March 22, 2005

Song of Bliss

"The loving contemplative feels himself... to be that same Light by which he sees, and nothing else."

You are the very heart and soul of life. You are this vast consciousness. You are this bliss, this being is the very stuff you're made of. Who you are is this consciousness manifesting in 10,000 apparently separate things. Rocks or stardust, the birds of the air, the animals of the forest, the flowers of the desert, the sunlight and rain, tiny lichen or a huge redwood tree is all the stuff of one consciousness manifesting in myriad forms. The luminous space a rabbit looks out of is the identical space you look out of. Life forms existing on another planet in a distant galaxy look out of the identical consciousness. All these forms are at various stages of evolution in consciousness.

Realizing who you are is realizing this consciousness, this godliness within your own heart, the totality of your being. The striving and searching of all the seekers and finders in existence comes to this one point of realization. Divine presence is within you. The veil of ego fixation dissolves and you see your original nature was with you all along, abiding here and now, warm and intelligent. This realization is enlightenment -- with nothing left out. The mind always thinks there is something left out, something missing. Because the mind is divisive, never whole, cannot be. Only being is whole, timeless, encompassing both form and formlessness.

Dogen said "...when we master one truth, we master all truths; and when we complete one activity, we complete all activities. The place is here; the way leads everywhere. So understanding is not easy, because it is simultaneous with the complete attainment of the Buddha's teachings. Even though we have already attained supreme enlightenment, we may not realize it. Some may, and some may not."

John Tarrant says it a little differently, "... a little bit of hell is all of hell, right? A little bit of delusion is all of delusion. And, just the same way, a little bit of enlightenment is all of enlightenment... A quality about being human is that you can step straight out of the deepest delusion into enlightenment... even in the moment you're reaching, and full of longing, and thinking you don't have it, of course you have it. Because your buddhanature's always with you. It's just that you haven't noticed yet. Someone asked Yunmen, the Chinese teacher, 'I'm reaching for the light, please help.' And Yunmen said, 'Forget about the light, give me the reaching.' It's always now and we're always here now and enlightenment is just the basis of our consciousness. Thinking it's not here is one of the things that keeps you from noticing it.... You might not be deluded in this moment that all. You might be quite free. You might feel the joy that's just the natural joy of being human. What you're doing then is trusting the universe, instead of employing all that effort."

With the realization that your enlightened nature is always with you, a bliss descends upon you, emerges from your heart. A fragrance is released, and that fragrance is love. You are awake. You are utterly free. You're not a Christian or Buddhist or humanist. You are a nothing, nothingness itself. And with this nothingness your life, for the first time becomes a life of light, of song and dance and celebration. Passing through all layers of survival, fear and insecurity, you realize you don't know who you are. You are not, and suddenly existence is. It's present in a most miraculous way; empty, pure and perfect as it is; uncontaminated by anything, especially religion.

Your external focus, your preoccupation with identity, want and fear has kept you dull and ignorant. Trying to find wholeness, trying to acquire something to complete you, whether material or spiritual, is a never-ending foolish enslavement to your mind. It will never be satisfied. It is just a survival and replication mechanism you have identified with. It is a very small thing. It's nature is dissatisfaction, acquisition, protection and defense. It evaporates in death. A central theme of ego fixation is clinging, holding on for dear life. If we're not holding on to our identity, we get shaky, we don't know who we are, and this feels like death to the mind identified self.

Pema Chodron recently wrote about clinging and attachment: "It requires enormous patience even to be curious enough to look, to investigate. And then when you realize you have a choice, and that there's actually something there that you're attached to, it requires great patience to keep going into it. Because you will want to go into denial, to shut down. You're going to say to yourself, 'I don't want to see this.' You'll be afraid, because even if you're starting to get close to it, the thought of letting go is usually very frightening. You may feel that you're going to die, or that something is going to die. And you will be right. If you let go, something will die. But it's something that needs to die and you will benefit greatly from its death."

She does not shy away from the core issue at all. At the same time, with infinite compassion she says, "You don't have to do the big one, because usually you can't. It's too threatening. It may even be too harsh to let go right then and there, on the spot. But even with small things, you may -- perhaps just intellectually -- begin to see that letting go can bring a sense of enormous relief, relaxation and connection with the softness and tenderness of the genuine heart. True joy comes from that... You can also see that holding on increases the pain, but that doesn't mean you're going to be able to let go, because there's a lot at stake. What's at stake is your whole sense of who you are, your whole identity. You're beginning to move into the territory of egolessness, the insubstantial nature of oneself -- and of everything, for that matter. Theoretical, philosophical, distant sounding teachings can get pretty real when you're beginning to have an inkling of what they're actually talking about."

Post by Akilesh

1 comment:

isaiah said...

"Theoretical, philosophical, distant sounding teachings can get pretty real when you're beginning to have an inkling of what they're actually talking about."

What Pema Chodron writes is akin to what Rilke speak of when he says, "...stay with the difficult...and it will become as second nature..."

The mind must be our guide and our hindrance to realization, because it is such an incredibly long way from head thinking to heart feeling. We need the angel on our shoulder and the 'devil' on the other- they are our guides...we cannot realize our true nature without them.

Yes, yes, yes, to all you have written here!

"Thou art that Too!" Sometimes I want to scream it out to all the world...but it must be made manifest to each- by the power of the All inside each.

Either way, realizing or not...there is complete wholeness and divinity in our being. This we affirm and this we live.