Thursday, June 11, 2009

Nothing to lose, everything to gain

Maybe we come to the spiritual teachings because we are attracted to the peace they appear to promise.

Maybe we stay with the spiritual teachings because we taste the peace they appear to suggest.

But who can deny life its eccentricities? What can force life to provide us with unending peace?

Life inevitably presents us with the 'unpeaceful' - death, sickness, loss, war, recession etc.

(Perhaps you want to replace the word peace above with something else, like love, which resonates more strongly for you.)

Are we peaceful in these situations? What is our experience?

If you are like most seekers, then no - you are not peaceful in unpeaceful situations.

But the spiritual teachings are unassailable, we know. They are infallible, we tell ourselves.

So it must be that we are doing something wrong, - we are not seeking in the right way, we tell ourselves. If we were doing this right, then unending peace would be our experience.

This may seem like a spiritually naive belief that seasoned seekers may scoff at. But if we look again, even veteran seekers may find some version of this inside.

So we equate the end of seeking or enlightenment with a state of unending peace.

And further, we often believe that this is something that can be attained, whether it is by the right spiritual practices done the right way, or by the right transmission from the right teacher, or by the right kind of spiritual experience, or by the right spiritual attitude and so on.

The spiritual teachings that we revere so, consistently tell us one thing:

We are already and always that.

But we have given ourselves a new teaching:

I can attain the experience of unending peace.

Simply consider the vast gap between the above 2 statements.

Yet this is how all seekers (in some way or another) interprete the teachings.

Peace (or love) is only one of the myriad expressions of this that we are. If we insist on unending peace, we insist on denying every other expression. We insist on denying the fullness and vastness of what we are. In other words we insist on staying limited.

Luckily we don't succeed. :-) We are the freedom and the infinite vastness no matter how contorted and cramped we find ourselves.

So hear the teachings afresh. No old ideas needed.

We are already and always that.

The peaceful is that and the unpeaceful is that.

The love is that and the hatred is that.

The right spiritual practice is that and the wrong spiritual practice is that.

The right teacher is that and the wrong teacher is that.

The right attitude is that and the wrong attitude is that.

You are that through and through whatever you do and whoever you are.

What prevents us from acknowledging this within us is fear. All kinds of fear.

The fear of losing control. The fear of having nothing to do. The fear of dying. The fear of not knowing. The fear of of being too great to be true. The fear of being too small to matter. The fear of letting go and finding our demons. The fear of losing the world. The fear of being cast out of humanity. The fear of losing everything and everyone we love. The fear of living. The fear of freedom. The fear of not caring. The fear of losing our image. The fear of fear.

And we run from fear. This is the natural human tendency. Until it isn't.

It is not necessary to run from fear. It is not necessary to run from fear.

Can we look at the fear? - gently and at our own pace?

Can we see that something is already allowing the fear to be?

Can we be that which is already allowing the fear to be? Can we look at fear from here? - in this way?

No pressure to deal with the fear or fix it or resolve it.

Can we simply look?

Yes - It may not be very peaceful to look at fear. And that's why we have avoided the fear for so long. But the avoidance has not worked - it has not brought us peace.

Meanwhile the fear stands in the way of acknowledging what we are.

When we are ready, we can look at the fear and see what that brings.

And the beauty of this is, that the fear itself is that - that even as we look at the fear, we are already that. And no matter what we find, we are already that. And everything we find is already that.

We have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

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