Friday, December 11, 2009

Ah that Tricky Tricky Mind

There are moments when it almost seems like we have this whole "mind" thing in check. But it is truly a "quickie koala" (meaning hard to follow if you ever watched the old cartoon) first you think you've got it then you don't. And if you give it the smallest wandering thought and it will take you on a whole series of non-beneficial thoughts. Worrying about all that things that have already happened, things that might happen (causing more anxiety and less clarity), compulsively day dreaming about the future, and placing lots of expectations on someone or something to be the solution to your happiness to say the least. It truly feels like a knock-out drag-em' down sort of shoot out at the okay corral. And you were doing so well! You were all shanti shanti, blissed-out, giving smiles and love to strangers. But it is in that extended stretch of silent alone time that you finally have to face the things in your mind that you forgot could still stir. They may not ripple the surface of the waters of consciousness as frequently or as forcefully as they may have done once. Still, quite often those things we believe we have discarded are in fact packed away in some shadowy storage space in the corners of our brains, just waiting for the right moment to cast off the blanket of dust and come to light. They can shatter the illusion of all your spiritual growth, like a mirror bursting into billions of shards.

In this moment I recognize myself wrestling with such feelings. I find that when sitting in meditation sometimes a quiet, clear mind is possible, but in other moments sitting is more like an inundation of the mind by a wave of unwanted thoughts. It is an invasion of sorts. On the other hand, I find that a brief intensive workout of some sort can help defend me from this invasive feeling. Perhaps dancing, asanas, shadow-boxing, or a long swim or hike. You just have to shake it out of you. Shake the demons out of the darkness. If you move fast enough they might just jump out of the darkness of your head and once in the light the shadow disappears; you see there was never anything to fear.

During the moment of invasion you might feel an urgent need to contact certain people or indulge in certain destructive habits. Keep your awareness intact and strive to resist and resist. The more resistance you build up against this disruption of your peace, the more fortified and durable your peace will become. There is a surge of energy that sometimes accompanies this feeling of strength. We must channel this energy and direct it towards the source.

Maybe you feel lonely or abandoned or long for whatever it is your ego has you convinced you you lack at this moment. These are merely delusions of the mind and lack any objective truth. Getting at the feeling of inner peace and fortitude that exits within surpasses everything the material world can offer, yet it can be quite elusive. Sometimes you can become lost in an angry, apathetic, or jaded moods, but beyond the shadowy obscuration of all these impermanent negative feelings is the inner knowledge that you are nothing more nor less than a being of light. In these moments, I clearly see the need for spiritual community to reinforce our commitments to spiritual path and support each other in our moments of unceratinty. We can not let each other fall by the wayside of such fleeting thoughts and emotions.

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