A Window is Where the Wall is Absent

The life impulse to express and to connect arises in me and in all of us. This blog is a celebration of these life impulses. Please feel free to join in the conversation or to just visit. There is a Family Photo Album beneath the posts so you can "meet" my family and I. Welcome!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Listening to life

I was getting Chris, my 16 yo son with cerebral palsy, ready for school this morning, and Barney was singing a song on the DVD, "You are my hero."

I told Chris he is my hero, and I mean that 100%.

What  is a hero?  Chris is a transparent window beaming sunshine effortlessly all day long.  He doesn't try to be loving, he can't help but be loving- it's just who he is.

Lately I'm feeling more keenly this formless life energy that I am, that Chris is, that we all are, the invisible spring beneath the body and mind.  I'm noticing that it wants to move, to go along in the invisible current of  life that is right here now beneath all the mind's stories of unhappiness, and that I can feel its quiet pulse and follow it.  I whisper in its ear, "What would you like to do?" and I feel it move within me.

Eckhart Tolle has said that he doesn't ask so much, "What do I want?"  Rather, he asks, "What does Life want?"  In the end they turn out to be the same question,  for I and Life are one and the same.  But due to confusions of language and mind, the word "I" is also used to mean its opposite, which is ego, the pseudo-self that is an object made out of thoughts and images, created by mind activity.   The true I is anatta, egolessness, the formless being that we all share, that is one.

Chris can't walk or talk, yet he is clearly more productive and contributes more to this world than many CEO's ever will.  He is the hero of my heart. Thank you Chris for Being, the greatest gift of all.



MeANderi said...

Must be something in the current of Life, cause I'm feeling it too :) Yesterday in meditation I got: "Open to Life, the energy of Life and where it wants to go - *how* it wants to go. Feel the energy of the flow of Life that moves through and follow this..." :) All the same Flow of course moving us all...

Lovely post... Christine

Leslie said...

Hey...me too :-O
Must be One big tidal wave.
What an exquisite post Colleen...thank you.

Colleen Loehr said...

Hi Christine and Leslie,

I always feel a spark of joy when I see you have left comments- and I'm heartened from reading your comments that we are on the same "wavelength."

After I put up the post, I was listening to a dialog between Edward Jones and Richard Miller on the Never Not Here website. Edward talked about the difference between REACTION and ACTION. Reaction is our usual auto-pilot mode of going through the day according to our past conditioning. Reaction is living like a puppet pulled by the strings of ego conditioning. We can feel compassion for this robotic living that we all spend much of our lives in without realizing it.

Fortunately, there is also the possibility for ACTION that in not REACTION, that is outside the chain reaction or domino fall of causality and time. Every life has moments of action (rather than reaction) when there is complete alignment with the burst of freshness that unfolds spontaneously. This is what I hear you describing Christine as the Flow of Life, and Leslie as the One big tidal wave...Enjoying the current with you.

rose duncan said...

Just lovely.

Colleen Loehr said...

Thanks Naomi...:)

No One In Particular said...

Hey Colleen, thanks for honoring Chris. I remember being appalled when asked if I would want a termination if the pre-natal tests showed that the child I carried had Down's Syndrome. Some people moan about the present, and long for simpler times, forgetting or not realising how ruthlessly "abnormal" humans were culled, or ostracised from society, in a kind of instinctive genetic selection process. Despite Hitler (or maybe even because of him), and despite my pre-natal offer, and despite things like female infanticide in China, it seems to me we're becoming a more compassionate race, better able to sense and celebrat differences and recognise our similarities...which, of course, at it's most fundamental, is the fact that each of us, and our world and universe, are the same thing. Compassion and tolerance is even institutionalised in education...especially for someone like yourself, trained in medicine, where every patient is worthy of treatment despite (or, again, maybe because of) their attached life story. Some people moan that the world is going down the toilet, yet I see examples of kindness and altruism and philanthropy each day. Lastly, because "I" am a pedant and a big believer in the specifics of the story (counter-intuitive, I know), exactly how is your son more productive than a CEO? Those CEO's work pretty hard, you know, and often get a bum rap!

Colleen Loehr said...

Hi Suzanne,

I share your sense that there does seem to be more compassion and tolerance overall in the world today. Chris's brother and sister are proud of him and love being with him, as do Greg and I, whereas 50 years ago having a developmentally disabled family member was often considered shameful or humiliating in some way.

I love your question about how Chris is more productive than a CEO, and it's a good point that many hard-working CEO's get a bum rap. The dualistic mind relishes having a "bad guy" and dividing the world into "us" and "them", and I can see my mind doing this when I stereotype corporate types as modern Darthvaders.

Whether Chris is more productive than a CEO depends on how you define productivity. If productivity means financial profits, then the CEO is more productive that Chris. If productivity means contributing to the Gross Happiness Productivity, then Chris is more productive than many CEO's. I've read that some economists and even one country (can't remember which one) is now calculating a GHP and not just a GNP. We need a new way to measure and evaluate "progress"- not just by dollar signs, but in more meaningful ways.

Chris is incapable of a phoney smile. Every smile he has is genuine. He has never had a fake smile, not even once in his life. He wakes up in the morning with a big smile on his face. He goes to sleep at night with a huge smile on his face. He smiles at everyone in Walmart and waves and blows kisses. I want to learn how to scan and upload photos so I can share Chris's smile with you. Then you will know how he is more productive and contributes more than many CEO's.

Thanks so much for your comments Suzanne.

Leslie said...

"Chris is incapable of a phoney smile. Every smile he has is genuine. He has never had a fake smile, not even once in his life." Just the authenticity and complete and utter honesty of this is more a description of Truth than many. Thanks again for sharing this Colleen.

Doreen said...


No One In Particular said...

I knew you'd love writing that, and we'd love reading it!

Colleen Loehr said...

Dear Leslie, Doreen, Suzanne-
thank you, thank you, thank you :)

Remember Be Here Now said...

Not only listening to Life, but feeling and communicating with it through you and your loved ones and then sharing with us all... b e a u t i f u l :)

Colleen Loehr said...

Yes- more than listening- but communing on a deep and wordless level with the reality of life in this moment, the reality that is here, the reality that I am...

Susanne I just read the remarkable post from today (7/24/10) on your blog- wow! What an adventure! And what a validation for me of this remarkable wisdom that is sprouting like beautiful flowers all over the globe...I read the post twice and was very struck by your recorded encounter with this wise soul- thanks for sharing it!

Diane said...

Really enjoyed this, especially your own comment about how Chris is incapable of a phony smile. Very nice. I felt a stillness, a presence, from just thinking about the True Being-ness that he is.
Very nice.

Colleen Loehr said...

Thank you Diane, and in this moment I also feel a stillness, a presence in cherishing the True Being-ness that Chris is. He is something like a glorious sunrise disguised as a person.

I remain very grateful for the offerings on your site as well, and I especially loved the recent Nisargadatta and Rumi quotes.

Susannah said...

"Chris is a transparent window beaming sunshine effortlessly all day long. He doesn't try to be loving, he can't help but be loving- it's just who he is."

That is so beautiful Colleen (our teachers are everywhere hidden in plain sight!)

I also loved - "What does Life want?" - for I and Life are one and the same.

So true!

Good to visit here again, I haven't been spending much time online recently - but I am back now and it is good to catch up with you again.

I hope all is well in your world.

Much love to you x

Colleen Loehr said...

Hi Susannah,
It's a joy to see you! You don't know this, but way back on March 2, 2010 when I had been blogging for about 2 months, I posted a short post called "A silent crash"... and afterwards I felt so exposed and frightened to have tossed some words out into cyberspace for anyone to judge or snicker at. I was overwhelmed with timidity and "stage fright", as I was after every post, and right then and there I decided that blogging was not for me. I made up my mind to throw in the towel.

And then out of nowhere you appeared with words of warmth and joy! I will never forget the shock I felt. I took a deep breath and overcame the hurdle of fear and hesitation, and now blogging continues to open many doors in my heart and mind. Reading other blogs and exchanging comments is just as enlivening as putting up posts on this blog.

I love your recent post "Life Is Made Up of the Little Things"- speaking of which- Jack is just back home from gymnastics calling out "hello!" as I type this.

Thanks Susannah! Love, Colleen

Susannah said...

Colleen, I am so glad that you continued! I too had those feelings to overcome before I could relish the rewards of blogging and the wonderful people I would meet through it.

Perhaps it is a part of the rite of passage? to come to that moment and to make a decision whether to continue or retreat? I am so glad that I arrived here at that moment and made that decision easier for you.

I love to read your writing and by sharing through our blogs we are learning, teaching, connecting and also finding courage to just 'be life'.

Good talking with you Colleen. x

Colleen Loehr said...

Interesting- and perhaps it is a kind of rite of passage to overcome the sense of being out of one's comfort and safety zones in starting a blog...Gratitude to you Susannah :)

Zaharan Razak said...

Mystical ... I like to think I've one foot in the stream but I keep losing my footing ... hmm.

Colleen Loehr said...

Hi Zaharan,

For someone who has co-authored a book, Rivers of Malaysia, your comment about having one foot in the stream and losing your footing is especially interesting.

I visited your blog and love your writing. Here are some things you wrote on your blog that I copied into my notebook:

"The simplest and grandest pleasure is the fact of being alive."

"All troubles lead to home."

"A self-righteous person does not seek a second opinion."

"A bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you fail to make the turn."

"Adversity, no less good fortune, is an imposter who wants to steal your attention away from reality."

"A life of ease and comfort is a form of hidden adversity."

"If you are going through hell, keep going."

Also loved the wonderful photos of your children. Thank you for your comments, I am happy to meet you. You have a wonderful way with words and might also like the blogspot of my friend at "Aphorism of the Day."

Danangib said...

This is a beautiful post! Chris is an amazing person and could be an example for all of us too busy to think, to help or to smile to each other.

Colleen Loehr said...

Thank you Danangib,
I'm so happy to see you here and receive your comment.
Chris is sunshine, his presence to me is proof of the essential goodness of humanity.

agoraƩagora said...

Sweet post...
love is all

agoraƩagora said...

Sweet words... love in all

Colleen Loehr said...

Dear agoraeagora,

Yes, love IS all.
Thank you so much for visiting and leaving a comment.

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