A few years ago, I went through twenty-two months of intense suffering. I could see the web I had entangled myself in, but flailed there. Both seeing, and caught. Miserable.
An awake friend sent me to a counselor with a deep understanding of the non-dual view. One evening a few months in, she said to me, “You repeatedly abandon yourself. Stay home, instead.” I caught the faint scent of what she meant, but couldn’t articulate it. It lived inside, a percolating koan.
In the 2013 Fall retreat with Rupert Spira, he responded to someone’s question by saying, “Stay home, resting in the natural state. Let objects come to you instead of your going out to them.” My body startled.
I had believed my counselor meant that I was abandoning the personal I, but now understand her pointing in a deeper way. I cast a veil over open, impersonal awareness by getting busy with the stickiness of story and then believing my thought-made world to be true. Thought may be useful in daily activity, but when it is emotionally-laden and enmeshed with bodily sensation, it is a prescription for unhappiness.
For this body-mind, allowing thought free rein to wander instead of remaining knowingly aware, leads directly to imaginary nightmare futures. Initially, right here seemed boring–flat, even. I asked myself, “What have I always longed for?” The answer came: “Stable peace and happiness.”
It was time for profound self-examination–I had been apparently choosing to abandon what is closer-than-close, stable and trustworthy, lured by the crazy, unending morass of separation.
That which had initially seemed boring gradually took on a different cast. Quiet. Reliable.
©Amrita Skye Blaine, 2014
photo credit: Panhala Poetry