This is from the meeting of Tuesday 21 March 1989. Pablo said: “Mr Adie, for a good while, I find that my preparation in the morning is full of dreams, and I cannot snap out of them. I really would like some help.”
“The body,” replied Mr Adie. “The body is there. Use that to start with.”
“If you you cannot shake off your dreams, put your hand up. Make it do things that you want. Anything. Toes, anything. You have a body. You only do it for a second or as long as is necessary, until you come aware in this lazy web of your dreams: aware of your body. You see your back is stooped, so you straighten it a little. You try and sense the movement of the breath into your lungs. You become animate; the blood flows, your thoughts change. Then try and become still.”
“If you are lost in dreams, move. Move from the dead spot. Do something. Splash cold water on yourself. Hold out your arms for two or three minutes. Do something difficult that demands attention.”
“I must awake somehow. I have been asleep, and now I am in a waking-sleep state. I have to awake. And I am very fortunate because I do have the chance of putting my attention on my body. And at the same time as I do it, I can try and have the idea of why I do it, and not think it’s just a stupid thing: it’s very, very vital. I can make small movements, I can make big movements, so that my final bodily posture expresses something awake.”
“We have a fine Buddha here, and another there. Their postures are magnificent. Now, if I see my head is fallen, and my shoulders are down, I lift them. If that isn’t enough, go and stand in a cold shower. Do something. Get a needle and prick your finger. Doesn’t matter, but don’t cut yourself to let quarts of blood gush out. The sensation is enough.”
Pablo reiterated that half-way during the preparation, he comes to himself and finds that he is lost in dreams.
“That can happen. In spite of these efforts, that can happen. But you come back, and by the time you come back for the third time, something clicks. You find that is different. But you can’t assume that it is, so I need to verify. You’ve got three things by which to verify: you’ve got your body, your feeling and your mind, and you want to have them in balance.”
“Very, very practical. You want to be absolutely practical. There is no doubt that the body is there, and it has feeling, sensation, which I am quite unaware of. When you take the breath, you have a sensation of the breath coming in. If it’s cold air in the room, you have a sensation of the cold air coming in.”
I might add that Mr Adie had the habit that every morning, no matter how cold it was, that he would go to his window, open it, and take in some breaths of fresh air. He continued: “Then this leads to the feeling. What about the force of the feeling? It is related to the food of the air. What about it? It gives you something, it’s a force. So the sensation and the force, and now what is happening to your thought? The rubbishy thoughts will have stopped if you have been directing your attention to your feeling and your sensation.”
“It’s a work. You’re trying to change your whole state. It’s a very big thing. A person who is changing their state is on the way to becoming respectable. Think of what it means to voluntarily change my state. How can I be different from what I am? Yet in one second I can become different.”
“The changing of my state is a complete impasse to the ordinary mind and the ordinary attitude. You can talk about it, and write books about it, but know nothing of it in reality. But everything depends upon it.”
Mr Adie is speaking here of coming awake in the midst of dreams, during the preparation. This is so critical that I am leaving it one short posting by itself. Other methods can be used, but the principles are the same. For example, Gurdjieff recommended getting a sponge, soaking it in cold water, and then squeezing it over the veins in your wrist. Or you can hop into the shower and let cold water pour down on your arm-pits, or straight over your backbone. When this has been done, one can achieve some awakening just by remembering it (of course it is better to make the effort to evoke memory in all three centres, not only in the head).
Often, too, when someone complained that their preparation was dead, Mr Adie would advise that they take it deeper: try and go deeper into one’s sensation (e.g. include the sensation of the bones, the internal cavities, the movement of the blood, and so on), to receive more impressions simultaneously (e.g. of the temperature, the quality of the air, sounds, light through my eyelids), and so on. It is an exciting world, full of wonder.
Joseph Azize, 22 November 2018