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
Summoning all cosmic beings for support? It's better if you just focus

Summoning all cosmic beings for support? It’s better if you just focus.

You know how when you’re really messed up and you reach out to EVERY friend? You text them ALL at once in case the one person you really want to talk to isn’t responding IMMEDIATELY. And then you feel kind of dirty after because you got all frantic and spread your nuttiness around when really, you could have just connected with your one friend who tells you the truth every single time? I think it works the same way with angels and cosmic guides.

MeditationClass

I’ll just go out on a limb and say it…

I’ll just go out on a limb and say it: MEDITATION—or some form of contemplation or prayer—is ESSENTIAL for your sanity and fulfillment.

Desire Map Online Video Course

Let’s hold hands — all the way to your Core Desired Feelings. The Desire Map ONLINE VIDEO COURSE is finally real

I got together with Cody App to produce this and it’s beautifully and logically laid out. Every module is accompanied by printable worksheets. You can go through the course on your own, or with a group of friends. You can do it in a weekend, or you can meander with it over a few weeks. Your call.

Meditation Space Danielle LaPorte

My commit-phobia + Meditation. Relate? (and last call…meditation class starts Nov 15.)

With a full I heart, I invite you to join me for THE CREATION SPACE Meditation. 5 call-in sessions for some connection and devotion. I’ll guide you through a different visualization, meditation, mantra, or prayer each morning (and for one evening), in a live phone class.

Creation Space Meditation

Spiritual mutts and quilts of devotion. Can you relate?

Calling all spiritual mutts…registration for my CREATION SPACE Meditation Class is open right now and closes very soon!

Pleasure-is-power

Your pleasure is your power…here’s how to get there, a few hours at a time.

When you’re in your pleasure you think more clearly, you’re more efficient, you’re most certainly more creative, and you’re more loving. Your pleasure states are good for your immune system.

CONSCIOUS gratitude

CONSCIOUS gratitude (as in SMART gratitude. Rather than the spiritual bypassing kind of gratitude that can actually screw you up).

Gratitude changes your brain chemistry. Proven. Happy brain chemicals mean that you’ve got more clarity and courage. Proven. There are zero downsides to making gratitude part of your wellness practice.

Recommitting to sisterly love@2x 456x456

Recommitting to sisterly love. (Because women wounding other women won’t get us where we need to go.)

Good things come to those who… hold out. Holding out requires a sacred, almost superhuman degree of focus—mystical muther freaking prowess.

Danielle-LaPorte-Stop-Doing-Free-and-clear

Stop Doing. (AKA Detangling, Liberating, and Facing Some Gnarly Terror.) Your next FREE & CLEAR exercise is here.

Enter: THE STOP DOING LIST. Prepare for massive relief. I tend to stay away from big self-help claims, but this is potentially life changing. Or at least sanity-saving. I’m excited for you.

Danielle-LaPorte-Want-To-Change-Free and clear

What needs to change? (And how to look at what sucks in your life without criticizing yourself.)

There’s a layer of psychological refinement that we’re adding to this. You’re going to look at what needs to change WITHOUT laying a guilt or judgement trip on yourself (or anyone else).

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This