4.07.2014

Forgetting/Forgiving/Forging a Path

I want to wax for a second about forgetting. It is important to let go, to stop recalling, even those bits of knowledge we wish to retain. The gift of forgetting lies in the rest the conscious mind receives when we cease pushing it to perform a novel task, like holding onto thoughts about a new practice. To test how deeply we have retained something we learned, we can stop rehearsing it, then later attempt to recall it, and see what comes.

People have debated with me that this requires different amounts of initial learning and repetition before trying cessation as a test of mastery; so be it.

A Buddhist parable addresses the need to absorb knowledge, yes including muscle memory, to the point that we can "transcend" or stop thinking about it, in order to let it become part of us.

Steps 6-10 describe the beginning of "body clairvoyance", the beginnings of having unconscious control, wherein we have transcended the need to "make" our bodies do something consciously- we have forgotten it was necessary.


Courtesy of Bandha Yoga
Moving on to forgetting's cousin, forgiveness, a solid start toward this path is traced in this article from Zenhabits.

Surely you know that forgiveness benefits your health by lowering bloodpressure and other stress-related fatigue symptoms, which is turn affect social habits and self esteem, etc. ...

BUT

Even more directly, that area in your back, the "back of the heart" to the left of the spine and maybe even the right, if you feel evenly through the chakra, will stop aching when you release long-term resentment, fear, guilt and mistrust. These are physically painful when, as they usually are, they are somatized into the posterior portion of the heart organ area, the back of the chest, as perceived by the person somatizing. You deserve a rest from this low-grade ache. 

Just imagine, in your mind, letting go of that grudge, any grudge, how about a big one? Maybe you put your hand on your heart, maybe you lean back into a wall or chair or lie on the floor or your bed to let the back of the heart rest, and you breathe full breaths, in and out of the nose, picturing a larger area around your heart, into which it expands with each breath. Let yourself rest from - start to forget - your reasons for grudging, just for a moment, just for these few breaths, as you picture your heart area growing larger, and you feel the beating of the organ, contracting and releasing, filling your vascular system with life-giving blood. Let it heal you. Breathe fully and evenly. Remember that you deserve to live, feeling the best way that you can, feeling that you can always, always, always make choices for your greatest benefit in the present and future. You can ensure you have the energy freed up to forge and follow a new path forward. Picture your heart organ a bright red, expanding through the space you have made for it, pushing away emotional muck and debris, infusing the space with it's color, liveliness, regular rhythm. Feel the intelligence of the heart, and let it guide you.