David Robert Jones, MS LPC

Beyond the Cage (23)

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15 minute writing timer. Ready. Set. Go.

“Just as a desire leaps up,
And you perceive the flash, the sparkle,
Quit from its play,
And maintain awareness
In that clear and shining place
From which all desire springs.”  (Radiance Sutras, p. 108)

At the beginning of January, I didn’t set any resolutions, but I decided to begin doing things that required will power, to actually do them, and to do them every day. 

That may feel redundant, but I think the three parts are 1) Intention; 2) Will; and 3) Action.

To be quite honest, I have stayed away from these kinds of “things” because they have always felt like predictable traps. It’s not that I don’t follow through. It’s that I get to a place where I “have to” follow through to feel like I’m okay. 

I begin to rely on following through for a sense of satisfaction. I rely on doing what ever it is to experience a sense of peace.

In the past, I have often become rigid with these kinds of “things” and then, at some point, what was an avenue for strength and wisdom and growth becomes a cage.

A cage that I initially build to provide structure and to help me achieve goals, but then I outgrow the cage and resent its walls and their effect on my sense of peace and well-being.

To get rid of the cage, I get rid of the things. To mix metaphors, I throw the baby out with the bathwater.

It’s a predictable cycle.

When peace and well-being become contingent solely on doing, then they go away and are replaced by striving, trying to prove oneself, and who knows what else.

Again, it’s a predictable cycle.

And I don’t want to fear a predictable cycle or repeat it for the rest of my life.

The guiding question I have for this inquiry is as follows:

How can I remain seated in the center of peaceful, loving awareness while doing things that require daily discipline, keeping track, counting, measuring, comparing, etc.?

For example, I have a morning routine now that keeps growing in its depth and complexity. It began in January with daily ice baths, as many of you know because I posted video logs and podcasts of the process each day.

I then layered in silent sitting meditation, stretching, horse stance holds, breath retention exercises, physical exercises, trampoline routines, and asanas.

So far,  I am enjoying the physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual benefits of these practices. I am “healthier” than I ever have been. I am also growing immensely by facing the fears of these practices becoming cages. 

I am also feeling the tension connected with my commitment to do these practices every day.

Right now, I’m just living in the tension of these two polarities and enjoying the show a bit.

I’m ridiculously tired as I am writing this and I seriously thought about just putting it off and skipping a day.

But now I feel compelled to do it. 

And now I feel an old story coming up about getting caught in a cage and how this regimen is just choking the life out of me and how I just need to live free and without any of these commitments that end up weighing me down…

And now I take a few deep breaths and ask, “How do I feel right now?”

And when I feel through my body, I find a whole lot of light and wisdom arising.

Light and wisdom and strength to fulfill my commitment and not be too attached to doing so.

It’s feeling and being while thinking and doing. 

Yeah. I like that.

Right now, I’m feeling and being while thinking and doing.

They’re not really two sides of a see-saw. 

I don’t have to get off of one side and watch the other side plummet to the ground.

They are kind of inseparable while we live in these bodies. 

I am feeling and being while I am thinking and doing.

“Just as a desire leaps up,
And you perceive the flash, the sparkle,
Quit from its play,
And maintain awareness
In that clear and shining place
From which all desire springs.”  (Radiance Sutras, p. 108)


Ready to take the next step?

I’d love to hear from you. Contact me via social media or at [email protected].