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blessed are they that mourn

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(A follow-up to the previous two posts.) Curious to explore my poor eating and self-care habits, I heed Bayda’s suggestion to get to know this self-care-less-ness. That same day, on the phone with a former teacher, I realize that grief is a big part of the mix. Rather than “making” sense of the messiness, she urges me to stay with the sensation, to follow wherever it leads. A gaping hole opens in my heart-space. Tears of relief and self-comforting: yes I’m grieving; so many losses.

As I continue this meditation, focus on the ego diminishes and sensory awareness deepens. Calmness as tears subside. Heat in hands and feet, beginning at the tips of fingers and toes, as if being charged by a generator. Energy expanding to elbows and knees. Nary a thought: mostly sensation.

Where did grief go? Where sadness? Does it matter? The analyzing mind tries to take over but sensory awareness won’t budge. As S.N. Goenka tells us each evening of a 10-day retreat: Take rest. Take rest. Take rest.

 “Admit the void; accept loss forever,” writes Jack Kerouac. “Freedom in the use of symbolism comes from the capacity to experience loss. Wisdom is mourning; blessed are they that mourn.”

source: Jack Kerouac (1922-1969); one of his 30 “essentials” listed in Belief and technique for modern prose. In: Brown, N.O. (1990). Love’s body. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, p. 260. image: I wish more bloggers would acknowledge sources of illustrations; this one remains “anonymous.”


5 responses »

  1. Peter, this is fabulous! I liken this practice to burning the fuel that keeps the thought train going… Each experience brings me into a wider space. I can breathe again…

    I haven’t done it in a while – you remind me to jump in, trust the process, find that self-love at the bottom of the “messiness.” Sometimes I get scared to face it – like there is WAY too much crap in there to deal with. The beautiful thing is though… I can deal with it. It’s me afterall, right? Don’t we deserve our compassion and love?

    Thank you so much for this pointer. I needed to read this tonight!

  2. Peter, I notice also that when I hit a time of, as you put it, self-care-less-ness (neglect of myself and my surroundings) I have hit a plateau of literally giving up and not caring about anything usually because I feel defeated by some external situation beyond my control. Everything mundane is just a bother as the spirit inside is warring with itself to find meaning in my existence again. I so easily give in to the frustration and it does take some solitude and meditation to get my emotional and spiritual footing again. You are not alone in that.

    I also find that if I pick up the reigns and take control of the mundane and treat myself better and take better care of my surroundings, it is like a spiritual catalyst to regaining my caring nature to focus outward with genuine love towards others.

    I, like you, just have to put one step in front of the other. Namaste…

    • beth, dear beth, Giving up feels empty yet it is full of loss, sadness, hopes, disappointments, etc. Please welcome everything! Your “caring nature” is always present, merely obstructed.

      ps: easier said than done, I know. that’s why we practice. again and again. and support each other: thank you.


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