Observer (Part 2)
Last night was my weekly meditation session with Gilas Mindfulness Institute. I was determined not to cancel our lesson but at that point, when it feels like I barely have enough energy to keep breathing, I wasn't sure how I'd make it through.
I am unquestionably in crash mode. Debilitating fatigue. Incessant, severe pain. Painsomnia. The thickest shrouds of brain fog. Easily triggered nausea. Unbearable pruritis. The whole gamut.
After gently probing me with questions to get an understanding of where my body was at, she laid out three options for meditation. I mulled them over and to my own surprise, I quickly chose Hug and Release. It surprised me because the past iterations of me would have done ANYTHING to avoid body scans and any practice that required me to tune in to my body, where all the pain was writhing around. Hell no. I wanted distraction. I wanted to be taken out of my body. I wanted escape from the pain.
But not this night. I chose to dive in. To hold space and attention for every part of my suffering body, one at a time, and be with the pain. As she guided me, I focused on hugging my muscles to my bones and then releasing them with the outpouring of my breath. An incredible forty-minutes passed as she led me through my body. As our practice came to a close, I tuned in. I listened.
What I observed made me think of that placid lake in my prior post. Before, the water of that lake was churning. The surface may have looked fairly calm, but deep underneath was chaos and tension.
After the meditation, the depths of me had been soothed. The water was still. Muscles, previously clenched in pain, had relaxed. As I lay there in stillness, I observed the contrast between my surface and my depths. I hadn't been able to feel it clearly before because the internal pain signals were so strong. Now that they had calmed down, I could feel my skin. Burning, alight with fire.
The beautiful miracle of all this was that even though I felt the horrible pain of this burning skin, I was calm. Like still waters. From a distance, safe in my mental fortress of calm, I could make these observations and still remain cloaked in peace.