Months ago I was sitting with my soul guy, Chris Dierkes. We were at the end of our session and he was presenting me with my life themes.
I’m nodding along, all of this sounding very resonant with the path my life has taken so far.
“…and it looks like one of your life themes is Bliss.”
“What?! Bliss? What does that even mean?”
Chris laughs; he’s used to my very unspiritual mannerisms by now.
“Well, there are two kinds of bliss. There’s the little “b” bliss, which is emotional bliss. This is the temporary state when you’re elated, joyful, enthusiastic…”
Okay, I think to myself, I’ve got that one down.
“….and then there’s the capital “B” Bliss which is spiritual bliss, the energetic state of awakening. This is called ananda in the Eastern traditions.”
Chris can see my confused face, so he does what he does best and takes me into a practice so I can feel it.
Soon I am sitting quietly in a cool desert in the middle of the night. I am struck by the vastness of it all, starlit blue black sky all around me. I feel completely calm and relaxed; pure awareness. And then I notice that the sky is liquid, and that it is moving around me, through me. I feel impenetrable, immovable, and also able to permeate and flow through any space.
The feeling stays with me as I come back to the room. Ahhhhh….Bliss. To completely relax into the current of life.
Yes, please. I accept.
And then life happened.
The past two months I have been struggling with a really challenging situation that has brought me face to face with the fact that I am in control of absolutely nothing.
My response to that has been a lot of grasping and struggling; anger fueled attempts to plan and create solutions. Every time I’ve thought I had some semblance of control, something else would change and I’d be brought right back to this fact. I have no control.
Last night I finally hit the wall. I was at my absolute end; I was done. In a fit of complaining I yelled out loud,
“I DON’T WANT TO DO THIS ANYMORE!”
As soon as the words came out of my mouth, I was immediately taken back to the desert.
Ahhhh……Bliss. Right. This is the practice. This is that thing I had invited myself to learn. Wow, I hadn’t realized how far I’d fallen off my path.
Conveniently (which is what always happens when we’re open to it) life came up to meet me with loving support to get back on track.
I got this in my inbox from Danielle LaPorte:
“When you have no fight left in you, you get to stop fighting.”
And then this showed up in my Facebook feed:
“It was recently revealed to me in a powerful ceremony that I am in control of nothing. This transcended intellectual understanding. It wasn’t like I was humiliated into getting the teaching. It was more like, “Okay, I get it. There are bigger things going on here than my rational mind will ever comprehend, and if I want to participate in the bigger project, I need to give up the illusion of control.” - Bruce Sanguin
And last, but definitely not least, this is a passage from a book I’m reading right now (“The Meaning of Mary Magdalene”):
“Kenosis is not the same as renunciation. Renunciation implies a subtle pushing away; kenosis is simply the willingness to let things come and go without grabbing on. For all intents and purposes it is synonymous with nonclinging or nonattachment. But unlike a more Buddhist version of this spiritual motion, kenosis has a certain warm spaciousness to it; to the degree one does not assert one’s own agenda, something else has the space to be. The “letting go” of kenosis is actually closer to “letting be”……” - Cynthia Bourgeault
Here’s hoping my next fall from the path will be shorter and less painful.