Monday, February 21, 2011

Stagnation

My student, Susan, offers her experiences with a lull in awakening and how she's learned to trust the slower moments of the spiritual path.

After experiencing an intense return of energy over the past few months, I've come to a point of stagnation.The initial awakening seemed like a blast of overwhelming Light. The sensation has changed in a way that I am now experiencing a much softer and subtle energy. At first I felt a sense of frustration with the concept of stagnation. My ego was frustrated with the sudden change and the difficulty with defining such calmness.

With further contemplation, I discovered that describing stillness is like defining the concept of air. It seemed practically impossible to do such a thing, especially since my sensation of air is different than anyone else's. Then I realized the same can be said for delineating the flow of energy. Air is also energy. To describe the concept of air as being stagnant can be the equivalent to trying to do the same for still water in a pond. It seems like water is just resting there, when in fact, the infinite amount of molecules are colliding constantly. That's not even mentioning all the life that is moving between those molecules in the depths of the pond water (insects, fish, algae, etc). This analogy with water is similar to that of air.

I explored the concept even further by applying stagnation to my daily life. My life is chaotic on the surface in that it is packed with my clinical field work for school, work on the weekends, studying, errands, and managing everything else that life brings. All this planning and completion of one task after another is necessary to bring some kind of organization in my life. At some point, the cycle of being busy seems to be routine. Sometimes, I find myself unconsciously feeling as if I am just "going through the motions." In the past, I used to feel a sense of anxiety when it seemed that nothing much was changing. Sometimes my ego even tried to stir up drama to make things interesting. Now, when I feel that tinge of boredom, I counteract it with awareness. I not only become aware of the feeling, I am aware of everything around me. Then suddenly, things don't seem boring anymore.

For example, I was sitting in a coffee shop today doing my normal studying routine during my normal lunch break from my normal day at work. Everything seemed to be as usual until I became very aware of my surroundings. I became aware of the people around me, the variety of conversations, energy, even the sensation of the sun beaming through the window. In just moments, I perceived my whole environment to be as if I was experiencing it for the first time. I came to understand that even when things seem stagnant, there is still so much that is moving. The veil of stagnation is only a perception that can be lifted with awareness.

During this time of stillness, I have also noticed the ego trying to restore its control over my mind more than ever before. This time it is in the form of the spiritual ego, attempting to refuel the pain-body. I am at a crossroads where I must choose to be present with the ego and notice it for what it is rather than let it consume me like it used to in the past. The responsibility is exhausting at times since the ego can be seen at any given moment. However, instead of looking at the ego as a burden, I'm learning to see it as my most precious teacher. It gives me an opportunity to finally let go. I realize the more I am present with my lower self, then the more I will understand it is anything but my enemy. The ego is a part of me. Anything that is a part of me is part of Creation. So how could I label as something "wrong" for that very reason?

The last few weeks of settling into this placidity has been a process to say the least. It has taken time and patience, but also has been a welcomed lesson. I am learning that to ride the trough of this wave can be just as exciting as riding the crest. It is just a matter of perception and knowing that all is transitional.

Susan started to cultivate a deeper relationship with the Creator four years ago when she was introduced to the works of Eckhart Tolle's, "The Power of Now" by Jim Tolles. Her life has been transformed in countless ways since then.
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