This week we are exploring this Sutra: "Unminding Mind, Be in the Middle, until...." ~Shiva / Vighyan Bhairav Tantra
Have you ever noticed how wherever you go, there you are?
Some of us, during times of extreme pain or transition will make huge shifts in the way we live our lives. Someone who has always been in long-term relationships may renounce them and start having casual sex, another who has always been sloppy will become a total neat-freak. A TV watching, over-eating depressive will discover spirituality and completely re-vamp their life.
For me, the first time I remember making a choice like this was when my first boyfriend broke up with me for my best friend. The burn was so intense, I had never known so much pain in my body. At 14 years old I vowed never to be in a relationship again until I knew I found the man I would marry. I was certain that with this new life I would experience a different kind of happiness, and more importantly, avoid this cutting pain.
If you are anything like me, some time will pass in this new life you have created and you will think to yourself that you have truly made a change, not only that...you will discover that you are a genius! You have figured out what is wrong with everyone else's life! As for me at 14, I loved flaunting my new freedom and telling all of my friends how their illusions of love would soon be shattered and they would see my wisdom in being relationship-free.
Five minutes, several months or 100 years later you wake up, look in the mirror and see yourself. The very same self that you thought you had left behind when you found this new path. Shit. You haven't changed, you just brought yourself into a new story, a different extreme. The qualities you had longed to release have simply found new ways of manifesting within this new construct.
"Unminding mind, be in the middle, until..."
This week in the Friday class we will explore the middle. Beyond the extremes and efforts to choose one thing over another and thereby solve all of our problems, we will embrace the full spectrum and find the truth in the middle.
One of the things that I love about Tantra is that it asks us to 'walk the line'. We are challenged through the meditations to release our ideas of 'right and wrong', 'light and dark', 'yes and no', even 'love and hate'. In doing this we have the opportunity to find 'the middle'.
Most of us avoid the middle because in the middle the mind dies. There is nothing to tell stoies about and no drama to play out. Very different than what we are used to. We have the possibility of truly experiencing this moment, embracing all of what is and finding the middle where there is simple, uncomplicated pleasure and peace. Weekly Meditation:
- Watch for moments in your daily life when you find yourself moving to an extreme. For ex. you have been trying to eat only healthy foods and you finally decide to say 'fuck it' and get an ice cream. Simply watch yourself and your relationship to the extremes. We have become dependent on them to remind us hat we are alive. That dependency has kept us from the true essence of what is available to us in this life.
- Once you have found this moment...pause. Watch yourself in your minds-eye. Watch how you swing from one extreme to the other, become aware of the sensations that accompany this. Then, drop the story that surrounds the moment, and bring your attention to your breath. If the story tries to barge in, just let it float away and keep your attention on feeling the inhale and exhale dance in and out of your body.
- Rest here in the middle and see how different it feels. (Warning: you may find that the mind gets louder than ever...this means you are on the right track...it is fighting for your attention).
This will introduce you to the simplicity and sweetness of the middle path.