Most adults with “serious responsibilities” find it hard to relax, to allow ourselves to open up and play with life. Perhaps that’s why we remember the moments in which we do so clearly.
Having shared the early stages of my romance with awareness in Part 1, this tale becomes more fun.
At some point I was fairly content with the progress I’d made, finding a comfort in new learning and curiosities. I hadn’t conquered the anxiety nor faced issues in the family, but reasoned that if I drew back those changes would come in time. It had felt indulgent to take the time for myself, so I quit therapy.
Naturally, having taken the weight back onto my own shoulders, I began to wobble again. I got caught up in distressing arguments, struggled with health, began to lose faith in the tools and tricks I’d amassed.
Until one day, shoe shopping.
My daughter and I were wandering the the aisles of DSW store for quite a long time; the most ordinary day in the world. It generally takes her a long time to find what she likes, so after a while I left her to it, standing off to the side, people watching to pass the time.
When this happened: I noticed (I was) not thinking.
It wasn’t that I’d been unconscious, or in an auto-pilot state, but that a quality of mind so vividly different from anything I’d encountered before, had come forward. Far from any spiritual experiences I’d had before (stories – dramatic visions and insights that characterized my teen years (stories for another day) – this assertion was non-intrusive – like happening upon the sky.
Noticing no thinking did then bring the thinking back – but without lessening the awareness.
I stood in same spot grinning like a Cheshire cat until my daughter was ready to go, basking. I knew this was something that wouldn’t ‘undo’.
Not that which the eye can see, but that whereby the eye can see: know that to be Brahman the eternal, and not what people here adore;
Not that which the ear can hear, but that whereby the ear can hear: know that to be Brahman the eternal, and not what people here adore;
Not that which speech can illuminate, but that by which speech can be illuminated: know that to be Brahman the eternal, and not what people here adore;
Not that which the mind can think, but that whereby the mind can think: know that to be Brahman the eternal, and not what people here adore.
(from the Kena Upanishad)