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November 1st, 2012

Silence In The Storm

By Caleb Asch

Enlightenment hit me this morning while I was walking the dog. It wasn’t a dramatic thing. I didn’t stop drinking my coffee or walking the dog. It was a quiet realization that I had stopped my compulsive, repetitive, and incessantly negative thoughts.

Let me back up. I woke up having overslept so I couldn’t do my sitting practice, and while I wasn’t late, if I didn’t get sidetracked by anything I could get to the morning yoga class that I teach – on time. I noticed while in the shower how irritated I was with everything; I wasn’t getting what I wanted pretty much everywhere in my life. I was listening to my imaginary story about how I was being screwed over by everybody, and furthermore how they would continue to screw me over until I gave them my ultimatum and walked out! Oh what I would say to these people! Who do they think they are anyway! I could even hear my father’s voice in my head yelling, (he’s ALWAYS yelling) “THESE @#$%@ JUST WON’T LET US LIVE!!!”

So by the time I had gotten through the shower, shave, brushing my teeth, putting on my clothes, kissing my wife and daughter, pouring my coffee, and last but not least, walking the dog, I had a pretty good head of steam going. (Now I know where that expression comes from) I would master my domain by sheer domination. I am the Shadow Warrior! (my signature pose) I would lay to waste any fool that was stupid enough to happen into my way. Oh, and why is the Chihuahua sniffing around too much and peeing too little? Doesn’t he get that I have somewhere I have to be? C’mon, c’mon Melvin let’s get cracking here. I have students to decimate, c’mon get the lead out!

Finally the noise in my head got so loud and had so much momentum that I could step back a little and witness it. So simple a thing to do. So elegant. I am so grateful. The moment I could simple observe my thoughts like they were some body else’s they stopped! I couldn’t not see how self-righteous and angry they were. How self – perpetuating and at war with reality they were. How much of the time I live in that mind set. Blaming everyone and everything else for what’s not working in my life. It’s no wonder I feel like a victim most of the time. That’s the quality of conversation that’s going on in my head!

This morning I witnessed the noise and it dissolved. The noise just ceased. Peace. Freedom. How much easier it is to see just how much I have to be thankful for when it’s quiet. How shimmering blessed this life really is. How I am the source of my experience and no one else. How friendly and totally supporting this reality is.

This moment was brilliant and fleeting. The nature of experience is instantaneous. A pristine moment of now. The trap is to try to re-create it or live it again. To live in the past. Now that I’ve had an experience I know that it’s possible for me. Up until now I had only read about it. (And secretly coveted it) The pitfall here would be to grasp onto and identify with the past, which doesn’t exist and guarantees failure of ever having similar experiences.

Now my practice is to stay “the vigilant guardian of my inner space”. To cultivate and maintain the witness consciousness, and to trust the same process that led me to that moment to begin with.

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