Class Notes from Wednesday, May 16 2007.
At any given point in life, we need something. We can sense it.
In the mix of qualities that is life, we need more of something.
Whenever we turn our attention to our bodies, we begin to sense this something.
If we have been working, we need rest.
If we have been resting, we need action.
If we have been around people too much, we will crave some solitude and solace.
If we have been in solitude, we will want communion, company, conversation.
Sometimes, ONE word does it.
What you crave may be a syzygy. Two words are needed, in interplay.
– for example, wanting to appreciate different points of view, and also have harmony.
* a syzygy is a marriage of opposites
And sometimes THREE words is what's happenin'
Peace order harmony
Light power joy
Meditating with Your Focusing Thought
When you find a word or words that work for you, it can serve as a focusing thought or mantra for meditation. I have times when I use an English word, such as PEACE or Christ as my mantra. I just let the word repeat itself in my awareness, over and over. In a very leisurely way, so that I savor the space between words. That moment of pulsating silence after I think the word. The main thing is to allow all your instincts to inform you how to attend to the word, and let it tend to you. Rest with the word, feed with it, let it nourish you, bathe in it, allow it to groom you inside and out, nest with the word, let it fill you and the space around you with its quality. Go hunting and exploring with the word, let it teach you inner pathways of the soul.
As you get to know the word, you can ask your self to wake up to it in the morning. I find it delightful to create a situation so that my focusing thought is the first thing I think in the morning. This usually takes two or three days of asking, "I would like to wake up to the word." Then it starts to happen spontaneously.
After awhile - sometimes a few minutes, othertimes a few days or weeks - the word will become almost a tangible reality. Last year when I was meditating on PEACE, I began to feel it as solid as music on a good stereo, vibrating my body and filling the space all around me. I needed to sit in peace like that for half an hour, twice a day, for a couple of months. Then the need passed. I absorbed enough of PEACE permanently, or at least for this season, so that I don't need to meditate on it anymore.
The greatest thing about meditating is the time after meditation. When you have had a good sip of the elixir of your word, then when you get up and go out to kick ass in your life, you have more strength and relaxation at hand. You have more of yourself available.
Last night in the meditation, at the end I said, take yourself by the hand, you and you, you your daily self and you your soul, and together come out to play with the other beings here on this mysterious dimension we call Earth.
When we meditate in a way that is instinctively right for us, then there is a shift in the way we live, it is more of an adventure of being together with our inner life and meeting the outer world.
Allowing Need to Come to Awareness
When we are moving through our day, we often push our needs to the background. "I have to get this done!" "Just let me get through my to-do list of 150 items, and then I can relax!"
When we meditate or take a vacation or start to make love, whenever we let go, our needs come to the surface to be felt. That is why it is good to get to know your needs really well, and name them. That is also why it is so useful to meditate, if you want to be in a love relationship, and want to be able to make love without your mind wandering off. If you meditate instinctively, you get what you need, or some of what you need, from breath, the ecology, the sun, the earth, nature, and your soul. So you have more to give your lover. You can be more playful.
Whatever we need, when we name it, has a certain luminous quality. It's magic to us even if it is an everyday thing. Water, when we are thirsty, is very magic and welcome. If we have a regular job and a house, traveling the world has a sense of adventure and magic. If we have been traveling a lot, the sense of home is magic.
When you find a word or words that represent something you want more of in your life, bathe in the radiance of the word. Let your cells be nourished by it. drink it in. rest with it. fall asleep into it and merge with it.
Last night in class, I invited you to explore what your words are right now in your life. And use them as a focus for mediation. Some of you went so deep so fast that your conscious minds missed the instruction, which is fine. So here it is.
If you feel like it, respond to this email as if you were writing in a journal. Just talk about what you sense you need in your life and what you want meditation to help you get access to. Write away. Then, before you send it, copy and paste the whole thing into a word processing document of your own, then in the email edit out anything you feel is too personal and give me just the summary, so that I can be attuned to your needs when you come to class.
If you want to do really rad editing, then send me just the one or two or three words. Sometime between now and next Wednesday, so that I can be tuned into your needs and create the class accordingly. As I am sure you already suspect, I am just making everything up as we go along.
Last night, several of you mentioned to me the sense of dual awareness. You were aware of two separate realms simultaneously.
-- "A" said that she was aware of spaciousness, like a galaxy, and at the same time aware of her body.
-- "S" said that she was aware of deep sensation (making hand gestures indicating her belly and pelvis and legs) and at the same time aware of "top of the brain" noise.
My answer is yeah, meditation is a way to be with our perplexity. What is more perplexing than being a spacious entity, in a human body? What is more perplexing than being a radiant entity in a body of flesh? What is more confusing than being a priestess of an unknown order, having to make a living in 2007? Or a wandering storyteller from days of yore, working in Hollywood? It used to be that you just stood on the back of your wagon and started talking, and people threw coins into your hat.
Meditation is a place in which we can allow the opposites to co-exist and work out an arrangement. Talk to each other. Grow nerve and sensuous pathways to touch each other and coordinate.
In meditation, we give permission to the deep evolutionary impulses of life to tune us up, rejuvenate us, help us adapt to the challenges of our situation. That is what life loves to do – adapt.