Dentists, sense fields, nostalgia for samsara

 

Initial draft….

Going to the dentist is a great opportunity to explore what is going on, especially on days like today where I spent three hours there!

I could see some of my old patterns coming up, of resisting the experience, of tensing up, of wanting to be somewhere else. (These are especially strong for me when I go to the dentist, probably due to some childhood traumas with dentists who didn’t believe in the use of local anesthesia!)

But equally clearly was the seeing of these patterns as old, worn out, familiar to the point of not needing to hold onto them, something I don’t have to identify with anymore.

After a quick exploration of sense fields, seeing that everything happening was just sensations, sounds, smells, tastes, thoughts, and that the discomfort is nowhere to be found within those, there was a release out of those old patterns.

The discomfort only comes in the gestalt created by sensations, sounds and thoughts, and is not to be found anywhere within any of those. There are sensations happening in space where others see my mouth. Sounds my thoughts suggests are of drills, water suction, music, voices. Thoughts based on visual memories, forming suggestions of what is happening… thought images of the dentist, his funny glasses with light and visual amplification, the assistant, the drill, my teeth. And all of those, just thoughts. Ephemeral. Nothing in themselves.

And discomfort nowhere to be found, except in the gestalts of all of this, in the coming together of the sense fields, when it is not seen how it happens. As soon as it is seen, the gestalt of discomfort falls apart, into its components within the sense fields.

Nothing changes, except the shift into it all being completely OK as it is. Even enjoyable, as it is.

Still the same sounds, sensations, thoughts… but seen as just that. I no longer go into the gestalts, taking them as real and substantial. I see how the gestalts are formed by the sense fields, and have no substance on their own. There is a release of identification out of it. I am not caught up in it anymore.

There is just clarity and what is happening, and what is happening is now enjoyable as it is. There is interest in it. A sense of intimacy. Even a sense of us in all of it… the sounds, sensations, thoughts, the space it happens within and as.

Finding this happening, something else comes up. Now, a sense of something missing. I am so familiar with resistance and discomfort in the dentist’s chair, so it feels odd to not have it around. In my mind, the two – dentist and discomfort – are so closely intertwined that something feels off when one is missing.

This is one of the many flavors of nostalgia for samsara. And this one is beautiful too. Pure innocence.

This one too wearing off in its own time.

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