One day in early spring I spoke with a friend of mine. She had just started on her second year of studying psychosynthesis, and I was curious to hear how she was doing. She told me that recently they had been introduced to a method called Rebirthing. I had never heard about it before, so I asked her how it worked. In short one hyperventilates for a certain amount of time. The increase of oxygen stimulates the brain in such a way that it might bring forth new thoughts, experiences, realizations. This is an oversimplified explanation of a method that has been meticulously worked out. It is highly recommended for the session to be led by a certified teacher (which I only got to learn a bit later). So, I decided to try it out.
Nine o´clock in the evening I laid down on my living room floor. I set the timer to 60 minutes and started breathing. I did not have any specific questions in mind. It was more about being open to whatever would appear.
After about 20 minutes of breathing, my hands started cramping up. It was like the muscles in my palms contracted in such a way that my thumbs were left in an awkward position. I remember thinking that in worst case I will faint, and if so my body will take care of it. I kept on breathing. After another 10 minutes the face of my ex-girlfriend appeared. Suddenly I felt an overwhelming sadness, and I started crying. I remember distinctly the feeling I had. It was like she was the provider for love, and now I was cut off from it. She was my source, and in order for me to experience it she had to give it to me. I felt both weak and needy.
After 10 minutes her face disappeared, and I was back to normal again. I kept on breathing. Five more minutes passed, and then it happened again. Yet another face appeared, but this time it was the face of a woman I had seen in a movie a few days before. Instantly the same feeling of neediness and being cut off from love. Suddenly it hit me – how can I get the exact same feeling from seeing a total stranger? What is the common denominator? It is me. Whatever feeling I experience, it is not over there, attached to this or that. It is right here – inherent in me.
Recently I have been thinking a lot about this incident. About splitting the world into subject experiencing object. Are we really separated from “it”? When we listen to music that touches us, is what we are experiencing the music itself, or is it something happening within ourselves? There is the saying, “It takes one to know one”. We respond because it is already inside of us. Regardless of what exactly is being touched, it is something located within ourselves. The person next to you might hear something completely different. When it comes to people, it is all the same. We had not been touched if it was not for the fact that it was already here, inside. If we experience frustration, frustration is inside.
If meeting a person makes us insecure, it simply means that this person reminds us of something we have not figured out yet.What we can do is to stop the motion and the pointing finger directed outwardly. It is not out there in the shape of he/her/it/they/them. If we take a closer look at ourselves, we might discover that what we were pointing at no longer exists. It is still raining, but the weather is no longer bad weather. It simply is.
“Wherever I go, I meet myself.”
– Suzuki Roshi