(Written in October 2008)
I’ve been typing journal from late August when things were starting to get bad, and again it seems like somebody else’s experience. I describe feeling the worst despair I’ve ever felt in my life, and I can’t even feel a hit of it as I read my own words. So strange. Built a fire … and nothing to say. I feel so relaxed. what a relief!
Jack Kornfield: When mindfulness is focused on the process of thinking, an entirely different dimension of existence becomes visible. We see how our ridiculous, repetitive thought stream continually constructs our limited sense of self, with judgements, defenses, ambitions, and compensations. When they are unexamined, we believe them. But if someone were to follow us close by and repeatedly whisper to us our own thoughts, we would quickly become bored with their words. If they continued, we would be dismayed by their constant criticisms and fears, then angry that they wouldn’t shut up. Finally we might simply conclude that they were crazy. Yet we do this to ourselves! p139 (Bought The Wise Heart with a gift certificate from Daria)
This helps me understand why I got so bored, uncomfortable and angry with a friend’s long stories. At some point they became repetitive, she was saying the same things over and over. I realized, reading this chapter, The Storytelling Mind, how an episode of total fear, like the one I just went through, really burns out all the stories. At the moment I’m feeling wonderfully relaxed and free because I don’t have any stories about myself.
The sun is shining on the trees in front of me in layers. Which trunks or which set of leaves are lit keeps changing. It is so beautiful! And I can sit here, relaxed and waiting and open, and allow it to nourish me. Joy! What that feels like in my body is an energy that expands from center and makes me feel warm and full. Hydrated. Plump.