Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Between Stressful Striving and Sleeping

     Much of our day is spent rushing about, at times physically, but almost always mentally & emotionally. Relentless stressful self-talk continues while traveling to & from work, and sadly, even while trying to spend quality time with loved ones! No wonder we zone out or fall asleep during guided meditation - a break is long overdue. Sadly, most of us are so used to "the rat-race" that we completely forget who we really are.
     So we furiously keep tap-dancing in a futile effort to be recognized as "good enough," worthwhile members of society, and then zone out from exhaustion.  

      “Frenzy destroys our inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of our work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.”
Thomas Merton

     Mercifully, there are some exceptions. Here are a few situations I can think of when we're thriving, fully alive!
     • being at a baby's birth - especially our own child;
     • being with a baby, young child, puppy or kitten who connects directly with our heart;
     • hugging someone we love when words aren't even considered;
     • being with a dying loved one;
     • awed speechless by the magnificence of nature;
     • doing anything (work, play, practice) with loving-care & commitment.
     What do all these activities associated with thriving share in common? I would say awe-inspired intimacy - an open-hearted, direct, sustained bond between ourself and someone or something we deeply care about. Perhaps these are all forms of nurturing, based on pure love (instead of fear, anxiety, neediness).

          “When we quit thinking about
          ourselves and our own self-preservation,
          we undergo a truly heroic transformation
          of consciousness.”  
                                     Joseph Campbell 
     Meditation practice is basically remembering to be intimate with our self, others, life itself. And we do this by learning to "let go of patterns in our mind and heart that violate love & violate openness.
     ... if we sit in meditative silence infused with love, the state of wonder, we intimately taste directly for ourselves for which no words can be found. That’s why we long for the experience to which our words are alluding to, and how to stabilize in it, and how to share it with people.”
      James Finley PhD

     “There is a light in the core of our being that calls us home – one that can only be seen with closed eyes. We can feel it as a radiance in the center of our chest. This light of loving awareness is always here, regardless of our conditioning. It does not matter how many dark paths we have traveled or how many wounds we have inflicted or sustained as we have unknowingly stumbled toward this inner radiance. It does not matter how long we have sleepwalked, seduced by our desires and fears. This call persists until it is answered, until we surrender to who we really are. When we do, we feel ourselves at home wherever we are. A hidden beauty reveals itself in our ordinary life. As the true nature of our Deep Heart is unveiled, we feel increasingly grateful for no reason – grateful to simply be.”
     John J. Prendergast. “The Deep Heart – Our Portal to Presence.” Sounds True, 2019 

Bonnie Baker

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