We are amazing creatures. Our essence is truly good. Not a dualistic good, but inherently so. Years ago, I realized I had been mistaken my entire life. I had to do something about it. This is that something. It takes much concerted effort to change our lives, but once we choose to do so and continue making that choice with every breath and every step that we take, that is the essence of transformation. There are countless opportunities every day, and we are blessed to be in this together.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
The Light Within the Darkness
There are moments when people are unable to listen. These
moments can last an entire lifetime. There are always reasons as to why some
shutdown their awareness. Here, we are not attempting to ascertain these
reasons. Learning to adjust individual awareness in an environment that is
unable, for whatever reason, to be similarly aware is a constant struggle. This
process must be adaptive and consistently applied, with awareness being
reacquired in every moment.
We are unable to bridge the holes in anyone’s awareness.
Certainly, we can shine a spotlight on these holes. If the object is unwilling
or resistant to the light of awareness, then we must be cognizant of that
truth. That is, after all, part of being aware. We must be careful here too.
Often, the aspirations of people and their willingness to act on those
aspirations do not overlap. It is far easier to say you want to be better than
to actually do something substantial about it.
This is why we must always come back to our presence. It is
worth our energy, our time and effort to continuously return to being present,
to being aware. This may seem exhausting, to consistently keep our attention and
awareness on the present moment. The mind wants to do what it wants. It wants
to be distracted by the external conditions as a way to avoid internal
exploration. And, there are so many external conditions to be distracted by!
As our presence in the moment strengthens, those around us
can directly benefit. When we’re more present, we pay attention to the impacts
of our actions and inactions. In fact, often those around are not aware of all
that we do to alleviate their pain and suffering as they themselves are not
present for each moment where we make a decision to think about others. We
should not expect acknowledgment for anything we do or don’t do for anyone.
Also, the aspirations of others can feel our strengthening
presence and opening awareness, conflicting with their willingness to change.
It is these moments that maintaining your presence is most difficult. We can do
Sometimes, we don’t have a choice in where we are and who we
surround ourselves with. Sometimes, we don’t get to affect our conditions in
the way that is most effective. As we wrestle with our own ignorance, we must continually
readjust and reacquire our presence and our awareness of others. We must always
be able to take fresh observations. Everyone can change even if most choose to
We must be careful to not hold the past actions of others
against them. This does not mean we forget the past, or that the past does not
come back into the present. It means we don’t hold these actions against them
moving forward. We can easily hold onto the past; it is part of how we got to
today. Sometimes, we have traumas that continually need ventilation in the
light of our strengthening presence. This is an aspect of awareness and
presence that can be quite difficult to manage.
All of these internal nuggets our mind has been holding onto
finally begin to feel the warmth of the growing light of awareness. It is only
natural that the past begin to open itself up into our present. We’re stronger
now; we’re more aware now; we can handle this. We can take care of these traumas
in a way we couldn’t before. We’re here for ourselves now.
Our awareness is like a light, and ignorance doesn’t like
the light. Ignorance is stubborn; it is dark; it is suffocating. It doesn’t
want to breathe; it doesn’t want to change; it wants to persist. We have to be
aware of this natural inclination in ourselves and within others.
We can do this. We can become aware in an increasingly
unaware world. We can be a light in the darkness of ignorance. We can
understand all reactions to the light of awareness, to the calm of presence. We
can persevere, despite all of these internal and external reactions. In fact,
these reactions are the source of our practice. We don’t have to perpetuate
ignorance. We don’t even have to react to it. We can understand it as we
ourselves are ignorant and have been for so long.