Come meander with me on the pathless path of the Heart
in these anecdotal,
sometimes inspiring, sometimes personal meanderings of the Heart's opening in the every-day-ness of life...

Friday, July 8, 2011

Shadowy Caverns

“Window Sitting”/Meditating is not just about floating around in the ethers, as I think I read one blogger refer to it recently – or some version of that. It’s about sitting with whatever shows up at “the window” – the inner window of awareness. It’s about sitting in our shadowy caverns with/as our True Nature – Eternal Beingness. This week I’ve been exploring those shadowy caverns again. It was the impetus for the piece of art above, the piece of prose poetry in the previous post, and, where the word “collapse” showed up.

Some have experienced that when they have had that wonderful moment of “awakening” to the Truth of Who they really are – Eternal Beingness - all their shadowy aspects melt away, dissolve, dissipate, collapse, and they are forever gone. That has not been my experience. I still visit the “shadowy caverns” on a regular basis. And I sit with the shadows at "the window" in the space of Silent Awareness…

One night this week, as I settled in to the deeper place of Silence, I became aware of the pain of a very deep sadness within. The sadness about the way life is, and the way life isn’t. She had been beckoning me all day to enter her cavern, but I had held her off. And here she was – waiting for me again at the window; waiting to be acknowledged, listened to, heard, felt, experienced authentically. So I peered in to her gaping wound. I saw lots of other shadowy figures there too - angst, grief, anger, frustration, resentment, anxiety and worries of daily life. They’re all related, but sadness wanted my attention that night. Sitting at the window I felt her heavy pain, so I began to explore her shadowy haunts in the body; how she moved through this body, the places she liked to hide – my solar plexus and chest - and the pressure she creates in my throat when I try to resist her, to hold back the tears, pretending she’s not there.

As I explored her, I heard the word “collapse” arise. As I heard this word internally I felt a release in the self-body-mind structure. I then consciously repeated the word to myself, and I felt the scaffolding begin to melt – the scaffolding of the sad self – the constriction of the sadness released. Amazed – I felt myself sink. The body-mind sank into the liquid state of Being, if only just briefly. Whoa – really? Amazing! Let’s try this again!

I noticed that every time I said the word “collapse” to myself I felt this sense of relief, and the self-body-mind structure relaxed – collapsed – and sank. I became curious and started playing with the word. Sadness arose and collapsed like the rise and fall of the waves back into the ocean. What was left behind was a sense of liquid relaxation. Sadness has not gone for good, she rises again and again, but this week it’s been an exercise in awareness and collapse. Kind of takes the whammy out of those shadowy figures… No more boogey men lurking in the cavern… Only the realization that when sitting in the space of deep Stillness of Being even those dark caverns are just places for feelings to rise and fall, to come and go.

A sense of deep compassion arose for this sadness. It was seen that the *recognition* of this sadness was actually what allowed the “collapsing” to occur. That is, *feeling* it, awareing it, allows it to collapse. This “collapsing” was also felt as an organic unraveling, or unwinding on a cellular level. And in the “collapse” a sense of openness and fluidity returned. No “floating in the ethers” but a simple sense of flow, of openness and groundedness in Beingness ItSelf.

It was also seen that by sitting with the *awareness* of Eternal Beingness, the scaffolding of self and its shadows collapse. And beneath the scaffolding there is a deeper Cavern of Stillness, the stillness of Eternal Beingness that is Alive with Life and fills every crevice with its Liquid Light.

Really… Imagine That…

~ ~

Art: Shadow Cavern


  1. Wow...tears here Dear Christine. All for Now. ♥

  2. Thank you dearest L ~ ~ ~ And it's all good :)

  3. Meditation and contemplation might be considered as withdrawal from the world. There is a method of immersion in the world through objectivity and concentration. Both approaches can take us beyond apparent dualities of subject and object / self and other. Two paragraphs from my ebook on comparative mysticism:

    Some might say that going outside self and outside other contradicts traditional teachings of mysticism: to go within to seek our inner self, or the soul. Rational consciousness, with its constant imaging, conceives of outer or inner. In suprarational consciousness of mystics, it is focusing beyond apparent realities to the underlying Reality. Whether we follow the inner path of contemplation and meditation, or an outer path of objectivity and concentration, the goal is transcending appearances to realize the One essence in All.

    Barriers to the inner path are an endless stream of our subjective thoughts. Blockades to the outer path are the multitude of physical objects. Our ego creates those interior barriers; our individuality experiences the external blockades. When you discard the first, and abandon the second, you can then move in any direction from the apparent to the Real. Those thoughts and objects do not vanish; their disparities are insignificant in light of shared divine essence.

  4. Don ~ Thank you for your comprehensive and contemplative comment. Yes, thought, feelings, emotions, experiences, etc., are "insignificant in light of (knowing) Divine Essence." And yet,am not sure the point is to "transcend" them, as much as it is about embracing the totality of our experience - not seeing any of it as obstacle, but seeing all life as the expression of the One - even the apparent appearances :)

    I hopped over to your promotion for your ebook on your link here. I would have liked to have seen your bio on there so we can know who "you" are a little better. :) Do you also have a blog where you post your writings?

    I am curious to know how you found me...

    Thank you for coming by and leaving your comment. Christine


  5. Thank you for the bookstore suggestions...cleaning the kitchen but wanted to sent massive hug. :)

  6. Leslie :) And thank you for the massive hug! ♥ C

  7. Funny, that "floating around in the ether". I used to have a neighbour who said meditation was blissing out.

    Yes, to meet that which is lurking in the background, that is truly practice, to simply be with these uncomfortable feelings as sensations in the body/mind. Some say this is how we exhaust the karma that produced these feelings, by letting them dissipate.

    I am reading a book called "The Great Heart Way" and while I've only just started it, it is about working with what he calls "the shadow", all those things we have rejected and by bringing them into the light of our awareness we can work with them (don't know how he does this yet, only on chapter 1!) But it sounds a lot like what you are talking about. He says these shadows deplete our energy and wreak havoc while they remain shadows.

    Nice cavern to go with your insightful post.

  8. ZDS ~ Glad you like the cavern :)

    Meditating can be wonderfully "blissful", but as I'm sure you have experienced, it isn't always that way :)

    Shadow work is interesting work and there are many approaches and techniques. The book you mention evidently combines Zen with a theory called bioenergetics - a body-based therapy - bringing more awareness to the body aspects of the shadows that are held there.

    You might be interested in Mags Deane's post over on The Vibrant Heart today, called "A Storyless Meeting" (see my blog roll). She doesn't talk about 'the shadow' specifically, but I found her insight offered another piece of awareness that I hadn't considered in dealing with these shadows of the self...

    Meet you in that shadowy cavern one of these nights :)

  9. Hi Christine,

    You are right, "embracing" is better than transcending, although not in the context of that specific chapter.

    I'm always looking for good blogs on mysticism and was glad to find yours. You can learn a little more about me here:

  10. Hello Ron ~ First of all let me apologize for calling you "Don" in my last comment. :) ooops...

    Am not sure I would categorize my blog as being about "mysticism." I have not "studied" mysticism. This blog only reflects my meanderings about my direct experience with "Eternal Beingness" (not seen as "other") in the context of daily life. Basically just following the "Heart of Being" as I understand that to be and not any particular religious/spiritual path, discipline or category. Maybe that is a definition of a "mystic" :)

    Thanks for the link to your profile. I will check it out... Just being curious as to who comes by and reads these meanderings :)


  11. Hello, Christine! Many thanks for you very kind visit to my new blog, Prana Light. So nice to meet you. And what a powerful way to be introduced to you & your blog, with this amazing post on your experience. Eternal Beingness...I like that expression. Isn't interesting how our most painful bits & pieces lodged in our minds & bodies, often give us the most transforming of experiences on the meditation cushion? And I admire the "embracing"...In my creative work, as well as spiritual work, I've been learning to allow the shadows in, and explore them, rather than push them aside. It's not always easy, but I learn much! I look forward to visiting you here again soon! :o)

  12. Welcome Tracy! ~ So good to see you hear! So glad you got my email message. And I can hardly wait to hear more of your explorations on your new blog! We shall explore the "caverns" together - shadowy or otherwise. :) Love, C

  13. PS Tracy - Oh dear, I meant "so good to see you here!" Having trouble with my words lately :) LOL


All comments are subject to moderation