Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Persistent Guests in My House

It's become clear now who are the guests that linger in my inner dwelling. 

First is the workaholic who obsesses over what's next at the office. I encounter 'her' while I sit, while I walk, and in my dreams. She populates my mind with many thoughts, and preoccupies herself with planning and multiple projects. She acts as a barrier between myself and the present moment. She is not really a person, but rather a constellation of habits, emotions, and thoughts. She is driven by another, much older character, to do with my early years as a child. That one is a scared little girl, still living in what felt like an unpredictable home with a father given to unpredictable rages. Fear is her modus operandi and her first line of response. Those two guests take turn in dominating my day to day life. 

'Take turn' is no longer so accurate, though. I should say 'have taken turn' instead. Things are changing.

Another figure, much more powerful than those two is establishing itself. She is wise, and knows how to put the other two guests to rest, using the qualities of insight, patience, mindfulness, equanimity, concentration, investigation, and loving kindness. In this moment, there is only breath coming and going, and hands typing words on the computer, and body sitting a bit slouched in the office chair. The rest, the scared 'I' that makes itself felt in the pit of the stomach, is to be put in its place. A persistent guest, a product of automatic responses from body and mind in need of being calmed, using the breath, and concentration on the task at hand. 

How humbling to realize that this mind, this body do not really belong to me . . . Otherwise, right now, there would be only be the peace of breath, moving freely in and out of boundless body. 

Who are the guests in your house? How do you put them to rest?

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