Friday, December 18, 2009

From Silence to Stability

Stability is considered a negative in the world of economics - it means absence of growth they say. In the world of the Spirit though Stability is an essential aspect of growth. A stable mind makes it possible to go deeper and discover one's True Self - the one that is the Ultimate, Omnipresent, Omniscient, Omnipotent entity that defines us all.

What is Stability of mind and how does one achieve it? A stable mind is simply one that does not react either positively or negatively to any stimulus. It accepts every thought, event, person with complete equanimity. To achieve this state there has to be an understanding that the world at large is only an illusion and transient. To get to this stage one only need study everything that has ever happened and recognize the truth of this. This must be done with an open mind and the results that come out of the observations depends on the stage of stability that a person is at. Each of us is always right no matter what the conclusion since it is a subjective exercise.

Over the years my observation has changed. At first stability of the mind was only a myth and something that was a theory found in books. Completely unachievable - an Utopian idea. I even thought it was a form of escapism. Then it seemed possible under certain circumstances - like in lives of monks who have secluded themselves and do not have to deal with the vagaries of life. With time I began to acknowledge that after about the age of eighty and living a life full of peaks and valleys some people may be able to achieve this state. Now I know that this stability is available to anyone who chooses to have it. As a matter of fact the earlier one achieves it the more blissful life becomes. Living harmoniously is only possible when the mind is unruffled.

Our mind-body complex is the greatest deterrent to our spiritual progress. The senses tempt the mind and easily take control of it. The mind begins to identify with the sensual pleasures and is blinded by this identity. The egocentric thoughts only get stronger and have a powerful hold over the mind. Things, people, events become all important and the capacity to discern the real from the illusory is completely lost. It is not as if the mind is incapable of understanding this difference it just refuses to understand it because it has so much fun being out in the illusory world. Pleasure is to be had even in pain. We repeat our painful stories to others and more often than that to ourselves. We relive sad events of our lives and keep them alive even when the event itself is past. How masochistic is that? Nothing is gained by holding on to pain - except that the ego is sure of not getting overpowered by the Spirit. The reign of the ego is threatened when we bring ourselves into the present moment every moment and accept all that has passed and do not focus on the imaginary future.

My father passed away when I was a teenager. I love my father as much today as I loved him then - love does not require him to be present in my life if it is unconditional. When my love wants my father physically present it proves that mine is a conditional love - it is conditional upon he being alive. Reliving his death and causing myself pain, reliving the fun moments and bringing pleasure both cause my mind to become unstable. One is not better than the other. Memories need not be lost but I cannot give all of my power to my memories. I can think of my father and feel the love that I feel when I look upon a rose bush in my garden or a grand old oak tree in the park or a hare hopping across the walkway into the woods or a dead deer as it lies beside the roadway - since all of it is just an illusion.

It has taken me many hours of silent contemplation and meditation to tap into this knowing. Many of life's experiences had overpowered me too. I could not see the folly in getting involved and enmeshed in the drama of life for as long as I was living as if I belonged to this world. Then a few major incidents of the world made me stop in my tracks. A dear friend gave up on our friendship. I had not foreseen this. I was sure that the friendship had a strong base as it was founded on spiritual likeness between us. This was the second time such an event has happened in my life - a person I thought touched my soul gave up on the joint pursuit of spiritual growth. Another was the fallout of an enterprise that I had undertaken with someone I considered like minded. It ended with me feeling that every intention of mine was misconstrued. Then there was an event that made me feel mistrusted and disrespected by someone very close to my heart. With all of these events the common factor was me. It made me think that there was something about me that caused me to feel betrayed, misunderstood, disrespected. The mind loves to lay blame and take me on guilt trips as this only strengthens the ego.

I spent hours contemplating over this - not on the events themselves - but on my feelings and thoughts. I prayed fervently that I see the light and then one night as I sat in silent meditation I 'heard' it. I had lost control over my mind. It was the instability of the mind that made it appear like all of this was about me. It was not. With every event and every person I had been true to myself. I was being me. How someone else saw me was independent of me. How then was I betrayed, misunderstood or disrespected? Why does it matter how they looked upon me when I know that I was true to my nature? I am perfect as I am - a child of God just like those who judge me. They are and I am. That is the only truth. My perception of their judgment of me is just as immaterial as their judgment of me - both are unreal and independent of the Ultimate Truth that is unchangeable. I love all of my judges and thank them for being my teachers on my journey to finding this beautiful Child of God.

I have taken a long step towards knowing me better. The drama is fun to watch. I can play life as I watch it for as long as I do not become attached to my role in it. I am an actor with a beautiful costume, expensive jewelry, state of the art make-up - but even more fun is knowing that my part in this drama is all a game and when one game is over I can go to the next with a new set of costumes completely unaffected by my previous role. That is the strength of my very soul. I have identified the essential Truth - the Knowing, Pure, Loving, Peaceful, Happy, Strong, Powerful Me. This identity brings Stability of the mind and makes it possible to be in this world and not become part of it. Spectating life is truly blissful.

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