Monday, 12 October 2009
I embrace getting frights. It's not instinctive, it takes awareness, but that's the point. That's the gift.
Frights, if you let them, can wake you up. Most other surroundings put us to sleep, and being awake is what life is all about.
Have the insight that you are going to welcome your next fright. Of course, you can't look out for it, because then it won't be a fright. You have to let go and let it happen.
Then, when it does, you can remember your realisation and respond differently.
Normally, I curse and cuss when jolted or jarred. You don't want to know what I sometimes bark at the neighbour’s dog when I am watering my garden meditatively and the mongrel yaps on the other side of the wall, amplified by the courtyard.
My body baulks and the chemicals rush through my bloodstream. But I am beyond my reflexes.
Killing the cretin or strangling the unapproachable neighbour would do me no long term good, although both seem appealing in the immediate term, so I have to make a wiser choice.
What can I take from the experience by accepting it as it is and transforming myself instead of struggling with my circumstance?
I can let it be and let myself see! I have had a slight shock. My heart is pounding. I am out of my slumber suddenly. I was asleep! I was lost in thought and the fright brought me back to reality. I can reconnect with the now.
Zen masters are known for walking around with sticks that they use to whip their disciples to wake them. Whenever the pupil drifts off out of the moment, which happens all the time, the teacher cracks him back in to presence. Alertness slowly establishes itself as a state of being.
So embrace your surroundings as a spiritual teacher.