“What is called good is perfect and what is called bad is just as perfect.”
Walt Whitman

Fascinated by That I Am

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In recent days I’ve had two interesting experiences … or should I say realizations about my experience.

Vatta

The first came after a day that extended in a surprising way. Andreea & I had to drive to the city late in the day and return later in the night (this was after a full day of activity for the both of us). When we started heading back home from the city I was very tired and driving was challenging.

As we were exiting the city I felt a tension in my lower abdomen and I realized that I was not going to sleep that night. By then I was no longer tired and driving was OK. I had gone beyond being tired and tapped into some kind of reserve energy and felt in a kind of in-between place.

I can best describe this experience in Yoga terms – it was a direct (and first for me) experience of vatta (a core element associated with wind or movement – and a dominant element in my constitution) in excess. It was fascinating because I suddenly could see it beyond my direct experience at the time. Almost like I could taste it – as if it were a physical reality … pressure in my lower abdomen pushing upwards.

Emotion

The other day I awoke to a foggy morning. Its a site I am just now getting used to – as this is my first fall and winter in a northern countryside-village setting. Its very new to me. The fog is emotionally daunting … as if the day isn’t going to come. It is heavy and uninviting and with its presence I need to call upon self discipline to get me going.

That morning I left the house and drove out of the village while the fog was still heavy and it was very cold (I have learned to wait it out … and around 10am the cold is usually not as sharp and the fog often clears). Our village is at a relatively (to the area of course) low altitude (and our house is in a small valley which holds the fog and cold even longer) and so driving out is also driving up. As we gained altitude we reached a point where the sun began to appear through the thinning fog to the point where I could feel its warmth on my face.

Of course it was a welcoming view and feeling … especially since it gave me hope that the sun would indeed come out today so I get some work done (that required sunshine). But what was fascinating to me was again being an observer of myself beyond just the direct emotional experience of light and warmth. The sun, or lack of it, had a direct emotional effect on me.

At the time two buddhist-like-metaphors came to my mind – both metaphors about permanence and impermanence. One is that the sun continues to shine even when we don’t see it. The other is that clouds don’t disappear – they just change form. Of course I knew that the fog was temporary and that the sun was shining – but only a part of me knew that. Another part – my emotional body was ignorant of that and was directly attached to what my senses reported. Fog made me feel heavy, sun made me feel light. These emotions came and went regardless of any mental understanding or spiritual insight – they had a life of their own within me.

tat tvam asi!

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