It has been a bit over a year since my last post. I accepted invitations for a couple of vacations this year with Mike's family - once to New Mexico and once to Colorado. Those were welcome breaks! Thanks, loves, for sharing those with me! Nothing like nature to revitalize me!
I am recovering from COVID, which was diagnosed on January 2, 2022. I am grateful that it was Omnicron and that I had three vaccinations on board before it occurred. It made the period from New Years to now a bit foggy and lethargic. The worst part of the illness was the brain fog. At my age, it caused me to worry about something more ominous. I was quite relieved to wake this morning and note that my mental processing was much more normal.
That brings me to the place where my mindfulness journey has lead me. My son, Jim and I, began discussing, reading about and listening to those who understand and teach non-duality sometime during the COVID pandemic. This is a spiritual aspect that I have only recently begun to really understand and embrace wholeheartedly.
I began to understand the triads of thought so many have endeavored to explain. Freud and his contemporaries called it the id, the ego, and the superego. Eckhart Tolle called it the Pain body, the ego and the true self. Jesus called it the father, son and the spirit. Non-duality teaches that there is only one. Jesus said as I am in the father you are in me and we are in the father. By first understanding the broken apart pieces, it began to make sense that the three minds can be the source of all our suffering. Fathers instill culture/rules/and judgments. Sons try to mimic those things and add their own twists while testing the limits or judgments. The spirit tries to get the three parts to work together and find love or compassion. Triangles are tricky and this three minded thing is equally tricky. The triangle often creates human suffering. It also creates a view that allows self insight. Meditation leads to no suffering because we can clearly see the three parts.
Meditation teaches us to observe the mind to notice what we are doing and how we might be tricking ourselves. If you begin to apply Ruiz's "Four Agreements" to this while you consider the three mind concepts you can begin to see how each of us torment ourselves. That devil on your shoulder or the angry wolf in indigenous lore is the ego being incited by the superego and the id. We are constantly judging ourselves and the actions of others. The ego asserts all things are good, bad, evil, or loving, etc. The id takes full responsibility for everything that goes wrong. The truth is, the concept of the superego, and all those judgements against self and others were developed from our concepts/words/beliefs/traditions/culture and are just free floating, based on nothing. They are no thing.
Several decades ago, when I was beginning my quest to stop being so irrationally angry, I looked at the 12 steps and the Christian bible. I read the verses about love, like 1 Corinthians, Chapter 13 verses 4-7 and Galations 5, verses 22-23. I read the verses about forgiveness to name a couple of the references that stuck fast. I began to work on forgiveness but found it to be harder than it sounds. I had to back into the really deep ones by simply wanting to want to forgive. Now, my one mind is not tricked by my ego which insists it wasn't my fault or that I am despicable for doing that "thing" to another. This allows me to see the whole triangle of who “I” am.
Love is the human concept that helps us see that none of us need to be judges or to be judged. There is just no need for a judge. We do need love. If I just notice what is and do not think I need to make it right, I can relax and do the next loving thing. Finding that thing simply requires that I figure out what I would want if it were me. Should I kick the dog or pet the dog. Should I offer help or turn my back. I think you might begin to see what I am saying. Love is the way. Love is what the Buddhists, Christians and every documented spiritual/psychological approach teaches. First we must love ourselves. Jesus said we should love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Do to others what you want done to yourself. I cannot know what to do if I do not know how to love me. Self-compassion or self-love is the beginning place. When I was very young I told a Sunday School teacher that I understood what it meant to love my neighbor, but could she please explain what it meant to love myself. She bridled and said, oh, NO! You must not love yourself because that would be the sin of pride. I was confused and stayed that way for a very long time. I mean, Jesus said it, and we were supposed to follow his words, so somehow it must be understood. It has only taken me 7 decades to get it figured out. Hopefully, this will help others figure it out. A vital key is to figure out how to love yourself. I can help if you still do not get it. Notice how you speak to yourself. How often is it judgmental and mean? Treat yourself with love, respect, concern. Be the voice of that person you are most likely to go to when you are hurting.
This self love ultimately brings us to that hard thing I could not wrap my mind around. Non-duality. We are all one. If my body hurts or is uncomfortable, I comfort it. If you are hurting and cannot comfort yourself, I comfort you. I cannot comfort you if I do not know what comforts me. Have you ever cared for a newborn anything? They are helpless. The mother or father comfort and if there is no mother and father around, something else will or that helpless creature will die. The infant does not know what it needs or how to get it. We can comfort it if we know how to comfort ourselves.
We will all die. With non duality we begin to see the contiuum of life. What is it? What does it look like. Each of us grapple with that but truth is hard to know about death beyond the fact that my body ceases to exist. Is there a part that remains? The one particle that we cannot discern? I know that as long as the earth exists on its axis, it rotates and the sun and the moon and the stars will be visible if their is an eye to see it. I know that being present in the moment, reminding my triple mind that it is what it is and there is no judge brings me back to no suffering. Feel free to contact me with questions or a private chat at email@example.com. My website is www.lovingkindnesscounseling.com.