As a person, we experience the ups and downs of life. We are on a rollercoaster ride, hanging on with white knuckles, excited and afraid. Then it levels out, we return to the station and convince ourselves that calm is what we seek, enlightenment is in the stillness of tranquility. But inevitably the ride starts again and we are still on it.
We consult the guru, seek the master, dissect the scriptures to find the exit. We’ve imagined a different life, without ups and downs, simple and free, the stuff of the monks and sages, and we are determined to create or pierce that reality. Sometimes we are successful for a time but it doesn’t last. Like everything of life, nothing is solid, certain, unchanging, or predictable.
We prostrate and pray, sit and be still, meditate and chant to evoke our imagined version of an alternate reality, with no avail. We’ve been told it’s the way, the path to discovering the seeker’s efforts are futile and hopeless. Our progress is marked by dead ends and dark nights of the soul. The master says we should stop trying and provokes us with paradox. All the while it’s happening. Life continues.
So what do we do? The answer is in the shift. The ride is the ride. Life is life. Ups need downs, peaks need valleys, storms need calm, and so on. It’s happening. The shift is being aware that we are already aware that it is happening. The fact it’s happening is ever-present, obvious, and ignored until it isn’t. There are no fireworks, mystical encounters, or transcendental experiences required. The awakening is an awakening to what is, not an alternate version of life we have created in our seeker mind.
The shift is hard but effortless. It is obvious but too close. It is endless but just on the surface. It is nowhere to be found but precisely here. It is vividly apparent and hidden by our imagining mind. It is ever-present, profoundly intimate but ignored in search of something else.
These last few years have changed all our lives. We will never be the same as the human race or a planet. Regardless of our opinion, desires, actions, or inactions, we have been affected profoundly. I am not immune to the impacts and have undergone a radical life change, a colossal rollercoaster from which I was desperate for an exit. That’s why the long pause in writing and why I wanted to share now. It’s happening. We are on the ride and it’s our ride. In some way, it’s the ride we wanted.
I want to encourage you and urge you to be aware. Just be aware that you are already aware. You may want off, a different ride, a moment of peace, a return to normal, an escape or enlightenment itself. And that desire is happening too.
Namaste seems appropriate.