A wise woman once said, “Practicing meditation in order to awaken to what we really are is like a controlled mental breakdown”.
We often don’t think of awakening beyond the personality as a “controlled mental breakdown” but in many ways, yes, friends, that’s where we’re headed.
What breaks? Our mind, of course.
The mind which controls, plans, fusses, worries, plots, moans, wails, despairs, suffers.
The mind which often keeps the personality in tip-top shape, doing what personalities do.
The mind which acts as commander-in-chief, plotting strategies.
If awakening is happening, that mind is eminently collapsing.
And, dear friends, the mind usually isn’t happy about its demise.
It will do anything to prevent breakdown, alas.
(On the other hand, this is good news. You may not want the mind to break down too quickly. It can be a good friend until you rest so securely and assuredly in Awareness that your heart zings with surrender to what-is.)
Some people experience the move into awareness very gently.
Their mind does not rebel over much.
Many of us, however, suffer as the mind breaks down.
Another wise woman said: there are three tendencies in people. There are people who mostly experience the world through their body. Others experience the world mostly through their heart. And there are people who mostly experience the world through their mind. It can be very challenging for mind-people to drop what energizes and delights them.
As a mind-person, I have found this mental breakdown very challenging at times. To surrender to what is below, beneath and around the mind–sweet everything!–has been, yes, hell on earth some minutes and days and weeks in the past three years.
Mind zings so strong, an utter dictator. It says when, how, why and do it now. What a Hitler!
When we believe our thoughts, we’re often destined to obey them. When we can’t separate our sense of self from thoughts, we’re robots. When we think we’re the one thinking our thoughts–oh lord, prepare ourselves to suffer!
I could write epics about suffering caused by believing/identifying with thoughts/feelings. How the suffering increases when you no longer believe in thoughts–yet do not have the energy or awareness to cease following them.
When you no longer believe in an “I” but have a thought/feeling to do something and you wag your tail and follow like Pavlov’s dog, unable to choose otherwise because there’s no “I” to choose.
Fortunately, Awareness itself keeps moving towards Home. It keeps moving toward mental breakdown. As it moves, you keep falling in love with it, oh beloved!–and the mind simply cannot withstand the power of love.
More and more “it” relaxes in this mind-less state, the sweet singing of birdsong, fingers on keyboard, refrigerator humming. “It” delights in itself appearing as everything.
The mind fusses less and less about its relegation to the background. It fusses less and less about its breakdown.
Mind itself begins to reveal itself as something so expansive that an identification with “tiny” personality feels like a dream, like a story, like a song you once hummed.
In five minutes this mind may start its wailing, its drama-song, and perhaps I’ll be lost again in the dream of Kathy for an hour or six, but it’s really not believed with the same assurance any more.
What encompasses is so much larger that it loves even our drama-song, our definitions of self, the mental breakdown which surrenders into the yolk of infinity.
This mental breakdown into love is our divine gift, our birthright.
(Don’t believe a single thing I just typed. Mind attempts to judge, to agree, to argue, to ponder. Instead rest in the spaces between words and dive into the emptiness between paragraphs. Your breakdown may be utterly gentle…)