Relax; There’s Nothing Happening. (The Power of Meditation)
Audio Version - The Power of Meditation
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Written Transcript of Meditative Exploration
Calm Down and Be Still
There's such a sacred gentleness to this inquiry. It reminds me of being with someone who's freaking out. You notice the first thing you do is try and get them to calm down, it's like, "Take a breath, calm down, calm down."
Allow ourselves to kind of relax in the present moment. Naturally, if we're freaking out and we're chaotic, there's not much understanding that will be found there.
In the same way, as we are opening ourselves to see something more deeply true about life, about what we are. There is the same sort of play that's happening, where maybe inside our being there's a confusion, there's a doubt, there's a fear, there's something agitated, freaking out.
Satsang, this space is really just an invitation that says, "Let's just calm down for a second, let's just... breathe".
Almost as if, in the most sincere way, life has so much it wants to share with you... so many beautiful things. But first, we must calm down and be still.
We Don’t Have to Figure Everything Out
This morning, as I was walking in the forest, it was fun to just notice the profound difference between what appeared to be the reality in my mind, thinking about things and then noticing what's actually happening— nothing. The forest is being the forest. Beautiful.
And in this I see in some way or another, the invitation is one that says, "Can you let go and fall into what's real? Can you just be here?" For the confused mind, that's incredibly difficult. The confused mind emphatically believes what it's thinking about is real and important.
For a moment, just recognize those moments in our own lives where we become chaotic and terribly frightened and confused. You can recognize that in those moments we really thought something was happening that wasn't actually happening. There seem to be unending examples of this in our personal lives, where we are brought into a world of suffering because we think something's happening that's not actually happening.
This is often the sufferable life, a life where we are trying to figure out that which isn't even happening, trying to figure out something that's simply not real. There is this adorable fear of letting it all go and just being present.
Silence Is The Best Answer
I think it's wise to bring attention to this insanity. Not in any judgmental way, not to say it shouldn't be, but to really look at this experience of being human and, with gentleness, see how easily we become lost. When you recognize just how easy it is to become lost, there's almost like there's this vigilance that emerges, this willingness to be slow, this willingness to look.
Naturally, as human beings we tend to be so quick to move, so quick to assume, to believe... some sense of rush or hurry. It reminds me of all of the times in my life when I've painfully questioned, "Why? Why this and why that?" Only to hear life's response in the form of silence, not getting any answers and in many ways, the silence was the best answer.
My questions, my painful “whys?” were about something that wasn't even happening, a question that says, "Why am I being rejected?" It's not really happening. "Why did I lose something?" It was never yours.
In the space of what we might call healing, where one can return to the present moment when one can truly be, it seems as if the answer becomes quite obvious as to, "What is the point of it all? What am I doing here? What should I do?" In the same way that when you're in the forest, when you're actually present in the forest, when you see what's here, the whole thing begins to make sense. There is this simplicity of an aliveness, where the gift is the aliveness itself.
The sincerity of my heart, in this session, is simply to expose the profound difference between the peace in silence and stillness, and any commotion that might rage inside of us. To just see it, to see that it's just noise, and not that one has to stop the noise, but just see that it's noise, and to come back to what's actually happening.
In some way or another, the great fear that arises in the stillness, in the silence, is that voice in the mind that says, "But what about my life?" With the risk of sounding insensitive, but deeply compassionate in the way that I point out, are you so sure you have something called 'my life’, or is that just more thought? Is that more noise? Is this not the something you've been trying to protect your whole life, there's something called 'my life?' In the most compassionate way, how's that going?
You Are The Life
Have you not been abundantly taken care of in the realness of the present moment? In the same way that you have effortlessly given a breath that flows in and out, even as you sleep, that which allows you to be alive, has that not been given abundantly? Any absence of gratitude that we feel, is an absence of gratitude that is concerned about this something called 'my life' that isn't really there.
You see, the comedy of this human experience is, we literally think there's something to figure out, understandably, because it looks like there's a lot going on. And whatever it is we're trying to figure out, we're trying to figure it out so that we can get back to the present moment, to see that.
But our confusion is that we're trying to manage 10,000 pieces of this something called 'my life' that isn't really there so that we can get back to the present moment. In some way or another, spirituality has attempted to expose the inherent connection between you and life, to see that there is no life and then you; there is no life and then something called 'my life'.
There's just life, and you are that.
Life is Not Going To Go According to Your Plan and it’s Okay
You can see in a sense that the one who is free, is free because they don't have a life, they are life. This becomes so incredibly obvious when you see any appearance of a lack of freedom. We say, "Why am I not free? Well, I have to manage this, and I have to manage this, and this."
Why is it up to you to manage those things, and what are you really trying to manage?
It's like recognition, when I look at my life experience, I can look back and see all of the time spent trying to get to a particular future, or to have things work out a certain way. To look back and see that nothing has gone how I thought it was going to go, at all. Almost as if life was doing its own thing. So, I wonder, if it's never gone how I thought it was going to go... but yet here I am in this moment— whole and complete.
Why would I think I know where it should go next, tomorrow, or next year? Almost as if life whispers and says, "I've got you, relax."
I recognize profound gratitude for the freedom to just let go, the permission to just let go. Oh, my goodness... I can just let it all go, I can be present. In being present, I find an amazing passion, even a quiet passion that is this gratitude for simply being alive, which blooms into a joy, a service, a sharing of love to the moment, and whoever shows up at that moment.
The visual I get... imagine you're having a Thanksgiving dinner, and you have a bunch of people over, and you recognize this freedom where it's not your responsibility for everyone to be happy. So, you just let everyone be themselves. You just let it happen however it's going to happen.
You just invite people over and let them be as they are. If they get frustrated, upset, or angry, you can say, "I love you."
I really caution you on this idea that somehow this life is your responsibility, that it's up to you. It's up to you how other people see you, it's up to you how other people feel, it's up to you what happens tomorrow, or it doesn't happen tomorrow. The more I see that "none of it is up to me," there's this silence that emerges, a stillness.
Of course, you can see all of the noise circles around what you think is up to you. Even the idea of paying my bills doesn't even seem like it's up to me. Let's find out. What an adventure that becomes.
Are You Really Listening?
You see, there's this profound space of listening. Notice this that if you're listening to something, or someone because you want something from them, or because you want them to change, you're not really listening. Or if you're trying to understand something, because you want it to change or to be different, you're not really looking to understand it.
That's the commotion of this human seeking that makes this discovery seem so difficult. We're not really listening, we're not really trying to understand. Same with this discovery, or the present moment. I can say, "Be still and be present." But the mind says, "Okay, I'll be still and present so that I can get somewhere tomorrow and so that I can figure something out tomorrow."
It's like, relationship dilemmas, relationship confusion, relationship problems. I tell people I'm the worst person to ask for relationship advice because most people when they ask, they're secretly asking, "How do I manipulate this person? How can I get what I want? How do I protect this? How do I defend this?" The very last thing they want to hear is, "Let go, it's not up to you." "Nooooo!"
Let it do whatever it's doing. For most of us, in the most innocent way, our question is, "How do I get what I want?" The question is not "What is true? What is real?"
This is why we have to exhaust ourselves, painfully so, trying to get what we want, only to come to a conclusion of, "I don't even know anymore what I want." Good, now we can talk, now we can be present.
It’s Not Wrong To Not Know What You Want
It's funny, there's the social stigma where it's almost wrong to not know what you want. You're weird if you're not chasing something. The 'me' really wants to claim something, like... 'my life', 'my passion', 'my purpose'. And all of that is going to be just another idea, which eventually you will see that's not true. You can play with those things, but there's no reality to them. They're like dreams or stories being told, that aren't actually happening.
If you want to touch upon the nature of a real purpose, I invite you to see that the reality of your purpose is no different from the reality of life's purpose. Life's purpose is your purpose, and to find life's purpose you look at anything in life and you say, "What's your purpose? What's the purpose of rain? What's the purpose of trees? What's the purpose of birds, stars?" Its purpose is to be exactly what it is, so that life can be life.
Rain being rain, nurtures life, so that life can be life. In being what it is, which is, again, a movement of honesty, what is sincere, what is actually true, what is actually there, what is alive. We don't allow ourselves to be true, to be alive, to be what we are.
Could you imagine if the rain was like, "I don't want to interrupt anyone's day today. I don't think I'm going to fall, because I'm insecure about what somebody might think." No, the rain rains when it's time to rain.
Allow Yourself To Be You
To make space to see the reality of what might be your genuine purpose, you might playfully explore all of the ways that you're not allowing yourself to be yourself, because, "I'm worried about what this person might think, or that person. I'm worried about being seen as stupid, or any of these things." Not as a way to judge yourself, but as a form of compassion.
In so many ways, it will start to become very obvious why we might not feel alive. It's like, "Oh, I'm not allowing myself to be alive. That makes sense. I'm not allowing myself to be me".
Like we explored the other day, we fundamentally think we can get it wrong so we don't move. In a playful way, that's the whole world's dilemma, they think they can get it wrong, and so they do what everybody else wants them to do so that they can try and get it right. It still doesn't work.
I feel like I almost killed myself as a child trying to make my parents happy. Have you ever had an experience like that? Where you just completely exhaust yourself, because you think it's your responsibility for somebody else to not be disturbed. And ultimately, you find out it's not your responsibility. You have to let go of them to allow people to have their experience. How do you know that's not the experience they're supposed to have? How do you know they're not supposed to be disturbed? It's like saying you know what the weather should be.
The person who thinks they know is the person that goes to war. The person who thinks they know what is right and wrong is the person who goes to war. The person who doesn't know... listens.
If there's any war, again compassionately, if there's any war inside of you... you think you know. How many times have you played that game? You think you know, only to find out that you don't. Even the ugliest things in the forest become the most beautiful things when you see that they're not wrong when you see that they're perfectly placed.
It's like stepping in mud and having a love for the mud, "thank you for being what you are." If it wasn't for something called mud, there'd be nothing. It's because mud exists that everything exists. And to step in the mud... the only disturbance is that it interrupts who I think I am, "Oh, I just bought these shoes. Thank you mud. I love you. Thank you for exposing my adorable insanity of self-importance."
It's when I get out of the way, this ‘me’ character, that I fall in love with everything. I can say thank you to everything.