Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Buddha's belly, Jesus' tear

It's a funny word, "retreat:" so many meanings in so many contexts.

I'm on a retreat with Susan's* SecondLife meditation group, the third that I have attended with them (all this year). I even organized this one, which was something of a stretch for me. I've never tried to arrange a week-long event for a group of people before, and while it has worked out well there were definitely things that I did wrong. I'm going to write a piece on organizing retreats for the group's wiki, to help those who come after me to avoid my mistakes.

I discovered something quite unexpected today during a short meditation on Being (the group's shorthand name for The Everythingness Of Everything). I'm a very visual person, I think in images and analogies, so I began by visualizing the Being that was around me at that moment. I realized that I was imagining daylight, so I stepped back a pace (think here of the film Powers of Ten (and if you haven't seen that yet, rectify the omission at once)) to view Being including day and night; saw the stars in the sky and stepped back once more to include the observable universe, and so on.

Eventually I stepped back and saw Being as Buddha's belly, and felt myself as the Buddha whose belly contained Everything. This was something of a surprise since I'm not a buddhist and don't usually have any associations with that image. I realized that I myself was not yet in the picture, so stepped back once more to see what could enclose myself-as-Buddha-containing-Everything.

To my astonishment, the next step was to see Everything in a tear rolling down Jesus' cheek. My hands started to shake in my lap, tears rolled down my own cheeks. It was an hour before I was calm enough to talk about that image with the rest of the group.

The enormous strength of my reaction to that image staggered me. I don't know where it came from, because I think that I'm not a Christian. And yet I can't deny what I felt (and still feel, it echoes around in me now three hours later).

There's an unknown unknown here, waiting to be discovered.

* For new visitors who know one or more of my various "me's" in SL: I keep my SL identities separate out here in the blogosphere. Susan is the name (anonym) that Udge uses for that other avatar whom you know. Please do not use any other name for her if/when commenting here.

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Blogger Zhoen said...

The archetypes are powerful, which is why they work.

Why did the tear belong to Jesus in particular?

October 13, 2010 at 5:05:00 p.m. GMT+2  
Blogger Udge said...

A good question, Zhoen, and one that I cannot answer. Presumably because it is an archetype, a frequently-encountered image? To be meditated on.

October 14, 2010 at 8:51:00 a.m. GMT+2  
Blogger JoeinVegas said...

Wow, so many thoughts

October 18, 2010 at 7:33:00 p.m. GMT+2  
Blogger Shari said...

very powerful imagery

October 29, 2010 at 1:11:00 p.m. GMT+2  
Blogger Lioness said...

Wow,look how far you've come! I'm so glad, dahling, so very glad.

PS - I seem to be back!

November 10, 2010 at 7:46:00 p.m. GMT+1  

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