Do…Be…Do…Be…Do

I recently did an informal survey of some friends and clients and asked:

What is your biggest challenge when it comes to living your spiritual beliefs in your everyday life?

Several of them had a similar answer:

“It’s difficult to stay attuned to my spiritual self while going about my daily tasks.”

They felt caught by their habitual personas and roles, and they got distracted by the demands of their jobs, caring for family, managing a household, and so on.

Is that true for you, too?  Do you find that all the doing of daily life seems to get in the way of simply being?

I used to think the answer was to find a balance.  Do…Be…Do…Be…Do.  Finding balance is a good place to start, but it’s not the whole enchilada.  When we take more time for being…when we meditate, breathe deeply, or sit quietly in nature…it can help us slow down, and calm the monkey-mind.  We can experience moments of peace and feel our connection to Spirit.  Those times of retreat allow us to re-enter the doing with more clarity and centeredness.woman meditating

At some point, we again find ourselves lost in doing.  Again we forget  our very Being, having fallen back into the collective trance of separation consciousness.  What I mean by the “collective trance” is that we’ve all been conditioned to believe that we are separate…separate from each other…separate from God…that we are isolated units of doing-ness, doing our best to survive here on the planet.  When we’re asleep in separation consciousness, we feel cut off from our Being.

Let’s take another look at the idea of balancing Do…Be…Do…Be…Do.  There’s a tricky little lie hiding in this seemingly beautiful notion of balance.  The false idea is that being and doing are separate but equal..that they’re on the same playing field…but they’re not. Action and rest are two sides of a polarity, and we can swing back and forth between them.  But when we talk about being and doing, we’re really talking about Being (with a capital “B”).  Our Being is our True Nature…our essence.  That’s what’s primary.yin yang.being

Our Being doesn’t swing back and forth or turn on and off.  Our Being is always present.  Being is what we are.  So, here’s the key to the Do-Be-Do dilemma:  Recognize that all doing arises within Being.  Take a moment and read that again.

Doing arises within Being.

Our Beingness is constant.  It doesn’t come and go.  It’s actually the doingness that comes and goes.  Periods of activity alternate with times of rest.  The doingness arises as a temporary state within the eternal, changeless presence of  Being.  Being embraces all and allows all.  It surrounds and permeates all doings.  It’s not called “the ground of being” for nothing!  It is the ground. It may seem to be in the background…or completely hidden…but it’s actually what’s most real about you!  Being is not something we do, when we sit and meditate.  Being is our true identity.  This is what spiritual awakening is all about: Remembering our true identity…waking up to our Being.

Have you heard the old saying…

“Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.  After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.”

That is a clever way of saying that there will always be things to do.  Even after we awaken and see our True Nature, the dirty clothes still need washing, the kids need to go to gymnastics, the floors need sweeping, and the job still has deadlines to meet.  The question is “Who’s doing the doing?”  woman sweeping.van goghAre you really the small, separate self, just getting things done?  Is it the little character of your personality-self, sweeping the floor like Cinderella?

Or is the floor being swept in the presence of your Being?

As for the old song, Do Be Do Be Do, let it sing!  It’s natural for our attention to oscillate.  Our Being doesn’t switch on and off, but our awareness of Being is sometimes bright and sometimes dim, depending on what we’re giving attention to.  Not to worry.  Whenever you remember, remember. Whenever you forget, that’s ok, because your Being can’t be lost.  When you go to sleep at night and dream wild dreams, aren’t you still you when you wake up in the morning?  It’s the same thing when we dream that we’re separate.  Our True Nature is not lost or diminished in any way.

So, what can you do about Being?  Certain activities do tend to support the remembrance of our True Nature.  Yup, this brings us full circle…right back to meditating, breathing, being in nature, or engaging any practices that help us let go.   When we relax the “Doer”, the “Fixer”, and the “Controller”, it’s easier to sense our Being.  When we quiet the ego’s chatter, the still small voice becomes more noticeable.

Remember: Action and rest both arise within your Being.  One is not better than the other.  They are complimentary aspects of life. Trust that even in the midst of concentrated doing, even during times of deep forgetfulness, Being is present.  It is the PRESENCE. Whether it’s in the background or the foreground of your attention, your Being is always there, embracing all, allowing all.  You might sense it in the little gap between exhale and inhale, you may glimpse it between one thought and the next, or maybe you’ll notice your spaciousness reflected in the wide open sky above you. You might smile to yourself, and silently acknowledge the vastness of your Being, in which all things arise and fade away.

Please leave a comment and let me know if this was helpful to you.

Did it answer some of your questions?

Did it raise more questions?

What are some ways that you notice your Being, in the midst of daily life?

I appreciate your feedback!

                           Sajit


Leo Full Moon: May I Have This Dance?

 

Leo Full Moon

Part I:  Leo Wonders

Can you see me?

Can I see myself?

Can I free myself?

Who is doing the looking?

A cool and distant observer?

Or an unconditional, accepting, spaciousness?

Shining radiance

Appreciating her own Divine light

Not giving a damn

That’s freedom!

Part II:  Aquarius Watches

Aquarius stands apart

Breathing to her own drumbeat

Hesitant to join the dance

Leo’s infectious joy

Captivates and seduces

Come play!

There are no steps

There are no rules

Express your funky self!


Opening to Aquarius: Great Space

Big sky over Taos, New Mexico, reflects the spaciousness of Being.

Big sky over Taos, New Mexico, reflects the spaciousness of Being.

One of my favorite things about living in New Mexico is the big sky.  Seeing this vast space all around and above me is a constant reminder of the spaciousness of my Being.  Well, it’s not really “my” Being, it’s Being, itself.  Your Being…our Being…Being.  Who we are is way more than our bodies.  We can’t be contained by the body.  We’re too big for that!  Even our thoughts are too small for who we really are.  The mind, too, is like a big open space, in which thoughts arise and evaporate, like clouds moving through the wide open sky.  Have you ever watched as a cloud floated above you, high in the sky, and then dissolved into space?  Our thoughts are just like that: ephemeral and insubstantial.  Although we think of our bodies as solid and dense, physics tells us that “solid” matter is mostly space.  So, on this Aquarius New Moon, I’m celebrating spaciousness…will you join me?

The archetype of Aquarius (an air sign) can help us attune to our True Nature, which is spacious, unlimited, transparent, open, free, deep, and empty.  You could also say that our True Nature is “Love”, or “Peace”, or “Pure Awareness”.  Each of these descriptors is a way of pointing at our True Nature.  But no words, and certainly no one word, can truly describe our Being.  It is beyond words.  For now, let’s invite the Aquarius energy to enhance our awareness of ourselves as “space”.  I’m not talking about “give me space”, I’m talking about “I am space”!

Here’s a short breathing meditation, for the Aquarius New Moon:

Take a breath.  Fill your lungs with air, and feel the expansion of your inner space.

Take another breath and imagine you are breathing into every cell of your body.

Now, imagine that when you breathe in, the breath comes in through the front surface of your body. The exhale can flow out through the back surface of your body.

Sense your entire body as permeable, with the breath coming in and out, through all of the surfaces of your body.

As you “watch” the breath flow in and out, allow it to dissolve your body boundaries.

Now there is simply “breathing”.  No container.  No walls.  No “inside” and “outside”.  Just breathing.

Allow your sense of self to be the wide open space in which the breathing is happening.

Be the space.  Be spacious.  Simply Be.

Ahhhhh……

 

Want to do more Space exploration?  Here are some resources:

HAPPY NEW MOON!


Seeking and Finding

NM rainbow

The ego’s prime dictate is, “Seek, but do not find.”  What a perfect recipe for eternal frustration!  While the ego, or  “false self”,  looks through false eyes, it cannot see what’s right in front of it’s face and behind it’s own eyes.  What the ego is after is always right around the corner.  It leads us on the proverbial quest to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and leaves us empty handed.

As a spiritual seeker, how can you find the Truth and Liberation you seek?  First, stop identifying as a “spiritual seeker” and choose to be a “finder”.  Accept the idea that you can and will find what your heart and soul are longing to experience.

Next, fire that darn ego as your guide.  It will only lead to one dead end after another.

Who or what, then, shall be the guide?  The guides to Truth and Liberation are many.  Spiritual teachers, both living and dead, spirit guides, angels, ascended masters, the Holy Spirit, God, intuition, Mother Nature, animal and plant spirits, the Still Small Voice, within…any and all of these guides can be very helpful.  Yet, they do not really take you anywhere, for your Being is always, already fully present, right where you are.  moon over sunset cloudsThese teachers and guides, with their fingers pointing at the moon, can’t give you the moon nor fly you there.  No one can give you what you already are.  True guides are more like really good friends who can clearly see who you are…as well as who you aren’t…and always remind you of your True Nature…our shared True Nature.

True guides are also able to give you tools or practices that help thin the veil that the false self is wrapped up in.  One of the most powerful tools is inquiry, which simply means “questioning”.  Remember those bumper stickers that say, “Question Authority”?  Well, question the authority of those voices in your head.  When thoughts arise that make you feel guilty or worthless or afraid, look straight at them and ask, “Is it true?”  Byron Katie has developed a simple, elegant tool for inquiry called “The Four Questions”.

Another effective form of inquiry is to deeply consider, “Who am I?” or “What am I?”  Although at first glance, those may seem like ridiculous questions, the process can take you to the very truth of your Being.  Contemporary teacher, Adyashanti, clearly describes how to engage in “Authentic Inquiry”.  Through this process, the veil can dissolve, and your radiant Self shines forth.   Fortunately, inquiry doesn’t require that you subscribe to any religious beliefs, perform rituals, or sit for long periods of meditation.  It does require a fierce determination to sincerely investigate  the thoughts, beliefs, opinions, and habitual perspectives that are limiting your awareness of “What Is”.

One more ingredient to the recipe for “finding” is to be as compassionate and accepting of yourself as you can be.  Using the inner sledgehammer to beat yourself up for not being spiritual enough, not being awake enough, not loving enough, or not being able to see clearly enough, is a sure-fire way to NOT liberate yourself.  Of course it’s nice to be compassionate and accepting of others, but it’s also important to practice on yourself.  You’re always there to practice on!  Softening into self-compassion will hasten clarity of vision.

Do you need to go to India to find Truth?  Do you need to meditate for 30 years?  Do you need to follow Jesus?  Do you need to understand complicated spiritual philosophies?

Maybe…if that is part of your journey…if that is part of what draws you back to what is always, already here.
taos mtn in clouds 1Yet, truly, there is nowhere to go.  You’ve been found.  Your Being could never lose you, nor could your Being ever be lost.  It was simply overlooked, masked by a veil that seemed impenetrable.  You’ve been looking through the false eyes of the false self and seeing what’s not there.  The mountain, obscured by the clouds, still stands secure in it’s nature.  You are that amazing, beautiful, everlasting mountain.  Your True Self stands secure, changeless, and limitless…and it’s actually in plain sight…for those with eyes to see.  I trust you.  You can see it!

 

 


The Heart and Soul of Desire

Heart and soul of desire

My earliest encounter with Eastern philosophy came via Hippy culture, in the early 80’s. The take-away message went something like this: “Let go of all attachments. Let go of all desires.”  One cold winter’s eve, I attempted to follow that guidance and be “spiritual” by throwing away a box of photographs and memorabilia from my childhood.  That rash act may have cleared out some space in my closet, but it didn’t do a thing for my enlightenment!  These many years later, my understanding has deepened and become more nuanced. We don’t need to let go of all desires in order to be “spiritually-correct”. In fact, our desires can actually lead us along our spiritual way.

Our hearts’ desires and our souls’ intentions are naturally aligned.  Their shared purpose is to support our evolution and spiritual awakening.  A Course in Miracles describes the “prayer of the heart” and how our hearts know, perhaps better than our minds, what we truly desire. “What you ask for you receive. But this refers to the prayer of the heart, not to the words you use in praying…The prayer of the heart does not really ask for concrete things. It always requests some kind of experience, the specific things asked for being the bringers of the desired experience.” (A Course in Miracles, Teachers Manual)  For example, your heart may be asking for a deeply connected, loving experience. Your heart isn’t saying “Give me a single professional who loves Salsa dancing and sushi.”

Spiritual teacher, Bentinho Massaro writes: “If you have passionate desires raging within that are not just revolving around protecting yourself, but feel truly inspired, that bear with them a spark of excitement, of joy, of possibilities…then they have a very real purpose. They are a glimpse into your possible future…Let it all out, and act on it with respect and integrity toward your environment and the beings in it…Everything you see is the result of desire. Without desire, there wouldn’t be creation. Thus, even The One, The Absolute, has desires. Why try to be more non-dual than The One?”

The important question is not “Should I have desires?” but “Where is the desire arising from?” Is it coming from ego or from your essence?  The litmus test is this:  Is the desire driven by fear? If so, that’s your ego talking.  The ego is based on separation consciousness, which breeds fear and a belief in lack.  Yet the heart and soul are rooted in your essence, which is love. Your heart and soul know that you are already whole and interconnected with all of life. From that place of love, wholeness, and interconnection spring the profound intentions of your soul and the precious prayers of your heart. What are they whispering to you?