“Whenever I think about it or notice it, I find myself here. When I say “here,” I mean at the visual center of an apparent world of sights; at the auditory center of an apparent world of sounds; at the tactile center of an apparent world of texture, etc. The entirety of that sensory information, most of which usually passes unnoticed, is assembled moment by moment into an experience of “the world.” I cannot do that assembling any more than I can digest food or circulate blood. I have no choice in the matter. When I awaken from sleep, the world is there, a seamless confection that is not my doing. Nor do I know what that world “really” is or from whence my experience of it comes.” — Robert Saltzman, The Ten Thousand Things (p. 2), Kindle Edition
…or so it seems.
We (apparently) want it very different.
And that’s understandable in the midst of a pandemic, one that’s ripping the heart out of many places, as well as leaving a dark, brooding cloud of grief in its wake.
But, if we’re disposed to sit with whatever’s arising — however it manifests — we quickly (or at least I hope) realise that there’s only now.
Yes, as hackneyed as it is, it’s true.
There is only now.
Not yesterday; or next week — even though our mind wanders all over the place and makes us think all manner of strange and wondrous things!
Now, you might think I’m advocating for some New Age or historical practice. I’m not. It’s not my thing. All I’m inviting is to drop the idea that now is not as it should be, or out there is somehow likely to be better, particularly when it comes to so-called awakening. Indeed, in my humble opinion, you’re already awake but perhaps you just don’t see it — or at least it’s not as vivid and alive as you thought might be the case.
As a segue, I still remember hearing the late Thomas Merton deliver his last official talk where he said: “Stand on your own two feet brother [and sister]”. At the time I missed its import. Yes, you might read it as taking responsibility for your life, growing up and not being a follower to another brand of guru worship, but it’s so much more. It’s our life — all of it — and only when (and if) we see that can things change.
Don’t take my word for any of this stuff. Go to your direct experience (and I expect this to be, as it always appears to be, controversial), and you’ll apprehend that you’re not really in charge of any of it. Everything arises not from some woo-woo, metaphysical source but certainly beyond the ken of our limited outstanding of our needs, wants and desires. Instead, said needs etc. arrive unbidden, we act on them or not, and our life carries on (as does our death) whether we like it or not. Especially that — i.e. the flow of life.
What am I saying?
Stop wishing for a miracle.
Believe in who you are — at the deepest human level.
And always go to your direct experience of anything that requires examination without, as is so often the case, relying on someone else apropos their words, mantra or teaching.
Who knows, but you might find you’re more trusting of the present moment and less prone to seek answers elsewhere to something — i.e. life — that’s ordinary and extraordinary beyond measure.
Have a wonderful day.
Much love, Julian