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ON BEING AWAKE IN A SLEEPING WORLD

When you’re awake, you’re no longer numb.

You can no longer turn away from Truth.

You can no longer comfort yourself with the old fairy tales, stories of good and evil, positive thinking.

The light of awareness cannot be switched off. You can’t hide from yourself now. There’s nowhere to hide.

You live life in the raw. And you feel more than ever, not less. Your bandwidth is infinite. From the deepest despair to the most ecstatic joy, it all passes through. But the difference is, now, you are not at war with it all. You allow all feelings to surge through. You don’t judge them or try to get rid of them. You are their mother, their sanctuary. You don't blame anyone else anymore.

You no longer have a fixed identity. You don’t know who you are anymore, from the perspective of the mind. And yet, you know who you are more deeply than ever. You are alive. You are life itself, inseparable from the stars, the moon, the flowers and trees.

It is dizzying, sometimes, this freedom. Like being born again in every moment. Like dying every day to the old hopes.

Reality is groundless, you see, dripping with uncertainty. You live at the point of total insecurity, nothing to hold onto, no concept to bring comfort to a weary mind. And yet, you feel the deepest kind of security of all, a security deep within your bones, the security of Being itself. You know that your experience is always trustable, even if it hurts like hell.

You won’t call yourself an ‘awakened person’, you won’t think of yourself as better or worse than anyone, you won’t lie to yourself about having the answers.

You won’t make a big fuss about yourself at all, for the self is the biggest illusion.

It’s simple, being so fully awake, because it is the effortless embrace of the present moment. But it’s not easy at all, because your old reality has shattered into a billion pieces, and the old protection has gone, and you are a vessel for all the joy and the pain of the world, and you can’t kid yourself that you’re in control any longer. It’s not easy, to be so open to life. It’s not easy, to see all the pain of the world. It’s not easy, to sometimes feel like you’re a stranger in a strange land, knowing yourself as Love more clearly than ever, yet seeing others around you forgetting so much.

It’s not easy, no longer fitting into the systems that promised so much happiness and delivered so little.

And yet, this is the price you pay for absolute freedom. One cannot be fully awake without fully dying to the dreams of yesterday. One cannot live without leaving the known.

Those of you who are walking this exhilarating and terrifying path, I bow to your courage.

- Jeff Foster


Notes on Oregano

By ANA

Oregano is native to Europe, the Mediterranean and south Asia.

She has tiny hair like glands on her surface called trichomes, which reflect the rays of the sun.

This is a trait common to most plants in the Mint family.

The trichomes synthesize and accumulate essential oils and phenols which protect the plant from oxidation while allowing her to survive in dry and hot conditions with direct exposure to intense sunlight.

Throughout history, Oregano has been used primarily as a culinary spice.

She was also used to preserve meat in ancient times before refrigeration was available, as were other spices which contain high amounts of volatile oils like Thyme and Rosemary

Her main volatile oils have been researched and shown to contains appreciable amounts of antioxidants.

Oregano contains compounds that function to support the body’s natural resistance.

Some of her volatile oils contain potent phenols which help to support a healthy microbial environment in the intestines and throughout the body.

In vitro studies (meaning in the pitiri dish) Oregano oil, along with other essential oils such as Tea Tree, appears to have a particular affinity for Candida as well as a variety of other bacteria.

The most common way to digest her as a supplement is in the form of an oil- Oil of Oregano.

This has a very strong taste.

They make her oil in capsules (Gaia Herbs in one of my recommendations), but I prefer her tincture. I use several drops in a glass with fresh squeezed lemon and cayenne pepper 2-3x/day the moment I begin to feel under the weather.

And of course, I love using her as a spice, fresh when possible.


Impenetrable

I may smile when I’m feeling quite friendly,

I may laugh when I’m feeling amused;

I will lift up a brow when I’m skeptical,

And I’ll furrow my brow when confused.

But too often there comes an emotion

Or a thought I don’t wish to reveal,

And I have to maneuver my countenance

All my innermost face to conceal.

Now, to shelter a heart full of sorrow,

A smile is a flimsy disguise;

And though laughter would mimic true happiness,

There’s a different tale told by the eyes.

Lifted brows cannot cover anxiety;

Furrowed brows cannot quite cover fear,

So I’m seeking a better alternative

To prevent folks from coming too near.

Seems the mask that most suits me is anger,

For it covers a whole host of things:

Trepidation, disgust, insecurity,

And embarrassment with all its stings;

Then there’s heartbreak, despondence and sorrow,

Hidden jealousy, faulty conjecture—

While my face wears the storm cloud of anger,

Nosy people won’t poke, prod, or lecture.

Even so, I keep backup masks handy,

Like indifference, or outright disdain;

Should you manage to see through my subterfuge?—

There’s one mask that will always remain,

Because now that I’ve told you my secret,

You might wait for the “wrath” to subside;

But you still cannot see what’s inside of me

Till you get past the mask of my pride.

by Anna J. Arredondo

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