Most “serious adults with responsibilities” find it hard to relax, to allow ourselves to open up and play with life. Perhaps that’s why we remember the moments we do, so clearly. Having shared the early stages of my romance with awareness in Part 1, this tale becomes more fun.
I was fairly content with the progress I’d made finding a comfort zone to retreat to, a world of new learning and curiosities. I quit therapy. True, I hadn’t conquered the anxiety nor faced the issues of the family, but I reasoned that those changes would come in time.
I had a more dualistically religious ‘redemption’ kind of mindset then. Every step forward felt like something enormous and earth shaking I was supposed to testify about. There was a lingering fear that if I didn’t give the shifts and ‘miracles’ proper due, I would after having climbed so far, find myself sliding down the chute again. I decided to draw back and be, what I thought of then as, humble.
Naturally, having taken the weight back onto my own shoulders before quite ready, I wobbled. I got caught up in distressing arguments again, struggled with my health again, and 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 kind of 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 isn’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, came forward. Far from the spiritual experiences I’d had before – quite dramatic visions and insights that characterized my later teen years and indeed changed the course of my life before – this assertion was non-intrusive – like happening upon the sky.
Noticing that there was no thinking did then bring the thinking back – but that thinking didn’t lessen the ‘new’ 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)