I find the Buddhist concept of non-attachment or no preference fascinating. While I would like to share my experience of being in Buddha mind, what I recognize is that there remains a subtle desire to stay in Buddha mind. This in and of itself is a sneaky form of desire.
The setting: a holiday party where family and friends are laughing light-heartedly and I observe more than participate. The next morning on a walk through the woods with my Golden, I sense the tears building. The energy in the world on what a few days before Christmas feels heavy and occupies an unhealthy place in my brain. I am confident the cold air and wooded stillness will be the perfect cure.
I breathe and trust the full, emptying exhales.
Ahhh, here it is: I am envying their laughter and I wonder why some of my days are filled with more tears than laughter. Then I think of the women at the FDC downtown in a high-rise where I volunteer teaching yoga and how sad I feel when I contemplate their inability to participate in nature’s healing. I begin to step on the fallen leaves and say, “With each step my feet kiss the earth in honor and reverence on your behalf.”
And then I picture them one by one. The tears are raging now and I hear in my spirit, “They are the same you know: Joy and sadness. Have no preference because deep emotion brings aliveness.”
My ego would just love for me to write about this insight and have it published in a national magazine. Yet there is a subtler message that the world needs to know– an ordinary mom and wife in South Jersey can find equanimity through daily practice.
Flashback December 23rd 2011: I’m in the Best Buy parking lot and I am having a breakdown (AKA break through!!). I call my gynecologist because I don’t have a therapist and I practically beg her to prescribe something, anything for the pain of being me. She declines and suggests it is hormones and holiday overwhelm and I will feel better soon.
I couldn’t stand myself any longer– the mood swings, angry outbursts, and control issues were bad enough but the dark emptiness was threatening to drown me.
I, like so many others, had experienced a childhood wound that required tending but I never knew how harmfully it was impacting my life’s choices. I was blind to it. Mindfulness and deepening Presence imparted new eyes to see. I had been abandoned at birth by my father and he denies me to this day. Some days feel like I’m being re-abandoned.
Most days I live with gratitude and wonder for this precious life.
Most days I have a deep TRUST in the goodness of the universe and faith that all will work together for our good.
I have found that sitting in centering prayer meditation has created the space and stillness for God’s love and compassion to transform what was ugly into something very beautiful. He uses the pain as raw material for HIS divine alchemy: like turing lead to GOLD.
What absolutely is not helpful? Judgment and shame.
Each time one of those feelings or thoughts arises we notice them, say thank you and B R E A T HE. It is in this space we allow LOVE to arise.
I am grateful that my wildly- beating heart is smiling a genuine smile. There resides in me a tenderness and compassion for all and a connection to God’s beautiful mystery. A lie about separation has been perpetuated. This work and transformation needs to begin inside where all is interconnected.
Maybe you can identify where you are still holding onto a “story or grudge or victim” mentality?
I now feel more like the real me: which feels like freedom…or like a canary singing just because she has a song.
Mindfulness practices have deepened my faith and now I am blessed to share my unique gifts with others, journeying together on this beautiful path full of twists and turns, yet finding the treasure at each juncture. May 2015 bring you deep awareness of the preciousness of life and may you THRIVE!!!!