Every moment has the potential to be erotic, in the deeper sense of this very misused word - every moment, used wisely, can connect you with Eros, the cosmic life force, your very lifeblood.
Spiritual gurus, and often the male ones, speak of Awareness, our true nature, as pure, clean, pristine, and untouchable. The ultimate safety. (The ultimate disembodied hiding place, too, if truth be told).
Well, yes. Purity is an aspect of Awareness, for sure. Its spaciousness. Its indestructibility. Its empty nature.
But listen. The breath rises and falls, rises and falls, in each moment. The in-breath needs the out-breath, the out-breath needs the in-breath. Without both, there can be no breathing at all.
The ascent needs the descent. Contraction and expansion. Lightness and depth. It keeps us alive. In and out. Stillness and movement. Transcendence and immanence. This is the circle of breathing, the circle of life itself.
Awareness makes space but it also penetrates. It rises to Heaven but it also grounds itself in earth. It relaxes and surrenders, but it also enters and fills.
It is soft and hard, masculine and feminine, and both, and neither. It is our true nature, our courage and our vulnerability, our water and our fire, our erotic and alive self.
Sometimes, in the midst of difficult thoughts and feelings, we need to step back, fall into spacious Awareness, get some room and observe those thoughts and feelings, and know that we are NOT those thoughts and feelings.
We get too entangled, enmeshed. We lose ourselves in form.
Sometimes, in the midst of difficult thoughts and feelings, we need to step forwards, enter these friends with our Awareness, drench them with our curiosity, know that we ARE these forms, too. We need to feel more, not less. We became numb in the space, and to feel alive again we need to get... closer. We need to penetrate our sorrow, our fear, our joy, our desire and our longings, with ourselves. Embody them with breath, with attention, with heart.
We get too spacey, transcendent, detached, aloof. We lose ourselves in the formless.
Awareness is not a landing place, a destination, a far-off utopia, it is a mysterious dance of lost and found, erotic, tantric, sometimes moving towards, sometimes moving away, sometimes spacing out, relaxing, opening, expanding, getting absolutely still in the midst of movement, and sometimes pushing in, getting closer, entering the unknown, pressing down, an explosion of the formless as form, of space and matter, of filling and being filled, of knowing and not knowing, of agony and ecstasy and contraction and rest.
Let us enter into erotic union, then, with our ordinary joys and pains, our boredom and our bliss, our closed hearts and our broken hearts and our deepest human longings too. Awareness is purity, yes, but let it fall in love with this human imperfection, with the gorgeous ‘dirt’ of it all, with the sweat and the ache and the fire and the loneliness and the shame. Let Awareness cry, let it be sticky and hot and messy and sweaty in its damn purity, let it father form, protect form, drink in form, saturate form with itself and become form. And in other moments, let Awareness relax, and take space from form, unprotected; let it swaddle form and mother form and birth form from its formlessness and be One with it.
Let Awareness be feminine as well as masculine, let it stand back from thoughts and sensations and sounds and smells and “observe” them lovingly but then let it enter them fully too and fill them with itself; let it be receptive and soft and open, flowing and intuitive, surrendered and empty, yet also strong, courageous, firm and filled with life, willing to forge ahead into the unexplored places, willing to drop into the abandoned regions of our humanity, to light the tender regions up powerfully with its inextinguishable radiance.
Let Awareness birth itself and die to itself in every moment. This is true meditation!
Sometimes we need to be the space around our body and know, “I am not the body”, and sometimes we need to enter the world of feeling and sensation fully, and know, “I am the body, too”. Sometimes we need to bring spacious Awareness to feelings, wrap our arms ever so lightly around them, be the holding environment for them, and sometimes we just need to feel our feelings more fully, we need them to penetrate us completely, we need to surrender to our broken and fragile and fiery humanity, in awe and in reverence, and weep and scream and shake and sigh and feel as bad or as good as we need to feel in order to feel better again.
Sometimes we need to breathe in, sometimes we need to breathe out.
To slow down. To speed up.
To rise, to fall.
To fail. To get back up.
To not know what the fuck we are doing.
To stop. To begin again.
To smile at our mistakes.
To be here.
Those who say “You are not the body”, are only half-right.
Those who say “You are the body”, are only half-right.
We will never work it out.
We have no choice in the end, anyway.
We must all join the dance.
~ Jeff Foster