Wednesday, September 23, 2009

When Sitting's Not Enough

I knew something was up, since phone call from a few days ago. I had felt out of sorts, tangled up in a web of difficult emotions, and a smorgasbord of unhelpful thoughts to match. Sitting wasn't cutting it. And neither was confiding in my girlfriends. Not knowing what else to do, I decided to make a collage. Maybe, some answers would come.

An answer did spring. As I was taping the torn pieces of magazines together, a big shift happened inside. First in my head, where divisive, hurtful thoughts, magically gave way to a new order, this time ruled by truth and unity. Soon followed by a wave of love over my heart. Fear, and guilt, frustration, and powerlessness, washed away, in one big sweep. Nothing had changed on the outside, and yet I was reconciled at once.

Next week when I see my teacher, I will ask him, how could I have worked through this with meditation alone? Or are there times, when meditation, particularly for Western souls like myself, is not enough?

6 comments:

  1. at some point, the whole of it is consumed in the "furnace of Ta Hui" - after which this conversation becomes irrelevant.

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  2. That is one way. I question whether there is not another, more gentle way . . . I also think - and others, enlightened minds such as Jack Kornfield have said it before me -the Western mind has a makeup that's different than the traditional Eastern mind, that may require adjunct practices, borrowing from the field of psychology. I am also bringing my woman nature in here, an ingredient that has no room in some more austere traditions of Buddhism.

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  3. in my experience of the path, the more austere traditions are the more direct - in every tradition, be it the "blue death of the sufis, the "kyol che" of korean buddhists, or "dzogchen" in the tibetan sect (among others) - the point is to gradually take the mind to the edge of the known - until it is comfortable there, and to go further - gate gate sambodhi svadha - to the point that everything is alight and the universal substance is laid bare. if it were easy... but this is where we are headed. otherwise any therapeutic method is perfectly acceptable.

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  4. Respectfully, I bow to your experience. And thanks for the gift of all your powerful writings. I just read a few of your essays. Wow!

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  5. the higher mind coincidence of the Sagidelirious moon is that my daughter just suggested collaging together as a heartful exercise, thanx

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  6. You're welcome. Best is to do collage without thinking. Pick a bunch of magazines. And tear images (and words if you want also) that "come" at you. Then take piece of butcher paper, or any large piece of paper that is handy (a newspaper spread will do if nothing else), and lay all your images on the floor. Assemble them on large paper, again without thinking too much. Rearrange as needed. When happy with whole result, use tape to stick together. You are not shooting for aesthetic perfection. Rather for another way to access your larger self. I usually tape my collage on the wall, above my desk. It is a great visualization tool. Enjoy!

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