Getting to the root
A few years ago, we planted about a dozen Astramaris bulbs. The resulting flowers clustered politely around the olive tree in the front yard.
The next year, at least forty flowers came up. Still lovely.
Four years later, they’ve colonized most of the front yard and have begun making their appearance in the back yard as well.
“If you love them, keep them,” advised Victor, our gardener, “If not—you need to get to the roots.”
“Why not just pull up the flowers and stems?” I asked.
“Because, that will make the roots multiply. More flowers. You need to get to the roots.”
This is a useful reminder for gardeners and those on the spiritual path. To transform our lives, we need to get to the roots.
The roots of what?
The roots of our reactivity.
Why? Because the recurrent challenges, struggles and dramas that arise in our lives are not random events. They’re not recurrent by accident.
They are expressions and reflections of the unintegrated, un-healed and thus untransformed emotional patterns.
C.G. Jung wrote, “That which is not made conscious appears as fate.”
The meditative version of this wisdom is: that which is not infused with awareness, appears and reappears as events.
The events are like the astramaris flowers—visible. The roots of the flowers lie within the earth. But, where do the roots of your recurrent life events, your fate, lie?
The roots of any untransformed emotional patterns lie within our bodies.
The body is the earth from which our individual life experiences arise. The incomplete emotional experiences of the past aren’t gone. They are stored like bulbs in the cellular and neurological structures of the body.
Spiritual practice brings us into contact with these buried and uncompleted patterns.
Practice takes us deeply into the body to reveal unintegrated, un-healed and thus untransformed memories and emotional patterns.
These patterns long for the light of loving awareness.
They will seek that light . . . by arising as events, relationships, situations. This is what Jung was talking about. These fated events are externalized expressions of an untransformed inner condition.
Spiritual practice builds our capacity to meet the untransformed conditions of life before they need to come looking for us, in the form of events. Why is this valuable?
It allows us to transform the patterns at the root.
Coping and working with the pattern in the form of events and relationships can be important. But eventually, we’ll need to get to the roots and infuse those hidden patterns with the light of awareness.
When infused with the light of awareness, the patterns do not arise as fate or events but as inner experiences.
These inner experiences can be intense. As the unhealed roots of emotional reactivity are released, the sensations and images can be intense.
That is where meditation practice is so necessary.
Meditation practice builds our capacity to:
- Dive deeply into the depths of the body/mind
- To meet the untransformed patterns—without reactivity
- To infuse the roots with loving awareness.
As we transform the roots of reactivity, new flowers emerge in life.
Flowers of wisdom, compassion, love and abundance.
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Ed: Bryonie Wise
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