Just Be

“The mind is not other than Buddha.
Buddha is not other than sentient being.

When mind assumes the form
of a sentient being, it has
suffered no decrease;

when it becomes a Buddha
it adds nothing to itself.”

~Huang Po

Bu

Back in the Diamond Sutra days, the Bodhisattva Manjushri once asked the Buddha, “What do you mean when you say not a single being is liberated?” The Buddha replied, “Our nature is ultimately pure and subject to neither rebirth nor nirvana. Thus, there are no beings to be liberated, and there is no nirvana to be attained. It is simply that all beings revert to their own nature.”

If it is really true, that our nature is ultimately pure and transcendentally illumined, that we are not inherently different from the Buddhas and the so-called enlightened ones, that the concepts of liberation and bondage are only imaginary fantasies of interpretation on perception, and that there is no nirvana to be obtained beyond what is present right here right now, then why is it that we seem to encounter so much suffering in the midst of our lives?

After pondering this conundrum for many years, I came to recognize that the challenges and obstacles which we encounter in life are actually our own creations, and as such, they represent portals, or doorways, to the infinite expansion that is our heart’s desire. They are part of the fabric of potentiality with which Spirit clothes Itself, even as it projects a portion of its light energy into these virtual reality forms that we subsequently assume to be who and what we are. In short, we create the theatrics of life’s seeming dualities in a panoramic play of consciousness which expands to infinity in all directions, and which ultimately returns us to the remembrance of the non-dual truth of our primordial nature.

We had to literally forget who and what we truly are by granting a reality to, and investing a visceral significance in, the illusion of separation — all in order to be able to enjoy the eventual re-cognition of our indivisible divine nature. In that regard, it is not unlike a cosmic game of “Hide & Seek”. Indeed, without this amnesia concerning our true identity with which we arrived here, we would not be able to experience the vivid richness of being human, and it is precisely that experience which we came here for in the first place.

Hide and SeekFurthermore, it is the experience of being human (in whatever way that happens to play out) which creates the fascinating tales we can then share with our soul group upon returning to our natural state of awake awareness, thus advancing the evolutionary data base of the whole family, or “soul group”. As the Buddha said above, “All beings revert to their natural state.”

Just so, we need not beat ourselves up for not realizing our true identity while fused with the bio-vehicle (although to do so — also called “awakening” — certainly can make a big difference in the level of stress we put ourselves through). In any case, while identified with the human character we take ourselves to be, we tend by habit and conditioning to cling to the belief that there is some sort of special state that is other than that which we are currently experiencing. We persist in this assumption because we look at our current condition and find it somehow lacking. Perhaps it would be a useful inquiry to examine exactly what is lacking about it.

Certainly, if we investigate the traditional literature about spiritual enlightenment, we encounter all sorts of claims about the raptures of bliss and ecstasy to be found in advanced meditative states, but what we rarely hear about is the fact that no state is permanent, even Satori and Samadhi. Eventually, one must return to normal consciousness and deal with traffic, weather, the body’s quirks and foibles, and especially other people (most of whom stubbornly refuse to accept how advanced and wisdom-imbued we now have become, at least in our own minds).

sunset sitRather, if we are truly honest with ourselves, we might notice how we still habitually tend to crave pleasure and avoid pain, and in fact still have within us a whole menu of software programs based on confirming the solid and enduring existence of our favorite self-image, regardless of the effect that such activity might have on our relations and environment.

Indeed, the ego-mind loves special experiences, because they provide the perfect opportunity to feel special, to feel enlightened, and to feel real. The more such experiences the better. What it especially loves, paradoxically, is experiencing the concept that it doesn’t even exist, because that comes with very high points on the scale of human spiritual accomplishment. Indeed, it is particularly proud of its new and exalted status as an advanced entity that is liberated from itself. That’s a real feather in its cap!

 

cloud ride

Conversely, what the spiritual ego-mind can never abide by is the suggestion that the most ordinary experiences of life — getting out of bed, brushing one’s teeth, going to work, coming home and having dinner, washing the dishes, playing with one’s children and watching TV, kissing one’s spouse and going to sleep — are all perfect manifestations of complete and unexcelled enlightenment. No, it thrives on the glamor of the extraordinary, just like an addict craves the next high.

Of course, to the aspirant hooked on the spiritual merry-go-round of increasingly subtler realizations and deeper, more dramatic spiritual insights and so forth, the usual life is scorned as some sort of delusion which needs to be transcended and then discarded. This type of seeker tends to idolize the legendary characters in the spiritual literature, seeking to emulate their lives.

Little do they realize that these personalities are typically the product of devoted hagiographers who attribute extraordinary feats to their heroes and heroines, often at the expense of the real truth about these exalted individuals. And what is that truth? Essentially, they were no more special than any of us. It’s just that they (might have) realized that, and we don’t.

madmonks

We are all dream characters in the heart-mind of Source, and Source makes no distinction in terms of superior or inferior, so why should we? That’s what “unconditional” means. Each one of us is a unique vehicle for Source to explore its own nature, which is de facto also our own nature. We are, each of us in our own way, the universe in the process of becoming increasingly self-aware, and whether we climb the highest mountain or just look after our pets at home, really makes no difference. It is all perfect fuel for self-awareness, and one dream adventure or virtual reality game is no better or more enlightened than the next, just different.

As mentioned above, the only value in truly “awakening” is to let go of the stress of trying to make things be other than they are, trying to figure the magnificent mystery of life out, trying to make it conform to the way we imagine it should be, based on second-hand opinions and idealistic speculation. What is, simply is.

As Nisargadatta Maharaj so pointedly put it: “There is nothing to practice. To know yourself, be yourself. To be yourself, stop imagining yourself to be this or that. Just be. Let your true nature emerge. Don’t disturb your mind with seeking.”

Just letting that sink in, just letting that be the case, can be eminently relaxing. Letting go, surrendering the need to have it all end in some triumphant march through the streets of heaven, is not really so difficult, except to the one who takes their fictional narrative seriously. That’s the one who projects some illustrious future in which the applause swells, now that they have finally become what they always have already been. Thank you so much!

applauseIn any case, whatever the angle of vision at the moment, it is all good, all food for the God who is exploring itself through every appearance, every effort, every creature it dreams up to love and recognize itself through and as, from the most humble to the most ineffable. In truth, we have never lacked anything, never required anything else outside of ourselves to be completely happy. As the great Chan (Zen) Master Lin Chi said to his monastic disciples:

“I tell you, there’s no Buddha, no Dharma, no practice, no enlightenment. Yet you go off like this on side roads, trying to find something. Blind fools! Will you put another head on top of the one you have? What is it you lack?”

Just so, when we become more interested in the Dreamer than the dream of seeking, something interesting can be revealed. When we turn our attention back to its Source, and abide there without trying to modify consciousness in the slightest, then something will happen, and we will know without a trace of a doubt that the Source of all the universes and ourselves are not two. We will no longer be moved to seek outside of ourselves for some special something to compensate for our chronic sense of lack, because that feeling of lack will have dissolved in the process of recognition. The joy of just being will trump all craving for things to be other than they are, as well as all fears that they will never be.

bear w flower

The good news is, we don’t have to wait for that to materialize sometime in the indefinite future. The truth that will become obvious then is the same truth that applies here and now. It’s just that we expect it to be elsewhere, and never right where we are. This is the main obstacle and delusion – to imagine that what we have and are, right here now (in whatever form it may seem to be appearing) is not the supreme perfection, just as it is.

Instead, we complicate the simple truth of our being with notions of sin, maya, karma, and miles to go before we can relax and rest, let go of the struggle and just exhale. Ironically, the truth has been that, all along, there has never been, nor could there ever be, any greater reality than that which is present and obvious, right before our eyes. All we need do is step out of the way with all of our concepts and expectations, and simply let it be. Let life be.

After all, it is never other than This anyway. It is exactly why we all came here — to experience ourselves as This, so why knock ourselves out trying to make it be otherwise, now that we’re here in the midst of it? When you stop to really think about it, that’s kind of foolish, isn’t it? Still, playing the fool is also “It”, so there’s really nothing to complain about after all. Imagine, living a life without complaint!


“If you need time to achieve something, it must be false.
The real is always with you; you need not wait to be what you are.”
~ Sri Nisargadatta

just be

See also:

https://theconsciousprocess.wordpress.com/2012/11/26/the-myth-of-enlightenment/

https://theconsciousprocess.wordpress.com/2012/12/17/school-of-life-play-of-light/

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About Bob OHearn

My name is Bob O'Hearn, and I live with my Beloved Mate, Mazie, in the foothills of the Northern California Sierra Nevada Mountains. I have several other sites you may enjoy: Photo Gallery: http://www.pbase.com/1heart Essays on the Conscious Process: https://theconsciousprocess.wordpress.com/ Poetry and Prosetry: http://feelingtoinfinity.wordpress.com/ Writings from selected Western Mystics, Classic and Modern: https://westernmystics.wordpress.com/ https://freetransliterations.wordpress.com/ Wisdom of a Spirit Guide: https://spiritguidesparrow.wordpress.com/ Thank You!
This entry was posted in Nonduality, Spiritual Practice and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

48 Responses to Just Be

  1. Alisha says:

    What a beautiful piece of writing. I agree with what you wrote. Main thing is to look in to our inner self rather than search for anything outside. This post is full of knowledge. I am sure it helps me in knowing who am I. All of your post are full of life. I enjoy reading them. More importantly I read it again and again to make myself more clear. Thank you brother Bob for this awesome post.

    • Bob OHearn says:

      Thank you Sister for your always kind appreciation! I am very happy to hear that the posts are of some service to you, we are here to remind each other of our true nature.

      Blessings!

  2. marcelvuijst says:

    Thanks Brother, great post!

    Yesterday I happened to watch a documentary of the White family in Boone county, and at the end when they switched a few times to Jesco White whom gave a narrative about how he didn’t know why things are they way they are, though high as a kite, (if we’re attentive – in the context of ones “software”) sometimes in between certain ramblings you can see a gap in the program.

    • Bob OHearn says:

      Thanks for the tip, I will keep an eye out for that story, and yes, if we pay attention, we can see that “the net is full of holes”. Great pic by the way, and Thanks, a perfect illustration of waking up to notice that gap in the reality program that we typically buy into and assume to be “what is”!

      Blessings, Brother!

  3. Candace says:

    This is just wonderful! I particularly love the following: “It is all perfect fuel for self-awareness, and one dream adventure or virtual reality game is no better or more enlightened than the next.”

    Thank you Brother!

    Love & Blessings!

  4. Bob OHearn says:

    JUST LIKE THIS

    “My dear Lungtok, haven’t you told me that you don’t think you have got the crucial point of the Dzogchen meditation? That you still have not realized the nature of mind?” Patrul Rinpoche questioned.

    “I have not.”

    “There is nothing to it, my son.”

    Patrul Rinpoche told Nyoshul Lungtok to lie down next to him and look upward into the sky.

    Then Patrul Rinpoche questioned, “Do you see the vault of the sky?”

    “Yes.”

    “Do you hear the dogs barking over the Dzogchen Monastary?”

    “Yes.”

    “Do you hear what I am saying?”

    “Yes.”

    “Well, the nature of the meditation is just like this, simply this.”

    At that moment, Nyoshul Lungtok’s conceptual mind was extinguished. It was as if the entire construct of duality in his mind were a house of cards that came crashing down. The mind that questions, that thinks, that reifies and solidifies–the entire process–collapsed upon itself. Upon that dissolution of conceptual mind, Nyoshul Lungtok’s nature of mind, its timeless awareness, effortlessly revealed itself. Nyoshul Lungtok gained total confidence in awareness free from intellectual speculation. The enlightened potential of his primordial mind, his ever-present buddha nature, shined forth like sun rays, dispelling the darkness of ignorance.

    ~Fearless in Tibet: The Life of the Mystic Terton Sogyal

  5. Thank you Bob!!!

    Loved this:

    “We are all dream characters in the heart-mind of Source, and Source makes no distinction in terms of superior or inferior, so why should we? Each one of us is a unique vehicle for Source to explore its own nature, which is de facto also our own nature. We are, each of us in our own way, the universe in the process of becoming increasingly self-aware, and whether we climb the highest mountain or just look after our pets at home, makes no difference. It is all perfect fuel for self-awareness, and one dream adventure or virtual reality game is no better or more enlightened than the next…

    What is, is. Just letting that sink in, just letting that be the case, can be eminently relaxing. Letting go, surrendering the need to have it all end in some triumphant march through the streets of heaven, is not really so difficult, except to the one who takes their fictional self-image seriously.”

  6. Bodhisattva Bob!
    On behalf of my fellow ignoramuses I would like to thank you for this. With this small piece you have at last given me the slap on the back of the head that I needed to wake up!

    “The only value in truly “awakening” is to let go of the stress of trying to make things be other than they are, trying to figure the magnificent mystery of life out, trying to make it conform to the way we imagine it should be, based on second-hand opinions and idealistic speculation. What is, is. Just letting that sink in, just letting that be the case, can be eminently relaxing. Letting go, surrendering the need to have it all end in some triumphant march through the streets of heaven, is not really so difficult, except to the one who takes their fictional self-image seriously.”

    Now that just perfectly nails IT for me my friend.

    I would only add that there is no need for “the God who is exploring itself through every appearance.” This seems to me another thought construction, as is The Tao, Buddha Nature, The Absolute, or any of the thousands of names for it. All simply is, and behind it…

    • Bob OHearn says:

      Jeff, Thank you for your kind comments! Also, to your added point, names are temporary expedients, and in this human realm, serve their purpose, but ultimately we are indeed left speechless.

      Blessings!

  7. marcelvuijst says:

    “Brilliant!” 😀

  8. Bob OHearn says:

    “Why chase after thoughts, which are superficial ripples of present awareness? Rather look directly into the naked, empty nature of thoughts; then there is no duality, no observer, and nothing observed.
    Simply rest in this transparent, nondual present awareness. Make yourself at home in the natural state of pure presence, just being, not doing anything in particular.”
    ~Dzogchen master Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche

    “The nature of enlightenment is that of space. There is no effort or achievement in space. Enlightenment, which is like space, will not come about for those who indulge in effort and achievement.”
    ~Dzogchen master Kunje Gyalpo

  9. Bob OHearn says:

    “Since all phenomena are timelessly free, nothing need be done to free them anew through realization.
    Even the thought that freedom comes about through direct introduction is deluded. One strives to free this essence from whatever binds it, but nothing need be done to free it, for unobstructed Awareness, which has never existed as anything whatsoever, does not entail any duality of something to be realized and someone to realize it. There is equalness because nothing is improved by realization or worsened by it’s absence, so there is no need for any adventitious realization. And because there never has existed anything to realize — for the ultimate nature of phenomena is beyond ordinary consciousness — to speak of realization on even the relative level is nothing but deluded. What can be shown at this point is the transcendence of view and meditation, in which nothing need be done regarding realization, nothing need be directly introduced, and no state of meditation need be cultivated. So there is the expression ‘it is irrelevant whether or not one has realization’.”

    ~Longchenpa

  10. Bob OHearn says:

    “Concentration involves something to grasp, something to hold onto. You are ‘here’ trying to concentrate on something ‘there.’ Rather than concentration, we practice mindfulness. We see what is happening there rather than developing concentration, which is goal oriented. Anything connected with goals involves a journey toward somewhere from somewhere. In mindfulness practice there is no goal, no journey; you are just mindful of what is happening there.”

    ~The Myth of Freedom and the Way of Meditation by Chögyam Trungpa

  11. Bob OHearn says:

    Let the mind do what it does…
    The idea that the mind needs to calm down is just another spiritual belief put forward by the progressive approach to meditation. It’s a diversionary tactic designed by the mind, which loves to do battle with itself. Try as hard as you can, you’ll never get the mind to settle down. Indeed, all your efforts to calm it just make it more agitated. Rather, let the mind do what it does, and rest as the primordial awareness that isn’t disturbed by the perturbations of the mind. The mind’s nature is to move, but you are not your mind; you’re limitless, silent, ungraspable presence. Pardoxically, of course, when you leave the mind alone, it tends to calm down by itself.

    ~Stephan Bodian

    (However, this is why Dzogchen teachers, for example, stress the critical nature of “pointing out instructions” as a preliminary, because unless one is first able to recognize their “primordial awareness”, they will not be able to rest in it, but only in the mind’s idea of what that would be like. This is an important part of the process that most such well-meaning suggestions miss.)

  12. Empty yourself of everything. Let the mind become still. The ten thousand things rise and fall while the Self watches their return. They grow and flourish and then return to the Source. Returning to the Source is stillness, which is the way of nature.

    ~Lao Tsu
    ~Tao Te Ching, Verse 16~

  13. Bob OHearn says:

    Though shifting appearances ceaselessly rise
    Just be unattached as a child at play

    Though seeming joys, troubles, friends, enemies rise
    All thoughts free themselves like the waves of the sea

    What a wealth of thoughts – passion, aggression, praise, blame
    Just look at their essence, the naked clear void

    To walk, sit, eat, lie down and all you can do
    Just empty forms shining in clear light’s expanse

    ~Khenpo Tsultrim Rinpoche

  14. Bob OHearn says:

    “We recognize that simultaneously, our essence is empty, our nature is cognizant, and its capacity is unconfined. That is “rigpa”. Now, remain evenly like that. Remain without even an atom of a focus being meditated upon, and without being distracted for even an instant. Undistracted nonmeditation. Your mind is doing nothing, there is nothing you need to do. However it is, leave it like that, without modifying. However mind is right now, leave it be exactly like that. You don’t need to improve it or correct it in any way.”

    ~Tsoknyi Rinpoche

  15. Bob OHearn says:

    Don’t Meddle, Don’t Correct, Don’t Analyze, Just Let Be

    “To rest freely like a mountain, let your body remain motionless in the seven-point posture of Vairocana. (typical meditation posture)

    To rest freely like the ocean, keep your eyes still; look straight ahead about one arrow-length into space with a sense of vivid presence.

    To let your awareness rest freely, remain untainted by thoughts of the past, present, and future.

    This present moment of consciousness manifests, yet is unidentifiable. Without trying to add or remove anything, just let be in the state of reality itself.”

    Direct Introduction to Rigpa:

    “Now listen, fortunate one. Look without distraction at the naked self-clarity of this present moment of awareness (rigpa).

    Do not indulge your thoughts or try to rein them in.

    Awareness cannot be spoiled by moral judgments or tainted by hope and fear. It is clear, yet ungraspable; lucid, yet without inside or out; wide open, but without slipping into a state of diffusion.

    It is inherently radiant, yet cannot be identified. It is transparent, expansive, and even. This naked state, just as it is, is the dharmakaya itself-naturally luminous and unchanging.

    Simply maintain recognition of this ungraspable self-radiance. This is buddhahood, pure and pristine, the dharmakaya of unchanging self-awareness, vivid, vibrant, and clear, like a cloudless autumn sky.

    Rest like a mountain, steady and immutable. Rest like the ocean, still and clear.

    Rest like space, infinite in breadth.

    However still your mind may be, rest in that as the state of awareness.

    However your mind may manifest, rest in that as the radiance of awareness.

    Motion and stillness are self-awareness, isolate their pure lucidity and rest. Rest in the self-clarity of phenomena, which never waver from the state of awareness, just as birds can never escape space, wherever they may fly.

    ~The Third Dzogchen Rinpoche

  16. Bob OHearn says:

    Q: So far I have been following you. Now, what am I expected to do?

    Nisargadatta Maharaj: There is nothing to do. Just be. Do nothing. Be. No climbing mountains and sitting in caves. I do not even say: ‘be yourself’, since you do not know yourself. Just be. Having seen that you are neither the ‘outer’ world of perceivables, nor the ‘inner’ world of thinkables, that you are neither body nor mind — just be.

  17. Bob OHearn says:

    “Do not try to become anything.
    Do not make yourself into anything.
    Do not be a meditator.
    Do not become enlightened.
    When you sit, let it be.
    When you walk, let it be.
    Grasp at nothing.
    Resist nothing.”

    ~ Ajahn Chah

  18. Bob OHearn says:

    What you already are

    God is Love. And Love must love. And to love there must be a Beloved. But since God is Existence infinite and eternal there is no one for Him to love but Himself. And in order to love Himself He must imagine Himself as the Beloved whom He as the Lover imagines He loves.
    Beloved and Lover implies separation. And separation creates longing; and longing causes search. And the wider and the more intense the search the greater the separation and the more terrible the longing.
    When longing is most intense separation is complete, and the purpose of separation, which was that Love might experience itself as Lover and Beloved, is fulfilled; and union follows. And when union is attained, the lover knows that he himself was all along the Beloved whom he loved and desired union with; and that all the impossible situations that he overcame were obstacles which he himself had placed in the path to himself.
    To attain union is so impossibly difficult because it is impossible to become what you already are! Union is nothing other than knowledge of oneself as the Only One.

    Excerpted from The Everything and The Nothing by Meher Baba

  19. “At its root, unhappiness is essentially the activity of contraction, based on a fixated sense of independent self – “me and mine”. Most take this “me story” seriously, having become convinced that it is real – that it is what they are.

    We are all dream characters in the heart-mind of Source, and Source makes no distinction in terms of superior or inferior, so why should we? That’s what “unconditional” means. Each one of us is a unique vehicle for Source to explore its own nature, which is de facto also our own nature.

    We are, each of us in our own way, the universe in the process of becoming increasingly self-aware, and whether we climb the highest mountain or just look after our pets at home, really makes no difference. It is all perfect fuel for self-awareness, and one dream adventure or virtual reality game is no better or more enlightened than the next, just different.

    The only value in truly “awakening” is to let go of the stress of trying to make things be other than they are, trying to figure the magnificent mystery of life out, trying to make it conform to the way we imagine it should be, based on second-hand opinions and idealistic speculation. What is, simply is.”

    Thanks again, Bob

  20. Bob OHearn says:

    “Finally I am coming to the conclusion that my highest ambition is to be what I already am. That I will never fulfill my obligation to surpass myself unless I first accept myself, and if I accept myself fully in the right way, I will already have surpassed myself.”

    ~Thomas Merton

    “Be just what you is, not what you is not. Folks what do this has the happiest lot.”

    ~Mr. Wizard to Tooter Turtle

  21. Bob OHearn says:

    Be yourself.
    Life is precious as it is.
    All the elements for your happiness are already here.
    There is no need to run, strive, search or struggle.
    Just Be.

    – Thich Nhat Hanh

    from the book “The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation”

  22. Bob OHearn says:

    “Get out of the construction business. Stop building bridges across the raging waters of samsaric existence, attempting to reach the ‘far shore,’ nirvana. Better to simply relax, at ease and carefree, in total naturalness, and just go with the primordial flow, however it occurs and happens. And remember this: whether or not you go with the flow, it always goes with you.”

    ~ Nyoshul Khenpo

  23. Bob OHearn says:

    There is only one mind; it is not that there are two minds, one recognizing the other. In the very moment of recognizing, it is like a knot that is untied. We don’t have to do anything further than that, leave it untied. In the moment of looking, it is already seen. It is not that later on we come to see. Why? Because mind and mind essence are very close. The second reason is that it is not that mind essence is something that we have to get our sights on; it’s not like that. It is not that we need to hold the awareness on it for a while, like one or two minutes and slowly it will appear within our experience. Since there is only one mind, the moment you recognize, it is simply a matter of letting go. The thinker or knower of that moment is just like a new knot, like a new thought. The moment you abandon it, it unties. We are already arrived at where we need to arrive at, we are already in the nature of mind.

    ~ Tsoknyi Rinpoche

  24. Bob OHearn says:

    You have not come to this earth to struggle, to fight, to become anything, to hurt anyone, to be hurt, you are here merely to be. Not to be this or to be that, just to be. You allow this beingness to function properly when you get yourself out the way, that is your thoughts, your preconceived ideas. When you keep the mind still, perfectly still and calm then you will always find that you are in the right place going through those experiences that are necessary for your unfoldment and your fulfillment.

    ~Robert Adams

  25. Pingback: The Conscious Process – Bob O’Hearn | Creative by Nature

  26. Bob OHearn says:

    “Recently, I was asked to contribute a short piece on my take on the meaning of life. I wanted to share it here, with all of you as well. So, are you ready for the super serious answer to this all important question? Here we go:

    The meaning of life? In other words, “Why are we here”? To eat chocolate, of course! Why else?

    I know you think I’m kidding, but I’m actually not. Well…..ok, we’re also here to watch glorious sunsets, to make love with our beloved, to laugh heartily, to love fearlessly, to live life fully and with abandon, and to do all the things that bring us joy.

    So if it’s really that simple, then why are so many of us living joyless lives? I believe it’s because we make it more complicated than it needs to be. Most of us, myself included, have at one time or another, bought into beliefs that tell us we need to do more, be more, work harder, be better. We buy into the fear that we’re not good enough the way we are and we need to do whatever it takes to get ahead of everyone else because there isn’t enough to go around. So we get on this treadmill, constantly trying to get ahead of the person in front of us. Except the person in front of us is doing exactly the same thing, trying to get ahead of the person in front of them!

    Ironically, many of us are like that even in our spiritual practices, believing that spirituality needs to be pursued, and we need to work at it harder, meditate longer, or read more, to be more spiritual than the next person! Like there isn’t enough spirituality to go around! LOL! 😊

    That kind of spiritual belief is driven by fear, not love. Fear of not being spiritual enough, as opposed to a knowing that we already are spiritual beings, whether we realize it or not, and that we already are everything we are trying to attain.

    It wasn’t until I died that I understood this. I was suffering from what should have been the final stages of lymphatic cancer, when my organs shut down and I went into a coma. I was at death’s door, and the doctors told my family that I wasn’t coming back. However, while in the coma, I experienced what I would call an “awakening” – also called a “near death experience”. During this state, I realized that I had my priorities wrong and had spent a lifetime trying to be something that I’m not.

    Death made me reevaluate what is actually important in life. When we don’t realize this—that death is the ultimate leveler—our priorities are very different. But once we have a glimpse of it and actually experience it and bring that feeling back with us, we realize: Wow! All these things that I thought mattered actually have no significance on the other side! It rearranges all our priorities in life—how we live, how we deal with our emotions, everything.

    Having already faced death, I now know that spending a lifetime of always playing it safe, for example, by choosing the safest career, by pleasing people, worrying about what everyone else thinks of me, meeting everyone else’s expectations except my own, being what everyone else wanted me to be, etc. felt like a totally wasted life. I feel so blessed to have been given a second chance, because most people don’t get to come back when they learn that lesson. This time, I plan to pursue my dreams, love more, laugh more, not take life so seriously, and live fearlessly.

    Our life is our prayer. It’s our gift to the universe. We owe to ourselves and everyone around us to be happy and spread that joy around.

    Chocolates, anyone?”

    ~Anita Moorjani

  27. Bob OHearn says:

    This teaching is so simple that it is not a teaching at all. So simple: just to pluck a rose petal, just to give up the notion that you are bound, that you have to search for freedom in caves or mountains or monasteries. Freedom is revealed within yourself.

    A crow sat on a coconut tree, and the coconut fell. This does not create a relationship between the coconut and the crow. You may attribute freedom to meditation, and effort, but when the coconut fell, it fell on its own accord not because the crow sat on the tree. When you get it, you may attribute it to some sadhana, to staying with the teacher, to going to the Himalayas for years of contemplation, or to long austerities and meditations, but it has nothing to do with these things: it is simply a question of keeping quiet. Keep quiet just for a moment, for this instant of time and allow it to happen. Don’t interfere, just keep quiet and watch what happens.

    This is a very simple way to freedom. You are free, the notion that you are bound has been dumped on your head by your parents, by your priest, by your society. If you get rid of all these, instantly you will find that you are what you have always been. If you give up all that you have read, heard, seen, touched or tasted, freeing yourself from all past notions, what will be left? You alone will remain, that which you have always been, what you will always be and what you are now. The exercise or sadhana or way is not something to be be borrowed from the outside. Just keep quiet, keep silent and you will know freedom from sorrow and suffering. I wish everyone would try this and see.

    ~ Papaji

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