While at the beach in Florida this winter I had a casual conversation with a stranger. We quickly found we shared step-parenting. Both of us each wrested with feeling included in a family not of our own making (at least biologically).
I agreed to send her an article I was reading about cultivating the good amidst our tendencies to see how we don’t belong or might be excluded.
The next day I saw her again on the beach and she said I had made an impression on her. Like a yoga teacher she knew once, “I was pure”. In the moment I dismissed what she said. I found no place in myself to connect with purity.
I have fallen out of contact with Marie but her words stayed with me. For a time they stayed in the periphery of my mind. But I woke yesterday from a dream in which I was in bed, with purity as a young daughter lying next to me.
What if I used the exercises of the great teachers, Tara Brach and John Welwood to make space and really embody this feeling of purity? They both have similar four-part exercises to make space for, embody and receive support for difficult feelings. What if this exercise worked for positive feelings too?
Today at a northern beach in the early morning I tried it. The first step in the process is acknowledging or recognizing the feeling. I acknowledged and recognized purity. That was not too hard. The next step, allowing purity, was more difficult. Tara Brach says, “let it be as big as it is.” This was challenging. I felt purity bouncing around inside of me ricocheting off all my un-pure, underserving places — whew! The next step was to enter or get intimate with purity. This step was excruciating. Images of destruction and crucifixion were swirling through me, of Christ on the Cross, parts of me dying so that purity could really enter my being. Finally came the step of receiving support, letting my purity meet purity itself. The bigger purity, the universal, non-personal purity. In this step I merge with purity itself. I let it consume me and it is me. I have the the strongest and most pure sense of the true benign nature of the universe.
I imagine the color of purity and I let it fill me inside. It is a light blue and makes my being translucent so all life and love and death can pass through.