Friday, September 7, 2012

Digging and Sifting

My internal calendar runs on the academic year.  I was born and grew up in a "college town" to a high school teacher and a college professor-turned administrator.  As far as I'm concerned, the year begins in late August and ends in early May.  June and July don't really belong to the year.  They are part of the fluid time, where schedules are altered and adjustments made for summer...never mind that in the current college town that I call home, summer temperatures begin in March...  If the year were a breath, June and July would the retention, the pause.

I'm gratefully soaking up the city-wide energy that comes with the students as they return for a new year.  I'm ready for a new year and for the boost in energy.

The past year has been one with which I'm sure I will continue to mark time.  There are many years that bleed together.  You can think of an event that occurred and think, "now what year was that...what that 3 years ago or 4?".  And the answer doesn't really matter as the years themselves passed without ever being defined.  They were.  They happened.  They've passed.  There are other years that serve to mark time in some way.  There are the years I graduated from high school, or college, or grad school and the year I got married.  I'm certain this past year will have etched it's mark, when I have finally been able to move past it.

Much of this past year has been a process of trying to parse out sensation from feeling.  Where does actual sensation end and where does feeling complete with story begin?  Sensation can pass through, if I manage not to grab on, morph it into feeling, and tell myself a story about it.

I've spent the spring and the fluid time sifting sensation from feeling.  They sift like soil samples through a stack of sieves.  The actual, unadulterated sensations sift to the very bottom, through the smallest holes.  They are not identifiable or nameable as anything in particular.  They're left like fine dust at the bottom and can be tossed up into the air where they get caught on currents and possibly dissolve completely.  The feelings with their stories get stuck on the top sieve.  Like roots and rocks, they seem solid.  They seem to have meaning, names.

The lesson from the spring and from the fluid time?  Feelings are unreliable as measures of the truth.  Stories are unreliable.  The mind is a changeling and likes constant entertainment.  It can create complexity, and prana draining drama out of dust, sensation.

I have been steadily digging a deeper and deeper hole, sifting as I go.  The lesson from the spring and from the fluid time?  A hole is not enough.  I'm digging a well.

"The entire world is fabrication of thought. Play of mind is only created by thought. By transcending the mind which is composed of constructed thought, definitely peace will be attained, O Rama!
-Hatha Yoga Pradipika 4:58