This week in my blog I would like to share a significant personal discovery during my month-long meditation retreat last October. A subtle shift in awareness that changed how I experience the world.
I have been studying healing and the nature of consciousness for quite a while now, currently reading books on nonduality and the work of Rupert Spira, Eckhart Tolle, and Frans Stiene. Also listening to and enjoying the awakening consciousness stories of ordinary people from Buddha at the Gas Pump.
Last week I wrote about my healing practice and what I experience in the healing space during a session. I described the dynamic, ever-evolving, morphing healing state I am in five days a week. My question for the last few years has been: What is the relationship of this healing space to Non-Duality, the True Self, Divine Presence?
Many teachers and healers I greatly respect have spoken of compassion as a quality of this healing space and this higher consciousness. This is where I felt like I was missing the boat. I was not feeling compassion in the healing space. Here is how I finally defined it for myself in a past post:
Compassion is the ability to hold everything in the moment, in the divine presence of All That Is. It is an energetic healing state.
This compassion is not motivated by desire or ambition to heal others. In fact, it had begun to seem like the more powerful and effective the healing space was becoming for my clients, the less emotionally connected I was to the whole healing process. I do not feel any emotions or desires in the actual healing space. I also had periods when I felt so much less ambitious in my everyday life, which was very uncomfortable. Just being in the world was now requiring a new method of navigation that was confusing. There was much less ego. I was finding this stressful.
So, as I began my month-long meditation retreat in October, my intention was to focus on this question.
There was a Supreme Court issue at the beginning of October that had greatly upset me, so when I sat to meditate my emotional body was quite activated. As I began to meditate, I could feel my energy spiraling and unwinding about five feet all around me, with waves of heat and nausea periodically passing through my physical body. It was very similar to the healing space I held for others, except I was feeling my own energy moving. I would like to note here that my clients very, very rarely feel nauseous.
For the first ten days, it was extremely challenging and physically uncomfortable to sit and meditate. I just wanted to run, to move, to get a drink of water, or find my cell phone and text for help.
Then I began to notice a space underneath all the movement. A quiet space. I focused on that, and it expanded over time and became more encompassing, eventually surrounding everything including my energy field and my body. My nervous system and biofield started settling down, and I experienced the heat and waves of nausea less and less.
This new space was utterly still, like a flat void. I could not even describe it as peaceful, certainly not compassionate, yet there was definitely no stress. It was empty.
After 10 days of emotional turmoil arising and releasing this was a welcome shift. I focused on this space the rest of my meditation retreat, and just let all my questions about healing states and consciousness go.
I have now been back from my retreat and working for over twenty days. The healing space and my healing practice appear to be pretty much the same; different every session and still wonderfully effective for each client.
The prevailing thought running through my brain is that there is nothing to seek anymore. Everything is right here, in this stillness, in this emptiness. My intention now is to stay connected to it.
What was the most surprising, and what I most wanted to share with you, is that even though this deeper space is still experienced as emotionally empty, I returned from the retreat feeling more compassion, joy, love, and clarity in all aspects of my life. I can listen to the daily news with much less resistance. The more I connect with this space the more calmer and more peaceful I am.
You would think that connecting with a state of consciousness that creates more compassion would be experienced as compassionate, yet that’s not how it works for me. The experience of emptiness appears to create more compassion.
Meditation is not what I thought.
Jeri Lawson has a full-time healing practice in the Temescal Area of Oakland, California. She is available for Healing Touch, Reiki, Distance Healings and Clarity Breathwork Monday through Friday, 10 am to 6 pm. 510-601-9632