It’s interesting how we can get stumped on an issue and can’t seem to see the other side, but when we open ourselves up and listen, somehow the people and circumstances in our lives are able to shed light on the problem and we are able to again move forward. In a way, it is through each other that we awaken a little more and free ourselves a little more- through each interaction. This month I heard this beautiful mantra from the Buddhist Heart Sutra on several unrelated occasions and it was exactly what I needed: ”Gate, gate, para gate, parasam Gate, Bodhi Sva ha!” It means “Going, going, gone, completely gone. Now Awakened!”
In our world of attachment we tend to lose ourselves and the present moment in our constant clinging. Whether it is attachment to the material, to our thoughts, to our feelings, to our past, to our future, to our relationships or past relationships, we create an identity for ourselves that is firmly secured in these attachments. After all, who are we without them? We believe these attachments, these possessions, these relationships, or lack thereof, make us better or worse than others. Having or not having affirms our place in this world and gives us feelings of worth or feelings of worthlessness. The goal becomes to have more, to do more, to be more. We feel there is a connection somehow that attainment and quantity equals better.
When we begin to distance ourselves from our mind, our thoughts, our need to be right, our story, our memories, our worldly possessions, even our accomplishments, we begin to experience liberation from our attachments. The veil begins to lift. When we allow our consciousness to strip down to the bare bones, what is there? What is there in our purest and most raw state? Without our education, our accomplishments, our careers, our memories, our stories, our possessions, our pride, our sadness, our anger, our thoughts, our ego?
It is our true self. The self that is not reliant on the past or the future for an identity. The self that truly knows that we are not alone, and that all of us are connected, and yet is not reliant on others for a sense of identity. The self that understands that whether you reach the goal or not, everything is “still wonderful” as SriKumar Rao says. The self that fully gets that the journey, the process, the experience of life is what it’s all about. The self that realizes that life is a constant flow of impermanence. Money will come and go. Jobs will come and go. Vacations and great memories will come and go. Relationships and friendships will come and go. Hardships will come and go. Elated happiness will come and go. Our lives and the lives of our loved ones will come and go.
We are in a constant state of everything “going, going” until it is “gone”, and when we can let it be “completely gone” in mind, body, and spirit- we experience freedom. We experience that awakening.
This is my wish for you! and for all of us!
May your ability to “let go” be strengthened through your practice. May you realize that awakening is not an event it is a process that happens over a lifetime. May you live each day with childlike wonderment. May you cultivate a liberated perspective of what is truly important to you.