Tag Archives: Eternal
Beyond the mind, beyond thought, beyond feeling, there is a beautiful timeless place where all is known!
Lao Tzu’s poetic text ‘Tao Te Ching’ is built around the concept of ‘spaciousness’. One of the example that he uses is that of the space within the pot – we do not actually use the clay of the pot, rather the clay creates a useable space in which we can put what we like. Similar is the case of a house. We do not live in the materials that that the house is constructed with (walls, door etc) but rather we live in the space created by the materials. This spaciousness is what allows for everything in existence to be possible.
Our true self is this birthless, deathless, timeless, limitless, eternal spaciousness. It’s been said that the mind is like a pond. When the concentration is on one object, it is as if one throws a single stone into the water and you observe beautiful rings expanding out from one point on a smooth surface. When there are a multitude of thoughts, it is like many stones hitting the surface of the lake, and ripples are going all over, running into each other, making any sort of clear reflection off the surface of the water impossible. Similarly, when the mind is full of thoughts it is impossible for any deep awareness to manifest, or any deeper reflection about oneself to take place. And this is the way the mind exists most of the time. In that condition, all we can do is attend to one thought before another breaks through, whether we like it or not. Thus, we are continuously forced to deal with the constant agitation of the mind, as if it is pulled by our senses, desires, goals, dreams, attachments, aversions, or attempts to serve the demands of others. In such a situation there is hardly any peace nor can we experience our true self. Not only can multiple demands on our life lead to a sense of stress and overwhelm us physically, but it can also feel unsustainable and hopeless emotionally.
What is often helpful is to seek the larger landscape which can hold one’s experience. A spacious mindfulness practice can benefit a sense of larger perspective, a bigger picture, an openness that often can soothe the mind and calm the heart. And even if the practice does not completely do this every single time, it may do it enough so that we can be present one more moment, one more hour, one more day — to allow the boundless qualities of Life to arise and remind us that a clear mind and open heart are possible even in the most difficult circumstances.
One of the classic images used to express this is a storming bull that is caught in the confines of a very small barn. What happens as the animal rages and bucks against the narrow walls of its prison? Likely, it will both destroy the barn and deeply injure itself. However, place the bull in the space of an open field with no obstacles or boundaries; its energies will surely be vented, and its forces also will also exhaust and calm themselves over time. Our minds and hearts are similar. Placing our minds and hearts within a larger landscape allows whatever to arise to be held with mindfulness. The broader the picture we have of our life, the more space we have to maneuver any difficulties that arise and to tend and care for all of the multiple joys and sorrows that come our way. This kind of spacious open awareness does not repress, deny, or change the experience of the mind. It simply gives the mind room to breathe, relax and come into its fullest potential — to be kind, clear and free and at perfect peace.
It is our common experience to note that we have numerous ‘I’s. The I of I want, the I of I sang a song, the I of I am an engineer, or I am thinking. But beyond desires, actiivities and physical characteristics there is another I that is basic. This I gives rise to the subjective sense of our existence like our self image, physical charecteristics, emotions and social category. When we speak about the self it is these categories that we refer to but they are not the origin of our sense of personal existence. The most basic I is something different.
As we introspect deeper to find the origin of our subjectivity we find that the search for I leaves the regular ideas of personhood behind and takes us closer to awareness. Awareness is something apart from, and different from, all that of which we are aware – thoughts, emotions, images, sensations, desires and memory. Awareness is the ground in which the mind’s contents manifest themselves; they appear in it and disappear once again. The objects of awareness — sensations, thoughts, memories, images and emotions — are constantly changing and superseding each other. In contrast, awareness continues independent of any specific mental contents.
Awareness cannot itself be observed, it is not an object, not a thing. Indeed, it is featureless, lacking form, texture, colour, spatial dimensions. These characteristics indicate that awareness is of a different nature than the contents of the mind; it goes beyond sensation, emotions, ideation, memory. Awareness is at a different level, it is prior to contents, more fundamental. Awareness has no intrinsic content, no form, no surface characteristics — it is unlike everything else we experience, unlike objects, sensations, emotions, thoughts, or memories.
A group of travellers forded a river. Afterwards, to make sure everyone had crossed safely, the leader counted the group but omitted himself from the count. Each member did the same and they arrived at the conclusion that one of them was missing. The group then spent many unhappy hours searching the river until, finally, a passerby suggested that each person count their own self, as well. The travellers were overjoyed to find that no one was missing and all proceeded on their way.
Like the travellers, we often neglect to notice the one that counts. Until we do it we do not know our true self the timeless and eternal awareness we are.
A time comes in your life when you finally get…when, in the midst of all your fears and insanity, you stop dead in your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out…ENOUGH1 Enough fighting and crying and blaming and struggling to hold on. Then, like a child quieting down after a tantrum, you blink back your tears and begin to look at the world through new eyes.
This is your awakening.
You realize it’s time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change, or for happiness, safety and security to magically appear over the next horizon.
You realize that in the real world there aren’t always fairy tale endings, and that any guarantee of “happily ever after” must begin with you…and in the process a sense of serenity is born of acceptance.
You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect and that not everyone will always love, appreciate or approve of who or what you are…and that’s OK. They are entitled to their own views and opinions.
You learn the importance of loving and championing yourself…and in the process a sense of new found confidence is born of self-approval.
Your stop complaining and blaming other people for the things they did to you – or didn’t do for you – and you learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected.
You learn that people don’t always say what they mean or mean what they say and that not everyone will always be there for you and everything isn’t always about you.
So, you learn to stand on your own and to take care of yourself…and in the process a sense of safety and security is born of self-reliance.
You stop judging and pointing fingers and you begin to accept people as they are and to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties…and in the process a sense of peace and contentment is born of forgiveness.
You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view. You begin reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really stand for.
You learn the difference between wanting and needing and you begin to discard the doctrines and values you’ve outgrown, or should never have bought into to begin with.
You learn that there is power and glory in creating and contributing and you stop maneuvering through life merely as a “consumer” looking for you next fix.
You learn that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the outdated ideals of a bygone era, but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build a life.
You learn that you don’t know everything, it’s not you job to save the world and that you can’t teach a pig to sing. You learn the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry and that martyrs get burned at the stake.
Then you learn about love. You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you would have them be. You learn that alone does not mean lonely.
You stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes. You learn to distinguish between guilt and responsibility and the importance of setting boundaries and learning to say NO.
You also stop working so hard at putting your feelings aside, smoothing things over and ignoring your needs.
You learn that your body really is your temple. You begin to care for it and treat it with respect. You begin to eat a balanced diet, drinking more water, and take more time to exercise.
You learn that being tired fuels doubt, fear, and uncertainty and so you take more time to rest. And, just food fuels the body, laughter fuels our soul. So you take more time to laugh and to play.
You learn that, for the most part, you get in life what you deserve, and that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for and that wishing for something to happen is different than working toward making it happen.
More importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success you need direction, discipline and perseverance. You learn that no one can do it all alone, and that it’s OK to risk asking for help.
You learn the only thing you must truly fear is fear itself. You learn to step right into and through your fears because you know that whatever happens you can handle it and to give in to fear is to give away the right to live life on your own terms.
You learn to fight for your life and not to squander it living under a cloud of impending doom.
You learn that life isn’t always fair, you don’t always get what you think you deserve and that sometimes bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people…and you lean not to always take it personally.
You learn that nobody’s punishing you and everything isn’t always somebody’s fault. It’s just life happening. You learn to admit when you are wrong and to build bridges instead of walls.
You lean that negative feelings such as anger, envy and resentment must be understood and redirected or they will suffocate the life out of you and poison the universe that surrounds you.
You learn to be thankful and to take comfort in many of the simple things we take for granted, things that millions of people upon the earth can only dream about: a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed, a long hot shower.
Then, you begin to take responsibility for yourself by yourself and you make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to never, ever settle for less than you heart’s desire.
You make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting, and to stay open to every wonderful possibility.
You hang a wind chime outside your window so you can listen to the wind.
Finally, with courage in you heart, you take a stand, you take a deep breath, and you begin to design the life you want to live as best as you can.
“There have been years of searching for
the blissful emotion,
the perfect life,
the right things to do,
the desirable identity,
the comforting words,
the high profile job,
the picture perfect this,
and a sense of closure
within every event.
I wanted to be wanted.
I needed to be needed.
The yearning to be envied,
the way I envied the unattainable.
The sweet tasks of manipulation
in order to produce the golden moments.
The daily efforts to soothe and sedate
my worried mind.
The undercurrents of suffering
looked so pretty when they
were the seemingly petty sacrifice
to attain future goal.
So much self concern.
And that’s ok.
That is the experience.
It doesn’t mean anything more.
It is the seeing of that state.
The observation of what that
kind of thinking looks like
and feels like.
It was lived through me.
It expressed itself through this
and in this pretend life.
I don’t judge it harshly.
I don’t judge it at all.
Because there is nothing to judge.
There is no absolute ideal.
Just the natural intelligence
that observes what is happening.
the passing of time
is all part of this game.
that we call life.
We take it seriously.
and believe in its impact.
We believe there is something
to be done.
That there is somewhere to get to.
That there is someone or something
That needs to be changed
Like we ever really had control.
Like we ever really made any choices.
Like we were ever separate.
Like we were ever going to die.
You are Eternal.
Nothing can hurt you.
and it goes.
and it goes.
the bottomless, boundless
ocean of Life
Of which you are.
Of which we are.
We are That”
Who you really are is the one consciousness that exists, hence there in no other to compare with. There is nothing “inferior” about anything that has taken birth. No-one is superior or inferior, because there is only the “one” life. Consciousness stops giving value to thoughts of limitation and separation and embraces the “wholeness” of who you are. Realize deeply that you are the one consciousness. You are limitless in your potential to create, but cannot realize this truth as long as you keep holding on to thought that make you feel limited and fail to realize that you are not your thoughts but the awareness in which every thought, feeling and emotion appears and disappears.
A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Matthew 5:14b.
The whole of life depend upon building it on a strong foundation. If the momentary is chosen then the foundation is being built on shifting sand. If the foundation has to be strong then it has to be built on the eternal. A city that is being built on the momentary is in ruins by the time it is ready, it is falling apart. This happens because the momentary lacks wholeness of vision. Only the moment is seen, and then it passes. These passing moments are seen and not a total vision. Since what is going to happen in the next moment is unknown what is done in the moment may have to be undone because it may not agree with the whole. So the uncertainty is always there. When decisions are made based on the momentary the whole may reject it and it may become absolutely useless and meaningless. For the city to be built on a rock wholeness of vision is indispensable. When life is built based on the momentary difficulties will arise as the whole will not adjust to the momentary.
The whole has to be consulted before the decisions are made. Life should be created and patterned with a vision of the whole. Have a vision that is timeless. For this to happen one has to move to a higher consciousness. A person standing under the tree can see up to the nearest curve on the road. If he climbs up the tree then he has a greater vision. From an aeroplane he can have a bird’s eye view of the whole city. The higher he ascends greater becomes the vision.
Imagine a person standing under a tree, he looks east and does not see a thing. Another person sitting on top of the tree says, “I can see a bullock cart tree.” The first person says, “I can’t see it. How can it be?” The bullock cart is in the future for him but for the man sitting on the tree the bullock cart is in the present. Hence present is not the same for everyone. Present is confined to each one and the present of one may not be the present for another. It depends upon the ladder of consciousness.
For Jesus everything is present: there is no future, there is no past. From the level of his consciousness the whole is visible. Nothing is past and nothing is future, everything is here and now. The existence of past and future only reveals the narrowness of vision. For an ordinary person when anything goes beyond the field of vision it becomes past; that which has not yet come becomes future. Existence is momentary as the vision is limited
The high altitude, which is awareness, is the fortification. A city that is built on a high mountain cannot fall nor can it be hidden. A city built on the timeless will be known for eternity. Nothing can hide it.