An individual embarks on a rite of soul encounter when he recognizes the story he has been living has become too small. He will have to sacrifice the old story, provoking the ordeal of a good deal of grief. He longs for a new, larger story but knows he cannot discern it with the limited powers of his thinking mind, which naturally clings to the old story. He has many reasons to lament. Lamenting puts the emphasis in the right place. An unrestrained lament is a crowbar into the dark depths of the self. The lamenter opens to his deepest & most difficult truths of loss & hope & dares to gaze into the bottom of his umprotected heart. His vision waits in those shadowy realms. The lament expresses, in essence, that the quester has lost his way, has strayed off his path of heart, or has gone as far as he could with what he knows. Your lament, once begun in earnest, gathers emotional momentum; it opens your eyes wide to the world as it opens your heart to your deepest longing. Lamenting takes you to a level of consciousness far deeper than familiar ego concerns, introducing your conscious self to your soul….Bill Plotkin
transitions, shifts, & crises call our vulnerabilities out to play….how do we not run & hide? how do we notice our holding patterns without judgement? Isn’t this the human side of spirituality? the meat on the bones?
Practice cannot follow our ideals; it can only follow the laws of life. In a naive way we might imagine our hearts can stay open like a giant sunflower filled with loving-kindness, compassion, & connection day after day in an unchanging way, but our hearts & feelings have their rhythms & cycles too. Our heart breathes like the rest of us, & sometimes it opens & sometimes it closes like the blossoms of a flower that closes its petals on cool evenings. Our bodies reflect the spirals & movement of the stars. We wake & sleep, the earth turns, the sun rises & sets, our hearts beat, our breath moves in & out, all in natural rhythms. When we honor them, our practice opens. We can trust that whatever calls our attention in our practice will bring us what we need to live fuly & genuinely in the timeless here & now…….Jack Kornfield
we won’t let go, but the water over the stone wears us down to the nub of the soul…we can’t deny it…..the heart is now a big water bag….overflowing with tears…..time to escape into the softness where the mind cannot & should not go….cradle the heart again & again as it shape-shifts….
‘Who are you?’ said the Caterpillar….
‘I- I hardly know, Sir, just at present,’ Alice replied rather slowly, ‘at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have changed several times since then.’