Some moment it will dawn on you: You’re free, and always have been. Radically free. You’ll realize you never needed to try so hard. You’ll realize that all along you had what you wanted. You already were it.
A moment will come when you realize there’s not, after all, a problem. You will notice that the impulse to resist has left you. Things just are as they are. Inside it is weirdly peaceful, even though outwardly things are pretty much as they have been all along. It’s just that they no longer seem to be so much about you—even those things that directly affect your life.
Your sense of who you are and what your life is about has opened, softened. A lot that used to matter is no longer absorbing. You move through things (all things) with a lighthearted ease. You can feel how struggle, the urge to make something happen—a whole life’s worth of effort—has drained right out of you, as if you’ve sprung a leak.
Children know something about this; then forgetting comes. Grownups mostly have forgotten they ever knew something. Some have a little recollection, like a remnant taste of a sweetness from long ago, a fleeting bit of a song they know they’d recognize but can’t quite sing. They wonder about the source of this, how to find their way again to the origin of that inexpressible thing. They may think they once had it, but then lost it. Or they may think they imagined it, that they dreamed the whole thing up to give themselves some kind of comfort, a respite from the daily and the difficult. But no, that isn’t quite what’s going on.
They didn’t dream it up. It’s real. It’s the most real thing there is. And it didn’t go away.
Imagine a life without suffering. Not because bad things have stopped happening in the world or in your personal life, but because your orientation to them has changed. Your orientation to yourself has changed. The end of suffering comes about when you find your way to that primeval sweetness that has never left you, which is the essence of every human being. This essence has never known the swelling of pride or the grip of fear. It has never been lonely or ambitious. When the familiar sense of who you are has softened and grown light, when it is allowed to fall away, what remains is a pool of calm delight. You no longer ask things of your life. Each moment is enough, as it is. Life lived within that awareness is heaven on earth. It is human nature, allowed to come to full flower.
This article appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, Issue #35.
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