down the rabbit hole or life as a lucid dream

15 09 2009

well here’s one for ya. the first day out of the meditation retreat, the subway i was on yesterday in harlem had to go in reverse back to the 125th st. station because someone killed themselves by jumping in front of the train.

they turned off the power of the 4,5, & 6 trains which left literally thousands of people basically stranded because there isn’t any other train line on the east side of harlem. people came up and poured out onto the streets like millions of ants. traffic snarled.

the crosstown bus looked like it might tip over it was so full of people. it’s metal sides looked curved and bulging. and anyway the crosstown bus wasn’t going to get me any closer to brooklyn where i live, so i did what all new yorkers do in crisis; i started walking. as i was walking from 125th street to 63rd street, where i could catch the F to get home, i passed the block on that was closed off so they could bring up the body from the tracks. i guess it was around 116th st.

i wondered who the person was and what a bad night it will be for their friends and family.

an upsetting story. i know. i have unfortunately known several people who have committed suicide. which got me thinking………

recently i’ve had one of those clusters of coincidence around a phrase. more than 6 people have all said or written the phrase, “i’ve been down the rabbit hole lately.”

which got me thinking, what is that rabbit hole all about anyway? and so i youtubed alice to see what she was like going down the original rabbit hole.

here she is: (oh and for those of us that aren’t into headbanger music, just mute while you watch but unmute at the end for a lovely ballad.)

i think it’s accurate to say that for the most part, life is going to really sting sometimes. we’ve all had our share and i think it’s safe to say, there is more of the pain ahead here and there. sometimes constant, sometimes intermittent. sometimes a jab, sometimes a blow. it’s no fun to get cancer, go to a funeral, have your heart broken, have no money, feel your negative thoughts are winning the inner battle, be overwhelmed by weight gain, the list goes on and on right? same pain in all it’s versions… the end we face death.

what if along the way we frame alice going down the rabbit hole not as some drug trip like so many people say it is, but rather a visual for our lives? what if life was actually lucid dreaming?

that at any moment we could wake up from the dream that we think is our real life and just be present on the spot.

what if we lowered the stakes of our lives? could we be with the pain and loss and disappointment and heartbreak maybe just a little easier?

did you see how alice was noticing everything that passed by her as she continued to fall deeper and deeper into the hole?

sometimes she fell quickly, other times she floated. sometimes she was right side up other times she was upside down.

alice was filled with curiosity. like we are when we are dreaming when we are alseep and know we are dreaming. we follow the dream. we want to see what’s going to happen.

we are trying to wake up from this dream that sometimes we take so hard that we think the pain is unbearable. it seems when things hurt us that all we want to do is stop the pain. we think avoiding pain is the way to get it to stop.

building a relationship with your pain is one of the greatest things you could do in this life. life becomes so much more full and vivid and immediate.

volunteer to go into your own rabbit hole. when things happen in life, (as they always will) that are painful, the suffering will be less because you have already been down there.

think of alice, and all the helpful beings she met along the way to guide her.




One response

16 09 2009

so excited you’ve done this, I was worried I’d lost you as a teacher. all of the uncertainty and job loss most people are dealing with has forced us to face our own devices… we have to choose between motivating more than ever or withdrawing more and more down that oh so tempting rabbit hole.

love, m

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