befriending that which you are

Image, Joshua Earle, Unsplash

just throw away all thoughts of
imaginary things,
and stand firm in that which you are.

What's here for you, in this present moment? Are you truly here?  

Maybe you’re here.

Maybe you’re somewhere else.

Maybe you're pausing to accept that being here or somewhere else is okay for you.

Feel your sense of connection to the ground.

Feel your place.

Feel your breathing.

Feel the gentle flowing in and flowing out.

Feel the familiar rhythm

Come home to the body.

Come home to what is.

See how it is to just be here … to let go of what's next in these next few moments.

The breath simply breathing itself.

Feeling into each in-breath.

Feeling into each out-breath

Feeling into each pause at the end of each inbreath and outbreath.

Simply being with your pause helps you get out of your own way.

You already know how to pause. The power of the pause is deep within you. A pause consists of the merest moment of possibility you can feel into. 

Maybe you opened a door for somebody at the grocery store? Maybe you felt a tenderness in your heart as you read about an act of loving-kindness? Maybe you got down on your hands and knees to help your child as they were bawling their eyes out over a lost piece of Lego. 

You found it, under the bed, settled amongst the cookie crumbs, and that curiously perfect, ancient apple core.

This is the power of the pause. It can lead to the next curiously perfect moment, that comes from who knows where.

You don’t think about these moments. You feel into them. 

When you opened the door you felt something; when you read about that act of loving-kindness, you felt something; when you found the space within yourself to be with the momentary distress your child was experiencing, you felt something.

It’s the ‘feeling into’ that’s already mindful.

But then you go back to feeling hooked, entangled, ensnared: caught up in urges, impulses, bouts of dissatisfaction. You think, I’ll never be mindful!

But you can’t always be mindful. Besides, who would want to be when you already are?

You can’t strive for this. You can only be who you already are. So why not accept that? Why not accept yourself for who you are? Why not start from there?

I came across this today. It’s a passage shared by the Buddhist teacher, Jack Kornfield.

If you can sit quietly after difficult news, if in financial downturns you remain perfectly calm, if you can see your neighbors travel to fantastic places without a twinge of jealousy, if you can happily eat whatever is put on your plate and fall asleep after a day of running around without a drink or a pill, if you can always find contentment just where you are ... you are probably a dog.

To sit quietly after difficult news, to remain perfectly calm, to not feel jealousy, to not feel desire, to be content with where you are. You think that’s mindful? To be mindful is to be with it all. To be with it all is to be with the perfect pain within the power of the pause. To be mindful is, as the poet says, to ‘stand firm in that which you are’.

The more you pause and observe, the more you know that which you are. 

You can either sit with discomfort or stew in it, but don’t ever think you can run away from it. That’s delusion. Many of us spend a lifetime doing the dance of delusion. Many of those who dance impress us with their delusion. We seek to be as deluded as they are. We fail to listen to the wisdom of our own direct experience. This is the wisdom within you. Listen to it. It will tell you this: you cannot opt out of the terms and conditions of the universe. You are just passing through. This energy you feel, is it really sadness, or is it something else entirely that your mind has told you is sadness? Open yourself up to that possibility.

The feeling you have is going nowhere. For sure, it will go momentarily if you delude yourself out of it. But it will just come back. Best to befriend the feeling than be enslaved by the delusion. Befriend it. Be curious about it. Let it be. You only get one life. So, why not make the most of these moments of being that which you are. You are a feeling being. You feel before you think. But often we fear the fearless focus needed to feel. It takes the work of remembering what you have forgotten to remember that ...

He who binds to himself a joy
Does the wingéd life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity’s sunrise.

Eternity’s sunrise is the raw naked truth of now. 

What are you ‘binding’ yourself to? Relationships, work, friendships? What is ‘joy’ for you? Are your thoughts of joy really joy? Does your joy destroy? Is your quest for joy wounding?

A kiss, of course, is impermanent. It can never last. But it is also joyful.

But is it more joyful than the joy of accepting it will fly, and die?

Is acceptance of what will and must pass the deepest joy of all?

Whet does the image of ‘eternity’s sunrise’ mean for you?

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