Oh man, just when you think you’ve “got it,” the next bit of learning beckons. Usually it comes in some form of an obstacle. Today, its name is frustration.
After a week of smooth meditation practice in which breaths came and went in variations on the theme of Hello, Goodbye, today’s practice started out like a night of tossing and turning. All over the place and no place at all.
First, I try reining myself in with an image of a horse at the bit. That feels harsh and my body contracts. Next I imagine my breaths as a rabble of butterflies captured in a net for observation. Somehow, even though the net is gauzy, it feels wrong and damaging to the butterflies’ wings to boot. The butterflies are flinging themselves at the confinement of the net and seem more agitated than before. Yikes, I’m creating resistance to the very thing I want.
What is it I want? I want a butterfly to alight and then settle on a flower, calm. In order to have that, I can’t capture it, I must invite it. I must unfold petals and offer Presence*. I’ve forgotten Presence; no, not forgotten – stepped out of it. Presence is the opposite of force.I can step into it again, remembering that a flower doesn’t question its ability to be a flower.
* Presence: The state of being that includes all experience with awareness, gentle curiosity, and compassion (taken fromFocusing work).
How’s it going for you?
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Related articles & photo credit:
- photo detail from Breathing by Anne Lindberg at the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art
- Meditation Monday # 64: Taking It For A Walk