Buddhist philosophy has referred to a place of uncertainty as the middle path. A place in which we do not have enough information to make a left or a right turn and we are ‘stuck’ in the middle ground, that is without a reference point. After many years of always deciding a left or a right, yes or no, good or bad, right or wrong, it can be very uncomfortable, even frightening, to be in a place without reference.
When we find ourselves in this unfamiliar place of not-knowing, we may observe ourselves grasping at anything or anyone who may pull us from this space of being, to one of security and momentary elation. We often spend so much of our day, weeks, and lifetimes seeking this external satisfaction that when we are in a state of vulnerability, we will do anything to remove ourselves from its clutches.
Perhaps instead of feeding this desperation to fix our sadness, or sorrow, or perhaps instead of fighting back against our uncertainty, we could begin to practice being with these sensations.
Even though it may seem like agony, and against the sweet detachment from ourselves we have become accustomed to, allowing ourselves to tread water, and eventually float in the feeling of uncertainty, the middle path, could perhaps provide relief, and solace and clarity.
Seeing our life and our thoughts as they are, life and thoughts, challenges, and learnings, feelings and sensations, helps one to be less caught in the trap of our habitual patterns and more comfortable with floating in the place when there is perhaps no light, or name or reference.
In meditation and yoga we speak of finding this space between the thoughts, where words and judgments don’t exist, where with practice, we can begin to stay and float for periods of time, in the calm and emptiness, without conduction, or need, or reference.
When you are facing uncertainty, practice breathing into your moment with kindness, and wrap yourself in the discomfort of being, no matter how long it promises to stay. Sit back and float in your river of confusion that with awareness, will only lead us back to ourselves.
Corie Kielbiski works as a Holistic Nutritionist, Yoga and Meditation teacher at InspireHealth, a not-for-profit integrative cancer care centre. She has been teaching yoga and meditation for 7 years throughout Vancouver, Victoria and beyond and loves to share the connection of nutrition and well-being.