The Enabling Indulgence

In order to meditate, often there is something we need to do that is NOT meditation, but rather is an indulgence of our individuality. This something something is a craving or wanting and the doing of it makes it more tolerable for us to be in our skin, to inhabit ourselves.

The enabling activity is, is different for everyone, and varies over time. It’s usually surprising, then it is obvious. For example:

Reading comic books or romance novels.
Getting massages.
Eating chocolate.
Swimming laps.
Going to see movies.
Taking naps.
Eating meat.
NOT eating sugar.
Walking for miles.
Standing in the wind.
drinking coffee
not drinking coffee
Looking out over the ocean for hours.
Walking for miles
Going to the museum.
Taking cold showers.
Taking hot showers or baths.
Going Salsa dancing.
Listening to your favorite music.
Turning off the phone for a whole day.
Making a point of communicating your love.

In 1975 or so, we were all meditating, doing yoga, and experimenting with weird diets. Many of us were in our fifth or seventh year of being “organic cupcake vegetarians,” meaning we did not eat meat or chicken or fish, and we followed lots of odd rules, but we were not actually getting much nutrition. Then the
Ayurvedic doctors came and talked sense into us. They would take your pulse for a minute, then give their prescription: have lots of sex, sleep more, stop reading all those scriptures and read comic books.

From a blog by Gloria Wendroff,
“A long long time ago, I spent three months in India. I loved it there. I never wanted to leave.

“One thing that I did was to go to see an Indian Ayur Vedic physician. Doctors were called vaidyas. I saw Triguna-ji. He was a big laughing man, very much like a Laughing Buddha.
There were no appointments. You just went.

“There was no privacy either. When it was your turn to sit in front of Triguna, you were in a public room with a bunch of people, all who took interest in whoever was the current patient. Westerners sat on one side of the room, and Indians were on the other, and Triguna would alternate Westerners and Indians so everyone had a fair chance to see him.

“There was definitely a social aspect to these visits. The whole audience enjoyed themselves enormously. It was entertainment! Lots of laughing. There was one time when I seemed to be the cause of the laughter. Triguna said an Indian word to me. It sounded like Zampini or Gambini. He said it very loudly and several times. All the Indians laughed. Then I said sincerely, “I’m sorry, Triguna-ji, I don’t know what that means.” (As if he thought I did!) Everybody laughed again, including Triguna, and I joined in too. And then Triguna said to me very loudly, “VEGETABLES! VEGETABLES!” More laughter.

“There was no examination as we know it in the Western world. Triguna would take your pulse and know everything. He would, of course, take a good look at you too. And you would tell him why you had come to him. And then he would recommend some wonderful herbs or something surprising. For example, once, for someone who had poor indigestion, he prescribed: “Put three lemons on the table where you eat.” I loved that. Like poetry.” Link.

It's always different and surprising, and once you discover it, feels obvious and wonderful. And there is a boon you get.

It may feel like mischief, or sex, or reverence, or laziness, or adventure. It is your natural movement. Something within you that wants to come out. And letting it out is a gift to your inner world. A gift free and clear, that you give those inner places from which the mystery of self emerges. Whatever it is, is in some way drinking a toast to life and love.

Whatever it is, changes your blood chemistry in ways that make access to your inner self more likely. You will know it is working because you are more willing to be in your skin, inhabit yourself, tolerate your individuality, tolerate the energies you feel when you meditate.

Be open to inquiring, "What do I need to do for myself?"
Train yourself to notice when life, the universe, your inner self, answers your inquiry.

If you don't know what your enabling indulgence is, simply asking will open inner doors and in time, you will walk into the answer.

By the way, the reality is that life always answers instantly. It just takes time – a few seconds or days or weeks – for your brain cells to be rearranged so that you can perceive the answer.

Think of the instincts: hunting, homing, feeding, exploring, resting, bonding, mating, communicating, migrating, nesting. Probably what the Enabling Indulgence does is activate one or more of your instincts, which you need as an ally when you go into your inner world.