by Dunya Dianne McPherson

painting by Goxwa Borg

Last Night...

…I crawled into bed and the sheets felt like velvet. These same cotton flannel sheets have, for weeks, been unhelpful bystanders while my skin popped and prickled with invisible rashes. For a month or more my skin has been so uncomfortable, alarmed at every touch, with little itches and bits of pain, as if rubbed raw even while the visual surface was largely untroubled and smooth. No position, no clothing, no ambience could be relied on, though certainly a harsh wind or a hot blast or prickly wool was reliably uncomfortable. None of this was the skin I’ve known. My skin seemed to voice the world’s tension flowing through me no matter how I sought to comfort myself.

Then last night, before bed, I did an evening Dancemeditation with lots of friends on Zoom and the ‘real deal’ energy effervesced through me. We didn’t focus on skin, but the foci were simple and singular and attenuated. We arrived in a quietude. I drew my drifting mind to the effervescence in my being. It blossomed. The energy worked in me and I was at peace. My skin finally calmed, even became capable of pleasure. When I climbed into bed, the sheets felt better than they actually are. Curled in the plant’s boll I lay, breathing, the miraculousness in the puff of white on a stem whispering a lullaby to my skin.

This is no small thing.


Inner work is mysterious. I apply my steady self to soothing my frantic self. Calm down, Calm down. With gentle effort, I draw myself to simplicity. Always this is the work. Though I want to control how I heal—fix this by doing that—this assumes that I actually know what’s wrong. In truth, I rarely know the depth of the difficulty in me. How many of us know the invisible nub of our cancer? It seems we are always looking inward as the ‘aha!’ slips deeper down just out of our grasp.

Over time, having practiced leaning on Succor, which comes to me with utmost generosity, I see that even if I know what is wrong, I very likely won’t know the cure. I won’t know how to find comfort. But I can sink within and let the work do its work. The medicine and the healing. We can sink within and let the work do its work.

Comfort. Nothing is more precious, that feeling of safety and ease. It is so particular to each one of us, so intimate. These words are not about skin conditions and illnesses, but about how the depth of a meditation removed me from a collective anxiety that had been rendering my behavioral defenses porous and inadequate. During the meditation, I slid deep into myself. Submerged in True Self, the solace of the All-Seeing Beneficence delivered me into velvet. And so I slept well for the first time in weeks.

I am delighted that you are with me and appreciate your sharing these writings friends. Thank you!

My work and writing are sponsored by Dervish Society of America, a nonprofit organization helping people realize their human and spiritual potential by honoring their body and its movement ways using evolutionary Sufi Dancemeditation practices. Thank you for your gift. It’s tax-deductible! Contribute Now

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Lisa TiemannDunya Dianne McPhersonKarleen KoenTheresa CancelliereDavid Hammond Recent comment authors
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David Hammond
David Hammond

Dunya, reading this stirs a curiosity/yearning about visiting one of your Zoom sessions.

Theresa Cancelliere
Theresa Cancelliere

Your writings always touch me deeply and I identify so much with your words.In this silence over these past weeks I have come to face myself in a more gentler way.I am more accepting as I slow down and discover the deeper layers that are being revealed.
Thank you.

Karleen Koen
Karleen Koen

Yes. Just yes. On the last Zoom meeting, when we went to Gallery view, tears just came up, surprising me. To see us all was for some reason so beautiful and so comforting.

Lisa Tiemann