Settling Back Into Emptiness
What I am finding is that when I settle back into emptiness, tension in the physical and emotional body decreases, and that this can be done in the middle of a tense personal interaction. That is, when I find myself getting upset or uptight, the unpleasantness of that becomes a sort of Pavlovian trigger reminding me of the dimension of inwardness. I'm not sure I even have a choice at that moment. I just find myself back here. The disagreement may continue, but I am not nearly as compelled to defend or assert "my" side of it.
I realize I'm talking about very mild forms of disharmony. There are obviously nightmares that won't be dissipated by a shift of perspective. But being empty may still be the sanest and safest (because fearless) stance to take in such a situation. Some time ago I read about the experience of a Tibetan monk who was tortured horrendously over a period of years in a Chinese jail. He said that he survived psychologically by taking refuge in the Void and praying for the salvation of all sentient beings. Jan
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My employer had suddenly instructed me to handle an irate man arriving by elevator. My employer had failed to honor this man's repeated requests that his parking spaces be left vacant. Employees of the company I worked for kept stealing this man's parking spaces, and the man was about to personally confront my boss about this situation. Before scurrying off to hide in his office, my employer instructed me to deal with the raging man! There wasn't time for me to think about any of this.
I walked to the elevator area to introduce myself to this man. He flew into a rage instantly. Amazingly, I didn't feel small or attacked. I didn't react or take his conduct personally. Instead, I felt a profound neutrality and deep compassion for this raging man. I related to him. I knew that, if I were in his shoes, I'd feel as hurt and angry as he was. So I just stood there listening to him as he fumed and spewed. It was sort of surreal. He was red-faced and, literally, spitting his words. I just watched and listened. After some time, though, he started to repeat himself and tell me the same story all over again. I instantly recognized this, interrupted him and said, firmly, "That's enough." He couldn't stop, though, so I repeated myself more firmly, saying again, "That's enough." He heard me this time, collected himself and left.
Revisiting this memory now, I'm reminded of a glorious peacefulness that's worth all the practice it takes to experience it. I don't know what I did at that time to find myself in a state of mind which also has an effortless intelligence about it. Excuse me, yes, I do. What I did was not think about any of it! This peacefulness required nothing from me. Instead, it did all the thinking and talking. I knew just what to do and say without having to do anything! It was peace itself doing the thinking and talking. It was an experience of unspeakable relief and freedom, and it was wonderful. Katherine