The Heart Sutra

Horizons-StraitofGeorgiaVancouver-11-BMC.jpg

To have it all we must be willing to lose it all. To lose our need to be right. To lose our need for approval. To lose the illusory sense of ourselves as a separate entity. We release it all to the great abyss in order to find we are the entirety of it all. We aren’t right as an ego but right as the whole one mind. Our lives become right in our relinquishing of any control, any desire to prove, any reflex to defend or define ourselves. 

We spend most of our adult lives accumulating - knowledge, money, things, relationships - and then fear the loss of these things as loss of ourselves. We become attached to what surrounds us as a means to grasp hold of what we are - the ungraspable essence. Born naked, free, alive into wonder, we find ourselves fully clothed, identified as this or that - a personality existing. 

And then one unexpected, unassuming day, without any announcement, you touch the shore. You retreat back as the wave. And in that movement back into the sea of life, you realise there was never a shore. Far below you, under the depths of the ocean is earth. You’ve been passing between what appeared to you as separate lands but, in fact, they were always connected. There is no getting there. There is no over there. There is nothing to reach for, nowhere to go. It was only a thought that classified places apart, as destinations to pursue. Then you find yourself upon the shore again. Deliciously bathing in the warmth of presence. The second you conceptualise it, or desire to hold on to it, the sea pulls you back. Then you wonder, was there ever a shore? Was there ever a me? And you release the dream, sinking deeper into your nature, into pure awareness. A being onto which life dances.

I had one of those fantastically vivid dreams last night, and waking from it I realise that dream was as real as any of my thoughts. Past, future, memories - all manifest outside the moment, in a sleeping state. This activity is the mind making sense of the world - trying to comprehend the vastness of life. We have this tool to make life anything we like - humans seem to have a proclivity for suffering, but when we lose the need for holding onto anything for fear of suffering, we are left with a still, bottomless, sweet tasting sea of joy. That joy is constantly present, just waiting for the mind to part its persistent curtains long enough. The mind outwardly seeks to return to the space of its Source, not realising it merely has to surrender to the very depths of which it arose in order to experience the very thing it wants most of all. Suffering is born out of our need to control and change the world. The only aspect of this world we can change is ourselves - our minds. We can only change the world by changing our minds. This undiluted sea of joy is a conscious presence - I call it ‘soul’ - the eternal dwelling place of our True Selves. Our home. Our freedom.

The mind sprouts out from this home to explore the endless possibilities of its own imaginings, an entirely projected reality we experience as life. What it actually wants is the experience of joy from which it came - the essence of itself. This joy springs from its own roots, rather than rains down from outside of itself. This is why happiness has absolutely nothing to do with our external world and why our whole world naturally shifts when we return our focus to the source from which we came, from the infinite space within ourselves.

We have the power to experience anything we can imagine - indeed just imagining something is an experience of the thing. Test this by imagining anything at all and you will find your body is flooded with a verification of this experience as reality, a chemical response to the dream. In anticipation of being tickled, we feel it happening, we squirm and laugh. This intelligence is built-in to our system. We have the homing device that beckons us with the pulse of joy. Anything less is a signal that we’ve got turned around. We merely have to sink into its embrace to discover the treasure we have worked so hard to excavate. It was always within us, just beneath the surface. Our minds gift us with a dream world to play out a universe of possibilities, to enjoy or not, for we have the freedom to choose. Awareness is the key to it all. Joy is the surest guide. Follow the light that joy shines and you will find yourself floating across the great abyss, safe on the raft that is your soul.