As I walked in the park feeling the sun’s hot rays on my face, I noticed a row of people sitting on benches, softly smiling with eyes closed, welcoming those same waves of solar energy into their being. Just content to do nothing but absorb the joy each of those sun rays contain.
That sun is always shining. Not a second goes by where it thinks, ‘ah, I’ve given enough now.’ It never stops being a Source of light and warmth, and life itself. It’s the yang, the seed, and the Earth is the yin, the receptive container for all of this marvellous growth. Nature teaches us everything we need to know.
We live on this planet experiencing dark days of cloud cover, and long cold winters where we’ve turned away from the light - but no matter how tilted we are in the other direction, that sun is always shining. There is always light. Even in the belly of our dear Earth, she contains a central sun that constantly churns with magma.
Our spirit is the same as that sunshine. Our Source of energy is also found within ourselves, deep in our very core there is a cauldron of infinite light. That same powerful light is ever shining from within you - warming the world around you, illuminating life around you. It is always there. It can not be destroyed, it can not die. This light is what you are. You may thank Spirit, as I have done, when something wonderful blesses your life. It might be the way you end prayers, it’s always been the way I have wrapped up my requests from The Universe, ‘thank you, Spirit.’ Yet only recently it occurred to me, I have been thanking my spirit. The indwelling spirit, which is a spark of the divine essence we all are. This is not an unreachable diety of immeasurable size, not even as the blanket term I’ve always used to replace the more masculine sounding ‘God’ - but Spirit is me, as me. Thanking Spirit is saying ‘thank you, pure me.’ Thank you to the purest essence that I am - the spark of the one soul, the purest light inside of me that is unborn, unmanifest, unlimited pure cosmic potential. I invite you to try this next time you pray and feel how close you are to the eternal Spirit we all are. It’s residence is deep in your heart. It is your spirit.
I feel it’s our life’s work to move through the cycle or knowing our light, feeling it’s warmth, and then looking the other way - wishing we were in summer, then back to warmth and so on. We are cyclic beings, our lives, our seasons, our soul lives, all moving through darkness to light and back. We ebb and flow through dreaming and wakefulness. This is our nature as much as the nature of The Universe. We only need to look up to notice the sky never looks the same way twice. We can not grasp it or cling hard enough to retain summer, or being awake. We can just pause, enjoy the warmth, and let life carry us. We can be aware and at ease with this, or we can argue. Either way we move from summer to winter and return again.
I always imagined enlightenment was a state we reached and remained. I’ve come to find it is not the least bit static, but rather as fluid as the mind. I reach it and then it pulls away as easily as the wave retreats back to sea - and then it happens again and it is the most delicious way of being in the world. If I think about staying there, it goes. Or rather, I go - it seems I lose my grip on it. Clutching it is like attempting to tighten a fist to hold water. I am the wave moving from the shore. In a somewhat helpless way, my mind drags me off the shore and back into the sea. Awakened ones, Buddhas of our time, seem to have transformed irreversibly by that awakened state. I just reach for it again by stilling myself. When I’m perfectly still, I am there. I’m there now when I pause. Just Being. No stressful mental noise trying to talk me into doing. Just - breathing. Sitting. Being. It is only now I understand a people as profound as the Tibetans, as an American kid I didn’t quite understand the peaceful non-violence they demonstrate. It is within my culture's reaction to fight fire with fire, yet they serve as this incredible symbol of unconditional peace - even in the flames. A mind at war with itself does not bring peace - even if the battle is for its own sake.
We really can only change our state of Being and then offer our compassion to those around us. But it must start with us. A mind enraged is the battlecry for healing. And the medicine is love. This is why self-healing is the most radical act. This is why we are being called to awaken - as individuals who then are able to guide others, even then at peace with whatever is - with no preconceived outcome.
Peace is not so much about non-attachment, but rather non-identification.
Losing the identification as ‘little me’ propels us into the All - the space, the energy that permeates all things. There is unlimited power, endless time there. We may go so far as to catch a glimpse of that long view picture - not even attached to the earth or humanity’s survival because we know it’s always working out. We are more than our bodies and the earth is more than a planet. We are that which can not be destroyed. We are pure energy.
We are all spirit incarnate - our bodies are simply the beautiful expressions of our essence in physical form. They will translate / store / process our emotions to the degree to which we allow them to be seen.
Our egos are our identities. We use them to understand life by taking on roles and acting out characters. We only know the truth when we forget who we are. When we lose ourselves, that is, lose what makes me a ‘me,’ we get a little taste of delicious divine - the state of merging with the Ultimate.
We can be enlightened at any time - just by forgetting who we think we are, we re-member.
The Universe loves a paradox. Paradoxes are the golden thread woven through the fabric of reality to point us to the truth.