This offering from spiritual counselor Sharon Landrith is a 43-minute seamless, guided meditation, where even the introduction is part of the experience. It is excerpted from Omega's 2018 Love Arising From Stillness retreat.
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Welcome to Dropping In from Omega Institute. I'm Cali Alpert. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our Rhinebeck, New York campus is temporarily closed. But we're still here for you. Now, instead of dropping in on campus in real-time, we're dropping into our treasure trove of audio archives to offer you talks, teachings, and practices from some of Omega's most memorable workshops and conferences.
In this episode, a little something different with spiritual counselor, Sharon Landrith, from Omega's 2018 Love Arising From Stillness retreat. Sharon offers a 43-minute guided meditation, first focusing on the physical body, then moving to the energetic body. You may think in the first few minutes, that she is explaining the process, but you're actually receiving a seamless meditative transmission from the start with no beginning or end to this practice. So put some time aside for yourself, get comfortable, make sure you're not behind the wheel, and drop in.
I'm going to give just a little simple explanation or a pointing out of, at least from this view, what a guided meditation actually can do. For some of us, and I sure was one of those, I liked them because I could relax and it was guided. And so my mind didn't get in the way so much. And there was some open relaxation that can take place. But when it started to just spontaneously come through here, I begin to recognize that it's actually a pure transmission. And what I mean by that is, if you listen to the words, and only the words, you've only got maybe 10 percent, or less of what's being given.
What mostly is happening, when we all began to come together like this, where two or more are gathered—I am—is then the one speaking is resting and open to the reality, to the natural state to what is. And then it activates and opens that within each and every one of us here. And so, it's like a room full of stringed instruments. And one begins to sing a note, and all of the instruments begin to then resonate at that same note. And it can do that because we all are that. There's no one that has it, and no one that doesn't. You'd be an ash on the floor.
That's your signal that you don't have it. And even then, it goes off and maybe becomes a cloud or something like that. So, if you're alive, and you're breathing, and you're in a body, the life force that emanates that body is what resonates when we all come together. That's why it's a very sacred thing to have a community of some kind in your spiritual endeavor.
In the pure Buddha's teachings, they talk about the Buddhahood, which is self-realization, and the Dharma, which is the truth in how your life, your path unfolds, as Dharma, and then the Sangha, and it's all equal. There's not one that's over the other. But in our particular society, we are so independent that we tend to dismiss the power of the Sangha. But it's very powerful. It's very beneficial. It's very helpful.
And partly is because our coming here and just being present, actually adds to and activates the living presence within all of us. It creates a container. It's why about two days in a Silent Retreat, there's this field and you just are being held and permeated by this shared field, our true nature.
So, the transmission is that resonance. That's why the encouragement is not to really listen with the ears, but to listen with your whole body. And then it can receive what's actually happening. Instead of only being able to take in with what you agree with and pushing away with what you don't agree with, it sets up a longing or a wanting. Sometimes people get in a real rebellious resistance stage. And it's just some deep conditioning that's been triggered. Maybe you had a really bad experience with a teacher, and so it sets that up, or you had a very authoritative parent. So anyone who says anything sets that up.
So, it just triggers conditioning. Or if you have a little bit more maybe of a devotional quality within your structure, you become open, you become more receptive. But then, of course, you can also give yourself away. So, it's just become aware, that's the whole thing. That's what life is a gift for, is to make the unconscious conscious, just become aware. You don't have to do anything, you don't have to become different, you don't have to keep moving and changing the furniture.
So the guided meditations is just a pure transmission. And the pointing, though the pointing is the fundamental, I call it the architecture of our being, it's the silence, it's the space, it's the vastness, it's the aliveness, the vibrancy, but those words really don't mean very much. So if you're going to grab on to those words, and go, "What in the hell is she talking about?" Or something like that, it's not going to work. But if you're just open, open your being, and really, whatever the pointing or the word is, just follow it.
And then what happens and that's if there's an intent, that's the intent, is it wakes up your fundamental reality, the fundamental essence of who you are. And then that begins to permeate through the individual, through the mind-body. And it will bring forth the illusions, the delusions, the restrictions held within the structure of the mind-body. And it's held both within the mind and the body, of course. And it will wake up and then let that permeate through the sense of this separate me that most of us on some level still somewhat hold on to. That's really what the guided meditations are.
So, I would encourage, if you drift off, everyone does, just come back to the word that's being spoken in the moment. It's that simple. If you go to sleep, you're tired, that's okay. Most everyone sleeps the first day or two. It's just how it is; we're an exhausted culture. If you're bored, then, does that boredom permeate your life in some way? It's just more information. Is it like a success or not a success?
I would encourage to really begin to dissolve the sense of being on the cushion and off the cushion. That's another delusion. So, as you're on the cushion, and there's something that is opened up or relaxed or dropped or is more spacious, more vast, then as you walk to the dining room, as you eat your food, as you take your rest, whatever it is that you're doing, come from that same, as much as possible, sense of openness, that same sense of subtleness, that same sense of wonder. This is such a beautiful area.
Most of us live maybe in beautiful areas. But it's like... ahhhh. I come from a high desert that's in an extreme drought. So this is like drinking green, drinking moisture, taking in sun, experiencing the birds and the sounds of the birds as they move through my blood, through my bones. The wonder of the sky. And if you haven't discovered the lake, going out and just looking at the lake, and how the light dances on the water. That's what you are. And those little ticker tapes that go off in the center of your head, they're just ticker tapes. You push the button and a ticker tape goes off. It's about it.
Now, I'm not talking about the functional mind and the creative mind, but I'm talking about the conditioned mind. So, you let go of the identity, and you see what is. My teacher, we just, a couple of weekends ago, sat through a couple of days of teachings with him and I had never heard him use the word, He just said, "You are the environment. You are the totality of the environment." How lovely. You're the sun, you're the moisture, you are the sounds, you're the movement of the breeze on your skin. You're the birds, the radiance.
All trees are awake. You're walking through these awake beings. And as you go outside, as you're looking, they're looking back at you. Can you receive that? And then those little ticker tapes don't have quite so much meaning. And the body and the earth are one thing. So you're walking in this creation just as the earth has created herself in these gorgeous myriad of forms.
And really, the most fundamental shift that you can make is you bring the attention that's listening to the ticker tape and you bring it back into the body and you dissolve and drop it back unto itself until there is no separation. And you feel there's a subtleness and subtle is a very precise description. It's like if you notice a child that feels loved and it settles back into the lap of the mother or an animal companion that when it leans against you or settles into your lap, there's such trust and love there, it dissolves back into this place of ease and safety.
The only reason that we live up and out of our bodies in somewhere up in our thoughts and the images generated into the, or coming from the brain, is it we don't feel safe. We're like dancing on top, trying to keep it all together. So my encouragement is to really within your cells open up to a place of settling, letting go, relaxing, and those are all unsophisticated words really. But they most precisely point to abiding into the source of who you are, or dancing on top and living into the dreams and the images of the mind.
Then a leaning back, and if you have a chair, you feel that leaning back into the cushion of the chair because the chair is holding your body. We're always griping about the chair and this and that and the other. But the truth is that the chair is offering itself for you to be held up and supported. It's like the bones in your skeletal system and in the spine, they're holding you up, they're supporting you. They're offering themselves and the feet then are planted on the floor and planted on the ground. They step onto the ground, and the ground actually comes up through the bottom of the feet, and actually will rejuvenate and strengthen the bones and the blood. That's why it's so helpful to take off your shoes and just walk barefoot, actually, on the earth whenever possible.
And if you're sensitive, you can sense that there's these energetic openings in the bottom of the foot. And it's like it draws up the strength and also the wisdom of the earth into the body. And you'll sense that there is no really defined division that now's my foot and then there's the ground. It's actually the foot goes down into the ground and the ground comes up into the foot. The same way with the chair, as you lean against the back of the chair, the back goes into the cushion and the cushion comes up into the back. These strong barriers, divisions are totally mind-driven. They actually don't exist.
If you see life as it actually is, it's vibrational. It's all just these vibrational formations. That's called foot, Earth, rock, sky, blood, bone, or a inner weaving in or moving through and in one another continuously. There's no fixed position.
And just as an experiment, perhaps lower your eyes and bring them where the eyeballs are actually pointing down. Because when you're meditating and you sense that the eyes are looking up, that means it's identifying with the ticker tape that's going on in your head. So just bring them down. That simple movement. If you look at all of the spiritual sculpture, especially the Buddhist, Eastern sculpture, the eyes are always down and just a little bit open, just slightly. So it dissolves any sense of in and out. There's a sense when you look at those sculptures of a deep resting, a deep ease.
And sensing, especially right around the tailbone, there are these very small muscles, really tiny, little muscles, and they will either draw up, and that's that fight or flight, most of us walk around with those muscles that are contracted, or they're dropped and relaxed. It's that old remnant of a tail when these bodies had tails, and you don't have to, "Now I'm going to count and relax," it just happens. You put your eyes down, you bring your attention into that part of the body, the low pelvis, right above the sacrum, right above the tailbone, and the muscles, it's just like they take a deep sigh of relief and just ahhhh. And Bring your attention just a little bit below the tailbone like a cup or a holding.
And, of course, it's infinite, there is no end. It's eternal. How could it be an end? But it's that paradox of both, there's no place to land, it's just falling through space that's infinite. But at the same time, there's a rising up and a holding. And the mind can hold those two together. But the holding is a very vital recognition within the cellular system because it's a sense that it can let go, it doesn't have to be on guard or doing controlling, figuring it out, knowing. It's just a being, a resting, abiding, a profound letting go.
And perhaps you sense muscles that are in the front of the body, deep to the pelvis. They relax and let go. The belly that we're always trying to do something with can relax and let go, drop. And then you sense because the attention is more within rather than without tracking thoughts and what's happening and what you want and what you don't want. It's more just relaxing and opening and to this very simple, but quite subtle permutations, sensations.
But there's a current within the system, and it's a continuous. It's always there, it's just that our minds were so occupied and identified with the outer that we don't notice these currents that are flowing through these bodies continuously. And that current, as there's that sense of rootedness and stillness and depth, peace is. But there's something that is dynamic that actually arises out of that ground, the groundless ground and it comes up from that depth of the tailbone and the pelvic bowl and it comes up through the spine, the central channel and it activates and opens that that is within the heart, right behind the heart, right behind the muscle, heart.
And what many sense when they open up to that profound channel—it's the channel of life and creation—is a tightness or almost like a low ache. But that's just millions, billions of moments, that instead of an open quality, there's a slight contraction that happens over and over, all day long continuously. So it isn't something that you become resistant to, or it blocks in any way, it's just, you open your attention to that, that is free, and that that is alive. And that that is spacious. And that that is that current. It's like a fountain that comes out of the ground and it rises and pours forth. And the heart is where that vertical channel and the horizontal channel meet.
It's the true metaphysical symbol of the cross. Because where it meets, they dissolve, they were never divided. And the human life is actually lived from this that comes together, the Godhead and then the living expression of that. And that arising and pouring forth, is an actual palpable felt sense. And when that is awakened, when that becomes conscious to, then this simply loving in this moment, is not some ideal, or maybe even something that you resist or push away. It's just the living reality. And you function from this open channel that draws from the infinite source and pours forth and then comes back unto itself continuously.
And you sense that right behind the muscle heart, there's a place where the attention can just dive into and there's no boundary, there's no edges, there's no limitation. The Sufi symbol for this open-heartedness is a center without a center and the wings that are spread out on either side. This is this open-hearted. And so rather than trying to control our life, or create our life, or criticize our life, or make our life this or that or not this or that, it's more if that attention wouldn't go back to actually what already is, then the outer would re-harmonize itself according to this inner harmony that's never been divided up. It's not like you make something happen. You just tune into what has always been and make that the focus.
And then love in its own wisdom, it's the fount of wisdom will re-orchestrate the life according to itself, rather than some better conditioning than the old conditioning. And so then you begin to sense that the outer parameter of the body is just as alive and vibrant as the inner. And then those self-imposed, those mind, dreams of division disappear because you see the actual reality of it. And so the outer is as alive and vibrant, and awake as the inner, and the inner awake as the outer. And so then those boundaries and divisions disappear.
And so, when you get off the cushion and you go outside, and the sun hits the cells that are awake, outer and inner equally, then there's that receiving of the radiance of the sun, experientially. And as you walk through a field of green, the green flows through and renews and feeds the cells within the body, and the air, and the moisture, and the sounds, all of the sounds, the subtle sounds, and the more outward sounds. And it's actually open to the sound of silence as well.
And above the head, is this constant pouring in, the download, if you will, of the Divine, of that that has never been formed. It's just pure light, pure essence, brilliant being. And that's that the muse, the inside, the blessings of the pure spirit pouring into the crown down through the central channel, and radiating out through all the cells as you draw from the earth, and it pours up through the central channel and all of the systems within the body and pours out of the top of the head.
So these two main channels are constantly pouring forth and drawing and renewing and inspiring and feeding and nourishing. That's the reality. We continue to be tranced out by what we perceive as the reality which is the ticker tape within the head. Or what we read or what we hear or what we agree with, or what we don't agree with.
And so it is when fully awakes to the fundamental structure, the fundamental reality of all beings. Then, from this, one can enter and dance and explore the outer real or the outer dream. But rather than to be weighted down or overwhelmed or defeated by the outer reflection, we enter into it and it's how can this life be of benefit? And then let love point that out instead of an idealism of what that should look like. And sometimes it's pulling the attention away. And other times it's stepping right into the middle of it. And you don't know which way until the moment happens.
So it's both this abiding, this full inhabiting of the interior of the body all the way through, not just up in the head. Even when one says there's a pointing out from the wise ones to live from the heart, if one just simply lived in the heart without this deep rootedness, then it would just be a vast antenna that picks up everything that's going on in the planet. But with this rootedness, this rootedness into the belly, into the tailbone, into the bottom of the feet, into this infinite route, that's the only consistency in this life.
It's before birth, it's through the life, and it's after death. It's the one great continuum. And when this is discovered, fear of death goes, and fear of life goes. And then there's an opening up. And the environment. And the life, what I define as me, is one thing. And the human individuality, the human eccentricities, the light, the human dance, is free to be as unique as it is. And yet it's not defined or constricted by its individuality, it's just celebrated. It's free.
And then wherever you go, whoever you're with, whatever you're doing, you're coming from this freedom. And whatever body you're currently inhabiting, that's the gift of this life, not the cross to bear, the lack, or the punishment, it's the light. And like a tree in the forest, it grows and it provides and it drinks into the rain and the sun and the earth. And then it becomes old and drops away and becomes food for others.
So the paradox is by going in, you discover that you're at one with all things. And when you discover that you are at one with all things, then life becomes something that the mind can't even imagine. And it's not just for one, and not another. It's the same recognition that all discovers no matter what your gender, your culture, your race, your background, your age, it's what we all share. And then your life becomes a service and a delight as that.
So on the cushion, off the cushion, what's the continuum? It's the silent, deep, abiding, rooted within the interior of the body, drawing the strength and the wisdom and the beauty of the earth, and receiving the inspiration of the pure spirit from the crown and seeing itself in everything as it creates and recreates itself continuously in all things.
So be as awake to the center-silent route as you are to the vibrant, vital beingness that's all around, above, and below and the same lake, mountain, sky, trees, ground, rock, human species, bird species, food that nourishes your body, water. The elixir of life and sun. That's the pure food that the cells drink directly. This is meditation.
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