I dived back into meditation. I had tackled it few years ago as a study on the stream of thoughts and how to stop it at will, which capacity I gained through a bit of work. But now that I acheived my main goals as to theoretical synthesis, artistic exploration and personal resolution, I decided that it was time to get back to it more seriously. Not much on a practice of any school of meditation or religion, but a physical and physiological approach to the own matter of my body and my mind inscribed in it (I should finally read the last part of Francisco Varela, Evan Thompson and Eleanor Rosch’s book, The Embodied Mind, 1992, that is about the connection between the theory of enaction and the practice of meditation).
At a certain point, as we may have gotten to the bottom and root of the genesis of thinking, I wanted to get to the bottom of my own body’s activity, as much as I could access it. The truth is, at a certain point of slowing physiological rhythm and breathing down, at a point where inhaling and exhaling seem to get merged together, this slowing down brings a sensation of a waving inside level by level, and then, the body stops and freezes. It takes root where it is sit. In fact, you just breathe enough then so to support the minimal vital functions, and either a flow of wild images or a blank, the senses from your hearing and seeing. You can either think or not think. You can navigate or stay very still. Once at the bottom, unless you go for a trance, there is not much but the sheer capacity for healing.
We should not forget that the whole point of a cure is for healing. Once you have disentangled the threads of meaning and the sedimentation of trauma, and even with the reckoning of the sensorimotor paradox to sort the mind out, your body still knows the wound and its urgency. So what is only left for you to do, is to cool the urgency off and let your body heal itself, for it knows how to do it ; only the forcing of one’s mind prevents it.
I am not a religious person, but as an artist, I am deeply spiritual and interested in the idea of wisdom. As my friend and astrologist Ornella Petit said, and for that I totally agree with her : ‘One cannot help others if not helping oneself first.’ To situate onelself in the world, given the complexity and complications of our societies’ engaging ourselves into an urgent responsiveness, maybe the best wisdom that one could find is to situate oneself first adequately to their very own spiritual sensitivity. How to bring harmony between ideas and the body, or the self with a world populated by strange others, that might be as ugly as beautiful ?
I bring here no easy answer, for to me meditation is the last dig, that is why I wanted to get back to it after I have settled my debts with my conscious. But I want to say to all my friends, especially those who struggle to find their place and one to their feelings : meditation is radical. It is political. It is not an easy thing. You have to be situated at the right place for you, and that means knowing well the world that you are set to live in.
It only makes you strong when you have given all the possibilities to be vulnerable, knowing your own self from tip to bottom, and acknowledging every part of it, even those tied to others through trauma or great and sincere love. I want to be a spiritual person, but not in the religious sense. I completely come to agree with the radicality of being open and loving, even in the hardest, that feminist scholar bell hooks brings forward with such courage. Because you can know all that is rational, but your body wants more. And first, it wants to heal, that you would let it heal. You may know, but you have to let it guide you into knowing that everything can be lost and found back in memory.
That is the meaning of this little text, to my love, to my girls of Deuxième Page, to my trans fellow people who struggle, to the people who feel othered because they have been made a difference for their gender, race, class, belief, the way their body or mind work together. This text is dedicated to old or less old friends that I don’t see much but who supported and are still supporting me in the most caring and trusting way.
I thank all people that I love for their trust, and want to tell them that it is not over until we say it it.
Crédit photo : Anna Rakhvalova