Monday, 24 September 2007

Monday of week 2.......

I woke up without the alarm at 6am this morning and heard immediately the word 'meditate'. It was an usually windy and rainy morning and sitting on the stool listening to the wind blowing so hard that it rattled my window I felt at one with the wind. There was no threat in it for me. I closed my eyes and began to meditate and as usual thoughts came into my mind.

It is unbelievable that I can be lying in bed in a state of expanded consciousness and there are no thoughts. I can be walking in nature and there are no thoughts. Yet the minute I shut my eyes to do some formal practice it is like the signal goes out to the mind to create thoughts, thoughts and more thoughts. Are thoughts a product of shut eyes but this cannot be true because I have thoughts when my eyes are open otherwise I couldn't function in the world. But the thoughts I have when I'm not meditating seem to be gentler, less intense. I know what it is I am trying to say. When I close my eyes it seems to be a trigger for an internal dialogue of thoughts which are not empowering. There is something deeply threatening about meditation to the mind and personality so much so that it makes every effort to sabotage the process.

I refused to allow the frustration to get the better of me and didn't resist the thoughts. I just watched them come and go. The variety of thoughts was interesting, they ranged from 'why is my foot so painful' to 'what's happening at work'. Some practices take a thought and trace it back to its source but I seem to get so caught up in the thought that I don't know how to trace it back to its source so I just watch each one as it come and as it goes. Sometimes my attention wandered but what I found then was when I drew my attention back that I was in a deeper state and the thoughts were not so frequent. I set the clock for 7am which would be an hours meditation. When the alarm went off I did not want to get up. I just sat there so relaxed and content, in a state of nothingness. I couldn't tell where I stopped and the rest of the world began.

I convinced myself that I should rest my foot a bit more so went back to bed. The next I knew was when my phone rang. It was 9.30am. Then began the usual self-recrimination about not getting up earlier. I suddenly realised something that had been said to me by the person who recreated the seminar session that I had missed. He was speaking about the suffering which arises when we make things significant. When we put meaning on things and make them significant we suffer when there is a breakdown in that area of life. In that instant of self-recrimination I saw that I make getting up early and writing/reading significant. That it means something to me and so when I don't do it I feel bad and it's only because I make it significant.

If it wasn't significant I could play with it and in that playfulness it's more likely to happen. Loading things with significance makes for heavy energy which drains. Being light and not making things be significant makes for a happier life. By not making things significant I don't mean not valuing them as important or disciplining yourself to do them I just mean not making the inevitable times when it won't happen be significant i.e. mean something. I was doing this and I was beating myself up for those times when I didn't get up early to read or go to the gym. It is amazing when you see this it's such a relieving and freeing moment. I realise that the only person putting any pressure on me is myself. I do this by making things significant. Looking out the window of my bedroom I felt so light and have resolved from now on not to make things significant. And it is only significant because I have invested something of me in it.

Wow, I've just realised something else and that is the significance that I attach to food. I've documented in some entry that I don't have a balanced and healthy relationship with food. What I've now just seen is that I make food sooo significant so that when I have a breakdown and over-eat I've made self-control so important and significant that it's a direct attack on me as a person and this is why I have suffered such self-hatred when it has happened. Gosh, it's so clear now in my head now but a bit clumsy to write. If I stop making breakdowns around food significant then it will cease to become an issue for me. It's that simple but for how many years has it controlled and ruled me...too many to put down here!

Such profound insights this morning meant it was easy to bring into being my possibility (a way of being) of fun and freedom. Mental freedom involves doing this work. I don't believe positive thinking on its own works. How can it work if we don't know what we have given meaning and/or significance to. It's a bit like one part of the mind saying a positive aspiration and another part going 'yeah, right, I know exactly the trigger that will undo that'. So thinking positively will work until the trigger presents itself which awakens the story. And then the positive aspiration may go out right out the window.

With an ease and lightness I washed and got ready for my day. Washing involves me lowering myself into the bath very gingerly and hanging my sick foot outside of the bath. Getting in and out is a great achievement for me and I feel so good when it all goes well. It's the little things like this that I love to be able to appreciate. Hobbled into the kitchen and got some toast together. Then I went into my sitting room and picked up the writings of Etty Hillesum. At one stage her descriptions of the transport trucks that would come to the camps to round up all the Jews for Auschwitz was so overwhelming that I had to put the book down. What she endured at such a young age is humbling and yet her faith in God grew ever stronger in the midst of it all. I was struck by the simplicity of one sentence when she talked about the conflict that was within her she said 'not my will, but thy will'. This is surely the ultimate in surrender. What intrigues me was how can she or for that matter others who claim to have a similar connection be so sure that what she connected with was God. For me it is a Force, is this the same thing.

But it must be for her because she writes very deeply when she is writing to God. There is no holding back. She says on page 264 'I shall have to surrender much more of me to You, O God. And also stop making conditions: if only I remain healthy, and so on.... Even if I am not healthy, life goes on doesn't it? I have no right to lay down conditions. I will not do so in future'. I couldn't write so directly like this. Is it because I don't feel worthy to claim a direct relationship so therefore I relate through the energies in my body. Like last night before I went to sleep I lay awake connecting with the picture from my window and my body began to once again tremble and shake quite violently. If it subsides before I sleep a warm calmness envelopes my body and I drift off to sleep immediately. If I fall off to sleep then I always wake up renewed and refreshed. I know there is this Force because I directly experience it.

Is having faith the ticket to claiming a direct relationship with God. Is it faith that opens the door to a Divine relationship. I honestly don't know. I know that faith plays a huge part. But I don't think that it alone guarantees a Divine connection. I was struck by something Mother Teresa said that was reported in an article. She said to a friend 'Jesus has a very special love for you. As for me, the silence and the emptiness is so great that I look and do not see, listen and do not hear.— Mother Teresa to the Rev. Michael Van Der Peet, September 1979. So it appears that this connection does not come about through faith alone. It is the everlasting and enduring mystery (these are the words that have just come through and with that I won't delve any deeper!

I'm tempted to go out for a walk but I think until I get my next outpatients appointment over that it might be wise to stay put. It is also my Landmark seminar evening and that is particualrly hard to miss. Earlier I received a phone call from a work mate tellling me that everything was going well so that was also good to hear.

I'll sign off now until tomorrow.....

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