The current moon cycle is ending and the New Moon for April approaches. This time in the cycles of the moon brings dark nights. It is hard to see in the dark, no matter if it is actual darkness, or the darkness I sometimes feel in my heart or hold in my mind.
As part of my morning contemplation practice I read a daily meditation from Richard Rohr’s Center for Action and Contemplation. A recent post was on learning to see the way mystics see. No pun intended, but it was an eye-opener for me!
Rohr explains the three eyes through which a person might ‘see’. (I paraphrase here and encourage my reader to go to the source):
The first eye seeing is with our senses-sight-and the awareness we have-the thought- as it is related to what we see through our actual sight.
The second eye seeing through our reason, reflection and meditation. This takes what we see with our eyes to a ‘deeper’ level. In my understanding this is gives us more knowledge about what we are ‘seeing’. It may or may not result in a correct interpretation of what we think we see.
The third eye seeing is how mystics view the world. The seeing mystics have is this wondrous seeing that happens when, as Rohr says, “our heart space, our mind space and our body awareness are all simultaneously open and non resistant…a moment of deep inner connection.” (in The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See p.28).
How might I, as a person who fears and sometimes panics in darkness (because I can not see with my own eyes), see? Certainly, when I am in the ‘I can’t see’ mode, I easily go to panic and fear. What I see or can’t see is at best a distortion, or it is not seeable because it is in darkness. My heart is not open, it is closed in protection and survival mode. My mind is flooded only the idea ‘of worse case scenario’ , and my body freezes in the moment, and then prepares for fight or flight (classic responses to fear).
As the close of one moon cycle moves to the next new moon, these are the nights the dark is the darkest. I can’t see in the dark, and my go to response for what I can’t see is to be afraid. This is true, whether it is the dark I can not see in, or not being able to see into my future, or even what is next. Richard Rohr’s wisdom let me know there are more ways of seeing. I am invited to experiment with my relationship with darkness and with other ways I don’t, can’t or refuse to see. Bigger, broader, more inclusive and expansive ways of seeing are available to me.
I want to embrace this new way to SEE. I’m at the beginning of this arc of learning.This is the work of the Fourth Truth Cycle, to See Truth, the moon cycle for April.
My first eye seeing begins with my first acknowledging what I ‘see’ or don’t ‘see’, when I am in all kinds of darkness, may or may not be accurately interpreted by my mind. Can I accept that possibility as a truth? I am opening my mind-just a crack. I replace the word ‘fear’ with the word ‘Love’ and insert it into the crack in my mind, so my mind does not snap shut to this new way to ‘see’.
My second eye seeing— I put my focus on my heart, which might be pounding, fluttering, hardened or closed. With each breath I take, inhaling and exhaling, I say this mantra to my heart: “love… love…love”, helping my heart ‘remember’ love comes through it. I give my body permission to be very still to listen to my mantra and to be still, but not needing to be frozen. I invite my mind to just be aware of what is in this moment. No decisions, no judgment. This is the process of the second eye seeing: reason, meditation and reflection.
My third eye seeing–I cannot make this happen by my own will, but I can keep inviting and seeking. I ask for help that my heart, my mind and my body are all simultaneously open and non resistant. When and how this happens is not my timeline. My task is to just keep my eyes open and seek to align them with eyes that see farther, deeper, wider and ever more clearly than mine.