The Pendulum Swings

Tuesday 23 July, 2019

It looked for a while as though the previous post would be the last for some time. The videos we had been working on had come to an abrupt end, and I had resolved to use the time to focus on the discoveries and insights of the last three years. More meditation, more letting go, and more of the emptiness I had touched the previous year. It worked – at least for the time I was focused – but then things started to happen.

A meeting with a friend left me questioning what I was doing; a holiday interrupted the practice; books were recommended to me; two different treatment sessions brought me more deeply into my body; and then, finally, someone I knew years ago took their own life.

I will explore the myriad events of the last few months in more detail over subsequent posts. This one is just an index of those occurrences and how they bled into each other, leading to a slow-burning, yet powerful shift.

  1. The Instruction Manual & Tile 9 videos stop.
  2. Six weeks’ of increased meditation begins.
  3. A Qi Gong workshop in which a focus on the body is enough to quieten the mind; and an awareness of gravity is sufficient to ground the self in Mother Earth.
  4. The meditation ends when a holiday begins. Worthy of note because, as good as it was, it did not survive a change of routine.
  5. A coffee with a friend turns my head back towards the body (This is where the first book was recommended: Grounded Spirituality by Jeff Brown.)
  6. A body treatment with the same friend brings forth a deep emotional reaction amid the realisation that my younger self lacked the guidance he needed.
  7. During a family get-together, a chance and brief discussion about generational pain raises the subject of trauma. (Here, the second book is recommended: The Body Keeps The Score by Bessel van der Kolk.)
  8. An old acquaintance takes his own life. This one broke the dam. I felt deeply saddened. For days afterwards, three thoughts occupied my mind: (1) What a loss – he really was one of the good ones. (2) His enlightened experience and accumulated wisdom were not enough to keep him here. (3) How many other kids have smiles on their faces but pain in their hearts?
  9. An acupuncture session in which, thanks to the previous body treatment, I was able to talk more effortlessly about the pain in my body. From there, the inevitable correlation between my lower back and who I am was too obvious to ignore.

Emotionally raw from the death of a beautiful soul, and fresh from the realisation that my body is a clear, physical display of my own withdrawal, numbness and pain, I ordered the two books and began reading. 58 pages into the latter, and 148 pages into the former, a realisation is dawning with impressive force:

I am my body to a far greater degree than I have ever registered. Furthermore my body continues to carry the sorrow of my early traumas. Having done so much work with Karaj and having eventually moved gratefully, eagerly – maybe even arrogantly – towards a spiritual emptiness, the pendulum has swung again. I am being brought back to my earthly self to ‘finish’ what I started.


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