anantakasainlife

creating boundless space in our lives


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Stripped

Source:pathfindersoftware.com

Source:pathfindersoftware.com

We live in a civilization that is preoccupied with things, or in its basic form, thoughts. We are always running towards the next thing to do, to have, to achieve. We don’t treasure the present moment because we believe that the next moment will bring us fulfillment, joy, or happiness. But when the next moment arrives, we find that it is not enough, that something is missing. Or we discover that something or someone comes to disrupt the moment and we are left wishing for a different outcome. We don’t want what we have, and we want what we don’t have. This affliction has led us to suffering, despair, nervous breakdown, even death.

How can we free ourselves of this useless, self-defeating attitude? We start by being friendly with the present moment, no matter what it brings–whether it is a screaming customer, a  crying child, an argumentative co-worker, a scheming relative, a dying mother. We watch the situation and let it play out without any thought or comment. We cease to identify with the stories and forms that come with the situation and so we are not drawn into the tears, the stress, the drama, the frustration. We surrender to suffering, loss, despair, even death. This act of surrender frees us from our entanglement with forms so that our formless, beautiful spirit is released. This spirit is a vast, loving, dynamic, infinite, all-loving, all-knowing presence. It burns up the negative energy that was swirling around the situation and turns it into something pure and wonderful. We discover that death or suffering is life’s way of stripping us of illusions so we  can realize the true essence of our being. We open ourselves to life and are able to connect with every being without any attachment. We know that forms come and go but our real self is timeless and will live forever. As Antoine de Saint-Exupery wrote in The Little Prince, “Perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add but when there is no longer anything to take away.

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This post is dedicated to my beloved mother, who passed away peacefully on Thanksgiving, 11/28/13. This one’s for you, Mommy!

peace-dove

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The fullness of life

When we open ourselves to life, we experience its fullness. We are able to enjoy the full spectrum of experiences from sadness to joy, loneliness to togetherness, birth to death, scarcity to abundance and so on. We don’t identify with the things that happen to us or the people we associate with. We become conscious of the space in which the things and/or forms happen.

As we know, this world is composed of the form (things) and the formless (space). The form can only deal with form and the formless can only deal with the formless. We can not intermingle the two–the formless cannot satisfy the form. For example: you can buy a bed but not sleep; you can buy a house but not a home; you can get an education but not wisdom; you can buy a wife but not love.

Our role is to strike a balance between the form and the formless. How do we do that? We observe things as they happen without getting entangled with them. We bring space into the equation. We begin to savor the little things that come our way against the background of stillness. We enjoy the sunrise on our way to work. We marvel at the flowers on the wayside our way to the grocery store. We are struck by the beauty of clouds rolling by. We hear the birds chirping on the tree branches when we go for a walk. We give a stranger a helping hand. We feel the abundance inside us and we share it with the beings around us. We experience the fullness of life.


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Dealing with death

Most people shrink away from death. They live in constant fear of it and try to run away from it. Some people even deny its existence. But if we realize that death is an opening into another dimension, then death loses its grip on our lives. We are not denying death but simply acknowledging its existence. Death is as natural as life. It is good or it would not be. Others talk about life and death as if these two are opposites. But as Eckhart Tolle puts it, the opposite of death is birth. Life is eternal. Death is the loss of form so that a new form can arise. Life is rearranging itself even in the presence of death. We have to let things happen so that we can experience the full spectrum of life–from birth to marriage to retirement to death–and to see the magnificence and beauty of God in every situation.

This posting is dedicated to a dear friend, Mark Boggs, who passed away suddenly on May 12, 2011. This one’s for you, buddy.