Sunday, 9 October 2016

This autumn

I've not been writing of late. It's not that there's been nothing to process, the koan is constantly unfolding, but there's been no urge to draw it out 'on paper'.

We've had some wonderful weather through later summer and autumn and now with the days shortening the leaves are just starting to turn. I often feel uneasy at this time of year. I feel the milder, lighter days slipping away, the low sun, longer nights, colder air... some instinctive or ancestral fear seems to get triggered... And as DC will say 'we live in a suburban, double glazed centrally heated house and both have good jobs!' But that nagging voice in me will always say 'yes, but what's around the corner...? What doom?' And it's the oncoming November gloom which somehow seems to trigger this feeling of doom; right on cue in September / October! I'm almost afraid to even acknowledge it in case it somehow makes it real. There's magical thinking for you! Of course this fear is there in varying degrees all year round but I find it modulated by the seasons and it's fear and associated anger which is at the root of much of the koan - probably for most of us. And how clear is that to see in 'Brexit'.

There's no enlightenment outside of everyday life and living with a long term partner and going to work is without doubt ample training ground along the path yet there is also a need for time and space for reflection and spiritual renewal. Each day's formal meditation is not enough to support the required level of meditation off the cushion. DC and I will take a holiday the first week in November in the lake district. This is something we used to do regularly but in recent years with time spent living away from 'home' and changing work arrangements it ceased. This year conditions are such as to make it possible and needed once more. I intend to use the time to draw inward and tune in to where I need to put my energies. I feel dissipated at present. I think that's perhaps part of the reason for not posting here of late.

Sometimes there are shards of pain so burning hot yet cold and icy revealing aspects of the space of the emotional and physical body. They pass. Anxieties and old wounds or habits shifting shape in response to present conditions. And joyous connections with life too. Thoughts and feelings, sustaining, changing, passing. There's a feeling of a loss of spiritual focus, but that may have its positives too; letting go to know more deeply given time. Perhaps it's good that the seasons have turned and come round to autumn. Whilst spring and summer are times of obvious rebirth there's a creative aspect to autumn. A balm of mists and mellow fruitfulness? In part. But more the inward turning afforded by winter. Like breathing; in and out, in, out, in, out...

I have so many books I want to read or re-read. And I'm drawn to spend more time in formal meditation and in nature and in bodywork. I know there's much that might be unfolded to reveal my experience of life's desire to be in contrast with the ego's desire to have. Yet there's a very deep tiredness and some frustration. But isn't that the case for many of us in these times? Dukkha will always manifest somehow.