Rewiring the System


4 Pages of Answers

Posted in Uncategorized by rewiringangel on February 2, 2009

Spiritual Autobiography Earliest Contact with Divine

“The experience of poetic creativeness is not found staying at home, nor yet in traveling, but in transitions from one to the other, which must therefore be adroitly managed to present as much transitional surface as possible.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Is the popular worldly ‘on stage’ and ‘back stage’ labeled as everyday living, offering a grit creating friction? I am facing my creativity of inside meaning and outside action that I might be of service in a positive way. As I transition from a public persona back to my private face then back into the quiet place in my heart, do I notice the pace I take over this divide? Is this friction, back and forth, working to polish or extinguish my ‘little light’? I know from facing my integrity, that ‘Creative Grit’ in the intersection, of time in seconds, and in form as space, are instances in my life of folding and unfolding relationships. Each action works for both positive and negative friction, heating and polishing my golden heart. Poised, in mid step, with my right foot firmly placed on the curb and my left toe in the air, I took that first step into the street and I had a “Life” transforming epiphany.

It was Easter week of my second grade. I was on my way back to Southwark School, back from lunch break.  During the 1950’s, the whole school went ‘home’ for lunch; the mile walk was good exercise.   As I approached the Two Street and McKean intersection, suddenly I realized that all adults in my circles had told me lies about their faith. It came as a blinding shimmering light that surrounded me. From the Easter Bunny and other symbols of their beliefs did not really exist.  By extrapolation, none of the beliefs paraded toward me by the churches, synagogues were believable by themselves, and all did demand a leap of faith.  I knew in that instant, religion is built on shifting sand piles of lies.

My immigrant Grandparents wanted me to go to an ecumenical nursery school. Immigrants, have a priority for their values, tradition coupled with the desire for a good education. Education is a tool for building a life in this new country. Real family values are a living wholeness, based on the immigrant love for this country, which saved their very lives. I grew within a strong three-generation family presence household. All the neighborhood were and still are a network of loving support, as friends and family values prevailed. Therefore, off I went to Beth Jacob Orthodox Parochial School.  I would not be asked to think or to comment. My family would not suffer a word or emotion from me about an educational system. The Orthodox practice of separating woman from men, that is, little girls from little boys, begins in kindergarten on through all life. Girls get a different curriculum based on gender. This was very apparent to my rapidly developing brain, eyes and ears. We did not get the same preparation for Torah study. For the highly intelligent girls such as me, to have crafts and housekeeping along with general simplified reading and writing rather than the basic Biblical Judaic philosophy meant that there was no place for me within the intellectual or rabbinical structure.

How Spirituality Developed

I had a kind friend, who attended the Mongolian Buddhist center in New Jersey.  I felt comfortable going to that center under his direction.  All those years ago, before Buddhism became the bedrock of a new view on the Ten Commandments, the Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center was at the end of a series of unmarked country roads.  In the 60’s, 70’s and early 80’s TBLC was like NASDAK, if you did not belong, you did not find it.  Every time I traveled under the spring green or ice crystal canopied tree lined one-lane road, I felt like I was coming home. The images and smells are in my memory for as long as I have memory. The weather rutted one lane dirt road and demanded a slow pace.  Arriving at the brightly colored arch to the tune of the terrifying Tibetan terrier guard dogs seemed psychically deciding if you belonged, separated this world from the outside.  My very being in my heart, mind, and soul sighed relief as I crossed the threshold, I was home.  The inner circle at this center went on to become the world-renowned names in Buddhist scholarly work. We sat in a tight series of half circles around the central diesis and listened intently.  Because of the generally high caliber of the students, the dialogue was riveting.  I listened repeatedly to the topic of “which part of the table is table?” Weekend after weekend retreats in the one cot retreat room and years of Sunday sittings polished my understanding that this person I call the ‘I’ does not stand by itself and is dependent on billions of cells and relationships on seemingly 500 levels of interconnectedness that come together at this exact moment of time for a certain purpose. As Richard Feynman writes in the introduction in ‘QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter’, that humans are a collection of stories and songs.

What Issues Am I Wrestling, Clarity, Healing, Inspiring

The Truth about the big and small ‘Self’ as reflections on the holy water is labial. I am a viable thinking animal with a prehensile thumb and heart.  In an instant, I felt that inner truth could be lost in a spin by storytellers, over and under as on a Mobius strip. Inside my heart, truth is able to intersect with the moving material world. Inside and outside always converge and harmonize. I need to understand things as they really are.  From that day foreword, I studied Truth. To uncover the spiritual truth, the truth that is covered and veiled with layers, which keep us apart, both from one another and from direct knowledge. Book learning just goes so far in juicing the nectar from theological fruit.  After years of study starting at age 13 or 14, my lucky star lead me into the rich multi flavored, multi textural literature of Tibetan Buddhism.

The Call: Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center

Tupten Ghatso presided over visiting teachers from as far as Ladak where the remaining essence of the Buddha’s Words still ring from the high mountains. The Dalai Lama, a leader in Tibetan Buddhism, has a small private residence at the TBLC. I studied in this atmosphere and with the loving attention of the direct Galupka linage. Students received training in living in harmony within the universe out to Infinity. Robert Thurman and Jeffery Hopkins and well-known leaders, authors and teachers studied with me here. We were all instructed to understand that the modern everyday life is the western equivalent to a historical monastery. Now I need to work in the world to serve. With all the tools of human interconnectedness contained in the hierarchical matrix, comes the opportunity to study, grow, benefit others and lead by my actions and words. I am not and will not be a Monk!  The divine is a stream of light flowing in an ocean of peace, as Jesus stated, “Peace on Earth”; he spoke of his understanding of God as Love and Peace.  I experience the divine as a paradise here every instant at every intersection as a connection to the fabulously complex intersecting instants of causes and conditions.

Events, Which Lead Me Where I Am Today: How Institute for Rewiring the System Got Its Name

I still remember the feeling of warmth from that sun-drenched afternoon.  That day back in early summer of 1998 brings a swarm of memories and thoughts. Today, as I feel the sun on my body, it links me mentally to the events at the University Center on Locust Walk.  This stone building built in the second wave of construction at the end of the nineteenth century.  The hall has the grace and space of a long gone time. That time when high ceilings allowed space for lofty ideas and discourse.  You can feel the quiet quality rising from the dark gray stone as reverence from the Earth itself toward the Common Good. We gather to try to learn, as well as we possibly can, in the time until KR arrives.  Kensure Rinpoche, the senior teacher to the Dalai Lama was retiring as director of the Namghal Monastery in Dharamsala, India. Losang Samten was his student as well and functioned as the Dance Instructor at Namghal.

Rinpoche’s arrival at our center is an Honorific occasion; there are special prayers appropriate for this particular event.  We all feel the importance of the reunion.  Hours of brain aching repetition drain all of our energy.  The day was set aside specifically to have all the time we needed to say them repeatedly, until we got them right! After the arduous morning and afternoon of memorizing with the correct inflection, all the students filed out of the Hall in a rush of thundering feet, to get into the last of the lingering warming sun. Losang and I were the last to leave. Losang faced me and said; “I want you to help people who do not believe in God.  There are more than 6 billion people on the earth yet two thirds; almost 4 billion do not believe in a supreme being.”  He took a deep breath as he became pensive, and said, “I have been thinking that they deserve a way to contact the immaterial in a fashion that suits their individual style, feeling and thought.  I want you to help them rewire their systems.  You have studied, ruminated and turned learning into your very own individual modern understanding of the texts.  I want you to create a pamphlet to publicize this effort.  I want you to get people to rewire their systems.”

I looked at him in astonishment and for a minute could not believe my ears or heart!  Then in a second heartbeat, less than an instant, I replied that if we called it Institute for Rewiring the System, it would be the IRS of meditation.  He immediately exploded into a laugh and said, “That’s it!  That is right! Do It!” After the web site creation, Losang asked me to write an autobiography from birth including reading, study and practice, which gave me tools to survive the terrible trials. It is about the climb toward awakening while living in a body. This was my third Call to Chaplaincy and service to the Light.

Call:

When I was three, I had the experience of telepathy and that my family did not have this ability. It was shocking. It made me feel like a stranger in my family. My mother remembers the day I was inconsolable, crying for most of the day whether in her arms or not. I was trying to send her a thought of what I would like to eat and she did not understand in any way or get the telepathic message. From that day on, I have been searching for the indigo connection.

I read Buddhist and Quaker literature with a hunger for the motivating force of light in form generating Love and Peace. I attended Quaker Meeting starting at age of 12. I have a primary affiliation with the Strawberry Creek Friends Meeting. I remain connected to The Tibetan Buddhist Center in Philadelphia, PA, as well as HHDL’s center in Washington, NJ, The Hindu theology of Swami Vivekananda counts in my support. I attend meetings and friendships a few times a year, the Shambala Center here in Berkeley, also the Zen center on Russell St. in Berkeley. I have stayed in retreat at Green Gulch in Marin. I lived in Princeton, my daughter and I both joined the Presbyterian Church where my daughter sang in the choir for several years. I was a regular attendee of the various Unitarian churches in my travels.  I have attended The Grace Episcopal in San Francisco and other denominations including the Islamic Center in New Jersey. I discovered Agni Yoga in my early 20’s. For me it is a key for the cosmic infinity lock.

My Cross-

In 1980 while working at the University Of Pennsylvania at the Wharton Magazine I contracted an air borne virus or insect bite which traveled to my brain and turned a section of my left hemisphere to mush. I had surgery and by the grace of hierarchical group prayer and the power of goodness, I felt pulled back from the dead. I was a vegetable for 10 months, but the horror of using a bedpan got me to throw myself off the bed and crawl to the bathroom. That was all I could do for a year. This experience and the seven year effort to learn to walk and talk has given me great empathy and the ability to understand from the inside mortality issues. During that dark time, I looked death in the face and know death from close up. I learning that we are in fact immortal, that we all step out of our bodies but we are not lost.  This whole experience is part of my hearing the call to serve others. I want to listen to those who are lost in some way or on a dark path and experiencing their own mortality questions. “We’re here in the restaurant.  When we are finished, we are going to leave the restaurant.  But we’ll still be ourselves – we just won’t be in the restaurant anymore.” This experience has further cemented my Call to Serve.

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