The only time you have is now…

The only time we have, the only time that is real, true in which we can discover the infinite, or that which is most precious is NOW. Even ‘now’ as a word, is simply a label. The ‘nowness’ has long past since the word was written, as once language is ascribed to an experience, the experience, the presence is gone.

Language is like that. We need to ascribe words to our experience, to help us understand and make sense of the interruption to the narrative of self that occurs sometimes during spiritual practice or day to day life. Words can fill up the space, the emptiness, or fullness – but again these are just words, fingers pointing at the moon – not the moon itself.

There are moments in which ‘we’ disappear, ‘we’ (but of course there is no ‘one’ present) return to a fullness and wholeness. It may be a complete immersion in breath so there is no longer ‘me’ who is breathing or watching the breath. It could be in the touch of a newborn, it might be staring deep into the eyes of someone you love, it might be in the moment of bearing witness to another’s grief.

The moments in life when our narrative of self drops, when we are spontaneously through GRACE set free, liberated is the enlightenment that many seek. It is the moments in which the self’s constant demand for attention – the play of craving and aversion – the unwillingness to let go of our story, is dropped and we are for that moment breathtakingly, boundless and free.

Enlightenment is not something you can find. It is not something you can make occur. No book, person or practice is guaranteed to set you free from your own cage of disatisfaction. Enlightenment is the lightening of the load of a life driven by Ego and Self which always wants more, or wants to avoid what IS. Enlightenment is not a thing, we can’t ‘get’ it. We may be fortunate enough to experience the ‘lightening’ or freedom of the spaciousness which exists always – it is inherently who we are.

At times these moments may overwhelm us. When the narrative of self drops on its return there can be fear or panic, certainly this was my experience initially. A pause in our lifelong diatribe of the self is new, and can be scary. For others the peace is welcomed and thus craved, and people seek to replicate this experience, often in vain! Over time I realised that these experiences come and go. But there is an interplay between these experiences and day to day life. When we snap back into duality we might begin to see the way in which we invite much unhappiness into our life through the filter via which we view our thoughts and experiences.

Practice can help us with taking steps towards lightening the load of the self centred craving and aversion (raga and dvesa) we are all plagued with. We can begin to see our patterns or samskaras and come to know ourselves better. Our stories begin to have less power over us. We realise we are not our thoughts. The steps towards liberation start here.

There is a lot that could be said – but again this would be confusing the finger pointing at the moon, with the actual moon!

I believe Love is the truth of enlightenment. To know our selves, our patterns, our tendencies and tend to ourselves with loving kindness creates the conditions for more radically ‘enlightening’ moments to occur. These are the moments in which our story or thoughts or fears or craving do not define us. The moments in which we are completely and utterly FREE. It is in those moments we might find the truth of enlightenment that people seek and begin to live a life in which the load of our self centred thoughts and actions are lightened.

And when that process begins … change naturally comes …


Jean x

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