I have been thinking about transcending and descending spiritual practices ever since Ramesh Bjonnes spoke briefly on this topic at his book signing a couple of weeks ago. Recently he posted the following on FB.
“Tantric yoga is not just about transcendence into spirit but also about bringing spirit into the dark places of our hearts and minds and relationship to the world. About how much we can truly embrace, love and serve that which we have denied love and service in ourselves and in the world. Not denying the transcending nor the descending reality–neither spirit nor body/earth, neither heart nor mind. That is the practice of Tantra to me, and that, I feel, is our deep, spiritual challenge today.”
The above paragraph provoked a lot of soul searching. How do I dance between all the different aspects–body, spirit, mind and heart? How do I not seek to transcend the unpleasant circumstances of life? How do I not only embody but love the parts that appear unlovable?
As I write this post my daughters are going thru intense challenges. My youngest is twenty-four and is experiencing poor health. She was hospitalized for over a week and walked the razors edge for a few days. Now she faces weeks of recovery. My oldest is enmeshed in a nasty custody battle that seems so pointless and damaging to everyone involved. I have watched the court system fail her because she doesn’t have money for a high-powered lawyer. Both of these situations have been frightening and emotionally draining for my entire family. As a mother I want it all to stop. Now.
I have been steeped in some harsh realities for the past few years. I’ve been waiting for it all to calm down. End. To date it hasn’t. It just keeps changing faces. I experience it like an endless parade of unwanted situations. Several situations refuse to budge no matter what I resort to.
Like it or not—this is where I find myself. What is before me is my spiritual practice. Today it’s not pretty—or peaceful—or OMM in any way.
No matter what is going on around me I am committed to engaging this dance–I will continue to explore the undefined spaces between transcending and descending–the places inside myself that want to check out and the places where I lose hope. Even when I find myself stuck in an unpleasant physical reality–unable to imagine any other way of experiencing life, I will continue to engage.
OM KREEM KALIKAYE NAMAHA!