Healing Comes with Awareness

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Ohsu.com


First, this from the Enneagram Institute’s daily quotes:

Wisdom teaching about waking up: “Awareness is vitally important in the work of transformation because the habits of our personality let go most completely when we see them as they are occurring.”

I’m sitting in a meeting and someone I don’t care for much, speaks up. No surprise, I don’t like their idea. A very non-spiritual, unenlightened or even kind thought crosses my mind. I catch it almost as quickly. I’m immediately disappointed in myself. I note that the thought comes with a feeling of tension in my belly and irritation. I breath to relax and notice my left toes are curled up in my shoe. I release them. Another breath, but my chest is tight. My brain is wanting to give a rebuttal to my colleague. History has taught me the rebuttal will fuel more than I care for. I hold my tongue, but feel the effort causes my jaw to tighten. I breathe again, and relax my face and shoulders.

I now notice my thoughts are quickly winding into a story. I ask myself, “Why are you telling yourself this story now?” The answer back is “I’m still irritated and I’m right.” Since I’m not giving that impulse to rebut my colleague’s statements sway, my brain is unleashing the tension in some sordid tale where I, of course, am more brilliant, kinder, innovative than my counterpart in the meeting. I breathe again. I feel the boat that sails on the sea of peace within me listing a good bit. I feel my deep desire to be right, to have greater influence over the meeting battling inwardly with the part of me deeply rooted in peace, that wants to let go of this whole mental and emotional affair I’ve got going.

My mind suddenly throws up a picture of an old circus ride from my youth. The Gravitron which spun you round and round with centrifugal force. I feel like I’m watching myself on one side of the ride and feeling myself on the opposing side, simultaneously.

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Soft.net

I check in, my toes are curled up again. I unravel them, take another breath, and loosen my tongue that I’ve cemented to the roof of my mouth, apparently, to not speak up. I’m still irritated, but the self-inquiry has infused curiosity in there, too. I feel a sense of command over my reactiveness arriving, that’s comforting somehow.

I breathe again and relax my butt cheeks, loosen my hands in my lap, undo the tension that’s grown behind my eyes. The activity has taken me off my colleague. The meeting has moved on. No decisions were made. I feel relief. I relax. I note the pettiness of my thoughts, the need to grab control over an outcome I desire, the tension that built, the emotional ride I took myself on all aloft inside of me. I breathe again, letting it all go with a growing commitment.

I query myself on what is at the heart of this? Why does this person’s character disturb me so or their ideas?

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Espritsciencemetaphysiques.com


The answers arrive like parade floats passing across my mind. I’m competitive: a familiar idea and I feel the yucky feeling of catching that in me, yet again. They have a condescending tone when they speak to me. I feel that even yuckier twinge of unworthiness or ‘less than’ vibe roll through. If I’m wholly honest, I might have to admit they are smarter than me. Again, competitive, and an idea I’m not willing to concede quite yet. An amused smile crosses my lips as I catch my own arrogance. I feel the outcome on the issue is outside my control, and feel a helplessness there. I dig down deeper and sense a boredom in the meeting and have the very unpleasant realization, that some of this internal drama was simply to give my mind something to engage. That might be the most unflattering notion to me of all of them. Drama as a kind of mental amusement. My desire to rebut likely had a need for attention, too. Huh… some self-esteem issues there and I’m finding the ‘drama as antidote for boredom’ returning to my mind, as if it has bells on its feet.

I move from looking inward to looking outward. I see the politics of the issue that are affecting my colleague and me. I sense the uncomfortable temperature of the room and the length of time I’ve been in the meeting and how all of those, too, are affecting what is happening to me here.

I check in. My toes are curled up in both shoes now, my shoulders have risen up, my breathing is shallower, stomach tight, the irritation – now focused on myself – has grown. I don’t care for much of this, but also see the value in witnessing these things in myself. I don’t try to change what I’m seeing. I breathe and let myself see them as I detach from them. I feel my meditation practice in full swing. I am a witness to my personality’s various machinations. They are there, noted honestly, but I focus on offering myself compassion. I breathe into it. Unravel everything one more time, only this time, I keep going for several minutes. I focus on a point just outside the window. I let the noise of the meeting pass over me, as clouds traveling the breadth of the sky. I stay this way until I feel myself return to a monk sitting quietly in the conference room chair.

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In5d.com


Now, I am ready to practice some ho’oponopono with my colleague. The Hawaiian prayer of forgiveness, “I love you, please forgive me, I’m sorry, thank you”. By the time I begin, I see the gifts I’ve been given of insight into my personality’s weird little dynamics. I’ve had the chance to disengage the machine and return myself to center. The boat floating inwardly on my sea of peace is no longer listing.

When I begin the Hawaiian prayer I mean every word. My colleague has not changed at all, and I may never be close friends with them, but the part of me that was attaching who I am, to who they are, has been unhooked. As such, I can see them more clearly. They, like me, have the same little shit show going on inside their personality. That single insight softens my heart tremendously. A gift to me of awareness. I’ve been shown something and given the chance to practice a new pathway, charter a new course. I don’t ask myself for perfection. I might have to repeat this little scene at some other point today, tomorrow or next week. This is the path. I am not the same at the end of the meeting, as I was at the beginning. As the quote indicates I am, by means of my awareness, transformed.

Day in, day out, this is the road we travel. Thousands of years meditators have been walking this path. I am comforted to know I am in good company.

If you liked this piece, consider checking out my book either at the link below to Amazong or the link above to Lulu.com publishing. Thank you

Two Griffins

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From phys.org

Today, I send into your meditation The Griffins. A few nights ago I dreamt of two golden griffins. The dream had a number of twists and turns, but at the end I found myself on a dirt road, traveling through a valley toward a mountain ridge, on the back of a gentle and warm yak. Not a bull, a yak. It seemed to be late summer, early fall as it is now in the Northern Hemisphere. The vale was golden, the sky a twilight blue. The road wove into a wood as it began to ascend into the mountains. I remember thinking of the old saying, “The oxen is slow, but the Earth is patient”. I felt no sense of hurry and a feeling of contentment pervaded my attitude.

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From Deviantart.com

As I rose up the side of the mountain I came upon two golden griffins (body of a lion, head of an eagle, often with talons for hands and paws for feet). They were sitting at a small cafe table, in the middle of this wood, enjoying cups of tea from fine bone china, outside a small cave opening. I couldn’t imagine my good fortune, stumbling onto this Wonderland-esque scene and turned the yak off the road toward their table.

The dream changed quickly and I found myself entering their small cave instead. The inside of the cave was much larger than the outside betrayed. Inside were many children, seemingly impoverished by their clothing, but all beside themselves with joy. At first they asked me to help them with their financial circumstances and I eagerly sat down to help. In no time, however, I found myself on the floor with them, laughing and playing peek a boo, while they climbed all over me and the room in which we sat. The feeling was of being immersed in a sea of puppies. I remember all of these happy faces with brown and blue eyes, smiles – some of them missing front teeth, and all of them full of energy. We played for I don’t know how long, but sometime later, I awoke.

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From woari.deviantart.com

First let us visit the Griffins. This from Wikipedia, “…because the lion was traditionally considered the king of the beasts and the eagle the king of birds by the Middle Ages the griffin was thought to be an especially powerful and majestic creature. Since classical antiquity, Griffins were known for guarding treasure and priceless possessions”

Logically then, we would assume my golden griffins were guarding a particularly special treasure, yet no precious metals or diamonds did I find in this cave-dwelling. In fact, little tangible material at all. The children were in rags and some of their faces were smudged from having been playing in dirt or mud. The few furnishings were made of plain wood and of simple design. The space lacked any adornment or embellishment, yet the room was aglow with a golden light, as if filled with gold itself. All of what we consider prosperous or providing security was absent.

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From chickenzaur.deviantart.com

Thus, it would seem the treasure here was joy, playfulness, spontaneity, freedom to be oneself, foolish silliness, community, friendship, and laughter. The bounty was a warm lap to climb into, a hug, kisses on cheeks, races and hide and seek, followed by more let’s pretend. Every child looked well-nourished and even their hair shined in the luminous light even as their clothes were not. The concern for finances seemed almost a ruse to get me to sit on the floor with them to play in the real richness of the moment.

I have thought of the dream often since I had it. At first, the exotic nature of the griffins was my main focus, as you don’t dream of golden griffins sipping tea very often. Yet, over time, I found the children the clearer gift. The source of most of the magic. The message seemed clear. The treasure in life isn’t stuff. Its the joy, warmth and love we are capable of sharing and spreading like contagious giggles with one another. Playfulness is a wealth every man or woman possesses. Delight the food of gods, that nourishes beyond measure. This gift, not piles of precious jewels, were what the golden griffins were attracting me too, so sublimely as they sat daintily sipping tea. They weren’t guarding me out, but enticing me in. Once I’d turned toward them, my destination into the cave was immediate.

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Pinterest image

So I say in this very moment, do not let meditation be the only source of profound spiritual connection you give yourself this day. Find someone, anyone, to laugh with, to hug, to love deeply, to surprise and be yourself with, to step out of your routine and be completely spontaneous with. Laugh more than you complain today. Smile often at all whom you meet, there’s bounty in that simple gesture. If you are lonely, and find a short list of friends to turn to, then commit now to change. Even if to do so will force you out of your comfort zone, be inconvenient and make you risk seeming foolish. Do not impoverish yourself of the great richness this life has the potential to offer all of us, if we’ll stop worrying about what anyone else thinks and begin, even with small steps to follow our bliss. Lay down your financial woes, breaking their dominance on your mind. Invest in the present for the gifts that lay here for you, if you’ll just turn off those old roads you’ve traveled for so long.

If you enjoyed this piece, please consider checking out my book at the link listed below or the one listed at the top of this page. Thank you!

Images from a Train: Motion

In the distortions and flashes I see my image. The bridge of my nose another geometry in a flashing landscape. Coal has already passed on the previous cars – strapped lumber, too. The rails are one of the few places in the country where a passenger goes last. Passenger trains stop for all the cargo that moves. Milk and oil tankers, flatbeds of slate and shale and bales of grasses for cattle lands. Graffiti is a color smear against the gun metal.

My reflection comes and goes between the cars and I realize this is true of all of me. I am what exists between each thought, as life exists, flashing between each car.