I have missed more than a few days of my “blogeverydamnday” goal. But I have been thinking about writing.
That is, when I’ve been able to think.
On Sunday I went to a singing bowls healing at my yoga school. Seven large quartz bowls were played. Chusang Rinpoche chanted during the beginning. A violinist played at the end. We laid on the floor with our heads towards the bowls. It was really loud, but calming. I felt serene and kind of dreamy. Muscles noticeably relaxed during some notes. My second toe on my right foot started throbbing at one point. I saw rainbows and some weird disjointed imagery. All and all, it was a nice relaxing experience.
But after…it has taken me a few days to figure out what happened after.
I think I dropped the storyline.
Pema Chodron, one of my favorite Buddhist teachers, often gives that instruction for meditation: drop the storyline, but stay with the feeling. To me, this is so much more helpful than “stop thinking” or “focus on the breath.” It feels good to stop thinking and feel your breath, but if you don’t feel your feelings, its just repression.
After the crystal bowls event, I was walking across a parking lot when I heard a man yell at his kid. Something along the lines of “SIT DOWN IN YOUR SEAT!! I AM SICK OF THIS SHIT!” And from that point on, I was just so incredibly SAD.
I wasn’t feeling sad for that particular kid or parent. I wasn’t feeling sad for myself, although I’ve been the one being yelled at and the one doing the yelling. Or – my specialty – yelling inside while looking calm outside. We all have.
I looked both ways before crossing the asphalt, but got blindsided by a field of raw emotion. And I felt both sides: understanding for the level of frustration and anger that makes a person do something completely pointless (like scream at a toddler) along with such sadness because obviously, screaming isn’t improving the situation. In fact, it is actively causing harm. I could feel it.
Oh, humanity. You are so confused much of the time. We are confused much of the time.
Luckily, as promised, I slept really well that night and now feel more like myself, but with my guard down a bit. Did my chakras (spinning wheels) get spun too far? Did the bowls heighten my sensitivity to sound, leaving me vulnerable to the frequency parking lot rage, as well as open to the good vibes of gratitude and caring so palpable at the shala?
I don’t know. Now I just feel like singing. And maybe crying. Then singing some more.