Monday, May 19, 2014

paper adventure

My final paper for this quarter is due on Wednesday and I've had so much fun this weekend working on it. The class this quarter has been on active imagination and I've been really intrigued by the use of this Jungian technique to explore our unlived lives. So that's what I've been up to. Not much to share, but I remembered that I'd mentioned sharing part of my final project for another class and never did. So here's part of that. Enjoy!

nyc mystery door

Sitting in the large meditation hall, I’m trying not to fall asleep, feeling both tired and agitated. The man behind me is too close. I can feel his face inches from the back of my neck. I’m worried that I’ll doze off and drop my pen and notebook, my eyelids getting heavier and heavier with each blink.

The talk is on stabilization, our natural ability to be present and to know what’s happening, and here I am actively falling into unconsciousness over and over, drifting off and coming back and drifting off again. Well, at least I am being kind to myself about it, momentarily practicing acceptance, and looking forward to climbing into my soft, warm bed.

It is hard to know what’s more uncomfortable, when the hall is hot and stuffy or when the air conditioning kicks on and a cold blast of air makes me shiver and wrap my scarf even tighter around my neck. My stomach growls – the vegan lasagna might not have been the best choice. What will I have for breakfast tomorrow? Oh, right, the talk. What have I traveled halfway across the country to hear?

The older woman in her maroon robes and short Buddhist nun haircut, whose kind face smiles out at me from the countless books and CDs on my shelves at home, is describing her fellow practitioners who’ve dedicated their lives to seeing everything about themselves with kindness, without trying to change anything, and she says she feels this is an example of how to be fully human.

“Sounds like individuation,” I think to myself, struck by the similarity between Buddhist teachings and what I’ve been studying in my classes on Jung. And then she says something that wakes me up completely: “Things become doorways to a bigger, more profound reality.”