Someone wrote me an email about my post, "When's the Last Time You Tried to Pay the Rent with Love?"
They wanted to know how the experiment turned out since it was now 2012, and that post was penned on June 28, 2005.
I wasn't sure how to respond as so much has happened in that timeframe. In a nutshell, metaphorically, I feel as if I am a fruit tree planted from seed--and it's not quite matured (very close, I think).
So, writing here over a few posts, I may be able to summarize the roller-coaster that has been the last seven years. Firstly, I say upfront at this moment I'm not paying the rent as of this writing March 10, 2012 (living with family). I did manage to pay lots of rent up through about March 2010 when all hell broke loose as they say.
Skimming When's the Last Time You Tried to Pay the Rent with Love?", what struck me as most resonant to who I am today was this part:
They say Matthieu Ricard, the son of a French intellectual, "gave up a promising career as a scientist to study Tibetan Buddhism." Uh, what exactly is this promise behind a promising career, anyway?
June 28, 2005 was before many things I could not have imagined appeared. I will tell one story today, and a little background for context.
I understated the impact of making an inner vow and commitment to seek to know what is Deathless immediately after I survived the Indian Ocean tsunami while I was in Thailand and was in the aftermath of so much death and angst, yet also tenderness, generosity and compassion. Everything else--boyfriend, paid work, etc.--seemed to be wiped from my slate as I'd lost interest in those. At that time, I stopped trying to hustle for Silicon Valley (where I lived at the time) consulting clients and managed to scrape by on my savings pouring forth all my energy and effort to finding out what is absolutely true for myself directly and experientially.
I sort of managed to convince myself I could go back to the career after I found out for myself what is always true and always been true, or in Philip K. Dick's words, "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." I would have had no way to conceive that I would be a full-time mystic.
In June 28, 2005 I was close to giving up on the concept of spiritual Enlightenment existing beyond a concept of dead dudes like Ramana Maharsi and the Buddha and such. I demanded a living example. And so not too so afterward, I was led to my spiritual mentor, Adyashanti--and that occured in August 2005, a few days before Katrina hit the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
From here, I will jump time and take you to a scenario in New Orleans March 2010--just about two years ago today. It was March 3, 2012 (the date is etched in my memory), and I was living in a truck. How things descended to that point is a whole other story--only mostly involving fear, worry, and resistance (i.e. lack of surrender and allowance) which is more dangerous than people might imagine. I'd only been living in the truck for two day so far when I walked down to the anarchist collective which had a library, and sometimes they had free food or could tell you where you could find food. I'm not sure now why I went--probably food and advice as I really wasn't needing books (if I was so inclined, I had a library card). While there I saw a 'free' pile and glanced and saw a book titled, "Miracle in the Mirror," by Mark Buntain. I picked it up because of the word, miracle, which isn't often used in our culture, and if I recall I'd used that word that day.
Reading that book probably helped save my life, as I'd really hit a low-point.
The point in the end isn't whether you pay the rent or not (this is hard to fathom).
Now that I'm beginning to learn to discard social conditioning, learned theories (not first-hand), and other indoctrination I can see that KNOWING that all is One and Infinite is one thing (April 2006), but living and being the embodiment of that is quite another. And, I am sensing that Infinite really does mean Infinite and, as such, is inclusive of resources (of which money is a medium for). This is a meandering way of saying that to know that all is One and Infinite in a transcendent sort of way is not enough. It's also in the here and now, day by day, minute by minute it's who I allow to manage my life--my mind and its memory or the Infinite.
When the person I call Evelyn surrenders to that Infinite, then all is provided. Otherwise, I've found it unpredictable. It's been that surrender (that's a frightening word for some, could call it acceptance, alignment, cooperation, allowance too) to the Infinite that I've fought hard against in the last four years, to my own detriment.
I haven't read Miracle in the Mirror since. I just picked it up, and flipped a few pages so you can see why it might have stirred a lonely, scared woman back towards onely, sacred woman. The true story tells of the young college student Nita Edwards descent into a debilitating illness. She was brought up Christian, but disavowed it as she grew up. (I'm not Christian myself, as I kind of don't identify with any religion... or hopefully, identify with anything other than Truth itself.) However, the path taken isn't of consequence.
"She lay sulking in the bed, a bag of bones, praying, "Why me, God?" and angrily holding back the tears, when the husband of another relative walked in with Colton Wickramaratne. For a long time, he had wanted Colton, his pastor, to pray for Nita.
Nita made every effort to be pleasant, as always, as they were introduced, but she was not disposed toward socializing at the moment. She was still mad at God. She answered the preacher's questions, smiled sweetly, and closed her eyes as he prayed. As he left she said, "Thank you for coming," but she really meant, "Thank you for going."
[another section the pastor Colton revisits her and reveals a vision he had. . . . ]
"She was dying of myelitis, a creeping paralysis that was destroying her limbs and vital organs, and, apart from that, she had always been cynical about visions and dreams and voices. The story Colton told her really bore no relevance to her.
"God is going to heal you," Colton insisted. "You're going to have an impact on all of Asia."
"You can't be sure of that," Nita replied coolly. "I come from a family of medical people. I know full well that my disease will eventually reach my heart and lungs, and I will die. But you're good to try and encourage me."
"I would never give you false hopes," Colton answered. "But I saw your face in the vision. You are going to live."
Nita shrugged. The preacher could believe whatever he liked. She couldn't stop him.
[Days later . . . . ]
"Oh, Colton," Nita sobbed, "why don't you just stop praying for me?"
"No," he replied, adamant. "I'm not going to let go until God tells you what He intends to do with your life."
A subtle change occurred to Nita that day. Her prayer life experienced a fundamental change.
"I'm not asking for healing any more," she told the Lord each day. "I'm not asking to be taken home to heaven. Just tell me what you created me for, and do anything you like with me."
She doggedly repeated the prayer, day after day, night after night.
"If your plan is to let me die, that's fine," she often added, her fear of death completely gone.
"If your plan is to let me lie here like a vegetable for thirty years, that's O.K. I don't like it, but I'll live for you right in this bed. Just tell me what you want me to do, why you created me, what purpose you intended when you formed me in the womb. What is your plan for me?"
. . . When she felt herself doubting that God would ever answer her, she repeated the last verse of Isaiah 40 as a counter-argument:
"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."
And for Nita, that promise--mounting up, running, and walking--made it worth the wait, even if it would only be a figure of speech.
It was a strange change, after so many months of demanding a miracle of healing. Colton and Suzanne, her mother, and hundreds of Christians all over the world, were demanding her healing, and in the swirling midst of all this, she was asking only for a word --not action.
And daily, Nita's spiritual pipeline was being cleared. The earthly longings she had felt for so long were being swept away. The obsessions of her teen years, the self-indulgent prayers, the earmarks of immaturity began to be dissolved within her by a divine touch. Every day, she could sense in her spirit that her spiritual pipeline was coming close to a total cleansing--a little closer to the day when it could freely transport God's answer to her heart.
. . . The advance of death indeed appeared to continue in Nita's body."
When Nita stopped asking and praying for her recovery on its own, and truly wished to know and live out her purpose and to allow Life to live through her...
that was the turning point.
Of course, Nita got her answer.
And miraculously, as she wasn't asking for a cure, she was also healed 100% of her paralysis caused by myelitis disease as well as visible scars from surgery vanished.
I had seen medical miracles myself or perhaps this would not have resonated deeply. However, somehow in my mind I had never really connected the medical and the financial mirarcle as interrelated. It was really the piece about clearing herself that spoke to me.
To ask for paying the rent is a small prayer indeed when the Infinite is calling. I'm still learning by doing it moment by moment, but those details take care of themselves when I am in surrender.