There is something that has changed and it comes upon us by surprise and without effort. Finally, a reprieve...but why? Generally, the circumstances are no different and nothing on the outside is different but something is different! It is much like a breath of fresh air or a fresh aroma that is new yet so familiar. The familiarity is of something old and ancient. The aroma, so to speak, reminds us of something yet we can't quite put our finger on it. It may be the aroma (i.e. feeling) you felt when you arrived at your grandmothers or the comfort of a nurturing figure you had so long ago. It is of something distant yet close at the same time.
Something new has happened because we shift from future opportunities to realizing and living out the truth that there are only opportunities for this moment. Pain and suffering become less of the focus because our relationship to suffering has changed. We begin to sense an inkling that we are tapped into something much bigger. It feels very mysterious yet core. Most of all, we are learning to sit in the emptiness. Yet the difference is we are able to sit long enough for the unfolding. It happens without our self-will.
And if something doesn't unfold -- we are able to wait and are ok with the waiting. It is in the waiting that events occur that were not thought or planned. It is less about the controlling, achieving, willing, or performing one's way through it and instead...we are able to see a need, ask, wait, trust, let go, and then respond. Note: This is not meant to be a formula. In fact, there are no formulas, thought processes, paradigms, or systems. Those all point to the smaller self. Those are the things we try to formalize, trademark, whereby it becomes more about us and following a known and controllable system. This is what the ego wants! There is something much larger / mysterious leading and cannot be quantified because it is something Other. We come to know by experience that this Other is found within us not outside us. This is the beginning of contemplation. We are learning to be connected through contemplation which will be discussed in Stage 8.
In reflecting over my practice, some of the most powerful therapy sessions I have been apart of came when utilizing Brainspotting or EMDR. These therapies sound complex but are essentially are very simple. In a lot of ways, its like hyper-focused mindfulness. It is not that these are the answer or some formula. Otherwise, clients would experience healing 100% of the time. Yet, when these do work, clients report clarity and peace (ah ha moments) where they come to some realization on their own - a message from within. I have seen it time and time again and it is always much more powerful and transformative than something I provide. I say all this because it affirms that we already hold the answer from within.
We come to sit in the empty space knowing and trusting that this is where life is lived. We begin to know by experience that something much deeper inside will lead us. We come to experience that we have never been as alone as we thought. That in fact something was with us all this time. Up till now, we have been trying to gain by improvement but we learned to let go in Stage 6 which is what opened up newness. David Whyte states that "to be yourself requires a radical initiation or simplification".
Derek Walcott's poem Love after Love "
The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.