Saturday, June 15, 2013

Turned upside down by the beloved…

Is it actually a problem that sadness is there, that a core vulnerability has come raging to the surface, that you feel anxious, that you’re scared, that you’re lonely, that you’re confused, that you’re feeling unloved? At the level of interpretation, at the level of story, it is very easy to find evidence of your life as problematic. But just underneath the narrative, as you descend further down into the body, it is possible for you to touch something that is totally wild, utterly alive, and radically free, emerging out of the actuality of the deepest reservoir of you being. At the sensation level, just under the swirling of the thought-charged emotional world, you may discover that no matter what is arising within your experience, that it need not be changed, healed, or transformed. And that it is only in the moving away from embodied experience, as it is, that suffering can take birth. 

Waking up has nothing to do with safety, surety, protection, ground, or arriving in some constructed reality where your heart will never break, where you’ll never experience conflict, where you’ll never worry about someone you love, or ever feel fear or profound anxiety. This version of waking up is of course very popular in our contemporary fast-food culture of spirituality, where it is bought and sold like any other commodity, offered at a price the market will bear, and then marketed for re-distribution. In this way, it has become another item to check off on your to-do list, a way to know that you’re on the right track; you may even be congratulated for it. As a new accoutrement for the separate self, it becomes, in the words of Chogyam Trungpa, a “golden chain” – beautiful to wear, with inlaid jewels and intricate carvings, but nevertheless a mechanism of imprisonment. Trungpa says that people believe they can wear this golden chain for decoration without being imprisoned by it, but that they are deceiving themselves. As long as one’s approach to spirituality is based upon enriching ego, then it is spiritual materialism, a suicidal process rather than a creative one. 

We need not get rid of conflict, fear, sadness, suffering, or the sense of separation; life has no interest in you doing this, love cares not for the sorting activities of the separate self. For right inside the center of each and every phenomena that arise in your experience is a sacred universe, the expression of an intelligence pouring out of the beyond, an inexhaustibly creative energy source which can be harnessed as skillful means to help others, to open hearts, and to see the infinite ways that love has taken form to show you something. We need not decline the invitation offered from the beloved to go directly into whatever experience might arise, regardless of whether it is categorized as “spiritual” or “non-spiritual,” for when we do so we dishonor the pure wisdom energy she has placed in each and every experience we could ever have. In the realm of the beloved, everything is turned upside down: wisdom and neurosis co-arise, the division between human and divine is revealed as an utter fabrication, the fairytales of the great “me” who awakens crumble. There is no “me” that awakens, it is only life itself that could awaken to itself; it is seen so clearly that there is nothing personal about it. 

Enter deeply into your neurosis, your anxiety, your panic, your confusion, your suffering, your fear, and your grief – get to it know its textures, its qualities, its fragrances, and allow it to take you into the secret chamber hidden inside your own body. For inside your body are jewels beyond the mind. Every state of mind is a passageway – sometimes illumined, sometimes darkened – into the openness of what you are as awareness itself. As you journey through these passageways, meeting the gifts that have been placed there, you may discover that it is possible to even enjoy your neurosis, for you may find that it is not what it seems. When it is touched, held, and let all the way in, you discover it is made of space; it is filled with qualities of wisdom, intelligence, and creativity, and in fact has been crafted out of love.