Protection (written in 2009)

dockI’m at a four-day retreat in Eugene, Oregon. For the first time in the six months I’ve been attending these events, I go up to sit one-on one with the teacher.

Resistance is very subtle. It seems like it’s mostly gone, not showing up much in life—and then in an instant of sitting with one who sees through, with no words exchanged, he notices the resistance and names it—correctly, and with love—as protection. What the ego—an imaginary overfilled balloon—wanted to hide was the fear and uncertainty of sitting with someone new, in front of a community that offers unknowns as well. The heart thud-thud-thudded in the chest, and I hoped that would be overlooked? Not really true. As much as I wished for it to be hidden, there is a much stronger pull for it to be seen: therein lies true grace.

No call for self-flagellation, another outworn motif. Nothing needs to be done, no action taken. The willingness to sit with the discomfort is there—to feel the old pattern of wanting to be perfect, the little, frustrated one pounding on the floor, the whole messy stew—all of that, held. It still plays—but it’s not very engaging anymore. The old story out of which the pattern arose is just that, an old story that left a groove. Each time the reaction to that story crops up—I acknowledge, hold, love, and allow it to burn away.

It is such a privilege to sit with one who sees through the veils that clearly. If that opportunity shows up in your life, run toward it—push through fear, through anything your mind pitches up to block the way. What you stand to lose is what has held you hostage for so long. Run toward this opportunity as though your life depends on it.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
photo credit: Panhala Poetry

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