Estranged from Our Feelings

Ayyā Medhānandī Bhikkhunī

Estranged from Our Feelings

Those of us who become estranged from our inner-most feelings fool ourselves into believing that we are detached when all we have done is learn to cope. And the more unskilful the ways of coping we adopt, the worse our condition becomes– until the mind gives up, or wakes up.

From the marrow of our own pain and stress – disappointment or anger at ourselves or our friends, loved ones, colleagues, our jobs, our bodies, our lives – an intensifying cry of urgency, samvega, betrays our desperation. This may be the first glimmering of waking up to our vulnerability and the immanent danger we are in.

Such awareness marks the transition to healing with the gift of intuitive insight that flourishes in the mind’s stillness. It is sometimes revealed when we stroll quietly in a park and feel a sense of joy and calm. Unexpectedly, the emotional tumult and endless thoughts that spin us around on the ferris wheel of samsàra – the desires, craving and restlessness, the opinions we have about ourselves and others – fall silent.

For a moment, we are not thinking. The incessant chatter of the mind stops and we are left listening to the sounds of the world or witnessing the tremulous light of dawn with clarity and wonder. How long since we could hear or see so mindfully is a telling indicator of how fragmented we’ve been.

But now our involvement with thoughts and memories, whether cherished or regrettable, dissolves. In these times of pure being, the vast space of consciousness suddenly opens and we enter the silence of the heart.

This reflection by Ayya Medhanandi is from the book, “Gone Forth, Going Beyond,” (pdf) pp. 79-80.