"Mindfulness Practice isn't just about escaping to some magical inner realm devoid of life's challenges. The Practice is about progressively opening your heart and calming your mind enough to engage Life directly, to be more fully Present in a kind, clear, and helpful way."

Your MMM Courtesy Wake Up Call! Musings on Life and Practice by a Long-time Student of Meditation.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Visible to the Naked Eye

“If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern.”
― William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell 

Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child -- our own two eyes. All is a miracle.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh



The trees across the way are shrouded in mist this morning. Although there is still a hint of green and red brown in the butterfly bush at the edge on the garden the world is awash in grey tones.  There was a time when a grey day like this would invariably send my spirits spiraling downward.  

That doesn't happens so much these days. I blame the Practice for this turn of events. 

Awhile back,  I ran into one of my dharmabum buddhies on the bus to Orange.  Like me, a regular daily practice is a central part of his life these days.  We proceeded to compare notes on Life and Practice.  (I can't think of anything else I'd rather hear about.)

At one point, I characterized him as "a Lifer" and he grinned and alluded to the many times he's fallen off the wagon.  Yet, to him at this stage of the journey, Life and Practice are "not two".  The look in his eyes was unmistakable. He was aware of the Real Deal.  I think, deep down, we all are.  Manifesting the truth of it in our own lives is only a matter of time, effort -- and Grace*.

As I sense it, Mindfulness Practice is nothing more, and nothing less, than getting in touch with the Truth as it exists in each and every moment of our own experience. 

Although as the Practice unfolds, there can and will be moments of outright wonder and gratitude and bliss, all the experiential big bang moments of human consciousness imaginable, they aren't the Heart of the Matter.  In fact, an attachment to going for the gold and getting all the goodies can hang you up as much as any other grasping.  It's much more about just "assuming the position" --again and again.  It's much more about paying full attention to this very breath, this sight, this sound, this feeling.

Then, at a certain point, it becomes obvious.  

There just isn't anyplace to go other than where you are.  There is nothing more extraordinary than the ordinary.  If you look deeply, Infinity is visible to the naked eye. 

Looking up from the keyboard, taking a breath and relaxing my shoulders, I gaze out the window.  

The mist out there is clear as a bell.

I love it when that happens.   


* I think it's wise to embrace Grace as an essential part of the picture and remember that the individual "I" didn't set the Universe up this way.   It's the boundless and infinite One Love, unadorned by this individuated costuming, that's responsible.  Alhamdulillah 

Originally posted December 2013.  Revised

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