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.
When troubles arise, we seem to lose our balance. We are overpowered by our emotions and overwhelmed by the concepts in our head. We see no way out. The more we try to solve the problem, the worse things get.
But when we become still, we become aware of a power that is greater than us. This consciousness — which is omniscient, all-wise, all-loving, all-embracing — moves through us and connects us with all that is. This is when the right answer comes to us. We know it is right because it is for the good of all, not just for a few people. We realize that we are not separate from the whole, but are part of the whole.
Unhappiness is everywhere. It is embedded in our mind, which by its very nature is chaotic and problematic. It wants to control and take things. It is always fighting the present moment because it fears the dissolution of forms.
We are run by our mind so we look at life from a limited perspective. We see the procession of forms and not the space that allows the forms to be. As a result, we only see fragments of life, not the totality of life. Life, in all its glory, is benevolent, abundant, and helpful. Whereas each passing moment is subject to the polarities of life: good/bad, happiness/unhappiness, success/failure, and so on.
The way to be free from unhappiness is to de-personalize a situation. We look at a dilemma as if it were happening to somebody else. We put the situation inside a box and we watch the event from outside the box. For instance, if somebody calls us stupid, we put this person in an imaginary case and look at him/her from the outside. This person may yell at us and call us many names. But we remain calm and peaceful because we know that they are inside the box and therefore can not hurt us.
We discard our harsh judgments and rigid expectations about the person and the situation. We accept each moment as it is. This acceptance doesn’t mean doing nothing. It means we acknowledge this moment and do what is needed. We go with the flow of life. We become fully alive and enjoy the freshness of each moment.
This is when fear and desire lose their hold over us. We watch the play of forms and realize that there is nothing personal against them. It’s just the way of the world. We begin to play with them and even enjoy ourselves in the process.
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.