Every day life fairly brims with groundlessness - we bump into it all the time - that unsettling fact that there is nowhere solid to stand. There is nowhere we can say to ourselves once and for all “This is it!” Most of us deal with groundlessness by ignoring it in one way or another - busyness, drinking, food, drugs, religion, TV, shopping, some combination of those things - you name it. There are places, however where it is particularly difficult to elude the great truth of groundlessness. In fact, they are veritable red-hot crucibles of it.
A medical waiting room is one such place where we sit our asses down and have a direct encounter with groundlessness. Nicely decorated with comfortable furniture, stocked with the latest editions of popular magazines, they are nonetheless emotionally charged cauldrons where we come face to face with great uncertainty and where many times we will end up being yanked from the life we thought we were living into unfamiliar, scary territory.
In places like waiting rooms where groundlessness abounds, it matters not one whit what is on our kindles, or what new tunes are on our carefully curated Spotify playlists, or what newly manufactured calamity is being fed to us via the office TV playing Fox News… There is no escape. Groundlessness sits before us, a black bottomless pool, breathing, waiting.
Teachers from all lineages tell us the same thing: the only effective means of engagement is to let go of expectations and step in..