Awake Awareness to Open Ground
This entry is Part 1 of two parts on my now moving along an axis of attainment once again after eight months of integrating the gains of Mahamudra awake awareness (AA) into an increasingly pared-down human life.
Desire to Return to Some Effort in the Practice
When I last met with my teacher, before the recent embodiment retreat, I brought forward with some new, almost accusatory emphasis my feeling odd that I’m not “progressing.” I told him that I felt I was in some kind of holding pen.
It was kind of stupid for me to be saying so, because I had agreed with him after attainment of Mahamudra AA in July 2015 that it would be a good idea for me to integrate the gains with my everyday life, to pull my energies back down to earth, and to sort my chief psychological issue, which is my codependent relationships with alcoholics and other emotionally shut off men who represent my father. As a practitioner, I had driven myself hard for a year, after all, my hair having been on fire for awakening since the Arising and Passing Away Event of summer 2013 and even more so since stream entry (or whatever one wants to insist on calling or not calling it) on August 8, 2014. I also had spent more than 800 hours working on MCTB2 with Daniel Ingram and roosting with some intensity in that turbulent relationship and those much healthier other relationships of the Dharma Underground. I had sacrificed my health, sleep, exercise, family time, most entertainment, and contact with my nondharma friends and extended family.
It was time, after AA, to unravel that yearlong knot, the most driven and transformative year of my life, and return to the basics of being an ordinary human being. And, actually, although I parted ways with Daniel this past October (almost 6 months ago now), I’m only now beginning to get even my sleep and work schedules normalized. Next is exercise, enjoyment of nature, creative writing, and homemaking. I’ve pared down my relationships, my commitments, and my urge to make a new dharma community happen. As my wise teacher said, I needed to stop running and feel my losses, as well as my gains.
Liberation of a Terror-Stricken and Numbed Out Third Chakra
I once read that, even as inside every schizoid and numb man resides a hysteric, inside every hysterical woman there is a split-off and numbed outcropping of self.
Nearly “by accident,” as if there were such a thing as accidents, I discovered a teaching and practice on the third chakra and gravitated to it nightly for months. I found it easy, from awakened awareness, to release into that otherwise tense and numb center in the body. Sheer terror was stored there I discovered. From meditation on that center, I experienced first that it pulsed and thumped like a second heart. Weeks later it began to rotate and open out as I simply sat and rested awakened awareness into it. You see, at this point on the path, I am awake, but now awakening has to do its work. Practice is much simpler and more refined because the agent of it has been recognized as not Jenny. I rest in the natural state, and it does the work.
I had conversed with my teacher about my insights into the patterns of psychosomatic reactivity there in the solar plexus, that third chakra. The dispute with Daniel had given me plenty of opportunity to observe that even my own righteous aggression frightened me. The terror and nausea from the pain Daniel caused me, and the pain of my anger back at him, ballooned upward from the solar plexus and spread as a wave of heat-flush over my chest and shoulders, and then down my back. A simple email from him or his lawyer would do this to me, even though my mind was free, still, and expansive and the emotion moved through quickly and evaporated.
Polarization of the Victim and the Perpetrator
My teacher talked with me about how the victim and the perpetrator are bound together –a holdout duality. I have been so identified with being a victim, since I was a baby and underwent many surgeries in addition to living in a violent alcoholic household, that even my own fierceness makes me feel victimized by it. Interestingly, this kind-hearted man, my teacher, told me, “The only way to undo that polarity is to be willing to be the perpetrator, for then the victim and the perpetrator will neutralize each other.” He didn’t mean that I should be a perpetrator in conduct, or not necessarily; he meant that awake awareness hadn’t had a chance to “practice” from within the very volatile and intense energies fueling terror and rage. I had to learn to relax into those instances in which my fierceness is called for.
Awake awareness, focused on that area of the body, unknotted that polarity. So some “untethered selfing process,” as DreamWalker calls subtle obscurations that remain after the subject drops out and the vast expanse of the field opens up, seems to have stopped, to have been liberated. I can see the threatening email come now and think “oh shit.” But there is absolutely no grab viscerally or emotionally, no balloon from the power center and no contraction at the heart center.
Of course, the path is cyclical, so it may well be that, although third chakra seems to be open now, more is later to be discovered there. Work with the body as ground, as Mother, will continue.
Part 2 will discuss some terminology and the way onward in practice.