A few months ago, Rodger, my dream practitioner, asked me what I felt it was that was helping me deepen in my work, helping me to be open to what my dreams were showing me. My answer came surprisingly quickly and was surprisingly simple…”I am developing the ability to stay with whatever arises.” My dreams invite me to what is felt and as yet unfelt, feelings that either bring me closer to my soul, my true self, or keep me separate. As I am willing to stay with these feelings, not react, learn what they have to reveal, I see changes in myself, reflected in both my inner and outer world.
To stay with whatever arises…
The staying power…
In the 70’s I read a novel, Hanta Yo, about the Lakota Sioux. A young boy, Ahbleza, had shamanic tendencies, one of which his teacher recognized as the ‘staying power.’ That became a teaching for me. In so many situations, difficult situations, I always ask myself this question…“Do I have the staying power?” Working with my dreams, trusting them, their personal mapping for me, open to what they reveal, the still small voice inside asks me this question everyday in almost every moment. Do I have the staying power?
Is this what the about-to-be Buddha, taking the one seat, under the bodhi tree for 49 days was doing…staying…under the onslaught of Mara…staying…touching his finger to the ground…calling the earth to bear witness…staying…and he awakened?
Is this what Jesus was doing for 40 days in the desert, fasting…staying…tempted again and again by Satan…staying…and he awakened?
Is this what they and other teachers model, what meditation trains me in…the staying power? As my breath rises and falls…I stay. As my thoughts rise and dissolve…I stay. As my feelings arise…delicious, painful, loving, fearful, aching…I stay.
Perhaps staying is a verb of awakening…my willingness to stay with whatever arises.
Mary Jo Heyen
Archetypal Dreamwork Practitioner
Dream sessions in person, via Skype or on the phone