One of the greatest gifts my teacher offered me, was that the most important teaching was to directly experience the Divine. Beyond dogma, philosophy, correct posture, asana practice, beyond knowing all the Buddhist and Hindu terms, the most important teaching is to directly experience the Divine here and now. In order to do this we must first practically know how to unhook from our habitual minds, as our identity, and discover something quite greater. The instructions here are very simple, anyone has the ability to do this, yet most choose to stay in the confusing, painful and yet entertaining world of the mind. These steps are practical and will greatly change our lives if we apply them wholeheartedly. First and foremost, we must slow down. We will never unhook from our minds unless we slow down; our mind’s trance state is sustained through the belief in the movement of our thoughts. To unhook from this trance, we have to slow down, and choose to step back and observe what is here. We must be willing to observe that which is in our consciousness. We have to be willing to see that our thoughts, feelings and sensations come and go within the space of our being.
The teaching is to stop, the habitual attachment to our own thoughts, beliefs, desires and simply notice the very presence in which these thoughts and feelings arise. What this practically means is that we feel—that we directly experience our very own presence. We can all do this. We can feel the aliveness in our hearts, in our chest, in our abdomen, and in the space we call our mind. We can notice that this space is already perfect, already free, completely alive and beautiful. If we give ourselves to this shift in identity, out of our egoic nature and into the direct experience of our Being our lives will be forever changed.
Why do we suffer? We suffer for two primary reasons: first we do not know who we are and because we are not living in alignment with our truth. Our egoic mind mostly blames others or life for our suffering. But at some point, we mature and we realize that blaming is futile. This maturity comes from seeing the futility of arguing with Life and realizing that what we are is not our blaming mind—is not this painful separate egoic existence. Once we know that who and what we are is the quiet, vast intelligence of the universe, 90% of our self created suffering dissolves. Once we know who and what we are, we naturally begin to live in alignment with our Divinity and begin living a life of true happiness. Yet as soon as we step out of this alignment, we will again step into the world of separation, samsara and suffering.
This does not mean we will have a life free of pain. Pain is quite different than suffering. Suffering is the experience of resistance to the Truth; it is the experience of division and separation. Because we are one with Life, and Life is ever evolving we will still continue to experience some level of growing pains. All beings whether they are awake to their True Nature and living in alignment with their hearts, or not will experience growing pains in life. This is part of being human—of being in form in an evolutionary world. Yet if we wake up to our true nature and begin to know ourselves as one with Life Itself, our personal egoic delusion will gently dissolve; from this vast perspective we will realize that who and what we are is one with Life and the movement of evolution and we will be happy grow and expand, even if it involves the feeling of pain.
If there is something painful within us which we are fighting against and it comes up again and again, if we want to heal or be free of this pain, we must be willing to embrace this with Love. If we want to be free we cannot simply ignore or avoid our pain. We must be willing to embrace these feelings within ourselves with an absolute Love and friendliness. This is the way to healing, this is the way to freedom.