Oldriska Balouskova, 4

Interview with Oldriska Balouskova

MP:

Just the statement– "love freedom/truth more than anything" is very powerful. Okay, now I would like to hear about your current practice. Let's start with the listening. Is this a metaphor for receptivity or are you particularly audio-oriented?

Oldriska:

It is both– it is a metaphor for receptivity but it is also a powerful practice of receptivity for me– by listening to what is– I open up from the more limited sense of self to the spacious sense of self– to the space that I am. It works beautifully when I can receive what people have to say in the same manner– as the space for it– as the listening itself. It is such a simple practice of allowing what is to be– when you truly listen, you cannot be thinking at the same time.

MP:

I understand. Listening is sacred. Being truly heard affirms who we are. I don't know how familiar you are with chakra work, but it seems your heart opened at 24, and your third-eye and crown (associated with the senses and hearing) are open now in this way. Did you feel any progression through the throat area at any time? This would have had to deal with self-empowerment and a "calling" of sort. Some women have a difficult time with this chakra center. For men, it is more the heart.

Oldriska:

I am a town guide, a teacher and an interpreter as far as work is concerned so there is definitely the throat area involved in all of that. Allowing myself to fully feel everything I am feeling is definitely a process of self-empowerment for me, though I am not sure what chakra that would be.

MP:

You mention both "listening" and "breathing" and that you do this throughout the day. Is there anything that you routinely set time aside for that focuses solely on meditation? If not, I want to hear more about the breathing and why this is important to you.

Oldriska:

My main practice is allowing the present moment to carry me. This poem expresses what I mean by that:

I lean back into you

You hold me

Softly and lovingly

Always there for me

Supporting my every step

I was so lonely without you

So suspended in nothingness

This moment

Life

My friend

It is allowing presence to permeate me and to flow into everything I am doing– feeling myself being breathed– feeling the life force in my body. Feeling presence is what I "do"– that is my meditation practice in this moment, and, in terms of linear time, all day long, day after day. Everything I "do" is a meditation. Life is a meditation.

MP:

That was beautiful. "Listening to What Is"... Thank you. I understand what you mean when you say "Life is a Meditation". For some it is time set aside. Others like yourself, have managed to integrate this awareness into everything. It's wonderful. You speak of allowing and being supported which are lovely images. I have more than once during this interview thought of a little book I have on the Upanishads translated by Eknath Easwaran. The "Isha Upanishad" includes this bit of text–

"The man who sees all creatures in himself, and himself in all creatures knows no fear. The man who sees all creatures in himself, and himself in all creatures knows no grief. How can the multiplicity of life delude that man who sees its unity?"

You speak of being breathed. I have felt this way. It sounds as if you have managed to drop much of the false border that we so often imagine between ourselves and all else. Can you describe this feeling and if there is anything you consciously "do" to return to it, if necessary?

Meditation Practices

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