This last month, the world has seemingly shifted by more degrees than usual. Sometimes there are big shifts – a bomb lands, or the earth is fracked – the same thing really except with one we see the devastation and repercussions, and the other we don’t. At least not immediately…These things are frightening and tend to make us withdraw, play safe. But we are each powerful and need to step into that more than ever because our leaders are not leading us.
The evidence that we are privy to shows that our Western leaders are acting in destructive ways. From the easy availability and unmitigated use of chemicals that decimate bees to grand-scale destruction of rainforests; from the spending of millions on defence to bomb innocent people while our education and health systems suffer from under-funding…to the flushing of chemo-therapy drugs into our waterways, lies about its efficacy and profits to pharmaceutical companies at what cost? Hmmm… our lives.
In the face of all that we know to be out of order, I have many times felt helpless and powerless. And it’s not true. One person can inspire. One person can speak the truth and make a difference. That difference can be the small shift that leads to larger changes that save lives. We do know this. I can aim to be the best that I can be…and pray for the Grace for whatever inner shifts need to take place for that to happen. Sometimes seismic shifts within allow old conditioning, habits and addictions to fall away; that give us the freedom to be true to ourselves and not care about what others think.
Guided introspective coaching points the way to the truth of who you are, so you can take action from authenticity. In the process, meeting the pain from the past may not be easy, but we pass through far more quickly than our mind fears… and on the other side? Power, potential, energy just waiting in the stillness. There’s no going back. I love facilitating this work with people.
Old programmes of conditioning can dissolve with meditation and self-enquiry. There can be a sense of groundlessness when limitations imposed by safe and reliable default patterns of being in the world are no longer there. And a seemingly paradoxical groundedness in the spaciousness; the stillness at the core of our being. Virginia Woolf knew about this. Now is life very solid or very shifting? She asked…This has gone on forever; goes down to the bottom of the world – this moment I stand on. Also it is transitory, flying, diaphanous. Yes.
 Virginia Woolf, Diary, III, London: Bloomsbury, 4th January, 1929, p. 218
Wonderful Suzanne, yet you modestly omit to mention the great courage an exploration such as yours demands of one.
Thank you Hariod… I suspect that you know this from personal experience. I could write another essay on courage! It will be about my friend who lives in Kabul and others. Thank you for the inspiration.
That sounds as though it could be a very interesting article Suzanne; whoever suspected that standing at the edge of a totally silent mind could be a fear-inducing experience? Even the dreariest, most meaningless or subtle form of mentation is clung to in response, or so it seems to me.
Oh yes! And the challenge is to take care with self-judgement, and be gentle instead. I very much like Pema Chodron’s (where to find the proper ‘o’s?) teaching – when you notice thinking, say ‘thinking’ in a way that is like touching a feather to a bubble!
I find stillness in painting – mostly geometric abstraction – the immersion in colours and their interactions is so…silence-inducing!
I think you are in Australia(?), and so you may have a U.S.-International Windows(?) keyboard. If you have, then press the ‘Alt Gr’ key and ‘P’ simultaneously to produce an ‘O’ with an umlaut: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AltGr_key
That is a lovely technique for noting percepts, invoking just the right lightness of touch. I was trained in Vipassana techniques akin to those of Mahasi Sayadaw, S.N. Goenka et al, so recognise the methodology.
Oh, I love geometric abstraction, and my former partner was a professional painter working in precisely that genre. I use of lot of such images on my site – do you have a site where you show your work Suzanne?
P.S. I think this is an older site of yours, and perhaps that is why your responses do not show in my WordPress notifications area? I have to look into the dashboard under ‘comments I’ve made’ to find responses, but that only gives a limited selection, so please forgive me if I miss anything.