Baba, (the cat), has taken to going to the other side of the house in the mornings. It is usually closed-off and cold this time of year. He sits at the large clear pocket-door, beckons and calls me.
He takes me, guides me, through the pocket-door, through the long space, taking his time, looking, sensing, sensitive, pointing me, and leads me to the extra bedroom, where we slept together when we first lived in this house, during the long and challenging, seemingly isolated time of caregiving my Mother.
It was at this same time of year he would console me at the end of those very long days, laying on my chest while we were in bed, looking deeply into my eyes, into me, through me, as one, for long periods, still, and rubbing his head on me, kissing me. Asking for nothing in return, unconditionally giving, while my Mother was slowly, gently, passing with, and as Grace.
i was the caregiver downstairs, he was the caregiver upstairs. When it appeared i had nothing left, was moved and stretched to the limit of capacity and being, spending all of self in days and nights witness and present to suffering, he was always present, available, caring, open, warm and loving, giving, inviting, and unconditional. He has been taking care of me for a very long time.
We all so often believe it is us, self, that is taking care of things, of everything and every one. But it is them, that which appears as other, by their very presence, as Presence, that are in fact taking care of us, and always have been.
When the notion of the doer dissolves, all that one seeks in and as doing, is invited and available, and there is only Presence. The free-flowing between the notion of objects, between the notion of separation, and as such, the notion of objects and separation dissolves. There is no 'between'. When the veil is lifted, all that remains, is love and compassion. The invitation and the welcoming are one.
The belief as a self-contained object persists. It is this which instills the notion of distance 'from' that which one seeks. One is already that which one seeks. Every sensation becomes a story, and a lifetime of abandoned feelings and thoughts arise, not to identify with or as, but to invite into completion and dissolution. The identification with the story is the means of avoidance of that which one seeks, of that which one is. It is Self, Love, that is neglected or abandoned, over and over and over. As such, one becomes the apparent character, shaped by avoidance, determined by resistance. One is not their thoughts. This is the belief that serves to maintain the self, safely held in and as the illusion of separation.
And it is here the doer does everything possible to gain what appears to be lost. Managing, fixing, addictions, behaviors, seeking, searching, hiding, diets, entertainment, materiality, relationships, money, success, self-medicating as both longing and avoidance. All for Love, or so it appears.
It takes courage to turn and face what is, and unconditional compassion to be present with and as that which arises. A choice that was made a long time ago to hide or avoid, to fear, rather than to feel, or that which was never met determined by the capacity available in the apparent moment. This is the movement to suffering, and the identification as the sufferer. Awareness of what is present is ones true capacity. To allow the sensations that arise to guide one as Presence. Break open, surrender, reveal, dissolve. This is Grace. This is the apparent movement to True Nature, as True Nature, and the identification as That.
Hiding in spirituality or new ways of thinking is the love of mind, and the minds love. If one is not broken open, it is all thought, and thought alone. What is being served? Who is being served? There is an infinite amount of material to indulge ego. Layers and layers of concentric intellectual practices, concepts, and rituals to trap and isolate one for lifetimes. Endless books of great self- importance, positioned in the illusion of history to seduce the notion of self into liberation by means of belief, all intended to maintain the search and self by means of weight and location. The simple recognition by thought of self / no self is of the mind alone. The Awareness of big self, small self, is also a thought. What is the nature of ones experience and who is experiencing?
One appears here for, and as One. How complicated can one make this simplicity of Being, of Presence? In the search for self or Presence, what is it that is being avoided, neglected, or abandoned?
And so Baba is followed through the door. He leads where he wants us to go. The recognition and Awareness of Presence as ones True Nature is determined by availability, of willingness and the Grace of surrender, and this availability is determined by resistance. Everything is a teacher. Honor, respect, and love everything that appears, as appearance is That. Everything as that which appears as life itSelf. Trees, clouds, birds, creatures, everything and everyone. All appearing to self as separate sense-objects determined by the notion of self as an isolated object, until this thought, this notion, this belief, also dissolves, not as a thought, but as the fullness of direct experience. It is only belief and thought which maintains the imaginary separate self. Presence is seamless. There is no division, no edges, no borders, no boundaries, no gap. One is unlimited, unbounded, without location. Everything is One, and one is not, and has never been, separate from That. The apparent other is but reflection, there is but Self. This is the seeing as Presence, as Presence recognizes ItSelf, as Self.
Everything is taking care of 'you', and 'you' are not separate from That. The notion of you, of self, is also part of and taking care of, flowing with, everything. Presence simply is. There is no doer to be found. As such, what is the notion of 'everything'? Who is taking care of who? Is one open, receptive, and aware of the pointers? They are the breeze in the trees, the rain on the ground, the song of the bird, the smile of a stranger. The cat who beckons. Can one be taken to the other side of the house? Everything is a teacher.