Today's a rest and writing day. I started off by finishing up the battery of questions I fill out for the JHMI Long-Term Meditators & Psilocybin folks, as I am going in for my third session with them on Monday. Here's a sample from one of the questionnaires:
Yes - it's standardized testing, but check out those questions! I am tickled pink to be involved with the scientific study of mystical states, and the effort to make transpersonal unity experiences more safely, widely & compassionately available.
This summer I asked my Embodied Magic: Drawing into Life students at Dartmouth to take on five daily commitments: a contemplative practice, a writing practice, a visual art practice, a physical practice, and an interpersonal practice. I realize, right now in Pilgrimage-land, I've undertaken the following:
I feel protected and inspired by these commitments, and they help focus my field of engagement. Wander around in the art museum? Maybe, but then, where would I find time for tai chi, cooking, and writing? With old patterns & habits dying, I sometimes feel empty and unbalanced, and yet I am learning that if I stay honest in those rough patches, I am often met by the grace and kindness of others. The young man selling me butter, cream, cocoa, chocolate, and an eggplant at the co-op says to me, Enjoy your breath. I am so startled I ask him to repeat himself, and then I smile, Yes! And your feet too. It's good to enjoy your feet. A sleekly compact older man moves fluidly through the dappled light of a sunny spot on the sidewalk. What you are doing is so beautiful, I say. He smiles, shows me something like swimming through the air, and explains that he likes to do triple-flips in the water. I tell him his open-hearted way of moving reminds me of the tai chi Repulse Monkey sequence:
… so we goof around a bit together, dancing with the monkeys of that moment. I tell him he has cheered me up immensely, and he takes my hands, wishing me well, and unmistakably inviting me to move on, so we can each get on with our work. The most beautifully bearded Haitian bookseller-lady & I agree that French spoken outside of France is often very delicious.
I come home nourished & delighted. Here's where I'm sitting right now, in Nico's kitchen:
Bringing together the worlds of experience, without preference, is a profound, ongoing growing edge for me. I am learning to surrender resistance in moving between the sidewalk and the psychedelics lab, the co-op and the embrace of the Beloved, the kitchen and the eternal Now. I am learning to appreciate them all as overlapping, ripe with insight, and boundlessly generous in their dispensations of truth.
Julie Püttgen is an artist, expressive arts therapist, and meditation teacher.