Some people talk about feeling an inner knot or feeling contracted. We often identify with this sense of contraction. We also try to expand or open ourselves. Whether we feel contracted or open does not matter, who/what we really are is beyond both feelings. Do not be fooled by the illusion of thought…but also do not be fooled by the illusion created by this feeling of contraction or expansion. It is the same inside this bubble as outside this bubble…and the film barrier is only a thought and feeling.
Cease struggling against the feeling on contraction. Just recognize it as a passing feeling within awareness. It has nothing to do with a “me”. You are That…which includes any feeling of contraction, expansion, or any other feeling.
Struggling with contraction only reinforces and maintains the feeling of contraction – which would normally pass quickly. Identifying with it – i.e. it is me that is contracted – then reinforces another fiction – a “me”. Then struggling with it maintains a “me” who struggles. And around and around it goes.
Also don’t try to own the feeling. This too feeds the ego…ownership. It is not your feeling of contraction…it is just a passing feeling of contraction. If suddenly there is a feeling of expansion, do not try to own it and say “I feel expanded.” Again, it has nothing to do with a “me”. Don’t claim contraction or expansion for yourself…because what you really are is beyond that.
Contraction is relative to something else expanding. For example, if a country were to contract in size, then the surrounding countries would become larger. It is a zero-sum game. So why identify with the part that is shrinking or identify with the part that is expanding? You are all That – the partition is a mental fiction. There is That and no other. You are That. If there is an appearance of contraction, why see this as a loss of any kind? If there is an appearance of expansion, why be elated in seeing some gain? Contraction and expansion have nothing to do with who/what you are.
Actually, everything is in constant change. So there are always things expanding and contracting around us. You put your hand on a balloon that is being filled, you will feel it expanding. If the air is leaking out of the balloon, you feel it contracting. If you put your hand on a tire that is being filled with air, you may feel it becoming harder. If air is leaking out of the tire, you may feel it becoming softer. You don’t identify with or own any of those contractions or expansions. If there is a feeling of a contraction or expansion within the body or mind…it is no different. They have nothing to do with a “me”. What you really are is the awareness of the contraction and expansion…and beyond both.
Alan Watts said, in response to someone feeling stuck, if you allow yourself to feel stuck or unstuck…you are then unstuck. Similarly, if you allow the appearance/feeling of contraction (or not) and realize it has nothing to do with who/what you really are…then you are not contracted. Who/what you really are can not be contracted.