Aparigraha: Presence and Attention
My journal of drawings, quotes from various readings, meaningful conversations, and journal entries direct and capture my observations. Immediately I find out how often I do react with fear. This looms greater than I realized – a pattern so subtle and yet so loud at other times.
“…obstacle to deep yoga practice ..relationship at the core of practice….love is allowed to flow freely… the foundation right at the center of our lives….overcome with friendliness and compassion….faith and trust… you won’t be discouraged or paralyzed.” (Freeman)
So I bring my attention to my relationship with myself and with the Divine. I use the yoga practice of deepening my questions and holding these questions with great care and lovingkindness. Perhaps this is a special gift from G’nesh? What teaching might be in this obstacle of fear?
On Day two of the experiment I am leading a Circle of Trust at the Mennonite Church. I go into the sanctuary to listen to the last part of the service. We sing a song that has these words:
“…have no fear – hold love and trusting kindness….”
That same night I am reading in Rabbi David Cooper’s book, God is a Verb: Kabbalah and the practice of mystical Judaism, and find the following words: “All we need to do is learn to let go of our fear, for fear maintains the barriers of separation.” (p. 68) “…the presence of Divine is revealed in the fullness of each moment.” “…waiting is self-defeating. We have whatever we need.” (p. 183)
What do I already have? Each day seems to bring such a sharper awareness of the fear – as if it is always walking right next to me. I begin to have a conversation with this fear – what is it that keeps me so tightly woven to this place of ~
Fright, alarm, trepidation, dismay, distress, anxiety, worry, uneasiness, apprehension, f foreboding, jitteriness, panic, scared, worry, dread, to be terrified of….?
I speak to trusted friends and my husband about this journey. Jane Treat, a dear friend from our shared storytelling world and a vision quest leader shares “ Sometimes we need to end something then wait before we begin something new.” So what will begin when I end my fear?
I am living my questions now – stretching myself into the fear inside and moving with it. This is a healthy place to be – to hold my fear with tenderness and care. Yet this is a challenge when my judgment comes up – harsh judgment – when I hear Helena’s story about healing through her trip to Cambodia. How can I think I have lived fear in comparison to her story?!! After one day of this, I move back to holding my own questions – my journey is to be the best Susan I can be – and I am not to answer the questions that others hold. I take Helena’s courage and inspiration to work with my own fear.
Alan Morinis writes about the Mussar (the Jewish tradition that connects our inner traits with how we lead our lives) in his book, Every Day, Holy Day. I read about “ametz lev = strong heart it is what gives rise to courage, what is called for without succumbing to anxiety or fear about its own safety or benefit.”
By now the fear is screaming at me – it seems so pervasive in my life. Our daughter is calling about another major episode and a trip to the hospital again, the VISA bill comes for an extra $700 in medical bills and I can barely keep up all of my work – just trying to pay our bills.