Transcript from a meeting with James Eaton on 18 March, 2017
Q: I realise that what happens for me, in relationships, is that I want the other one to give me the ground, to give me THAT. I don’t know it, but I want the other one to give me THAT. Whatever else the other gives me, I don’t want it. Because I want THAT. And I don’t know what it is, but I want THAT.
James: Yes. That’s seeking you’ve just described. It could be another person, it could be a job, it could be money. Whatever it is, we believe it will provide us with the true ground – with lasting security, lasting fulfilment, lasting happiness. And then, when we get it, after a while we realise it’s not the true ground.
Q: It gives you the ‘feel’ of the ground.
James: Temporarily. Then you see that it’s not the true ground. And round and round we go, seeking a new relationship, a new job, a new whatever, to try to find the ground – or else we stay stuck in our unfulfilling situation for fear of change, for fear of uncertainty.
Q: And then you resent it, for not giving you what you really want.
James: Yes, or turn in on yourself.
Q: I resent my mum and Dad for not having given me the ground. Then I feel very much for them for not having had the ground. Then I feel guilty because I didn’t give them the ground. And then it’s, “Oh well there is no ground so anything goes, who cares!” So I came out here because I want you to give me the ground.
Q: To connect with that substantial – not abstract, or disembodied – that substantial feeling of the ground. That feels like, “it’s all ok actually.”
James: Do you need me to give it to you?
Q: Well, why else do we come up here? Why else do we come here.
James: I would rephrase it: you want to re-cognise the ground that is already here. I can’t give you anything. The ground is already here. The support that you long for is already here.
We just ease into what’s already here.
We can’t grasp it. Anything we can grasp is always for the mind. It’s always an object, a thing: “I’ve got it!” ‘This’ is not a thing. It’s that in which all things arise, and out of which they are made. So any kind of grasping, or focusing in, would only mean it will evade us.
Q: It’s this kind of battle.
James: It’s the act of focusing in that seems to make the true ground illusive. Because we’re focusing in to try to find something objective. But we don’t need to find it, because it IS what we ARE. Rather than focussing in, it’s a softening, an easing…
Q: Yeah I know but…
James: So what’s that ‘but’? Try and describe what’s pushing there.
Q: I want that ‘other thing’.
James: So there’s the pattern. Get really familiar with that. Precisely familiar with that: “I want that ‘other thing’ because what I’ve learned through my entire life is that that ‘other thing’ is where the ground is.” But what you’ve actually learned through your entire life is that that ‘other thing’ is not where the ground is. And it can be terrifying to let go of the familiar.
Q: (starts to laugh and cry)
James: Yes. So include that. All of this that’s happening now. Include all of this.
Q: This is nice. But it doesn’t have that substance. It’s not that ‘other thing’. You gave it to me before, now you’re not giving it to me.
James: You want the ‘other thing’, the thing that’s not here right now? So there’s the thought, there’s the pattern again: “This isn’t it, I’ve got to find it, I’ve got to grab it”. And off we go again. That’s the pattern. See it. There it is.
We don’t need to try. It’s the opposite movement. Easing, softening…
Feel your feet on the ground. Feel your bottom on the chair. Include that too.
Q: But then I lose the grasp of my mind, what I’m gonna say, what I’m gonna do, where I’m gonna go, what is it, what’s happening, what…
James: And then?
Q: And then if it’s not there, then what do I do?
James: Maybe you’ll still be here, breathing, life happening; maybe when the mind is required, it delivers.
James: Maybe. Maybe we can try that, just for a change? You’ve come into sensation, you’ve come into feeling, here you are, being – and then there’s fear, and the thought, “well what about my mind, where’s my mind, I need my mind! That’s the ground, my mind is the ground, I need my mind.” That’s same pattern again. There it is.
Here you are. Check this out. What happens if you just lean back and let it go…
Q: (starts to cry) I can’t lean back. I’ve spent all my life leaning forward.
James: This is The Big Lean Back.
Q: But there’s nobody to take care of me. Who’s going to take care of me? I have to be there, vigilant, knowing what’s happening. So I can take care of it… (crying)
James: What we’re starting to see is it’s all taken care of. Here is the true ground. Here is the support. Here it is. It’s an infinite support.
Allow the fear. “Who will take care of me?” Stay here. Here is the ground. Allow the feelings and thoughts to do whatever they want to do, allow them to say whatever they want to say. Include it all.
Q: I’m scared
James: Scared. Yes. Like a child. A frightened child. Really. That’s where you took on these patterns. To find something that you could rely on. But now you know the ground. Here’s the ground.
Q: “If I’m smart enough, if I know enough stuff, then I’ll be able to take care of myself.”
James: Then you’ll be safe. Yes, that’s the idea. I had the same idea. “Go into my head, understand everything, know everything. There’s the ground.” That’s not the ground. It doesn’t fully satisfy. Here is the ground.
James: You’re allowed.
Q: You’re sure?
James: Absolutely, positively sure.
Q: Ok then. Thank you. I might need to have it repeated a few times.
James: That’s ok.
Q: I think you already told me once – that I was allowed (laughter in the room). I thought I got it, but I forgot it.
James: These patterns are tenacious. They might need to be seen over and over, and that’s ok. It’s like everything. We’re just becoming more familiar, until the tables turn and the sense of being the ground is bigger than the pattern.