A Broad View: You’re each the poison and the antidote

Read Time:22 Minute, 9 Second

2022-07-27 18:00:00

“I’m each the poison and the antidote.”

Rupi Kaur

He who creates a poison, additionally has the remedy.
He who creates a virus, additionally has the antidote.
He who creates chaos, additionally has the flexibility to create peace.
He who sparks hate, additionally has the flexibility to remodel it to like.
He who creates distress, additionally has the flexibility to destroy it with kindness.
He who creates unhappiness, additionally has the flexibility to transform it to happiness.
He who creates darkness, will also be woke up to provide illumination.
He who spreads worry, will also be shaken to unfold consolation.
Any issues created by the left hand of man,
Will also be solved with the suitable,
For he who manifests something,
Additionally has the flexibility to
Destroy it

― Suzy Kassem

It’s the summer time of strolling. I stroll till my physique aches. Already exhausted from working from dwelling with 4 children, I shove my ft into scuffed Nikes, double knot the laces, and stroll out my entrance door. I by no means look again. Generally I slip in earbuds, different instances, choosing quiet, I stroll for hours and miles across the Pennsylvania valley by which I stay.

I do know the trail I take by way of the emerald summer time countryside in addition to I do know my yard. I do know which Amish farmers I’m prone to go relying on the time of day and who amongst their many youngsters likes it after I wave to them and which of them will duck their heads shyly then goggle-eye me after I go. The “English” lady with the scandalous skin-bearing tank tops and quick shorts.

I do know which animals are concerned with my look and can maintain tempo with me as I go their fields and those that startle and bolt after I enter their senses. I do know which canines will bark guardedly, those who will wag good day, and those who will disinterestedly sniff my scent on the air earlier than lazily returning snouts to entrance paws.

I do know precisely the place I flip and the inexperienced hills open up like a large smile and permit the breeze somersaulting down the valley to raise the damp hair from my brow and dry the sweat. I do know the precise a part of the steep highway that leads previous the centuries-old cemetery I relaxation in the place my quadriceps muscular tissues will start to burn in a manner that pleases me.

Along with your ft on the air and your head on the bottom
Do this trick and spin it, yeah
Your head will collapse
However there’s nothing in it
And also you’ll ask your self

The place is my thoughts?


Three notable issues occurred to me in 2020. The primary, clearly, was a pandemic that additionally occurred to everybody else on the planet. The ensuing lockdown allowed me the privateness and time to lastly develop out my eyebrows after three many years of violent over-plucking – that may be notable factor two. Anybody who has tried to develop out their eyebrows is aware of it’s a daunting course of requiring dedication and seclusion. Lastly, I skilled a fantastic – what some folks name – “awakening.”

Some of the easy definitions of that which is so tough to outline comes from psychotherapist and meditation trainer, Loch Kelly:

As a result of we’re within the behavior of specializing in fast-moving ideas and robust feelings, and of in search of happiness exterior ourselves, we don’t discover awake consciousness, which is all the time right here. We’re too busy targeted on the previous or the longer term and never on what is correct right here. Awakening begins with shifting out of the best way we manage our present thoughts and id. Whenever you shift out of your typical sense of self, there’s a spot of not-knowing. Awake consciousness is who we’re previous to the non-public conditioning we normally flip to for our id. Relatively than trying to our ideas, recollections, character, or roles to establish ourselves, we study to know awake consciousness as the first dimension of who we’re…Some of the necessary issues to study is learn how to separate consciousness from pondering. Solely then can we see that ideas and feelings aren’t the middle of who we’re.

A special manner of current on this planet. One other vantage from which to soak up actuality. It modified the best way I understand and expertise my life. The newfound capacity to transcend not simply the labels and classes we depend on to prepare the world however to have the ability to shift out of my ego-driven character right into a form of limitless consciousness has resulted in essentially the most intense reduction I’ve ever skilled.

Like everybody, my life has been riddled with anxiousness, stress, disgrace, unhappiness, guilt, anger, and harm – till I spotted that each one these feelings stem from being misplaced in an id created and operated by my ideas and perceptions.

“I’m each the poison and the antidote.”

On the stroll round my valley, I play with my consciousness and notion in delight and incredulity. This has all the time been right here and I by no means knew it. How can that be?

Neo unplugging from the Matrix.

I attempt to ship my consciousness someplace exterior of my head. In actual fact, I attempt to neglect I actually have a head. Generally, I stroll behind myself and see me as if I’m following myself. Or I ship my consciousness to a fowl and look at me from that drone perspective. A carload of individuals drives by and I see myself – the middle-aged lady strolling on the aspect of the highway – from their eyes. I shoot my consciousness into the horses and cows and expertise me – this unusual, different being – staring again at them with grave curiosity. What’s it prefer to be a cow? How do I seem to a cow? How does a cow understand the universe with its cow retinas and corneas and different cow senses?

People are vision-based however some animals have completely different dominant senses. They are saying cows can scent one thing as much as six miles away and as I stare into their monumental, doleful eyes I ponder in the event that they knew I used to be coming lengthy earlier than I arrived of their sight view.

Typically they trot proper to the fence to expertise me. Ever seen a cow run? It’s the fucking that means of the universe, I let you know what. Breathless, they arrive. We’ve been anticipating you, they appear to stoically impart.

Cows have nearly panoramic, 360-degree imaginative and prescient. They will see almost all the best way round them so they might seem like you however they might be checking one thing out in a wholly completely different route.

“When a person now not confuses himself with the definition of himself that others have given him, he’s directly common and distinctive.”

Alan Watts

Throughout that surreal pandemic summer time of 2020, after years of yoga-ing, Namaste-ing and principally irritating meditating and questioning what the hell all this “non-duality” discuss was about I lastly empirically understood the idea of No Self. Full, experiential consciousness that ‘Monica’ is only a assemble. A group of experiences and recollections my mind clings to with the intention to create an id and validate all of the bullshit by which I immerse myself.

That psychic assemble stands firmly in the best way of recent dimensions of expertise for most individuals. It’s your ego operating your psychological present like some form of wild-haired, frothing conductor forcing the orchestra to play the identical music time and again though 1000’s of achingly lovely symphonies are on the market for the listening. For the experiencing.

At first, it was scary. This new existence felt all loosey-goosey, like using in a automotive with out a seatbelt. After years of believing I used to be a novel soul, a particular youngster of God, capital G, elevatored down from Heaven, capital H, to stay on this world earlier than returning dwelling to Him, capital H, I used to be frightened of this huge, interconnected oneness with everybody and all the pieces.

Seems, understanding that the ideas that ‘Monica’ thinks are simply random projections on the display of my thoughts based mostly on the best way expertise has conditioned my mind to reply through the years is a DELIGHT, all caps. It’s a delight to appreciate that this inner dialogue of ideas I beforehand took to be me is generally bullshit. They’re clouds passing within the blue sky of the ever-present consciousness.

How do you describe what’s in the end indescribable? That which transcends language? The factor about most Buddhist-y/awakening notions is you could learn and pay attention and browse some extra and really feel like you already know and perceive a factor intellectually however experiencing it’s a wholly completely different matter. Otherwise you learn and Reddit and all of it seems like unobtainable mystical/self-help nonsense.

For years – a decade, even – I assumed I understood the purpose of meditation. I believed it was a form of wrestle to tame your “monkey thoughts” and attain some mysterious bliss or nirvana state that possibly seemed like somebody having fun with a summertime 7Up in a nineties industrial. I simply wanted to maintain working at disciplining my rowdy thoughts.

I turned misplaced within the mechanics or performativity of it: How lengthy ought to I do that? Am I sitting proper? What if I can’t do full lotus? Can I put my legs like this? That hurts. Does hurting imply I’m doing it proper? Or is that unhealthy? That individual appears to be like like they know what they’re doing. What cushion are they sitting on? I can buy that. Do I want to carry my arms and fingers within the methods I see supposedly enlightened folks doing on TV and Instagram? The longer I might sit, no matter aches and pains and squirming – the nearer I used to be to Buddha-hood, I assumed.

Humorous how my meditation endeavors ended up a lot like my experiences in Mormonism. Striving, struggling, all the time making an attempt to do higher however feeling like I’d by no means be adequate. Similar to praying to the Mormon god as a baby, my meditation apply was all posture and no substance. I used to be making an attempt too laborious for frustratingly little acquire. Lastly, I spotted that making an attempt so laborious was truly the issue. I ought to’ve recognized. Time and time once more in my life I’ve realized that it’s within the letting go the place the true leveling up happens.

Meditation, for me, is now not a quiet thoughts, a psychological place or state I attempt to attain. It’s in recognizing what’s already right here. The common consciousness that’s omnipresent beneath minds consistently spinning their thought webs. After all of the wrestle it was in the end as straightforward as altering the channel on my notion. A shift, an improve of my consciousness, thoughts, and self. I lastly understood that my restricted perspective is barely a small a part of a vaster actuality.

“An individual who thinks on a regular basis has nothing to consider besides ideas. So he loses contact with actuality and lives in a world of phantasm.”

Alan Watts

Sweating, bonneted Amish girls wield gas-powered whackers and provides roadside weeds the identical flat-top haircut the Walmart stylists ‘spherical these components will give your child it doesn’t matter what haircut you ask for. The weed-whacking brigade wears cumbersome clothes defying the temperature and black plastic, wraparound gasoline station sun shades. They dutifully throw the compulsory Amish Wave my manner, tan traces befitting a long-haul trucker’s window arm peeking at me from beneath their sleeves. We’re so completely different. However the identical.

I’m he as you might be he as you might be me
And we’re all collectively

—Paul McCartney and John Lennon.

I routinely rescue caterpillars and centipedes from sure tire dying, gently inserting them within the grass and weeds alongside the highway. The wind blows deliciously. An Amish child scooters previous throwing a nod as conspiratorial as the ever present motorbike wave. Within the distance, some nation bro with a customized exhaust system revs his rig and I notice I’ve been having an argument in my head with somebody in my life with whom I consistently wrestle.

The identical fucking individual. The identical drained argument.

As soon as I clock that I’m misplaced in thought I snap again to now. Generally I think about a thought as if it’s a fowl in my arms and I open them broad and watch the fowl/thought fly away, like a marriage day bride releasing some unhappy, imprisoned dove-for-hire in a wierd celebration of affection. Different instances the ideas are automobiles driving previous me on a highway. I observe the automobiles as they go. Inevitably I get in a single and it whisks me away. Once I notice I’ve been kidnapped by a thought once more I come again to the current, cease the automotive, get out and watch because it continues on down the highway.

Preserve releasing birds, getting out of the automotive.

We spend most of our lives misplaced in ideas we mistake for actuality. Over-analyzing the previous which nearly actually invokes disgrace and guilt or anger and self-righteousness. Or we expertise dread and anxiousness about future occasions that haven’t occurred and certain might by no means even occur.

Ideas aren’t actuality, simply projections on a wall. They don’t even exist. As Nancy Colier astutely factors out in Psychology Right this moment, “We’re all in our personal separate theaters, witnessing totally completely different reveals, and but we behave as if we’re in the identical viewers, watching the exact same occasion we name life.”

Our ideas don’t exist exterior of our personal consciousness. Assume a factor about your mother, your companion, your partner. Or your ex. Assume one thing, a well-known narrative, about somebody you dislike. You’re sure it’s the fact. Truth. It’s a factor you already know. You righteously inform it to folks as a result of it’s your fact, dammit! However the individual you suppose the considered isn’t pondering that factor. They’ve a wholly completely different narrative. Fairly actually, for those who cease pondering the thought, it doesn’t exist.

POOF. Gone. Magic.

Moreover, you didn’t even select to have the thought. It simply clouded the blue sky of your consciousness while you had been having fun with your day. You’ll be able to select to make a thought actual by specializing in it and speaking about it with different folks and making an attempt to persuade them of its validity after which it appears much more actual. You’re manifesting a actuality, primarily.

Conversely, for those who observe the thought with out judgment, let it go like watching a cloud take completely different formations because it strikes overhead or a automotive passing you on the highway… It’s gone. Like standing up within the movie show, turning on the sunshine and searching on the wall the place the film you had been simply misplaced in was being projected. Nothing’s there. It’s only a wall.

Just a little scary to appreciate most ideas are simply thoughts projections we don’t essentially select or management but in addition tremendous liberating! As a result of I believe a variety of fucked up shit, primarily directed at myself. To let all of it go as random bits of psychological phenomena is a present. As Pema Khandro Rinpoche wrote, “…the extra prepared and ready we shall be to let go of this notion of an inherent actuality and permit that valuable pot to slide out of our arms…We begin to see how conditional who-I-am-ness actually is, how even that doesn’t present dependable floor upon which to face.”

“The longer term is an idea, it doesn’t exist. There isn’t a such factor as tomorrow. There by no means shall be, as a result of time is all the time now. That’s the one factor we uncover once we cease speaking to ourselves and cease pondering. We discover there may be solely current, solely an everlasting now.”

Alan Watts

If you concentrate on it, the current second, RIGHT NOW, you notice it’s all you may have and the one true actuality. The previous is gone and any ideas you may have about it pollute your current. The previous solely exists in your ideas. A examine from Northwestern reveals your reminiscence is just like the Phone Sport. Each time you bear in mind an occasion your mind networks change in methods that may alter the later recall of the occasion. The subsequent time you bear in mind it, you would possibly recall not the unique occasion however what you remembered the earlier time. Finally, what you bear in mind might barely resemble the unique occasion.

“A reminiscence shouldn’t be merely a picture produced by time touring again to the unique occasion — it may be a picture that’s considerably distorted due to the prior instances you remembered it,” mentioned Donna Bridge, a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern College Feinberg Faculty of Drugs. “Your reminiscence of an occasion can develop much less exact even to the purpose of being completely false with every retrieval.” 

What I’d say is neglect about making an attempt to grow to be extra current; that may simply be one other type of in search of. It’s a wonderful thought, but it surely’s nonetheless the identical in search of mechanism. ‘Someday I’ll be current!’ In the end, you can’t grow to be extra current; for you are presence itself. Just like the phrase ‘non-duality’, presence is simply one other pointer to life as it’s. It’s one other pointer again to who you actually are. There may be already presence and there may be solely presence. Every little thing is already showing in presence.

There may be solely this second. The previous and the longer term occur now; they seem in this presence, as this presence. There are recollections concerning the previous and ideas concerning the future showing on this presence. All of it occurs now. Each sound is a gift sound; you’ve by no means heard a sound that wasn’t now. You’ve by no means heard a sound up to now and also you don’t hear a sound sooner or later! You’ve by no means smelled something that wasn’t smelled now. In the end, you’ve by no means seen something that isn’t seen now. It’s all current!

Jeff Foster

I’ve spent years of my life obsessing concerning the previous – whether or not it was self-righteous anger over what I understand somebody did to me or, extra probably, shamefully reliving what I understand as my very own embarrassing or unhealthy habits. Equally, I’ve misplaced hours to dread and anxiousness about attainable future eventualities normally about work, cash, and relationships.

What a waste. All I can react and reply to is correct now. The longer term shall be now sooner or later and I can take care of it then. I wish to be an open house by which all tales come and go with out me holding on to them or rejecting them.

As I stroll I permit my thoughts to softly slide right into a hyper-aware, panoramic circulation state, absolutely experiencing my little half within the universe expressing itself. Millipedes and ants trundle between my Nike steps, birds chirp, swooping and diving overhead, rustling leaves create shifting gentle patterns on the highway, and automobiles go over the kaleidoscopic leaf impressions.

The folks within the automobiles are on their telephones speaking to family members in different states or nations. These folks residing their lives stepping over ants and below birds. These birds flying elsewhere above folks strolling alongside roads as different folks drive previous them speaking to their family members… All of us are interconnected, our lives like waves forming for just a few transient moments earlier than cresting and rejoining the ocean. The wave is separate from the ocean however additionally it is the ocean.

It’s a miracle any of this, any of us, exists in any respect.

“Actuality is skinny ice and most of the people skate on it their complete lives and by no means fall by way of till the very finish.”

—Stephen King

The attention that’s all the time there beneath my ideas doesn’t really feel connected to my Monica-ness. It’s the house that opens up in my consciousness after I smother my ego. My thoughts resting with out attachment to my narratives. Free-floating, timeless house the place I can mercifully drop out of the tales my ideas inform me are actuality. A spot of no time. No previous, no future. No need or want. Empty, open, consciousness revealing itself.

Cease making an attempt to enhance your expertise. Let or not it’s what it’s. Expertise what you might be experiencing with out judgment, with out labeling it pretty much as good or unhealthy, and with out making an attempt to change or escape it. Play along with your consciousness. Observe how your thoughts works. Finally, you’ll discover what’s deeper than the apparent narrative e.g. “I’m late for work and caught in visitors and this sucks.”

What lies beneath the expertise? The attention that’s all the time there, even while you aren’t conscious of it. I’m not speaking concerning the self you may have constructed because the experiencer. YOU ARE THE EXPERIENCE.

You’re a verb, not a noun. Pay attention to that as usually as you’ll be able to. Creator and psychologist John Astin explains it so properly:

What are you? Have a look at your expertise proper now. This huge symphony of sensations regularly arising after which passing away. This multitude of energies that seems after which vanishes in a flash. This kaleidoscope of flickering ideas and emotions, right here for an immediate after which gone. An infinite array of experiential textures and qualities bursting forth after which disappearing similar to that. May or not it’s that each one of that’s what you might be? Now ask your self if this matches the standard notions it’s possible you’ll maintain about your self as a hard and fast, strong, bounded creature. Actually take a look at what’s right here and it’s possible you’ll uncover that you simply’re not, actually, mounted however are endlessly on the transfer, all the time shifting, all the time being reshaped. Perhaps what you might be is that this ever-flowing ever-fluctuating dynamism that has no discernible edge or boundary to it. A ceaseless unpredictable explosion of life that by no means holds nonetheless for even a second. May or not it’s that what you might be is sort of actually past any definition or classification? Perhaps the very best we will say about ourselves is that we’re cosmic shape-shifters. By no means resolving as anyone factor however solely ever a universe of inconceivable, indescribable qualities and traits, like a thousand, million flavors being tasted every immediate.

“Get up,” your consciousness whispers to your cluttered thoughts and all of it comes collectively in a lightning strike of consciousness.

But, the current is so slippery. We flail. We grasp for The Subsequent Factor. The subsequent id.

I’m studying to pause and float on my again within the river of life. Full consciousness inside as many moments as attainable. A form of intestine test, eye contact second with myself as usually as I can.

Hey lady, heeey…

A lot life wasted. All of us are burdened by deep canyons we’ve climbed out of or steep mountains looming ominously on the horizon. Most of us spend all of the moments between start and dying in that previous/future thought trance. As Alan Watts mentioned, “No quantity of hysteria makes any distinction to something that’s going to occur.”

All of life is one huge transitional state between start and dying. Be right here now. Drink it up. Huge thirsty water gulps or savoring purple wine sips. No matter your pleasure. Savor all of it. Unzip your pores and skin go well with and let your consciousness fly free, you lovely freak.

I see you child, shakin that thang, shakin that thang, shakin that thang…

Now Studying/Watching/Listening:

Studying: What My Bones Know: A Memoir of Therapeutic From Advanced Trauma by Stephanie Foo. This one was really useful by my therapist and I’m seeing a lot of my very own life wrestle on each web page. The proper mixture of memoir and self-help, Stephanie chronicles her prognosis with C-PTSD and the work she’s doing to heal herself.

Watching: I don’t take note of popular culture as a lot as I used to so possibly this one is apparent for many, however for those who haven’t seen the film The Worst Particular person In The World, it’s streaming now on Hulu. It has subtitles. I watched it alone in mattress when Cory was out of city and it was the right expertise.

Listening: Daisy Jones & The Six. This was my responsible seaside trip audiobook. I all the time have one or two books occurring Audible and one or two precise books on my nightstand. I lastly caved after all of the reward and listened to this and I actually cherished it in a responsible pleasure, watching 90210 reruns form of manner. The audiobook expertise was excellent as a result of there are such a lot of characters and it’s rather well achieved. I believe I wouldn’t have favored it as a lot had I truly learn the e book. If you happen to haven’t learn this one but, go for the audiobook! Then wormhole Fleetwood Mac, hearken to the Rumours album and google Stevie Nicks & Lindsey Buckingham. Stevie Nicks, man. What a powerhouse of a human. An actual lady’s lady.

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