I used to connect with friends by riding their rollercoaster. If they needed to get drunk and let off some steam I was the first one step up and join them. If they needed to share a space where they could talk through some difficult times I met them in their energy space. There are communication trainings that teach you how to get in the same energy space with someone so you can build trust. They almost always teach you to mirror their energy, at least at first. If they’re standing you stand. Sitting, you sit. Talking softly, you talk softly. Loudly, you talk loudly. They’re sitting up straight, you sit up straight. Slouching, you slouch. They need to move, you move with them. I’ve even heard to go as far as matching their gate and breath. All of these things make the other person feel more comfortable. It’s the foundation of how you initially connect with someone. It’s the tool set that’s helped me develop many caring friendships. I thought this was what life was all about. Being willing to give up a part of yourself to get on someone elses rollercoaster was also an adventure. Sharing an adventure leads to building a relationship.
Then when I started practicing Vipassana I equanimity became more important than this connection. Instead of sharing this emotional adventure of life I felt like I was watching from the sidelines observing my sensations. Instead of enhancing my life Vipassana was disconnecting me from it. In the place of the rollercoaster I was tuning into this undercurrent of peace and quiet that felt more lonely than inspiring. I wasn’t sure if Vipassana was right for me if it was disconnecting me from the things I believed were most important.
It has taken some time but I’m slowly growing into a new perspective. I’m slowly learning that the connection I can feel in the peaceful undercurrent is powerful, healing, and inspiring. As I develop my connection to this undercurrent I can start reconnecting with my friends rollercoasters but with the foundation of peace and love. I might not stay out until 3am drinking with a friend but I’m learning how to have fun while connecting to the undercurrent. I’m learning how to send metta on the subconscious level while meeting at the same energy level of the conscious mind.
The tricky part is finding relationships that help me practice this. It’s hard for people who aren’t practicing Vipassana to understand what I’m talking about and I don’t have that many Vipassana interactions. This is an essential skill for me to develop a happy life so even if it takes some time I’m going to continue working at it. Hopefully I’m right.