Saturday, November 22, 2008
Relationship, Emotion, and Spiritual Practice
Are you at war with feeling? No, if you listen to the body. The body tells you what it needs. Really what it needs is relaxed breathing - fast, for exercise, or slow, for meditation. In relationship, there is also a matching of breath, a harmonizing of intention, a lifting of awareness from the single body to the dual body, to the all-body of love still greater than one or two.
Still, your focus begins with one. One love, inside, from inside, healing first the wholeness of self, freeing the feelings of past hurt and success to flow into and out of present time through the breathing body, the very form of time.
Did I say “healing success”? Yes, if success is the wound that takes a toll through stress and imbalance, compromising health for one-dimensional rewards. Pride used to be called a sin. Was that just church propaganda? It’s really just logic when the body’s inevitable demise is accounted for. The fall of pride is simply inescapable reality. Therefore to remain within the boundary of pride is to hide in denial. On the other hand a balance of pride and humility is only natural: a reflection of life’s urgency for full potential while the time is ripe.
You come back to present feeling. Are you feeling lonely, unwanted, weak, depressed? These are all conditional, and can be breathed away into the past from which they originated, or the future which is so feared or misunderstood. Are you feeling gladness and joy, anticipation and relief? Fine, while realizing also that these things if dependent on temporary causes, will pass away with the changing winds of time. If rather independent, or arising from life itself - gladness for the fresh breeze off the ocean, joy at seeing friends in a few minutes, anticipation over the promise tomorrow holds, relief in the overcoming of obstacles - these feelings are not yours because of personal circumstances, but rather scents of life itself, lent to you for the savoring.
The practice is the remembering, or the means of remembering, that there is more to life than your present feelings and preoccupations. Beyond your current emotional state is communion with others, sharing and harmonizing feelings you all have; and beyond and below this ground of relationship is the ground of being itself, which connects each of you not only to each other, but also to your more central self, the body breathing free, the soul liberated to larger life and the emotion of such liberation.
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