Stuck in emptiness once again

Cougar in forest


Sometime in late May the ego seemed to dry up and disappear again.  One knows it because the wanting and desiring and craving fades.  At first it felt soooo peaceful and relaxing and wonderful.  Like the peace that passeth all understanding.  Feelings (both positive and negative) came and disappeared.  Thoughts of all kinds arose and fell away.  The space of awareness held everything, all was allowed, welcome all you vagabonds!

A sudden desire to meditate on emptiness appeared.  I usually feel no desire to meditate any more, so this felt surprising.  OK, emptiness, here you are.  The body relaxed deeper, soothed by no-thing-ness.

Suns rose and suns set.  The days meandered by.  Personal will seemed gone.  Emptiness simply moved through the mornings and evenings, occasionally jarred  by sadness, anger, or whatever human emotion the body-mind produced.  Nothing ultimately disturbed.

We split and stacked our wood for next winter.  I ran the wood splitter and we both lugged the firewood into the truck.  Eventually we unloaded the pickup.  It all felt good and flowing.

The body was ill, as well, during that time.  A dull ache permeated from the underarm to beneath the right breast.  The emptiness allowed it all.  In the midst of the discomfort I called the doctor and scheduled mammogram and eventually ultrasound.  An inner thought wondered if this was it–dread disease, come to inhabit and take the body.  I remember fear and then thinking, “OK, yes, if it’s time, that’s OK, too.”

The body breathed and breathed and breathed.  We split wood, I did diagnostic tests, and hurt while feeling peaceful and flowing.  Emptiness surrounded.

Then I noticed another feeling arising. Almost a light depression.  A hollowness.  A feeling of being stuck.  A frustrating sameness to life.  No ups, no downs, no joy, no real fear.  Just this over-arching emptiness at the base of all things.

Suddenly I felt a desire to listen to Adyashanti, one of my favorite spiritual teachers.  So often his teachings truly change things at a deep level for me.

He spoke of fixation and how our point of view can fixate in any state.  We can fixate in emptiness, fullness, oneness, separate self, or divinity.

The minute he spoke I KNEW what had happened.  I was stuck in emptiness once again.  (Not the first time, and probably not the last…)

How subtle–that even a point of view can fixate like that!

As he spoke, the fixation shifted and changed and dissolved.  And now it’s all brand new.

Now the heart feels full once again.

And, joyfully, the body received a diagnosis and the pain seems to be dissolving.  Turns out I have an inflammation of the cartilage in the rib cage–probably caused from lifting wood too high to throw into the truck.  Now I can remember lifting a log and feeling a pressure under the right arm…before the discomfort spread all around the rib cage.

And life continues to change…empty, full, and who knows where next?






6 thoughts on “Stuck in emptiness once again

  1. Should I leave the comment section empty? Will words fill the space, the space of knowing and understanding? Who knows?
    I am grateful that you share these experiences and your journey with them and through them for it allows others, me, to see the light on the path, acknowledge something that may be only a passing thought. Such as I just wrote in my Morning pages about feeling Lonely, it is only those late hours of the day when going off to sleep that the thought or feeling passing like a dark cloud or a bird across the Sun, fleeting but there. Is that a form of emptiness, I suppose so? Yet the day is full of possibilities and wondrous experiences nothing empty or lonely about that.

    • Jeff, it means a lot to the “me” that you didn’t leave the comment section empty!! And am glad that the sharing of this journey is helpful. Sometimes this journey feels so lonely…because it can’t be expressed truly, because we’re all in different places and fixations and movements. Your words cheered me this morning. Thank you for pondering and sharing about that dark cloud the passes across the Sun of our experience.

  2. So happy to read that the cause (lifting logs) was easy to understand for the pain you were feeling near your breast.

    Interesting that the whole situation resolved in new understandings about fixation. Thanks for sharing it all.

    • Like I just mentioned to Jeff, sometimes I wonder about the worthwhileness (is that a word?) of sharing this journey here. Whether anyone understands–can any of us understand another’s journey?–whether it creates more confusion than clarity, more misunderstanding than understanding. Adyashanti often says he knows fully well he’s going to fail, but he’s going to do the best darn job of it that he can. I like that. Yes, the pain was challenging, but it’s good to know what it was. And I am learning something new about fixation all the time!

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