How do we let life, with all of its disappointments and sorrows soften our heart? In the Tibetan tradition there is a story about the great cave-dwelling yogi Milarepa that illuminates the often bumpy road we travel in the process of releasing resistance and making peace with ourselves.
From an article in Tricycle titled, Into the Demon’s Mouth.
While in The Netherlands I was passed the link to this article by somebody who derived much benefit from the teaching of how Milarepa dealt with ‘demons’ he encountered in his cave. Which were of course aspects of himself turning up (so to speak) to help him go deeper. Later in the article we find this section copied below which I can certainly bow to in recognition.
We have many ways of distracting ourselves so that we don’t feel the full impact of pain. Instead of being accepted into consciousness, the feeling goes underground and enters the cells of our body. It doesn’t go away; it goes in. Anyone who has had deep body work, has done intensive meditation practice, or has engaged in somatic practices on their own has likely experienced how the body reveals our history in surprising—and sometimes unsettling— ways. Things we’ve long forgotten, our body remembers with impeccable accuracy. We may imagine that spiritual awakening is something separate from our physical embodiment, but awakening and embodiment go together. To be embodied isn’t just about feeling comfortable in our own skin—it’s about a complete opening to life.
Thanks to the woman who sent me the link to this article. Merit goes to your extended family at this time.