The Practice of Standing Still In A Storm
There is no peace to be had in the comings and goings of a storm of stressful thoughts.
Whether my storm involves chaos at work, differences with a partner, or the impact of current events, the result is the same: No personal peace.
When outer turmoil causes enough discomfort to guide me to the place within that doesn’t flicker or move about, that is a true gift.
Here, I find what is steady and unchanging. No thing or person is a threat, except to my beliefs. This knowing is a truth, and something I can rely on. As I sit, as I contemplate, as I meditate, gradually and as sure as the sun rises and sets, I become stillness. I rest as awareness.
In chaotic times, the meditation of self-inquiry is soothing balm and slows the mind. Peace can never be found by standing in the wind of the world and letting the wind take me wherever it is going. That will for sure be a bumpy ride.
What wind has you in a tizzy?
Maybe it’s time to find true center.
You don’t know how things are going to turn out. Don’t make premature decisions. The more quiet you are, the more you see things as they really are. When you see things as they are, your heart will be filled with gratitude and you will grow in wisdom.
FROM BYRON KATIE, A THOUSAND NAMES FOR JOY, P. 229:
It’s not possible for something to be against you. There’s no such thing as an enemy; no person, no belief, not even the ego is an enemy. It’s just a misunderstanding: we perceive something as an enemy, when all we need to do is be present with it. It’s just love arising in a form that we haven’t understood yet. And questioning the mind allows beliefs to simply arise. The quiet mind realizes that no belief is true, it is immovable in that, so there’s no belief it can attach to. It’s comfortable with them all.
Your enemy is the teacher who shows you what you haven’t healed yet. Any place you defend is where you’re still suffering. There’s nothing out there that can oppose you. There is just fluid motion, like the wind. You attach a story to what you perceive, and that story is your suffering. I am everything that I have ever called other people; they were me all along. Everything I ever called my enemy was me. Projection would have us see reality as a them and a me, but reality is much kinder. All enemies are your kind teacher, just waiting for you to realize it. (And that doesn’t mean you have to invite them to dinner.) No one can be my enemy until I perceive him as threatening what I believe.
There comes a time when we know or are mature enough to tell the truth of how miserable it is to shrink the heart down and then to try to keep out all the threats. At a certain, mysterious moment you are just willing to say, ‘Okay, I surrender. I give up. Let it all come in.’ In that moment, what a revelation of the capacity of your heart to include everything. Everything. All the pain of the world, all the pain of the past, all the pain to come, the necessary pain that is part of life, the unnecessary pain that is part of avoiding pain. All of it. All of it. Then your heart is not just your heart and it’s not the beautiful muscle of your body, or even your emotional heart. It is the core of the world. It is the universe itself. It is life itself, knowing itself as the capacity to hold all of life. That’s the possibility.
Finally something stops you in your tracks, and that something is revealed to be your own heart, calling you home.
In choosing to turn your attention to the choicelessness of purely being in this moment, you discover that same beingness to be pure love, pure grace, pure consciousness aware of itself. Not excluding you as a person and not excluding any other. Incomprehensively, simply, ALL.
Have a blessed week, everyone. Be kind. Find center. First, accept everything. Then move with clarity.
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