I continuously encounter a sense of vulnerability in my meditation, increasingly understanding that this is what I am meant to attend to. Coming to cope with this has not been something that I have been taught in my rearing from childhood ultimately because it has been considered to be an aspect of weakness in my culture and in general of many other traditional cultures..
I now see it as more of an opportunity to come to know myself. It is not easy to sit with the sensitivity that is part of that feeling of vulnerability. It requires stillness to do this. When we can let go of the resistance to it as we can in the silence we seem to come to what we must encounter in our search for authenticity.
Through living in a meditative way, fixed, inflexible layers of persona are exposed for what they are. In the light of this quality of revelation and examination, that which has been created as a part of a rigid conditioning can drop away. Those rigid developments seems to have their origins in the cultivation and refinement of thinking and the ensuing pursuit and obsession with identity, desire and related sensations of pleasure, many of which are grounded in illusive notions. A search for security and comfort are also aspects of this. One can understand how denial and deviation from this organic sense of vulnerability served and enabled survival of the species. At the same time, as a society, we have not much attended to the consequences of the avoidance of the deeper truth and the comprehensive implications of this on our perception of self, our relationships and our planet, although, they are plain to see if we look with awareness.
To be with that vulnerability that is exposed in our contemplative, meditative way mightl, simultaneously, naturally and spontaneously ignite habitual and defensive ego responses that have endless origins in our conditioning. It is helpful to see this aspect of our response directly and to, again, be with the vulnerability itself. This can seem to be a fruitless and senseless endeavour but in fact it is the way of coming to realize directly our entrapped ways. It is not enough to adopt a philosophical or psychological reference alone and it seems to be more than a stoic and masculine effort to deny and push through that experience. It is more that it is a submergence into ones nature and an opportunity to be with that in a radically natural way letting go of ways of diversion and avoidance.
And what is the benefit of living in this way? For myself, who is devoted to comprehending what truth there may be of my existence, the benefit is more one of coming to an experience that I am more integrated and whole and that I am able to see and embrace deeper realizations of my connection with all else.That experience is more direct and not the product of book knowledge or other hand me down teaching and learning. I am also hopeful that I can come to a place that in turn in a non dualistic way that this awareness influences and is reflected in my actions, not so much as a result of ethical or ideal implications but more emanating from that wholeness and integration and an expression of that being. My experience is that this integration does indeed allow for more a compassionate and loving way.
The following is from a Pema Chodron book. She writes ” I see that a lot of us are just running around in circles pretending that there’s ground where there actually isn’t any ground. And that somehow, if we could learn to not be afraid of groundlessness, not be afraid of insecurity and uncertainty, it would be calling on an inner strength that would allow us to be open and free and loving and compassionate in any situation.”
– Pema Chödrön, “The Ground under Our Feet”