Friday, September 25, 2009

What Do You Seek?

It is very common to want more. It is common to feel as though fulfillment is just around the corner, if only I could just . . . . Our minds tell us that we are not complete as we are. They keep us in eternal seeking mode. Perhaps it is a cleaner house that we are seeking, or that perfect relationship, or even enlightenment. The mind is constantly trying to get "there" not understanding that we are already there. What the mind cannot understand is that the breath we are taking this moment right now is fulfillment -- if there is clear seeing.

But I am frightened in this moment you say, I have just lost my job and I don't know how I am going to support myself and my family.

As humans, we try to control our environment. "Knowing" itself, is an attempt to describe or figure out the world so that we can supposedly better function in it. Understanding and knowing have served us well for thousands of years, and they have their place, but what if that knowing is at the "expense" of a deeper intelligence and deeper freedom that few have ever realized. What would happen if we really embraced the idea that we cannot really ever "know" anything. How would we live? Can you entertain the notion that it might be freeing? After all , things would still happen - you would likely still take your next breath, your cells would still multiply and divide, you would probably still go sort your laundry into piles. Life would all still be "moving", a deeper something would still be operating, but you would not be the center of it. Life would go on being life somehow, even if you did not try to control it or make it fit what you thought it "should" be. Most of us go through life with the illusion that we are in control but is that really true? Take a moment and ask yourself if you have ever been in control of your life? Do you even really know what's "best" for you? How would you judge?

Yes, it is true that it may be scary to lose a job, but as humans we are capable of wonderfully complex feelings and emotions. Its a part of the richness of our experiences as humans -- why can't fulfillment and fright exist side by side? What would happen if you inquired about your fright or accepted that you were afraid? Does being afraid have to cancel out joy, or fulfillment? If it did, then why do people enjoy scary movies or roller coasters or ghost stories?

Exercise : Take a recent situation that you are worried about or frightened about and look at it as an observer for several hours? Did the shape of the worry/fright stay exactly the same over time? Were you worried/frightened continuously or did other things take your attention from them for respites? If so what were they? Where did you feel the worry/fright in your body? Is the fright or worry as monolithic as it was at the beginning?

It is the mind that tells us that we are not fulfilled, that we want more or something different; that something must be "wrong" with the experience we are having. It may not be a "pleasant" experience. It may not be an experience we would care to repeat, but it is, simply what it is, - nothing more, nothing less. By making the experience wrong, we set up resistance which IS our suffering. In those moments we are "resisting" the flow of life. We are resisting life itself. It is, as it is. If there is something we can do - do it, if not, accept it. It is the stories we tell, that we attach to like a burr to a sock that are the origins of our pain. As Byron Katie says Who would you be without your story? Our stories are the movements of our mind. They create a "me" where emptiness exists. Don't get me wrong, the mind is not "bad". It is not something to be rid of - that would be more resistance, rather it should just not be taken so seriously. It simply is. It tries very hard to do a job for which it is ultimately unqualified - bringing you peace. True joy and peace come from the vast depth of who you are, not from chasing particular fleeting circumstances.

It is peaceful to mimic a porch screen through which events pass like a summer breeze.

For they will pass, both the "good" and the "bad". Nothing lasts, it all dissolves away into beautiful nothing.


Anonymous said...

Omg GN, yestreday my house was burglarized and I am now looking at it in light of your suggested exercise. I am really trying to separate from the story and just let it pass through me like a screen door...what a wonderful metaphor.

Sistuh said...

I enjoyed reading your blog. I hope ur enjoying the process.

Aralan said...

To Anonymous,

First, I apologize that it has taken me so long to respond. For the last few days I was not able to post comments. Second, I am so sorry that your home was burglarized. I send you lots of love. May you feel safe and secure. I am glad that the exercise was helpful. It is very easy to get wrapped up in the stories we tell about ourselves but ultimately they limit us. I send all my best to you.