Monday, January 19, 2009

Martin Luther King Day

I would like to wish you all a happy and joyous Martin Luther King day. WNCW played his "I have a dream" speech on the radio earlier, and I was moved to tears. The presence and passion that this man exuded shaped this country in ways one could only imagine. His fearless fight for unity and justice through peaceful means served as an example of what life is truly about: Love.

Our nation has come so far in the last 40 years, due in great part to Dr. King and his connection with God. Now, his dream for this nation is taking a giant leap that could not have been imagined possible just a few decades earlier. Tomorrow, for the first time in history, a black man will be appointed President of the United States of America. These are truly historic times.

This, too, is why we are all here. We are that change. We are that unity. We are that love. We are that fearlessness. We are that God. We are here to awaken to the truth of who we are, and bring about the same unimaginable change that will save the world, even if we have to die to do it.

In the meantime, feel that gratitude that has allowed us to be alive at this moment, to be present as witnesses to what love can do to change the world.

In peace,

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Let it Be

Hello all,
I hope your new year is off to a great start and feel certain that this will be your year to shine. I wanted to pass this note on to those of you you might find it helpful in some way. Be well.

This could be considered a follow up to my previous post (And the Story Goes On), but I am beginning to fully realize, on an experiential level, the profound simplicity of the words, “Let everything be as it is.” This is something repeated by Eckhart Tolle and is also referred to as “accepting what is,” or accepting the “isness” of the present moment. I knew what it meant intellectually, and have been heeding this advice for a while now, but just recently experienced the meaning of the words more deeply. Despite the seeming redundant nature of this realization (based on previous experiences), I am slowly internalizing these pointers for what they are, due in part to continuous and repeated exposure.

In this particular case I was peeing in the toilet and as I looked down I dropped the story of what a toilet was and looked at it from the present moment perspective, as if I had no past reference to tell me what a toilet was. I just let it be as it was. As I did so the pure simplicity of its isness shined through. It had no name, no story, it just was present. I became simultaneously aware of the one looking at the toilet and thoughts subsided. The toilet was still a toilet, but I just let it be completely as it was, in its natural state of nothingness, as in no name or description. It was simply a never seen before object. It was just a presence, or something here, now. (BTW - I was still able to close the lid, flush, wash my hands, etc., but those actions took place without my needing to do anything, and I was able to just enjoy witnessing each step happen.)

It seems so simple to just let something be as it is, dropping the story and just accepting what is present as an indescribably mystery, as nothingness. That is, in essence, what it is. The word essence is one of those terms I had a mental image of, which meant I was missing the literal meaning of it. Essence for me conjured up the idea of some luminous core. But in simple terms, essence is just the simple or basic substance of something (you might want to look it up in a dictionary).

A toilet is, in essence, a molded ceramic object. But it becomes even more simple than that when viewed from a present moment perspective. It is, in essence, just some nameless thing with a certain shape and texture. But at the deepest level, when you are so present you have no past reference at all, it just is.

This slight shift in perspective is what it all seems to be about. Take any object and look at it. Remove the idea you have in your head about what it is. Look at it as if you have never seen it before. What is it? If it has no name, no known purpose, no labels, what is it you are looking at? What is it, in essence (or on the most basic level), that you have in front of you? Let it be there, just as it is, nothing more, without trying to figure it out or describe it.

For me, what “it” is becomes much more clear. It takes on a richer texture, a new vividness, and an aliveness all its own. Then, it can’t even be said to be an object, because what is an object? It just is. It is just as it is. Nothing more, nothing less. The innate beauty is available for viewing and experiencing when thoughts are removed from the equation. Thoughts about “it” cloud the simple isness of what it is. Its presence (or here-ness) is all there really is to it, but it is a wonderful thing to see.

Taking all of these terms and pointers in a more literal sense cleared things up for me. However, I have to say that becoming fully present is still not easy for me to do very often (sometimes it’s easier than others). It takes a willingness, or one could say a determination, to see what is for what it is. The mind likes to step in and describe or instruct, but thoughts too can be viewed in this same simple way. They are present and can be viewed as what is in this moment, especially when you view them from the perspective of not being “your” thoughts, or not taking them personally. This creates some space between You (the witness of the thoughts) and your thoughts, which makes them less likely to suck you in.

In short, you can change your perspective and change the world.
In peace,