Saturday, April 19, 2014

Inside the mandala of the beloved

Anxiety and groundlessness are such difficult experiences to work with. From a developmental perspective, anxiety can provide a signal that unconscious material is threatening to be released into conscious awareness. Rather than enter into present, intimate relationship with this material, we remove our sacred awareness from the body and place it into interpretation, blame, complaint, and resentment. We scatter our precious attention in an urgent effort to understand, change, transform, cure, and heal. We so naturally long for relief. 

From the perspective of pure awareness, anxiety reveals the truth of the nature of the mandala of the beloved (and of your own heart), as wide-open, groundless, pregnant space. In each and every moment, we make immediate contact with the world in an utterly naked and direct way—totally non-separate, bathed in the reality that whatever arises in our experience is of the nature of luminous consciousness itself. But this is overwhelming from the perspective of egoic organization. It is too much, too open, to wild, too naked. There is truly nothing to hold onto, but is this really what we ultimately need and want, anyway? In the wake of such vastness, we choose to re-clothe, to retreat back into familiar ground. 

On the one hand we long for the unknown, for the unseen, to de-robe entirely, and to enter into the body of the beloved. We know that the unknown is the abode of love. On the other, we may always have an unconscious investment in never "resolving" our anxiety or "problems" as they are serving such an important distractive function. To truly let go of our dramas, stories, and complaints about life and others, we know at an intuitive level that we will have to face and stay embodied with every feeling and wild somatic quality we've spent our entire lives committed to avoiding. Icky. That doesn't sound so pleasant. 

We're just not sure. The problems are so compelling. Do I really want to know who and what I am without the reference point of my personal identity dramas? Without some story of the victimized one, the hurt one, the sad one, the hopeless one, or the awakened one? What if we were to start by taking a vow to not complain for an entire month? What would we meet in the wake up such a commitment? Perhaps we could start for a few hours? 

Let us hold this precious, sacred contradiction and paradox close to our hearts, and honor both parts of us: the one that longs for love, for healing, for breaking all the way open into the world of the beloved; and the other that seeks safety, the known, and what has come before. Let us learn to trust in our experience to reveal the mysteries of this union in a timeframe and in ways that we will never, ever understand. We can count on never understanding, and take refuge in that. 

You can learn to rest in groundlessness, for it will reveal itself to be none other than the nature of your very own, one drippy heart. And out of that primordial sort of openness, we are able to touch and hold and attune to beings everywhere, and we can give our hearts for their benefit. We are willing to have a broken heart—forever, into eternity—and to use it as skillful means to connect with others. 

 Photo of The Secret Passageway to theTreasure by Trey Ratcliff