As we go through life, sometimes we have beautiful experiences. They are so wonderful that we are filled with a desire to hold onto them for as long as possible. But why we can’t hang onto them and why they go away is because we can only remember them in the mind.
The mind itself is not stable; it isn’t consistent. We can’t hold onto those experiences because the mind often changes. The question to ask ourselves is: “What is consistent? What is stable?” We have to go beyond the mind to find that which is stable and always is. But, how is it possible to move beyond the mind?
The key here is to reach beingness and to move into that place which is present before the mind conceptualizes and critiques things. The mind is constantly providing commentary for things that happen in our lives. But if we are just in the state of pure beingness with what is happening spontaneously; if we are just being with that without giving thought or reason to events, what we’re left with is the “I am” instead of the “I am this” or “I am that.”
Be with the “I am” and see that in beingness so many things happen spontaneously which are beautiful. When we live a life that is free of the egoic mind and commentary, we discover a world that is so beautiful and beyond anything our mind can describe or explain. We should strive to be that. Happiness and sadness will both arise in life, but they come and go. If you can allow yourself to just be with the feelings, experiences, and interactions, life can flow beautifully. To achieve this, you have to be willing to lose the commentary, the likes and dislikes, as well as the judgments we make about experiences.
When you flow with life in the natural state of pure beingness, you’ll find that there are no expectations, no desires, no fears. We just live life as it is, and we find that living becomes a beautiful, spontaneous beingness. For example, imagine if you do the dishes tonight instead of thinking, “I don’t want to do the dishes” or “This is a lot of hard work.” Imagine if you don’t think about something completely different, like whether or not you’ll get the promotion at work or how your relationship with a loved one is going. You’re not thinking any of these things but you’re just focused on washing the dishes. So immersed in the activity, you can watch the soap go around the dish, be with the rinsing process and be with the drying process. At each step, you are fully present. Be with that and you’ll discover that even washing the dishes can be beautiful!
This idea can be used for anything, from driving your car to going to the gym to spending time with loved ones. Whatever you’re doing, just do that. When you do this, life goes well. We are constantly seeking happiness through our minds and thoughts by making sure that our desires are achieved and our fears are pushed away. But if we just flow through life without commentary, without hanging onto anything but just being 100% present with what is, that is a true state of happiness. When we truly just are, that is when we are honestly happy. Spontaneous living is pure, ultimate happiness.
Of course thoughts will arise, but instead of going with them or pushing them away, let’s just observe them. Let’s just witness them and find out how transitory they are, and then get back to just beingness. The mind is restless; it is always trying to search for desires or push away fears. If we observe the mind and realize that we are before the mind, our true self witnesses thoughts but doesn’t identify with them by saying, “I am this” or “I am that.” Thoughts are just the same as the objects we see when we are driving or walking along a street. If we just witness our thoughts in the way we do those objects we see along our way, we can view them as part of the external landscape. We need to realize that we aren’t that landscape; we are in which the landscape occurs. Here our minds can quiet and we can become present. Pure, spontaneous happiness is always there. We just need to still our minds and be with it.
In the present moment everything is beautiful and perfect. But when the mind tries to control it, such as by pushing away what we consider bad and holding onto things it likes, we suffer. The search for pleasure and the desire to push away fear and pain is a vicious cycle in which our minds get trapped. We can never break free of this cycle until we see that the very desire to hold onto things or push them away – that desire or fear – is what’s causing our suffering. When we just flow with life, we stop suffering and allow life to flow well. Just be present, even when painful or pleasurable events occur. Don’t try to fight the painful events because they will pass. They are not as painful unless we let our minds create a story of “I have got to get rid of this, this is awful.” Yes, there exists pain, but our minds create the suffering. Understand that pain is just a pain. It can even be interesting sometimes. But we create the suffering in our minds by saying things like, “I don’t want this. Go away! This isn’t right. This is evil.” What never passes, however, is that which has always been, will always be and is always. Be this permanence instead of holding onto things that happen or struggling to push them away. Enjoy life as it occurs.
We should just be with what is. If we don’t hold onto events and occurrences, we’ll find that life flows well. When we’re not attached to anything, we are free. We’ve always been free. What’s holding us back from experiencing our true self – our free self – is our attachment to pleasure and our pushing away of fear. If we do neither of these actions, we are ultimately our true self which is always free. Any one of us can be happy or peaceful, but there is one important thing that we all have to do to reach what I’m calling ‘our natural state.’ We have to lose all our desires and fears and just be. This is a concept that can seem very frightening, but if we do it, if we even just try it for a minute, an hour or a day, we’ll see how freeing it is to just be and lose our mental clutter.
Although it is challenging at first, by truly living in the present moment without any attachments, desires or fears, we no longer let our minds prevent life’s flow. If we quiet the mind, we ultimately just witness it and realize that it isn’t who we are. Our thoughts are often just conditioned from the past that we are carrying with us. If we let go of them, flow with life and be completely present with what is happening, life can be good.
Try to do an activity with 100% presence, even if it is washing the dishes, washing the car, going for a walk, or taking a shower. When thoughts arise during the activity, realize that you don’t really need them. All you have to do is be present with the activity and you’ll find that during this task you allow life to flow beautifully. You allow peace and happiness that are always there to return to the surface. When we quiet our minds, that state of peace and happiness returns. Over time you’ll find that this state will become your natural state.
Dr. Robert Puff, Ph.D. is a meditation expert, international speaker and creates a podcast and articles that explores the world of Enlightenment available at http://www.EnlightenmentPodcast.com. He also has a blog at http://www.Meditation-Enlightenment.com. If you would like to contact Dr. Puff, his e-mail address is DrPuff@cox.net
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