Tuesday, September 28, 2010
There is a trial taking place in the little royal court of the King and Queen of Hearts. A knave has been accused of stealing the Queen’s tarts, and as we are all very aware, this is a serious offense with only one punishment: “Off with his head!” The trial, however much it may contain the elements of a normal court process, is far from a reflection of justice at work. The jurors are quite incapable of offering objective and fair verdicts, the King (an obviously biased character as he is married to the accuser) is doubling as the judge, and despite the White Rabbit’s attempts at keeping order, there is no such thing in Wonderland, not even in a courtroom. To top it all off, the alleged stolen tarts sit conspicuously for all to witness, decidedly and suspiciously unharmed (wouldn't you at least take a nibble if you had succumbed to stealing succulent savories?) and certainly not in the possession of the Knave.
The witnesses have nothing helpful to say, and are obviously more concerned about keeping their own heads than following the rules of a normal court proceeding. The King/judge probably wouldn’t know how to utilize the information anyway, were it relevant to the case:
“That’s very important,” the King said, turning to the jury. They were just beginning to write this down on their slates, when the White Rabbit interrupted. “Unimportant, your Majesty means, of course,” he said in a very respectful tone, but frowning and making faces at him as he spoke. “Unimportant, of course, I meant,” the King hastily said, and went on to himself in an undertone, “important—unimportant—unimportant—important”—as if he were trying which word sounded best.”
Alice starts to grow back to her normal size, and is quite large compared to the little animals, birds, and animated playing cards that once were her equals. This seems to fuel her courage to speak her indignations over the terrible mockery of justice that is going on, and she doesn’t hesitate to express her frustrations: “Stuff and nonsense! . . . Who cares for you? . . . You’re nothing but a pack of cards!”
Maybe you, too, are starting to recognize your true size or real worth amongst your accusers, or those you feel you are somehow being judged by. This may be the time to recognize that maybe you have outgrown this particular game and the cards, though possibly stacked against you, are only a miniscule obstacle and are stuck in a trivial pursuit that you, in your new empowered state, can easily move beyond.
We don’t ever hear a bit of actual evidence, except evidence of a miscarriage of justice, which comes as no surprise at all, does it, considering where we are.
In truth, the trial is just “Stuff and nonsense!” Whatever it is that is being determined as far as guilt or innocence is, as our beloved British bard, Shakespeare once said “much ado about nothing.”
If you could take a moment to look through the mish-mash of activities and ovations, you would find that there isn’t as much bite to the bark of your quandary.
Take a moment to do the following meditation and get to the bottom of what’s really going on with your situation.
Meditation: Taking a moment to sit comfortably, call in your query. As each element comes into your mind, take a moment to really look at each piece. What does it offer you? Insight? Helpful experience? Support? Confusion? Negativity? If you can, focus on the essence of each element, and (maybe with the help of a journal) note what helpful information is being offered. Let go of anything that doesn’t feel helpful; anything that doesn’t offer clarity, let it go. Now, with your list of helpful insights, look again at your query. Do you have any new perspectives that are helpful? Remember that it is your truth and your discernment that matters here; the opinions of others, though they can be influential and even intimidating, do not have more value than your truth. Continue to return to the list and notice if there are things that can be eliminated, or connections that bring a better focus to your query. Don’t be afraid to speak the truth about the nonsense that abounds. You are stronger than you think. Now is the time to listen to yourself and speak up for what you know to be right. Your voice is just as important as anyone else in the circumstances.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
The Mad Hatter:“If you knew Time as well as I do . . . you wouldn’t talk about wasting it. It’s him.”
The Mad Hatter and Alice have a mind-twisting conversation about time at the tea party. The Mad Hatter expresses his woes of being stuck at 6 o’clock eternally because of a falling out he had with Time. He points out to Alice that she must not have a clue about Time because he says “If you knew Time as well as I do . . . you wouldn’t talk about wasting it. It’s him.” The fact that the Hatter is stuck at 6 o’clock indicates he, as well, understands his dear old friend, Time, very little. It seems to be a construct in his mind that is fixed (of course, that's all time really is for us mortals). If he really had as good a relationship with Time as he says, he would know that he could do with “him” what he wanted instead of being trapped forever in a tea party.
We should give the Hatter a bit of a break, though because, after all, he is . . . well . . . mad. His madness is mostly likely due to a combination of mercury poisoning (one of the hazards of the job of a hatter) and getting stuck in a rut with the constructs of time. If our dear crazy Hatter had some grounding, he’d realize that Time was just fooling him, as it can and often does. And he’d see that he is not stuck in anything but the present moment, with which he can do as he pleases. But since he doesn’t have his wits about him, he continues to play out eternal tea time.
Now, mercury, though it is a poison that can lead one a bit too deeply down the old psychological rabbit hole, is also a necessary part of an alchemical process in which gold is produced. The Mad Hatter is a symbol of someone who has not particularly mastered the alchemical mysteries and is suffering as a result. Had he his wits about him, he might be manifesting mountains of gold rather than dirty cups and saucers.
So, not only has the Hatter lost his relationship with Time, he’s also apparently lost his mind, and it doesn’t necessarily seem clear whether there is much of a difference between the two. They both play on each other until there is nothing but nonsense.
Are you guilty of killing time? If so, you've caused a great offense to him and there is no wonder you could use a bit of retuning and atoning. It’s appropriate, now, to mend any differences you have with Time so that you can move on from your maddening tea party and get to something more enjoyable.
Take a moment to do this meditation and see if it doesn’t help mend any differences you may have had with Time and transform your poisons into gold.
Meditation #1: Sit comfortably at a time when you can really relax and not worry about running off to something else. Maybe just before bedtime, when all is settling down. Notice what you have been expecting from time. How much you try to cram in to every moment. Really allow yourself to see time as something tangible and limited that you are forever packing more and more into. See it expanding and about to pop. Remember to take nice deep inhales, and as you exhale, imagine letting go of something that was once taking up valuable time. Keep doing this visualization with every exhale until you are finally asking a reasonable amount from the time you have. See it snapping back to a reasonable size and notice if your breath is any easier.
It is possible that the Mad Hatter has happened upon your tea party to make you mindful of any silly rut you might have gotten yourself into. Are you finding yourself going around and around like an old broken record? If so, take this opportunity to visualize your liberation.
Meditation #2: If you’re having a hard time moving beyond a certain experience, allow yourself some time to sit with eyes closed and to see where you are. Imagine the stuck-ness as clearly as possible. Now, visualize where you want to be. What does it look like to be free of the round and round cycle? What does it feel like? Really allow yourself to get a strong sense of what it feels like to be out of the old never ending repetitions. Now, imagine a bridge that connects the stuck place to the place of liberation. In whatever way makes sense to you, see yourself getting up onto that bridge and crossing over. Once you have left the rut you were in, take a deep inhale and drink in the feeling of freedom. Look back at the old stuck place, and as you exhale, imagine blowing it far away and watch it go like a feather in the wind. Continue to do this meditation until you are recognizing real-time pathways out of your rut.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Alice takes her place at the head of the table even after being told there’s “No room! No room!” by the Mad Hatter and the March Hare. It can be hard enough entering a new social situation, not knowing anyone and being in a strange and unfamiliar place, but with the discouraging remarks, it could feel downright hostile. This doesn’t seem to bother Alice whose self-confidence has developed a good deal (almost as if it had chewed on a bit of that mushroom). Sitting at the head of the tea party could easily be seen as a symbol of her attainment of authority and temerity. She’s really not letting anyone push her around here.
As she takes her place, Alice is hopeful for some clever conversation, however the discourses that ensue come to quick dead ends as a result of pot shots and incivilities from her deranged hosts. Alice is not shaken though, and in fact is quite quick with the comebacks herself and displays a strong sense of self-confidence. She also chooses to draw the line with the supercilious Mad Hatter, which demonstrates strong boundaries:
“This piece of rudeness was more than Alice could bear; so she got up in great disgust and walked off . . . the last time she saw them they were trying to put the Dormouse into the teapot.”
Alice is displaying a new sense of determination and it is easy to see that she has come along way since she first touched ground in Wonderland. She doesn’t need an invitation or permission to move about as she pleases and she makes no hesitation in questioning the nonsense around her.
You have been invited to the tea party to be aware of the influences of those around you, and to gauge it against the strength of your own volition. The ability to follow one’s own will only comes after having knowledge of the self and the courage to act based upon that knowledge. If one is easily swayed by the external influences of friends, family, circumstance, communities and tea party hosts, one might find oneself forever at the whims and fancies of others. Alice has stepped beyond this wishy-washy way of wandering and has a deeper sense of purpose. You too, are being called upon to assert yourself and rely on your own inclinations. Whether you feel you are ready or not, now is the time to start practicing putting forth your precious prerogatives. No one else can do it for you.
The Tea Party is Alice’s last adventure in the forest before coming back to the hallway where she began her adventures in the underworld of Wonderland. In a sense, it is the last marker before coming full circle, and a wonderful time to make note of the journey and achievements along the way. Take advantage of this opportunity to assert yourself by noticing how you have changed during your personal adventures in Wonderland. As you recognize your internal power and fully step into it, you will also be moving into another new phase of experience. It may be a good idea to celebrate this growth (a nice tea party perhaps?), or at the very least, acknowledge and honor your progress.
If you are still feeling unsure of what it is that you are supposed to be asserting, take a moment to try out the following meditation.
Meditation #1: With eyes closed, call in your query, and once it is clear in your mind, take a moment to see yourself inside of it. Where are you? How big or significant are you compared to the other players on the chess board? If you are feeling intimidated by the influences of those around you, take a moment to make yourself bigger in the picture. You could also imagine having protective layers or tools that help you to feel strong. Make any changes you want to yourself in this image so that you can feel a sense of confidence. Now, check in with this image of yourself. What is it that YOU really want. Let go of what you think others want of you or expect you to say or do. Really focus on what serves you. After you have connected with this desire, practice speaking it to those in your query. Imagine your desire or will as a light inside of your solar plexus that, with each breath, you expand until it is brilliant and visible externally. Keep practicing and making adjustments to your size or any other aspect of this visualization until you can speak clearly with confidence. Now imagine that your desires are heard and given equal weight in the query at hand. See others admiring and accepting this brilliant light of your desires. Continue to work with this meditation until you are speaking your truth, rather than hiding behind the façade you think others want to see.