If your life is feeling a little like you’re forcing shit up hill right now (and I think some of us have so far this year), you might like to reflect on this: Sukshma.
In Sanskrit it means “subtle”. Actually, it means more than that…it’s to touch life “innocently, faintly and effortlessly”. It softens. It allows compassion.
Like when a child touches your arm when they come out at night to tell you they can’t sleep.
I was taught this term when I first learned to meditate. Sometimes, when you meditate, you can go at it aggressively, forcing yourself (with internal berating) back to your mantra or third eye or candle flame or whatever when your mind wanders. And you get grumpy with yourself for “not doing it right” and not being able to stay focused. But this is highly unuseful in meditation. It kinda ruins the vibe.
My teacher taught me to try instead to return to focus with sukshma. Sukshma is a gentle steering, like we’re merely turning our head gently from the action over there to the left of us, back to centre. Gently and kindly.With no expectation of outcome. It’s feather light.
Lately I’ve been applying sukshma beyond meditation. And this, of course, is the point of meditation – to take the consciousness you foster in meditation out into the world. Who wants to stay in the cave on the bloody mountain, I ask you?! (Indeed, I asked the Dalai Lama the same and he agreed as much.)
I tend to internally berate and bludgeon myself with all kinds of silent but violent verbal abuse. It’s pretty non-stop. You’re either a carrot or a stick person. I’m a stick person. It’s got me places with my career. But at a cost. Part of that cost is a friction.
I’m always banging my little square self into round holes. The friction hurts.