This was originally written on December 30th, 2015.
[Warning (to self and others): I may or may not publish this. And/or I may edit some details.]
So here we go, almost New Year’s Eve, Nochevieja and I am at the page.
I had danced and kicked my way through class at the gym both Monday and Tuesday evenings but something of a wake up call happened; something worthy (to me) to look at through the eyes of the path. After I left the gym on Monday, I saw a friend. As it usually is when I see this sweet person, my mind-heart just melted/stopped. All there was, was BAM!!!, light!!! I felt my face lighting up a grin without my permission to do so; and I felt angry at my face!!!
Then, when Ego-Monkey-Brain realized that I was angry at my face and at the fact that I had broken my promise to myself that I would not let this person’s presence make me happy or affect me, I heard Monkey-Brain say: —I can’t do this anymore; I’ll just stop going anywhere he might be. I will simply stop going anywhere outside Shambhala where I may meet women and men with whom I would like to talk, or become friends… Monkey-Brain went on for a while, and I had to do some serious breathing to stop myself from stopping my membership at the gym, and from not accepting an invitation from friends to go out on the 31st, and on the 1st. Monkey-Brain was on a rampage, and I had forgotten how seductive his arguments can be. Since 2015 has been a difficult year for me in many areas of my life, and also a year of opening up my mind-heart, and moving through and out of the dark comfort zone of my own personal cocoon, I decided to let Monkey-Brain say what it wanted to say. I recognized fear…. but I digress…
Ego-Monkey-Brain got angry again: –What???!! You want friendship or a relationship of any kind with people who most probably operate under the ruling of “no social interaction with guests/clients/people-you-do-music-with”???
Sheer anger: Monkey-Brain was angry and I was angry with Monkey-Brain. But truth be said, when I just sit and feel/listen to the deeper grooves where my anger runs, what I sense is a yearning for wanting others to come and play with me, like when I was a child and I was not really allowed to play with everybody. When I listen deeply, the anger shifts, it melts a little and I can hold myself with some warmth and understanding, with some maitri. I had isolated myself for so many years in so many ways while partially blaming others for my isolation that I forgot myself, my sane-self: I do not need to push myself nor my wants and/or needs onto anyone else. Nor do I have to pretend not to feel.
Fortunately, I do not do what Monkey-Brain wants as fast as I would have 8 or 10 years ago. It’s not that I don’t act spontaneously, or from a space of being genuine anymore. It’s more like I can now recognize Monkey-Brain’s edicts and ways of cowering from the discomfort of feeling vulnerable, and the possibility of being seen as weak / vulnerable. I seem to be able to recognize Monkey-Brain’s habitual actions a little sooner than I could before and when I do, some times in that very instant I can “drop out” of his circle of influence and do nothing while still hearing him scream. I can just wait, and be with the discomfort knowing/trusting that it will be clear to me, to my deeper and saner mind-heart, if I were in any true danger and really needed to heed Monkey-Brain’s warnings.
Habit-mind says “run away”; shut him out. Habit-mind has begun to arm itself against him saying things like: he does not like you; you’re old; you’re a thing to fix, to keep away, a guest, a client, a patient, a person with whom he does music… And Ego-Monkey-Brain says all these things in an effort to build up my cocoon, to protect me from the newfound fear of thinking that I will not be in a lasting loving relationship again in this lifetime. As these things come up, they build a prickly cocoon around me that 1. does not allow much in, nor out (precluding genuine engagement in things as they are) and 2. is really not effective. Sad.
But here is the thing: I am grateful to Ego-Monkey-Brain and the cocoons he had built for me in the past, for he has been a faithful protector and defender… And also because with all his antics he has helped me keep in touch with my own humanity. I am grateful for his willingness to dance/play with the saner part of my mind-heart while taking a side step so that I could dance to the melody, silences and spaces of the teachings. And I am grateful, to the teachings that have allowed me to listen to him scream while I breathe and some times even take the risk of asking, as if in some cosmic playground: Do you want to play? Do you want to be friends?
May this be of benefit.
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