Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Still Point

Who Observes the Course of Your Life?

In my last blog entry I wrote about changing one’s mindset in the midst of personal challenges. I was writing with the intention of changing course and not just being a victim or a passive recipient, of fate. Now I wonder about another side of this mindset, a simpler side, a place to begin again and again.

· What if we were here just to experience what we experience?
· What if there is a space within each of us that is even simpler than acceptance of what is?
· Maybe, a still point seep inside of us that just observes?
· Some part of us that neither has to change nor has to blindly accept circumstance?

A personal example: For two months early this year I experienced big, broad happiness. A glorious treat! And then circumstances with family and the world began their ragged clawing at my heart. Down, now for two months, wanting to change my set of sails, wanting my boat to travel differently than the course of the mind.

Up, down, spun around, inert… such are the realities of mood and desire.

Yesterday, as I walked around Battle Ground Lake, I intuited (again) a still small voice in the wind. Instead of just walking, I had been busy in my mind making big decisions about how to proceed through some local family strife. Then the message came: “Wait”. Don’t do anything for a moment. I had been inside my head talking in imaginary conversations, then the message… “Wait, stop.” I looked at the trees shimmering in pearlescent greens. I observed the Blue Heron hunting her prey. I stopped.

Yet I knew that this message was not just about stopping what I was doing or even calming who I am. This “wait” is akin to the observer in meditation, the one who is always still, even in the movement of living. The yogis say that there is a still point inside all of us, a place that is no place at all, and a person that is all persons, and none at all.

OK, perhaps this sounds pretty esoteric. How do words describe something so simple? Here’s a view of the gist of this “wait”:

We experience what we experience, until change occurs.
· We are who we are, until we are not.
· We feel, act, and intuit what we do, until we don’t. 


I felt relief with this reality popping up as I walked. I no longer had to do anything to change my challenging situation. I longer had to change my thought patterns or behaviors to find peace. All I had to do was be in the still point at the center of myself. Even if I acted, or made a supposed mistake in my acting, I could still access this still place. No good, no bad, no praise, no blame, resides in that space.

The idea is so staggering simple: Just be here.

For long moments I knew something that is beyond even acceptance. I just was. If that sounds unclear then I say “Great, find your experience and see what is true for you in the moment.” Then that moment will move to another, like moments do.

For me, being a hyper sensitive type and one who has struggled with depression, the idea of waiting in the still place is just another key to continuing in life. In practical terms, meditation and creativity are my vehicles, my boat if you will, on this journey. What is your craft for  access the still point?

In the previous blog I used the analogy of sailboat and the wind as being body-mind. But this boat, and the wind, and the sails are only analogies set on an open sea. Perhaps it is the sea itself we can pay attention to. Perhaps, our individual personalities are but waves on the sea. Consider this possibility when struggles beset or pleasures ensue. We’re are each just a wave taking on a new form and then another new form. Then the form falls into the sea. Then we fall back into what/who we’ve always been.

The enlivening side effect of this idea has been that for moments, worry and judgement about the person/circumstance supposedly causing me distress just vanished. And that judgement and desire for changing that person is still gone. How can one wave judge another wave when we are just small part of the whole sea? And more than this, how can we so harshly judge ourselves now? And even if we do judge, it’s just part of the experience.



PS The Image is a life size+ pictograph from a canyon in Escalante, Utah, USA

(C) Copyright, Words and Image, Richard Sievers, April 2016

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