Sunday, December 20, 2009

Meditating and the Arc of Emotion

Today my mediation seemed to open on the emotional balancing of light and dark, not unlike the solstice itself.

It can sometimes feel that optimism, or happiness, or joy is a product of the "glass half full" idea, and there is the risk, if I let my guard slip, that I could so quickly slide into the "glass half empty" state of mind. I sometimes find myself flooded with despair for human beings and our infinite suffering. It can seem to stretch back in time through all eternity, so many individuals living difficult hard scrabble lives, or lives cut short by cruel aggression, disease, or simply the time and place in which they tried to be themselves. Suffering.

Today this fully entered into my meditation. My yoga practice has not put an end to this pendulum swing, but has drastically changed the effect the pendulum has on my state of being. In fact the pendulum seems to swing in circles now, describing ever more fully the framework of emotions, and like a sparkler in the dark delineating and illuminating the circle, leaves little trace but in my memory. My heart breaks so deeply that I can hardly stay in my seat, except that it is exactly that seat that holds the sparkler steady as it circles back to reveal the intense beauty and depths of love that also have saturated human experiences. So I also sense the delights and powers of the natural world, the profound art embedded in human craft and care, and the intensity of love expressed in poems, images, and communal acts.

So by breathing in, allowing the breath itself to be what I actually experience in this moment, my awareness can spread wide, like the circle of sparkling light, including the despair and the joy. I see myself as just one of the many who, with this inhale take the chance of living in this moment, and with this exhale, release myself of the judgment about the visible and invisible traces of the arc. My awareness does not seem to require me to carry the weight of the world as a burden, but rather opens my eyes to the intense beauty of the arc, whether it swings close or away, towards despair or joy.

1 comment:

  1. sarah -- i think we may be separated at birth twins! i spent my late 20s and 30s feeling my senses overwhelmed...trying to understand why this world is the way it is. i honestly have no reason why on a day to day basis i can handle it better now...but there are the days i feel so overwhelmed with sadness with the inequities of life....xx