Monster at the Party
This article was first posted in Osho News.
Somewhere in my travels, I ran across this exercise in a book I found in someone’s bookcase. It takes fairly little time, is fun, and can really take you to unexpected places. I have found that it works equally well as a session or as a solitary inner journey.
If you do it with a friend, she will simply ask you to take the steps one by one, and you then report to her what is happening. If you do it alone, just follow the steps below.
You do not need to have a certain issue to do this process, just a feeling to go inside and explore your subconscious.
Go inside yourself, either lying down or sitting up, with eyes closed. Come into the present moment, feeling your body just where it is. Breathe naturally and simply come into Being, relaxed and yet alert.
Imagine that you are going to give a party. The premises where it will be held can be anything you like – a garden, mansion, beach, spaceship… anything! Just trust whatever arises.
The party too can be any sort of party you want! The party of your dreams, and you can invite anybody you want to be there. The sky is the limit!
Describe the place and party aloud if you are working with someone, or even if you are working alone – if you feel to.
In the party room, go to a door to a closet in the corner. Open it and see what sort of monster comes out. Invite the monster to the party, and see what he does there. (Describe all this aloud if working with someone; if working alone, it’s your choice.)
After he has done his thing for a while, take him back to the closet and put him back in.
Take him out again a few days later. Keep doing this until you are not afraid of him and he is satisfied with doing his thing.
So, that’s it – those are the basic instructions. But as with any inner journey, it is so important to trust the flow of what is actually occurring as you proceed. The mind will try to get us away from the new or the different, so it’s very important that we trust our intuitive knowing about what is happening as we go.
Therefore I’d like to share with you what happened last time I tried this… something beautiful and healing and utterly unexpected.
Notes on my experience
My party is in full swing, in a huge open Mediterranean house in a big hilltop property with views in all directions. I’ve invited all my friends and loved family members, from anywhere in the world. Lovely healthy food is being served, grown in my own gardens.
I look around to see where the monster might be hidden – is there a closet door on that wall?
Instead I see a rusty-looking little cage on the floor down at the side of the room. I go to it, kneel and unlatch the door. Inside is a baby monster, dry and dead.
I lift it out, feeling sad! It looks like a folded-up, dried-out bat, but shaped more pointy at the top, and quite flat. But then it starts to come alive! I feel happy! Suddenly it becomes very large and papery and like a huge kite, still grey-black and dead-looking, but with turquoise light shining between its wings and its body, all down its sides.
It takes off and flies around the room rather crazily and half-heartedly, clipping a couple of party-goers on a shoulder or arm as it passes. It seems bleak and lost, like it doesn’t know what to do with itself, and is just going through the motions.
Now it comes to rest just beside me. I keep having a feeling to hug it and calm it down and love on its big papery pointy form. But I don’t do anything yet. I ask it, “What would you like to do?”
“To become a human child!” it says.
“That’s fine!” I tell it.
And so it becomes a child, a little curly-haired one, and I hold it and cuddle it… pouring love into it. Then it becomes smaller, a baby, and I am its mother and yet I am also inside its consciousness – at the same time.
This is where a great and interesting education, that I have been in for a very long time, becomes again an obvious yet tricky and challenging path: how to tell the difference between mind, and the body’s truth. For my mind keeps saying things like: “There are all these guests to take care of! I can’t give this baby attention right now!”
And the baby feels: “I am not going to get to have my mama’s one-on-one attention and energy! I’m not nearly as important as all these people! There are so many of them, and I’m just one, and small! I’ll have to wait until later! If ever! Because even without the party Mama has to take care of the rest of the family – always. 4 brothers and a dad! She has to think of them all the time! I don’t deserve for her to pay very much attention to me!” (I realize here that I have gone back to my primal family story. And I know I must let it play out.)
At the same time that the mind is insisting on this – that the infant has to stay out in the cold, as it were – a cold I could feel in my body, though I was really perfectly warm; a knowing that this division, this exile, is my ‘normal’ state – there is also my body’s truth: a profound calling for merger: my own spine with my own spine. Baby and mother…
And I understand that there are a few basic things an infant needs for health, and one of them is plenty of time of devoted, one-on-one welcome and attention without distraction. This adheres the infant to itself, it feels it is welcome and wanted here, and it feels that it can become itself and stay here. Without that it will always feel somehow cold, divided and dislodged… somewhere in itself.
So I cleave unto the baby, and am both mother and child. The party has to go on without me, and I consign it to another part of the huge, airy marble mansion, and just allow the sense of infant and mother, all alone together, with love streaming back and forth – and a Knowing in my spine, my belly, that this tender accompanying, belonging, merger – are long overdue and absolutely healthy. I can feel my spine sing with the deep joy of it – at last I’m Home, home with my own spine! I stay in this living, delicious space for a long time, feeling the reconnection again, again, again.
And the mind keeps trying to elbow in: “But surely the child will get spoilt! You can’t ignore a whole party just for one unimportant little infant!”
But my body says: “Yes, you can.”
To come out of this particular inner exploration, I feel to retain the blessed sense of union in my spine by doing it like this: First, I ask the Universe generally, “How do I integrate this into my daily life?”
I am shown just the humming of my spine with itself, remaining…
I say “Thank you,” and bow my head a little, to the Invisibles, and then I clap my hands 3 times.
This will bring you straight out of a process in such a way that you just spring forth as-is instead of returning step-by-step slowly, as is appropriate for other exercises. For exercises like Secret Garden, Animal Protector, I go back out the same way I came in – this door, that path, those stairs. I can’t exactly tell you why it’s right sometimes to do one, sometimes the other – although some exercises come with instructions on just how to return, and I respect those. But there’s also a sense I can get about it, as on this early morning when my body just wants to preserve this feeling, knowing it is immensely healthy for it. So it wants to return in this quick, emphatic way. Because, too, the party’s always going on – it’s life – and I do not have to dismantle it.
When I look back on this journey, two things are striking in a cautionary way: how my mind truly believed that a vast party-full of people were depending on me and so I should not care for my inner infant; even though it was just me lying in a bed in a remote house on a Sunday morning! And how what happened differed rather from the script of the session instructions – there was no closet, but a little cage – and that it is up to us to trust these beautiful, true things our subconscious offers up to us, and go with them. It’s like sailing alone into an ocean – and trusting to the wind.
The always-alive wonderfulness is that each journey is different – and each journeyer. So you will have your very own experience with this inner adventure.
Featured image: ‘Agile Monster in a Small Place’ by Madhuri