Greetings from a cozy sunporch. My son's cat, Bone's Eye, is curled at my knee, half purring and licking his back. Hydrangea heads whisper and blow stiffly in the fall air, their heads russet brown and leaves still green just outside the porch windows. I sometimes wonder who planted them, picturing a farm lady in the 1930s, hard working and with a love of flowers.
This morning I woke up in a funk I've come to call being 'In It'. 'It' is a dense sensation of simmering feelings - lethargy, defeat, zero motivation, and a why bother flavor all swirled together into a blanket laid thickly over my mind. Waking up into this state I don't want to do anything, and there is no creative or excited impulses bubbling up to meet the day.
When I first became consciously aware of this state of 'In It' I railed against it - why me? again? haven't I done enough inner work to be free of this? All I wanted was for it to be gone, to not exist. It was a thing to be gotten rid of, seen though, worked though until, by God, I didn't have to deal with being 'In It' anymore. When I woke up 'In It' that was proof that I wasn't getting very far.
Adyashanti teaches a practice for just such times. I will try to describe it here to the best of my ability. He says to imagine this thing that you don't want to be here - depression, self-loathing, anger, fear, hatred... you name it. If you don't want to feel it, that's precisely the one to use.
Imagine this thing, really get in touch with the felt sense of it, and then imagine that you are bringing it closer and closer to your chest. Imagine that you want to bring it so close to you that there is absolutely no space between it and you. And once you've brought it that close, bring it even closer. Bring it so close there's not even an atom's width between you and it. And once you have this thing - sadness, anger, unworthiness, so so close to your chest, bring it even closer. I'm talking no space at all. And then have patience and continue to bring it closer.
Now this is a practice, and being a practice I cannot tell you what will happen if you do it. The invitation is to try it out and see.
A client of mine had a full blown panic attack during a session recently. This person, even in the midst of utter visceral terror, kept opening and opening more and more fully to the fear, wanting it, inviting it to become even bigger, even more. The attack lasted a good while and he never shut down, never tried to get away from the panic. His surrender and commitment was astonishing to witness.
Quite suddenly a shift came, his breath became gentle, and the room was filled with vibrancy and soft peace. It was palpable. After sitting quietly for several minutes he said the most beautiful thing. He said "I hear the sound of stillness. This the only thing left after all that leaves."
It brings to mind this gospel song -
Well, He's so high you can't get over Him
So wide you can't get around Him
So low you can't get under him
you gotta go through that door
Lord Almighty, you gotta go through that door.
Consider for a moment that everything you believe limits you, oppresses you, everything you wish was different than it is, is actually God, or Source, the One, laying the doorway to peace at your very feet.
And on that note.... join us this coming Friday the 13th for more Inquiry at the Integrative Medicine Center, Room 303, from 5-7pm!
I look forward to being with you,