Vulnerable and Safe 2
This morning, as I was practicing what I wrote about yesterday, I wondered if it would help to write a bit more concretely about how we can stay present both with our feelings and with the ground of being.
When I’m present to the world of feelings, I am in effect saying: “Yep, I feel scared. Yep, I feel angry. Yep, I feel hurt, sad, embarrassed, ashamed, excited, nervous, jealous, joyful …. Yep, I feel a yearning inside. Yep, I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. Yep, I wish I didn’t have so much on my plate right now.” My intention, here, is to acknowledge and accept whatever I’m experiencing. It is what it is.
When uncomfortable feelings arise, my automatic response takes me right to my head – either to analyze and figure out the feeling so I can control it and make it go away or to dive into the swamp of thoughts and stories that bury me more deeply in the feeling, keeping me mired in it, preventing it’s natural movement through me.
When I’m more mindful, I move into my body and into my heart. I breathe. I hold my feeling self in that larger, heart-space inside – a space that’s not always easy to find. For some of us, visualizing helps – imagining ourselves literally being held or being enveloped in the heart of the universe, or perhaps surrounded in light or cherished by a loving presence. For me, there’s no clear image; rather, a felt sense of a vast, nameless, quiet energy field of compassion and kindness. While I locate this field within me, I sense that it’s also around me and beyond me, yet not separate from me. Over time and with practice, I’ve become more familiar with this quiet, inner spaciousness.
Meditation practices can connect us - both to our felt experience and to the larger ground of being in which experience happens. Meditation helps us make room for the mystery that we are both the experiencer and the immense, loving witness of the experience.
In mystery’s embrace, we find wholeness – our smallness and our vastness, our vulnerability and our safety.