Last night I had an odd but wonderful experience in the middle of the night: I woke up, concerned about the pain in my jaw. It was feeling “hot” and beginning to be spiky, though still not what I would call painful (I expect most people would, though). I lay still, hoping to be able to keep it quiet enough that it wouldn’t go full-blown. As I lay there drifting around, half-awake but aware of what was going on, this showed up:
I feel I’m in a big, finished basement—“my house,” in the dream. There’s a room that’s big enough to dance in, and I’m enjoying a waltz with a casual friend of mine who’s a very good lead. I love to waltz! In this dream, or whatever it was, I realize the joy is in the dance itself, and doesn’t depend so much the person whom I’m dancing with.
Then the odd part starts:
I find myself in a strange, peaceful state of being where I just watch things going on. I watch my emotions, watch or review the events in my life, and am filled with wonder at the way they happened. There are things that in waking life I might wish had happened differently, but in this state of being, there’s no regret associated with any of it. It’s mostly a state of observation, but I’m not “neutral.” This not the Witness—I feel plenty of emotion! But it’s wonderful! I love this life of mine—every bit of it!
For many years, I’ve consciously cultivated the Witness—that state of consciousness where one can observe, without judgement and without emotion, what’s going on. Being able to observe oneself and others without emotion or judgement is enormously helpful in getting through tough times. Though difficult to constellate at first, it gets easier with practice.
This state of awareness was definitely NOT the Witness. It seems related, in the sense that there was no judgement present. But there was strong emotion: an enormous sense of love and compassion and acceptance that’s like nothing I have experienced in my everyday life.
Strange as it felt, I was not asleep, though I was deeply relaxed and had my eyes closed. It was a real, waking state of consciousness, not a dream.
It felt very odd, but very good indeed! I can’t remember exactly what I thought about (though I do remember some things that in my waking life have been HUGE disappointments), but it was all observed with that same sense of loving acceptance. It was not “dispassionate” or emotionally removed in any way. I was there, awake and aware, and it was my life … but I was loving and accepting everything that had happened just as it was.
At one point, a more dreaming moment, I looked out the window and saw snow falling, and said, “Look, it’s snowing!” The joy and pleasure I felt in seeing that cool, wonderful image was immense.
After a while, I drifted off to sleep, with no thought or experience of pain the rest of the night. And when I woke, that blissful feeling was just a memory. There is no way I can conjure up that state of being! Maybe someday I’ll experience it again. I hope so—because it was wonderful!