the path of greatest resistance ~ ew letter / by Megan Hollingsworth


The illuminations grew brighter and brighter, the roaring louder,
I experienced a rocking sensation and then felt myself slipping
out of my body, entirely enveloped in a halo of light.
It is impossible to describe the experience accurately.
I felt the point of consciousness that was myself growing wider,
surrounded by waves of light. It grew wider and wider,
spreading outward while the body, normally the immediate
object of its perception, appeared to have receded into the distance
until I became entirely unconscious of it. I was now all consciousness,
without any outline, without any idea of a corporeal appendage,
without any feeling or sensation coming from the senses,
immersed in a sea of light simultaneously conscious
and aware of every point, spread out, as it were, in all directions
without any barrier or material obstruction. I was no longer
as I knew myself to be, a small point of awareness confined in a body,
but instead was a vast circle of consciousness.

~Gopi Krishna describing union with the Absolute
in  Kundalini: The Evolutionary Energy of Man


Dear Friend,

This writing comes just off more than two weeks solo parenting my 4.5 year old son, which for me translates to more than two weeks off the yoga mat, altered eating and sleeping habits, and many days with a shot or two of espresso in the afternoon enabling me to push through. This body felt heavy as the thoughts until a led Ashtanga primary series and full body massage Saturday.

There is a twitch of mother’s guilt, as if to say there is sense of extreme selfishness, for taking this self-care, a boundary of personal health claimed since the first diagnosis of superficial spreading melanoma in 1995. I offer testament to what Gopi Krishna experienced in terms of psychophysical sensitivity once the body has opened to the life force. Kundalini acts in this way, bringing conscious awareness to the subtleties of all we consume, especially in way of thought patterns. 

Since a practice of concentrated attention took me there as a child, I have not yet again experienced the full expression of the Absolute as Gopi Krishna attempts to describe it above. The energy broke through in 2012 allowing presence of the remembered bliss with consciousness fully in and aware of form. Maintaining a state of wellbeing requires extreme diligence of care in every aspect of my living. Pre-melanoma has returned to the skin, solidifying desire to retreat for deep cleansing practice, including regular asana, rest, and writing. I seek a home that will allow me this. Please be in touch if you have a suggestion.

When together now, my son and I are working on boundaries of respect. Having been raised by a nurturing mother who knew no boundaries of her own, my training is as great as his. The path of least resistance, which was my standard with him until very recently, is not helpful for my son anymore if it ever was after he became aware of the power in his voice.

Last week, the endurance muscle was stretched to make it through his screams. On two occasions, he claimed that he was going to die if he did not get what he wanted. In my son, I saw myself as it was last year, not 4.5 but 39 years old caught in a fit of misery, proclaiming deprivation. The dying that occurred for me in that fit was the death of the child without boundaries. The pain was real.

No doubt my son spoke honestly of his condition. Surely he felt someone and something dying in him. Seeing myself in my son enabled me to stick with the line drawn, to endure his screams, and extend the energy and time it took for him to surrender in exhaustion. This was a painful, quite less than graceful, process for both of us that paid in an ounce of healthy pride for me and what I hope to be a shift in my son toward respect for himself and others.

Teaching children boundaries of respect is some of the most important and challenging service work a person does. Part of what I offer my son is the model of someone determined to live an honest life, to be true to her deepest calling. Right now, this means that we are apart more than we are together. There is a mutual emotional toll and we will recover. Our recovery will be more complete for my determination to follow this path of greatest resistance.

The boundaries claimed for my person have allowed a peaceful state that is fully present with the stark realities we face, a state of realized possibility for living beautifully when we face reality head on with an unwavering devotion to the service to which we were born. There is gratitude for past and present spiritual practitioners, fathers and mothers, who have separated from their children for at least a time in keeping with their seeking and realization. It is a path with much resistance still and nonetheless true as any.

Robin Williams’ suicide this month struck home. Robin’s was proceeded by the suicide of my current housemate’s relative, a writer and philosopher in his early 40's.

I touched twice that place of unbearable pain ~ pain that is actually unlivable. The response to that anguish in 2005 was sleep. The response last year was to fall in heaving grief and rise in a poem. This body mind has never been medicated by prescription.

Medicating depression with recreational or prescription drugs is the path of least resistance that keeps us entranced by and entrenched in something dishonest, something that does not work for everyone.

Eventually, what does not work for everyone no longer works for anyone. This is true in our most intimate and distant relationships.

At large, we are very close to, if not at, a point of total dysfunction. We are much like children learning boundaries of respect for the first time. Something, someone feels like dying and she must. My small self no more wanted to move through the lesson with my son last week than his did. Yet the path of greatest resistance has proven immediate rewards, which lead to long-term enjoyment in relationship. May such effort find each and every one of us in the interest of the vibrant world.

Much love and many blessings,

PS Later this week, extinction witness closes this month of butterfly and the great personal ~ global shift with a turn to direct obstacles and celebrations for monarchs. In September, we will be with the 100th anniversary farewell to passenger pigeon for a solid, gentle gaze at the great and past losses yet to be fully recognized and resolved by the whole.

With gratitude to our web genius Devin Ceartas at NacreData L.L.C., there is a secure online option to contribute financially toward the crafting of this monthly witness. Please click here to support.