The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

An Affectionate Sense of Being

Just keep in mind the feeling 'I am', merge in it, till your mind and feeling become one. By repeated attempts you will stumble on the right balance of attention and affection and your mind will be firmly established in the thought-feeling 'I am'. Whatever you think, say, or do, this sense of immutable and affectionate being remains
as the ever-present background of the mind.
n Nisargadatta Maharaj

There are ten of these “I am” verses that Tim Piering has us memorizing, reciting, working with…the above is number four.  I’ve started dwelling on them as I go to sleep at night, and when I wake up in the morning.  Also, during formal meditation, combining “I am” with my heartbeat meditation.  Very nice.

I’m a long way from the merging spoken of in the verses.  Am quite certain that my current emotional changes are disrupting the deep calm necessary to perceive truth and dissolve illusion.

That’s alright.  I have time.  My sense is that if you continually expose yourself to the appropriate questions or stimuli, eventually you will “stumble on” the right balance.  During your day, you will notice yourself functioning at a higher level, and can index that sensation for future reference.

The problem, of course, is that these states  (creative states, spiritual states, higher consciousness states) are difficult to explain to those who have not experienced them.  So naming them isn’t much use in communication of non-ordinary reality.

But the states are real.  And in them, one finds limitless energy, an almost overwhelming sense of love and gratitude, and the ability to absorb an absolutely incredible amount of emotional or physical distress without losing focus.
“a sense of immutable and affectionate being.”  Wow. What does that mean?  I’m not certain…but I do believe I’ve seen it.  I’ve watched the body language of certain of my teachers, watched the way their faces light up when then speak of these inner states.  I’ve felt my own tensions and distress melt away when my meditations allow my ego to step aside.  They are real.  Moments in public speaking, writing, martial arts, love-making, parenting, when there is nothing other than the action, and I have (temporary) access to a state of total aliveness, awareness, and faith.  It is fascinating, and memory of touching those places sustains me in the worst of times.
Yesterday, I spoke with my dear friend Charles Johnson, one of America’s most honored writers.  We spoke of the artist’s life, and the challenge of living in harmony with the ways of nature and man.  We spoke of race, and culture, and responsibility…I am still absorbing and  assessing that conversation.  A few years ago, Chuck, Tananarive, playwright August Wilson and I sat in a coffee shop until three in the morning, speaking of similar things.  August is gone now.  His work remains, and it is a remarkable contribution to American stage craft and literature.

What is my place in all of this?  Really, it can’t be anything other than working, at every moment, to be the most authentic Steve I can be.  I know that guy.  I like that guy a lot.  Deep inside him, beyond everything else, he possesses, well, an immutable and affectionate sense of being. 

Yeah.  I like the sound of that.


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kamagra said...

What do you mean with the term "I am"? most of the people use it! call me stupid, but I couldn't understood the main point behind all this post.
Anyway, thanks for the information on this blog! I find it very interesting and entertaining! 23jj

muebles castellon said...

It cannot have effect in actual fact, that is exactly what I think.

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