To the Ones Who Tell Me There Is No Separation, This One’s For You

Photo: Cathy Zheutlin

To the ones who tell me there is no separation –

Or that I just need to stay in the Love –

Or Light is all there Is.

For a moment, I softly ask them to imagine the closest person in their life, whom they are the most deeply connected to, their deepest love: this could be a child, a life partner, a father, a mother, sister, a daughter, a pet, etc. – fill in the blank.

Imagine the circumstances of the pandemic’s restrictions and lock down enforcing “separation” at the time of their illness, and all the subsequent “separation” leading up to their loved ones’ consequent death –

Followed by grieving their loved ones’ death in isolation.

Then – well, then they are frozen into silence, face bewildered.

Most often these folks have not lost an immediate family member suddenly, or to unforeseen, complicated circumstances like a pandemic. While simultaneously facing another grave situation, of another loved one amid these pandemic times.

The ones that tell me I am a warrior now, I am no longer practicing, this is the field –

These folks have not lost an immediate family as outlined above. They are most often in family units – not living solo, isolated in grief amid a lock down.

Everybody dies, this is a natural part of life, others say to me. Yes, for sure.

However – it doesn’t mean it doesn’t come with emotion and feeling that requires space to play out.

Be supportive – don’t be dismissive, discouraging and invalidating.

Make space for vulnerability, this is unconditional L O V E. This is meaningful connection.

I know it’s scary, it requires a deep well of courage and strength – because my vulnerability mirrors your own vulnerability –

But I believe in you, you can do this.

Another archetype of this spiritual babble is the single spiritual man (but not limited to), most often with no one close to him in his life, whom he deeply loves or is deeply connected to like a partner, a mother, or a daughter, for instance – (just fill in the blank).

Which is intentionally structured this way, as an extension of their “no separation” / numbing out armour.

It’s easy for them to spiritual bypass because they keep everyone around them at a distance, walls up – they don’t reveal, nor offer their own vulnerable intimacy.

Rather they keep it all locked inside, which only fuels their aloofness, their resistance, their reactivity, their internal suffering they do not speak to a soul about. And ultimately, their sense of control, which is visibly rooted in fear.

Because that would decimate the persona they’ve built up of themselves, around themselves. Their ability to practice the skill of emotional intelligence is severely stunted.

All I am pointing to is, practice unconditional love (empathy, compassion) with those grieving around you, don’t shame them into duality silence.

For grief is just an expression of love.

It’s the way we offer allegiance to our loved ones who have departed; and a way to honour our losses.

Get in touch with your emotional body, your heart – put yourself in the other person’s shoes for a moment.

Instead of preaching your ‘no separation, love and light’ babble at me (or others).

I am deeply familiar with all that –

For I too was that person, once upon a time ago.

That is, until my perfectly healthy 64-year-old mother suddenly dropped dead one evening nearly six years ago now.

Her sudden exit brought me right back into my body in a deeply profound way.

Poof, she was gone – it was my deepest and most direct experience of letting go, of surrender – in this maya realm.

Until then, it was a concept that I had no embodied experience of.

Knowing your true nature, knowing you are love, knowing you are the light of Awareness is all good and fine –

But seriously – is this knowing fully integrated into your life?

How are you embodying it?

Is your emotional feeling body separate from your lived experience?

If so, you are simply spiritual bypassing.

We are here and now – living in this earthly realm –

It is NOT to dismiss the world, and live in the vast spaciousness that always is and preach, “I am not the body, I am not the mind” – and be stone COLD (boring) –

No. That is truly not it.

Yes floating in the vast spaciousness is pretty sweet for a while, I can attest to that –

But it is not practical for every day living.

Maybe if you are living in a cave in the Himalayas, or like the babas and gurus in India, removed from the practical, daily rigours of the worldly world.

But not when you have worldly responsibilities like a partner/children/job, etc.

Rather, it is to unify the two: your emotional feeling body and your lived experience – weave the two as One embodied being practicing embodied living.

To keep them separate is the e s s e n c e of separation.

It is a trauma response, it is hiding from life’s ebb, and running to the flow as an escape.

Aspiring to be ok with everything all the time is the biggest misnomer in the spiritual world. One can Be the space and still engage the forms, knowing the forms will pass/dissolve. What remains is the Beingness. Once again, what I am pointing to in case it is not clear is, E M B O D I E D Being.

If I’ve learned anything in 20 years of practice/inquiry, and a life born into a Vedic lineage, it’s this:

Everything moves and shifts within the ground of Being (your True Nature).

Non-attachment is being rooted in this never not here knowing.

This requires an elongated, focused practice/inquiry to cultivate an unending internal spaciousness, which can breathe as a natural, eternal discernment.

In other words, the embodiment of the wisdom teachings in their full aliveness.

And certainly not walking around claiming no separation; evading all emotional and practical responsibility amid the truth of each moment; preaching everything is love and light; and I am not the body or mind blah, blah.

Running to the Self, spiritual bypassing, declaring no separation – during the moments that are extremely challenging on a visceral/emotional/physical, etc. level is absolute drivel.

And extremely lifeless – and the true definition of being detached, disconnected – a s l e e p.

(As I said, I was once that person.)

Let me ask you this:

If your house is burning down with you in it, do you just sit on your couch and proclaim: I am not the body, I am not mind; there’s no separation, etc.? No. You don’t. Your adrenaline and survival mode kick in, and you get the heck out of there. Just fill in the blank – whatever your thing/person/situation is – it does not disqualify your seeming humanity in this earthly realm.

It’s to engage the aliveness of the forms, and to not get stuck in any one form. To remain open and fluid, that is. This goes hand in hand with trusting the Divine flow of life, which seeds an inner self trust – aka: the trusted breath of the Divine moving through you and life incessantly.

Renunciation is not giving up things, people and places – that is an antiquated form of renunciation reserved for sannyasins in India. The disorientation is that worldly people piece together a jumble of sannyasin life and worldly pursuits, and call it self realization.

So. Engage the aliveness. Don’t hide from it, nor avoid it, reject it, discredit it – for you will miss the authenticity of the Divine pulsation streaming through your Being in Her most alive form. Om Tat Sat.

Artwork: Autumn Sky

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