Hello to myself, writing from the middle of an Intentional Society session. I've just sent the boats out to sea, and we happen to have no day-trippers around other than myself so, this is what wants to flow for me. Doing a Complice review last night, I had noticed how often journaling had come up in my thoughts and weekly/monthly reviews. I think it's the experience of writing - I enjoy seeing my thoughts turn into words and flow onto the page, and enjoy the thinking process at that speed and clarity. What I mean is, when I start writing, it's great. "Why don't I give myself more opportunities to journal?", I asked myself.
What I find myself doing in this moment is opening up the filters and worries, opening the floodgates - going for, not quite maximum wordcount necessarily, but minimal usage of the backspace key. Stop here if reading this isn't enjoyable, because the rest isn't going to get any more polished. Yes, journaling out in public is an invitation for people to experience a bit of my interior landscape, but this project of 100+ posts so far has been firmly motivated by the benefit for and to myself. I can perhaps fudge it and pretend no one reads this at this point since the numbers are quite low, but being me out in the open, being me in relation to the world/crowd/others, and being authentic about it, is core to why this blog exists.
Writing here is in my self/awareness/introspection/growth category of activity, the other major thing right now being what I've been calling "grounding." This is a particular practice of basically a stance, a posture, a state that I find incredible and want to make more accessible to my everyday life. I do other meditation type practices as well, but this is the first one that seemed to emerge spontaneously for me. No doubt I've simply stumbled across something that many other people have already named and developed and taught for centuries or whatnot, but it does mark a transition moment for me, where it just felt right to move under my own power instead of following a recipe or any instructional guide.
What I'm grounding in is, I'll say, a joy-and-peace kind of feeling that's accompanied by both physical sensation and mental visualization. There's a kind of soaring, opening, leaping, frisson-ing sensation right in the center of my chest, with a forwardness from my core/heart expanding out from about the bottom of my sternum. The emotion that rides this sensation is like... like when your heart swells at the vast majesty of a wild landscape. Like when your crush reveals that they like you, too, that new relationship energy. Like the bigness of feeling "on top" of the world, coupled with compassion towards all beings.
The bigness leads to the visual plane, where I start to picture myself about ten times as big, with feet that sink into the ground like tree roots. I can still move and walk around, with less resistance than water - but with every step, I'm firmly underground and rooted/connected such that I'd break like a tree trunk before I'd fall over. My head is ten times as high, not in reference to any physical objects (buildings, etc) but just in terms of relative comparative perspectival size. Thick smooth cords of light are coming out the top of my head, bending down to form a bit of a sphere/bubble around me, and swirling/twirling at random. I don't even know what that "means" exactly, but it's some sort of radiating and claiming of the space around me as safe and connected and illuminated.
I'll do this for about five minutes, sometimes more or less. My breathing can hitch a ride along with the feelings - faster, deeper in-breaths, that exhale on their own. When I open my eyes, there's a sense of a field radiating out from me still, about a body-width across, that I can carry with me. I move with some little bit of almost-subconscious awareness of this as I walk - almost a sense of presence, my presence, travelling with me as the "normal me" engages in normal stuff, that I'm still inside the "big perspective me" that is rooted and giant and imperturbable and radiating, with joy and peace and compassion towards myself and others.
In and with this perspective, I find myself, well, continually found and aware. My emotions and reactions don't have me. They happen to a self that is a part of me, but I watch them happen from another part of Self which has a calm stillness and implacability - which is a whole pool, not just the ripples on the surface.
What I've described above contains a lot of metaphor, and is material and psychological - an experience that doesn't speak to me of "true" "reality" big seems to be quite enjoyably useful to me in being the person that is the biggest version of myself. That version of myself has resolved the solving seeking striving sense and sits in the space of enlightenment, acceptance, love, play, joy, harmony. It's just a figment of my imagination in one sense - and yet it's a capability also, which I can continue to grow into. But not in a deliberate way of accomplishment - it can be experienced but not reasoned into, inhabited but not achieved.
I drifted away from this practice unintentionally at one point! For a few weeks, I interacted more with other thoughts and memories - starting from a place of reaching out from that grounded largeness, but that experience of almost-euphoria kind of faded and lessened, until I found one day that I was just sitting and thinking about life happenings. Which is still fun - I enjoy exploring so much inside my multiplicity of perspectives these days that I could go hours just sitting and swimming around in my interior landscape. I don't really know what it's like to "be bored" any more, in the way that I remember as a kid (and see in my kids) or earlier adulthood. But anyway, I was enjoying that re-processing enough that I ended up in an entirely distinct different place in the practice-scape.
It was actually last night also where I remembered more clearly what I had previously been doing and experiencing! The visuals, the sensations, the feelings and practice of it. I dropped almost immediately back into that place and was soaring with joy once again, almost laughing and flying and remembering while experiencing anew. Wow, what a trip and trick that thing called awareness is.
It's here, still, this very embodied perspective that I've spent a few months practicing. I can take one breath in, with one momentary picture of my heart unfolding and largeness extending and compassion radiating, and be there in a visceral way that arrives alongside whatever else is happening. Like an adult next to a toddler, that can comfort the scared or heal the broken or soothe the defensive, inviting <myself> to hand over and expand into the giant perspective that's bigger than any desire or problem or threat, and is not connected or attached to any outcome.
Heh, what will this look like when I re-read it? I dunno, but I'll hit publish on it first. We don't have good words, good language for any of this. It took my rational brain quite a while to soften up to the imprecision of this metaphorical language standing in trying to represent these abstract concepts and these embodied experiences which are unknown and invisible to so much of our world. We'll form language eventually, I suppose - but it feels like cave paintings, crude drawings of moon and stars and loves and cares scribbled on a stone wall.
My mind turns to the evolutionary history of humans, after speaking of the creation of language. Maybe a million years of development, of language and culture and technology and brains and bodies all developing in a spiral of increasing complexity. What will our capacity be in 10, 20, 40, 100 years? Will there be anything recognizably human in 1000? What is the point, indeed, of the universe bending inward to comprehend itself. What a part to play, as we ride the knife's edge of our destructive power racing our capability and self-awareness.
What a dance to be a part of, connected to every time and every being in the unfolding of the entire universe. "Why is there anything at all?", I would often ask. I thought it was my life's question for a long time - which I would return to time and time again, seemingly different than everyone else that had given up or made their peace with it years ago. And I still don't know - but I do know that "the great because" is not something so small and comprehensible that we've already figured it out or written it down. We are here, and everything is here, and we don't even know how far that "everything" extends beyond our visible universe of spacetime and thought-space.
What happens in and with and through me matters to me. Meaning is making itself. I can accept and be with that reality of meaning and of atoms - and take joy in it.