Have you ever sat and listened to your own heartbeat? It’s almost impossible unless you are silent, looking for it, undistracted by what’s going on around and outside you. Undivided by impatience or the incessant drive to keep the mind rambling inside you. Your complete attention must be here, now, to even catch a hint of pulse. The rhythm of the heart is faint… yet it’s whispers can be far more quiet.
Your heart, your gut, your conscience, all within and part of your innermost being know the path of right action. They know who we really are. They see life as it is without making everything personal. There is no story, no regret, anger or shame about the past, no fear or anxiety about the future, no guilt, just imagine…
Imagine a life like this. No excuse or justification needed just to exist as you are! No unconscious roles, traits, habits & beliefs about yourself that don’t serve you. Only who you are now, who you chose to be, your personal best… right here, right now. Everybody has a past, if they could relive it, we all would do a few things different. But we’re never going to be in the past again. We’re only going to be here, now… We’re never going to be in the future, never anywhere else, just right where you are, right here, right now.
It is natural to plan and prepare for the future just as it is natural to learn from our experiences. Just don’t emotionally attach, don’t drag suffering into the now by reliving the past, by reviving guilt over something you’ve done, anger over something someone else did or sadness over something that has happened. That pain that we can hold onto is a choice. Just let it go and let go of the suffering. Whatever happened was then, don’t let it spoil the potential of this moment. Do your best now, use your might to have the discipline to hold yourself to that standard. Then no matter what has happened, as long as you did your best to not get caught in emotion and use your thought, word or action against yourself or another, your hands are clean moving onto the next scene of your life. And if you stumble along the way, that’s fine too, cause guess what… it’s already in the past.
What the ego (the mind) wants to do is either one of two things: 1) Judge yourself, carry the past into the future skipping the now altogether, and have you identify with the judgment you use on yourself, which alters your self worth and taints the lens you see the world and your potential through, OR, 2) Judge others, see others as either superior or inferior to yourself, then base your interactions according to either a) low self worth, where no consideration is reserved for yourself, or b) low consciousness, where no consideration is given to others.
Think about this… whether you’re comparing someone’s worth, convincing yourself why you should feel upset, or chastising another in their differences, that entire conversation exists in your mind only. Nowhere else is this taking place; judgment happens in the mind not the heart.
The mind, a byproduct of our brain, is an amazing tool that if used properly has the ability to express our innermost being through thought, word and action; thus creating a life in harmony with our Real self. But just like artificial intelligence from a bad sci fi movie, our supercomputer of a mind can grow out of control and forget that it is just a tool. Our ego can be so loud that we can easily miss the whispers of the heart, to the point that we forget that another voice even exists! It loves to make everything about it, take things personal, judge others, and just as critically judge ourselves. It plays on self worth. It creates conversations in our head, inserts emotions and makes it “real”; and yet, all it REALLY is, is a voice in our head only.
Have you ever witnessed the grandeur of the Milky Way, sprawling across the night sky? To see it, one must leave the noise of the city, head 100 miles or so further into the dark, let our eyes accustom to the new surroundings and simply look up… (W O W!!!) It’s always there, and yet we never get a chance to experience it. The Milky Way is hyuuge and brilliant, yet when we’re in our normal environment, it is virtually impossible to even catch a glimpse of it. When in our hectic lives do we get the time to escape the countless distraction/commitment/needs, step outside, and spend the evening on our backs, head resting in the pillow of our palms? Even if we did, we’d see only the brightest of the stars at best. The spectacle that is bigger than we can even comprehend still alludes and is obscured by “light pollution” from the city just as completely as the moon is blotted out by the day…
The reason I mention the night sky is this… in those rare opportunities when we get a chance to marvel at the magnificence and vastness of the Milky Way, a simple truth becomes self-evident; we are a part of all of this, and all that we know is so small. A picture unfolds before us that cannot be otherwise, unless we are a) without the pollution of “artificial light” and b) undistracted in our efforts to be here now. We, everything that we can see, and all we could possibly know is but an infinitesimally small piece of this beautiful thing. THAT is reality, absolute truth, it’s always there, night or day, if we’re paying attention or not, it’s shining down whether over a midday metropolis or in the middle of a midnight sea. From our perspective, it rarely shows itself, except for when we escape our relative reality. The galaxy is indifferent to what needs, fears or things you gotta do for your future in your mind, just as it is indifferent to what things you drag into its presence from your past in your mind. The stars are just as they are, forever in the now
Connecting the dots?
The vast totality of what this life is, what & who we are is unknowable, incomprehensible; yet the easiest thing to do, is to see things from the “relative reality” of an extremely limited perspective or viewpoint. One that makes itself the center of the known universe, makes everything about itself, takes things personal, has to judge everything, compare it to ourself for better or worse, and keeps us wrapped up in a time other than right now. If that isn’t bad enough, it ties events and objects to emotion, intoxicates us with it, till we’re drunk with rage, sorrow, envy and so on. This makes it impossible to be clear-headed, impossible to be in the present, impossible to hear the whispers of the heart. The voice is always there, but is easily missed and forgotten. All the things going on outside of us keep us so distracted i.e. commitments, needs, events, that we never give to ourselves the opportunity to look deep within or to the stars for perspective of absolute truth. All the things going on inside of us, the artificial light, inside the head, keep the view, perspective and paradigm obstructed i.e. the emotional rollercoaster, the need to be right, the judging, labeling and defining everything. Of course most of us self-identify with our mind as the end-all be-all to who we are. It’s all we know because it’s all it allows us to know… all it let’s us hear.
Through truly listening to ourselves, to the whispers of the heart, we have the ability to live a life in harmony. The balance between our being, our Real self, and who we think we are, our personal self, can be and most often is in disharmony. This separation creates a void, a space, a door in which all the problems of the world can enter. The Buddha calls these problems of the world suffering, which is a disease of the mind. See, once we see ourselves as separate, separate from The All, we become separate from ourselves and separate from perfection. Once we think that we need to be one way or the other, the mind has already created a space and opened the door for suffering.
The question is… who is behind the drivers wheel? Is it the “Real Self”, living in the now, experiencing life without definition, sublime and content floating above the storm of emotion, far from the judgment and justification needed to prop up our ideas of ourselves and the world? Is it the ego, the “personal self” steering, where every joy and frustration is governed by things happening outside of ourselves and our control? Remember this, “the tip of the spear of power is this present moment”. It is always a choice