Thursday, September 20, 2007

Curling up inside

This blog took a bit to get itself started. Plants do not always grow just because one sets their seeds in the soil, any more than cats curl up and sleep where you expect them to.

This morning I awoke at about 2:30 a.m. and spent time within the darkness actively curling up inside the energies that concentrate themselves in the lower part of the torso.

We have so many energies flowing through us in the course of the average day that we don't notice. It's equally so at night, when the body busies itself manfacturing the substances it will need to sustain the consciousness during the following day. As one gradually becomes more familiar with these inner forces, it's worthwhile to study their presence, their strength, the source of their sustenance--presuming, of course, we can locate that--and their effects.

This kind of activity is perhaps not so unorthodox. Gurdjieff, as it happens, advised Ouspensky to become familiar with what he called the "higher hydrogens" and study their effect so that one knew them individually.

Of course I know few people who profess to undertake such a study in their work. Why, I cannot know. Perhaps there isn't so much interest in the kind of precision that type of study takes. Or perhaps it's too vague or inaccessible. I don't know.

It might, however, be worthwhile to cultivate a more intimate relationship with these inner forces. I believe that in its essential practice, meditation--whether we express it as mindfulness in sitting or mindfulness in life-- is all about initiating and feeding a relationship to the finer substances the body can produce. Dwelling within them, accepting them, without manipulating them or clinging to them.

Just studying them to see what they are.

Where do they come from? Where do they go to? What are they doing? We don't know this. We speak of "different states" but do we invest in such different states? Do we pay for them, or try to take them? If we turn such moments and such states into things we want to have, to hold, to own and to repeat again, "the gate becomes more and more distant." And we've all been there, surely.

This clinging, this wish to curl up comfortably within the familiar--even if it's the unfamiliar which has suddenly become familiar (for the grasping mind creates familiarity within the instant)--is the pouring of cement--always supervised by our inner paving company, whose intention is always good, rather than with aim. In grasping we flatten everything.

Flat is safe.

So there I was at 2:30 a.m, curled up inside not-flat, inside depth, attempting to see inside the inside.

This mechanism we inhabit--it's delicate, precise, unfathomable. Perhaps the very beauty of inner study lies in the fact that the landscape--the fences, walls, tiles and pebbles-- from which we arise so directly is so unknown, and so profoundly filled with an invitation to this subtle intimacy.

Let's all get closer to ourselves together this weekend, shall we?

May your trees bear fruit, and your wells yield water.

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