Conscious being, some of us are and at some of the time.
When a certain insight hits us, those ‘a-ha’ moments (no, I don’t mean the Norwegian pop group), when our attention is focused on another for his or her sake, when we are attuned to our impact on the world around us. Been here?
For some of us, these instances are not persistent or sustained.
Being conscious is a habit cultivated through practice.
It does not come easy. Yet we are too busy to be mindful, to take time with it.
Stephen Levine, meditation teacher, who had spent his life assisting people in ‘conscious dying’ passed on some ten days ago. This spiritual writer of books such as ‘Who Dies?’ and ‘Meeting on the Edge’ spoke of conscious dying as a process which begins with conscious living.
To live a conscious life, we have to take responsibility. Responsibility, not blame.
We need to live light. Let go of the ego need to be right, to come up triumphant…to dichotomize and polarize what is. We participate fully in our experience of living – with the joys as with the pain. But few want to experience pain – our rational minds build fortresses to protect us from them and we assemble weapons to defend ourselves. Ah, the war metaphor… but it’s true, is it not?
To live consciously is to acknowledge pain in our lives.
To accept it but not as a tool for self-pity. Pain is a universal experience – my pain hurts me because it is mine, your pain hurts you because it is yours. There is no greater or lesser pain – just the pain. Once my pain becomes the pain, it becomes a ‘thing’ which we can observe, and let go if we choose to. Yes, we have choice too.
Pain need not be suffering because suffering is choosing to be attached to the pain, to identify with the pain, to stay stuck with the pain. Conscious living is to accept the pain and know that it is one of many states we go through. Nothing more, nothing less. It too will pass.
A phrase I have heard in recent years is the term ‘conscious coupling’ and in more recent times, ‘conscious uncoupling’. Perhaps I am more ‘qualified’ to speak of conscious uncoupling. Many therapist have stated conscious uncoupling invariably finds its source in unconscious coupling, where two beings got together for gratification of their unconscious minds. Examples? Partnering a thrill-seeker who is ‘exciting’ mistaking it for courage and strength, being with an intelligent person who ‘understands’ mistaking it for wisdom and compassion, determining not to marry someone like our fathers or mothers… Familiar?
Partnering, or coupling, is but a state in our journey of life. I have a responsibility to the conscious uncoupling, not for it. There is no one to blame, only to accept it is part of life’s journey. The once partner will remain a figure in your past, a catalyst for your growth (I hope). Whether your coupling lasts 1 or 10 or 50 years, it runs its course as life unfolds. No blame, no regret, no suffering. And in this space, the possibility is open for this human being to be a part of your present, which is quite significant when there are young children. And there are also instances when it is imperative for the conscious uncoupling to result in a strict separation, a ‘never to see the other again’ state. There are indeed many ways of being in a conscious uncoupling. It is personal. I have learnt that it only takes one to consciously uncouple to make a difference.
To live consciously is to watch joy and pain as transitory states; which like a river flows through the landscape of our life.
Are you conscious? Practising?
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All quotes courtesy of Florence T.
2016 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.