Tuesday, February 13, 2007

recognizing aggression

i seek to recognize every element of aggression within me and allow it to melt away.

for a bit of time now i have engaged in the practice of feeling what a thing feels like on the inside, feeling its vibration. it is almost as though feeling the individual threads comprising a seamless masterpiece (the whole of what's inside). when i am attentive to what a thing feels like deep inside, i can feel if it is surrender or acceptance or resistance or aggression. aggression is, of course, a form of resistance, but it feels different in its intensity and purpose.

i began singling out the feeling of aggression when i practiced "driving meditations," the "16th street meditations" that i once enjoyed (i no longer drive down 16th street to an office). i began to identify the feeling of aggression when i used the gas pedal (much non-highway
use of acceleration is in the area of aggression). i felt what that vibration feels like and from there began to check it within myself.

an action within me that is an aggression may not be an act of aggression within you, and the same act can be performed from or not from a place of aggression. for example, i can go to the gym and work out (which i do often) and go home and eat a healthy meal, and it is done from a place of loving myself and loving my body. on the other hand, i can go to the gym and work out and then go home and eat a plate of healthy "diet" food but doing both from a place of hating how i look and desperately trying to "change" myself into something (seemingly) more lovely (which is something i used to do). this is an act of aggression whereas the previous description was an act of love. i cannot arbitrarily list what is an aggression and what is not without looking beneath the act. (many times, though, aggression is clearly felt and recognized.)

speed is an aggression--trying to "hurry up" anything is an aggression. imposing myself into or onto something is an aggression. the desire to change anything from a place of hatred is an aggression--only change sought through loving a thing is not aggression (such as changing an unhealthy habit to a healthy one). i am particularly attentive to listening within to determine whether encouraging myself to another workout is a challenge that will strengthen me or if it is an aggression that could harm me (i use this example because i work out so many times a week that i must listen carefully). loudness is an aggression (remembering, of course, that silently ignoring someone can be a form of aggression). for some of us, much, if not most, of our actions come from a place of aggression (because of a sense of desperation). aggression is become an accepted part of american life.

during this new year i will continue to observe my own forms of aggression and deepen my understanding of how aggression plays out in our lives. i will come back from time to time to add to my writing on this matter. i happen to live in an aggressive city (politics is practiced in aggression) in an aggressive nation and as i am part of the whole, i want to be attentive to such a practice.

photography by permission

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