This is a transcription/adaption for reading of an Inquiry on an Insight Meditation retreat with myself. The person has given permission for the recording. The Inquiry sessions take place regularly on the retreats. Inquiry may last from a few minutes to 30 minutes or longer.
Here is the link for a comprehensive explanation of these 1-1 sessions in the Dharma Hall.
Inquiry into Projections of Authority onto Mother and onto Doubts
Q. I can’t let this retreat pass by and not engage in walking meditation. I had real resistance. Lo and behold, I had an insight. I could see the walking meant something. This insight emerged out of nowhere. My insight felt more real than this jug of water. As the days go on, I can feel the insight slipping away. And then doubt comes in. My question is: What do I listen to?
CT. I’m far too interested in your insight. I want to know about the insight. I’m curious. Other in the Dharma Hall are too. You do not have to say.
Q. It’s a personal matter of my life, history, my biography. I was separated from my mother. Then I came to this country. The older I get, the more I feel the split. Our family remain split in three ways. We are from two countries and we live in a third country. I had the insight that I allowed myself to be pushed out of what feels my rightful place to be. I tried to get back to my homeland. At that time, I had a broken marriage. My mother is a Catholic. She said “You can’t come back because then the rest of the family will know that you are divorced. “The door closed again.
CT. What is the insight?
Q. This is the insight. I now want to stand up to say, “I have a right to be where I want to be. Mother, It’s not your decision.”
CT. Why do you regard two nationalities of a couple, who live in another country, as a split?
Q. Our cultures are very different. The language, the food, the society …
CT. Does your view confirm diversity or a split?
Q. A nice way of looking at it.
CT. No nice way. What’s your way?
Q. I do sometimes look at it like that. Thank you.
CT. Your voice is an expression of diversity. You see separateness and division You gave authority to your mother. To step into one’s authority means hearing the inner voice, not the voice of the mother.
Q. It felt like that. When I hear the independent voice inside, I feel I’m healing the split inside myself. I must take responsibility for the fact that I’ve allowed this to happen.
CT. This is a return to recovering responsibility.
Q. I can see the diversity of culture as authentic and genuine. I see the richness of this.
CT. The Buddha reminded us we share birth, ageing, pain and death. That sounds grim but it is in common for all of us. See first what we share. Reflections help to water down the old divisions and projections onto a central authority. The view of the split can arise without any transference onto another. You just start thinking about the differences, start thinking in that way for a split. Earlier, you used the word doubt. What was the doubt arising in the mind?
Q. I have the sense emerging to take my power back. Once I have done that, it’ll be fine. Another part of me says, “Can it really be that simple?” I have a habit of being in the habit of disempowerment. The historical events come on top of the birth. That is why the habits continued for so long.
CT. Separations are one thing. Impact of early life can have an impact. A vulnerability around doubt creates a new split regardless of what has happened in the past. What contributes to healing the split, healing the division in yourself?
Q. Does the split and doubt support each other?
CT. Yes. You project onto an authority. Afterwards comes the doubt. With more doubt, you create another split within yourself. You project onto your mother. Then you doubt yourself. You project authority onto the doubt, which you just took off your mother. You are handing it over to the doubt. What’s going to stop that?
Q. Going back to that place inside.
CT. What if you can’t find that clear place within you?
Q. I thought you could give me the answer.
CT.I don’t answer difficult questions. I prefer you answer the tough questions.
Q. It means to strengthen the inner belief. It means to nourish trust and confidence
Affirming the good.
CT. You practice staying true to your own authority. You may require remembrance of this. It means affirming the wisdom.
Q. What came to me, as part of the insight, was a deeper need for self-love.
CT. There is no need for deeper self-love. I doubt this.
CT. Tread carefully with this one. You can hear my voice of hesitation around self-love. How much self-love do you have to give yourself to overcome self-doubt? How will you know you have given enough self-love to yourself? Kindness or love for oneself genuinely are genuinely important, as well as reflections on authority. Be mindful of transference of authority either into an unsettled state of mind or onto another human being. Be aware of any tendency to go back to the old voice in the dark corners of the mind. Is your mother alive or not?
Q. No. It’s an internal voice.
CT. You shared an important insight. This is a precious element to recognise. Keep that insight alive and well. It will expand out through the field of the mind into the dark corners. The doubts won’t have any influence or just seem like thoughts passing through. You have stopped giving authority to doubts. You have recovered your clarity.
Q. This makes sense.
CT. Engage in reflection on this. Watch your thoughts. Listen to the voice within even if takes you away from memories of your beloved mother. Thoughts can arise feeding into the split of three cultures, three societies and three languages. A unified view will contribute to keeping your authority
Q. Thank you.