Biology tells me that skin is porous, but not a completely permeable membrane. Meditation and reflective journaling ask me to make space for everything: thoughts, feelings, sounds, sensations. “Let everything happen to you. Beauty and terror. No feeling is final.” (Rilke) Is it possible to be a spiritually permeable membrane, defying skin and the rules of biology through metaphor?
In a guided meditation, I saw a girl shackled to ball and chain throw herself into the ocean. I felt the weight of her body, the heaviness inside her heart. She was responsible for all painful misunderstandings in relationships. Drowning felt like the only option, the only redemption.
Invoking the loving presence of DoriMa, beloved teacher and mentor, I saw DoriMa’s glowing image in the sunrise above the water. She reminded the girl that the ball and chain were remnants from childhood experiences, representations of comparing mind and thoughts of deficiency. She reminded the girl that Kwan Yin’s spirit was always accessible, could permeate skin and pass through water all the way down to the abyss, the darkest places of consciousness.
Who is this woman now? What is the wisdom in waves? She is learning to swim, to make space for each rise and fall of experience. She is learning to let each thought, feeling, sound, and sensation pass through her without making a solid mold of the self.
She is learning that skin can completely be permeable with pure presence, that foreign, unpleasant substances don’t need to be attacked by the immune system once they are recognized and rendered as safe. Safe spaces can only be created when she lets everything pass through her. Beauty and terror.
No feeling is final.