Circumambulating Through the Mists of Indifference:

Seeing With New Eyes

“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time.” 1

 

Indifference is like a slowly forming fog that goes unnoticed until, heavy and enshrouded, the thick embankment of its pervasive presence is obscuring our vision and dulling our perceptions.

Miriam Webster defines indifference several ways: “marked by a lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern for something : APATHETIC :marked by impartiality : UNBIASED :characterized by lack of active quality : NEUTRAL and not differentiated, capable of development in more than one direction”.

If this experience has to do with a ‘lack of active quality’ and is related to undifferentiated potential, I wonder what is possible by entering into rather than resisting this all-encompassing dullness. I take my inquiry to the forest to walk the labyrinth.

As I cross the parking lot to the path that leads to the labyrinth, a palpable shift is felt in my body. Here in the forest I am at once grounded and expanded. Some invisible, tightly woven membrane begins to soften. There is a sense of relief trickling through my being like life giving waters beginning to seep through the crevices of dry earth.

 

 

Serpent Path to the World Within the World

 

Descending the steep narrow path, I am led across an invisible threshold to a world within the world. The path consists of broken pieces of mountain turned to dry, loose, crumbly pebbles making it easy to slip and lose balance. There is little to hang onto except for larger rocks sparsely spaced offering just enough stability for me to reach down to take hold of – each rock appearing and disappearing at random as I move further down the path. I notice the metaphor of the unstable path for the edge of uncertainty that we walk upon every day with every breath.

I pause to inhale the sweet musky mountain air while absorbing the sound of the roaring rapids below which appear and disappear from sight like a mythical serpent slithering behind the trees. I contemplate the instinctual, transformative power of serpent and its ability to bridge inner and outer, above and below. I bend my knees ever so slightly, breathing into pelvic bowl and sacrum- finding a center point that offers internal stability. The deafening waters continue to beckon, steadily peeling away outer layers of daily holding and accumulations of the ten thousand things of daily living like a snake shedding its skin.

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