"Be patient with everyone, but above all with yourself.
I mean, do not be disheartened by your imperfections,
but always rise up with fresh courage.
How are we to be patient in dealing with our neighbour's faults
if we are impatient in dealing with our own?
He who is fretted by his own failings
will not correct them.
All profitable correction
comes from a calm, peaceful mind.” St. Francis de Sales
The above words profoundly affected me this morning. Perhaps from a Zen perspective they were "a turning phrase." Who knows? I immediately felt as if my trunk was being held in a wonderfully warm, secure, lovingly nurturing basin - in a chalice of timeless, unconditional love. This transformative felt sense, like all other phenomena, will change. Though it's effect may persist, because perhaps it's a remembering & reconnection with the ground of being - of being grounded. Again, words are inadequate.
The quote is a reminder of the central importance of treating ourself with the same unconditional love & endless patience we would bestow a beloved toddler or puppy under our care.
The experience is a reminder that endless, patient practice - for an entire lifetime - keeps releasing, peeling away, physical, mental & emotional armors, energy blocks, and even attachments to our many security blankets, slowly but surely liberating us from the prison of our conditioning AND feeling rooted & competent in this material yet mysterious world.
The physical location of this warm, reassuring gut feeling is the hara or dan tien, described in Japanese & Chinese wisdom / martial arts traditions as being 2 inches below the navel, right in the middle of the body. It's considered a vitally important power / energy center. Zen meditation is focused on the physical feel of the breath in this area - "cultivating the hara." In East Indian wisdom traditions, this is one of the chakras along the vertical core of the body, along which kundalini energy moves. Here, as in traditional Chinese medicine, the central theme is releasing / clearing energy blockages to allow the free flow of vital energy throughout the entire system.
The following are long but IMHO very worthwhile interviews. If they don't resonate, no problem, they may (or may not) later - even decades from now:
Bonnie Greenwell discusses kundalini energy:
Adyashanti & Francis Bennett (Parts 1&2) - discuss broader aspects of awakening: