Gaia is the word for "unity-of-life-processes". The experiment here is to unify the various threads of voice and sense of self together into an undivided unity. Spirituality, economics, politics, science and ordinary life interleaved.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

A Panic Attack and A Spiritual Awakening

I woke from a dream where I had been taken in by a rich family, extended every gracious courtesy, and, filled with shame at my lowly status, I stole off, a thief in the night, wearing clothes borrowed from my patronesses (absent) husband. What turned me to shame in the dream, though, was an ice coffee with caramel liquer in a can, imported from America: the Lady of the House has noticed my liking for coffee and doubtless got it specially for me. But as I woke, the sense of sadness deepened and the heavy feeling of obligations I am unable to fill pervaded awareness. Unwilling to move for fear, my heart began to race, and the amount of oxygen my lungs used increased.

All this before I was even awake!!

So I folded my hands and said the Lord's Prayer. This short piece of loveliness has unfailing power to shift the blackest despair, I have discovered through experience. Then, having slept on the (newly cleaned!) couch last night, I reached over to the computer and put on a Buddhist chant.

"Nam Myoho Renge Kyo". The sacrifice of the Monk Nichiren came to mind. When a sage struggles in service of the truth it seems a terrible thing, but Nichiren's defense of this chant against barbaric Japanese authorities is still inspiring me here and now 13 centuries or so later. Real authority in action.

I put on an ancient Western piece, an Alleluia, extracted from the monasteries of ancient and lost Aquitane. Then I put on a methodist piece, O Magisterium Mysterium, which never fails to touch my heart. Something leapt up in me with happiness, and the sense of anxiety and fear and unfulfilled obligation vanished into joy as I got up and wrote out an inventory of my state, thoughts, and feelings.

I am listening to Mozart as I write this, a divertimento.

A panic attack and a spiritual awakening. What a way to start the day.


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