Taming the Beasts

“Deep down

we are wild

and we know it.”

But we lose it.  We forget it.  And when our wildness appears, we project it, and say

not me!  not me!  not me!

We push our strength down because cowardice is easier.  It’s easier to be a victim than to be strong.  It’s easier to believe that someone else did the harming, and that we ourselves are blameless.

This is always an interesting subject, because all of us have been abused.  We’ve been hurt.  But what we didn’t realize is that after, the shock–after the cruel words, or the hitting, or the exploitation–we ourselves continued the abuse.  We continued to tell lies about how we could have prevented it, how it is all our fault; or we say the opposite, how the other person is evil, or how we are actually the only ones who understand this pain, or how we will kill that person if we can, and so on.

We make our comfortable nest of pain and then snuggle down.  Mmm.  Hurts.

nails pain.jpg
The pain is comforting because we are used to it.  It’s a familiar story.  It’s familiar because we wrote it.

In dream practice, we come face to face with our demons, because we can’t lie about it anymore.  Every nasty thing that appears in dreams is, make no mistake, our own mind.  All of our repressions, all of our projections, and all of our confusion rushes out at us, right in our face.

But this time we accept that these frightening images are the unknown dimensions of our being.  They aren’t our fear–they are our strength.  We become them–we transform the situation, we transform ourselves.  We accept that these devils are ourselves, and they become angels.

This is of course all possible with lucid dreaming.  It is one of the foundational practices of dream yoga.  But what about transforming waking life?

We accept that these images, these frightful appearances, are none other than our own mind.

Does this mean that a speeding truck will not kill our body?  Does it mean that the person who hurt me is in no way responsible for their own actions?  Of course not.  But it does recognize that we ourselves are completely in control of how we view the situation, and how we hold the situation in our mind.

Who do we consider first?  Is it ourselves?  Is it the other person?  Or do we transform the whole situation?

Try this: the next time the pain is so unbearable that you simply cannot go on being yourself, ask, “What does this situation have to teach me?”  And then rest in that perfect silence.  If something comes up, good.  If nothing comes up, good.

What does this situation have to teach me?

These beasts, if we let them, can be our teachers.  It is how lead and molten rock are transformed into silver and gold.

gold sky


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