Wednesday, August 4, 2010
the highest intention
I went to a workshop with Jack Kornfield on Saturday. He is a vippasana meditation teacher and a psychologist. One of the exercises we did was a partner exercise where we looked deeply into another's eyes for about ten minutes. Gary and I attended this workshop together and partnered for this exercise. The exercise had four parts. For the first few minutes we were to look into the other person's eyes and imagine their loving human qualities. Then we were instructed to see the other person's suffering, then to look into the other's eyes and see all the people we loved in them, and last to see the other person as all people and as the connectedness of all people. I was very grateful for the deep connection we have and that we do eye gazing on our own frequently. When I was looking at his suffering I saw the shy little boy inside of him who has a hard time asking for what he wants. My heart went out to that little boy. I could see that Gary's attempts to be funny at my expense were an unskillful strategy he learned to connect with others when he didn't know how else to do it. Since then it has been easier for me not to take it so personally. Rather I have been better able to see being triggereed as a chance for me to be with my hurt little girl inside smarting from her father's teasing. I am learning not to shoot the messenger and to get the message. In this way I can better use my relationship with Gary to heal my own childhood wounds. I felt so much love for Gary during the eyes open meditation exercise. I felt blessed to have a partner who would go to a workshop like this with me. It was even his idea. I was aware of our soul connection and how that is the strongest bond we have and both of our most important values. All of this love was welling up between us and it seemed to move out beyond us to include all of our loved ones and all people everywhere. The lunch break was right after this exercise. At lunch we had a big argument and I was reminded that love creates the space for what isn't love to come up and be experienced and healed. It was funny to look back on that later and to see how the process worked, even though in the midst of my anger and hurt feelings it wasn't funny at all. I am doing The Presence Process for the second time. Michael Brown, the author of the presence process book says that we are imprinted in the first seven years of life by the supressed emotional experiences of childhood. He says that everything that happens to us as an adult is an opportunity to bring those suppressed emotions to consciousness to experience and integrate them. Each time we do this we increase present moment awareness. I acknowledge the courage it takes for me to be in a committed relationship. I have knowingly signed up to be triggered by another person and to stick around and heal. I appreciate that Gary has done this too. When we are both invested in being right and blaming the other for our suffering it isn't pretty. We know how to hurt each other quite well now. In the workshop this Saturday Jack Kornfield said when he is in this place with his wife and he can remember who he really is he asks himself,"What is my highest intention? He said that this awareness moves him out of his defensiveness. I want to have the presence of mind in the midst of an argument to remember that I actually have a highest intention outside of beating down my enemy. Also, in the midst of beating up on myself I want to remember to ask myself, What is my highest intention? My highest intention is to use my life to be connected to God and to use love as the vehicle to get there. Maybe it will help me to love myself even in the midst of my self-hate and fear. I'd like to use the obsessive quality of my thoughts when I am lost in self-doubt to remind me of my highest intention. I could use the awareness of myself as that rat on that wheel going around and around to imagine jumping off the wheel and asking for help. I could imagine being in my circle breathing love from my spiritual support into my own heart to my little girl inside, thus connecting with the source. What is your highest intention? How could you remind yourself of it in the midst of your self-hate and fear?