“With awareness, we awaken to cure what is not meant to be endured and endure what cannot be cured, and from this place, we live in the moment, where suffering is optional.”
Does something feel missing in your life? Do you feel called toward something different or more meaningful? Are you continually searching for the next thing that will bring you the peace, joy, and happiness that you desire? Do you find yourself doing, doing, and doing until exhaustion, then trying to squeeze in time to enjoy life? Do you hang onto memories of the past and dream of better days to come?
Many experience life like this and ultimately wake up one day wondering where their lives are going or went, and this awakening becomes the motivating force to create something new. The misstep that happens is that we believe we must embark on a long journey to some place new — not realizing that what we are seeking is already here and does not need to be created.
What if your searching, which has offered you incremental change toward your desired outcome, somehow is simultaneously keeping you from your intended destination? Can you see this happening in your life? Does your intended destination always seem so close, yet somehow you never arrive?
The surprising solution is so simple that many think it cannot possibly work, and therefore, it is often overlooked. Is it possible that you are so trapped in personhood that you have lost the ability to see the truth of who you really are? Has your doing, doing, doing kept you from being able to just BE in life, to be present in the moment?
For some, this will sound silly to the mind, and especially so to anyone who has never questioned who they are. All I ask is that you ignore your mind just this once. Ask yourself this question if you are having trouble understanding where I am pointing. Has your mind throughout your life produced thoughts that were always true and helpful? If not, then please keep reading.
The following insight will tell you when you are actually in the moment, which is something you can confirm for yourself. When you can be present, in the here and now, the moment, thoughts are not perceived.
We have all had times like this when we do pay attention to our thoughts, and they seem to be gone. For example, when we are in awe of a sunset, or we experience so much joy that we lose track of time. In these moments, there is nothing to do and nothing wrong. We are one with what is and fully present. We become still inside and full of peace. It is only when we fall back into personhood that thought once again appears.
Of course, afterward, we THINK that living every moment in this way is not possible because we have to make a living or we have to take care of the family, or we have to… Like a dog chasing its tail, we continue looking for something that seems elusive. We keep searching to find that thing that will recreate our experience, not realizing that it is always here. We have forgotten it is our natural state, just to BE.
The truth is that living in the present moment is not about creating anything. It is not about taking a journey or changing anything. We are so attached to our thoughts that we cannot see this, and we THINK that being present is about practice, a ritual or hard work. We fail to recognize that we are more than just the body and this life as a person.
You cannot figure all this out through the mind because it will get in the way of you seeing the truth. It will make you THINK that you already know or you are getting close if you just do one more thing. Finding your way out of this mind-trap is simple; however, letting go of years of conditioning and habitual thinking is not always easy for most of us.
Therefore, if you truly feel a calling to go deeper and have direct experience of this truth, you must be vigilant and bring more awareness into your life. Life does not have to be so serious. Suffering comes from the attachment to thought and the desire for a different outcome than what showed up. You know when this has happened you have become too attached to personhood and lost awareness of your True-Self, your real nature. You will only find stability there because everything associated with personhood is unstable; it comes, goes, lives, and dies.
I am not asking you to believe me or to acquire more knowledge. Test it out for yourself, because it will only be through direct experience that you can build the strength to ignore the misdirection of your thoughts. Use your mind when you need to and stop believing everything it says. Become aware of its rambling, and your life will become full of joy and peace. Return to your real and timeless state.
The God-Field from which all creation births and dies is where we observe the activity of personhood. From this field, we look from the True-Self and see our anger, pride, and fear, in addition to all the other feelings and disruptive conditionings that impede our life and cause us to suffer.
Once we begin to use our innate ability to observe thoughts and emotions consciously, we can use awareness to awaken from the deceptions of the mind.
We must start to question our thoughts. Through this questioning, we can expose the influence that the mind has over our life. Then we will begin to see its obvious and sometimes subtle trickery that prevents us from awakening to the truth.
Rumi points to the truth of who we are so eloquently in the following quote.
“I have lived on the lip of insanity, wanting to know reasons, knocking on a door. It opens. I’ve been knocking from the inside.”
Waking up is not a journey to somewhere as the mind tells us, this is another misleading thought and keeps us lost. We mistakenly think that we have to get somewhere and that it requires many years of practice or hard work. The mind will confirm this wrong and misleading advice. So first, it lies to us, and then it tells us the lie is valid. Can you see this is true? I guarantee that this thinking, at some point, has influenced your life in a way that was not for your highest good.
If you see this playing out in your life, then stop falling for these lies and begin to use your awareness to wake up. If you THINK this has not happened to you, then pay closer attention to your thoughts throughout the day, and it will be revealed.
I do not want you to believe me or know this intellectually but to experience it for yourself. Intellectual knowledge of this will not get you very far, as you may have seen from your years of studies.
Once you have direct experience, the mind will lose its control and power over you. Know that it may not give up quickly, so be watchful for its trickery. If you have a thought like, ah yes, I have it, you will stop watching and fall for another subtle but effective trick to keep you stuck from using your awareness to root out the real problem, which is believing or attaching to everything your mind tells you.
Remember that all things in personhood come and go and the experience is not reliable or steady. Daily we can see this played out in our lives and we are too attached to our identity as a person. Our real nature, on the other hand, is peaceful and wholly stable and dependable. It does not rely on anything, has no conditioning or beliefs and therefore is not responsive to the trickery of the mind.
Your mind will try to tell you that a life like this will be dull, but I assure you this is also a lie. Find out for yourself and know that it is not for just a few, but for anyone who wants it. Therefore, if your life feels unsettled or you are called to find something more profound, then follow this pointing to something higher than a life that is dictated by the mind and your conditioned beliefs.
We must strive for connection over control. Connection must be first because, without it, we become self-seeking. Once we become self-seeking, the life of others becomes unimportant. The fear of losing what we have becomes greater than compassion, higher than love, more significant than the experience of others. The outcome is the expression of hate, racism, and a feeling of superiority.
What we fail to see is that what we perceive as this other life is part of our very own and contingent upon our survival.
Suffering will be required to wake-up from this state, which is why so many suffer now. The pain is needed to awaken from the insanity of our self-seeking, and to see the truth.
Know that oneness is not some platitude, but the connection between all things that when explored through quantum physics can be known.
Destruction of the planet, animal kingdom, and the lives of other human beings out of fear or for profit is the demise of our future and the lives of everyone who follow us.
Waking up to the source of your problems is where freedom resides.
The root of all your difficulties is not what you THINK. With awareness, you will notice that your suffering is caused by illogical thinking, and not by outside circumstances as your thoughts tell you. These kinds of thoughts keep you from having the experience of your real nature and remaining in the present moment. When you are in the present moment, all thoughts cease.
Just notice any one of the many thoughts you have every day that is not truthful or helpful in living life fully. They fill your mind throughout the day, still many more without your conscious awareness. If you bring a little attention to them, you will begin to awaken to their misguiding nature.
With awareness, you will see that something is observing these passing thoughts. Now, are you the observer, that which is observed or both? Are you more than just the body and your life of personhood?
These questions alone can help you begin to wake up to the truth of who you are and lead you from suffering to peace. Follow them inward to experience your True-Self. As you do, your life as you THINK you know it will begin to fall away, revealing your real nature.
Be careful not to grasp onto any story that the mind will create to satisfy your curiosity or distract you; these stories will be associated with an old belief or conditioning that is not sound. If one arises, question it, and it too will fall away once you awaken to its falsehood.
Following your mind to find the truth will lead you astray every time. To know the truth, you must have a direct experience of your real nature. You will never have this experience using knowledge, logic, or the mind. These are the tools of personhood, and they will keep you trapped in the illusion that you are only the body.
Pay attention to how your thoughts direct your life. Is their influence guiding it in the direction you want? If not, take the simple step of noticing with awareness, how misleading your thoughts can be, and then let them go when you can. You will begin to wake up to your unconscious thoughts by doing this, one moment and thought at a time.
The world we live in today is a creation of these false and unconscious thoughts, and the only way out is to be willing to bring awareness to them. Knowing, feeling, or believing this to be true is not enough. If it were the world would be full of enlightened beings today. We must have a direct experience of our true nature for lasting progress to be made. Do not be trapped by expecting the experience to be a dramatic one, but instead practice what I have suggested above and then notice what happens. Do not listen to any fake news created by your mind!
I am not doing it right.
This is not working.
I should have woken up by now.
I do not understand.
This may work for others, but it is not working for me.
These are just a few examples of the thoughts that can arise to derail your progress and force you back into the habitual thought patterns that keep you stuck. Therefore, pay attention and question your thoughts to see if they are for your highest good. Remain connected to your heart and follow your intuition.
This is simple, so do not let the mind complicate if for you. Can you become zero? What I mean by this is can you let go of every story you tell yourself, every thought of present, past, or future, just for a minute. Can you become empty? To avoid any confusion created by your upcoming thoughts around this, I will tell you that everyone can do this.
Once you become empty, what do you experience? Many find profound peace or love. Be present with this peace or love; this is your True-Self. The more you do this, the more it will fill each moment of every day.
I will leave you with this last thought to contemplate. The world is not what you think it is; the world becomes what you think it is.
A moral person, religious or not, spiritual or not, overlooks the faults of others with politeness, tolerance, and forgiveness. They treat people with kindness and love. Furthermore, when someone errors, which happens, they admit their mistakes, and they make amends whenever possible. When a good person knows better, they do better. This is the nature of a human being who is connected to something greater than himself or herself.
Amorality arises when fear or the ego becomes more significant than the heart. What we see when this happens, for example, is the separation of migrant children from their parents, the deforestation of the earth, pollution of the oceans and the extinction of animal life; the shooting of unarmed black men and women, racism, and human trafficking.
When profit and protecting what is “ours” comes before another human being or the planet, we have erred and need to make amends. If we don’t, then we have lost our way, and we will become an amoral society.
We must step up and do our part, which is an individual choice. You may take action through protest or prayer, or you may decide to volunteer or reach out and help others. Vote in the next election and every election because every one of age should vote; make your voice heard. You may choose not to vote by party lines, but for the candidate that is moral and can do what is right for your country, state or city.
It is essential to be more vigilant around your own behavior, paying attention to your thoughts throughout the day, and your reactions to other peoples behavior that you do not like or find uncomfortable. It is through your painful feelings that you have the greatest opportunity to wake up. You may start to notice when your choices or actions hurt yourself or others, which will lead to making amends and a new awareness, which will result in different behavior.
Finally, remember, choosing to do nothing is a choice.
Life does not come without challenges, and when we lean into them, we find our greatest teacher. These experiences are not meant to make us small, but allow us to reconnect with our True-Self, to be present with life as it is, and to live fully.
The mind thinks the perfect life is one without problems, and when we think this way we become lost, poor me. The wise person faces his or her problems eyes open, asking for help when needed, knowing that within the pain is an opportunity that will allow them to grow.
Therefore the next time you are faced with a challenge remember there is an opportunity hidden somewhere in the darkness. When you shine the light of awareness on it, your suffering will morph into gratitude. Your pain will melt away, and like the phoenix rising from the ashes, you will be born again.
When the mind is still, the heart opens.
When the heart is open, love flows freely.
When love flows freely, our oneness is revealed.
When our oneness is revealed, all suffering ends.
When all suffering ends, the search ends.
When the search ends, we awaken.
When we awaken, no thought can disturb us.
When no thought can disturb us, our mind is still.