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"Face to face" by Susana Laborde-Blaj

Sometimes I wonder why I keep so much noise in my mind. This morning I reviewed scenarios, thought about smart things to say in class, quotes to mention, things to add to my website, all this while I was sitting in Meditation, at the end of my morning practice, which consisted today in asana (postures), a Kriya (Kapalabhati), Nadi Sodana Pranayama, and Meditation.

The humming of the sound of Om in a recording stopped, and I listened to a deep silence, really feeling that I was left alone with myself, a little bit as if there were a lot of people around, let’s say in a coffee shop, and suddenly everybody left and it’s just me and I, face to face. An awkward pause, somehow like when two men, in those Westerns, stand face to face in a duel, with their hands ready to grab a gun and shoot, but also like that scene from West Side Story when Maria and Tony suddenly appear as if they were on their own, in the middle of a dancing crowd. Just me with myself, for better or for worse.

After the moment of stillness, that I like to describe as a cinema suspense, a thought appeared, and it was the question: “What do I want to hide with all this noise?” “What encounter with myself is so challenging that I prefer to keep all these ‘people around’ incessantly chatting?” “What conversation with myself am I trying to avoid?” Guess that was three questions.

Another pause (the meditation this morning was somewhat theatrical). And during the pause, that seemed to lengthen like the Invisible Woman’s arms (from the Fantastic Four, of course: Susan), somewhere in the background began a gentle persistent whisper, like the voice of some wounded soldier (from another classic), and its words had no shape, but its meaning was pain, emotional pain, and sadness. Pause. An inner smile appeared, a comment: “Ah, so it’s you, dear friend!”, and then a ravage of inner voices commenting on that first comment, looking for reasons, how to feel the feeling, the way to avoid it, to listen to it, to grasp it, to understand it…gosh! It’s gone.

Then another pause. I came back to notice how breath was flowing, and then came the memory of what I read in “Health, Healing and Beyond” by Desikachar, something like paying attention to the object of meditation, considering it carefully, since the result can be to become one with that object, and you want to make it a nice event, or, should I say, I really want to make it a nice event. A nice encounter, more like the West Side Story moment. (Except of course for the moment when Tony kills the other guy and everyone is miserable and love is not possible)

I visualized the photo of a flower I love. It’s a very simple and little five petal flower that I saw in a garden in San Francisco, white, and somehow each petal is partially yellow, so that one can see the shape of a yellow circle while seeing all the petals together.

That seemed to fit something that I would like to become, to look like, to be one with.

My son Leon came once back from his rowing practice, he told me he rowed by himself that day and I asked: “How did you like it?” He answered: “Great! I liked everyone in the boat!” I want to be able to say that, and yes, more and more, when I am with myself, I like everyone in the boat!

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