To live fully is to be always in no-man's-land,
we need to be ready to abandon our views about them.”
That brought a smile to my face as well.
I smiled again.
Although the thoughts and emotions that emerge from the causes and conditions of our personal and collective histories can make it appear otherwise, what is right there in front of us is a constant Invitation to the Dance. We can either explore the process of opening our hearts and minds (and our eyes and ears and arms, etc.) to embrace the Absolute Miracle of Being that exists within and beyond each moment-- or not. It's just that simple.
It takes Practice.
The Way hOMe
As it is, we've often invested much time and effort in what our hyper-materialistic society characterizes as "growing up." We've taken a lot of pride in what we "know." We've clung to our opinions about things with a vengeance. Now, we realize we have to do some serious shape shifting. Rather than flee from a certain quiet discomfort lurking in the recesses of our awareness, we open to it.
Then, at a certain point, it dawns on us. We see quite clearly that it is best to approach things with the basic openness and curiosity we experienced as children. In fact, Yogi Jesus is reported to have said this is a requirement for entering the Kingdom of Heaven. "Lest ye be as little children..."
Although the frame of reference and terminology are different, many Buddhist teachers seem to agree. As Suzuki Roshi presented it, Zen mind is the mind of a beginner. Beneath and beyond our conditioned patterns, we each have the inherent capacity to open to each moment with a deep care and curiosity. We can come to experience the ease and joy and wonder that emerges from not knowing.
Although a commitment to a formal meditation practice is an excellent foundation for honing our ability to perceive the reality of our own experience in deeper and fuller ways, it's what happens between those periods of meditation that really matters. The Practice develops and matures as we commit to bringing that same precise, yet open and relaxed, attention to the events of our day to day lives.
With Practice, it becomes easier to discern and release the emotional reactivity of our conditioning and let go of the narratives that we've created to "know" (i.e. control) what's going on. As practice deepens, it becomes easier and easier to approach each moment with a childlike curiosity and without an agenda.
This changes everything.
Through the gracious spaciousness of not knowing, you don't have to work so hard. As you perceive the fleeting and mysterious effervescence of each moment, you realize more deeply that it's not all up to the "you" that you think you are. Seeing clearly that each moment is vast, infinite space inseparable from an endless web of causes and conditions, you can relax. And, if you keep your heart and mind open, what the Tibetan Buddhists call "Primordial Wisdom" emerges. Compassion and understanding naturally arise. At that point, you may even be able to help out -- or not.
It just takes Practice.