where to find God: down, not up

“I had always imagined God to be in the same general direction as everything else that I valued: up. I had failed to appreciate the meaning of the description of God as the “ground of being.” I had to be forced underground before I could understand that the way to God is not up but down.”
– Parker Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

Yogis and gurus have it easy, I figure. No mortgage to pay, no lover to argue with or long for, no groceries to pick up. No parking tickets. Detachment must be a cake walk when devotees are bringing you food and cash.

You want to show me evolved? Then get a j-o-b. Navigate inter-office conflicts, hormones, interest rates, and family holidays with meditative calm. I dare you.

I’m being facetious, of course. Ascension can be a bitch. And there are many spiritual masters who have earned their silky cushions and well-supported lifestyles … to whom I deeply bow.

But for me, the aim to transcend has proved to be a distraction.

Maybe enlightenment is not attained with out of body experiences, or astral travel, or rising above the mundane, profane and banal of everyday life.

Perhaps, as activist Parker Palmer puts it, God is down, not up. Perhaps God has temper and likes Her meat rare. Maybe He hangs out with crazy people and likes a bargain.

Perhaps God is waiting to be found in the things we try to avoid.

The hours I’ve logged in the lotus position have expanded my mind, and even sweetened me. Examining cosmological concepts has sharpened my intellect and fueled my charisma. My higher pursuits are decent. But my life always calls me, sometimes wrenches me, back down to the ground. Back to my little home, like a million other homes on earth, filled with minutiae and temperaments and soft tiny experiences of joy.

My greatest lessons have not come from my time in Ashrams or on retreat. Retreats are where I go to process what I learn from everyday living. My greatest growth comes from the black mucky fertile mess of my relationships … when I do the hard work of loving someone the way they deserve to be loved. When I go down into the sensuality of the present. When I go…

Down into surprising self-hatred. Down into feeling helpless in the face of Gaza and Sudan and ignorance and toxins and homelessness.

Down into deep sex and smells and hedonistic funkaliciousness.

Down to nuzzle a crying friend or baby.

Down into the dirt to lift branches and clear space, and carry boxes into a new little home, like a million other homes on the earth.

Maybe God is something you need to “get into” rather than aspire to. When I retired from rising above my life and just “settled” with being here and being human, something amazing happened: I stopped feeling guilty for being…me. If you’re not ascending you’re stuck with yourself, and that’s much more fun than I ever thought possible.

Life is messy. Dig deep.

 

 

related posts
Energy parasites and addiction to chaos-Danielle-LaPorte

Energy parasites and addiction to chaos…and other things to weed out of your life.

Women and feminine-identified types specialize in beginnings, not endings. We prefer to nurture, not exclude. This of course is spectacular and divine and… challenging. Because destruction is essential to creation. Something has to die for your dream to be born. And by that I mean… you may need to cut off it’s life/lie supply and send it down the river to die.

Danielle-Laporte-I saw a Muslim man-Audio

I saw a Muslim man roll out his prayer carpet…

I saw a Muslim man roll out his prayer carpet in Union Square park
to prostrate to his god.
People, dogs, pigeons, were passing by his intimacy.

Danielle-Laporte-My Very Personal Hurt

My Very Personal Hurt, Suffered, Cried, Tanked, Flopped, Crawled, Begged for Mercy List. May it bring you comfort.

My very personal hurt, suffered, cried, tanked, flopped, crawled, begged for mercy list. May it bring you comfort. Because here’s what I know for SURE: You are never the only one. And there’s always a way through. Always.

Collective-Pain-Danielle-Laporte

Are you feeling the “collective pain”? Here’s how to manage that…

A lot of us are experiencing our own personal pain AND tapping into global, collective pain at the same time. We’re marching, or emphatically not marching. We’re crying in the kitchen, out of the blue. We’re heavy with emotion by noon.

My loves, it’s critical that you let the pain move through you. You have to keep letting it go. And like, there’s no need to worry about being too detached from what’s going on. Because there’s new pain arriving daily. If you’re awake you will hurt. I’m with you…in profound agony over the state of the world. And, my faith and resolve are brighter than my doubt and stronger than my grief. It’s an hourly practice to find that balance.

Danielle-LaPorte-How-to-be-yourself

How to be yourself…when you can’t really be yourself.

“Just be yourself.” Most common self-help sermon ever. I’ve been preaching it for years. Except…being yourself doesn’t always work. Sometimes it’s dangerous. Sometimes it’s not worth the frustration or the futility.

Danielle-LaPorte-Having-Faith-Audio

There is nothing passive about “having Faith.” (And how to deal with doubt).

Faith is the “work” in “Light work”. It scrubs and rinses and steadily erases doubt. Faith stays on doubt’s ass: I see you. I dissolve you. I replace you with Faith. And then doubt will pop up again. And Faith is right there: Yep, I heard you. I choose faith. Yep, I know the odds, I choose Faith. And because Faith knows the natural order of things, she says to doubt: You’ll probably be back later this week. And you might even distract me. But I’ll still choose Faith. No anger, just clarity. No complaints, just pure, fiery resolve.

Danielle-LaPorte-Failures-traced-to-my-silence

All of my failures can be traced to my silence.

Truthing isn’t necessarily easier to do, but it brings incredible ease to your life. And the more you do it, the easier it becomes. The courage, the classy delivery, the compassionate humour, it all becomes more accessible when you’re using your voice everyday.

Will you do as much as it takes, as long as it takes? 2017 is asking

Will you do as much as it takes, as long as it takes? 2017 is asking.

Listen. It’s time. This is it. 2017. New. Year. Now. I for one am going deeper and higher. I’m reaching inward for my strength, facing my Soul, and I’m going to pour my devotion to the Light all over every word I speak, and every human I encounter and adore and hold, and every cause I’m working for.

danielle-laporte-how-to-wish-someone-well-audio

How to wish someone well — in a way that will blow your life wide open.

We’ve all been hurt. Screwed over. Taken for granted. Unseen. And once we untangle our hearts and egos from those painful interactions, sometimes we can still manage to send someone positive vibes.Harm done, but okay. Everyone did their best. Onward. I wish them well. And even though you’d never commune or collaborate with that person ever again, you really mean it…

Danielle-LaPorte-Year-in-review

5 Q’s for your deeper Year In Review

Do your year in review with a friend. Last year I sat in a pub in Ojai, while Steph pushed me to do a rapid-fire reflection on the closing year. Keep reading…

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This