DISCOMBOBULATION: Weathering Mental Windstorms
During Awakening, the mind’s attachment to “objects” of thought and emotion are being recognized in more and more situations. The identification with a “personal me” is coming into Awareness. The dependence on thinking is seen. Spaciousness as consciousness expands. The creative impulse is noticed as well as the intellect’s assistance as a tool for relating with objects and forms for “doing “on the physical level, meeting goals and accomplishing tasks.
Vacillation will occur where mind becomes too attached and then, is recognized. This will feel like the proverbial “two steps forward, one step back”. Have patience, this is a mighty task, The dis-identification with mind. Mind enjoys “mind-ing” and the pattern is deeply entrenched. There is no need to “stop” the mind’s mind-ing. Just noticing is enough, for conscious Consciousness allows what arises. The “stopping” is an inner directive to pay full attention in bright, alertness rather than to be swept away in mind’s current without any notice.
The mind is beautiful, creativity is magnificent, there is no need to deny its movement. Being conscious is about Awareness rather than control. Unconsciousness is simply full absorption in the mind with no Awareness of the fullness of formless Being. Integrating Awareness with mind’s movement is to be Aware, conscious, fully attentive and alive while mind does what it does.
Awakening brings revelation of the formlessness of consciousness, That which cannot change and is ever Present. The conditioned mind will recoil at times from the Awareness of formlessness. Egoic mind will assert the personal-self story as part of the momentum of the human dream. The pull of unconsciousness, falling back to sleep, has its cycle of surging and easing. This isn’t failure in any way.
We wouldn’t say that rain is sunshine’s failure. Rain is part of the total wholeness of weather. Being Present and then having conditioning arise and pull us into sleep is part of the cycle of the expansion of consciousness. Watching the mind attempt to reincarnate within the human dream by jump-starting the “personal me” is simply what mind does. Mind moves and attaches to subtle and gross forms. The very fact that it can be seen proves the existence of Being, the field of Awareness within which mind and its movement appears.
“But how does knowing this help me? ‘I’m’ being tossed around by the mind. One day I wake up and feel clear, as if I’m pure Consciousness. The next day my head is jam-packed with desires and fears. I feel an urge to do something, anything and I wear myself out’ doing’ but it feels like it’s all for naught. I don’t know what to believe anymore. I don’t understand the point of anything. Every human activity feels devoid of true meaning — the way I feel as Consciousness — human stuff just doesn’t compare. This surge of creativity comes and I don’t know what to do with it. I accomplish things and the edge wears off but then I get sucked into the personal me story about what ‘I’ve’ just accomplished.”
“How do I reconcile all of this? It’s like there’s 2 layers, the physical and the spiritual and they’re all jumbled together and I can’t see straight. I feel horrible, like half of me is spinning as a human and half of me is free watching it all happen yet there’s no sense of being able to control any of it. Part of ‘me’ is grasping, trying to hold on and feels terrified while the other part is at peace with everything, just as it is, having absolutely no needs at all.”
Just the fact that this is seen is Awareness. This active seeing is Consciousness being integrated within your human form. This is the expansion of Consciousness into humanity. Yes, it’s confusing. Yes, it’s discombobulating. This is the newest creation, having never happened, before. Let it be, just as it is, just what it is.
Fear, as a conditioned pattern, will remain for awhile. Fear rears its head when things move in new ways, outside its “rut”, its normally conditioned route. That brings the desire for control. Let it feel messy if that’s what is arising. Nothing is truly at risk. During these times it may help to concentrate fully on just what is happening in this Now moment.
Imagine walking through a heavy windstorm. The winds are so intense they pull your jacket open and both sides of your coat are flapping. Off goes your hat, it’s flown 50 feet behind you, sliding away from you across the pavement. Your eyes are tearing as the cold wind whips your face. Your body is stumbling, you bend forward into the wind and your thighs burn with effort to keep pushing forward. There is no control, here. Everything feels “out of control”, even your hair and eyelashes are being rifled by the wind. Just allow. The mind’s need to control will cause anxiety.
If you relax and focus on just one thing, the anxiety will release. Focus on your breath, focus on your right foot moving forward to take its step, just one thing comes into Awareness in the moment. The beauty of that one thing under focus will blossom and the “rest” will simply fade away in importance.
This doesn’t mean that you might not take shelter around the corner of the building to step out of the wind for awhile. This doesn’t mean that you won’t back-track to retrieve your hat. This doesn’t mean that you won’t wipe your eyes. This doesn’t mean you don’t grip your jacket tight to keep it closed. It doesn’t mean you strip naked and let the wind carry you into the middle of the busy street directly into the path of zooming vehicles.
It just means through present moment attention on one thing will blur the overwhelm the mind experiences when realizing it has no real control. What makes the experience so unpleasant is not the actual events which are happening. Mind’s resistance to what is happening is what feels so unpleasant. The ego so quickly blames the happening circumstances as “the cause”, the “problem” that this subtle resistance through blame usually slips by unnoticed. Blaming of outer circumstance happens lightning-fast.
Imagine a free mind, completely open-willing-non-resistant. This mind would be ecstatic in the windstorm. WHOOSH! (heavy winds) “WOW!” says the free mind. FLAPPP! (goes the coat) “Oooh, check that out!” says the open mind. TEARS FALLING “that wind is super strong, my eyes are watering” says the open mind. ZIP! (off goes the hat) “WHOA! Ha-ha-ha!” says the free mind. STRAIN “look how strong these thighs are, making progress forward even with the strength of this wind, holy cow!” says the open mind. SHHHOOOOO! (hair whips in all directions) “well, here comes the wind-tossed look, haha” says the free mind. The open, free mind loves it all and rejects nothing.
Each arising thing is accepted, allowed and joined with delight. There’s no thought of control because there’s no resistance, there’s no desire that things be different than just how they are, right in the moment. There is a delicious openness where anything could happen and discovering it as-it-happens is paramount and fun. One might duck into a kiosk and feel the drop of the wind and enjoy that still 30 seconds of respite. One might sit down and hold on, just feel the might of the wind’s intensity. Who knows, only You as Life can reveal Itself in that Now moment and only You as Life can witness it how and why it shows up within You as Conscious Consciousness, fully aware and alive, as an experience of a human form.
Compare this with the closed, unwilling, conditioned and resistant mind: WHOOSH! (heavy winds) “Oh no! This is awful! This wind should stop! I need to get out of here!” FLAPPP! (goes the coat) “I’m gonna freeze! I’ve got to get this coat buttoned/zipped” TEARS FALLING “noooo, this is ruining my eyeliner/I hate when this happens! I’ve got to keep my eyes closed” ZIP! (off goes the hat) “Damn it! Now I’ll have to circle back and find my hat, that hat cost me $15, that car better not run over it!” STRAIN “I hope I don’t fall down, this is ridiculous, I bet I look stupid, why me, why today, what a mess, I hate this!” SHHHOOOOO! (hair whips in all directions) “My hair is ruined! I have an interview, what shit-luck is that?!”.
Look at the stress, the simple appearance of a gust of wind to a resistant mind has created the emotions of fear, negative criticism, judgment, worry, sadness, anxiety, anger, frustration, concern, grief, resentment, bitterness. This is suffering. Each arising thing is refused, rejected, disallowed and held as separate and unwanted. There is anger around desire to control thoughts because there’s maximum resistance. Every desire is for things to be different than just how they are in the moment.
So, the mind is spinning while the two layers of human doing and Being are filtering through integration. Just notice what arises in each moment, focus on it, breathe and let go. You can even name what arises if it helps you to focus. Confusion…breathe and let go. Spinning…breathe and let go. Moving to the sink…breathe and let go. Washing my coffee cup…breathe and let go. Thought: what am I supposed to do next…breathe and let go. Worry thought: next month’s storage bill…breathe and let go. Only one thing is to be done at a time. The mind, however, will be throwing multiple things out at once, many more than could even be accomplished. Just let mind throw thoughts around. Identify, breathe, let go. Re-focus on what one thing is here, right now.
“But what if I’m supposed to be doing something else?” You can only do what is arising right now, it’s just the mind that is racing elsewhere. You are not the mind, You are That experiencing the mind. If there really is something to be done, it will become so obvious that it will feel impossible not to do it. The knock will appear at the door — there’s the thing to do, open the door to see who’s there. The phone will ring, there’s the next thing to do, answer the phone. The dog will bark, there’s the next thing to do, fill the bowl with dogfood or take the dog for a walk. A person enters the room, there’s a greeting to give. Even though the mind is spinning, the body won’t fall off the earth…even though it feels like it might. Breathe. Awareness is allowing for the dis-identification with the firing thoughts of mind.
The mind is an object, a very subtle object, but it has form, nonetheless. It, too, goes through cycles just like weather. We have windstorms where leaves are blown around. Mind has windstorms where thoughts are blown around. Imagine trying to catch all of the leaves and hold them down so nothing moves.
That’s what we try to do during a mental windstorm, round up all the thoughts and do something with them but it’s not something which can be controlled. Relax, let the thoughts whip around. Breathe. The whip-around won’t go on forever.
“But I can’t sleep when I feel like this! I get insomnia.” Then sleep isn’t what’s happening, can you relax into not sleeping rather than resisting it? The thinking mind will demand “why?!!!” followed by all the reasons why what’s happening shouldn’t be happening. This is a prime opportunity to watch thinking mind’s throw its temper tantrum over control. Meet the thinking mind, exactly where it is. Allow it to rage, allow it to want, allow it to resist. Just breathe. Observe it’s proof: “but I’m going to be tired, but if I don’t get 9 hours I’m going to be a wreck, this is stupid, this is not productive, this is wasted time.” Don’t defend, don’t rationalize, don’t judge. Just watch. Breathe. Allow.
I get it, easier said than done. Be gentle and open. Join the thinking mind rather than judging it. When you focus on your breathing, even if it’s rapid and soaked with anxiety, move so deeply into your breathing that you catch a glimpse of Spaciousness, even if it’s just half a second. Move deeper, find the space or gap which is free from thought and watch it expand. It may open and expand into 15 seconds. Keep following that openness which feels peaceful.
Mysteriously, Presence will surround the discontented thinking mind and hold it in loving embrace. Your body will register a sigh and relax. Keep focusing on your breathing and dive even deeper into the calming release of acceptance. Feel this Spaciousness “surround” the mental windstorm. Look for a feeling of compassion, of tender acceptance. The whirlwind of thinking mind cannot continue to swirl in the Presence of the embrace by That Which We Are.
The bible mentions the miracle of Jesus when He calmed the stormy Sea of Galilee. This is a story of a physical miracle dealing with wind and water. Since we embody the Christ-Spirit or Awakening Consciousness, we can witness this miracle for ourselves as our Presence calms the mental windstorms comprised of subtle energy as thoughts and feelings.
The biblical story tells of Jesus and his disciples crossing the Sea of Galilee to expand His ministry to the Gentiles. Soon after their launch, Jesus laid down to sleep and a violent storm arose. As waves washed over the edge of the boat and filled it with water, the disciples began to fear for their lives.
Mark 4:37–41: “A furious squall came up and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke Him and said to Him, ‘Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?’ He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet! Be Still!’ Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to His disciples, ‘Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?’ They were terrified and asked each other, ‘Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey Him’!”
Jesus demonstrated Certainty and encouraged Faith, that all is well, even during wind, waves and boat-rocking. This is the same miracle happening in the bedroom when anxious thinking mind is storming and the rocking body cannot sleep. Focusing on the breath concentrates Awareness. Present Moment focus moves our inherent divine identity as formless consciousness into Awareness. Presence, the active aware aspect of Conscious consciousness surrounds the “storm” of thinking mind. This Stillness, this gap of quietitude and peace is the “call” for the thinking mind’s storm to cease. The collapse of the storm, the end of resistance, is thinking mind’s release of its contracted energy into the welcoming embrace of the Present Moment.
Our Presence or Awareness is the “control” through non-resistant clear seeing which the thinking mind attempts to replicate with doing-behavior to dominate and overcome circumstances. We don’t have to understand the process for it to work. Breathe, allow. No windstorm lasts forever. Energy builds, erupts, then settles. We can weather the weather and weather the windstorms, on the physical levels and its subtle levels of thinking mind.
It simply is, this Awakening process, breathe, cooperate, let it do what it does.
With You as Awakening Unfolds