Saturday, January 9, 2010

Beyond Feelings, Beyond Pain

We're in Florida, where it is to go to 25 Farenheit tonight; our ruby red grapefruit tree might well lose its bounty. We've been waiting for Mid-January, when the tree's meaty, juicy orbs are supposed to be at their peak.

To make this historic winter even more unforgettable, we've been struggling with a respiratory flu that has kept us coughing and aching for more than two weeks. Being cold in the cold....makes me want to go beyond this physical discomfort, to some other level of consciousness.

Sleep is a wonderful friend. I had a 4 hour nap today, which included a lovely dream about driving through Tamil Nadu in India with my husband! Somehow, our Subaru was the vehicle, and we were thinking about going to Chennai, and surprising Suren and Boona. The joy I woke with was thrilling...I felt so pleased and excited.
Who's to say seeking comfort and well being through dreams is a bad idea? Who's to say sticking with the pain of full consciousness is for my Higher Good?
One of my favorite popular county songs by Lady Antebellum, has this line, "Seems I would rather hurt than feel nothing at all." How many of us are stuck in that place of identifying our pain, our victimhood, asking, "Why me?"

I just read of the shocking suicide of one of Vermont's most gifted artists, Stephen Huneck. In August, I took family to his wonderful dog chapel, on Dog Mountain, near St. Johnsbury, Vermont.

But this week, Stephen hit a level of pain that was absolutely intolerable. I am so sorry for him, and for all of us he left behind. What a beautiful man. He said, "I believe art should be an integral part of life. I try to give my work an almost magical energy that makes the viewer feel good."

Mastering the Art of Living has got to go beyond feeling good and bad. It has to take us to a place of no expectation, no emotion. Every experience of perceived disappointment, bad weather, sickness or worse invites us to explore deeply a painless place. This is the journey I am on.

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