Sunday, March 6, 2011

'If' Nothing, Reality Is Here and Now-stop dragging around that heavy hypothetical reality and just live in the fullness of your life

The human experience is a funny thing. We hail ourselves as the pinacle of nature's achievements because of our minds and our ability to create (and destroy). Yet, our mind is the very thing that causes our suffering in life.
Suffering is a mental state. Pain, discomfort, illness and death are part of the life cycle. However, suffering is optional. To suffer is to resist reality, to insist that reality should be somehow different then it is. Should it? We cannot understand the full intricacy of each moment in the universe. Each moment, infinite beings and environments are interacting. Birth, death, sleep, work, light, dark, joy, misery.. all manner of movement and flow, all energy dancing in each moment throughout the entire universe. So who are we to decide how things are "supposed to be" in any given moment?
Most of us are not in touch with the present moment reality very much as it is. We spend so much time in our minds reviewing the past, playing future scenarios or lost in an inner dialogue that is not at all beneficial or useful. Most of our thinking is not functional or beneficial and only serves to distract us from the fullness of the present moment. We live in our minds, tainting reality with our subjective spinning almost constantly. The reality we percieve "out there" is highly molded by the subjective "reality" in our minds. What we think we see is not neccessarily the actual reality. Living with this constant distorted perception of reality is what leads to human suffering on all levels.
We can change this. By practicing mindfullness and meditation we can slowly achieve a high of clarity, of objectivity in our perception. The more regularly we practice, the more we develop our ability to shine the light of bare, nonsubjectively attention into each moment.
Once we achieve some presence we begin to find our heart-guru, the "voice" that guides us to find greater and greater freedom, peace and wholeness in life. Once we gain insights and develop more attunement to the flow of life, we recognize how far we've come in our awareness. We may become aware of how certain situations came to be- choices, ending of relationships, sickness, negativity, unused opportunities.
At this level of awareness it is easy to get stuck, to get dragged once again into the darkness of subjectivity, chained around the neck to one heavy word- "if". We start to waste our precious present moments lost in our minds again, thinking "what if I knew then what I know now", "what if I took advantage of that opportunity I had then" or similar past-oriented hypotheticals.
It is really easy to get sucked into alternative pasts. They draw you into curiosity-driven cyclic thoughts, and usually drain your energy. They take you out of reality, which is unfolding here and now. Like any other non-essential thinking, ruminating "what ifs" put you into a trance, a zombie-like state.
What we need to learn from the past will come to us in the moment when we need it. We can cut that heavy chain that shackles us to replaying past experiences, especially the chain to our "what ifs". What if nothing! It didn't happen that way, so drop it! Let it go! Die to the past, as Rumi says. Get on with accepting this moment fully. Be aware and present here and now and you won't miss opportunities that create future regrets. Be fully honest, navigating by the heart, not your head, because that is the best way to avoid missing opportunities. Don't rationalize yourself out of living.
Whenever you have non-useful thoughts, you can take a deep breath and return to mindfulness. Some use mantra repetition to block unneccesary thinking. Steer your focus out of your head and into feeling the sensations in your body, and into really seeing the world around you. Whenever you think the past, or the present, should be any different then it is in this very moment, let that trigger you to practice mindfulness.
To get past that point on the path, the practice of surrender and acceptance are the cure. Practice letting go of your resistance or opposition to your present experience. Accept it as it is. Then you can follow your heart. Most frustrating situations dissolve when we release our resistance. Other situations become nothing more then a change in plans or some extra chores. Some situations become a call to peaceful advocacy, boycotting or peaceful resistence. Rise to each opportunity you experience fully, navigating by the heart. In this way you come into alignment with your deeper self. You free yourself from future regrets, and living fully in the moment, you transcend the past. You can live here and now fully believing that everything unfolds for your spiritual growth and highest good, and fully accept reality as it is. Living fully in the moment liberates us to reach our greatest potential and to find unshakable joy and peace within.

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