Essence as Light

Archive Update and
Daily Reflections

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  • This page provides a comprehensive collection of the daily reflections I shared through my "In This Moment" mailing list between 2000-2003.
  • More of my writings are located on the following pages: ` Reflections previously archived on the AIA site ` Transcripts from chat mentoring sessions ` Replies to questions ` Back issues of AIA's ezine
  • Note: Many of the links throughout this site (especially on the topical index) were broken when AIA's eScribe archives were hacked and destroyed. I will eventually replace the eScribe archive with comprehensive archives located here on the AIA site as my current schedule permits. However, since the damaged archives are large, and restoring them will take time, I appreciate your patience with the broken links during this transition.
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    "In This Moment" Reflections: Comprehensive archive of the daily reflections from Metta's "In This Moment" mailing list * 2000-2003 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Invitation ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Your restless seeking will not end until you begin seriously considering the radical possibility that THAT which you are seeking is inseparable from THIS -- the reality of your own immediate and intimate experience within the present moment. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #1: Fire of Uncertainty ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Bravely step into the fire of your own uncertainty. That which is Real and True will remain unharmed. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #2: Absolute Freedom ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ To trust Life completely and without reservation is absolute freedom. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #3: All Movement, All Time ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ All movement within our lives flows toward the discovery of the Real. All time within our lives flows toward the present moment. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #4: Enlightenment and Reality ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Enlightenment is awakening to the true nature of Reality. Reality is That which cannot be avoided. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #5: Reality Emerges as This ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Life is a direct and immediate experience of the Infinite manifesting through the finite in the present moment. We simply do not recognize it as such because of our narrow focus on the finite. Relax into your own immediate experience of Perceiving -- of Clear Seeing -- here and now, in this moment. Shift your attention to the infinitely vast and edgeless nature of the present moment, and suddenly -- you will immediately recognize, and directly experience, Reality dynamically emerging as This, here and now. There is nothing more or other. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #6: Given Conditions ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Pay attention to, and inquire into, the nature of your own immediate experience. Become the Witness, or Observer, of your own experience. Investigate the "Given Conditions" of being human, "I am -- Aware -- Now": · the sense of identity, or being, at the center of your own experience which manifests as "I am." · the Awareness through which you perceive everything within and around you. · the immediacy and Infinity of Now. These three basic conditions of being human are profound pointers to our True Nature. We simply overlook them in our rush to identify ourselves with "outward" conditions, i.e., a body, memory, personality and the illusion of time. Simply paying attention -- looking at and remembering these basic, essential conditions -- is enough, for they are the vehicle through which we experience, and Recognize, the vast and Infinite nature of Reality. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #7: Your Essential Self ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Remember: You are far more than you imagine yourself to be. Let go of all limiting identifications. See your essential self within all manifest things, and there is nothing you will lack. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #8: Trust the Movement of Reality ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Trust the movement of Reality in and through your own experience, and you will recognize It within the immediacy of every present moment.... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #9: Focus on the Source ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ No-thing has any real identity independent of the Source out of which it emerges. Shift the focus of your investigation toward an intuitive recognition of this invisible Background, and all things will be made Clear. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #10: Unchanging Awareness ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Learn to watch both your experience and your reactions to your experience. This process of observant attention and witnessing will enable you to see that your fundamental and essential sense of identity exists as an unchanging point of Awareness within the heart of all changing conditions and circumstance. This Awareness is grounded in the present moment and never exists outside of Now. It is always accessible and never exists somewhere other than Here. It is the immediate and undeniable Center of who you imagine yourself to be. Reside in this Center, and realize that the essence of this Awareness is not separate from That which manifests before, around and within you. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #11: Investigate Your Own Experience ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ All I can do is describe my own experience. You must investigate your own. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #12: Seeing Without a Face ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The fact that you cannot see your own face is an important clue to understanding who and what you really are: your sense of identity is linked to Seeing, not to being seen. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #13: All Experience Points Toward Reality ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ There is nothing within your own experience that does not, in its own way, point toward the Reality of who and what you are. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #14: Desiring -- and Accepting -- Reality ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Let go of desiring anything other than THAT which is Real and True. Then, wholeheartedly accept this Reality as it shows up Here and Now. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #15: Recognition of Reality ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Enlightenment is an irrevocable breakthrough into a stunning Recognition of the fundamental and essential nature of Reality. Time as we know it widens out into a vast, infinite expanse of dynamic manifestation within the present moment. Everything is felt, seen, heard and experienced within this larger and previously unimaginable context, ...and all the while, Reality continues to show up, here and now, as the perfectly ordinary and absolutely miraculous experience we call Life. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #16: Journey into the Center ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Look into the deepest recesses of your heart -- beneath the movement of all thought and emotion -- and what will you discover? A silent, clear and spacious Awareness within which all experience is contained. As you journey back out from this Center, remember: everything that arises and appears before you now is simply a natural manifestation of this limitless Reality in finite form. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #17: The Miracle of Manifest Existence ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ There is something inexplicably precious in the miracle of manifest existence. Our great opportunity is to learn to savour This. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #18: This is the Answer ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Imagine how radically different your experience would be if you assumed that all of THIS is the answer rather than the question. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #19: Reject Nothing ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ That which is Real manifests in and through *every* experience. Reject nothing if you hope to recognize the true nature of Reality. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #20: Only Now is Real ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Look at how easily we accept common beliefs in illusion! Neither the past nor the future has any reality separate from the present moment -- and yet we act as if each is Real. This is one of the fundamental assumptions I am encouraging you to re-examine and investigate. Look into the heart of your own immediate experience and you will see, without a doubt, that only Now is Real. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #21: Ephemeral Pleasures ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Pleasures, ecstasies and suffering always come and go. The constant throughout all experience is That which is Real. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #22: Compassionate Revelation ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Time steals the finite away from us in a compassionate revelation of the Infinite. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #23: Contentment ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ With thought suspended, contentment arises naturally. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #24: Spacious Awareness ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Remember: It is the mind and consciousness that vacillate and move; Awareness does not. You are the spaciousness within which all of THIS appears. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #25: Magnificent Miracle ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Refusing to accept your own magnificence will not change the fact -- or the miracle -- of who and what you really are. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #26: Pay Attention, Trust Reality ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Pay attention, and trust Reality. There is nothing else you need to do. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #27: Trust Your Own Experience ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Inspiration and insight arise through a willingness to trust your own experience. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #28: I Am Aware Now ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When you are confused, simply bring yourself back to the Reality of what you know beyond all doubt: "I am aware now." Herein lies the spacious presence of your own Original Nature. See also: ` Given Conditions ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #29: Invitation into the Infinite ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Every experience of the finite will inevitably lead to one simple question: "Is this all there is?" As such, the finite is a priceless invitation into the Infinite. See also: ` Bumping into Limitation ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #30: The Question of Identity ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This whole matter of Realization revolves around a fundamental question of identity: "With what do you identify?" The more narrow and limited your sense of self, the greater your suffering. The moment you discover that things are separate only in appearance, and not in Essence, then in that moment your sense of "self" will begin to expand. And, in that moment, you will begin to Realize the magnificence of who and what you really are: a dynamic manifestation, within space and time, of the Reality which transcends both. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #31: Truth ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Dedicate yourself to the discovery of a Truth so large there is nothing that cannot be contained within it. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #32: The Human Condition ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Nothing is more important than coming to terms with the fundamental nature of the human condition. Until we make our peace with the experience of being human everything else will be distractions and details. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #33: Doorway into Infinite Possibility ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It is our resistance to Reality which is the source of all our suffering and the self-imposed constraint upon our innate and limitless freedom. Your willingness to come to terms with Reality, as it appears before you here and now, will be your doorway into infinite possibility. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #34: Contentment ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Life flows through each of us in a tidal wave of infinite expression. Contentment and satisfaction depend upon your ability to trust this unfolding process. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #35: Clear Seeing: The Indisputable Whole ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Reality I experienced during the epiphany is not different or separate from the reality we experience under "ordinary" circumstances. What does differ is our interpretation.... In our "ordinary" experience, the focus of attention is on the finite, In a revelation of the transcendent, the focus of attention shifts to the Infinite Whole. Ongoing Clear Seeing is an indisputable, experiential recognition of the inseparability and indivisibility of both. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #36: Present Circumstance ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ No other circumstances are more conducive to the realization of your true nature than the present circumstances within which you find yourself. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #37: Appreciate the Infinite ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Each experience is an opportunity to see more deeply into who and what you really are. Life is our opportunity to deepen our appreciation of the Infinite. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #38: The Illusion of a "Higher" Self ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ References to a "higher" or transcendent "Self" perpetuate the illusion of an identity separate, distant and "other." In reality, the essence of who you are is immediate, immanent and inseparable from the sense of present moment "self" with which you tend to identify. Look for who is looking, and you will discover you are not separate from the intimate Reality of Awareness shining within the present moment. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #39: Spaciousness of Spirit ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ There is a spaciousness of spirit within each of us which only reveals itself when we are finally willing to let go of all self-doubt, anxiety and apprehension. Discovering this spaciousness is a completely exhilarating and satisfying release into the wholeness and freedom of our essential and fundamental nature. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #40: Purpose of Existence ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The entire purpose of manifest existence is simply to facilitate the realization of who and what you really are. There is nothing more or other. See also: ` Question #3 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #41: Intuitive Impulse ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Every intuitive impulse leads eventually to a recognition of your own innate nature. Watch and learn by trusting this gradual and unfolding process. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #42: True Freedom ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ True freedom lies in discovering that your most intimate identity -- the Witnessing Awareness we recognize as "I am" -- is inseparable from the Source out of which it emerges. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #43: Absolute Center, Essence and Presence ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Pay attention to whatever it is that is disturbing or distressing you. Investigate your reactions, and you will discover that your most intimate identity resides at the Absolute Center of your experience, behind and within all the activity of the "external" world and your "internal" mind. When you point toward yourself, you are pointing in the experiential direction of this Clear Seeing, Perceptual Center -- the Witnessing Awareness of "I am" -- which remains unshaken and unmoved in the midst of all external movement and mental activity. Recognize this invisible Center as the Essence of who and what you really are. This clear, unseen Seeing is the self-illuminated Space within which all manifest existence appears. You are THAT, and when this spacious Essence manifests as the Witnessing Awareness of "I am," we recognize and experience it as spiritual Presence. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #44: Discovering Completeness ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The greatest joy of Life lies in the discovery of its innate completeness. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #45: Facing Death ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Face Death squarely. Do not shrink back or look away, for within the eyes of Death you will see the face of God. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #46: Illuminated Darkness ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Even within darkness perception is illuminated by the light of our own innate Awareness. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #47: Discover the Spacious Space ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Your opportunity is simply to observe your experience, and in so doing, discover the spacious Space out of which all manifest experience arises. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #48: Desire and the Realization of Truth ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you observe your own experience carefully, you will discover that, in its own way, even desire leads to the eventual realization of Truth -- simply through the revelation of the limited nature of the finite and the irresistibility of the Infinite. See also: ` Bumping into Limitation ` Invitation into the Infinite ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #49: Trust Your Own Experience ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you do not trust your own immediate experience as a valid vehicle for the expression of Truth and the manifestation of Reality, you will never have hope of recognizing either. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #50: Do Not Reject Your Experience ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Do not reject the experience within which you find yourself. Look into the heart of it to discover the Living Center -- the nexus point through which the energy of Life manifests. You are THAT. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #51: Luminescent Present ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The present moment is pure, crystalline and luminescent. It is only our attachments, distractions and preoccupations which obscure this innate, natural clear light. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #52: Recognize the Miraculous ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Let go of your attachment to this or that. Cultivate your ability to recognize the miraculous everywhere. See also: ` Self-Identification with the Limited ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #53: Revelation of Reality ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The entire manifest universe exists as a revelation of THAT which is fundamental, Essential and Real. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #54: Creative Impulse ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Trust the impulses of creativity stirring within you. They are the energy of Life seeking expression through you. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #55: Reality As It Is ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Only when we let go of our preconceived ideas of what we think Reality *should* be are we able to delight in the magnificence of Reality as it is. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #56: Beyond All Seeking... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Seeking is based on a fundamental assumption of incompleteness. Beyond all seeking lies the discovery of Infinite Completeness -- an undeniable recognition that nothing is missing. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #57: Satisfaction Beyond Circumstance ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Discovering the Satisfaction independent of circumstance is the revelation that liberates. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #58: Explore Your Assumptions ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Be vigilant in exploring the assumptions upon which your experience is based: ` Do you trust life? ` Do you feel safe within the universe? ` Do you believe existence is incomplete or fatally flawed? Your answers to these fundamental questions will define and shape your perception and experience of Reality. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #59: Reality is Staring at You ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Reality and truth are staring you in the face. The question is: how do you interpret what you see? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #60: Interpreting Reality ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Your experience of Reality is shaped by your interpretation of it. Change the beliefs you hold about Reality, and your world will be transformed. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #61: Thought Filters Perception ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Learn to discern how thought filters perception. Then you will begin to see how much of your experience is a product of imagination and expectation. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #62: Sea of Possibility ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In this moment you are sitting within a sea of infinite possibility. Each choice you make is the vehicle for distilling the actual from the potential. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #63: New In This Moment ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ See each experience as if it is fresh and new. With thoughtful and careful attention, you will discover that it is. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #64: Freedom from Fear ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Fear is completely dependent upon a narrow and limited sense of self. Freedom from fear lies in the Awareness of it. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #65: Quiet Joy ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Quiet, unspeakable joy inhabits the heart that recognizes the inherent Wholeness within all things. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #66: Perfect Practice ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ For those who would seek the perfect method of spiritual practice, remember: there is nothing that does *not* contribute to the experience of Realization. See also: ` Spiritual Practice ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #67: Being Human ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Dive deeply into the heart of the question of what it means to be fully human. Do not be satisfied with your answer until it embraces all of who you are -- both alone and in relationship with others. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #68: Liberation ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Liberation is not an escape from the human condition. It is the fulfillment of it. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #69: Figuring out Enlightenment ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Give up trying to figure out what "enlightenment" is. It is enough simply to pay attention to Reality as it shows up, here and now. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #70: Be Who You Are ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Be who you are, without concern, regret or apprehension. You are Life's gift to us, exactly as you are. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #71: Unraveling Our Confusions ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ There is nothing you need to do or achieve above and beyond who/what you already are. Reality is not separate from or other than who/what you already are. Full acceptance of Reality, exactly as it is, embraces everything -- including your desire for change. True freedom from desire includes even freedom from the desire to be desireless. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #72: Behind the Mind ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Behind the mind lies clear, quiet open space through which the energy of Life flows. Reside within this spaciousness and nothing will be left undone. See also: ` Open Space ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #73: The Energy of Life ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The energy of Life is shining through each of us in every moment as radiant presence and luminescent essence. Let the focus of your attention shift from the parts to the Whole, and you will see this light shining within everyone. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #74: Identity ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When you release your identification with the particular, you will recognize your identity with the universal. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #75: Seeking Gives Way... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Seeking eventually gives way, naturally and inevitably, to an infinite process of discovery and revelation.... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #76: Apparent Separateness ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ See and experience Awareness as the space within which all things and all beings appear. With this recognition, you will realize that all apparent separateness is appearance only. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #77: Beyond Appearance ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Step beyond the world of appearances into the spaciousness out of which all appearances arise. Here is where true freedom lies. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #78: Being and Doing ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Being is simply the background for all doing. Neither exists in opposition to or in tension with the other. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #79: Haunted by Reality ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Allow your fascination with Reality's innate nature to haunt you into discovering the unavoidability and totality of the Real. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #80: Ready for Reality ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When nothing else will satisfy, then you will be ready for Reality. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #81: The Allure of Attainment ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Arrival, achievement and attainment are all alluring because of the promise of certainty they provide. However, greater satisfaction and security are inherent within an absolute acceptance of the sufficiency of Reality as it is. Always remember: that which can be attained also can be lost. See also: ` Nothing to Achieve, Nowhere to Go ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #82: The Sufficiency of Reality ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Reality is sufficient as It is. Without this recognition, we are destined to search and to suffer. However, when we finally accept the innate completeness of Reality as it is manifesting within the present moment, then we realize our innate freedom to explore Its infinite and yet-to-be-manifest potential. See also: ` Natural Great Perfection ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #83: Misery is Optional ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In the process of coming to terms with the experience of suffering, it can help to remember that pain is an inherent aspect of finite, physical experience. Suffering, on the other hand, is a mental/psychological/emotional construct, and while it arises naturally in conjunction with any narrow, individual identification, it is an experience we do not have to create. Even common knowledge reminds us of this simple truth in the frequently quoted phrase: "Pain is inevitable, but misery is optional." See also: ` Reflections on Suffering ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #84: Watch the Mind ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you would understand the nature of Reality, begin by watching the workings of the mind. It is here that all misapprehensions arise. Let go of what you do not understand. Assume you are looking at and experiencing the Whole of Reality for beyond all appearances, you are. See also: ` Beyond Appearance ` Apparent Separateness ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #85: One Taste ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The experience of "One Taste" is a Recognition of that which is the essential Ground or Base of all things -- a Recognition of the Reality from which all things spring forth. With this Recognition, a shift in our fascination occurs from the details and "the how of the world" (Wittgenstein) to the simple fact that the world exists at all. In other words, "One Taste" is an experience of absolute wonder, Satisfaction, and Fulfillment in and with the multiplicity in the world -- the complete opposite blandness and homogeneity. See also: ` Three-fold Miracle ` Kalu Rinpoche on "One Taste" ` Excerpts from "One Taste: The Journals of Ken Wilber": #1, #2 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #86: One and Many ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "One" and "Many" are two names for the same Reality. Step back from the busy-ness within your life, and see the light illuminating all manifest things. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #87: Trusting Reality ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When you understand that you are in the midst of the fullness of Reality, the universe -- and everything within it -- becomes consummately trustworthy. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #88: Trust the Sages ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Trust the saints and sages. Look for the Truth they have described within the heart of *your own* intimate experience. Allow yourself to discover the validity of your own innate Knowing. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #89: Trust Your Own Knowing ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Trust the wisdom within you. Follow it out to the edge of your own knowing, and then discover the Knowing that lies beyond.... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #90: Being What You Are ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Nothing can prevent you from being what you already are. Only fear and imagination will prevent you from recognizing your own innate fullness. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #91: Recognizing the Unseen ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ You do not need to understand everything. It is enough simply to recognize, intuitively, the Unseen within the seen. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #92: Thought, Desire and Expectation ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Do not be troubled by the arising of thought, desire and expectations. Allow them to be what they inherently are: limited manifestations of That which is Unlimited. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #93: Worry, Fear, Regret and Trust ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Worry, fear and regret are based upon imagined stories we tell ourselves about Reality. Trust is a fundamental acknowledgement of the ultimate benevolence, wholeness and integrity of Reality, as it is. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #94: Infinite Potential ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When we open ourselves to the vast expanse of our own infinite potential, we enhance the opportunity for it to be realized. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #95: Joy ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Joy is the natural expression of an unfettered spirit. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #96: Test Your Assumptions ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Life will inevitably provide you with countless opportunities to test your assumptions about That which is Real and True. Live your life fully, and take advantage of every opportunity as it arises. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #97: With What Do You Identify? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Every experience in your life points toward a fundamental choice -- the question of: "With what do you identify?" The way you answer this fundamental and essential question will profoundly influence how you choose to live your life. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #98: Beyond Identification ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Let go of all identifications, and the Truth of who you are will be unmistakable, undeniable and unavoidable. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #99: Portal into the Infinite ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Find THAT which is the unchanging constant within the heart of your own immediate experience, and you will discover an open portal into the Infinite. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #100: Finding Comfort ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Our greatest solace and and most profound comfort are to be found in the eventual and unavoidable recognition that That which is Real and True always will remain so. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #101: The Limitless Nature of Reality ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Our expectations are the boundaries which limit the height and breadth and depth of our own understanding. Always be open to possibilities that lie beyond the limits of your wildest imagination. Allow every experience to teach you about the limitless nature of Reality. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #102: Reality is Not Fragile ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Nothing is fragile about Reality. That which is Real is completely substantial and trustworthy. Its manifestations will inevitably change and fade, but the Essence and Source of everything remains solid and unmoved. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #103: The Rhythm of Life ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The innate rhythm of Life is reflected around and with us -- in the flowing of the tides and the cycling of the seasons; in the cadence of our breathing, and the beating of our hearts. Trust the natural inevitability of this momentum, and recognize it within the inexorable opening of your soul. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #104: Making the Unseen Seen ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Each of us is a living, breathing experience of, and an experiment with, the process of making the Unseen seen. This is the honor, opportunity and art of being human. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #105: Living Wisdom ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Live with a fully integrated recognition of the priceless and precious nature of the present moment. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #106: The Great Equalizer ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Realization is the great equalizer: everything is poignant when seen through the eyes of intrinsic Awareness. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #107: Compassionate Witness ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Step back from your experience. Observe yourself, your reactions, and everything that happens through the eyes of a compassionate witness. This is what it means to pay attention. See also: ` Pay Attention ` Overwhelming Delight ` Given Conditions ` Unchanging Awareness ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #108: Satisfaction and Suffering ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ How can one find satisfaction in a world filled with suffering? By understanding the nature of suffering and the larger Reality out of which it arises. See also: ` Reflections on Suffering ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #109: Quiet Compassion ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Quiet compassion is the strength that endures all suffering and triumphs over all adversity. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #110: Nothing But Love ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When you are exhausted by the suffering in the world, there is nothing to do but love. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #111: Happiness and Satisfaction ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Happiness depends upon the vicissitudes of circumstance. Satisfaction resides within the abiding completeness of Reality. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #112: Reality and Satisfaction ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When you discover Reality, nothing else is needed. Until you discover Reality nothing else will satisfy. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #113: Nothing and Everything ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When you need nothing, there is room for everything. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #114: Natural Great Completeness ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Rest in the comfort of Life's Natural Great Completeness. This sufficiency is the source of all satisfaction and peace. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #115: THIS is Sufficient ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Consider the possibility that Life is complete -- exactly as it is... ...that within each moment Reality is infinitely and endlessly manifesting... ...that all of the apparent parts are an expression of one vast and magnificent Whole. Imagine how all THIS would appear to you if seen through Satisfied eyes. Breathe deeply and let go of all expectation and desire... ...and in this moment of clear, pure Seeing you will discover all there is to know: nothing more, nothing less than what is here, now. THIS is sufficient -- exactly as it is. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #116: Perceptual Capacity, Dynamic Vitality ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Behind, beneath, within, and beyond all thought and emotion shines the clear, spacious light of Natural Awareness. This perceptual capacity is the seat and Center of all human experience, and it manifests as the dynamic, animating vitality within each of us. See also: ` Natural Awareness ` Spacious Vitality ` The Energy of Life ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #117: Silent Center, Moving Energy ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Find the silent, Clear Center within all the world's movement. This is your true identity. Trust the energy moving out from this Source, into the world. This is also a manifestation of your own innate essence. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #118: Identity and Effort ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Your true identity includes and transcends all thought, emotion and appearance. Find the Clear Center of all manifest things and all efforting will cease. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #119: The Dynamic and The Changeless ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Remember: the dynamic and the changeless are inextricably connected. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #120: Transformation ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The present moment is the vortex of all transformation. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #121: Simply Trusting ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ We are best served simply by trusting both the process within which we find ourselves, and the deepest impulses moving within us. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #122: Each and Every Step ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ As a wise Spanish poet once said, "Wanderer, there is no path. You lay a path in walking." Remember: each and every step *is* our sacred work. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #123: Life's Lessons ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Even now Life is teaching us everything we need to know. Our opportunity is to recognize the lessons as they are arising. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #124: Discovering That Which We Are Seeking ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Each of us is already discovering That which we are seeking. It is simply a matter of paying attention to and trusting Life as it is arises within this moment. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #125: Sharing In This Moment ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Every moment is an opportunity to share the essence of who and what you really are. What are you offering now to others? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #126: Truth is Not Hidden. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Truth is not hidden from us. We simply do not recognize it manifesting as THIS. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #127: That is This ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The only reason we do not recognize This as That which we are seeking is that we operate with a set of limiting assumptions about how Reality will manifest in the present moment. When we let go of these assumptions and expectations, we will instantly recognize: That can be nothing other than This. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #128: Doubting Reality? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Who am I to second guess the nature of Reality? Why should I ever doubt, even for just one moment, that Reality could/would/should manifest as anything but This? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #129: Ultimate Realization ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Everything pales in comparison to the Realization that THIS is complete. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #130: Enlightenment is Not Separate ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Enlightenment is not separate from This -- your own immediate experience. It is simultaneously immediate, ordinary and Infinite. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #131: Absence and Presence ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The absence of, or distance from, a particular teacher is not an obstacle to recognizing your own innate nature. The only apparent obstacle is believing this Presence is separate from who and what you already are. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #132: Radiant Moment ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In one stunning, timeless moment the whole of THAT reveals itself -- as THIS -- and Now shines radiant, luminescent, pure. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #133: Realizing the Nature of "Ordinary" Reality ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Enlightenment is the thoroughly astonishing and delightful realization that when Infinity and perfection manifest within space and time, they show up in and as the magnificence and splendor we describe as "ordinary" reality. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #134: Perfection Unfolding ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When we recognize that THAT which is unfolding before us in every present moment is a pure and inviolate expression of the Perfection of Life, itself, nothing more is needed. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #135: Infinite Universe ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ All human creativity begins with imagination and with a willingness to consider the possibility that something heretofore unimagined might actually come into being. Let go of limiting assumptions, and an Infinite universe will instantly manifest -- right before your very eyes. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #136: Choosing Peace ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ To live in peace and with compassion is a choice made in every moment. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #137: Watch Your Reactions ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Watch your internal reactions to Reality. If you pay attention to your resistances and to your objections, you will discover that it is this rejection of Reality which is the source of all suffering. When you finally stop pushing Reality away, you will naturally and inevitably discover a vast expanse of innate freedom and choice you never before knew existed. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #138: Internal and External Experience ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ You may not always understand the source point and origin of your "external" experience, but with mindful attention you will discover that your subjective, "internal" experience is always created and shaped by thought. Focus on understanding this dynamic and you will find that both your "internal" and "external" experiences will, inevitably, be transformed. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #139: Expectations of the Finite, Intimacy with the Infinite ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Do not expect the finite to be anything other than what it is. This is the key to discovering your own innate freedom, and your intimacy with the Infinite. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #140: Finite and Infinite Beauty ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The finite world is steeped in tender, poignant beauty -- precisely because it is finite. The Infinite is radiant with beauty -- precisely because it transcends the finite. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #141: Acceptance, Freedom and Possibility ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When we allow ourselves to accept Reality exactly as it is, we paradoxically discover our innate freedom and the Reality of infinite possibility. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #142: Self-absorption ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ All of us are always self-absorbed. The question is, with what self do we identify? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #143: Spacious Wholeness ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you reflect on the spacious Wholeness that contains all of our experiences, you will discover: ` it is the timeless constant throughout our lives, and ` there is no time when it is not immediately accessible and available. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #144: Incarnation ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ THIS will never be enough as long as we resist -- and until we can embrace -- the reality and mystery of incarnation. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #145: Tracing Bread Crumbs Home ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Remember: all thoughts and emotions function as bread crumbs leading you home to the realization of your own essential nature. Emotions arise from thoughts which arise, in turn, from foundational belief structures about the nature of Reality and your own innate identity. Trace these experiential clues back to their Source, and they will reveal the underlying structures that support your current experience of Reality -- along with the clear light of Awareness within which they are all contained. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #146: Pleasure and Pain ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Reality includes all pleasure and extends beyond all pain. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #147: Beyond Extremes ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Every extreme points toward that Reality which lies beyond all extremes. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #148: The Greatest Gift ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The greatest gift we have been given is Reality exactly as it is. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #149: Pondering the Nature of the Universe ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Pondering the nature of the universe and humankind's place within it is hardly idle fancy. It is one of the most fundamentally human tasks within which we can engage. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #150: Expectation and Possibility ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Expectation will either limit or invite possibility. Choose wisely. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #151: No Sweeter Pleasure ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ There is no sweeter pleasure than satisfaction and contentment arising spontaneously within the present moment. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #152: Complete Satisfaction ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The quiet joy of complete satisfaction arises when we release our attachment to the particular. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #153: Life's Sweetness ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Captives of our own imaginations, we dream of fleeting pleasures and long for deeper passions, even as Life's sweetness is dripping from our lips. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #154: Quiet Reverie ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In moments of quiet reverie, Awareness shines clear, radiant and undisturbed. Moonlight shines twice-bright -- in the clear night sky above, and in still, darkening waters below. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #155: From the Darkness ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Reach deep into the darkness and you will always pull out hands full of THIS. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #156: Reality and Truth are Larger ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When you are overwhelmed with the immensity of your own pain and suffering, remember: Reality and Truth are larger. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #157: Keep an Open Heart ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Even in the depths of despair, if you allow your heart to remain open, light will continue to flow. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #158: Our Attachment to Struggle ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Our attachment to struggle and suffering is often stronger than our clinging to pleasure and desire. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #159: Suffering Arises Within the Mind ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Continue opening yourself to the possibility that all suffering arises within the mind. When you release your attachment to the particular view causing your discomfort or anguish, you will suddenly realize -- in a brilliant flash of clarity -- that everything is transformed with a simple shift in thought. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #160: Unconditioned Acceptance ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Embrace every event, receive every experience and approach every individual with unconditioned acceptance. Within this spacious Awareness, suffering will inevitably subside. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #161: In Every Moment ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In every moment... we are stepping into the unknown. In every moment... we are coming home. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #162: Here and Now ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Consider the possibility that HERE and NOW are not different... ...and you will begin to intuit the profound Completeness of Reality. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #163: Not Here Now? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Where do you hope to go? What do you hope to do or to find that is not already present Here and Now? Reflecting on this will help you to recognize your expectations and assumptions about the nature of Reality and the experience of Realization. If you do not assume that That which you are seeking is missing, then you will be able to recognize it Here and Now as THIS. Remember: You already are THAT which you are seeking. "What you are looking for is what is looking." Wei Wu Wei ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #164: All Apparent Movement ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Our destination is always Here. Our arrival is always Now. All apparent movement is a reflection of the wandering mind. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #165: Infinite and Inescapable ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Find comfort in the fact that NOW is Infinite and inescapable. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #166: True Liberation ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ True liberation is recognizing there is no longer anything -- including desire and the human condition -- from which you are seeking to escape. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #167: Essential Identity ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Reality you confront in silence and in darkness -- the unblinking Awareness behind all thought, emotion and personal identity -- is the Essence of your own innate Identity. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #168: Yoga ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Yoga means union. The essence of yoga is the Recognition that your own innate Identity is indistinguishable from the Essence of Reality. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #169: Awaken Now ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Do not make a religion out of your restless seeking. Instead, Awaken now to That which is Essential within in the silent, motionless Center of your experience. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #170: There is No Other ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Dive deep into the Center of your Self, and you will find there is no Other. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #171: Arrow of Attention ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Trace the arrow of attention back to the Source out of which it arises, and you will discover a vast and spaciousness Awareness to which your most intimate identity is inextricably linked. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #172: Attention and Intention ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Attention is the light of Awareness focused by intention. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #173: Focused Attention ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Focused attention provides an invaluable opportunity for the inherent radiance of Reality to be revealed and recognized. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #174: Background of Awareness ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Awareness is the background for all of our experiences, and yet in our ordinary day-to-day lives, it is often obscured by habituated thoughts and emotions. Most teaching and meditation practices are designed to cut through this habituated seeing into the Background of Awareness which is our innate nature and which is, in and of itself, Clear Seeing. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #175: Awareness is the Constant ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Awareness is the constant throughout all experience. Recognizing this is the key to abiding Satisfaction. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #176: Individuality and the Experience of Realization ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It is important to understand that with an experience of Realization, the sense of this body, this mind, this individual does not always -- and does not need to -- disappear. Instead, the "individual" is simply perceived within a new and much broader context. It is now understood as a temporary and transitory manifestation of a larger -- indeed Infinite -- Reality. .o00o. "It should be borne in mind...that relative consciousness by its own momentum continued to function all this time, so that I never for one moment lost sight of my environment or the ceaseless train of thoughts." "I was...prepared not to have the personal consciousness share in this Recognition in any way. But in this I was happily disappointed." Franklin Merrell-Wolff _Experience and Philosophy_ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #177: Awareness and "I Am" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Awareness manifests in and through the individual, and there is -- for most of us -- a strong, clear sense of identification with what appears to be an individual sense of being -- this sense of "I am." However, the sense of "I am" is less a link to an *individual* identity, and is more a revelation of a natural state of Awareness, which is our essential, innate nature. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #178: Center and Anchor ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ As "I Am" arises, the world appears. As "I Am" subsides, the world vanishes. As such, "I Am" is the center of creation and the anchor of all Knowing. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #179: Nexus Point ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Everything interfaces within the present moment. The vitality of NOW arises from this miraculous convergence: space, time, Identity, Reality and the movement of Life are all inextricably linked within the nexus point of present moment Awareness. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #180: Becoming ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Becoming is simply the manifestation of Awareness in and through the finite within the Infinite Present. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #181: Hunger for the Infinite ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The finite always hungers for the Infinite. This longing is evidence of the Source out of which all finite things arise. "The spirit of man is inseparable from the Infinite, and can be satisfied with nothing less than the Infinite." -- James Allen ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #182: Our Longing to Know ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Our profound longing to Know arises naturally and inevitably. It is not a mistake or a problem. It is, in fact, the natural movement and nature of Life, as it manifests, to seek beyond the limits of the finite. Every edge we bump up against invites us to seek, to explore what lies beyond -- to know that which is as yet unseen and undiscovered. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #183: Seeking the Whole ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Our longing to Know arises as the smaller "part" begins seeking a recognition of the larger Whole. As this recognition and acknowledgement of the Whole begins to arise, our seeking and longing naturally begin to subside. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #184: Seeking Subsides ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Our searching and longing naturally subside as we come into a fuller recognition of the vast expanse of the Infinite manifesting within the present moment. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #185: Giving Way to Discovery ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ As we eventually begin to let go of our mistaken assumption that something is missing, the energy of seeking shifts and gives way to limitless discovery. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #186: Nourishing the Soul ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ What nourishes the soul most if not a recognition and an appreciation of the fullness and depth of Reality? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #187: Ordinary and Magnificent ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The grand magnificence of Reality is that it manifests effortlessly within the ordinary and the mundane. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #188: Recognizing, Not Rejecting ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Recognizing the fundamental nature of Reality depends on nothing other than not rejecting Reality as it appears before you. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #189: Surrendering to Truth ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When you surrender completely to Truth, there is no place where you will not see Reality emerging. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #190: True Wealth ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ True wealth lies in recognizing and embracing the completeness of Reality. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #191: Silent Center Space ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ You reside within the Center of all changing circumstance. In this, there is no hidden secret, no esoteric truth. Simply watch your own experience, and you will soon discover that all movement resolves around the silent Center Space you recognize as you. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #192: The Containing Space ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ All pain and pleasure, all happiness and sorrow, dissolve into the space within which they are contained. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #193: The Great Container ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Both movement (the dynamic) and stillness (the quiescent) emanate from One Source. What more could ever be needed when you discover yourself residing effortlessly within The Great Container of All Things? "But, if you hide the universe in the universe, there is no way to lose it. This is the ultimate reality." Chuang Tsu ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #194: Spaciousness and Clarity ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Spaciousness of spirit is reflected in radiant clarity. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #195: Living in Open Space ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It is enough simply to pay attention and trust the process: ` Whoever comes is the right people. ` Whatever happens is the only thing that could have. ` When it starts, is the right time. ` When it's over, it's over. If you are neither learning nor contributing, you have a responsibility, to yourself and to others, to use your two feet and move to some place more to your liking. Be prepared to be surprised! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ With credit -- and grateful acknowledgement -- to Harrison Owen.... Opening Space for Emerging Order ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #196: Shift the Focus of Attention and Energy ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Your daily life -- with all its opportunities, challenges and dilemmas -- is a composite reflection of your recent focus of attention. Shift this focus, and you will begin to realize new dimensions of unmanifest potential. Watch and learn as this energy moves. "Whatever you focus on expands." Unknown ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #197: The Demands of Daily Life ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ As you attend to your affairs and respond to the demands of daily life, realize they can all be kept in perspective simply by focusing your attention on THAT which is Essential. Inevitably, everything will be taken care of, effortlessly, when you recognize you are residing within the Real. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #198: No Disturbance ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ No disturbance arises in the mind grounded in Reality. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #199: Containing Fear ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Do not fear what you do not understand. Instead, surrender and open yourself to it so completely that you discover you are, in fact, the container of it. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #200: Nothing Left Undone ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Whether we realize it or not, the critical issues we face in our daily lives -- health, security and safety -- all arise because of the inevitability of Death. Come to terms with this fundamental Reality, and there will be no business left undone. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #201: Everything We Do ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Within the present moment lies an infinite well-spring of satisfaction and fulfillment. Everything we do either affirms this truth, or attempts to achieve THAT which is already here. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #202: The Limits of Meditation ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Meditation is simply an attempt to still and focus the mind. Realization is discovering you are the Spacious Awareness and Clear Seeing within which both mind and meditation appear. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #203: Personality and Essence ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Personality is subject to change. Essence is not. Reality manifests through both. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #204: Restlessness Subsides ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Allow your identity to shift from the particular to the universal, and then watch the restlessness of the mind subside. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #205: Contemplating the Infinite ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Contemplating the Infinite stirs the soul and opens the heart of Recognition. "The chief meaning of meditation is to contemplate reality." Dhammasudhi _Secrets of the Lotus_ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #206: Gift of God ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This moment is an extraordinary opportunity -- profound and priceless -- to open your eyes and see God. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #207: Grace ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Grace has already arrived. It is not something for which we are still waiting! If you are searching, you simply have not yet recognized it, as it is, here and now. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #208: Everything You See ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Everything you see is God in a form you do not yet recognize. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #209: This is It! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Everything is an endless reminder that This is It! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #210: Awakening into Awareness ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Life is our experience of Awakening into Awareness. Recognizing this, we no longer crave anything beyond the present moment. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #211: Essence Behind Appearance ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Behind all appearances, names and forms, beneath all thoughts and emotions, lies the Reality of who and what you really are. This Essence shines through all forms and structures -- a radiant expression of Reality here and now, through you and through the world around you. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #212: In Spite of All Appearances ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Consider all the beauty and love around you and recognize that Life has tremendous power to move through each of us -- in spite of all appearances to the contrary. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #213: Light of the Infinite ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The light of the Infinite shines through each of us as if through colored glass. Explore your beliefs and assumptions to discover the ways in which you filter the radiance of Truth. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #214: Open Window ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Let your life be an open window through which the light of Truth shines. Be what you already are, and let your life be a gift to the world. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #215: No Aspiration ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ No aspiration remains, except to be clear as glass. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #216: Life's Voice ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Life speaks directly to you through your deepest longings. Listen to -- and trust -- this voice. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #217: Hunger for Reality ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ There is an urge within each of us driving us deeper into the heart of Life... a hunger for That which is essential. Trust this impulse. It is Reality guiding you toward Itself. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #218: Attachment ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Experience and desire are not your enemies. Only attachment obscures the peace that is innately your own. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #219: Passionate Enthusiasm ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Passionate enthusiasm is a contagious gift of moving energy. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #220: Responding to Life's Call ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Trust your deepest longing. It is the response of your heart to the call of Life, itself. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #221: The Wonder of Life ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ To the open hearted, all of Life is a wonder. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #222: How Should Reality Appear? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Cultivate your capacity for wonder and awe by stripping away your expectations of how Reality should appear. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #223: Discovering Reality As It Is ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When you no longer attempt to define what Reality should be, you will discover it as it is. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #224: Our Capacity for Wonder ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Our capacity for wonder is limited only by our ability to say "yes" to Life. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #225: Everything is Grace ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When we can say "yes" to Life, everything is Grace. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #226: Nothing Lost ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Delirious, and with exceeding fullness, everything can fall away. Nothing lost. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #227: Changing Forms ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Nothing is ever lost. Everything simply changes form. Remember this in the face of Life's ever-changing circumstances. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #228: Life's Constancy ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Within all the uncertainty of life lies a steady and unwavering reminder of the constancy of Life. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #229: Frustration and Trust ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Every experience of frustration is a reminder to trust Life and the energy moving within you. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #230: After the Storm ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Eventually the eye of the hurricane expands until the entire storm subsides. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #231: Self-Evident Reality ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ With the experience of Realization, Truth is revealed as the self-evident Reality of our day-to-day experience. After all, what else could all of THIS be? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #232: Full Immersion ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The magnificent miracle of our lives is that in spite of our not seeing, we live immersed within the fullness of Reality. Everything is a blessing. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #233: Diversity and Variation ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ How can the diversity and variation in human experience be explained? Each of us is simply experiencing a unique and ever-changing aspect of the Infinite. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #234: No Moment, No Aspect ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ There is no moment that is not a dynamic revelation of the Real. There is no aspect of your life that is not touched by the hand of God. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #235: Drinking Deeply ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Drink deeply of the Life that presents itself to you. Let no missed opportunity ever haunt you. Let no regrets ever steal your sleep at night. Trust in the magnificence of the mysterious path upon which you find yourself, and move forward courageously into the Great Unknown. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #236: The Infinite Path ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Why worry? You can never stray away from the path you are already on. "Wanderer, there is no path. You lay a path in walking." -- A Spanish poet ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #237: Your Journey Home ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Just remember that in the end, your "spiritual journey" is simply a matter of discovering there is no journey. Every journey is just an imagined path from Here to Here. You always have been -- and are right Now -- right Here, at Home. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #238: Absolute, Divine Precision ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Everything unfolds with the absolute, divine precision. After all, what other influence could ever be at work? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #239: Finally Letting Go ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When you finally let go, completely, you will simply fall into the infinite comfort of the Ground of Being. There is nowhere else to go. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #240: Action, Inaction and Effort ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ With the experience of Realization, both action and inaction arise spontaneously and naturally, and effort effortlessly dissolves. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #241: A Sage's Wisdom ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The sage is one who can say "Yes" to Life -- under all conditions. The sage is one who can say "God is good" -- under all circumstances. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #242: A Sage's Contentment ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The sage is one who is always at home. The sage is one who needs nothing more or other from Life. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #243: A Sage's Experience ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The sage is one who: ` sees only Truth, ` knows only the Real, and ` lives only Now. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #244: A Sage's Authority and Trust ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The sage is one who recognizes there is no authority other than his/her own. The sage is one who trusts Life completely and without fail. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #245: A Sage's Heart ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The sage is one whose heart is open to and accepting of Reality, exactly as it appears. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #246: Relaxing into Reality ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ You can relax now. In as much as there is nothing you need to do to attain Reality, there is also nothing that will distance you from It. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #247: Nonduality ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If Reality is one complete undivided and unbroken Whole, then everything you see is a manifestation of That which is Real and True. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #248: No Adequate Definition ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ No definition of Reality is large enough to contain the Truth of That which is Real. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #249: No Other Truth ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Reality is that Truth against which there is no Other. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #250: Truth Remains ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Truth is what remains when all illusions fade. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #251: Revision of Identity ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Realization is nothing more or less than a complete revision of identity. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #252: Spacious Identity ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ With this Recognition, a very natural shift in identity begins to occur -- from individual thoughts/feelings/ beliefs/actions to the Observation of them. This is where everything begins to open up..... Suddenly, there is more quiet space around everything that happens -- more room.... Your identity really does begin to shift toward the Background of Awareness behind all of our experience, and as this begins to happen, we begin to discover our real, fundamental freedom from all emotional and conceptual entanglements, and our connection with the larger Whole.... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #253: Everything or Nothing ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Identify either with everything or with nothing. There is no in-between. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #254: True Identity ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Let go of all identifications, and the Truth of who you are will be unmistakable, undeniable and unavoidable: you are the silent, spacious Awareness which contains all things. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #255: Being True to Who You Are ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ There is no greater satisfaction -- and no greater gift to others -- than being true to who and what you really are. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #256: The Bare Essentials ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Illness and adversity strip away the superficialities in our daily lives, bringing us face-to-face with the bare essentials in Life. These difficult and unexpected developments are one more way we are introduced to the larger Mystery of Life. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #257: Our Purpose ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Seeing your life as a failure is simply an assumption based on a limited human expectation of what we imagine we are supposed to do and accomplish within our allocated span of years. Consider the possibility, instead, that the whole purpose of being here is related not to what we do and achieve, but rather to what we see and feel and give in the present moment. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #258: In the Empty Space ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Eventually life will strip everything away from us -- some of us sooner than others -- and if, in the empty space that remains Love still arises, then we can be assured that Love is what is Real because it survives when all else fades. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #259: Staying Clear ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When you are under stress, simply bring the attention to the top of the head, allow it to open, breathe deeply and then let light flow in. This will help you to relax and stay clear. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #260: Radiance ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Whether you realize it or not, the brightness you are seeking is already radiant within you. Focus on this in the days ahead, and see this light arising within your Awareness and Recognition of it. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #261: Clarity of Presence ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The strength and clarity of Presence vary in accord with the extent to which the illusory identity has dissolved. The less binding the illusion, the greater the clarity of Presence. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #262: Radiant Presence ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The light of Essence shines through form -- our sense of personality and a separate self -- as radiant Presence and clear seeing Awareness. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #263: Relaxing the Ego Coil ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Each of us has an ego with which our essential Identify is associated in space and time. But, this ego is not inherently evil or wicked. It is simply limited and, like any tool or a knife, it can serve a useful function, or it can cause great harm. In its functional role, the ego allows us to walk and talk and hold down a job and pay our bills. In this sense, the ego and the sense of identity we hold about ourselves is like a coil with a bright light shining inside. The greater the illusion and the stronger the sense of false identity, the more tightly coiled the spring. However, when we see through the illusion and the false sense of an independent and separate self, the coil begins to relax and open up, and the light of Essence shines through as Presence -- naturally radiant, clear and bright. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #264: Infinite Light ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Imagine you are Infinite light flowing through an open window. This is a much more accurate description of who you really are than believing yourself to be a tiny soul confined within a finite and limited body. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #265: Clear and Open Space ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Each of us is a clear and open space through which the Essence of Life and Reality flow. What more do we need to know and understand? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #266: Recognition and Release ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Recognition becomes Release when we realize that the void and the abyss into which we have been peering -- and which we have been fearing -- is actually the Home we have been seeking. Eventually we discover there is no falling when we enter into this Emptiness absolutely and completely. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #267: Coping with Reality ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ There is nothing more valuable -- or more important -- than learning to trust your experience in the present moment... ...and to recognize the finite as a manifestation of the Infinite within space and time. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #268: Maintaining Clarity ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The ability to "maintain clarity" is simpler and easier than we think. The temptation, and the source of virtually all our suffering, is the belief that the recognition of who and what we already are is difficult and distant and somehow beyond the immediacy of our present moment experience -- while in reality, there is nothing you need to do to be what you already are. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #269: Self-Acceptance ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Stop judging what you imagine yourself to be. Just pay attention to the immediate events (both internal and external) which appear within your field of Awareness. Even when the mind becomes agitated and anguished by the unknown and the uncertain, relax into the Spacious Awareness that *contains* this anguish and agitation, and you will begin to see that, as Awareness, you are larger than any feeling you experience. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #270: You Are More ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ You are more than anything you can think about or observe. You are more than your thoughts and feelings: you are the observer of them. You are the Spacious Awareness within which this process of observing occurs.... This is where true freedom lies. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #271: Where else? What else? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Reality shows up as THIS. Where else and what else did you think it would be? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #272: Do not settle for less. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If THAT which you are seeking cannot manifest within the framework of your own direct and immediate experience, then it is not ultimate. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #273: Transmission or Initiation? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If nothing needs to be obtained or achieved, what kind of initiation would ever be necessary? What kind of transmission would even be possible? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #274: Transmission or Resonance? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Resonance is different than transmission. Transmission involves bestowing something not previously accessible or available. Resonance, on the other hand, is a direct and immediate recognition -- or echo of -- Reality as it already exists. "Directly discover your state. Don't remain in doubt. Gain confidence in self-liberation." Garab Dorje The first Dzogchen Master ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #275: Ah-ha! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Everything we seek and for which we long is present already. In fact, it is this very presence that is the catalyst for our search. All we ever "need" to do is recognize what is already here. During the moment of recognition there is often an "Ah-ha!" which we are tempted to interpret as transmission, but this is simply the immediacy of discovering the Reality that has been here all along. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #276: Life is the Answer ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Life, itself, is the answer to all your questions. Look and listen with an open mind and heart, and you will discover more than you ever dared imagine.... See also: · Explaining the Infinite ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #277: Reality Experiencing Itself ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Everything in Life is an opportunity for Reality to discover, explore and experience itself. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #278: Tender Miracle, Magnificent Mystery ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Tender miracle, magnificent mystery: Life unfolds ceaselessly before us! Watch and listen, and you will See. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #279: The Satisfying Discovery ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This Recognition dawns in the most simple and unobtrusive of ways -- as in the satisfying discovery that nothing is, or ever has been, missing. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #280: Inevitable Gratitude ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Confronted with Completeness, gratitude is inevitable. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #281: Feelings of Insecurity ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Feelings of insecurity arise when we identify with the particular. They dissipate when we trust the inherent wholeness and innate integrity of Life. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #282: Disappointment and Frustration ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Notice how disappointment and frustration eventually become a catalyst for movement and change. Learn to trust this natural, unfolding process. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #283: Obstacle and Identity ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Every obstacle is an opportunity to discover more of who and what you really are. Freedom lies within this Recognition. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #284: Revelation Through Experience ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When all else fails, simply ask yourself: "What can this experience teach me about my own innate identity, and the vast, limitless nature of the Infinite?" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #285: Full Acceptance ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It is important to recognize that the struggle within which you find yourself is not separate from the wholeness and perfection of the Reality you are seeking. Relax into a full acceptance of your present moment experience, and you will discover it is a gateway through which Reality -- and your own innate freedom -- are continuously revealed. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #286: The Vibrant Field ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Stop imagining your life to be a limited span of consciousness bounded by birth and death. Recognize it instead as a vibrant field of Awareness, illuminating the Infinite Present, within which birth and death both arise and disappear. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #287: Death and Dreaming ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ All that happens when you die, is your identification with the physical body is loosened. This is why exploring the sleep state can be so valuable, for in sleeping and in dreaming, your identity with the physical body is temporarily suspended. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #288: Surrender to the Real ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The peacefulness of a sleeping child is born of absolute and unqualified trust. Surrender to the Real in your waking life as completely as you do in deep sleep. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #289: Healing and Self-Acceptance ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Tears are the beginning of healing. Self-acceptance is the beginning of Realization. When you are not trying to become anybody else, when you accept yourself, then you simply relax into what you are,...and grace and harmony and splendor arise...the tremendous beauty of being yourself. Tishan ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #290: Indestructible and Invincible ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Truth cannot be destroyed. Reality is invincible. Within this Recognition lies our ultimate comfort and solace. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #291: Recognizing Reality ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Pay attention to the assumptions upon which your seeking is based. If you assume that the object of your seeking is anything less than the fullness of Reality, your search will never be fulfilled. If, on the other hand, you are looking for That which is Real, there is no place where it will not be found. The challenge always and simply is to recognize the Real as and for what it already is. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #292: Supremely Simple, Divinely Rich ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Life is supremely simple when you allow it to be what it already is. Life is divinely rich when you recognize its infinite potential manifesting within the present moment. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #293: Embrace This Fullness ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Every moment of every day is an opportunity to embrace the Fullness of what is. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #294: Sacred Space ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The simplest, easiest way to understand Life is to accept it on its own terms, exactly as it presents itself to you. Notice, in contrast, how seeking is predicated on an assumption of incompleteness and inadequacy -- a belief that Life is somehow inherently, fatally flawed. Notice how seeking lures your attention out of the present moment and toward an imagined state of completeness and satisfaction. Imagine now, instead, accepting Life exactly as it shows up -- with no expectation that Life ought to be or should be any different from what it already is, right now. Let go of imagining what Life would be like if.... Assume instead that you are peering into the face of God -- that every finite thing you see is a living manifestation of the Infinite -- a dynamic expression of Reality and Truth in the present moment. Where is the incompleteness now? Only in the mind's full comprehension of the vast expanse of this Infinite Miracle. Satisfaction arises naturally and spontaneously when we open our eyes and accept what is given, as it arises, as it is. Accept Life fully, reject nothing, and then trust your deepest desire to move within the Sacred Space within which your find yourself. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #295: Immediate and Real ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Abandon imagined destinations in favor of the delight of That which is immediate and Real. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #296: The First Step ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Trusting Life is the first step toward recognizing its innate Wholeness, completeness and perfection. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #297: Life's Guidance ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Learn to trust the guidance constantly provided in and through the events of your daily life. All the frustrations and delights within your daily affairs are pointers toward That which is ultimately Real. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #298: Seeing Wholeness ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Remember: until you recognize It without a doubt, the Wholeness you are seeking can only be intuited. Because it is Infinite, it cannot be seen in its entirety by the finite human eye. What you *can* see, even now, is the myriad manifestations of this Wholeness, and their presence is unequivocal evidence of its Reality. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #299: Observing This ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Sit with what is happening now. Observe your reactions. Notice how mind and thought and attention and emotions move -- and Awareness does not. Notice how all the individual aspects of your life appear against this vast, clear screen of Awareness. Parts manifest separately only within the larger context of completeness out of which they arise, and this Unseen Wholeness is the backdrop and connective tissue for everything that manifests before you. Remember this Awareness and the Wholeness behind the events within your life, and you will see that Life moves through all of THIS. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #300: You are THIS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ There is wisdom in recognizing that, as a human being, you manifest as a clear, still point of Awareness temporarily identified with a dynamic manifestation of body/mind/heart. Realization is a recognition that you are This -- all of THIS -- and the Source from which all of This has emerged. "Who you are is what the world appears in, what the cosmos appears in, what space itself appears in." Gangaji ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #301: Your Work Here ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Your most important spiritual work is what you are doing right now, in the middle of your life. Don't lose sight of this in longing for a future realization. Also, remember: your time here is limited. Make your decisions accordingly. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #302: Change and Choice ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In every circumstance, and under all conditions, the leverage point for change is choice. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #303: Freedom to Choose ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Stop -- and look at your experience. You will discover that freedom always exists in the form of the opportunity to make a different choice. Whether or not you take advantage of this opportunity depends upon whether or not you believe you are free to choose. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #304: Seeds of Possibility ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The seeds of all possibility lie within the Infinite Present. With each choice, we invite Reality to emerge.... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #305: Source Point, Choice Point ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Each of us is a creator of universes. Discover the source point for this creative energy, and you will discover the Essence of THAT which is Real. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #306: Precedence ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Pay attention to your experience and you will discover that emotion follows thought and belief. Awareness precedes all. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #307: Witnessing ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Witnessing severs the unconscious and habitual identification with the contents of consciousness. It is for this reason that paying attention is enough. Mindful attention creates an energetic openness through which Insight and Recognition arise. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #308: Awareness and Reality ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It is less that we are aware of the nature of Reality, and more that Awareness is an inherent aspect of the Real. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #309: Self-Awareness ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Self is not something of which we are aware. It *is* Awareness. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #310: The Unseen ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Unseen is That which is Seeing. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #311: Impermanence ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Remember: eventually, every individual -- and every separate thing -- will be taken from you in order to open you fully and completely to Life's larger Wholeness. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #312: Undivided ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I know nothing more now than I did before -- except that This is Whole. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #313: Root Cause of Suffering ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you examine your own experience, you will discover the root cause of all suffering lies in a feeling of incompleteness. The relief of suffering arises when we recognize that our identity extends beyond the suffering within which we are immersed and we are, in fact, inseparable from the Wholeness out of which all experience arises. "The fact is that because no one thing or feature of this universe is separable from the whole, the only real You, or Self, is the whole." -- Alan Watts ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #314: Wholeness In This Moment ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Oneness" is not a state we need to achieve. It is a fact of Life that can be recognized in the inextricable interconnectedness and Natural Great Completeness inherent within all manifest things. In the same way, we do not need to learn to stay in the present moment. We already manifest here and now, in this moment. In fact, where else could we ever be? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #315: At Home -- Everywhere! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Leaving the path, at long last... and wandering no more. How marvelous to be looking out from home -- everywhere! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #316: Background of Completeness ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Completeness is not defined by specific circumstances, events or experience. It is the Background, or Source, out of which all circumstance and experience arise. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #317: Shift the Focus of Attention ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ You can only recognize This Completeness intuitively -- and only by shifting the focus of your attention from individual parts to the Whole. "There is in all visible things... a hidden wholeness." -- Thomas Merton ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #318: Opening Up ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The "secret" -- if there is one -- is simply to open up to Reality as it appears before you, here and now. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #319: Attributes of Clarity ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ As you allow your resistances melt, clarity and spaciousness will naturally arise -- and you will be able to move through Life, with graciousness and ease, guided by the confidence and spontaneity that are the fruit of trusting Life. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #320: Relaxing into the Infinite ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Our ability to relax into the Infinite is reflected in radiance and a spaciousness of spirit. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #321: Direct Knowing ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Trust your own direct knowing. It is the source of both authority and authenticity. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #322: Openness and Authenticity ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Your openness and authenticity invite others to trust who and what they really are. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #323: Authentic Presence ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Allow your life, your presence, and the quality of your attention to be an authentic and undefended expression of Reality manifesting within the present moment. "The greatest gift we give each other is the quality of our attention." - Richard Moss "The real glory of meditation lies not in any method but in its continual living experience of presence." - Sogyal Rinpoche ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #324: Clear and Spacious Focal Point ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ You are a clear and spacious focal point through which the energy of Life manifests. Anything else with which you identify is only one small aspect of who and what you really are. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #325: Honor Your Gifts ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Honor your gifts, and you honor the Source from which they arise. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #326: Understanding the Finite and Infinite ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The finite is nothing other than the Infinite narrowly defined. When one sees Eternity in things that pass away and Infinity in finite things, then one has pure knowledge. Bhagavad Gita Calling infinity a number does not make it one. W. H. Auden ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #327: Discovering Completeness ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Insight into the Natural Great Completeness immediately begins to develop as soon as you begin to recognize.... ==> Your own immediate experience, exactly as it is in this moment, is already a manifestation of this Great Completeness. ==> Your inability to recognize this Completeness is simply a result of preconceived and narrowly defined beliefs about this Great Completeness will show up. Consider the possibility that you are already living, moving and breathing within the Center of this Great Completeness -- and allow your remaining days to reflect a gradual discovery and deepening appreciation of Its grand magnificence. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #328: Recognizing Perfection ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ We do not recognize the perfection inherent within the present moment simply because of our narrow beliefs, expectations and assumptions. "Beauty does not necessarily spell perfection of form." D.T. Suzuki ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #329: Trust and Honor the Mystery ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Trusting Life's natural process honors the mystery out of which everything arises. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #330: Living Miracle ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Savour the dynamic vibrancy and vitality of the present moment. Recognize that you exist in the midst of a living miracle where the Seen infinitely and endlessly manifests from the Unseen. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #331: Beyond the Personal? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Q. How does one get out of the personal minefield into the impersonal field of grace? A. Stop assuming the personal and impersonal are counterposed. Stop judging the personal as dangerous. When you consider the possibility that the personal might actually be a manifestation and expression of Grace within the present moment, this question will no longer arise. From: ` A Spiritual Wanderer's Query ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #332: Memory and Identity ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Recognize your memories as fragmentary mental images. Do not limit yourself by believing these pictures can capture the Essence of who and what you really are. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #333: Who are you? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Remember: the conscious mind and personality are only small facets of the magnificence of who and what you really are. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #334: Source and Appearance ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Allow your identity to shift from appearances to the Source from which all appearances arise, and you will eventually recognize that you, and everything you see, are inseparable. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #335: Reality's Face ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Being human is a unique opportunity to discover that you are one of the many fleeting faces of Reality. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #336: The Silken Thread ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Moments appearing to pass with the movement of time, while Truth shines radiant. Beads strung on the Infinite Present. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #337: Past and Future ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Past and future are simply aspects of the Infinite Present extending beyond the limited recognition of the conscious mind -- which extrapolates based on the finite and familiar. Learn to recognize this habit of mind, and trust Awareness as it arises -- always inherent here and now. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #338: Life Springs Forth ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ From darkness, light springs forth; from silence, sound; from stillness, movement. Life springs forth from the Space which contains it, and the Seen is inseparable from the Unseen. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #339: The Simple Truth ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Look and listen! Everything you see and hear... and smell and taste and touch... is the Infinite showing up in finite form. This is the simple Truth we have so long forgotten. How long can sorrow survive in the midst of such magnificence? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #340: The Sweetness of THIS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Beyond, behind and within all experience lies an inexpressible and magnificent Sweetness which reveals itself as THIS! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #341: Disengage from the Parade ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Freedom lies in disengaging from the parade of thoughts and emotions with which we tend to identify. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #342: Awareness as Innate Nature ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Awareness already is our innate nature. Our only confusion is we do not recognize Awareness as the fundamental Reality inherent within our immediate, present moment experience. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #343: Training and Practice ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Training and practice are designed for working with mind and emotions -- but they are not necessary for Clear Seeing, which is already occurring quite naturally and without effort. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #344: You Are the Seeing ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Pay attention to the distractions, your reactions, and the dynamic of Seeing. Soon it will become clear: you are the Seeing -- and nothing else. Everything changes -- except this Seeing... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #345: Immovable Presence ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Nothing can remove you from the present moment, or from the reality of who and what you really are. Find the clear and constant Awareness which remains the unsullied and spacious Background of Life's ever-changing circumstance, and all restlessness will subside. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #346: Energy Reflects Thought ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Notice.... Energy reflects belief and thought. Change thought, and experience follows. We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves. Buddha, the Dhammapada ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #347: Death is Approaching ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Death is approaching. Will you be ready when it arrives? Are you ready now? What have you shared with others? And, for what will you be remembered when you are gone? Now is the moment to choose. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #348: The Reliable Constant ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ That which is Real moves and unfolds inevitably and without effort. This we can always trust. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #349: Peace ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ You can trust that peace is the ultimate Reality for when all else disappears, peace remains. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #350: Revelation ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Manifestation is nothing less than revelation. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #351: This Seeking ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Your waiting -- looking -- searching can obscure That which is already here... ...until and unless you recognize this seeking as an inherent part of That. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #352: Eyes Wide Open ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Satisfaction lies in discovering this miracle we call Life. Where will it be found? Look into the eyes of a child, or into the evening sky at dusk. Take nothing for granted. All you are seeking -- and more -- is available here and now, for the taking. Just keep your eyes wide open. Eventually you will discover there is no place where It will not be found. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #353: Seeing ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Seeing is different than thinking. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #354: Interpreting What Is Seen ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ There is no frustration in Seeing -- only in interpreting what is seen. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #355: Beyond Narrow Definitions ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Beyond narrow definitions Reality resides. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #356: Reality or Illusion? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Manifest existence is real to the extent that we recognize the finite as a revelation of the Infinite. It is an illusion to the extent that we do not. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #357: Everything is Here ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you look around you, you will discover everything is here -- the full panoply of human experience manifesting within the present moment. Please tell me again: what was it you were looking for? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #358: Heaven and Hell ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Each day heaven and hell unfold all around us. Do not lose sight of the vast, Infinite expanse containing both -- or the power of your own choice to transform one into the other. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #359: Arising In This Moment ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Suffering arises when we long for our experience to be something other than what it is. Satisfaction arises when we savour the richness of our experience as it is. Full acceptance of whatever is arising in this moment is pure and absolute freedom. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #360: Inseparability ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ That which arises is always and inevitably inseparable from its Source. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #361: Power of Perception ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Do not underestimate the power of perception. Regardless of the origins of "external" reality, perception defines and shapes everything. "We do not see things as they are. We see them as we are." -- Unknown ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #362: Being Alive ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Being awake is recognizing and appreciating the miraculous fact of being alive. "People say that what we're all seeking is a meaning for life. I don't think that's what we're really seeking. I think that what we're seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive." Joseph Campbell, _Power of Myth_ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #363: Understanding Realization ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Realization does not result from the revelation of anything new. It is simply the discovery, recognition and appreciation of the fullness of That which is already here: the Infinite manifesting in and through the finite in the present moment. The good news? ` Realization can occur at any time, in any place, under any and all circumstances. ` Realization arises instantly when and as we accept the completeness of Reality manifesting within the present moment. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #364: Illusion of Apparent Separateness ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Do not be deceived by the illusion of apparent separateness. Nothing -- including you -- exists in isolation, separate from the fullness of Reality. When you trust this continuity, fear, anxiety and loneliness naturally and inevitably begin to subside. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #365: Do Not Despair ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Do not despair. No matter how dreadful or desperate your circumstances, Awareness remains your direct access to the Source of all Insight and Revelation. Only physical forms appear to exist as separate entities, and even this, ultimately, is an illusion. Behind all appearances lies the canvas of Truth and the unbroken Background of Reality. You are inseparable from this Wholeness, and as a human being, you can (as others before you have done) draw strength and comfort from this simple Recognition. "One cannot but laugh and even be apparently irreverent when confronted by the fantastic super structure of superstition and mystery that has been built on and around the basic simplicity that TRUTH is!" Ramesh Balsekar ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #366: Mindless, Mindful ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Mindless chatter dissipates energy. Mindful attention radiates presence. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #367: Change, Changeless ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Everything that changes reminds us of That which does not. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #368: Timeless Revelation ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The apparent movement of time is a convenient mechanism for continuously revealing the Infinite. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #369: Selflessness ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Selflessness is simply a pure and open-hearted embrace of the Fullness within which we find ourselves. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #370: Stillness, Peace and Satisfaction ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It is within this Witnessing Awareness that you will find a stillness, peace and Satisfaction greater than is ever possible within the realm of the finite. It is here where all the answers lie, and where all our questions finally subside. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #371: Nothing to Lose ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When you can embrace everything, then, indeed, you have nothing to lose. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #372: Embracing Reality ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Embracing Reality, as it is, does *not* require the passive surrender of our powers of critical thinking, discrimination and judgement. Rather, this embrace is: ` a broad and compassionate understanding of the relative, conditioned and interdependent nature of all finite things, along with... ` a whole-hearted acknowledgement of the dynamic manifestation of change and choice within the Infinite Present. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #373: Each and Every Problem ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Look closely and you will recognize that, in one form or another, every problem you face is an opportunity to come to terms with the relative and conditioned nature of the finite. As such, each challenge is an invitation into the Infinite. "All things arise, suffer change, and pass away. This is their nature. When you know this, nothing perturbs you, nothing hurts you. You become still. It is easy." - Ashtavakra Gita 11:1 From: _The Heart of Awareness: A Translation of the Ashtavakra Gita_, by Thomas Byrom "Without realizing the unity of Bliss and Void, Even though on the Void you meditate, You practice only Nihilism." - Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa From: _365 Buddha: Daily Meditations_ Jeff Schmidt, Editor "The spirit of man is inseparable from the Infinite, and can be satisfied with nothing less than the Infinite." - James Allen ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #374: Good and Evil ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Good" and "evil" are interpretations we make based upon our subjective experience of the finite. Reality is large enough to contain and transcend both. The challenge and opportunity before us is to wholeheartedly embrace and accept the Infinite from which both arise, while not rejecting or denying the human dimension of our experience. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #375: Revealing the Source ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Trust the hand that put you here. All is not lost. No matter how dark your life may appear to be, it arises from within the Source of all things good and true and beautiful. Choice and open-heartedness are the key to this revelation. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #376: Your Life Purpose ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In most cases, life purpose is not magically revealed or suddenly discovered. It is gradually chosen, with each decision, in the moment. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #377: What You Do, Who You Are ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ What you do with your life and who you become depends upon how you see yourself now, in this moment. Always remember to consider: With what do you identify? "Self-esteem: the reputation we acquire with ourselves, our most profound and important judgement." -- Frank Natale ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #378: Limits of Meaning and Purpose ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A discussion of "life purpose" is meaningful only within the realm of the relative. An identification of "meaning" depends upon duality: "meaning" can only be identified within the context of relationship; things can have "meaning" only in relation to something else. Ultimately, meaningfulness, in the sense of absolute fullness, is inherent within Reality. It is an absolute and complete end, in and of itself. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #379: Interconnection, Transformation ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Everything in inextricably interconnected. With every change in thought, the shimmering network of manifest Reality vibrates and is transformed. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #380: All You Need ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Trust the path you are on. Trust the direction in which you are being called. Trust in your own innate Knowing. It is all you have -- and need -- to guide you. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #381: Reality Unadorned ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Let go of all your preconceived ideas about what liberation might be. Then open your eyes and see Reality lying before you -- complete and unadorned. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #382: Real and Spiritual ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Ultimately, the Real and the spiritual are not two. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #383: In, But Not Of, The World? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The belief that we should "be in the world, but not of it" really confuses the issue in many ways: ` Within this belief there seems to be a latent assumption that "the world" is something inferior, less "pure," or "less than" a higher, more lofty sort of "spiritual" reality. ` We use this assumption as a justification for distancing ourselves from the Essence that is inherent within our immediate experience. ` This distancing, and this search for an aloof, pure space apart from the world keeps us from recognizing the vast spaciousness inherent within the Center of our own innate, immediate Awareness. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #384: Seeing Through the Illusion ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The illusion of separateness is perpetuated through our interpretations of the seen. We observe Reality manifesting in what appear to be separate, discrete parts -- without recognizing the inherent inseparability and interdependence of everything appearing before us. When we focus, instead, on... the connective tissue of Reality, the invisible Source from which, and the Background against which everything shows up, the illusion of separateness is naturally and inevitably dispelled -- even as the appearance of duality remains. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #385: Discovering Completeness ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The recognition of the Natural Great Completeness does not provide an escape from the experience of being human. Rather, it brings an end to the restless desire for something more or other. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #386: Fear of Oblivion ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Your presence here and now is confirming evidence of the fact that Something miraculously arose from Nothing. Eventually everything returns to the Source from which it arises. Therefore, the "oblivion" you fear is nothing other than your True Home. The relative nothing ("this is absent in that") cannot be hypostatized into an absolute nothing, into the non-existence of everything, or the denial of all reality and of all being. Nor does "emptiness" mean the completely indeterminate, the purely potential, which can become everything without being anything. Edward Conze Now, just what is THAT which is neither "A" nor "not-A" [beyond duality], when "A" is given any thinkable or experienceable value? To the pure thinker, IT seems like nothing at all. Thus IT is called "Voidness," for thus IT appears to the consciousness bound to relativity. But through the Door of Dhyana [wisdom], IT is found to be substantial Fullness, quite beyond the comprehension of all possible experience or thought. Franklin Merrell-Wolff Nothing certainly is an extraordinary Something! Douglas Harding ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #387: Infinite Grace ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When you recognize every moment is sacred and every interaction is contact with the divine, you will realize Life, itself, is Grace. Grace is within you; Grace is the Self. Grace is not something To be acquired from others. If it is external, it is useless. All that is necessary is to Know its existence in you. You are never out of Its operation. Ramana Maharshi ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #388: Mystery ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Mystery is the doorway of Revelation. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #389: Mystery, Certainty, Revelation ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Each of us lives at the Center of an infinitely vast and inexplicable Mystery. All the mind can ever know with even a glimmer of certainty is "I am Aware Now." Beyond this, everything else is a process of infinite discovery and revelation. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #390: Seeing the Sacred ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Just as beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, so too the Sacred lies in Seeing. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #391: Getting to Awareness? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Q. How does one get to Awareness other than by accident? A. There is no "getting to" Awareness! Awareness is who and what we already are. It is our innate nature. It is the capacity for you now to see and recognize these words while you are reading them on the screen. It is the most intimate part of who you are. It is the very Center of Being with which you already identify.... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #392: Constant Container ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Awareness contains both happiness and unhappiness. It contains the falling stock and the stubbed toe and the broken heart. When we recognize this, we can begin to see that we are always Aware, no matter what is happening. Awareness is the constant, and it is only the content of consciousness that changes, even as stocks fall and toes are stubbed. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #393: Happiness, Satisfaction and Wisdom ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Upon what changing circumstances does your happiness depend? If you find what you are seeking, will the satisfaction last? Wisdom lies in recognizing both the limitations of the finite and the larger Reality lying beyond. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #394: Focused Attention and Energy ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The focus of your attention will direct and channel the flow of your energy -- which will, in turn, determine the direction and shape the development of your life. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #395: Creating Your World ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The creativity inherent within the universe shimmers radiantly within each of us. With each choice you make, this energy flows forth, creating and shaping your world. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #396: Your Attitude ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Every experience is an opportunity to explore your reaction to Reality -- which is, of course, a reflection of your attitude toward God. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #397: Totality ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Do you believe God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent? If so, where is there room for anything else? "Everything is beautiful....God is everywhere. He is in the forest, he is in the villages, he is here. You cannot say he is not here." Sri Ma of Kamakhya ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #398: Shunning Reality ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ What are you shunning? This, too, is God. Whatever you reject reveals the limitations you have placed upon the Divine. In the end, how can anything be rejected? Whatever is here and now *must* be part of, and included within, whatever is ultimately Real -- no matter how much the personality may rail against and reject it. In the end, Reality, God or Truth, whatever you call it, must be large enough to include All That Is.... Learn to look with an equal eye upon all things, seeing the one Self in all. Srimad Bhagavatam ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #399: The Nature of God ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Do not be confused about the true nature of God: God = Truth = Reality There is no other. "There is no God but Reality. To seek Him elsewhere is the action of the Fall." Unknown ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #400: The Key to Heaven ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Cultivate gratitude for everything. This will allow you to see God everywhere. "Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God." Jesus "You are all Buddhas There is nothing you need to achieve. Just open your eyes." Siddhartha Gautama "You might ask, 'How can I know if something is God's will?' My answer is, 'If it were not God's will, it wouldn't exist even for an instant; so if something happens, it *must* be his will.' If you truly enjoyed God's will, you would feel exactly as though you were in the kingdom of heaven, whatever happened to you or didn't happen to you." Meister Eckhart "If things could be any different, they would be." Peter Fenner ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #401: Horns of A Dilemma ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When you find yourself sitting on the horns of a dilemma, do not be in a hurry to make your decision. Take your time, be patient and live with the question as long as is necessary. With time, you will find that one day you will wake up and know, with certainty, exactly what you need to do -- and your dilemma will no longer even be a question. ~ With gratitude to my father ~ "The point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer. Ranier Maria Rilke _Advice to a Young Poet_ "Unresolved conflict is a sure sign of the presence of God." Unknown ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #402: Decision-Making: Regret ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When considering a difficult decision, look ahead in your life toward the day when you will die, and consider: which option would you regret most *not* doing? In most cases, your answer will be immediately clear. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #403: Decision-Making: Energy ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In struggling with a difficult decision, we often become trapped in an intellectual analysis of our options or mired in the emotional intensity surrounding the issues. At times like this, it is often helpful to step back and allow your body's own energy to inform the decision-making process. Begin by imagining each of your available options. In your mind's eye, visualize each choice as a separate path or scenario rolling out into the future, and then look at your body's energetic reaction to each option. While doing this, focus your attention on the movement of energy in your chest and abdomen. You will find that in most cases your energetic response will be quick, and unmistakably clear. Within 2-3 seconds, if you hold the mind and emotions in abeyance, you will feel the energy shift as you consider each of your available options: either your energy will expand, open and relax or it will contract, tighten and constrict -- and you will know immediately which option toward which you are more powerfully drawn. As circumstances change, your energetic reaction may shift and change, as well. But when the time arrives for actually making your decision, you can always trust this energetic knowing. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #404: What Should I Do? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Should" is an interesting concept. Either it is someone else's expectation of you -- in which case you can let go of it and move on toward whatever is most important to you -- or "should" is something you *really* want, more than anything else. Simply be honest with yourself about what "should" really means, and then trust -- and act on -- that which you value most deeply. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #405: Your Life Path ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Trust your own innate knowing and the energy moving within you. Life speaks to you through your deepest longing, and guides you with every step. "As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live." Goethe ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #406: Awakening Here and Now ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Awakening occurs within the present moment. To expect it to occur at another time or in another place prevents the Recognition here and now, and perpetuates the relentless cycle of restless seeking. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #407: Examining Your Search ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Where would you have to go to find what you are seeking? What would have to happen for you to be fully satisfied? What would you have to obtain or achieve to know you have finally "arrived"? Your answers will reveal the conditions you have placed on the Infinite, and the expectations that can obscure the discovery of It manifesting in and through the finite here and now. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #408: Ending the Search ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Are to ready to stop seeking? What would happen if you did? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #409: Truth is Here ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Truth is more than near.... It is HERE! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #410: Here, Now and Beyond ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Reality extends far beyond that which we can see here and how. However, in Its fullness, Reality is inseparable from everything manifesting within the present moment. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #411: The Essence of Reality ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The essence of Reality is constant and abiding. Only its manifestations are subject to change and variation. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #412: Pervading Reality ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Your recognition and acceptance of the transitory nature of the finite world is your gateway to discovering the Infinite and Eternal Reality pervading all manifest things. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #413: Deepest Desire ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If your deepest desire is a revelation of the Real, you will never be disappointed. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #414: Awareness and Seeing ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Your capacity to see and perceive and understand is illuminated by nothing other than Awareness itself -- and this Awareness is inseparable from Reality. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #415: Becoming ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Becoming is simply a limited manifestation in the present moment of That which is True and Eternal. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #416: Understanding ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Nothing can ever be fully understood in isolation from the context within which it appears, or apart from the Whole out of which it arises. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #417: Peace is Revealed ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Peace is naturally revealed when your attention returns to the Center of the Infinite Present. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #418: Peace of Mind ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Peace of mind" as a concept is, in many ways, misleading because the mind is rarely peaceful. The mind is, in fact -- and by its very nature -- characterized by moment and activity. Peace is, instead, the Background of Reality -- and Awareness -- against which all the movement of the mind occurs. The question always is: with what do you identify? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #419: Reflection and Introspection ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The value of reflection and introspection is that it can increase your Recognition of your own innate Identity apart from and behind the movement of the mind. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #420: Acceptance and Fullness ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ What else could ever be needed if Reality is accepted exactly as it is? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #421: Humility ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ True humility lies in trusting the Hand that put you here. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #422: Guidance ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Every "external" event and each "internal" impulse arises from the same Source -- and all are guiding the movement of your life. Of this, you can be certain. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #423: Self-Worth ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When you question your own self-worth, and doubt the inherent value of your life, you are actually second-guessing the wisdom of your Creator. Be wary of presuming to know more than God! It is far better simply to trust there is a reason you are here, and to act with an assurance there is a purpose your life will fulfill. Your openness, acceptance and confidence in the Hand that put you here will enable others to see that Hand working in and through your life -- even when you cannot. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #424: Divine Reflection ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Do not underestimate your own innate magnificence. All that you are and all that you will become reflects the Divine manifesting within space and time. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #425: Integrity ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Integrity is the strength and clarity that enable you to share the essence of what you are with others. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #426: Ordinary Experience ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Eventually, the end result of all our seeking is a stunning recognition of the inherently spiritual nature of our "ordinary" experience. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #427: Already Inherent ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This is what is so amazing and heartening and liberating for each of us, i.e., the recognition that we don't need to do or fix *anything* in order to "achieve" Buddha-hood! Our innate nature -- this state of exquisitely pure, awakened and naked Awareness -- in already inherent within our "ordinary," immediate experience. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #428: Daily Reminders ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Within every ordinary, daily experience lie *exactly* the reminders you are seeking. Each moment contains a hundred messages from God: To every cry of "Oh Lord," He answers a hundred times, "I am here." Rumi ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #429: Reality Includes Every Experience ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It is within this space of absolute openness [emptiness] that we begin to recognize how large Reality has to be: it has to be large enough to include *every* experience we will ever have -- including the most "ordinary," routine, humble, and human moments of our lives. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #430: Accepting Ordinary Reality ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ As soon as you begin to accept the beautiful simplicity of your own immediate, ordinary reality (complete with a little self), and as you gradually begin to relax into an open-hearted acceptance of this immediate reality, you will inevitably begin to discover that you are much larger than you had originally imagined yourself to be. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #431: Accepting Life's Gifts ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Accepting Life's gifts is simple and effortless when we stop dictating the terms and conditions for delivery. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #432: Trusting Life ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Life will never betray you. Everything that happens is supporting, encouraging and challenging you to discover the Infinite Fullness out of which all manifest existence arises. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #433: The Grand Kaleidoscope ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Manifest existence is the grand kaleidoscope through which the Infinite is continuously revealed. Reflect upon your life, and you will see how your choices influence the way Reality appears. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #434: A Change in Perspective ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ With Clear Seeing, Reality does not suddenly change. All that shifts is our perspective -- and we eventually rediscover the familiar Reality we have been seeing all along. The moment of awakening may be marked by an outburst of laughter, but this is not the laughter of someone who has won the lottery or some kind of victory. It is the laughter of one who, after searching for something for a long time, suddenly finds it in the pocket of his coat. Thich Nhat Hanh _Zen Keys_, p. 44 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #435: River of Creativity ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Recognize the river of creativity flowing through your life. Savor the exhilaration of discovering that which is new within each moment. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #436: Resignation vs. Realization ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ There is a qualitative difference between the resignation that says: "There is no Enlightenment because I have not found it." ...and the Realization that says: "There is nothing to find beyond the Reality of who and what we already are." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #437: Accepting the Finite and Infinite ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Consider the possibility that Realization is simply an unqualified acceptance of both: ` the impermanence of the finite world, and ` the completeness of the Infinite Reality out of which this world arises. You can also take comfort in the fact that *every* experience will contribute to this eventual and inevitable Recognition. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #438: Seeking and Discovery ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Seeking occurs in time, and follows a path out of the present moment into an imagined future. Discovery is grounded in the present moment, centered here and now. Seeking focuses on a distant goal. Discovery focuses on immediate Reality. Seeking is fueled by restlessness and longing. Discovery is delighted, fulfilled and satisfied. Seeking is predicated on lack and grasping, -- and a sense of something missing. Discovery is completely open and receptive -- accepting and embracing Reality, exactly as it is. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #439: Longing and Satisfaction ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ All longing floats in the fleeting world of the finite -- and, eventually gives way to Satisfaction rooted in the Infinite. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #440: Focus and Identify ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Fascination and fixation with Realization as a future event distract us from Reality in the present moment. Far better to focus on seeing into the heart of your own immediate experience. Identify what, if anything, you can know with certainty, and everything else will be a process of exploration and discovery, deepening trust and gradual, dawning understanding. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #441: Death ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Death is a priceless reminder that Life is much larger than any of our attachments to the finite. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #442: Learning to Love Life ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Learn to love Life itself, in its grand and Infinite fullness -- instead of becoming attached to the narrow and finite forms through which it manifests. When your love is large enough, you will be able to delight in these temporary, manifest forms while understanding that they will naturally, and inevitably, disappear. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #443: Out of the Unseen ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Out of the Unseen Awareness arises -- and into the Unseen Awareness eventually disappears again. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #444: Coming to Terms with the Finite ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Ultimately, each of us must come to terms with the finite, and with the fundamental nature of the human condition -- by facing the present realities of cruelty, suffering and death. Until we do, our attempts to find meaning will be foiled at every turn. However, when we do, the finite will be recognized for what it is: a gateway for a blessed inflooding of the Infinite. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #445: True Contentment ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ True contentment abides even in the midst of tragic circumstance. This is why it is called "the peace that passes all understanding." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #446: Our Business ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Realization is the business within which we are all engaged -- whether we realize it or not. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #447: *This* Reality ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Realization is not the revelation of a new, different or transformed state of Reality. It is the recognition -- and a renewed appreciation -- of *this* Reality, in Its fullness. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #448: Natural, Inevitable Realization ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Realization arises naturally and inevitability when we no longer shrink away from Reality -- regardless of how it appears. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #449: Integrated Recognition ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Realization is the discovery, recognition and acceptance of Reality as it is -- and the integration of this Recognition into our daily lives. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #450: Complete and Continuous ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In and of itself, Realization is whole and complete -- simply because it is a recognition of THAT which is Whole and Complete. However, seeing the Truth of this Realization continually manifesting in and through the Infinite Present is a process of ongoing discovery and revelation. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #451: Innate Knowing, Intuitive Guidance ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Trust you own innate knowing. Between mind and heart, intellect and emotion lies an intuitive insight and a silent wisdom that is guiding each and every step. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #452: Open Sky, Innate Freedom ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The sky above us remains wide open -- an ever present and constant reminder of our innate freedom and our Original Nature. The purpose of meditation is to awaken in us [a recognition of] the skylike nature of mind, and to introduce us to that which we really are, our unchanging pure awareness that underlies the whole of life and death. Sogyal Rinpoche ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #453: Relativity of Evil and Suffering ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Evil and suffering can never be absolute simply because they only exist and are always defined in completely relative terms. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #454: Do Not Wait for Joy ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Do not wait for joy. Anything that depends upon a change in circumstance is ultimately fleeting and insubstantial. Your opportunity is to discover the Complete Source from which all circumstance arise. It is here where joy, contentment and satisfaction naturally reside. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #455: Let It Be ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Let your life be what it is. Do not expect individuals, events, objects and circumstance to provide the satisfaction you are seeking. They will not. Indeed, they cannot. In fact, only the Whole will satisfy. With this understanding you will begin recognize that within all the separate aspects of your life, this larger Wholeness is constantly manifesting. And, when you trust this larger movement, nothing more will ever be needed. Instead, you will find yourself immersed in the Fullness of what is, and Satisfaction will be the inevitable fruit. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #456: Simplicity ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It is sufficient to live with an unblinking recognition that everything arises from the same Source. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #457: Reconciliation ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ An appreciative understanding of the limitations of the finite coupled with an identification with the Infinite is the ultimate, liberating reconciliation. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #458: Gratitude ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Let gratitude be your goal. When you cannot be grateful and accepting, examine your resistances and objections. They will reveal the terms and conditions you are dictating for how Reality should appear. "Gratefulness is the heart of prayer." Brother David Steindl-Rast ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #459: Web of Causality ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When you are confused by the people around you, and frustrated by the circumstances within which you find yourself, remember that everyone and everything within your experience is a product of the circumstances out of which they have arisen. Freedom lies in recognizing this nested pattern of relationships -- and in allowing your identification to shift from the web of interdependent causality to your Awareness of it. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #460: Ultimate Acceptance ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The ultimate acceptance of Reality embraces everything -- including your own resistances and your desire for change. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #461: Miraculous Truth ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ THIS moment is the sacred space through and within which Reality appears. Your reverence for this extraordinary miracle will open your heart to recognizing Truth as it manifests here and now. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #462: Infinite Present, Infinite Space ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Consider the possibility that the Infinite Present is inseparable from the vastness of Infinite Space. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #463: Time and the Infinite Present ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Time is the funnel through which the Infinite assumes finite shape and form, and this process of manifestation always occurs and is contained within the Infinite Present. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #464: Your Gift ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Do not underestimate the value of the opportunity you have here and now. Your life and presence here are a gift to you -- and you will determine the nature of gift you become for others. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #465: In The Center ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Where is the constant in a world of constantly changing circumstance? In the Silent Center where you sit. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #466: Finite Happiness, True Satisfaction ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Happiness and pleasure associated with the finite will inevitably be limited. True Joy and Satisfaction lie in the Infinite Source out of which all finite things arise. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #467: Advaita (Nonduality) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Sanskrit word "advaita" is based on the root meaning "not two." The lesson for us? Reality appears as "two" (i.e., many) -- and yet this appearance of multiplicity is ultimately an illusion. At a fundamental, essential level Reality remains whole and undivided -- in spite of all appearances to the contrary. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #468: Comprehensive Fullness ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Fullness would not be full if it did not contain everything. Remember this when you find yourself objecting to Reality as it is appearing here and now. Also, do not lose sight of the fact that all your preferences -- and even your objections -- are embraced by and contained within this comprehensive Fullness. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #469: A Place for Everything ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ There is a place for everything -- even if only to teach us the inevitable limits of the finite. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #470: Infinite Possibilities ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Fullness of Reality extends beyond the confines and limitations of personal preference into a universe of Infinite possibilities.... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #471: Innocent Eyes ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Even the most ordinary aspects of our experience are utterly miraculous when seen through innocent eyes. Special Feature: ** Noah Grey Photography ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #472: Creativity is Your Birthright ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Creativity is your birthright. You miraculously appeared from nowhere. The Unseen that gave you Life is still nourishing you -- and, if you remain open, it will inspire you endlessly.... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #473: Grace of the Sacred ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When you discover the innate vibrancy, vitality and poignancy of Life, you will be experiencing the inexpressible Grace of the Sacred. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #474: Intimacy ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The only way to create true intimacy and authenticity in your relationships is to allow for the unknown and the unexpected. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #475: Everything You Are Seeking ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Everything you are seeking -- insight, understanding, fulfillment and completeness -- is inherent within the present moment. None depends upon external circumstance. Find the still, clear, undisturbed field of Awareness within which your identity resides, and everything will be revealed as a dynamic manifestation and reflection of THIS. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #476: The Way of the Householder ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ You do not need to escape from the world in order to gain insight into its fundamental nature. It is enough simply to live your life and learn, by being here and paying attention. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #477: Finding Fullness ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Consider the possibility that everything you see and think and feel ...and imagine... radiates from the same Source. And, take comfort in the fact that you do not need to worry about finding the Source from which all THIS has emerged.... for THIS is It, you are It, and you are immersed within It. There is no Other. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #478: Self-Liberation ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ As with the concept of "self-perfection," my understanding of "self-liberation" is less that there is a definable "self" which achieves "liberation", and more that everything is innately "liberated" (free, unencumbered and innately perfect) -- in "itself", or in essence. "Directly discover your state. Don't remain in doubt. Gain confidence in self-liberation." Garab Dorgje 1st Dzogchen Master ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #479: Imagining Enlightenment, Recognizing Reality ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When you finally stop searching for what you imagine Enlightenment to be, then you will be free to recognize Reality as it is. "Be it life or death, we seek only reality." Henry David Thoreau ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #480: Simply Living and Learning ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The nature of life and existence is such that even though we may not be consciously seeking, the process of discovery continues uninterrupted, nonetheless. We inevitably discover through the simple process of living. This learning can never be avoided.... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #481: No Other Teacher ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Every experience points toward the true nature of Reality. When you can learn from the immediacy of every event and experience in your own daily life, no other teacher will be needed. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #482: Behind the Eyes ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Our identification with the physical body is as temporary and short-lived as the physical form we appear to inhabit. Do not be deceived by the limited sense of individual identity that appears to be located behind the eyes. This separate self is only as real as the body with which it is associated. The Essence of who and what you really are is inseparable from the Source of all things physical -- and it manifests through the animating vitality, immediacy and clarity of your own innate Awareness. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #483: Satisfied ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When you can see every separate form as a manifestation of one complete and undivided Reality, there is nothing more you will ever need. "When one sees Eternity in things that pass away and Infinity in finite things, then one has pure knowledge." Bhagavad Gita ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #484: You Are Not Alone ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ You are not alone. You do not exist in isolation and separation from the Reality and Truth you seek. The One always contains The Many... ...and every finite form is a dynamic manifestation of Infinite Fullness. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #485: Gazing Out, Gazing In ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Take comfort in the fact that when you look out into the world, you are seeing a dynamic, miraculous unfolding of the Real within space and time. And when you gaze into the silent Aware space that is your own innate Identity, you are peering into the vast and Infinite Emptiness within which the entire universe appears. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #486: Fragility of the Finite ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Life will always remind us of the unavoidable and inevitable fragility of the finite. The opportunity before us is to remain open to unshakeable Reality of the Infinite. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #487: The Surrendered Heart ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Life whispers its meaning to us in the silence of the surrendered, open heart. That which we do not understand provides the key to this dawning Recognition. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #488: Reflections on the Epiphany...6 Years Later ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Life blesses us in ways -- and at times -- we least expect... ...and the quiet stability of this priceless Recognition endures.... Give yourself over to Life, wholly and completely.... Trust it. Embrace it. Live it fully. Allow Life to work its magic through you, and you will discover: Grace is your inevitable reward. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #489: Truth Residing Here and Now ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This moment is *the* moment, and this Reality is the destination you have been seeking. Embrace the fullness of your immediate experience, and your openness will reveal Truth residing here and now. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #490: The Contented Heart ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Nothing to prove or gain, everything to share.... All action arises spontaneously. As the sun sets, the moon naturally rises. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #491: Dwelling in Awareness? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Q. Why do we not dwell in awareness at all times? Metta: Ah, but we do! The mind just loses sight of it. That's all that ever happens. You see, it's only the mind that imagines that Awareness comes and goes. Awareness is actually constant, and it is the movement of the mind that vacillates. The mind wanders all about and then says: "What happened to Awareness?" Q. So then --- what to do? Metta: Allow the mind to do what it does, and remember that Awareness is the clear screen upon which the movement of the mind occurs. And, even if you don't remember this, Awareness will still be the clear screen upon which the movement of the mind occurs. It's all a matter of identification: do you identify with the movement of the mind, and with the content of consciousness? Or, do you identifying with the clear, undisturbed background of Awareness? Most people do identify with the mind....That is our conditioned habit and pattern. That's why this work is only a matter of unlearning our conditioning. Without our conditioning, we are what we are: Clear Seeing, Naked Awareness.... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #492: Pain and Tragedy, Cruelty and Injustice ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Remember: there is value in "waking up" -- even if pain and tragedy are the trigger. Such experiences invite more openness and Spaciousness than ever before -- even as our certainties continue falling away.... This does not mean that tragedy is not tragic, and cruelty is not cruel -- or that injustice is not a cry for compassion and action. It is simply that when we are open, the painful experiences in our lives can become windows revealing the larger Truth that lies Beyond. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #493: Leading by Example ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In everything we say and do we are always leading -- and teaching -- by example. What lessons are you offering now to others? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #494: Energy of Awakening ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ No matter what is happening in your life, the energy of awakening in flowing through you. It is the only energy there is. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #495: God's Plan ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ You never need to wonder what God's plan is for you. You are living it now. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #496: Helping Others to Understand? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Q: How much can one person help another understand who they really are? Metta: No more or less than anything else in life can help us understand. Ultimately, *everything* is a mirror of our own thought and perception -- and a reminder to look beyond that which is limited to the vast and nameless Source out of which everything arises. When this Recognition dawns, it is suddenly so obvious -- like realizing that the trees are all simply part of one large forest. It is, essentially, a stunning Recognition of the Obvious! From this point forward, then, it is impossible *not* to see that everything arises out of the continuum of the Infinite.... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #497: Teaching Realization? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If Realization must be taught to us, how can it be our fundamental and essential nature? If transmission is required, then was this "truth" our own? "Self-realization which is permanent is the only true accomplishment. Accomplishments which appear and disappear, being the result of maya (illusion), cannot be real." Ramana Maharshi, quoted by K. Swaminathan in: _Ramana Maharshi_, p. 73 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #498: Ultimate Reality ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Any identification with, or understanding of, the Ultimate rests in what I experience to be a "fact" of existence: i.e., at a fundamental, essential level Reality is undivided and Whole. Whether this Natural Great Completeness is eventually described as Spaciousness, Emptiness, Fullness, or The Tao is less important to me than the inescapable Recognition that all manifest things arise out of, or are an expression of, this fundamental Reality -- no exceptions. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #499: Beyond Euphoria ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ An attraction or attachment to any particular experience or state of consciousness is ultimately self-limiting. Even an experience as magnificent as the epiphany eventually does fade. Such states of euphoria cannot and do not last. However, the Reality revealed in such experiences can never be lost, and this is the real value of such experiences: they point toward an infinitely larger Reality of which we are normally not conscious. By recognizing that our own innate Awareness is the means by which we "experience" these states, we also begin to recognize the connection between our own innate Awareness and this infinitely larger Reality.... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #500: Pointing Toward Reality ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Everywhere you point Reality resides. Everything you see is another face of the Infinite. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #501: Beyond the Finite ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Answers cannot be found in the finite world -- except to the extent that the finite points beyond itself to the Infinite Source from which all finite things arise. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #502: Our Opportunity ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Our opportunity is to go into the deepest, darkest places within the human experience and find light... ...the light inherent within our own innate Awareness, and our ability to choose. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #503: Seeing Fullness ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ All things -- and the space between all things -- are filled with the substance of Reality. It is only because our vision is limited and our sight is focused on the particular that we are blind to the Truth of this larger, comprehensive Whole. Learn to trust -- and see with -- your inner, intuitive eye. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #504: Personal and Eternal ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Moods and thoughts inevitably change. Do not be attached to the form of the personality as it shows up today. It will, inevitably, be different tomorrow. That which is Real abides throughout -- and fuels -- this unceasing and timeless transformation. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #505: Sacred Blessing ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When you discover the privilege and the profound opportunity inherent in being alive, your life will become a Sacred Blessing for others. Honor the Grace that is Life within this moment. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #506: Illusion of Time ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Time does not move. Matter does. Look honestly at your experience and you will see this is true. Matter flows and changes, inevitably, while time stands still -- and the present moment extends, whole and complete, infinitely, everywhere. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #507: The Great Space ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The magnificent spaciousness you find within yourself is not separate or distinct from the Great Space within which the Universe appears. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #508: Action Reflects Commitment ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Everything we say and do reflects that which we value and that to which we have made our commitment. To what are you dedicating your time, attention and energy? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #509: Action and Non-attachment ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Do the right thing because it is right thing -- not because there is any assurance you can control the outcome. This is non-attachment to the fruits of your action. Your proper concern is with action, never with its fruits. Let not your motive be the fruits of action; nor be attached to inaction. Bhagavad Gita 2:47 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #510: When the Illusion of Time Stops ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The apparent passage of time is simply a reminder to focus on That which is Essential. When the illusion of time stops for you, the Essential is all that will remain. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #511: Stillness and Silence ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Stillness and silence remind us of the Source from which all movement and sound arise. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #512: Humility and Grace ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The surrendered soul wears a mantel of Grace. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #513: The Common Factor ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Find THAT which is common within all of your experience, and you will discover the key to recognizing your true nature and understanding the nature of Reality. "At an essential level, who you are is not separate from what Reality is. I invite you to discover This." mz ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #514: Reality Showing Up, Shining Through ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When you stop expecting Reality to manifest through a special experience, or with a specific finite form, you will discover It showing up in every experience and shining through all manifest forms. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #515: Already At Home ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Everything changes, even while staying the same, when you discover you already are at home. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #516: Reality and Compassion ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In the face of profound suffering, Realization is a gentle reminder that Reality is large enough to embrace our pain. May our compassion be as wide. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #517: Infinite Illumination ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Do not lose sight of the fact that the finite and Infinite are inseparable. Even as the finite inevitably fades from view, the Infinite remains the pervasive and penetrating Reality illuminating all manifest form. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #518: No Other Time or Place ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Here and now: this is when and where our learning and discovery occurs. There is no other time or place for Realization. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #519: Alignment and Integrity ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It is enough to honor and to live in harmony with Truth as you know and understand it. This alignment and integrity will be reflected in word and deed, and in a peaceful, contented heart. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #520: Your Influence ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Do not underestimate the power or sphere of your influence. In everything you say and do you are leading by example. Even your thoughts and intentions reverberate through the Living Universe... ...and with each choice you shape the manifest form of Reality. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #521: With Each Breath ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ With each thought, desire and breath we are constantly praying. What God are you honoring with your attention? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #522: God Is Not Hiding ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Do not worry: God-Reality-Truth is not hiding. THAT which you are seeking is already showing up here and now through you and through everything you see. There is nothing more or other. "There is no god but God." Sufi Dhikr (Remembrance of God) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #523: Sorrow ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Sorrow always reveals that to which we are most strongly attached. Relief from sorrow arises as narrow attachments give way to a more spacious understanding and acceptance of Reality as it is. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #524: Trust the Process ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you trust the process within which you find yourself, you will discover that everything eventually leads to patience, compassion and understanding. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #525: Creation Here and How ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The creation of the universe is not a singular event that occurred long ago, in the distant cosmic past. It is the continuous, dynamic activity of manifestation and revelation occurring here and now, within the nexus point of the present moment. With each thought and every choice you participate in and influence this miraculous, creative process. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #526: All the Pain and Suffering ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ All the pain and suffering in the world do not prove that existence is meaningless and absurd. Instead, they confirm the importance and value of *your* life in coming to terms with the nature of finite existence, and in providing comfort and relief to others who are suffering. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #527: Service ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If we cannot find God ~ Truth ~ Reality in serving others, the God we are seeking is too small. Love others as God loves you. Remember works of love are works of peace. Love begins at home. Mother Teresa ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #528: Flashes of Insight ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Flashes of intuitive insight are irresistibly compelling because they often function as "windows" into the larger Reality of who/what we really are. This is why they have such a profound impact upon us, and why we feel drawn toward a deepening Recognition of the innate nature of this Reality. "The recognition of the fundamental, essential nature of Reality is the source of our greatest satisfaction and deepest fulfillment." mz ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #529: Creative Source ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ As you tap into your own innate creativity, you connect with the Source of all creation. Trust your impulse to explore your own uncharted territories, and see the miracle of creation continuously revealed. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #530: True Fulfillment ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ For most of us, joy and satisfaction are dependent upon circumstance. True fulfillment lies beyond. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #531: Present Refuge ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Allow the present moment to be a sanctuary and refuge from regret about the past and worry about the future. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #532: Beyond Finite Form ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Do not allow your definition of Reality to be limited by the finite. Remember always: That which you can see and touch and measure is only a minute and fleeting fraction of the Infinite, Eternal and Unseen Source from which all manifest forms arise. "Calling infinity a number does not make it one." W. H. Auden ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #533: Infinite Source ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ You are inseparable from the larger Reality of Life. You will recognize your intimate connection with this Infinite Source through both the pain and beauty in the world around you -- through your dreams and intuitions, your hopes and inner vision, and through your hunger for the Satisfaction that only the Infinite can provide. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #534: No Greater Joy ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ There is no joy greater than discovering the Infinite continuity of Life -- a miraculous web of connectivity and continuity in which no one and nothing is ever lost or abandoned. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #535: Energy of Divine Joy ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The energy of Divine Joy is palpable. It flows and surges through us delighting, healing and transforming everything in its path. Immerse yourself in this river, surrender to its current, and ride its rolling waves out into the Infinite Ocean. "I became keenly aware of the river of energy flowing through each of us -- an energy arising from within and intuitively guided by this exquisite and innate perfection. I realized that everything appearing before us is simply a manifestation and expression of this energy, and that this energy is always moving through each of us, guiding us throughout our lives." From "Epiphany: Gift of Light" by Metta Zetty ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #536: Working at Letting Go ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Reader: I believe the only thing we have to work at is letting go. Reply: Indeed, many of us experience the basic challenge as one of needing to "let go." However, an interesting irony develops when we begin to *work* at "letting go." Obviously, this effort can, in and of itself, become yet another subtle strategy for continuing to hold on..... Since Reality is, and will continue to be, exactly as it is regardless of whether we are letting go or holding on, ultimately there is no need to modify, correct or release any of our "holding." This recognition is echoed in the magnificent insight of Gensha: "If you understand, things are such as they are. If you do not understand, things are such as they are." In his essay "Sitting Quietly, Doing Nothing," Alan Watts also addresses this issue in his discussion of "blocking" [which, in this context, would correspond to the experience of "holding on"]: "The simplest cure is to feel free to block [or hold on], so that one does not block at blocking. When one feels free to block, the blocking [holding on] automatically eliminates itself....The principle here is, of course, the same as getting out of the contradiction of 'trying to be spontaneous' through accepting the 'trying' as 'spontaneous' [in and of itself]...." _The Way of Zen_, pp. 150-151 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #537: Freedom from Overwhelm ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ You can find freedom from the frenzy of the whirlpool by letting go and floating lightly on the surface -- or, by diving down, straight and solid into the deep, undisturbed waters below.... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #538: Reflection Reveals Wonders ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Consider the miraculous -- and often mysterious -- process within which we find ourselves. Take time to step back and look at the larger context within which your experience occurs, and this reflection will reveal wonders. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #539: Safe from Harm ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ No matter what is happening in your life, that within you which is Essential, Real and True is, and always will be, completely safe from harm. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #540: The Void ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Without recognizing or understanding this Void, it is natural that we might fear it -- at least initially -- until we Recognize that the Void is the Source out of which all other experience and Awareness emerge. Thirty spokes share the wheel¹s hub; It is the center hole that makes it useful. Shape clay into a vessel; It is the space within that makes it useful. Cut doors and windows for a room; It is the holes which make it useful. Therefore profit comes from what it there; Usefulness from what is not there. - Lao-tzu ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #541: Your Purpose in Life ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you are searching for your purpose in life, focus on finding a way to bring joy and comfort to others by using the talents, gifts, abilities and interests with which you have already been endowed. Everything that follows will simply be a continuous process of deepening and refinement, through practice, giving and sharing. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #542: Reverence ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ There is no space or time that is not sacred. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #543: When All Else Fails ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When all else fails, surrender to Life completely, and then watch what happens.... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #544: Thought Reflected in Form ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Each of us is more transparent than we realize. All thoughts are dynamic and carry an energetic charge which defines, shapes and colors our interior landscape -- and this influence is reflected in our attitude, countenance and physical form. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #545: Nature as Teacher ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Let nature teach you about your own nature. The light of the Infinite shines through each vanishing sunset, through every changing season, and through you. Only the forms change, while the flow of Life continues uninterrupted. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #546: Miracle of Manifest Existence ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Most of the time most of us busy ourselves with the business of our daily lives, without recognizing the significance of the miracle of manifest existence. However, a recognition and appreciation of this miracle -- and our appearance within it -- has the power to transform every aspect of our daily lives. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #547: Maya (Illusion) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The illusory nature of manifest reality is frequently illustrated with a story about a man walking down the road at dusk. He sees what he believes to be a dangerous snake coiled in the road, only later to discover that it is merely a rope. The lesson? The world as it appears to us is not what it seems to be -- nor is it as dangerous as we imagine. From Mentoring Letter #43 -- "Advaita: A Brief Introduction" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #548: Every Experience ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This is all about Seeing -- being open to and receiving whatever is showing up. In my experience, what happens is that Reality shows up in and through our immediate experience. It can be in an argument or in a mentoring session -- either way, it is the Infinite expressing itself in and through the finite. The opportunity this miracle provides is for us to recognize the Infinite reflected in (mirrored in) whatever we are experiencing here and now. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #549: Naturally Aware ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Ultimately, we do not need to stop the movement of the mind in order to become Aware. Awareness is what is happening right now, even as you see these words appear! Awareness is nothing more or other than the luminescent space within which Reality shows up, and we don't have to try to do anything to be present with whatever is happening. We already are present and Aware, here and now, and it's just a question of whether or not the mind is noticing, and paying attention.... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #550: Unobstructed Awareness ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Everything enters into our experience through Unobstructed Awareness. It is only our interpretations and expectations that cause problems. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #551: Natural Clear Seeing ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Let the mind do what the mind does without worry, fear or regret. All its restless wanderings and machinations can no more hinder your Natural Clear Seeing than clouds can hamper the brilliant radiance of the sun. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #552: Hungry Mind ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Remember: the majority of our restless dissatisfactions and suffering arise within the mind. However, like a hungry dog with a bone, the mind will occasionally quiet down if you can satisfy its curiosity with intellectual inquiry and reflection. However, be cautious about teasing the mind with debate, argumentation, and attachment to ideas. And do not to confuse intellectual exploration with experiential insight. The former will not substitute for the latter and, ideally, intellectual inquiry will simply serve as a catalyst opening us to the larger Reality lying beyond both mind and intellect. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #553: Unfolding Understanding ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Understanding dawns with a recognition of the relativity of all finite things... ...then develops with a deepening insight into the interdependence of all manifest forms... ...and finally blossoms into a realization of the fullness and completeness inherent within this miraculous inseparability. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #554: No Escape ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Everything changes when you recognize there is nowhere else to go. This is it. Here and now is where we interface with Life and with Reality. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #555: Beyond the Particular ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When you recognize that every experience is contained within the innate Completeness of Reality... ...and that this Wholeness extends far beyond the particulars of any individual experience... ...then you can savour this Completeness within each and every experience.

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