You know that maddening experience of having a song frantically locked inside your memory, its endless loop relentlessly replaying itself, separate from your will? The old Doors song from the ‘60’s, “Break on through to the Other Side”, is having its way with me.
Check out Jim Morrison, 1967—I was a sophomore in college and oh, so discovering the delights of hashish. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbiPDSxFgd8
Break on through to the other side—I tried to run—I tried to hide—break on through, break on through.
Dear, dear Jim. I tried this. I lived this. At times, I continue to try this. However, fighting reality, battling with the moment, just doesn’t work. Reality continues to be relentless. Situations come to us, in all their wacky and wild ways, to heal us, to deliver to us uninhabited parts of our selves. Fighting against the moment is counter-productive, the struggling exhausting and ineffective. Only by relaxing into, only by softening with, only by leaning toward, do the doors to transmutation open.
Just like on the yoga mat, fighting against sensations, pushing through or pulling away from feelings, take us away from the edge of growth. Breathing and relaxing, both on and off the mat, ease the struggle and fling open those doors, allowing the new moment to wash over us.
Breaking on through, as Jim suggests, is not even our business. What is our business? To relax, to notice, to take action while practicing letting go of the results—and to imagine that life’s circumstances are not our enemies to be overcome, but, as Sylvia Boorstein, the wonderful meditation teacher suggests, friends. Silvia says, “May I meet this moment mindfully—may I meet it as a friend.”
Maybe the mindful reframe of Jim’s lyrics might be, “Relax on through to the other side…relax on through, relax on through…..”.
What might this practice look like in your day? Right here, right now, in this moment, what might be different?
Thanks to Jim and Sylvia–what funny and perfect co-teachers!