There is a preponderance of energy this week, pushing upward through the hardness, the murkiness, the silt, the nigredo of the earth, traveling its path to new life, to flowering in the brightness and warmth of the sun. This energy that bursts forth is nature itself, our deepest roots, and our conscious challenge is to harness and channel it safely into life. For this we need the sacred containment of our awareness and our physical bodies peacefully brooding, like the hen upon the egg, awaiting maturation and readiness for life. The major protagonist to this containment is the mind, what the shamans call the foreign installation.
When shamans view the human body in energetic terms they see swirling energy at different centers within the body, with one exception. In the head they see an energy that moves horizontally, in a rapid back and forth motion. For shamans, this energetic pattern is alien to the body; hence, they have named it the foreign installation. Many people recognize and experience this foreign energetic presence in the form of obsessive thinking, which bounces back and forth in the brain or gets stuck in a thinking loop with no exit, often experienced at 3 AM, initiating hours of senseless perseverative activity, allowing for no further sleep.
The goal of all meditative practices is to eliminate this obsessive quality of the mind, to free it up for concentrated thought or emptiness, and to be able to clearly channel the intent of the higher self. Shamans call this coveted state inner silence. In inner silence the internal dialogue is eliminated and the channel is opened to direct knowledge.
Buddha, as he sat beneath the bodhi tree, discovered that direct knowledge or enlightenment was achieved through the practice of remaining still while the conjuring mind presented intense scenarios that beckoned emotional attachment. This is the 3 AM scenario. Buddha was able to not fall for these enticements to engage his energy in illusory concerns. He was able to not grasp at these scenes; grasping, in the Buddhist sense is attachment, which engages and drains the energy and life force in empty imaginings, in illusory reality.
Like Buddha, we are all confronted with countless concerns through the incessant sales pitches of the foreign installation, the ultimate salesman vying for our energetic attachment through worry and obsessive thinking, gateways to illusory living at every moment of the day. How can we resist such a pervasive onslaught! Christ, like Buddha beneath the bodhi tree, instructs us in this dilemma in his own encounter with the tree, the cross, where he achieves his own stillness and ultimate enlightenment. If we understand dying for “the sins of mankind” as a metaphor for achieving non-attachment to the conjurings of the internal dialogue, Christ demonstrates how challenging it is to not attach, literally being nailed to a cross to maintain stillness amidst the pulls of this world. In Greek mythology, Odysseus binds himself to the mast of his ship, his own sturdy tree, to avoid the fateful lure of the conjuring Sirens. And who are these modern Sirens? They are Worry about those we love. They are Fears of illness, of ruin, of death, an endless sea of possibilities; empty imaginings, sensuous enticements, presented in living color upon the inner screen of the foreign installation, beckoning attachment.
The lessons we glean from heroes such as Buddha, Christ, and Odysseus are:
1. to remain aware that the conjurings of the foreign installation are all illusions seeking to trap our awareness, drain our energy, and engage us in false reality;
2. to remain still, like the tree; don’t budge; don’t attach; don’t worry or fear. Though you cannot control the incessant presentation of illusory sales pitches, you can choose not to give them your attention;
3. to exercise great restraint, as the conjurer is masterful, the offerings are plentiful, enticing, and terrifying.
I suggest the practice of shifting awareness back to the body, our own sturdy tree in this life, and placing our intent upon softening, going deeper and deeper into energetic calmness and stillness, regardless of how loud the band of the conjurer plays its songs. Keep bringing awareness back to the body, going deeper and deeper into the stillness.
The shamans do say that, eventually, the foreign installation leaves, if it is persistently provided no energetic sustenance through our attachment to its enticements. The key though, is perseverance without attachment to the outcome. Sometimes the foreign installation goes dormant for a while, producing a true sense of accomplishment. Beware though of attaching to this. This is one of its traps, as it awaits that moment of success to return with a vengeance, entrapping us in defeatism and a return to the dominance of the incessant illusory world conjured by the internal dialogue. Do the practice with no attachment to the outcome!
If you wish to correspond, please feel free to post a comment below.
Until we meet again,