Last week I was chatting with my friend, a very successful teacher. He said that everyone always asks him the secret of his success…and he was saying to me that he never knows what to say, that he just feels like he is at the back of the caboose being pulled along. Which of course made me laugh, because of course that is the secret of his success!
A profound surrender to the currents of life. That is the sensation of trust. I just love that image, being pulled along, being at the back in the caboose and feeling that you are being driven forward.
Now most folks would find that incredibly uncomfortable.
Back of the caboose, being pulled along….
They want to drive the train. Or more to the point, resistance wants to drive the train. Its shocking to notice how much of your life is actually being driven by resistance.
I did a number of private sessions this week from all around the globe and resistance was a very dominant theme.
It looks like avoidance….
Subtle:”I just can’t get into it this week, I’m kinda busy and I can’t find the time.”
Obtuse:” I want to scream! I am exhausted, I feel like I need to prove to the world that I simply can not do this anymore, I am done with it. I hate God!”
And it can also look like a mind game:” sure yes, I can see that this is all a story, I know this, but I don’t like people who act like I do, so for me, when I act like this, what I see is that I’m just an awful person. I already know what is going on, even if I look a hundred times, this is what I am going to see!”
Regardless, its all avoidance and resistance.
We need to be tender and
loving with resistance. We need to be tender and loving to ourselves regardless of what shows up, and when resistance shows up, we often forget this. Its hard to see resistance, its hard to catch it, but you can notice the sensation….a feeling of squirming, a yucky sensation, a feeling like it makes you a little sick in the stomach to think of going forward. We do not need to collude with these sensations, and we especially do not want to resit it! .
But we do need to see it and be willing to be kind and tender towards resistance,
our conditioned defense system.
Resistance shows up when we do something to provoke our root survival system, when we behave in a way that is different to our protected identities. Often this occurs when we are feeling pushed outside our comfort zone, or when we are engaged with a sincere awareness or inquiry practice. It also happens when we are healing a trauma, or emotional pain. Often times when folks have a first glimpse of awakening, they are suddenly met with a huge amount of fear. That is the body’s survival instinct being
triggered. You can feel a sudden contraction of all that expansiveness, because the root defense system of the body has been suddenly activated, and you get a huge blast of fear, feedback from your basic survival system.
So how do you move forward? Very tenderly, very lovingly. In the same way you could image a very tired 2 year old, who is having a complete melt down in the store. The child needs a tender embrace and cuddle on the way out to the car. If you collude with the child and give him the candy he is screaming for, you have only indulged the issue. If you resist the resistance, grabbing the child harshly and yelling STOP IT. You have only provoked war and abuse, beginning a very toxic cycle of harm. Its only tenderness that can hold that level of resistance with any real power and any real effectiveness.
So I spent a better part of the week reminding folks that resistance too was welcome. And that its just the basic defense system or survival system being activated. And to tenderly meet it. A great practical practice is to physically calm the system, a bath or hot shower, perhaps even just a 10 minute lay down with soft music to calm the system, can help immensely. Then without colluding with the story, simply continue with inquiry to see what is really going on. Have a look and see with your deep heart what is actually needed.
Being tender and welcoming to resistance is how we calm our natural defense system enough to see beyond it and let love, or the vast creative life force, lead us forward. And life is always leading us beautifully, but only right now! How does it do it? Listen for
your delicious yes in this moment..not the resisted yes. Then stand in that current….that is the effortless flow
of right authentic action, of life working its magic. Stand in that current and let the train pull you along, while you are in the caboose, watching it all unfold.
So right now…where is life leading you? What feels like the most delicious thing you could possibly do in this one and only moment?
( I don’t usually post covers..but some folks just cover Bruce so beautifully!)