When we are able to observe that we are not connected to our lives, it is an extraordinary reminder to try to come to ourselves; to find ourselves. We can practice this by bringing our awareness or attention to the physical body. We can try to anchor ourselves to the present moment by becoming aware of the world of physical sensations like warmth, coldness or tensions. Sometimes, the body is more receptive and makes itself more available for this search. An expanded awareness appears. There is a mysterious and deeper penetration into the often inaccessible interior of this body that is so often taken for granted. There is a sense of an energy permeating the entire organism; a feeling of being fully alive in the moment. It doesn’t last. The attention is weak. A thought appears and we go with it and inevitably are taken by identification but, we can always make the effort to return again and again by observing where we are, and that we lack connectedness.
Ordinarily, in my daily life, I think that I am capable of achieving higher states of consciousness. I trick myself into thinking that I am responsible for them and that if I just try harder these states will be owed to me. I live under the illusion that I have control over myself and my states.
In moments of expansion, we can see clearly that this is not true. We become aware that we are merely instruments in which forces, that we do not understand, have free reign in us like some divine cosmic game.
When speaking with people I can observe the mind hunting for something witty or wise to say. I want to appear intelligent. I want people to think that I am getting somewhere in this spiritual work. This goes on and on. Here to, I can see that I am not connected.
We have to learn to trust something else in ourselves that appears and to surrender to it. When we speak from the centre of our being with a collected attention, our words often surprise us. The words come forth from the very different place within ourselves and carry a certain vibration or current of energy. Often, the ego claims that it is responsible for the experience and it searches for recognition and praise. But we can see that we had absolutely nothing to do with it. For I is someone else.
We can be open to a much finer energy and if we are open to receive it, it can pass through us. It can manifest through each of us when we speak or even look directly at each other. It has a tangible quality that can be sensed as it circulates around a room. When we are collected inside, it seems that we are merely instruments that at certain moments are finely tuned to this circulating energy.
Sometimes I feel my nothingness very clearly. I know that I cannot contain this experience of nothingness. It will be swallowed up by the next passing thought but I do think it is possible to return to it again and again. I think that inner work revolves around that in some way and that one must try to keep this idea of one’s nothingness in mind.
Sometimes I see that I bemoan the fact that I am not achieving anything in my work or that a higher state always passes and I descend to the world of my ordinary functioning. Often I live in this world of fog, confusing the ordinary level with that of the sacred. I am simply lying to myself when I think that I am capable of opening to something higher just on a whim, whenever the ego wishes to. All of this muddled thinking is in the way, all of this self-centeredness, my pride and my vanity. It is like I am wearing a heavy suit of armor that I cannot seem to take off. When I experience this coarseness, the work is difficult. I am in darkness and I cannot find the way. I need to search for connectedness.
There is something very mysterious about this search for wholeness. At times, there is a feeling of extraordinary expansion. It is as though the entire universe has opened and there is a quality of stillness that is far removed from any concepts or ideas that I have personally about spiritual practice. In fact, these ideas and concepts crumble in the face of this expansion. We feel a connection to a powerful stillness that instructs us and we feel lifted and far removed from the ordinary feeling of ourselves as separate individuals.
There is something within each of us that is capable of truly understanding very high ideas like those written in sacred texts like the Tao Te Ching, for example. Something absorbs these living ideas that are communicated from above like the very air that we breathe together. We feel nourished in an unaccustomed way but often we forget that we cannot contain these ideas, these gifts. Our ego reacts with a desire to claim and posses them like a commodity, to lock them away in the mind. Can we feel the descent of this energy that is contained in the ideas. We must try to remember that this is lawful.
Can we become increasingly more aware of the many gradations of the vibrations that appear and inevitably leave; an energy that appears to be constantly in flux? It can announce itself at times with great strength and vibrancy in one moment and subtle to non-existent in the next. How do we study this great mystery?
Right now, at this moment, I see that my work is about getting out of the way. I feel a need to be in service of something higher. I need to get out of the way and to surrender this constant preoccupation with myself; to return to myself and to see that I am not connected.
We must cultivate sensitivity and openness to the present moment. The awareness of the breath as well as an awareness of sensations in the body can help us. We have the entire universe inside of us; stars, planets, galaxies and suns. We need to be open and in touch with the current of life that is all around us…an ever expanding awareness. There is a horizontal axis as well as a vertical one. The coarseness of the Earth, the ground beneath our feet supports us and provides energy as well as the energy of the higher which descends from above. Both are necessary. We must try to be between these worlds. We cannot “do it.” It is done through us. We can only try to become tuned like a musical instrument to receive it.