Thursday, August 11, 2011

Linda's Story: She was looking


I’m 62 (or there abouts)—that qualifies me as a geezer, no doubt. In my 20’s, after more than several attempts at happiness through creating a lifestyle that matched my picture of happiness (land, garden, goats, boyfriend, no-boyfriend, you get the picture), I stumbled upon the idea of happiness through psycho-spiritual growth—i.e. self-improvement. Thus began decades of miserable seeking. I tried most everything that came across my path: all sorts of new age extravaganzas in the early years, then 12 Step programs (very helpful for living), various meditation practices, Sufism, Advaita, all of which point to “relief from the bondage of self”.

I knew all the words—said them often (often to others)—“you aren’t who you think you are”, no-self, only oneness, Unity, False Sense of Authorship…the intellectual understanding was present, but I never really experienced freedom from the sense of “me”. The “me” was still (subtly & secretly) expecting a big experience of Silence, or Unity (that “me” experienced & derived mystical benefit from), or at least something different from the ongoing unfolding of life.

A friend (we’ve been floating around the same seeker circles for some time) sent me links to RT, CompleteHumanity & a few others. I really related to CompleteHumanity—RT felt angry & harsh to me, though I read a few conversations & it got me started on fierce looking. From the reading & looking, I began to see that the sense of “me “ was just a thought form—I could see it arise & attach to most any situation—my feelings, my actions, my plans, my qualities etc. It took me a few days of reading to ask someone to work w/ me individually to get beyond the last sticking places of “me”. It was invaluable to have someone who had clearly seen through the illusion of a separate “me” point out my rationalizations & conceptualizations, and most importantly to keep me going back again & again to the question, “is there really a “me” here?” LOOK LOOK LOOK
I think the thing that popped things open or solidified the understanding was:

“The reason that you don't get the big emptiness you were looking for or expecting... is that 'I' has always been a thought. Nothing actually changes. It's ALWAYS been a thought. All that is different is that it is seen AS a thought.”

Good news & bad news, hahaha.
So what’s different, now? More relaxation, not taking EVERYTHING personally or self-referentially, more excitement about seeing life unfold, relief in really seeing that life will do what it does. I still experience the “me” thought arising & attaching, then the attachment slips away again, over & over. I still want to throttle people from time to time. I still have most of the same thought streams running. There is a softer seeing of all this—more spaciousness around whatever is arising, maybe. And there is humorous surprise that “it” is so ordinary, so no-big-deal, and yet so shockingly profound.

So…geezer? Definitely. Enlightened???? Not me.

1 comment:

  1. Enlightened Geezers Save the World, I do believe I'd buy that comic book. Thanks, Linda!