This morning I had a profound moment of bliss, one that I was longing to experience for the past few months. I sat, caressed by the warm rays of the morning sun, chanting Om twenty one times. Once I completed the chanting I sat in silence, for the first time in many days.
My mind was still, there were no ripples on the lake. Beneath the surface I could feel the immense love that it contained. My heart burst open and tears flowed down my cheeks. A warm flow of love poured through my eyes.
In that moment, I felt one with everything and I felt relieved to feel that again, after a long time. I realized, my happiest, purest moments have always been sitting on the ground, doing nothing, wanting nothing, alone but completely held and loved.
Yet, as most humans I still seek this feeling outside of me, in work, people, my daily activities…For any seeker these moments are the holy grail, where one feels simultaneously at peace and one with the Universe.
These moments are fleeting, they are elusive. They come and go. The pain rises from holding on and wanting them to be a constant in our lives. I’ve experienced that pain – the pain of wanting to feel connected to source all the time and realizing how often I’m not.
The main obstacle or challenge between this feeling of wholeness and us is our own mind, and that right there, deepens the wound. Because we know, that we are in our own way. The mind, which is such a powerful tool for materializing creative genius is also the one that brings us down.
The power of the mind is one of illusion – it keeps us in a state of separation in which we feel isolated, fearful and alone. The mind hides the truth from us. We live our daily lives caught in the illusion of separation all the while longing to go home, to our natural state of oneness and love, devoid of illusion.
That’s why at times it is painful to be human, to realize the extent of the separation we engage in, or create, mostly unconsciously, on a daily basis. Whether it’s putting up walls to protect our hearts, whether it’s being defensive, attacking others with our words or actions, allowing others to suffer while we do nothing, depression, anxiety, suicide… All of it, is just us hurting.
There’s a story that says that addicts, used to be angels in “heaven” or let’s call it The Good Place (to avoid any religious connotations) and because of a mistake, they were shunned and came back to earth. Just the idea of being shunned for making a mistake seems pretty brutal. Maybe that’s why we’re all so harsh on ourselves when we make mistakes? Life on earth as we have collectively created it, is definitely not The Good Place, most of the time anyways.
That’s why we always get so enthusiastic and emotional when we witness stories of humans at their best – saving the dog from the flood, donating a kidney, risking their life to save a forest from fire… Secretly, in the depth of our being, we know that’s the version of ourselves we’re meant to be and so our heroes serve to remind us of our inherent heroic qualities.
Back to the story – These angels, now on earth, have become addicts. Because addicts know what the world could be like (heaven on earth), they can’t cope with the reality of how it is and escape the pain through addiction. It makes sense, especially when more science is starting to relate addiction or addictive behaviors to lack of connection. What is our main connection? Source.
It’s understandable that feeling disconnected from source can lead to pain and to addiction to ease that pain. I’ve felt that pain so many times. Anybody who has experienced bliss, also experiences the pain of knowing they are not living in that state.
Imagine someone gives you the biggest treasure on earth and then takes it back. And you know you can get it, you know it’s there at your fingertips, but you just can’t find it. That hurts.
Just look at kids when you remove their favorite toys. We’re essentially kids who’ve grown up, longing for our favorite toy. Life lived that way seems like a constant battle and it is exhausting.
If it were natural for us to live in separation wouldn’t we be content living that way? If it were natural for us to attack and defend wouldn’t it feel great to do so? If it were natural for us to destroy everything we find on our way wouldn’t we be the most happy species on the planet, the Universe?
The mere fact that we’re all seeking is proof enough that we don’t feel at home. The fact is that, we are increasingly depressed, anxious and disconnected.
So many of us around the globe are longing for connection in the forms of – community, a partner, an exciting career, adventures, travel, psychedelics… And we cannot bear the emptiness of feeling abandoned by source, a mind-inflicted abandonment that too.
We numb ourselves with drugs, alcohol, anti-depressants, porn, gaming… We even seek violence to feel alive, to feel
something, anything! The essence, the spark of all we try to do or achieve, is a deep longing for source, for connection to our true nature and that of those around us. The Buddha in me sees and honors the Buddha in you – that’s how we want to live.
The fact that we struggle so much with this material manifestation of our life, is in fact because we know intuitively, in the depths of our being, that this is not how we are inherently designed.
We are designed to love and every time we feel disconnected from love within, we hurt deeply, like an innocent child longing for his/her parents loving embrace. We express that hurt in ways that create more hurt in and around us.
What a trick it is to come to the realization that we are one in mind, many in body. Which literally translates as I am you, you are me. There is no difference. Our bodies give us the illusion that there is a territory to defend and our ego becomes the knight in shining armor that will save us from the disgrace of defeat.
But honestly, has anyone ever felt great having an argument, hurting someone else, being petty, mean, judgmental? Has war ever in the history of mankind created more joy and liberation? I know I have never felt great being mean.
I’ve never looked back and thought: “Yes! I’m so proud! That was me at my best and boy it felt good!”. It’s literally never happened, which leads me to believe and understand each day that I always have two choices: Love or Fear. In any given moment, all of us, can choose either.
It’s pretty simple when put in words but in the “reality” of the illusory world we live in, there’s nothing more trying than to make that choice. I’m not talking about when we’re feeling good and groovy and things are smooth, in that case it’s pretty seamless to choose love.
It’s about the times when you’re in the shit storm and you feel like darkness is lurking in every cell of your body and all you can see around is fear and anger. In those moments – love seems like a distant land that’s inaccessible.
Even more than that, it seems like an illusion, a lie, and that hurts. What a ride it is to be human! The solution lies in acceptance – a profound acceptance of our humanity, shadows, darkness, weaknesses… It comes through profound compassion for our mutual pain and longing for home.
Expressed through the profound humility of knowing that till we are in this body, we will experience the entire spectrum of what it means to be human and that being here on this earth means that we will experience ego, separation and pain. And that’s ok, it’s all ok!
If we can find acceptance, we can find peace. That doesn’t mean we’ve failed in any way. It just means we’re in a human suit made of flesh and bones and till our last breath all we can do is try our best to live our best life and cause the least amount of harm to ourselves and others. Because inherently I am you and you are me. Any pain I inflict on myself, I inflict on you and vice versa.
It gives us great hope and responsibility that by developing ourselves and helping others develop themselves, we can generate more peace, slowly, gently, with great care and compassion.
Not being hard on ourselves, or getting frustrated with our own humanity. The more we resist our own humanity, the more resistance we create in the collective consciousness, the more pain and suffering we inflict on ourselves and others. It’s the trick really – to stop struggling with ourselves, to stop punishing ourselves for being human.
We are perfect beings living in the illusion of imperfection, God dressed in a human suit, playing around, experiencing what it means to be human, to go through all that we go through on a daily basis: the suffering of birth, disease, old age, death and the in-betweens, the sweet moments of respite…
We have come here to experience all of it. Let us not beat ourselves up for our mistakes but also take responsibility for the destruction we perpetrate in our search for home. Let us observe when we choose fear over love. Let us see when we’re buying into the illusion of separation. Let us be a witness to our own unfolding. We will reach home eventually. One day, we will be free of suffering.
Until that day, I’m here on this journey with you as you are with me. Let’s try to be the best we can and help each other out with our pain and suffering along the way. Taking time to center ourselves daily goes a long way.
Honin Myo – from this moment forward. We can start again at any moment. What’s gone before is of no concern and yet it is our launching pad. Begin again, renew our goals, move into our future from now. Honin Myo my friends. Let’s start again, from this moment.
Deliberation by Mario Sanchez Nevado