Time for Being
When, through [practice],
the mind ceases its restless movements,
and becomes still, one realizes the Self,
It satisfies one entirely.
Then one knows that infinite happiness
which can be realized by the purified heart
but is beyond the grasp of the senses.
– The Bhagavad Gita
“His disciples said to him, ‘When will the kingdom come?’ Jesus said, ‘It will not come by waiting for it. It will not be a matter of saying ‘Here it is’ or ‘There it is’. Rather, the kingdom of the father is spread out upon the earth, and people do not see it.’”
– Gospel of Thomas, saying 113
“Be still and know that I am God.”
– Psalm 46:1
Here I am sitting down again to write something up to share and I am drawing a big blank. Nope, there are no issues. There’s nothing really needing to be said. Am I panicking? No. All is well. Tuning into myself I sense that this moment is just about perfect in itself, as itself. I am sitting in my usual location near the front sunroom and everything is in perfect harmony. A gentle glow of sunshine is filtered into the sunroom through windows and leaves. To my right there is the sound of the portable fan that we use to redirect the air conditioning from the bedroom. And me? I am sitting, happy as a clam on my favorite corner of the couch. My heart center is gently glowing as I type and by grace I feel completely at peace and at home in this moment.
I read that Eckart Tolle spent the first two years after awakening into the now mostly sitting on park benches in London. My experience post awakening was somewhat similar, except that I did my sitting at work and at home. Ten years have passed since I woke up to non-separateness, or Divine Union, or whatever you wish to call it. And these days I lead an active life. I can get stressed out and upset just like anyone. What is new for me is that there are also these times of peace and repose, sometimes bleeding over into subtle bliss.
Our culture does not give us much encouragement when it comes to setting time aside for pure being. No. We are more accustomed to doing, followed by more doing, followed perhaps by a workout after all of that. Is it any wonder that many turn to an alcoholic beverage or a pharmaceutical when the time comes to relax? We just don’t know how to be. Or, perhaps we do know, deep down, if only we could let ourselves take the time to relax and unburden ourselves.
Thankfully there are practices in all the world’s traditions that can help us to rediscover what it is to rest in Spirit beyond thoughts and words. To rest from doing and experience a timeless moment of pure being. For me, both zen meditation and centering prayer have long been tools that reliably deliver me into that space. These days, that space is more and more available. When I need to go into high gear to get things done, that gear is still there. But there is also the option to take a moment off from being, to drop into the silence and simplicity of this moment. It’s not that far away. Can you find it in yourself right now? It is surely here, now. It would not be anywhere else. Try taking a deep breath, letting your chest and belly soften as you exhale into the moment. There, at the end of the exhalation, there’s a little pause. Can you sense it?
Here’s to your ongoing awakening!