Be the expert of yourself….
“When you cut water, the water does not get hurt. When you cut something solid it breaks.””
According to Anthony De Mello the key resources to live an awakened life are Insight, Understanding & Awareness
- Insight so that we may see ourselves as a reflection in a mirror, so that we can see how we become tied up in knots over our emotions.
- Understanding so that we may understand what it is that truly makes us happy. Did the one thing that we thought would make us happy, did it really make us happy?
- Awareness so that we can understand what it is that is going on inside of us at all time.
The combination of the three allows us to become our own expert, and through this we may navigate the choppy waters of life with effortless ease. Ever wondered why you were so exhausted? Why you felt so drained all the time? Maybe you are working too hard and maybe you do not actually need to. Maybe you are in effect pushing a boulder uphill when in reality all you need to do is sit back and let nature take its course. Once we learn to dis-identify with the me, once we learn to drop the labels that we give to ourselves, once we see that we do not need to be what we think we need to be – so much can happen. What is the use of all this self condemnation and hatred? What is the use of the endless wishing to be someone body else, the desiring to have someone else’s body, the yearning to live someone else’s life. Quite simply what is the point.
Recently I have become painfully aware of how social media portrays yoga as something it really is not – I saw a video advertising a class, a short but sweet video of a lovely pose but the camera zoomed just a little too close to the practitioners pert butt & breasts for my liking. I saw a picture advertising a personal trainer and in it was said that the goal was a tight butt, a toned back and a teeny waist. Then add to that we have the whole litany of different types of yoga offering different ways of attaining enlightenment. It is like we are unwittingly adding layers and layers of pressure upon ourselves, making out that life is one series of tick the boxes. Through this the scales tip heavily onto the side of self condemnation and hatred, we abuse ourselves on a daily basis through out inability to meet these goals. The truth being that we are ALL already there. And I mean THERE as this esoteric THERE that people tell us we MUST aspire to get to. Why do we have to make enlightenment another “to do” on the tick list, can we not really see that there is no where to go and there’s nothing that needs doing.
The only way to break this cycle is though insight, understanding and awareness. Our attitudes and illusions, they may seem solid at the time, they may feel very real indeed – but only when we understand that it is on account of these beliefs that we experience hurt and pain. Simply put, change your attitude and something will happen. As Anthony De Mello says again and again “DROP IT” – “JUST DROP IT”. It is a choice to make – pain and suffering or freedom and happiness. I know that sounds overly simply but it really is so.
Please understand also that as much as I write this here for others to read, I write this is a reminder to myself. Recently I let myself get caught up on my ego quote badly, I allowed myself to go down a route of self pity and indulged myself in abusive thoughts. It is normal, it happens. But I know within my heart that it is just my ego talking, I know that it is meaningless, I know that I will ultimately come back into that understanding but that sometimes it takes a little time and wisdom to get me there.
Wisdom comes from taking away the illusions, from stripping away the layers by which we identify with. Wisdom means that we do not repeatedly try to apply the solutions of yesterday to today’s problem. Wisdom allows us to to be sensitive to the situation without being influenced by the experiences of the past. Through wisdom, we allow our heart to be open and through an open heart we may love fully. All summed up so beautifully by this Chinese proverb.
If the eye is unobstructed, the result is sight.
If the ear is unobstructed, the result is hearing.
If the nose is unobstructed, the result is smell.
If the mouth is unobstructed, the result is taste.
If the mind is unobstructed, the result is wisdom.
And a final line added by De Mello
If the heart is unobstructed, the result is love.
So folks, put aside the to do list. Where you are is where you are, do not try to change the circumstances around you, change yourself and your attitudes towards it – the rest will follow!