STOPPING. . . . Your Daily Companion

19 Sep 2017 • John Tarasin

1...”My flight was at 2.40pm and I still had to get home, do some slashing in the front paddock and work in the studio before making my way to the airport. The old Kombi was revving through the winding country forest road. It was beautiful, but I couldn’t see it. Not right now. All I felt was tension and “not enough”. Not enough time, not enough understanding from others or myself. As I raced, it struck me that I am racing from one activity to another. I took a deep breathe and reduced my speed from 60/70kms to about 30kms. I was immediately overwhelmed by a thick warm energy. I felt that all would be ok. There was time or not time for everything. The consequences were in my mind. My body was reacting to impending consequences created by my mind. 

The connection between belief /mind to frantic action had stopped.. The 'driver' within had gone just by having that insight. I couldn’t seem to drive slow enough to match the feeling of my slow experience. . ." The warm rich sensation of breath filling my chest stomach and body..moving yet still in my action.

2…”It was early morning and I'd risen with that familiar cold and steely tension in my solar plexus. It felt grey and things were not right in my world.

I sat on my foam mats to support my buttocks and knees for a lengthy 'sit'. I was prepared to sit for as long as it took. I had practiced a Tibetan style of sitting with deep, slow and rhythmic controlled breathe leading to visualisations to calm and prepare my mind. 

This morning I let my mind run.. Being mindful not to get involved or too involved. Some thoughts seemed more sticky than others.

I thought about how I used to try and catch the horse in the open paddock. Approaching forcefully with the intent to catch and control the horse so I could ride it. This was a very difficult task. Consequently I allowed my thoughts to be. I felt my hips release and relax and that familiar warm supportive relaxation as my knees stretched into the foam mat. Soon, my heart and solar plexus felt very uncomfortable. Felt very uneasy and painful… as I maintained awareness of my breathe. Small tears began forming at the edges of my eyes and leant forward a bit, seeking relief. The muscles in my back were tight and burning, while the pain and discomfort in my heart  and lungs increased.

I kept breathing  deeply staying with it, while I noticed my thoughts untamed and wild. I let them run, and breathed. After a short time I realised the sensations of my being appearing to be lofty. My internal 'view' seemed to rise and felt taller. Then there was uninvited bliss. Ignorance and bliss. While I sat in love and bliss breathing deeply and with a melting sensation, I recognised all my issues and problems in my life were self created. Yet aware that in ordinary daily life I would most likely still react to those challenges. Feeding their importance and reality. How could this be?”

3…"As I stared up at the whiteboard, there were no sure signs of income. The prospects ahead were non-existent, yet the bills and financial commitments ahead were sure, hard and unrelenting. The white heat of fear and annihilation swept over me. I felt like crying in despair. The unknowing, the memory of past success fading against this wall of disbelief and impending doom filled my experience. As I placed my hands on the bench beneath the white board, I breathed deeply and “held my hand” and asked earnestly, “Is this all true?”..  Will I ever earn money again?  Shall I be seen by the ones I love as a despicable failure? Does the immediate future hold this much gloom? What is the real most probable outcome? Live on the street in my car? I looked more closely as I breathed into the fear. This experience of fear swept into every part of my being- it felt complete and overwhelming. I entertained the worst case scenarios and asked: “is this really going to happen?... probably not.. and yet how would I feel if I was there in that outcome?  Clearly looking for the crack in the wall of annihilation. As I kept breathing with awareness into the fear, I noticed it beginning to disintegrate. Slowly, the tingling in my hands and feet moved to my heart and shoulders. The rigidity of fear melted and dropped like steel coat onto the floor. My mind saw options as calm filled my heart / mind. The tensions and rejection around the absolute outcomes based on fear and comparison to the past ie. relocating, living out of the car, personal failure and rejection...were no longer so abhorrent, just not so likely. If it happened, ok, I’d deal with it.. but without the tensions and wrangling. I would be 'there' with body and experiencing whatever situation I find myself."

It is the projection of the mind that creates scenarios of discomfort, failure, judgement, comparison and  the associated feelings with it.

The obverse is also true. The mind projects ideal scenarios and has associated good, successful and fulfilled feelings. Eg that great perfect partner / relationship, that house, that living situation, that freedom….any way out from that fixed, normal view of my current inflexible world …

... my companion in seeing the way out is "reminding myself to Stop and face the discomfort, the experience"...

Usually it is fear and anxiety in its multiple forms that isolate and capture ourselves. Don’t forget that the pursuit of relief and 'nice' is just as much of a trap. Stop, and feel the experience, maintain your position, breathe and wait. Allow the thoughts to run their course. Check if you are reacting to them emotionally. Allow it to 'flower' and transform.

I believe this is a capacity of human nature. We are built to feel all of our experiences and have the ability to stay with it, to breathe and allow that experience to transform.

We have forgotten our capacity to do this. To believe that we can, without particular training or follow any school of thought, unravel our fears and reveal to ourselves what truly keeps us hostage.

The Nirvana Jewellery bracelet acts as a friendly reminder and companion to face the present. To draw upon the bravery and capacity that we were born with to be present with what is. To be open to transform our fixed ideas about our very particular world.

Blessings to you,