Healing Comes with Awareness

image

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.

image

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?

image

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.

image

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

Humility

image

Image from bigquestionsonline.com

Today, I send into your meditation hypnotized. Recently, I have been playing with the Enneagram and one of the quotes from The Enneagram Institute really struck me:

“Reflect on this teaching about Transformation today: The important thing is to set aside some time each day to re-establish a deeper connection with our True Nature. Regular practice serves to remind us over and over again that we are hypnotized by our personality.” (The Wisdom of the Enneagram, 347)

Oh… that I could say pride in my personality was not something I have struggled with. That I have not found myself totally enamored with my own awesome persona. Humility and clarity have taken more decades than I care to admit and more effort than building a pyramid with no tools should take. I have spent a good deal of my life hypnotized by my own personality and believed this was the whole point of a life. This…. THIS… is who I am.

To constantly improve on this person I believed myself to be was the crafting of ages, to be admired surely. Minimize the defects, enhance the attributes and be glad when most people only notice the latter. I could not, did not see myself clearly.

image

Image from aleteia.org

The last several years has seen a deep humbleness settle upon me that I bend to willingly and with joy. I wonder that I struggled so hard and for so long. The more I let go of what I think I know about myself and the world, the more I see how vast my blindness goes. As I embrace how limited my vision in most things is, the more humility seems a simple choice, no different than donning a coat in acclimate weather. Where once stood a great pride for my impressive bits of knowledge squirreled away for important occasions, now lives a quieter woman living a significantly simpler life. Where once it seemed important to impress, now the house of cards lies neatly stacked again in it’s box. There is far greater interest in being awed by the immensity of galaxies, the depths of a human heart, the tales of summer winds to direct me home, than to intellectualize my spiritual path. These days it seems wiser to be quiet and clear, than loud and cloudy.

In my youth, I saw humility as a sign of weakness and a lack of confidence in oneself, failing to see my pride was the absolute telltale sign of a weaker internal sense of self and the ear marker of someone who didn’t value themselves in any real, authentic way. The humbling was, as it is for all of us, painful but now I see so clearly it’s necessity. Our personalities are such weighty things we drag around with us like a hermit with it’s shell. Wrapped so tightly in these personas it’s hard for anyone to really see our light, including ourselves.

Humility has brought me great comfort, as a cat curled upon my lap. It softens me, and makes tender my view on virtually all that I could gaze upon. Humility brings silence unabated, while pride breeds a ceaseless chatter to sustain itself. To be humble is to let go at ever greater levels and there is such deliciousness in that unwinding out of what we’ve built. The fascination with oneself makes us miserly trolls trying to hold on to every last trinket we think enhances the view. While there is immense spaciousness in humility, because the stories to sustain the personality have fallen away. We are left with a simple cotton robe, rather than armor made to deflect anything that can disturb the personalities precarious hold on itself. In that robe we have a sense of movement and ease.

image

Image from purposefairy.com

Humility is a divine grace we enter, as we let fall away the lifetime of stories we’ve used to construct our sense of who we are. In our humility we become authentic, naked, empty of what serves the ego, and full of what serves the spirit. As we allow this to permeate all of our being, we see. We see with new eyes. We hear with new ears. We experience the Universe and others in wholly new ways. Our intuitive voice rises and our heart leads the way ahead.

And so today I bow to each of you. May the scent of dirt fill my nose and consume my lungs, as I revel in the fantastic nature of my nothingness. May my eyes see only divine’s great work and the beauty in all things. May I live all my days wondrously blind to all that does not heal and become so deaf I can no longer hear the din of war and only the ocean’s surf that sings of peace. May my steps slow, knowing there is nowhere else to be, but in this precious moment given to me. May the path to serve open before me, as long as my legs have strength to move. I am now, have always been and will always be your humble servant.

If you like this piece, do consider checking out my book with the link listed above or simply click here. Thank you!

Spiritual Practice: Little Gem

Mystical autumn: Photography by Noelle

Mystical autumn: Photography by Noelle

“The spiritual practice of love builds community, as do kindness and gratitude, and prayer. Try saying this silently to everyone and everything you see for thirty days and see what happens to your own soul: “I wish you happiness now and whatever will bring happiness to you in the future.” If we said it to the sky, we would have to stop polluting; if we said it when we see the ponds and lakes and streams, we would have to stop using them as garbage dumps and sewers; if we said it to small children we would have to stop abusing them, even in the name of training; if we said it to people, we would have to stop stoking the fires of enmity around us. Beauty and human warmth would take root in us like a clear, hot June day. We would change.”

Joan Chittister Taken from Spiritual Literacy, Reading the Sacred in Everyday Life by Frederick and Mary Ann Brussat