"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, February 24, 2017

Nothing Special, No Big Deal: Part Two

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I'll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.”  
-- Rumi

There's a first time for everything.  

Looking closely, I suppose there is a last time for everything as well.  Each unique moment arises and passes away within the flow of eternity quite distinctly, so quickly that we can't actually grasp it at all no matter how hard we try.  

With any luck at all, we can relax and notice it, though.  And, it seems to me, is that is where the Real Magic exists.

This is the first time since I took on the task of scribing a weekly blog piece that I actually set myself up to continue writing about a "theme".  Usually I finish a piece and let it go.  Then when the next Thursday morning rolls around, I pull out the laptop and start fresh.  Sometimes I might have a theme in mind, or I've latched onto a title as a starting point before I begin.  Often, I just sit facing a blank screen -- and wait.

This week it's different.  I came to a point last week where I realized there was much more to say about No Big Deal and Nothing Special.  There was no way that I could keep the post at a reasonable length.  (Some of my friends have already complained that these weekly musings can be too damn long)  So, I took a deep breath, scrolled up to the title window,  and typed a colon, then P-a-r-t  O-n-e.  

What was I thinking? When I hit publish, I knew my goose was cooked. 

Looking back to that post, I can see that I wasn't satisfied with proclaiming that in my Heart of Hearts I believed that everyone and everything should be loved and appreciated, to then immediately say that this was No Big Deal.  It seemed that had come awfully close to proclaiming that the manifestation of Unconditional Love was Nothing Special.  Another way of saying this is: God is No Big Deal.  

That sounds a bit blasphemous, huh!?  How could I leave it there? LOL
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As I Sit here this morning,  the sun is playing hide and seek with the clouds in a milky sky.  I hear one bird twittering in the distance.  Now two, now three.  Through steamy windows, there is a brilliance, a vividness, a tangible energy to the present moment.  I feel a calm, clear, luminous exhilaration.  

Pausing, I again sense the Presence of the Sacred. 

And yet, to be be sure, I can also say that there is nothing special happening.  Birds twittering are, after all, simply birds twittering, right?  This is No Big Deal.

And yet...

Lest Ye Be Like Little Children

Having made a point of conversing about Spirituality with as many people as I could buttonhole for quite some time now, I've found that "special" moments like this aren't all that uncommon.  In fact,  it seems seems most of us have been in "the Zone" -- at least as children.

Less driven by the conditioned "false gods" of economic survival and success, oftentimes less absorbed in discursive thoughts, it seems that as children we were more readily available to experience Life directly.  Although we can all remember the darker moments of our childhood as well, most everyone I've talked with can remember childhood moments of Presence. 

Then, all too quickly, for most of us came the Fall. 

Immersed in a fast-paced, highly materialistic, competitive culture that places a high value on so-called "rational thought", we are then conditioned to believe that the world is divided between good and bad, right and wrong.  Tossed back and forth between the emotional energies of praise and blame as children, we are taught that there is success and failure, gain and loss, fame and disrepute.   We learn to judge incessantly.

Unknowingly, we have been conditioned to create our "identities" out of what turns out to be a set of strong likes and dislikes. opinions based on a set of belief structures we have most often absorbed unconsciously.  We have learned to make a Big Deal of things.  Racing ahead, stressed out, even a red light or the outcome of a baseball game can create great emotional turmoil. 

Yet, it seems that most of the people I meet can still relate to the experience of "perfect moments." Our awareness operating a a deeper and more fundamental level, beyond judgement, there is a deep sense that we are alive, awake.  We notice that we are Present to Life in a qualitatively different way.

Although the Gateway of these perfect moments sometimes emerges with high voltage bliss and fireworks as some sort of Big Bang with an outpouring of tears or ecstasy, this sense of Presence may have been just as simple as a deeply calm "moment's peace" in the midst of our personal fray.   Oftentimes it seems to emerge in the direct perception of simple beauty in the world around us.   (Just going for a walk outdoors seems to bring this on for many folks I know. )


I'm certain that a formal meditation practice isn't essential to cultivate a more consistent access to the experience of Presence, a quality of consciousness that isn't dominated by "judgment mind".  

I'm just as certain that it can really help.

As we make the time in our lives to become more mindful of our breathing and the sensations of our body, as we gently  and diligently gain greater control over exactly how and where we place our attention, a whole realm of previously subconscious sensibilities and energies emerge. 

We get out of our head and into our Heart. 

It's really No Big Deal.


Originally published February 28, 2014.  Revised.