Love the pitcher less and the water more. (Rumi)
Someone asked Vernon Howard, "I try to believe in myself, but I find that I just can't do so." His response: "Instead of trying to believe in yourself, try to discover yourself. Do this by seeing the difference between belief and discovery. The captain of the Titanic believed his ship could not sink."
All of life will not change you; it unfolds as a way to unmask you….Like fruit that has fallen to the earth, the seed can only take root when its protective covering disintegrates. (Cafeausoul – Hexagram 23)
I know that there are a lot of people out there who have had the long experience of following this and that path, system, beliefs, etc – one after another. I am sure there are both common reasons for that and individual reasons for it. But it is hard to reconcile the idea of surrender to Life with thinking that all of those things that “came to naught” were mistakes. We cannot possibly grasp what the long game is. We are here to experience the mundane results of being consciousness in form. How that fits into the cosmic consciousness is not up to us to understand. One of the keynotes of the Open Head Center is thinking about things that don’t matter – that don’t matter to your own life. Things that cannot be known or things you can know but don’t need to know.
Occasionally I experience one of those moments where I can see the threads of my life and the interconnections in one frozen moment. I can see all of those things, the beliefs, the practices, the rituals and ceremonies that I have walked through and I wonder which one held the key that enabled me to arrive at the consciousness that I am at this moment. Or is it the quantum of all of that? I prefer to see the driving force as the synthesis of all of it. But as I settled down to simple practices, it has become apparent that whatever lies beneath all of these syntheses it seems to keep coming back to being present, to mindfulness. Most of the practice that I have been drawn to, while it may be accompanied by varying complexities of the language presenting the practice or convincing us of the value of the practice, most of it has the ultimate value of just teaching me to be aware of what is, of what I am doing or thinking, or not doing or thinking. Through that process comes the letting go of what doesn’t serve. Through the letting go comes the revelation of the true self. What is left after the water recedes is what is essential. and it actually seems to become more and more effortless over time.
I am increasingly coming to see that whatever my expectations were when starting this journey about the nature of the transformed person was part of the problem. Despite the efforts of my mind and its strategic conditioning, its adaptive strategies, the true nature of my Design has always made itself known. I just never recognized that that part was the real me and it has been here all along. That slow evolution that is sometimes so frustrating wasn’t really the slowness to change; it was the slowness to see and accept what was always here.