Fears and Regrets
I traveled far and wide, but always with the noise of self. Yesterday was chasing me and tomorrow was too far.
When I made anchor I hurried to Breanna Carleigh's side. Only in her words was there relief.
“A mental plague assails me night and day," I groaned, "Fears and regrets, and every gnarly angst. I'm not the captain of a ship; I am a squirrel adrift!
"And thinking, constantly! What is its source? What’s to be done for it?”
"Why not simply be?" she calmly said. "Watching what unfolds; not judging it. Not wishing otherwise than just what is — the Earth-flower opening, and this moment at the heart of it."
"So simple when you speak of it!"
"As for the Thinker . . . It's a parasite, you know."
"A monster deep in you, with tentacles, and you don't know its hiding place. You've put it on, like a carnival mask, and then forgot to take it off. It's got you thinking you are it!"
"Help me be free of it!"
"But are you sure?" she grinned. "After all, you're the one who invited it on board. Bid it trim the sails to set the course. And you have given it the helm."
"But why would I do that?"
"For your survival's sake!"
"This makes no sense at all!" I set my hands atop my head.
"I'll tell you a story if you like. How being a 'better self' doesn't seem so wrong --- but that's what let the monster in."
The brief story Breanna tells is "The Alchemy of Feelings" located at:
"Self is like a bubble on the sea," Breanna said, "Half of water formed, and half of air, weaving a mirror-shell for separation’s dream. What does she listen to? Whispers of her eternal wisdom state, the other side of silvered skin?"
“Breanna Carleigh,” I asked, “when the bubble bursts, what then? What do we keep from life, when it is past?”
“Feelings perhaps. Or memories, as from a dream. Though whose dream it is, you've yet to learn."
“Mysterious again! What do you mean?”
“Life's tree drops seeds that sprout to dreams. Energy spiraling toward ﬂesh to dance within the elements; and you have claimed it as your own.”
Brianna explains with her story at:
"Self is a smallness you insist upon," Breanna Carleigh said, "You forget your spirit wings."
"Forgotten, the greater dream in which the true self lives. Forgotten, that bright thunderous stream, the lightning you truly are --- you imagine that you are a spark.
That image of ‘self’ you have, it is not you, only a garment beneath which you hide. So small a point you claim to be, looking out at all the rest. Strip it off and let it go!
Do you see the many stars above us here?" Brianna swept her hand to net a few . . .
"They are the sparks that flow within one sky-sized lightning bolt. Do they seem still? It is because we are a part of it.
What shall we be at last? Today a wave, tomorrow thunder in the sky? The spark that lights the fire of dawn? Shall we be vapor on the wind the early morning sees, and we are gone again?
You are the tempest’s light and crash. The Thunder's child. Your roots are here, within the storm.
You've become slow, so very slow a while, to join the dance of elements. But you need not remain so locked in matter’s chains, your energy condensed in this slow state. You are not the ﬂesh, you are the ﬂames; and when you’re done with such slow dancing you will go.
'I.' It is a word too small for what you are: Spirit into matter pressed, a fire no elements may hold for long.
Breanna explains by drawing the three-sided labyrinth:
"So now you know," Breanna said, "it's each moment where the magic's done, as it takes wing.
"Do not turn to look at where you've been. For the moment turns to butterflies as you go past.
Nor squint too far ahead, toward that door not opened til we’re there."
"Though I am Captain; I must steer!"
"Yes. And you may clear away the storms!"
"There's a story I might tell. Of Rumi once again, that day he learned the co-creation art. Working out the future with the Friend, within the moment's sure embrace."
Rumi creates butter for his toast in the story Breanna tells:
"Life streams each moment free and new. Then Self claims it for its own; the octopus devours. Have no fear of monsters in the sea; inside is the true octopus, that thing called ‘Me.’
"You’re in Time's cage, past or future-chained; or else you’re in the sky, each moment as it comes alive. Decide: Will you be a wing upon the wind, or be a feathered stone? Set attention free — a high hawk overhead!
Five gates where Life streams through, my captain fierce. So much life in you, so much to share,” Breanna lay her hands along my chest, “And I shall bend the cage bars back from your broad heart.”
I wondered at all this. "So then, this journey that I take, it's truly not my own?"
"How the mind wishes to believe it is the center of it all. So desperate, the Thinker’s endless dialogue. Constant opinions of the Judge. As those tyrants are dethroned there is release. Again and again the Knower is surprised by unknowing’s bliss.
I looked to discover who I am, in moments very still. 'Ah,' I said, 'Surely I am the one who feels the gentle touch of air, who sees the light that sparkles on the waves beneath the eyes’ closed lids, who hears the thunder in the heart’s deep storm. Is all this not mine to call my own?
I listened more deeply then, and saw more far, until the Listener was no more and the one who claimed the sight had disappeared. The skin and sky had all been shed; the eyes, the touch, the heart no more my own.
Only remaining, that which self could never hold: The dancing Painter of the light, the Breather of the wind, the Hurler of the lightning through the drumming storm.
And the door of course. The Gateless Gate. So open as life passes by."
"Shall I tell you what you are? When the thoughts are gone, you are what's left."
Breanna continues at: http:
"You're in the clutch of self, and can't climb free of it," Breanna said, "That's the dilemma you are in. Though surely you've gone past his claws at times. Had a glimpse of freedom then."
"How would I know?"
"Have you ever forgotten a word you needed mid-sentence, or someone’s name you know you know? There's the pause. That
"Of course. All at once so still."
"There you are suddenly, staring out into the infinite. One with All as attention is released in an eternal 'pause.' At least until the mind returns, lost word in hand. 'What are you doing out there on the ledge!' the mind demands, 'Get back from there!'
And back the attention goes indeed, stirring past and future round and round inside the bowl. But an opening's been glimpsed of life outside. A life unclaimed by self."
For a more complete version of this story of Escape see:
For more about the sense of self, see excerpts of talks by Paul Hedderman: http://paulheddermanslaps.blogspot.com/
Breanna shows a game to play, to glimpse the 'pause' she spoke about:
"What do you do if fear is closing in, a panic pinches out the light of day?"
"I don't let it in that far. As though it were a wasp I swat fear off."
"And if it were too late?"
"Ha! I suppose I would come rescue you."
Breanna tells how she would accomplish it at:
Resources you'll enjoy:
A beautiful journey, "A Knock at the Door," by Duirwaigh:
Neil Cohen concerning entering the heart space:
James Saint Cloud