A Window is Where the Wall is Absent

The life impulse to express and to connect arises in me and in all of us. This blog is a celebration of these life impulses. Please feel free to join in the conversation or to just visit. There is a Family Photo Album beneath the posts so you can "meet" my family and I. Welcome!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bad day

Actually, the day is the day, and, like all days, it's a miracle beyond description; however, my mood is moderately miserable. Funny how I tend to blame my mood on the day, when it's not the day's fault.

Moods appear, and it could become a full-time job analyzing them and tracing the intricate strands of causation for every mood that arises. I've certainly spent plenty of time trying to figure out why I get in bad moods occasionally. What thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, hormones, conditioning, circumstances, etc. could be causing the miserable mood?

I begin to realize that excessive analysis of feelings is a tactic to avoid them. And tactics to avoid feelings are a kind of procrastination.

Feelings can't be escaped, only felt. What feels feelings? Awareness. Silent, nonjudgmental, awareness. The silence within me feels my feelings and is not repelled by them in the least. In this silence which could be called love the feelings are embraced. And in the embrace the feelings relax. And in the relaxation the feelings may or may not dissolve. And the energy of flux continues fluxing through the silent space of this moment, as appearances appear and disappear, and moods morph into an endless parade of colors.

I argued with my nine year-old son because he hadn't taken a shower when I wanted him to take a shower. A blister of painful thoughts burst, "Colleen, you should be a better parent. You should be able to have your child take a shower without a lot of drama." I argued with people I love and said things I wish I had not said.

I notice that nearly every speck of my conscious attention collapses down into the tiny space of a few painful thoughts. This shriveling of the vast field of awareness down into such a small space is painful, like trying to compress an ocean into a thimble.

In the midst of my miserable mood, what washes up on the shore? Some words from a kind and wonderful mentor to me, Stephan Bodian, found in his book Wake Up Now. I'd like to share them with you.

"As you relax and let everything be just as it is, the tendency for awareness to fixate on objects naturally relaxes as well, and awareness spontaneously becomes aware of itself. True meditation is a kind of homecoming- you recognize the place immediately, and every cell and fiber of your being lets go and relaxes in relief."

Surprise! There is enough room here for my miserable mood, there is enough room in this world for all the miserable moods that arise in all of us...I am grateful for the room that is available for all that arises. I don't have to be spiritual and perfect. I can be ego-identified and miserable and deluded. Nothing that appears is exiled, and I don't have to pretend to be anything.

8 comments:

Susannah said...

I too used to analyse my moods, why did I feel this way, what triggered it? etc. It used to lead to deeper and deeper levels of thought that took me out of the now.

Then one day I decided that my 'nature' was a mirror of Nature itself and like the earth has its weather systems, so too do I. Somedays I have a clear day and sun, on others it is grey and misty, occoasionally I have thunderstorms too!

Now I just accept my internal weather and know that it will pass and I trust that all is well.

Thanks Colleen for triggering these thoughts of mine. :-)

Val said...

I have been obsessing all morning on some fearful, painful thoughts - I like the reminder to relax and allow the focus to expand. I feel like I'm exhaling for the first time in hours. :)

Alton said...

There is a mysterious power of healing when we share our unpleasant mental states. Meditation slowly
uncovers the mental impressions that cause us to react unskillfully. I've noticed that in group meditations, the process of healing consciousness is accelerated.

Aloha,
Alton

Colleen Loehr said...

I have also noticed that as the wattage of awareness increases, so to speak, there is a greater unveiling of once-hidden inner pain. This light of self-honesty in seeing our pain is healing. I am glad to be sharing this journey with wonderful people who accept my sharing of this pain and can relate to it. Your presence here in cypberspace Susannah, Val, and Alton, and your comments are deeply appreciated! Susannah I love your observation that our inner and outer worlds are mirrors of each other. It really helps to de-personalize and de-stigmatize our "shameful" pain by seeing it is an impersonal phenomenon like the weather. Val reading your comment opened a big lungful of air in me! Alton my experience with meditation is exactly as you describe it in your comment.

Cindy said...

Just a side story, I remember how Val and I used to complain and stall taking showers each week growing up. Somehow we got a kick out of hating taking showers. Then one week, mom didn't ask us to take a shower (we were 12 - way too old for this game) and we were so excited, 'yea! We'll skip the shower this week!' Week 2 came and still no mention of showers from mom. Smaller 'yea, we'll skip the shower this week.' Until week 3 (yikes!). I remember the pain of giving in, Val and I agreeing we should just take our showers without being nagged. I was also afraid mom would crow it over us. But she didn't, and we never pretended we didn't want to take showers again. I don't know why, but I always remembered that. Irrelevant, but true. :)

Colleen Loehr said...

Great story Cyn!

MeANderi said...

I'm so glad I found this old post! So timely for me and my Darth Vader experience yesterday. :)

"What feels feelings"? Awareness...the Silence within me...and is not repelled by them." "They morph into an endless parade of colors." How beautifully said!

Ahhhh - there's the still point, as everything flows back into fluidty again...I can feel it in the embrace of it all ~~~~~~~

Thank you for this! Christine

Colleen Loehr said...

Hi Christine- Thanks for your comments, they are truly appreciated.

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Greetings. I am a psychiatrist working at a state hospital, and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at University of Missouri Medical School. I am also a wife and mother of three grown children. Qigong has profoundly changed my life for the better. I am interested in connecting with other people interested in qigong.

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