Last year, when I was undergoing an intense 6-month transformational process, I had many thoughts about what we were then calling ‘ascension’, a rather spiritually arrogant label we were applying to the process of digging deep and unpeeling layers in the pursuit of ‘awakening’ and accessing higher and higher levels of consciousness. Along with an expanded sense of insight and understanding, came an expansion in my jeans, which my teacher assured me was normal – apparently the majority of people gain weight when they are accessing ‘higher consciousness/intelligence (go figure). In response, below is the first ‘blog’ I wrote in May 2009, now finally being published on my own kNOw Red Herrings blog. It feels good!
I woke up in the middle of the night last night (as I always do, just after 3am) thinking “No wonder Buddha’s fat”.
My teacher has told me that one of the side effects for some people when they open their throat (giving voice to their pure truth) and clear the blockages between the head and the heart is that all that dense energy that they have been carrying around in our heads for all this time descends down into their heart… and their butts and thighs and stomachs.
My mind used to race at a million miles an hour and when I would sit down to meditate I would notice that my brain was like the California 405 freeway with thoughts, like cars, whizzing down and across and weaving in and out of lanes. Now I think that every one of those thoughts must have been about 10 calories and just as the soul apparently weighs 21 grams, the ‘head-heart connection’ weighs about 7 kilos, and there is not a damn thing you can do about it. How cruel that it shouldn’t be the other way around – I wouldn’t have minded gaining 21 grams but 7 kilos has translated as thigh chafe and muffin top and frankly, I’m not yet zen enough not to notice or detached enough not to care. The thought has occurred to me that had I known my ass would expand in proportion to my consciousness, I might have stayed on the “mediocrity is good enough” path, which is about as enlightened as the smoker who keeps fagging to stay thin. Clearly, Buddha never smoked.
It seems the only alternative to my fat thighs and pudding stomach would have been to ignore the incessant soul-calling that had been buzzing within me for months before I finally made the leap into consciousness cartography… just as the smoker tries to ignore the persistent cough, the shortness of breath, the dull and lifeless complexion, I could have continued to ignore the warning signs that were telling me that there was more to my experience than I was letting in… Its true that ignorance is bliss because if you don’t know – or can’t even imagine – what you are missing than its easy to believe that a raspy throat, gotten through cigarettes or denial of true self expression, is ‘just fine’. After all, you don’t know what you don’t know. In my case however, I was surrounded by a few very solid, very centred and rather happy people who had plunged into this work and who inspired me to say “I’d like some of what they have”” and after eventually realizing that I myself was not going to transform simply by being in the company of such good people, I put my money where my mouth was (and apparently some caloric-dense food as well) and invested in the belief that I could be exponentially brilliant, too. And here I am, six months later, feeling pretty excited and pretty inspired – like Kirsten Dunst in ‘Interview with a Vampire’ after her first taste from the chalice of life when she said “I want some more”.
But still… its about the fat thighs. Forget about pear-shaped – I am like an upside down hot air balloon – bloated, full of gas and a wide load. Sigh. I suppose however, that the upshot of the Hot Air Balloon is that I am now in Top Down mode, and hopefully starting to dispel all my hot air inwards and earthward instead of upwards and outwards. And I’m a little more colourful (I’d like to think) and perhaps now I can appreciate – even witness – the silent soaring journey over the landscape of my life and transcend all the tangles and brambles I’ve gotten so hung up on in the past.
So yes, I suppose fat thighs and a clear voice are better than death by darkness and suffocation. And for now at least, enlightenment at Buddha’s level is still a long way off so rumours of my obesity are premature.
For more reading about “ascension” and weight gain, check out one of my favorite spiritual nomads here: