The truth is within us. If we look for it anywhere else, we will be disappointed. It is not something that we find out there but something that we feel inside us. The reason we don’t feel it is because we are preoccupied with the thoughts swirling in our heads. We get pulled into the drama, stress, or problems. But when we are still, the truth bubbles to the surface. Answers, intuitions, insights come to us easily. We are more likely to take right action when we act out of awareness than unconsciousness.
When we don’t accept what is, we go against the flow of life. We are in a constant state of unease. We regret what happened in the past and worry about what the future may bring. We are taken in by the thoughts swirling in our head. We tie ourselves into little knots that the life force within us is stifled. Energy can not flow freely within our body. It gets stuck somewhere in our being and manifests in diseases and maladies.
How do we free ourselves from the incessant chatter of our mind? We start by observing that we have a noisy mind. We watch the steady stream of ideas and opinions in our head with no comment or judgment. We allow our mind to be turbulent. The strange thing is that when we accept our mind as raucous, the noise within gradually lessens. Why? Because we no longer energize our thoughts with emotions. We have created space within ourselves and between our thoughts. We realize that things that were of utmost importance no longer matter that much when viewed against the background of space.
Gradually, we untie the knot. The energy that was stuck within us is freed. We feel vibrant and alive and are able to connect with all beings. We embrace life in all its abundance and glory.
When we are in the midst of a conflict situation, we are overcome by negative emotions. Stories from our past flow into our pain, which creates more pain. We play the mental movie of “The Unhappy Me” over and over in our head. We look at the situation from a pessimistic viewpoint and get a distorted view of life. We thus become overwhelmed that we feel there is no way out of our dilemma.
It is similar to catching a ball that somebody throws at us. We not only catch it, but we internalize it and let it become part of our self-image. We catch other people’s thoughts and make them our own, even if they are against our nature. Is it any wonder that we are stressed, depressed, irritable and anxious?
How do we free ourselves from mental distortion? We start by observing the negativity in us. We watch the stream of antagonistic thoughts conjured by the mind. We step back from the torrent of unfavorable concepts in our head. We create space within ourselves. Our pure, true self, which was buried underneath the pile of destructive thoughts, is able to shine through and connect us with everything that exists. We thus see the situation clearly and find a way out of our dilemma.
We live in a world that is balanced. There is sadness, despair, sorrow, unhappiness, anxiety. But there is also joy, peace, gladness, happiness, tranquility. But somehow we tend to focus only on the negative aspects of our lives rather than the positive ones.
We have lost our balance. We only see one side and neglect or forget the other side. We are taken in by the concepts in our head. We regret what happened in the past and fear what will happen in the future. Hence, we are blind to the freshness and abundance of the present moment.
How do we bring awareness into this moment? We start by observing ourselves. We feel the emotion that is running through our bodies. If right now we are feeling anxious, we feel this raw energy coursing through our veins. We don’t fight it. We watch it, we surrender to it. At first this is hard to do because the mind wants to take over our bodies, but we keep at it. Gradually, the momentum of the mind lessens. We then feel the stillness within our bodies.
And it is the silence within that brings transformation. Why? Because we become an opening from which life flows through. We are able to move from one perspective to another and enjoy the play of forms. This is when sadness merges with joy, despair turns into peace, sorrow is transmuted into gladness, unhappiness is transformed into happiness, anxiety leads to tranquility.
When we live each moment as it is, we become balanced.
We live in a culture that is action-oriented. We are always busy doing something. We want to change “what is” into “what it should be”. We don’t leave things and people alone. If our relationship isn’t working, we try to fix our partner. If we don’t like our job, we go and find another job. If our children are bored, we come up with things to keep them busy. We think we know the solutions to problems so we set out to change people and situations. Then it turns out that even though the dilemma is solved, another one pops in its place. Why is this so? Because we were focused on the procession of myriad forms in our lives– the drama, the conflict, the stress. We only skimmed the surface of things so our perception is limited. We were not aware of space, the deep and vast aliveness that surrounds and contains forms.
Why do we need to be conscious of space? Because through awareness of space, we deepen our understanding of life. We go beyond the surface dimension of things and sense our oneness with the whole. We feel the essence of every creature and realize the purpose of every situation. We stop fighting what is and go with the flow of life.
How do we create space in our lives? We start by observing people for no other purpose than to learn more about them. We study them, we observe them, we watch them–but we don’t judge them. We accept people as they are. If we are involved in a problematic situation, we look at it as if it were happening to somebody else. We de-personalize the event. We let go of our rigid expectations. We allow each moment, good or bad, to be as it is.
The irony is that when we create space for transformation to happen, people and situations start to change.
Problems seem to abound everywhere. There is conflict in the workplace, confusion in our homes, dysfunction in our relationships, chaos in our country and all over the world. It seems like our universe is falling apart. Nothing makes sense anymore. We feel squeezed by the pressures of daily living. We look to escape from the present moment by fighting, rejecting or running away from it. But these actions somehow worsen the situation.
The way to be free is to accept this moment as it is. We allow space to flow into our lives and change the seemingly chaotic forms into harmonious forms. We become an opening through which the abundance of the universe flows copiously. Why? Because we are freed of the illusions created by our mind. We become free. Our genuine self bubbles to the surface and connects us with all of creation. We become one with the whole.
New Year. New Expectations. New Beginnings. This is the time to let go of our old self so our new self can emerge. We become a beautiful, genuine being.
For most of us however, transformation is not easy. We resist it. We flee from it. We avoid it. If we let go of our old concepts, then who are we? We cling to the known, even if it is detrimental to our being, because we are scared of the unknown. We are imprisoned in our own cage of useless, repetitive thinking. We are not able to experience the fullness of life.
How do we change our lives and become free? How do we experience life in all its glory? The answer is to accept things, people and situations –good or bad–to be as they are. We observe the procession of forms in our lives without judgment or comment. We permit the bad things to play their role in the fabric of our existence. We cherish the good things while they last and release them when they leave. We discard our unrealistic and rigid expectations. We ditch our ego.
This powerful practice stops our mind from creating illusions. Past and future thus fade away. We are left with the beauty of the present moment. We become one with life. This is when right action happens and joyful things come to us because we align ourselves with the power of the universe. We become connected to the whole.
We therefore realize this truth: the things of this world no longer bind us. We relish them when they come and relinquish them when they leave. We become free.