I was still feeling a bit crappy over the weekend, but I laid low and took care of myself. I resisted the need to do things that would have pushed my body, and I let myself heal. An important lesson I learned years ago that ended poorly when I ignored my body/mind and ended up in bed with pneumonia for a full month.
Today, and all this week, I am participating in a free online retreat with my teacher Genpo Roshi. You can check it out here from 10:30 AM-12 noon and then again 2:30 PM to 4:30 PM PST each day. His work is profound and simple to access.
This morning we did some work around the “thinking mind.” In particular, we explored ways in which our “selves” tend to shun and disown this aspect of ourselves having deemed it “monkey mind” and “chatter mind” (especially if you are a student of meditation), and then the ensuing consequences for the self. Although I feel that I am pretty in touch with my “thinking mind,” I found that indeed there are ways in which my “self” has squashed this aspect in service of being loved in the world – at times I have felt that the world does not like a smart woman, or a child that has more clarity than the grown ups, and when that happened, I shut up and created a shadow aspect of this voice within me.
My lack of ability as an adult to put my opinion forward and out into the world through my writing, performing and general citizenship, I feel is very connected to suppressing my “thinking mind.” Add to that the prejudice that we in the world of Feminine thought have put on the thinking mind by believing that it is only associated with the separation of the body/soul from life and thus the rape and pillaging of the planet and its peoples, and well, what’s a “thinking mind” to do? Run and hide. And then show up in all sorts of pathological ways like – 4AM terrors about life, obsessive worry, over-thinking, confusion, the need to be right, and shunning others as thoughtless bastards and idiots.
Once we thoroughly examined this disowned aspect of “thinking mind,” we then moved to the owned, embodied, honored and acknowledged “thinking mind,” and wow! It was calm, in the moment, wise, clear, ready to be of use to the world and the self, and could actually hold space for others. It was like sitting with Sitting Bull – wise, ancient and all seeing.
It hit me that from this place, I could even listen to others that scare me with their thoughts. I immediately thought of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, who either make me shudder and hide or take me to murderous rage. So I came up with an idea – to practice sitting in the fully owned, mature, healthy, honored “thinking mind” while listening to one of these people this week. I am doing it with a very curious heart AND mind – curious about what I will actually hear when I allow my wisest, most grounded thinking mind to encounter their views.
I am KelCar on the chat as we participate online with this retreat. Join in the conversation and work if you feel pulled to do so.