I have been in the process of stripping away the layers of my life…..a bit like ripping off a bandaid. And yet, underneath is a newness, a rawness, a pristine surface. Life is like that. Layers upon layers we construct. In some cases the construction simply deadens our sensitivity to the aliveness of life.
I knew an art consultant, actually considered the leading expert in the US on artist Willem de Kooning, who shared a personal story with me. The story was about his Limoges collection. He had a large Limoges collection arranged on the top of a side-table in his apartment in NY. One day his wife was cleaning the Limoges and one was broken. She put it aside, to share with her husband when he returned home. When he entered the door to their apartment, he instantly felt unsettled. He asked his wife, ‘Did something happen here today?” She showed him the broken Limoges. He told me that, for him, every piece of art (life) had a vibration. He had felt the disturbance when he entered his home.
Why I share this story is to say that life is subtle. Not everyone will feel the presence or absence of one piece of Limoges; however each of us can attune ourselves to be sensitive to life around us. This is why we practice meditation and pranayama. So that we can discern small shifts in vibrations. We can not avoid the vibrations of life around us, we can simply ignore them. Ignore=ignorance. To not attune yourself to see or to block that which you are capable of seeing, feeling and knowing is avoidance.
To live with this avoidance and not be pained by it, we acquire layers upon layers which deadens our experience of the world. The layers look different for each of us. We can call the layers distractions. How many distractions have you invited into your life? Possessions, relationships, control, perfectionism, racism, or judgement of self/other.
These distractions keep us from fully experiencing ourselves. They become impediments to our spiritual growth. To grow spiritually we must expand and touch the fire of life. We must touch the intensity of being embodied and in relationship with the entire cosmos. We can not construct adequate layers of distraction to fully cut out the ‘unpleasant’ pieces of life. We can only dim our experience of them. This also results in dimming our experience of the beauty of life.
Racism is an example of this. Many of us have simply deadened our perceptions so we do not have to see the burden of the color of ones skin, the bias of education, and the prejudice of opportunity. NOW is the time for us to spiritually embrace the fullness and aliveness of life including that which is painful and difficult for us. To break the barriers of self and truly become a global citizen.
This can only happen individual by individual. We must choose to let go of the layers of our lives which cocoon us in a false reality. The constructed layers that insulate and isolate. Begin today by listing the distractions in your life. Being aware allows us to deconstruct these distractions. Let go of old paradigms and embrace reality. Blessing, Nirmala
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