When there is silence one finds the anchor of the universe within oneself.”
― Lao Tzu
"As the mind becomes a little more quiet the sacredness of everything
Conditioned as we are, our attention is usually drawn into the thoughts and images and memories and daydreams cascading through our mind. Rather than sitting still, observing the present moment with a relaxed open gaze, we find ourselves scurrying along the sidewalks of New York City, or rewriting a scene from yesterday's argument to put us in a better light, or working out the budget for the month...
Yet, the moment we simply notice this, a moment of Practice emerges. If that noticing is clear, open, calm, and non-judgmental, we have engaged Mindfulness, a qualitatively different mode of consciousness. Mindfulness becomes the Gateless Gate to Pure Awareness. As Practice deepens, there are times that Reality Asserts Itself. In a flash, we are Present in a qualitatively different way -- and we know it. Ultimately, we come home to our True Nature. We realize that that we are inseparable from the Universe.
The aim at this point isn't to get rid of "negative" feelings. Instead we choose to experience them directly and allow them to diffuse into the spaciousness of an open heart and mind. Unlike western therapies that seek to find an intellectual explanation of those feelings (oh, that comes from the time i was three years old, etc....), the Practice allows us just to experience the feelings, the pre-conceptual energies of fear, sadness, anger, confusion, etc. -- and relax into the open and clear space around them. There, the Heart/Mind heals itself.
At a certain point, the universality of these feelings becomes self-evident. Rather than locking down and identifying with "my" pain, we see clearly that it is transpersonal. It is the pain of the human condition. Opening our heart and mind to this aspect of reality is crucial. No longer resisting it, opening to accept it as it is, we are released from its bondage.
The Long Haul
Over time, beyond the difficulties and challenges of engaging with Life As It Is, a simple and mysterious Knowing, without words or beliefs, emerges. Life's Sacredness becomes self-evident.
As in childhood, the simple wordless wonder of Just Being Alive emerges --both on and off the meditation cushion.