“The feeling of joy and happiness is now taking firm hold within your hearts and emotional bodies and it will be much easier for you to stay in a positive frame of mind with grace and ease, rather than the sense of struggle you experienced before.” (Master Hilarion through Marlene Swetlishoff, Jan. 16-23, 2011.)
When I look back on the journey that life has been, I sense a lifelong trend which is very hard to put into words. The nearest I can come to it is to think of emerging from one confining circumstance after another. To be suggestive, I could use a metaphor and compare it to a lobster or a crab endlessly growing and repeatedly moulting its shell.
Or an ape evolving into a human and the human evolving into an angel. Always it has felt like a movement from something duller to something brighter, something heavier to something lighter, something confining to something liberating. And it has been going on throughout life and now not only continues but accelerates.
With each passing week I feel better, brighter, more joyful, just as Master Hilarion said. Even in this latest epsiode of feeling burned out, my recovery took just one or two days. I was going by recollections of what burnout was like in past years – it took weeks or months to recover. But not a few days.
And there is something more. This is so hard to capture in words. I can feel it and know it. But it’s hard to describe.
There is an increasing sense of solidity, or stability, or groundedness. It’s gotten to be where I don’t really care what happens. If things are going well, this is good. If they are going poorly, I find myself saying these days, this is interesting. This will lead somewhere. Let’s see where it goes.
Or, oh, great, a breakdown. Where will the breakthrough come from? What will I learn from this?
I almost look forward to the breakdowns (OK, OK, not really). They are quite entertaining. How will we solve this one? Or what will we shed? Like the car in the ad from which the snow breaks away, revealing the shiny new car underneath, which then streaks away from the camera. I too feel as if some veil or obstruction is falling away.
I feel today the way I used to feel after a ten-day Vipassana retreat. Here I am on Day Ten. We used to calculate carefully whom we’d spend our first few minutes with after emerging from a ten-day retreat because, for about an hour, we sounded like saints. And we calculated who we’d like to see us in this space, whom we’d like to be saints with.
I feel as if I’m on Day Ten now. And I haven’t meditated in days, never mind ten days of meditating.
I don’t get things I want and I’m no longer fazed. I get things I don’t want and it doesn’t matter. In one strange sense, I’m not even here. I mean I am, but I’m not. Sometimes it feels like I’m just going through the motions. Feel hunger; swallow some food. Feel thirst; pour something down my throat. I might as well be on autopilot for all the interest I have in anything that once was the central focus of my life.
And it doesn’t feel scarey or off-base or like going down the wrong tunnel. But then all considerations of what might be wrong or off-base are suddenly no longer there.
This is going to sound weird, but it’s as if 3D won’t do it for me anymore. Even the best that 3D has to offer shows up like ho-hum. Trip to Mexico? Naw. Steak at the Keg? No, I’m happy with what I have in the fridge, thanks. Movie? Not unless it’s really, really good.
I’m happy just sitting here. Park my body. Forget what’s happening around me. Just breathe.
But not just breathe. This is all going somewhere. This ain’t the end of the journey. Y’know, if every day I’ve felt more and more like this in the recent past, then tomorrow this groundedness, stability, and equanimity should increase even more. Right? Why not? It has a lifelong trend to it. Why would it end here?
Well, time to close it down for the day. What hour is it? What day is it? Where am I? I’m here, in a space of deep peace and serenity, undisturbed, desiring nothing. THIS is awakening.