Friday, January 28, 2011
Still Life: #2
Do you talk about Silence or LIVE AS Silence ?
What is the use of rambling on and on and throwing out quotes that are at most just seen as possibilities?
Be Still and let the rambling fall away into Reality.
Guru Swami G
What happens when I let the impulse to chatter, explain, and label drop?
What happens when I no longer go in search of spiritual descriptions of my experience?
I find I don’t know what to do with my time. I sit quietly – kind of freaking, “There’s nothing to do!”
I’ve lost my hobby.
Or perhaps, I’ve located my obsession.
What happens when I drop that thought too, that freaking?
My body relaxes and begins to breathe.
Of course, I am still doing the same thing: chattering, labeling, observing, only it is quieter.
I can’t stand the thought of simply sitting and doing nothing when it’s not time to sit, do nothing and meditate.
Atlanta was iced in for four days and people screamed with cabin fever. See, it’s not just me.
The mind is going to react like a wild stallion. It's not going to still over night. No way.
So again one has to be in it for the long haul. You haven't been two days on earth and one has to have patience with the unruly mind.
Eventually it will get tired of its game and burn itself out or slow down until it loses steam and ends.
… It’s been a hard month here in Lake Wobegon. Seems to be a lot of burning out.
My body has not cooperated in the least, throwing up continued fits of migraine and vertigo.
Atlanta was snowed in, as my plumbing broke, and the computer got screwed up.
I’ve missed at least a week of work.
Finally, yesterday my mind had had. It and pitched a classic fit.
I worked myself up into a full blown bout of suffering right up until the moment I decided, “Let it go. None of it is true.”
I’ve gotten much better at letting go since last fall’s retreat with Adya.
On retreat I saw so clearly that the mind is totally separate from “me.”
There was deep Silence (me) and then a space and then this mind spewing out these ideas which torqued a physical reaction from my body and led the mind to other thoughts.
During retreat, since the mind was kind of hanging out there separate from “me” – I found I could just let them go. Thinking no longer seemed obsessive or compulsive. I didn’t even need to stop them from arising. A simple recognition of just how tenuously they actually connected to “me” was enough to break their hold.
Guru SwamiG is the teacher of Sarojini, a woman who appears to have had a significant awakening through kundalini. However, recently Sarojini fell into an even deeper realization.
It is from Guru SwamiG that she and I picked up the phrase, “the mind needs to still.”
I’ve been looking at those words the past few days.
“The mind needs to still.” Is this the essence of embodying an awakening?
If the mind is truly still, the ego has no way to cause trouble.
I also find it interesting that Sarojini went deeper when something broke open in her heart.
Then the teaching became “continue to let the mind still.”
Actually, January also had a “high.” (Actually, I thought of it more as an opening. But to keep with the theme of highs and lows I use the former word.)
There was a huge opening of the head. It seemed as if my physical head was replaced by a vortex of energy and light that opened to the universe.
Energy poured into my body. When Eve and Mary and I met for our weekly meditation, I asked if I could just let that energy flow into them. I felt like I was about to burst and a good siphoning off would be a great relief.
They loved it. They felt great peace and comfort. And I was rather struck by how they enjoyed something that was making me a bit uncomfortable.
It reminded me of Retreat when Adya told me my head had awakened and was “shoowsh” “huge” and that now I needed to bring that down into the heart.
(Thus, my ears perked up with Sarojini’s heart experience.)
Then the vertigo and migraines hit. A system overload? Maybe.
Perhaps whatever comes up must also come down.
But these words seem more to the point.
What is truly interesting is that the human condition contains within it an unconscious need to struggle. Why? Because by remaining in a state of constant struggle we maintain the boundaries that create the sense of a separate self… And even more shocking is the discovery that not only do we need to struggle in order to remain separate, but we want to remain separate – even though it causes so much suffering, fear and confusion… by remaining separate we maintain the sense of being someone different, special, and unique.
Again, the reason that you struggle is in order to maintain a sense of a separate self, a self which is ultimately nothing more than a defense mechanism against the revelation that no separate self actually exists… With nothing to oppose, the false sense of self evaporates into nothingness, into the Unknown, and you suddenly feel very lost with no familiar ground to stand on. Your identity is cut loose from all that is familiar and known, and you find yourself floating in a vast expanse with nothing to grab hold of. This groundless expanse is a foretaste of liberation, but few choose to remain in this unknown territory…
Faced with a freedom that is absolute, a freedom that leaves no room for separation from the whole, most people will compulsively contract back into a condition of struggle where they can maintain a familiar sense of self.
Adyashanti, The Impact of Awakening
I think the operative word here is “compulsively contract back.”
You contract without even thinking. Or rather, the mind goes wild and smothers you with stories to be believed and clutched and suffered over. Or, you run from the house with “cabin fever.”
Ha! I also seem to recall some words about emptiness and awfulness in my last blog…
Maybe I was just itching for a way to crawl back into the struggle.
And that’s the news from here in Lake Wobegon: where all of the seekers are slow and conditioned, and aren’t really all that good looking, and all of the children seem to have runny noses.