By Senior Facilitator Trainer Lynn Fraser
At a yoga teacher training retreat in 2001, my meditation teacher called together his organizing teachers. It concerned the teacher who first introduced me to my mind, breath, meditation and the Himalayan lineage. She was feeling disrespected, not valued by the other teachers and threatening to leave. Looking back on it now, I can see her deficiency stories had been triggered.
We were to meet with her the next day. He held out both hands in front of him as fists, then opened his fingers to show his palms. He said ‘the relationship you had with her is over. It is already gone. Not matter how tightly or long you continue to hold onto that in your closed fists, you can never get it back. It is already gone. By staying attached to the old, you eliminate the possibility of anything. Take tonight and let go of your attachment to what you had so you can come to the meeting tomorrow empty of expectation’.
I had so much respect and gratitude for her. She was a good teacher and really cared about her students. I had also seen for months how she was gathering evidence to support her point of view and was blind to anything else. The lineage of teachers she previously had loved she now scorned and denigrated. I was distressed and disillusioned as she fell crashing off the pedestal where I had placed her. I was in an emotional storm of my own as I tried to say good-bye to the relationship as it had been.
I didn’t know then how words, images and sensations get stuck together to form seemingly unworkable chaos and compulsion. I wasn’t aware of my own deficiency stories and vulnerabilities. I had experience, skills and mindfulness training from meditation and that was certainly helpful. My appreciation for the Living Inquiries stems in part from the very specific way we work with thought and attachment.
These days I don’t look back longingly at what I once had. I see the futility of wishing for something that is already gone and I am able to let go more easily. Without the Velcro and triggering, I’m free to enjoy and savor what is past and appreciate what it had to offer. That’s what the Living Inquiries can do for us.