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Spiritual Paradox: On Being

This is the first of a three-part piece on being, becoming and the paradox of human nature. 

 

“Always being. Always becoming.”—Zen proverb

 

Part One: On Being

 

There is nothing that we have to do to be. We simply are. If we investigate, we can discover the truth: that we are pure, pristine, naked awareness—not the content of awareness, which we often (mis)-identify with creating a separate sense of self. We are the ocean not the waves. 

 

Meditating on the question “Who am I?” or “Who is experiencing these thoughts, emotions, sensations and perceptions?” leads to a recognition and deeper understanding of your true nature. This practice of self-inquiry was taught by the sages Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta Maharaj and is taught by some wonderful contemporary teachers, too. 

 

The sense “I am” is something we all share. Meanwhile, our identity, which is comprised of “I am” + an object of awareness (fill in the blank, the body, my thoughts, my experience) is a mental construction. It is a thought. Going back to the ocean and waves metaphor, as the waves are the activity of the ocean, thoughts (emotions, sensations, perceptions) are the activity of awareness. They arise in pure awareness, are made of pure awareness and dissolve back into the sea of pure awareness. Although we tend to overlook the ocean and mistake ourselves for the waves, there is no separate existence, we are each an integral aspect of the dynamic movement of the ocean of life; the ocean of consciousness.

 

Make some space daily and allow yourself to rest in being.

 

“It is not just do do do. It is not just be be be. It is do be do be do.”—Amit Goswamy

 

Simple Daily Practice

Come home to the core of your being. Come back to presence. Whenever you feel a bit scattered or unbalanced, slow down. Take a few deep breaths. Allow your energy to settle. Center yourself. Return to the body and the inner place of stillness. Here. Now. Connect with the Heart. Sit quietly and listen inward. Be. Notice stillness. Pay attention to silence. 

 

Part two to come. . .

 



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