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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Confession of a Mystic

I have a secret that evidently “spiritual” types are not supposed to have. And lest you think I spend all my time floating in the ethers of “cosmic bliss,” I am telling my secret – which is - I get angry – a lot. There is a deep stream of volcanic anger that has continuously run through this body-mind since childhood. It erupts more often than I like to own up to. It has become an automatic way of perceiving and feeling that I have managed to avoid facing. But, as I have opened more to the beauty of “cosmic bliss,” a window is opening, allowing me to see more clearly this dark thread of anger that has woven itself through my life.

Right now life is extremely challenging on many levels. And I must admit that my default emotion is anger when life gets too frustrating, or too scary. Just ask my husband. :) And as much as I would like to believe my self-image as a peaceful “spiritual” mystic, I must also embrace “ugly oogla”, as my husband calls her. So I am coming face to face with her, instead of ignoring her and trying to shovel her lava back in the hole when she erupts. Cleaning up her messes has become burdensome.

Now one might say this chronic anger is because I am not accepting life the way it is. Yes, that is true. And one might say it is because there is still too much “me” – that may be true as well. And one might say it’s only the mind *believing* that life is difficult. And that too may be true. And, it is also true that it is an old habituated defense pattern learned in childhood living in a very angry family, where it was learned that anger was power as well as a protective mechanism. And I also see that anger is a messenger bringing me a much needed message – like all feelings do. So it’s time to let that angry cat out of the bag, so-to-speak.

There are many reasons why anger arises here, trying to fight its way out – in particular at the moment, life continues to fall apart, which ultimately could be a good thing, but “ugly oogla” doesn’t know that. Within this collapse uncertainty abounds, leading to fear, frustration and anger. And yes, there is evidently still a belief in a separate me (“ugly oogla”) who might not survive the fall and doesn’t like it when life doesn’t go the way she dreamed it would… There are definitely a lot of reasons on my “why am I angry list” – most of them are “me” reasons – the “me” not getting what she wants – the “me” not being heard, understood, paid attention to, loved and respected by a certain significant other. And oh yes, there is her cousin blame who wants to pin the tail on the donkey who got us into this life situation in the first place. Big practice opportunity with that one, but we’ll start with anger first. And yes, I have read all the anger books. This has been a life-long process of discovery and awareness.

Lately I’ve noticed that anger and frustration also arise as a result of not living in attunement with the Natural Rhythms within. I keep getting distracted, disturbed by and preoccupied with the survival needs of life as it is at the moment, and this gets in the way of my *idea* of how I “should” be living. You know, a life of Sacred Harmony with seemingly no problems - or so I tell myself. So I spend time in “The Cave” – which allows me to *feel* those inner Rhythms, and where I realize that life as it is at the present moment is impermanent – whew, what a relief! When I follow the anger I see that despite all my reasons for anger, it is really only energy, like all other feelings, and eventually dissipates. It only feels more intense, more “unspiritual”, more embarrassing to admit to this darkness that runs through here. And following “the pull” of the Natural Rhythms, at least for me, lets me know that there is *something* “beyond” this vaporous anger. So I look to ‘This’ for inspiration.

I sit in “The Cave” of Awareness, not to escape, but to listen. I listen to this voice of anger that festers and seethes and erupts. I befriend “ugly oogla” – give her a hug and listen with curiosity as she fumes and sputters about life events. And – at the same time I deeply attend to the space of Stillness, listening for her Voice as well – and she does speak. In the process of listening I feel myself returning to the space of Silence, the Awareness that embraces everything, even the anger. I realize that there are no magic pills for life’s challenges; that the only way out is through. And I begin to wake up from this dream of “ugly oogla” and her anger with life; her imagined slights, her need to protect, and her stubborn resistances to life’s challenges. When I follow the thread of anger that has woven its way through here, like when I follow “the Pull” that beckons me, it takes me back to the same space – Awareness – Silence – Home. In the fiery molten life force energy of anger there really is only this Light of Awareness – I merely have to pay attention to it, to feel it, to follow it and not get caught in the sludge.

And no, this doesn’t mean that anger has magically disappeared from my life. She is still here. But I keep meeting her in the Silence of “The Cave” until she recognizes that she is loved - that underneath ~ she *is* Love ~~~~


Photo – Center of the Trifid Nebula
from The Invisible Universe
by David Malin

“The long, sometimes violent creation
of stars happens in the secret, dusty places
and is at first detectable only as heat,
not light…”


  1. My "gateway" in to practice was anger which was much more prevalent a companion back then. We all have our mixes of greed, hate (anger) and delusion and our predominant type is seen as our gateway into practice in the Buddhist tradition.

    And goodness knows why anger arises, sometimes, it just does. It's what we do with it that matters. I love how you have given your anger a name and befriended it. It reminds me of a Tibetan Buddhist practice called Chod. There is a book called "Feeding Your Demons" which I think might appeal to you. (I may have mentioned it before)

    Hugs to Ugly Oogla!

    ps My Zen teacher used to say, if an emotion seems particularly strong for the situation, it probably has some "karmic" basis.

  2. ZDS ~ Anger has certainly been a "gateway" for me as well into "spiritual" practice, exploring the nature of Self and opening a door to Awareness.

    I have heard that too about karmic attachments.

    Thanks for the book recommendation and the hugs :)

  3. Loving suffering Oogla
    Will always set her free

    She’s only bound by her confusion
    Believing her illusions as her stark reality

    Clinging to our frightening dreams
    We too have suffered through the our sages

    But when the light of recognition draws
    We awake with tender understanding
    And we too are freed

    Profound and tranquil, free of complexity
    Beyond the mind of conceptual fixations
    This is the depth of the mind of the victorious ones

    Oogla too shall sing her songs of freedom
    And she will be ever free! For…

    She *is* love

    Thank you Christine

    Poignant and inspiring *~*

  4. Vereda ~ This is so lovely, deep resonance. "You" are a gift to This Heart!

    And yes, as I hold "Oogla" in the space of Awareness she *knows* she is loved.

    Yesterday there was only a sense of expansion and the awareness that Awareness/Presence is not *attached* to anything. There was only deep relaxation into the Silent Stream of Being that is just Is-ing. "Oogla" was at Peace. I suspect the Solstice was a Portal.

    With gratitude for your Presence... Twinkle *