karma of circumstances

img_0429POSTCARD #245: New Delhi: Arriving at the breakfast table like a ship docking in the harbor. Sliding in to coffee and bagels. Spread butter on toasted bagel, then honey and slices of banana. A piece of it held between finger and thumb comes into vision for a moment and it disappears somewhere below my nose, as head tilts forward in a teeth/tongue snatch, chewing, chewing and swallow. Wonderful, the world enters my body – gratitude (“give us this day our daily bread…”). Transfiguration of flesh, blood and bones, fingernails and hair grow.

Hands and face wash – hot soapy water dribbling down bare arms, coldness in the chill air. It drops off at the elbows in two puddles on the floor… sudden déjà vu, memory of an unreasonable fear, guilt. Must have been a childhood scolding. Dry it all up, headache like a cue ball colliding with the inner walls of the skull. Always like this, in every new circumstance, reassembling the parts of who I am, and nothing seems to fit; searching for a ‘self’ to be satisfied with – or dissatisfied with, or upset, or angry, confused, depressed, gloomy or sad.

I’m drawn back across the years to how it must have been at birth. Sudden embodiment in a separate physicality, immense sound, trauma of coldness that has no name, the shock of air entering unopened lungs. All the early events from there on that are internalized; unexpected fear, huge sensations – everything happening without language to give it form so it cannot be understood. All the hurt and pain deeply embedded in who I am today.

My life is conditioned by these energy imprints, which are as present now as they were “then” – the past doesn’t exist, ‘clock time’ doesn’t cover it. There is only the karma of circumstances contained in present moment awareness.

I’m so glad to know this, if I didn’t have the PHN headache condition, I wouldn’t feel as motivated to look everywhere for a cure, and thus begin to uncover the mystery. A handful of meds swallowed with a swig of bottled water and in a short while, the headache is gone, everything begins to fall into an easing… long sigh of outbreath. I cannot find language that fits the moment.

The melancholia of winter. It takes a while to notice the sun shining through the kitchen extractor fan. Around this time, the shadow cast by the next-door building moves away. I can go up now to the roof terrace and sit in the sunshine… footsteps on concrete steps, flip-flop, flip-flop, flip… disappear up the staircase

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.


Special thanks to Miriam Louisa Simons who introduced me to “The Presence Process” by Michael Brown. Study notes from this form the main part of the post.

21 thoughts on “karma of circumstances

    • Yes, it’s a part of ordinary human experience but easily overlooked, or only discovered in extreme situations, then brought into present moment awareness through mindfulness…

  1. [quote]”Special thanks to Miriam Louisa Simons who introduced me to “The Presence Process” by Michael Brown. Study notes from this form the main part of the post.”[/quote]

    Could you tell me a bit more about this book? Seems interesting and i’d love to hear a bit from your perspective 🙂 Thnx in advance tiramit 🙂

    Kind regards Pieter

    • Hi Pieter, it took me some time to find your comment in ‘vulnerability’ because you posted it, in error, under the post: karma of circumstances. Okay so the book was suggested by Miriam for different reasons but the fact that the writer suffered from a headache problem similar to mine, was a reason for me to start reading. Also that the writer found a way out eventually, inspired me to find out how he managed that. To begin with, it’s about understanding that each of us carries an imprint of all the pre-verbal events that have stayed in consciousness since that childhood, infant time. To begin with, we need to reflect on the fact that clock-time is the measurement we hold on to, and when that is gone, present moment awareness includes everything in the past and is ‘now’. So we become aware of the pre-verbal events that created the imprint on consciousness. The work is to investigate this through a circular breathing technique. It’s what I’m doing now. I find it very meaningful and easy to practice – some effort required to stay with it. That’s all I can say, hope this is helpful

      • Thanks for the reply T! checked the book out on internet and i see why it relates to you, with the headache and how to deal with it.
        As i have another book on breathing exercise which i am reading atm, i’ll pass on this one for now. But reading the reviews, it seems that many people have benefited from it so i wish that you become one of them too 🙂

        Kind regards, Pieter

  2. Fine writing. Fine quotation.



    I spent the morning in heaven
    I spent the afternoon in hell
    In the evening I sat in the garden
    Serenely sipping lemon tea
    And listening to the birds”

Leave a Reply to Val Boyko Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.