Working with Subtle Energies
To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be actualized by myriad things. When actualized by myriad things, your body and mind as well as the bodies and minds of others drop away. No trace of enlightenment remains, and this no-trace continues endlessly.
Eihei Dogen, 1200-1253
Dogen promises that we can be actualized by the life of the 10,000 things. This earth is not a world to throw away, but a world that deeply enlivens us and makes us real.
If we allow it, the process of appreciating the earth brings us (if only for graced moments) to a new self -- which is pretty well no self at all, since it has no fixed characteristics and no separatist vector. Precisely for that reason it is our truest, most solid self, an indelible tracelessness, a generosity.
We start where we are, not discarding the normal conception of body, mind and things but releasing them to fall away or go through other changes all by themselves as we broaden the procedures by which we know the world. We find our way into a subtle ecological activism by first changing our inner climate to become more sentient, mobile and collaborative in nature.
To this end, let's spend some time with exercises suggested by David Spangler. We will be mining his book, Working with Subtle Energies, Lorian Press, 2016. You can find this and many other titles by David and others at lorian.org where you will also find online courses and other practice opportunities. I'll be referring in future to page numbers in the book, so you might want to get a copy.
This week, we practiced a kind of spatial sensing of the room we sat in both with a candle lit and with a candle unlit or blown out. As we focused on it, the difference between these states got very clear, very exact. Later, we brought a similar sensing capacity to a content-filled meditation derived from Rilke: What does the Earth want?
Next week, we'll experiment with sensing the threshold between indoors/outdoors and the distinct qualities of different rooms. We'll imaginally extend the body on all sides and let it feel its way into the surround. Remember, you don't catch a butterfly with a stomp; you need a kind of bold tip-toe.
all blessings to all,