“If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all
things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern. -- William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
There was a time when a grey, gloomy morning like this could send my spirits spiraling downward. Confined to the tunnel vision of my own thoughts and feelings, I would become oblivious to the Ongoing Miracle. I'd get really depressed.
Today, that didn't happen. I blame the Practice for this turn of events.
Although I would be dashed between the rocks and hard places of my own unattended childhood trauma and dysfunctional conditioning many times over the years, I was fortunate. The Collective Kensho of the late 60's and my own Peek Experience of Infinite Perfection in 1972 gave me a strong enough jolt of the Real Deal to get serious about a spiritual practice. Although there were some fleeting dry spells, I've mediated regularly for a long time.
Now, at age 74, it seems I've found a way to Not-Do Depression so much. Although I am no stranger to sadness, the Practice has transformed my relationship to this emotional energy. The inner belief structures and narratives that operated to lock depression in place just can't seem get a toe-hold anymore. Instead, the story lines arise and disappear within the Gracious Spaciousness of Awareness that is readily accessible much of the time. Of course, I put my butt on the zafu for at least an hour most days, and try to take an entire day of mindful practice at least once a month, and a do a three day fasting silent retreat at least twice a year.
The Theory and the Practice
So, here's the Deal.