“The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you, don’t go back to sleep. You must ask for what you really want, don’t go back to sleep.” Rumi
During a recent conversation with a client she had wondered about the diversions that prevented her from focusing on a specific objective in her life. I mentioned the possibility of resistance, that implacable unconscious force that emerges unnoticed, like a cloud crossing the sun, to sap our intention. Later that day during a walk along the ocean, I was reflecting and began to compose a blog about Diversions and Resistance. I contemplated the difference between mindful versus mindless diversions. Mindful diversions have consequence for example: an emergency, an unexpected drama, an unexpected call, while mindless diversions seem to take on a life of their own. Sometimes I get caught up following links on the internet and an hour can fly by. It occurred to me that I had engaged in too many mindless diversions recently and I wondered if I was in resistance to something or other. I came to no conclusion and soon the natural beauty of my surroundings caused this musing to float away, like a dream in the morning light, and was gone.
Later that afternoon I am considering a bike ride but feel slightly off centre. Somewhat inadvertently I check my pulse and notice a wave of anxiety at what I observe. It seems erratic, missing the occasional beat, almost too slow. I take my blood pressure: 130/62 with a pulse of 60. I sit for a moment feeling fear and anxiety wondering what I should do. The responses range from – go to emergency, call a friend, or call the nurse line however I decided first to explore the meta-physical. Previously when I had suffered such concerns, conventional checks had showed all was normal and the answer had been in my journey of the heart. (http://wp.me/phAyS-5h) My first resort was to throw the I Ching. The hexagram that I create is 24 Returning. On the surface it seems positive – emergence, return to source, retrace paths but the one change line catches my attention like a rabbit in the head lights. “Delusion – you are returning to an old delusion, deception, the way is closed.” How interesting? Then my train of thought is interrupted by the memory of my earlier musing, “What am I in resisting?”
I decide to meditate on this and ask for guidance. I sit in my darkened room, light a candle, put some readings of Rumi on the CD, and sit open-eyed on my meditation cushion. I remember the two earlier occasions when I had medical concerns that had proved conventionally groundless but had proved meaningful. Each had occurred to remind me that I was to establish a heart focused meditation. I reflect on my recent attempts and suspect I may have lost some focus. I engage in a brief dialogue with my deeper self. “Is this what this is about? Your reaction seems a bit over the top. Surely it’s not that big a deal?” “Neither are your symptoms” comes the reply. I smile as I realize that my soul is only responding to my daily affirmation “May my soul fulfill its highest expression.” “What do you require of me” I ask. “Only half an hour a day – is that too much to ask?” Ruefully I realize I spend at least that much time a day chasing links on the web. I pick up my book of Rumi and read the first poem that catches my eye. “Stop the words now. Open up the centre of your chest and let the spirits fly in and out. How synchronicitous is that? I read the next poem, drawn like a magnet to the words “The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you, don’t go back to sleep. You must ask for what you really want, don’t go back to sleep.” I sit in awe at the amazing response from the cosmos. I feel clear about what I am to do.
That evening there is another piece. I am working with a client who had started a practice that really worked for him. “Are you still doing it”? I inquired. He looked puzzled for a moment and said that he had stopped but really did not know why. “It just got interrupted” he said “And I never started again.” It was only when writing up my notes later that I realized that I have the same pattern. My heart focused practice was interrupted by Christmas, a vacation in Mexico, a visit from my niece and the Olympics and had never got started again.
Later I pick up the journal that I had used to record my heart-focused meditations. To my surprise I read that I had clearly identified the objective of the practice. To feed my heart through poetry, music, compassion, love, peace, joy, gratitude, wonder, awe, chanting, dance, mindfulness, presence and light. Feeling a little chagrin, I realize how far I have deviated from that goal during the past few months as slowly but surely I had undermined the essence of the practice. Another wake-up call. I hope I do better this time.
Note: My curiosity caused me to check references for arrhythmia. They are irregular heart beats that can occur with a normal heart rate, or with heart rates that are slow (called bradyarrhythmias — less than 60 beats per minute). They seem no big deal for someone whose heart has been checked out a number of times recently.