Chaos to Metta to Equanimity in 40: Experimentation with Self-Inquiry
My sit began with jaw pain (wow that is such a weird stage symptom). I felt fine, though, otherwise. I was open to being bored, and perhaps therefore I wasn’t bored. Because I never know where I am at the beginning of a sit, tonight I started with my standby, which is Ajaan Lee’s Keeping the Breath in Mind.
One thing I love about this method (Lee’s Method 2) in the brief book is that you are allowed to change the breath as much as you want, because you are going to do so anyway, so at least you don’t repress that fact. Tonight I breathed much more deeply and slowly than usual, as if trying to feed or feel the world into whatever is knotted into a core in here.
I opened my eyes and saw very rapid mad vibrations, with crazy zigzagging swaths
of them in the periphery. Earlier when I tried to nap (and couldn’t) I had intense tingles all along the small of my back, so I just let them spread, to see how far they would go, which was pretty far but not my whole body. Oddly, although these sensations are jarring or irritating, I wasn’t bothered. I’ve seen them before.
Experimentation with Self-Inquiry
I remembered listening to the Vince Horn awakening interview from last evening, and suddenly started experimenting with dropping in those inquiries. I started with “What is this world?” This made everything open, resounding, and dropped down somewhat deeper. It occurs to me now as I type this that, hey, that is where that “What is this?” from my dreams last night came! Wow! Okay.
Where was I (process writing, ya’ll)? Next I asked, “What am I?” Not a whole lot with that one.
After some moments, I asked “Who am I?” Hrmm, that question suddenly made me feel contracted, isolated, and special. It brought up images of me as a child. Oddly, it also made my sense of the world, everything else, very resonating and much bassier.
Next I asked, “What is love?” And then like a little fool I had tears streaming down and was saying spontaneous nonformulaic metta for everyone, for Eric, for DW, for my boss and coworkers, for my beautiful boy, for my husband, for Daniel, for my friend Sheila, who has Lyme, for my dharma friends at work, and very intensely for X_X, who has helped me so generously and effectively. I almost forgot myself, but I didn’t. I felt this all so intensely because I felt that these people could actually feel this energy right then and where they were. It was shaking powerful.
And when that was over, I was sitting up perfectly straight, strong, true, blameless, and equanimous. Even with all that emotion, the equanimity was straight-up sanity.