“Every heart to love will come, but like a refugee”
It’s a good thing that thought has almost nothing to do with reality. Not that thought isn’t a part of reality – a running commentary based on our conditioned memory – it’s just that thought is not nearly the whole of it. In living an authentic life, we move – we lean –into the way life is moving in any given moment. That is, we lean into love. We lean into life. For it is only in living a life freed from our belief in ideas about it, freed from the freighting of our programmed memory and its coloring of our present experience, that we come into direct contact with the vital and alive nature of authentic living. We do not think about life – we live it directly, unfiltered by our mind’s description of reality.
The center of our being
The wellspring of authentic living must come from real peace; from a contented place. This place, this moment, is free of all our stored beliefs – the psychological memory of “me”. It is free of all wanting anything to be other than exactly what it is here and now. There is a seeing and a releasing of all wanting, of all desiring. This comes with the profound recognition that ego – the minds’ portrait of being a Jack or a Jane – is simply and clearly a mind-conjured trick – a creation of imagination that apparently transports us out of this, here, now.
Living in the center of this world
In the middle of the constant bump and grind of a “personal” life generated by our conflicted mind-world, we rest in the sweet spot of this eternal moment. We get to let go of what is, after all, just another story of “me” and “you”. And we let all things happen according to their nature. We go about our life and our day alertly compassionate. That is, we live passively engaged with all the senses (including the mind which serves well as a sixth sense) in an intimacy with whatever this moment presents. We dwell in a love that is open and opening. A love filled with, as Nisargadatta Maharaj said, “the great sadness of compassion”. This compassion (which comes from the Latin “to suffer with”) does not deny or distort with panaceas of hoping and coping; it deals directly, lovingly, with the underlying causes of our apparent suffering. This engagement is simultaneously not personal and yet deeply intimate.
An intimacy with all things
The relationship of the moment is entered into wholly and without conditions. We step into what is –into life living itself, free from the belief in personal ideas and ideals which produce our conflicted experience of it. We’re no longer blinded by our precious conception of self and its preservation; we see globally that there is, in reality, no me and no other. It’s a simple perception that, in truth, there is “nothing wrong” with any manifestation of spirit –with the innate perfection of this moment. Of course, this perfection includes apparent imperfection – that’s just the minds idea that something could be or should be other than it is. In fact, perfection is just an idea –a still-born concept about reality.
The teaching of the moment
In aware living, we discover not only what it means to be fully human but also what it means to be. To be requires us to be free from the ego mind, free from choice, free from any sense of a self that is choosing. We are then open to this thoughtless moment. As Jean Klein points out, we “live in the perceived, not in the conceived. Only the perception is right. The conception is memory.”Living in perception – free of perfection – subtly combines time and space as we humans experience it, with the timeless and spaceless divine nature of our being. We relinquish all doing and simply go along for the ride. This living involves a certain uncertainty; we live without knowing, without a plan, without an effort to shape any outcome. And we trust.
It’s useful to remember that life has always been right in whatever it produces. And that all our apparent misfortune has brought us to the recognition of our natural good fortune. That, with or without trust, life has given us exactly what we needed. When we deeply perceive that whatever life presents in the moment is reality, we begin to live heaven on earth. We rest in accepting, in a being that has no investment in becoming. All action or non-action flows from this source of who we are and what this is. It is the action of truth. The action of trust. We recognize the conditioned nature of all our seeking, of all our craving, of all our contracting around cultural, social and psychological descriptions of how life should be. And we expand way, way beyond our limited sense of self. We embrace not a fantasy depiction of reality, but reality itself. It is this recognition that brings us unending joy.
Peace in our time
The nature of joy and delight is expansive. We are in turn embraced and embracing. We are loved and loving. We are love. And the nature of this love is infinite life. That is to say, we live in the midst of uncertainty, of confusion, of chaos, with a certain knowing. And while this knowing cannot ever be described or measured or even intellectually or sensually known, it remains nonetheless, recognized as our natural well-being. And our personal life dries up – we become a hallow reed –an instrument played by life –by spirit, God, Buddha, Nature, Love. And we dance that dance whatever it may be. We embrace the only happiness there ever is, and we allow life as it happens.
The grace of suffering
Of course, we’re occasionally persuaded by deeply held opinions (beliefs) in the mind, to step into the ring fighting! That too, is how life teaches us to be a spectator! In a way, this transformation of suffering is what gives life its living edge. Indeed, living in fidelity with reality usually happens only through the grace of suffering! This force or energy is a built-in reminder; it presents its conflicted nature to our awareness in the moment, we “suffer” it, and simultaneously, abandon it. This transformative action is not a reaction; it comes from an abiding, full-spectrum awareness of the generally harmonious nature of spirit, including its powerfully disharmonious aspects. And we live with a constant awareness of the winds of our mind making waves on the surface of our being.
The end of becoming
We abandon our need to “understand” anything beyond this moment. And we discover how freeing it is to not have an opinion – to not need an opinion. We step out of the ring, out of the fight, out of becoming. We experience a gentle ambient peace as we come to see and return to our contented nature now. And we realize that we have always been only here, only now, only love. The chattering “mental-me” gradually dies from this perceived disinterest in, and irrelevance of, the minds’ labeled languaging of reality. It’s a kind of “dying before you die” and its gravestone bears the eulogy: “Quote. Close quote.” We rest infinitely in the wordless silence of being.
The wonder of it all!
Authentic living, or Natural Well-Being, involves a subtle and sensitive dwelling in the stillness of this streaming moment – a trusting in our deepest resonate knowing – love! And constant wonder! Everything whispers about itself, tells us and shows us itself, and in this real relationship we find our self in everything. We find sufficiency in a gentle shuffle, an urgent word, a pressed hand… a delight in being as we explore the aliveness of life as it happens. And simple astonishment! We find our self pausing and gazing at the smallest bits of creation: crumpled pieces of paper in the gutter present all the majesty of a starry night sky. Each step we take is a moving meditation on the miraculous as we constantly touch experience with awareness.
Spirit touches, and is touched, by its Self.
(Originally published on Awakening Clarity, with thanks to editor Fred Davis)