Monday, September 22, 2008

At a Loss

Enlightenment, in the end is nothing, more than the natural state of being…Natural of course means a state of being which is not contrived, a state of being which does not need effort or discipline to maintain, a state of being which is not being enhanced by any sort of manipulation of the mind or the body. In other words, a state of being that is completely natural and spontaneous.
Adyashanti, True Meditation, CD 1, track 4.

In true meditation we’re starting from the foundation of allowing everything to be as it is… In true meditation we’re not moving towards the natural state, or trying to create the natural state, we’re actually starting from the natural state… and that’s what I started to discover when I allowed everything to be as it is… the peace and the silence and the stillness I was trying to obtain was actually already there… and all I had to do was stop trying to attain it.
Adyashanti, True Meditation CD1, track 7.

Being in silence, at the retreat at the Garrison Institute with Adyashanti, was defined as: no talking, no whispering, no gestures, no passing of notes. We weren’t even supposed to read, or allowed to takes notes during satsang. Eye contact and smiling were fine, but we were not to necessarily expect any return of recognition.

I was quite comfortable with these restrictions. I found I didn’t even want to write – (though journaling was permitted.)
And I did write a single entry:

September 12th - At a Loss

Adya has effectively stripped away every to-do, every move of spiritual jujitsu that I am aware of.
There is nothing, no effort I can make to bring me enlightenment.
It has to come from Grace.
And so I find, I am at a total loss.

What am I to do?
Surely there must be something!

Well, alright then. How ‘bout this: the effortless-effort?
I will think of life as meditation.

We sit to meditate knowing that effort on our part is incorrect technique.
Meditation must be effortless.
Yet still, even in True Meditation, as we allow everything to be simply as it is… we do have obligations.
I set the intention that when I recognize that I have become absorbed in thinking I will return to the breath.
It’s this one responsibility that distinguishes meditation from just sitting there.
After that the mind just does it thing – which usually means a bunch of babble.
And I have seen, time and again, that such babble doesn’t really prevent settling down into the Silence.
In meditation we don’t go to war against our thoughts. They are simply there.

But Adya mentioned last night something quite remarkable to me.
He asked, “What brings us out of thoughts when we become absorbed by them?”
I have always assumed it was my intention (long forgotten) – some seed planted in my subconscious that will call me back.
But Adya called it Grace!
A small and delicate impulse, Grace awakens me to the fact that I have been lost in thoughts.

And so it seems with life.
The ego can not participate in its own demise.
About the only practice I can do throughout the day is Tolle’s being with the Now,
which is just another way of saying accepting things as they are.
Or, as the instructions go for meditation, it is “allowing things to be as they are.”

And so I wait for Grace in Life to intervene and take me home.
I wait for Life to carry me through Life.

Or as Maharishi said in his commentary of the Bhagavad Gita, “The Self unfolds itself, by Itself, to Itself.”

So ran my thoughts during the retreat.
Since then, I have had time for more reflection.
This whole discussion leads to interesting considerations as to the relationship between Grace and the subconscious.
It’s another doorway into what I’ve written about before: scientific evidence that our thoughts come from “somewhere deep inside.”
I always thought of this as simply the subconscious. But, it is also the depths of consciousness, and somewhere in that Ocean of Wholeness flows the current we call Grace.


Pincushion said...

He asked, “What brings us out of thoughts when we become absorbed by them?”
..amazing that you should say this now...for its the very Q. that has occured to me..almost always there is 'that' which nudges you gently back..a presence! what IS IT? must be any other name...

Thank you.

Pat Bralley said...

You seem to have seen it much closer than I ever have. The realization always just is there as a thought - never the nudge or the presence. So I was shocked to realize it's grace, the flow of life... "by any other name."

Adya had more teaching on thoughts in med. after this which I'll try to get to one day. Have ordered the CD of the session so I can have his exact words.