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Sunday, December 18, 2011

What Lies at the Bottom of the Barrel...

I’ve been experiencing more of the “Winter Blues” lately. Have been feeling a bit melancholy, especially at twilight. I thought I hit the bottom of the barrel a week ago, but no, there was more, and it’s been very intense. So I had to look into the bottom of the barrel. There was something unexpected waiting.

Her visit wasn’t convenient; this being the Holiday Season and all where one is not supposed to be melancholy, dark, and sad – but joyous and cheerful. It’s not a switch one can just turn on, or off. Ho-Ho-Ho. I didn’t intend to feel this way. She just showed up unexpected one evening and stayed 5 days.

Sometimes she was felt as heartache – a longing for love; sometimes a wrenching gut feeling of the pain and grief of an undefined loss that felt like a crushing pressure. She was every memory of sadness as a child – that usually occurred at twilight - and losses of loved ones over the years – remembered at twilight. It was as if I was being emptied out of every painful feeling and experience from the past. As uncomfortable as it was, I stayed open to her. I knew deep inside she was a “guide from beyond”, as Rumi calls it, and so I welcomed her in each day, sat with her and listened.

It was revealed that “Melancholy” – this Divine Miss M - was really a deep longing for *living;* for engaging fully with Life!; for connecting with and experiencing love for life, communing with life *in* the living of it, and allowing myself to be *absorbed* by Life living me.

I reflected that life has primarily been a series of events, people, drama, crises that I have reacted to, struggled with, and against, and felt threatened by over the years – consequently missing opportunities to love; withdrawing sometimes instead from the harshness and difficulties of living, thinking there was something “better” in being on a “spiritual path.” But I recognized that I never fully engaged with Life! And now there is this impulse to fully engage – to creatively engage. There is a sense of urgency to *feel* life happening, to pay attention to life – in the waning years of life… The “how” has yet to be revealed.

After these insights, in sitting meditation, I relaxed and dropped into the Silence within, as I usually do. And in a fleeting moment I became inwardly aware of what lies at the bottom of the barrel. It was/ is “love.” I know that sounds trite. It’s not “love” as we have come to know it. It’s not the “in love” kind of love that oscillates and changes; or the sweet ooey-gooey kind of love that is just words that drop from the tongue and onto the floor, missing the heart. It’s “The Beloved’s Love” – a steady, equanimous, sustaining love that is always present, never wavering. This “love” that lies at the bottom of every experience, thought, feeling, emotion, physical function etc., can only be described as a spacious openness in which everything occurs. Love enfolds life within Itself; is in a sense, “in love” with ItSelf – how could it not be. And we are the animation of that Love - loving. It turns out that “melancholy” (as with any feeling) is a portal, a gateway to - Love.

I only touched on this love briefly, fleetingly. In trying to capture it with my mind it escaped from view. But for a brief moment I was aware that Love resides in the depths of living – feelings and all. And what a surprise it was one morning to cut into a tomatoe and find this heart deep inside! The “gift” from beyond. :)

Melancholy stayed 4 more days – emptying me out and opening me up. And Love merely *allowed* melancholy to be here, embracing her - until she melted away into the twilight - the space between the light and the dark…

The twilight keeps calling to me to open to the space where Love abides – to keep recognizing it. Now I go outside and walk at twilight - not with melancholy – but *feeling* life living. And in experiencing life intimately, I experience the spaciousness of Love that lies at the bottom of everything!


This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival…

A joy, a depression, a meanness.
Some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all,
even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture.

Still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Rumi


“the longing you feel for this love
comes from inside you…”

“Love is the cure.
For your pain will keep giving birth
to more pain
until your eyes constantly exhale love
as effortlessly as you body
yields to its scent.”

Rumi


“Rumi tells us that the supreme secret of
the inner journey is the path of love.
If we can possess our whole heart
with contemplation of ‘The Beloved’
we will experience the wonders
and beauty of the universe.”

(I don’t remember where I got this :)




9 comments:

  1. Well...you have outdone yourself Now. "There is a sense of urgency to *feel* life happening, to pay attention to life..." -- Yes here too. Although the Universe seems bent on chastening this one...a fact impossible to prove. May I see and feel that unifying Love at the bottom of all the pain, separation, loneliness, sorrow, sadness, grief and despair...may none of that have gone to naught in this lifetime. Thank you Dearest Christine...♥

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  2. Thank you for this open, deeply intuitive sharing... ~Blessings~

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  3. Wow. I've been feeling that melancholy as well these past few weeks but haven't yet been able to express it as eloquently as you have here!

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  4. Yes... even sadness can be a gift if we are willing to accept it as such ~ OM

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  5. Thank you my friends!

    Leslie :)I know... Yes! May we always stay open to that love...



    Darla ~ Thank you! :)



    Uma ~ Thank you! I think a lot of us are feeling it...



    Cathy ~ So true :) Blessings.... Ommmmmmmm.....

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  6. I think this time of year is an invitation to melancholy. The season transition, the cold descending,the sometimes forced illusion of tra la la.

    How wonderful that you feel in the midst of it all a turning toward LIFE in all its richness.

    and that you continue to explore within the subtle nature of being human

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  7. Suki ~ "the forced illusion of tra la la." I love that! :)

    And what a surprise waiting at the bottom of it all - this turning toward LIFE! This opening. As another blogger said in a comment I left her - "such a rich barrel." Indeed...

    And always something new to explore, to discover. The trick (for me) is to stay open to it and keep going...

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  8. I don't think there is a 'how' Christine. I think it is the 'just do it.'? As you have done with your twilight walking. :)

    I've missed reading your love-ly-ness here...

    I too feel melancholy at this time of year...I think it is meant to bring us to the "Loving" state of 'Be-ing.' Just my humble thoughts as I muse aloud.

    Turning ever inward in the winter cave...I send out Radiant Blessings to You!

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  9. Dear Akasa ~ Yes, I too feel it is to bring us closer to That which we ARE - "the 'Loving' state of 'Be-ing' - as you said; to allow us to embrace all that we are and feel that deeper spaciousness of Being that lies waiting to be recognized.

    Yes, I love the "winter cave" time of year :) And now my new twilight walks, when I can... Blessings of Light... C

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