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
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…

holding-out-danielle-laporte

Holding out. The most underrated spiritual act there is.

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

Danielle-LaPorte-the-royal-practice-of-overcoming-distraction

The “royal practice” of overcoming distraction.

Most of us approach distraction as a time management issue—how we wrangle our to-do list and hit our goals. But when you zoom out and look at it esoterically, it snaps your priorities into place. Keep Reading…

danielle-laporte-this-is-what-healing-looks-like-audio

This is what healing looks like—from cancer to politics, and our bleeding, blazing hearts.

Healing is as ugly as “healed” is gorgeous. If we don’t judge the mess of it, we’re more likely to get to the other side of it sooner—and more deeply healed and stronger than we ever imagined possible. Scars and all. Healed.

Danielle-Laporte-Guru-Singh

Cataclysmic Evolutionary Catalysts. (AKA: The times we live in). A guest appearance from Guru Singh.

For the first time ever on my site, I’m bringing you a guest feature. Because these times call for collaboration. And radical wisdom. So here it is: Guru Singh is a luminous and direct Truth teller. It’s an immense honour to share his insights—and prayerful plea. Please listen in.

danielle-laporte-conscious-gifts-2017-1

8 holiday gift ideas for friends & co-workers. Conscious, cool, and not-destined for landfills. And 6 ways to help #NoDAPL this season.

Here are a few pro-earth, pro-good taste, pro-kindness ideas for showing your love and appreciation this season: 8 conscious ways and things to give this season—to friends and your professional circle.

danielle-laporte-how-you-listen-is-how-you-live-featured-2x

How you listen is how you live. (A poem for being of service.)

You may hear this as an order, an invitation, or as the opportunity of lifetimes.

How you listen is how you live.
Can you hear the women crying?
Can you hear the soil gasping for clean air?
And did you hear that? That’s the sound of a good man asking, How can I serve?

How do you serve?

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This