AWARENESS IN THE MIDST OF PAIN

“When I look at the glory of the heavens I ask myself,

What is the greatest gift to emerge from all this?

The light of awareness, is the whisper of my heart.

I first thought love, or peace, or joy, but soon realized

that all of these emerge from the heart of awareness.

 

It is only through awareness that I may awaken to who I truly am.

Only awareness can penetrate the heart of a lie and expose it as an illusion.

No awareness, no truth, no story, no adventure, no love, no salvation, no enlightenment!

 

Oh awareness the most glorious gift to fall from the sky

No matter how far I wander away from myself,

you are always there, at home to greet me and ask

How was your day? What did you learn?

Look, see, understand, and be free!”

-Si Gong

Eventually, we all come around to the horror. We encounter the horrendous H’s, Hate, Hannibal Lecter, Hiroshima, and the Holocaust! We at some point explode “I am as mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore!” or “Stop the world, I want to get off!” After the temper tantrum, should we survive it, we are somehow able to wake up the next day, feel cranky, drink our coffee or pop a pill, smile at our cat, and figure out the show times for the next Spider Man movie. All part of the myriad of survival strategies on planet earth. Should you decide you want to change the world, hang on, you could very well be part of the next revolution that slaughters millions of people and installs the next corrupt hypocritical government? One that creates a new system of oppression and injustice, while at the same time toting its superiority, based on a set of ideals that it keeps on a shelf, but never lives up to!

“Mother, mother, mother, there’s far too many of you crying! Brother, brother, brother, there’s far too many of you dying! You know we got to find a way to bring some love in here today?” Thank you Marvin Gaye for posing a question we all ask or do our best to ignore. “What’s going on?”

I have been angry most of my life. The first part of my life I suppressed it, the second part I acted on it, and finally I overcame it.

In a world filled with injustice we all will deal with anger one way or another. We may be consumed in it, we may use at as fuel to survive or thrive, we might try to kill it with alcohol, drugs or some other preferred poison. Maybe we will ignore and suppress it until we begin to drown in sadness and depression. “But deal with it you will.” (Master Yoda)

When I finally arrived storm tossed on the island of my own awareness. I began to see that unless I found a healthy way to deal with anger and my entire emotional body, I was not going to survive on this God forsaken planet. I wasn’t going to be able to answer the question “What’s going on?” unless I first had a place above the fray from which to see it with clarity.

This turned out to be the temple of my own heart. This is where I was awakened to the power of pure awareness. This was not my conditioned mind, with its subconscious storehouse of repressed emotions. Or the gluttony of the collected opinions and beliefs I had gathered over the many years of my life. It was simply a place inside my heart where I could see purely without out any preconceived notions of the mind distorting the view. In this place I felt the presence of an awareness even greater than mine and became willing to see through its eyes. I felt the presence of a love even greater than mine and became willing to love with this love. This is where I found “MYSELF,” the one I had forgotten and no longer knew. This is when the restoration of my soul began. This light gave me the courage to look and see and begin to face my fears. Instead of running from my pain I began to look into it, from the vantage point of this pure awareness.

From the seat of my soul I began to see my emotions as children who always come offering a gift. I had been too consumed in my own pain and confusion to ever notice that they held a present in their trembling hands. I had either yelled at them and told them go back to their room, or I gave them the keys to the car and sat in the back seat terrified as the wreaked havoc on the town. In this case, the news the next morning was never good!

But now through meditation chanting, and prayer I found a place where I could just sit and be with my emotions, to listen to them, to hear their story, to comfort them, and to try to understand them. Once their tears, frustrations, and angers had been given a sympathetic ear, they smiled, and skipped off, to enjoy the day! As I sat alone and reflected on their message, I was filled with insight and understanding.

I began a journey of releasing the shadows and demons that had been haunting me my whole life. With each gift I began to understand myself and other people more. Underneath that litany of pain was the real me, still alive and breathing, and wanting a chance to live this life from a place of authenticity, hope, and courage.

One day as I sat with my anger, who was presenting me with just one of the ten thousand angers that still lived within me, I looked pass the anger on the surface. I looked deeper and into the wellspring from which all my angers had come into being? “IT’S NOT FAIR!!” This is the eternal cry of the child from the very heart of innocence. It is so true….. IT IS NOT FAIR! I like all of us had wrestled with anger and confusion over the presence of injustice in the world? Yet this anger had taken its toll on my soul. I felt it had literally eroded my heart. So, from the seat of awareness I was wondering if perhaps there was a better way to process this endless onslaught of injustice? Now, my mom, the voice of recovery in my life had told me that before you quit something you have to understand what it gives you, and then see if you can find a healthier way to meet the same need. In the case of anger it had been my way of caring about the suffering of the world, and was my prime motivator to taking action on behalf of….fairness.

So I asked myself if there was any quality that could take the place of anger and perhaps do a better and less damaging job? I went deeper in my heart and the word “compassion” arose. I felt peace, I thought “compassion will allow me to still care and take action but will be less toxic than my lifetime friend, anger?” So I thanked anger for its loyal service. It had gotten me through so much of the madness. I explained that I had made a soul decision to give “compassion” a chance. But I explained that compassion would be on probation and if it didn’t prove itself more effective and less damaging, then anger could have its job back. Anger humbly bowed and walked away, cursing under its breath….

Now it turned out, that on that day I was set free! The root of anger had been removed and I am now able to express the essence of who I am, more fully. I can approach the massive waves of injustice that continue to pound the shores of our earth with love, compassion, and creative power. This works for me. But if you are a devotee of anger, please don’t be pissed off at me for making this choice. I can respect your choice, I hope you can respect mine?

Now when my beautiful emotional children come running to me, I welcome them with open arms, I listen to their fears, their judgements, their complaints of unfairness, their sadness, and I receive their gifts. I no longer have to run from my shadows or act on them. They are brought before the sacred light of my heart where they may be released and set free or made whole and integrated back into my being, which continues to grow and expand.

I no longer feel I was sent to the wrong planet! It just turns out I have work to do. Always beginning with myself and then echoing out into the world!

Peace Yo, Si Gong

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