to settle somewhat, and I couldn’t stop laughing and squealing, it really was the most delightful experience. I decided to poke my nose out the door and see if the snake was still around. Sure enough, still hanging there on the wire. So suddenly I went from flight to fight…. well curiosity actually, and stepped out with my iPhone to take a photo. I mean it was so beautifully curled around the wire and such a glorious shade of green. I quietly stepped closer and closer. The snake lifted its head towards me, seemingly equally curious to know who I was. We had our moment… gazing at each other, the shot was taken, and then the snake effortless unwound itself and headed up onto the roof.

OMG… how alive is that!

In recent weeks I’ve found a letting go or lack of interest in speaking about or listening to non-duality teachings. What use to be a huge source of ‘hunger’ for many years has quietly and unsuspectingly been replaced with a sense of ‘enough’. There’s no residue in the change. No lingering thought or sensation wishing it was different, or missing how it use to be, but rather like the snake, something else has moved in when the ‘me’ had gone away for a few days.

What appears to be here now is a keen interest in the Alive-ness of life. It feels extraordinarily simple. There is no longer any need of books to read, teacher to listen to, or spiritual conversation to be had… but rather just being with whatever shows up in the day in a kind of fascination. Awareness and Aliveness appear to be one and the same. Mx

what is this?

what is this?… answer at the bottom of the blog 🙂2015/01/img_1570.jpg

I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, awoken each morning by my father’s radio blaring the 5AD program called ‘Baz and Pilko’ throughout the house. Every day they would have this competition of ‘Guess the sound’ in which listeners could phone in with their answers. There were dollars to be won, so it was very popular, and the prize would jackpot each day if not solved. The sound was always incredibly obscure, and yet obvious, once you knew what it was. So in the interest of making some ‘easy money’ I spent most of my childhood listening to this morning program wondering… ‘what is this?’

Today I awake most mornings to the sounds of nature in the form of birds, insects, wind, or rain. It’s what I call the ‘silence of nature’. I love it. Some mornings I feel drawn to sit in meditation, and it was one such morning recently that I felt the words arise, ‘what is this?’. The question took me off guard because I didn’t believe I had heard it before, or at least not with the feeling and resonance of my being that seemed to accompany it. I knew it wasn’t a question coming from the mind.

As I sat with the question I was aware of the ‘silence of nature’ that surrounded me. I was also aware of the sensations of my breath, body and what I was sitting on, and yet I knew the question was pointing beyond. I waited. There it came again… ‘what is this?’ I knew then that the mind was not going to be able to work this one out. You see… there was no sound or sensation that met the question, as the answer was closer than close, more obvious than imagined, and vibrating with silence.

The weeks went by and I forgot about the question until one day I was sitting with a new friend and she was sharing her experience of awakening. She said, in the moment when the bottom fell out of the barrel, as she described it, the question arose in her awareness – what is this?.

There it was, the same question, Awareness asking itself.

And the answer to date is – Silence.

Mx

Answer to image: a frosted glass window, with a red plastic rain poncho hanging upside down outside on my verandah. Did you guess right? Sorry no prize money. 🙂

aperture opening

. . . there is no desire to go anywhere else.
You could say it has my complete attention.

2015/01/img_1567.jpgimage by melinda blair paterson

I’m not sure when or how it started to happen, if it can even be said there was a ‘starting’. Certainly there have been moments over the years I have called ‘glimpses’. Perhaps it was sometime towards the end of last year? Anyway, I’ve become aware the glimpses are now different, lasting longer and certainly more impacting. I’m now calling this experiencing ‘aperture opening’.

I’m also aware that even though the aperture has opened, and after a time seemed to close, it never goes back to what it has been before. By that I mean, the knowing of awareness, the truth of who I am, and the reality of life has subtly and irreversibly changed.

For example, I was laying on my couch a few weeks ago talking to my partner one evening on the mobile when the aperture opened. I first noticed it in my experience of seeing. I became aware that my foot was not ‘my’ foot, but rather the same as the cushion on which it rested, and then equally the couch. What do I mean by this? Well it’s a bit hard to explain, other than the sense or awareness of the experience was one of no separation between the ‘me-Melinda’, and her environment. Another way of saying this is. . . there was no ‘me’, just a series of shapes, colours, and senses. I was still able to have a conversation with my partner, in fact, I was relaying to him what was being experienced, and it was very clear that I had done absolutely nothing to create the experience. It just happened. There was also what can best be described as a sort of ‘download’ of knowing. I knew the answer to everything that was needed to know in that moment. Complete clarity was present. The experience lasted for up to an hour during the call and then I felt it was time to go to bed and rest.

Another time I was departing from my home in the car, which involves driving up a step hill to the main road. As I alighted the hill my vision was filled with the blue of the sky and the most magnificent huge white cumulonimbus storm cloud hanging within it. For what must have been a few seconds the ‘me-Melinda’ disappeared and awareness became the cloud. When attention came back to the driving of the car I knew the aperture had opened, and the drive from my home to my friend through the countryside was filled with exquisite delight in the seeing.

It’s also important to note that the aperture opening hasn’t only been in moments of rest or wonder. I was in town recently and my car was parked in by a truck. My partner wanted me to try and reverse the car out in a way that I felt was unsafe. He offered his help a few times. I said “No” in a rather strong way and felt the trigger. . . anger and resistance arose!

We waited, and waited for the truck driver. During the waiting I was immediately aware of the trigger and the pain in my heart. I took all of my attention into it, and there, right in the middle or at the depth of the pain, was LOVE. And I knew then that the aperture was open even in the midst of what seemed like a closed heart in emotional pain.

About an hour after this event I was sitting at home reflecting on the experience and was shown in some sort of visual replay that every person, object, moment and breath was connected;  and it had all been perfectly executed. There was no mistake by the truck driver, my partner, myself or anyone/anything else that had played a part. . . it was beyond perfection.

Of course there are other moments too, each one revealing a little more, like a series of veils slowly being peeled away to expose the truth of reality. And in these moments, I feel like a child that has been let into the biggest best toy store ever, and more. Everything looks and feels is so amazing, interesting, fascinating, colourful, beautiful. . . and full of LOVE. And there is no desire to go anywhere else. You could say it has my complete attention.

Mx

Natural Awareness

A few months ago I was introduced to the world of Instagram. At first I couldn’t see why my friends were so enthusiastic about it. However, as I started to take more photos with my iPhone and see how they could be enhanced using apps, together with meeting other creatives and seeing their amazing images from all around the world… I too became hooked! It’s now a daily experience that I very much enjoy as an artist. My approach to taking a photo is pretty simple. I carry my phone with me just about everywhere and when something catches my eye I take the shot. This way it feels like it’s those spontaneous mindless prompts from within that capture the best shots. Having taken and posted over 400 images now on Instagram and Facebook, I’m seeing that those little prompts are mostly towards images of Nature… seascapes, cloudscapes, landscapes, flowers, shells, rocks, animals etc. Pretty much anything that is of itself in it’s natural state. I heard Rupert Spira speak recently on a video about Art and he explained how the human being is naturally drawn towards Nature as a reflection of his/her own natural state or awareness. I thought I would share a few of my favourites with you today. I hope you enjoy them.

Cheers Mx

The sound of water falling

image by melinda blair paterson

I came up from the wave and heard the water falling from my body. It was as if I had never heard this sound before. I mean… I swim in the ocean all year round and delight in diving under the waves to feel the cold water over my head, only to resurface amongst the bubbles of the backwash squealing in childish joy.  I tell myself I am swimming in champagne!

Then the mind steps in… I must know this sound of water falling from my body!… yet it’s like I’ve never heard it before. The sound was so intense, magnified, and new. Then there was a noticing that every sound was somehow magnified and new. The waves, the birds, the wind, and the movement of my body was all in perfect chorus. I laughed in abandon … a fleeting moment of experience… and the mind steps in… don’t get attached Melinda!.

I had been aware for a few days prior of a building sense of quiet or calm. I even spent some time with Kathy and watched how my mind spun out afterwards exhausting me… and yet something else…  deeper, quiet, still was present. I wrote to Kathy asking if I could see her again and shared my recent experience in the ocean. I assured her I wasn’t chasing anything but was feeling drawn to spend more time together. She replied:

You are just fine as it is. The noticing that you need to rest is just
that the mind hasn’t been met with engaging. It doesn’t know what to
do with it.

Stay with the tears and softness.

Wanting to see me again is also chasing an experience. This has
nothing to do with a ‘me’. Watch the mind spin another story how
something other than ‘now’ will be of benefit to a ‘Melinda’.

Don’t do anything and sit with every feeling with disinterest. Nothing
more than that.

You are not experiencing more levels of presence. The ‘you’ thought is
not there when what you really are is Present.

Presence never comes and goes.

love,

Kathy

Thanks Kathy… it’s always loving to hear truth. Mx