During sitting practice these days, there is a clear distinction between…
The crystal clear empty ground which awareness/content arises from and within.
And the phenomena and content itself: clear light, a sense of reorganization and alignment throughout the human self, sensations, occasional emotions, occasional thoughts, etc.
I also notice that among the content, sensation, emotions and thoughts come and go as guests. At the same time, the clear light and sense of a “field” of reorganization seems to be there as nearly unchanging. But it is still clearly content and within the realm of phenomena and change.
When I find my “ground” in and as the clear space and awareness, there is a sense of relief. I can just relax into it, because it is always there – naturally and effortlessly. Only a gentle shift of noticing is needed. And it allows any content to come and go as guest. It allows anything to just happen and be on its own. As there is no attachment to one end of any polarity, both ends of any polarity are free to come and go.
All this is how it was when I lived in Norway and Salt Lake City as well, but I can see that at that time, I confused the clear light and field of reorganization with the crystal clear empty ground. It seems that I attached to the clear light and the field of reorganization as “the absolute”, and this did create a subtle sense of effort and precariousness. I didn’t relax completely into the empty ground, allowing any content – including the light and field – to come and go as they do.
And this attachment may be why the years of “fall” happened, where I lost any sense of connection with all this and (initially) plunged into despair.
Attach to anything in the world of phenomena, and there is a profound sense of loss and despair when it goes away, and it is in its nature to come and go. This includes even that which seems relatively “permanent” to us, in our limited perspective – such as the light and field coming to the foreground in my sitting practice.