Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Healing Depression: My thoughts are not Me

Three weeks ago I began a 40 day meditation ritual lead by Sai Maa, a spiritual leader who now lives in Crestone, CO. Each morning I log onto the internet site and listen to her questions and instructions for the day. I sometimes listen to it again or at the end of the day. Each day I am invited to examine more deeply and compassionately all the ways my mind/ego enthrall me in pain and suffering. The Buddha said that life is suffering. And, a wise friend has said, God did not put us here to suffer. Though in the grip of pain and anxiety, it is difficult for me to be with that I am choosing to suffer, so strong is my ego’s fight for survival.

Sai Maa asks me to have an honest confrontation with the dark side, embrace all that it is so that the ego is freed up to serve my Life rather than kill it off. This reminds me of one of M. Scott Peck’s observations that “even the Darkness only wants to be loved.” And if I can realize this, soften and embrace this rejected part of my humanity, I will be awake and at peace.

What thoughts, situations and/or actions have me identify with suffering and separateness rather than wholeness and unity?
Mostly, very young conversations of thinking I am bad and wrong because I DID something bad and wrong. Or the abandoned child, who surely would die without the care of others, and hijacks my adult self who has had the capacities for many years now to care and nurture herself. These thoughtforms, as Eckhart Tolle and others have called them, seem overwhelming at times. And when I fail to recognize that such thoughts are just that, and not all of me or who I really am, the heaviness of depression suppresses my vitality and life occurs through a grey veil. The ego allows me to survive at the expense of aliveness. It tricks me into believing that I have no power and that I am a victim.

The mind, the most miraculous tool of human consciousness, has fooled itself into believing it is the master—the sorcerer’s apprentice believing he is the sorcerer (the Source). So, how to uncover the lie (the beLIEf) and live from awareness and compassion?
Just by asking the questions, because the answers are already present in the questions. Practice asking and answering, listening for what’s true. Sit with “I don’t know,” “I’m scared” or whatever else the ego throws in the way—acknowledge them then set them aside. Invite a real relationship with Self. The automaticity of negative thinking will not be interrupted easily, but it can be done. I have spent many hours training my ego—it will take many more hours of practicing consciousness to train it differently.

No comments:

Post a Comment