This application for the Parallel Perception Scholarship was submitted by Marianne Jago. If you would like to offer your support for Marianne please leave a comment at the end of this blog post.
I’m loving this forum and the opportunity to see inside the practice of Lujan’s students. I’m offering something of mine in the hope someone is touched in the way that I am by others’ offerings.
I have a new job, it’s a biggie and I believe in the goodness of it. My practice when I can remember it is to keep my attention inward even while I’m attending to other things. Recently I got caught in gossip. It was subtle – and cloaked in something helpful. I took the subtle suggestion contained in the gossip and acted to support the subject of the gossip, which was what the manipulation intended. A whole cascade of events unfolded. It was minor in the scheme of things but the experience was intense. I felt shame, fear, misunderstood, and then saw the tapestry underlying it all. There was a distance between me and the habitual feelings of turmoil, and a lot of compassion arose in me for the four or so of us caught in this discomfort, which had happened because of the subtle manipulations involved. Then I was able to stay steady and respond in a way that met what the moment asked of me. Initially it was to wait. For the storm to blow over. Just an hour or two. Not doing. And then a small correction made with love and from within my own moral authority. It was all over in a heartbeat. For me it doesn’t get much better than that.
There is a quality in the body that happens when the not-doing is an avoidance of a social trap. This is how I know my not-doings aren’t a passive withdrawal from something that needs me to engage. Not asking too much about the new date my friend went on (feeling the toxic curiosity instead). Not looking for validation and perhaps just as hard, not offering it. Staying with the awkwardness that happens when I don’t do or say what the socialised moment expects. I fall on my face a lot but my eyes are mostly open, at least.
The reef off our north east coast of Australia is almost entirely affected by bleaching and I’m devastated about it. Looking to see whether this response is self-important and wanting the depth of feeling to be enough for something to shift somewhere outside of me, and there to be awakening. I’m frightened of what we’ve done. Lo Ban Pai seems to give me regular realisations about human enslavement. I almost wish I hadn’t taken the blue pill. I used to be a bit alternative and now I feel like I’m on the fringes. In really good company. The beauty of the movements really moves me and teaches me that I am that beautiful. I’m physically stronger, leaner, and better coordinated. I see small things that might have eluded me. A few weeks ago it was drops of water falling vertically from my cheek past my eyeball while I showered – I watched them fall as though in slow motion. Exquisitely formed and complete.
I’m not sure I could even make it to the October retreat because of current work commitments. I would love my own copies of Lujan’s books so my husband can stop asking me where his are. I hope to meet many of you at some time or other.
With lots of love from Marianne