Sunday, March 26, 2017
11:10 PM | Posted by Elena Nezhinsky | | Edit Post
So many times we abandon ourselves
and conform to others in fear to loose their love.
No wonder we have low self esteem,
because our view of who we are
and what we really want
depends on others,
on their attention and their love.
and abandon who we are,
creating a space in a heart, that longs to be whole.
We try to fill that space
with other’s approval and attention.
This can never be the same love we can give to ourselves.
It is only a substitute, a surrogate, a thin film
we cover the open hole in our heart with.
It pops like a soap bubble as soon as we inhale
in the next moment,
leaving the wound open again and again.
It can only be filled by authentic self-love,
acceptance and appreciation
from oneself to our own nature,
our unique character.
Then we are whole again,
and we don’t ask for anything from outside of ourselves,
we don’t have anything missing,
we don’t chase anything to make us complete.
We abide in our own wholeness, and
we offer this wholeness to others when we meet,
instead of constant reaching for their contribution
in a form of approval, love, and appreciation.
This new way of meeting others in our wholeness
is a true relation.
Friday, March 24, 2017
7:43 PM | Posted by Elena Nezhinsky | | Edit Post
I am not a sex guru, but this article will be about sexuality and desire. I have written on this subject before, and here is a link to my article about my celibacy experience in a past:
Transformation of Sexual Energy and the value of Equanimity:
Today I am not celibate, and I learnt a great deal about sexuality through my own experience of consummation. This subject rarely comes up in the “serious spiritual circles”, unless it is the part of spirituality that many see as “not serious”, the part where Goddesses, yonies and lingams reside.
Many in “serious spiritual circles” actually confused about sexuality and sensuality completely. In nonduality there is a lot of disassociation and nihilism going on, and anything that involve the body may seeing as “non existent”. At times we almost disassociate with the human we are, and spend time in juggling non-dual concepts, especially in the first several years after awakening to no-self, until life in some way shake us back into the whole.
When I sat retreats in a Goenka Vipasana center, most of the time I would sit through pain and discomfort, or some neutrality, very rarely I would experience pleasure, though I read many years ago that Buddha sat through a lot of pain in his early years of more torturous meditation training, but later on he was mostly working with pleasure: pleasurable mind states. Through numerous retreats, working with aversion to discomfort and pain, boredom, doubt, and all kinds of variations of mind states, I was always wondering how it would be to be sitting with pleasure continuously, how it would be not to give in to an attachment to pleasurable sensations.
This experience came to me not through the meditation practice, but come to me by meeting a lover. Life passed by with some men come into my life and go, but I never came across a lover. I never exactly knew what is that mean, to be with a lover. I knew how to be with a man, how to experience high of the sexual arousing, but being with a lover turned to be something completely different.
In Buddhism there is a concept of fetters, chains, that hold us to be reborn in this world, and one of them is desire. Desire for anything to acquire, this include the most strong desire - the desire for sexual pleasure. Being a dedicated vipassana meditation practitioner, I was “conquering” this fetter in my practice. And no, I was not suppressing the desire, I was watching it, allowing the sensation of passion fill in my being without acting on it, letting it arise naturally and subside. It would come up very strongly at first, especially in my first couple of retreats, filling me up with much heat and almost burning sensations through the body, but as time went by, the passion stopped to arise, and sexuality went to zero. I became celibate naturally.
Years later I found myself in Ecuador, in a rainforest, taking an ayahuasca brew, and watching the rise of the passion fill in my being, as it never left, birthing myself as a Lover.
That night my body that resided in the sexless state as though it was forever permanent, transformed into the moving wave of the ocean and the heat of the sun with the speed of the falling star! I went into the feeling wholeheartedly, giving myself to the medicine fully.
The next day I was in shock. I was shocked by the fullness of the desire that was suddenly present. I was shocked how many years I sat through myriad of feelings in complete equanimity, certain that the desire vanished from me without a trace. I was shocked how quickly and fully it came back. I was shocked how foolish I was, thinking of the absolute absence of the sexual desire, thinking that the fetter had been conquered!
Fast forward several years, the old marriage behind, couple of relationships behind, here he was - the one who looked into my eyes, and we both recognized something bigger then us, something bigger then just interest, something bigger then the current life: “I am here”.
Coming together with the Lover is not an ordinary event, it is a Ceremony. It creates itself. No special knowledge is necessary, no special techniques needs to be learned. It is a thoughtless state of merging. It is limitless in time. It is as beautiful and as raw as the Universe itself. In the ceremony the only thought that cross the mind is “I can die now”. The experience, the feeling of completeness is almost overwhelming by it’s totality. I would be sure I am having an experience of a lifetime, only to find myself in the ceremony again and again with the same thought: “I can die now”, and the ascension of Completeness.
I thought many times why I am given this gift continuously. One of such encounter will satisfy for a lifetime. I don’t know the answer, but my mind likes to speculate, and it made a story that it is sort of a practice: the opportunity to develop equanimity with pleasurable sensations and mind states, though it is more effortless noticing, being-ness, then an active practice.
Just like working with pain we skillfully yield to sensations, we allow them to express without pushing them away, the same with pleasure, we allow it to raise without holding on to it. Equanimity with any mind state, with any sensation, leads to liberation. The sensation, allowed to be expressed to it’s fullness, disappears, leaving us as the boundless, limitless Awareness. Here we ARE - liberated from the limited idea and limited feeling of who we are. The state of pure Awareness is free from pain and pleasure, free from attachment and aversion, free from fetters, and free from concepts. We can know then who we are, and rest.
Conquering sexual desire is somewhat useless activity, maybe it is more Buddhist term “conquering” that does not ring for me anymore. As seekers we wired to do something. So we do it, until we don’t. Until we rest, we can practice equanimity, practice relaxation, practice awareness, practice concentration, practice letting go, practice allowing - there are many ways we can DO, and they are all legit. The only caution I have for us is not to loose the clarity that what we DO will not bring us to what we ARE. Dropping what we do is the only way how we arrive to an experience of what we are. It happens spontaneously, effortlessly, suddenly, without our conscious participation. When it happens we learn that WHAT WE ARE is ALWAYS HERE. The seeking and trying to conquer stops. We ARE ALREADY FREE.
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
3:12 PM | Posted by Elena Nezhinsky | | Edit Post
My stepfather was a military officer, and when I was 10 , we moved to live on a military compound in Eastern Germany. The base was outside of a small town, and it had a store, a post office, a cinema, a bookstore, a volleyball court and a playground - just like a small village. The only difference was in the people who populated this village. They were mostly men in uniform. The compound housed about 7000 men. There were soldiers dressed in a green uniform with a special triangular little hat called a‘pilotka”, and officers with stripes and stars on their uniforms, showing their rank.
The whole compound was surrounded by beautiful fields and a forest. We swam in the ice-cold crystal clear spring waters of the man-made lakes in the forest, that had been dug by Russian prisoners of war. There was an abundance of granite in that area, and Nazi Germany used prisoners to excavate it. The granite holes had over time filled with the spring waters, creating lakes almost 400 feet deep. I remember jumping into the lake and feeling the fear of the immense depth under me.
The German government had organized special get-togethers they called “Druzhba”. Druzhbas are translated as “friendship” in Russian, and involved Germans from the nearby towns and us Russians from the base having fun playing together, and exchanging gifts and smiles. But still the tension outside of these artificial gatherings was palpable. Going to town wasn’t always fun. Sometimes we, children, would be splashed with dirty water from a window on a high floor above us. Or we would be called “Svinya, sobaka”, meaning ‘pig’ and ‘dog’ in Russian, the worst insult that German kids could create as they tried to ease their feeling of confusion brought by Soviet military presence there.
I was wearing traditional Russian scarf on my shoulders, and was held by “Germans” in warmth and care. I held them in love that was radiating from each pore of my being. The love overflowed me and the whole constellation of people collapsed for a second in front of my own eyes into the pure light. Stories of separation, of what was perceived as bad and shameful, faded into light. The feeling of wellbeing sprang from within the human heart, and changed the field of consciousness forever.
|My mama on the lake in 1980|
Sunday, January 22, 2017
6:46 PM | Posted by Elena Nezhinsky | | Edit Post
Old fashioned woman I am
I don't look for my freedom from men.
They do not have anything to do with my freedom.
My freedom is not based on someone's opinion,
It is not vulnerable and dependent on conditions,
Its is here, like my breath that is simply always here.
My freedom does not depend on
how much I am loved and respected,
if this is absent in the relationship, why stay?
My freedom is to love,
To look at my man with respect and interest,
To create a space of comfort and beauty.
My freedom is to nourish my man, take care of him,
and let him nourish and take care of me.
Some call it old fashioned.
My freedom is in asking if I need something,
and giving if I moved to share.
I don't have reservations, and I do both with ease.
I respect man's strength, physical and in spirit,
And I am not in the competition with him,
I am a creature of my own, a different specie.
For me, equality means living my own life to the best I can,
And letting the other do the same,
Said all that, I don't know what is right for you,
please be free in your own expression.
Old fashioned is right one for me.
2:22 PM | Posted by Elena Nezhinsky | | Edit Post
We don't know the future, we only can think about it.
Thoughts are the product within already set
mental structure - beliefs, a certain view.
The future can reveal itself outside of this structure,
can you see this?
To think of a future within the mental beliefs
that are present now,
To have a wondering attitude is more healthy
then resisting attitude.
Wonder is a more open view that includes right action.
Wonder is not a passive state. Its a state of being open
to what is.
If the action is required, then one is moved into it.
May we live in wonder, may our actions come
from the immediacy of now,
not from the fear of the future.
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
2:18 PM | Posted by Elena Nezhinsky | | Edit Post
The journey of the seeker of truth starts with "seeing mountains as mountains and rivers as rivers",
as Zen proverb begins...
As we go deeper in perception,
we de-construct seemingly solid reality,
we see interconnectedness, energies,
vibrational nature of things.
We see "mountains are not mountains, and rivers are not rivers"...
If the journey takes up further,
everything that we thought
we finally understood about the nature of the world is gone !
everything that we thought
we finally understood about the nature of the world is gone !
Just as solidity of the material world,
so is finer perceptions as energies, vibrations...
all we thought we understood how it all works... poof !
so is finer perceptions as energies, vibrations...
all we thought we understood how it all works... poof !
"Mountains are mountains, and rivers are rivers".
And HERE we ARE.
And nothing to seek anymore,
just continue to
And HERE we ARE.
And nothing to seek anymore,
just continue to
Friday, November 4, 2016
4:30 PM | Posted by Elena Nezhinsky | | Edit Post
I know, I am blasting Facebook with Standing Rock links. It is almost reciprocity for my own ignorance. In my childhood in Russia I used to watch the movie about Indeizi, Native American Indians in Russian. That is the only knowledge about Indeizi I had - from the movies where cowboys always win. 25 years living in New York City did not add to my knowledge even a bit, as if Natives were un-existed like Santa Claus from my childhood's innocent illusion. That is how suppressed the information about Native Americans is here, in United States. The only association I could make to Natives is through the sweat lodges I attended, still as I was not open to SEE them. I have heard about Indian reservations, but it was an empty concept to me.
Sometime ago I drove through Apache land in Arizona, and I remember peering in the car window in hope to see Apache man from the movies, almost naked, with feathers on his head, and on a horse! The land was so unbelievable in it's pristine untouched beauty, I noticed no electric wires, which is an element that present almost everywhere in the US. Driving for long time through the land brought my memories of fascination with Indeizi, their strength of body and spirit.
My oblivion lasted until I met my partner, Native American from Amah Mutsun tribe that populated the vast land, just north of Monterey, California. it's not only stories I heard, there are boxes and boxes of documented truth, including birth certificates and all the documents pertaining his tribe's origin, the photographs, the maps of the land, the names and all, that exists, but the government still postpone with the recognition of this tribe. It has been many years, and he is afraid that they will postpone the recognition until the blood is diluted to the point that their tribe will be pronounced an extinct and no recognition will ever be granted. As they never existed here in a first place.
Smithsonian Institute documented all about this tribe, and it is in archives, but US government doesn't care about all that, and people don't know about sorrow of Natives who are loosing their identity, when they already lost their land and their ways of living.
One day me and my partner went to the grave of his great grandmother, who was a Noble woman, an elder, a medicine woman of the tribe. We call such people enlightened. She is buried behind San Juan Bautista mission that spaniards built when they took the land and tried to convert everyone to Christianity. The entrance clerk tried to charge us money to enter the mission. Even though I explained to him we are going to the grave of my partner's great grandmother, he said: "Everyone pays to enter, its a museum". My partner was counting money to pay 12$ to visit the grave of his grandma on his ancestors land! Seriously?! I started to be so laud and created a commotion, people present there all turn to us to see what's going on, and the clerk decided to get us in just to get rid of me. This encounter, though it shook me to the core, was just a drop what Natives have to live with.
Thanks to Standing Rock that brought attention to Native people and the injustices that they are encountering from the times of Columbus. Thank you every one for attention to this matter.
My partner at the grave of his great grandma Ascension:
Ascension. Pictures from the mission museum:
J.P. Harrington from Smithsonian Institute that documented the ways of Amah Mutsun tribe:
Mutsun tribe land:
A link to the tribe's website:
Articles on Amah Mutsun tribe:
California bishop apologize to Mutsun tribe:
Mutsun return to their sacred mountain:
Open Letter to Pope Francis:
List of unrecognized tribes of California:
Friday, October 21, 2016
10:35 PM | Posted by Elena Nezhinsky | | Edit Post
When I hear “I have been 40 years on a path”, “I have been meditating for 35 years”, “I sat in satsangs for 25 years”, In most cases it does not evoke in me a feeling of reverence and respect, what one, who exclaims, probably secretly expect.
I have been seeking intensely for 15 years prior to waking up, first through Gurgieff way, and then through Vipassana meditation, and how long it took for me to let go of every wrong expectation, ideas and beliefs, and finally let it all go, don’t bring pride of being a special, in a contrary, I feel like a fool.
The path with all it’s twists and turns seems so clear now: why I turn this way, why I went this direction. For me every turn and every backroad was absolutely necessary to let go of those beliefs. Something needed to be seeing and cleared, and the only way that I saw at that moment was exactly the way I took.
If someone took 40 years to walk the path, it was absolutely necessary for them to take 40 years, and if someone walked the path in no time at all, it is just right for them. No pride should be attached to the years walked on the path. What to be proud of? Of 15 years crawling on backroads in a mud of the mind’s constructed bullshit?
Buddhist believe that one of the 10 fetters, translated as the chains that keeps us bound to this plane of existence and force to be reborn, is conceit - the spiritual pride. I was guilty myself of it, so I can write about it in a clear way for others not to fall into this trap, and if you happened to fall, look at it in a new perspective.
I have very much respect for the path and anyone who walks on it for long time, for anyone who crawls and grinds every obstacle to the dust, before proceeding further. I have just the same respect for anyone who walks, skipping and whistling joyfully with a flower in their hair, gently caressed by the wind. Just like I have respect for 20 y.o or 60 y.o - respect for the being itself, for life, not how long and in what way one particularly lived. Everyone will live their share of life in their unique way, and every life has a deepest respect.
My 15 years serving my time on the path didn’t make me any better, maybe it imprinted in me more pride that I had to deal with later. I noticed how I perceived myself as a “hard core” meditator, who sat hundreds hours in meditation, if not 1000 or more. I didn’t count, but it is easy to count, since I was so consistent for years in my daily 2 hours meditation and sat particular number of retreats each of 12-14 hours meditation a day. At some point I meditated around the clock, in any state, walking or sleeping. I don't want to count, what’s the point? What's difference it makes now, when I know that from the seeking on the path to enlightenment it can only take one breath? I can only laugh at myself for being so stubborn in my ways, and laugh at the whole notion of the path.
In fact, when I finally let go of seeking, it was a time when I was in a retreat meditating around the clock. Luckily, at that particular retreat I had a little book of a the nine century zen master Huang Po, who relentlessly was telling me on every page: “Let go of the conceptual thought, and the Enlightenment is there”. He was saying nothing about meditating for half a century. He was repeating again and again on almost every page that Enlightenment is a sudden event. So one of those days I gave up. All and Everything. And then I laughed innerly in so much freedom! What a fool! What a beautiful fool! What an amazing hide and seek game it is! Why is to be proud for going through the game 15, 25, 40 years instead of seeing the way out of the game in 2 clear turns! This along can cure the conceit fetter of being overly proud of your “serving the time”!
People find stories from the path so fascinating - mind likes to be entertained. The more epic story - the more attention you can get. I remember watching one of the teachers on “Buddha at a Gas Pump” website, it took him the whole interview to go through his story, clearly he was himself fascinated by it. He also sounded as he recited it numerous times, it was polished to every detail to produce a strong impression on the listener, the seeker. The whole story screamed: “I am very special!”, almost “I am a chosen one!”. I was disappointed to spend nearly 2 hours listening to the story that easily could evoke doubt, one of the the other fetters/chains, if that wouldn’t be completely eliminated by my own knowing of reality by that time. Only in his second interview he started to lay out his understanding and suggested practices to achieve it, projecting the authority of the almost only one who knows the right path. I thought it was very misleading set of interviews, though I understand that for every teacher there is a student, and vice versa. In my early years of integration I did many mistakes, and gave some interviews in the times when I should kept my mouth shut and look further. I can just smile at the whole game of waking up and the whole game of wrapping the mind around what comes after that. Hold on to the rails and have a joyful ride!
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
10:10 PM | Posted by Elena Nezhinsky | | Edit Post
Enlightenment is a sudden, spontaneous event. It can happen in any moment to anyone. Then why most people who experience this event are long term seekers on the path?
In nowadays it is very popular to say that practice is unnecessary, the path to Enlightenment is not gradual, but sudden, and this alone leaves many of us totally confused in relation to our practice. I want to say some words to point the value of a spiritual practice, the gradual path, in regards to Enlightenment.
1. Traditional spiritual path always includes ethics, morality in the foundation. Though it has nothing to do with enlightenment, the ethics must be laid out firmly before the mind wakes up to it’s nature. It will be effortless for awaken one to operate within the ethical framework that established already. And those who skip the sila (in Pali for ethics, morality) - may find themselves fall into unhealthy habits, attachments, indulge in destructive behaviors.
2. Practicing concentration in any form trains the mind to single pointedness, so in the moment of sudden enlightenment mind is able to hold the view for longer period, giving more time for the brain re-wire, dropping karmic imprints.
3. Practicing inquiry has a tremendous benefit. Seems like we go for years with “Who am I?” question, or similar, or a perpetual prayer with just a little benefit of calming the mind, but at the ripe moment, the self-churning question will be a catalyst to a spontaneous enlightenment. It is very important to keep the question, your burning question alive, at some moment the only what will remain - is a question itself, and it will be answered in the state of enlightenment.
It is true that Enlightenment is a Grace, a Revelation, and it dawn on us not for our efforts or attainments. There are no guarantees, but there is always a possibility.
Until then, keep your practice and question alive!
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
2:00 PM | Posted by Elena Nezhinsky | | Edit Post
How do we know we are grasping? Because it doesn’t really feel good. It feels like effort, it feels like tension, it feels like control, like fear to loose something. And so
we tighten the grip.
Until it really hurts, and we forced to soften.
Then we see the gift of awareness and equanimity.
We are aware of grasping, and we fall into equanimity of letting go in any way it happens.
Thank you, thank you, thank you,
for lighting up,
for releasing tension,
for letting fear arise and pass,
and becoming freer.
One more breath came in and out unobstructed.
I am not a sex guru, but this article will be about sexuality and desire. I have written on this subject before, and here is a link to...
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About this blog
Born in June 2011 out of inspiration to share how to end life long spiritual search, drop the observer, and return back to naturalness we are.