Thursday, April 21, 2011

Ananda



Laying under the trees on an island, summer 2010.
Today is not a very good day for me. When the alarm went off, I pretty much surmised that getting out of bed would be difficult. And then I rolled over. A simple task for most, but when things are bad, just the pull of the sheets can cause me trouble. Somehow, as I began to roll over, I put pressure on the back of my head which sent shooting pain from the base of my head all the way down my spine.

I eventually made my way out of bed and began to move around the house. But the longer I remained upright, the more pronounced the pain and stiffness became. So my day of Easter basket gift acquisition was regrettably squelched by the side-effects of pain medications, anti-inflammatory's and muscle relaxants.Ugh.

But my desire to complain is not why I write to you. I actually had an interesting thought and decided, despite my serious inability to process things in a comprehensible manner right now - I would give blogging a shot. It does help that I can write things down and go back to them - over...and over...and over again. So we'll see how this goes.

I don't take pain medications or mind altering medications very often. For me, I need to keep them on an emergency basis only. Today, I hope they keep me out of the ER. But I have noticed something. When I take these medications, I feel more peaceful. Now don't laugh - I know we ALL feel more peaceful when we get to take a little something. Same thing happens when I drink a glass of wine. Or oftentimes, I get the same peaceful feeling when I am really sleepy. It's one of those obvious things, but why does it happen?

My husbands eye for beauty.
Most people's lives are cluttered up with things - things to buy, things to do, things to think about.... things. Our minds are full to the top with the clutter of thoughts. Winston Churchhill so truthfully stated that our lives are defined as, "one damn thing after another." This state of existence is so often our constant state of reality that no wonder our lives are out of balance. Tolle calls this "object consciousness".  "Space consciousness", he states, on the other hand, is the space we create around our thinking. Kind of like when you take a step back and think about what you are thinking about. I do this sometimes when I get really bad news. I have an intense moment of quiet when I think about what I have just heard. When all other thoughts go away and I think to myself, "what just happened to me?". There is a sort of "space" around your thought. Like it's packed in air for just a moment. You become very aware. So aware you could hear a pin drop. And awareness implies that you are not only conscious of things (objects), but you are also conscious of being conscious. (Thinking about what you are thinking about.)

Now, think about being conscious - or aware - in a positive way. No bad news, just being conscious. Able to remove all the "clutter" and think only on one thing - or just a few things. People who have mastered meditation do this very well. And those who meditate will tell you that doing so not only brings them great peace, but emotional and physical healing.

So what does this have to do with pain medications, wine and falling asleep? Why do these things seem to bring me peace? Because my thinking begins to subside. And when our thinking subsides, we remember less and less of our mind-made problematic self.

But with pain medications, wine and falling asleep - you may feel more carefree or relaxed for awhile, but eventually all lead to "unconsciousness". In the case of medications and alcohol - the price paid for temporary relaxation can be quite high. Instead of rising above your thought, you fall below it.

"Space consciousness" has little to do with being "spaced out". The only thing they have in common is that both are beyond thought. Space consciousness as the byproduct of being aware - or being Awake - to your life and all that is around you, is extremely liberating. It represents not only freedom from all that our egos demand of us, but also from dependency on things of this world - from materialism and materiality.

A peaceful roadside moment in southwestern Minnesota.

It's an empowering thing for me to know that true peace is always within my grasp. That I don't need to acquire anything to get it. In fact, quite the opposite. It's the getting rid of things - things to buy, things to do, things to think about - that I find true peace. I don't have to read a book, follow a plan, go to a certain location, take a particular drug or understand any great philosophy or theology to experience peace. It's in becoming empty that we are filled! What an amazing realization!

Sound familiar?

BWCA Trip - September   2009
When you are able to un-clutter your life and your thinking, there is a sense of well-being, of alive peace. Sometimes that sense is quite intense and sometimes it is so subtle that is sits in the background of your life as quiet contentment. The ancient sages of India called this Ananda - the bliss of Being. It is the most subtle layer of our lives, the joy of living itself. It is the pure experience of  Being without thinking or worrying or judging.

This time of year can be so busy, so cluttered for us all. We get all wrapped up in what our minds tell us needs to be done, that we forget what needs to be undone. To be let go of.  To set aside, if only for a moment.

 This holy Spring, I wish for you and for me -

Ananda.









7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you! Happy Easter!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts today. I will be reflecting on your words and taking some space to think about and find peace this weekend.

Theresa said...

I wish you well in your letting go. Quiet moments filled with just Being - in our emptying we become full!

Anonymous said...

Theresa - thanks so much for your postings. I LOVE your writing. It helps me remember to try to stay in the moment.

Theresa said...

You are so very welcome. Funny, it helps me to stay in the moment too!
Have a beautiful day!

Anonymous said...

Wow! You know a lot of anonymous people!
Peace. *Jeana

Theresa said...

Jeana, Jeana, Jeana!! You make me laugh - big laughs! I love you.
A lot.
me

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