Why can’t we easily perceive our true nature? Why can’t we realize *who we are* right now, in this gosh-darn moment? What prevents us from being here now as pure awareness?
Settle in your chairs while the storyteller spins another yarn. Perhaps the yarn will unravel something deep inside. Perhaps it will knit something new together. Perhaps–if we’re lucky or persistent or the Universe winks–the story and storyteller might lose importance and identification and we’ll relax into the Infinite.
Let’s imagine a being who knows herself as awareness, love, God, THIS, whatever concept your mind uses in this Moment to describe indescribable spirit.
Let’s imagine she’s standing in front of an x-ray-like machine which registers bodily contractions, knots,beliefs, identification, separate sense of self.
The spiritual x-ray snaps a photo.
Wa-la! Look at that! The individual who knows herself as awareness seems relatively free of knots, contractions and beliefs. Her insides seem very spacious.
Now let’s look at our average everyday person attempting to deepen his spirituality.
He pays $5,000 for the spiritual x-ray (taken by a technician attempting to send her kids to college–don’t you love storytelling?) and peers at his spiritual insides.
The inner spiritual landscape looks filled with dark smudges. Heavy concentrated areas of tightness. Deep boundaries of clenched cramping. Binding narrow restrictions.
OK, there’s also space, lightness and air. But what about the tightness? The contractions?
These, says the storyteller, are compressed emotions, some ancient, some current. These are battle wounds and scars of our humanity.
(Oh, sweet human, you’ve suffered so much. You’ve protected yourself so admirably! You’ve utilized chain mail, shields, suits of armor. But it sounds like you may be ready to disrobe and see what’s underneath, you warrior of the heart. )
You stare at the spiritual x-ray and–because maybe you feel ready to deepen your spirituality–you ask the x-ray technician, “Hey, what do I DO about these contractions?”
The x-ray technician (with many of her own contractions,mind you) replies: “Only one way to get rid of ’em. But it’s not for sissies.”
“I’m not a sissy!” you huff indignantly, although something deep inside tightens when you say that and the x-ray suddenly glows darker near your solar plexus.
“Well they say–” and she fiddles with her equipment,”that the only thing which maybe changes the contractions is when you meet them directly. You know, the teachers say we’ve repressed these darn things and we have to let them rise. We have to FEEL them. But it hurts, so I really don’t have the time. I have to pay for my kid’s college education.”
You nod, understanding, as you’ve put kids through college yourself.
However, you REALLY want to awaken.
“Just feel the pain when it arises? Is that it?”
“Yah, you try it if you think it’s that easy, mister. They say curiosity helps. You know, be willing to meet the pain. Without telling a story. I guess if we tell stories about the pain it often gets worse. Oh–and one another thing–this is a biggie. If you are only inviting the pain to the surface to get rid of it–forget it. It doesn’t work that way. You really have to welcome it. Make a space for it. And then, supposedly, it starts to lose its grip. The tightness relaxes. It’s something about loving all the unwanted parts of self. So they say.”
She continues, “A funny thing happened last week. A lady came for a second x-ray. Don’t know how she could afford $10,000; maybe she robbed a bank. Ha ha! Anyway, the first time she came, her x-ray was just like yours. Filled with gunk. But she says she’s been patiently and gently and lovingly meeting unwelcome parts of herself for a while now. And–OK,I’m violating HIPAA regulations–probably because of my own contractions–but LOOK at her x-ray! Look how much it’s changed! Look how light she is. So I guess it could work…”