Wednesday, September 09, 2009

True Blue

PMS. Pre-Menstrual Syndrome. Syndrome - syn/drone. I act the same every time, or my emotions seem to be the same and I respond in habit. Which is the syndrome part? The hormones?

My response is to get sad, always has been.

The trees on our block are already starting to change. The first to go, I see just now, is the yellow Honey Locust on the corner which gets the most of the setting sun before it disappears off the trees on our street. The yellow makes the blue sky more blue. How is that?

I tell my Miksang students that - "colors contrast each other," I say, then "contrast is part of how we see. We see one thing because it is not another." Aviva, who is currently chasing a fly, sees the fly because there is not-fly around the fly. Funny, but without the not-fly, she wouldn't really be seeing fly.

I could make all kinds of profound comments here about how it's because of joy that sadness can be seen, appreciated. But that's not really what I mean to say. I mean to say something more subtle than that, and the PMS itself, which is triggering washes of sadness the last twenty-four hours, blocks my ability to be clear about it.

So this afternoon I took a nap. Hung out in the not-fly space so that when I awoke, the fly of sadness in my face wasn't quite such a nag. No story, I said to myself, there's no story here. Just a feeling. See it and let it be.

This is true blue. Not pining after an obsession, not making up stories about depression. This clear bell of feeling, tolling in my heart, which changes almost minutely every second I can sense it, this is true blueness.

Great Eastern Sun - imagery from Shambhala to represent our basic goodness. We talk about the clouds which cover it, our concepts and aggression. But what about the sky, the space that holds it? I'd like to think this kind of feeling is that kind of space - not tainted, not biased, ever-changing but very sensitive, like film, to the world, to perceptions, to experience. And mostly blue - the world is a hard, sad place - and yet, that's not a bad thing.


  1. I was just reading Chuck Hillig's "Seeds For The Soul" last night, and there was a section about feelings. He talked about how feelings don't really hassle us. Our resistance to feelings is what hassles us. Being sad is just fine. Being sad about being sad is less fine, more of a hassle. And so if we can practice being with the feeling in a pure, non-judgmental way, it can actually be very comfortable and productive, and then when your done with it (or it's done with you) you can simply show it the door and wish it well, until we meet again.

    Love Chuck Hillig. :-)

  2. Thank you, Erin. Believe it or not, I don't know Chuck Hillig. Is he a Buddhist teacher? Sounds like it! I cribbed most of the ideas of being with feelings from Buddhist teachers from my lineage - Shambhala - Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, and Pema Chodron.

    I'll have to check out Hillig!

  3. You know, I'm not quite sure if he subscribes to a particular religion. His writing definitely has a Buddhist bent. But I think there's a lot of tantra in there, too. He's obscure because he has mainly self-published. But you can buy his stuff on amazon now. The first book of his that I read was "What Are YOU Doing In MY Universe", which was later republished under the name "Enlightenment for Beginners". He has a very simple, child-like way of explaining very complex topics that really appeals to me. When I went looking for a new copy of it several years ago, I emailed a publisher that I found through a google search and was surprised to get an email back from him personally! By all accounts, he seems like a pretty great man.