Sense enjoyment is part of being human. We eat what we enjoy. But when does it cross the line? Fulfilling the senses outside of what’s necessary to survival causes both happiness and misery. When we focus on sense gratification, we adhere to the material world, where life is about “obtaining” versus “attaining,” “having” instead of “receiving,” “taking” instead of “giving” through devotion, a labor of love. In truth, nothing is owned, nothing “ownable.” As human beings, we owe our spirits to the universe. As spiritual beings, we can attain bliss.
First, we must consider our actions as modes of operation. The way we do things affects the outcome. As we continue to do them, a pattern sets in. Such patterns can be life-long, usually learned, habits. We think, “habits are hard to break,” but why set ourselves up for defeat in thinking we must “break” or act in violence towards seemingly unchangeable modes of action?
Action is a product of the mind. We think with intention to solve a problem, or receive thoughts without effort. Consciousness works that way. It is comprised of thoughts that can ignite bodily passions, compulsions towards non-conscious or “mindless” action. Instead of allowing yourself to be consumed by the senses, watch thoughts happen. Watch, but do not act. Practice mindful action, conscious thinking. This is divine inactivity, or meditation. The old way will dissolve and yield clarity.
The mind can be compared to a puppy. It wants to play, eat, sleep, chew furniture and dig holes in the backyard, but we have to coax it to rest. In a state of rest, our motives become clear; the old “ways” disintegrate so that new patterns and connections to the world and how we experience it can emerge.
The only thing
that will make
your grass greener
is Time. Seasons
from birth to death
and back. Anything
can be taken for granted.
Worship the sun
each day, even when it’s
behind clouds. Know
that it’s there, the concealment
is temporary. The only thing
that will make your grass
green is Knowledge.
Sometimes it can be hard to find quiet, to center the mind and focus on cultivating self-awareness. It can be easy to think negatively toward the source of noise. We view irritants as annoyances, flies buzzing round our heads. Sometimes it feels there is absolutely nothing left to give. Sit or lay comfortably. Draw inward. Allow restorative energy (breath, prana) to move through you, instead of you moving it, which can lead to further stress and exhaustion.
The mind and body are linked by breath. Life is for Living, simple as that.
Whatever your conception of “living” looks like, let it go. What is left? Being. Being must precede all action. Inaction flows into action like breath into movement, or like pedals on a bike. You cannot sustain riding a bike with one pedal. You’ll tire and fall off. Much better to allow for moments of breath than living “nonstop,” which is not Living at all. Relax into your body; observe a thought as it forms. Once formed, it will drift out of sight. Continue to watch thoughts form and float away until there are none left. You may feel lighter. Your breath may feel rhythmic. Where there is breath, there is quiet. Breathe to create the life you want. You control your breath, mind, and body. What else do you need? All else will build itself around you, but you must first honor it All.
There is a way to slip out of stream, into stillness, but the current dictates timing. Mindfulness is a tool useful to determine how to slip out regardless. When our arms strain, are weak or sore, we can draw focus toward the mind–the place where will is stored–and be. That is stillness. We are not our bodies, so we possess the strength to melt into them and dissolve into being, even when the waves rush past and splash us in the face. Mindfulness is connected to divinity, therefore it is timeless. In the stream, we struggle to connect, but as long as we inhabit these bodies, we embody the power to turn inward, smile and be. That is freedom. That is timelessness. Sometimes knowing you have the power is enough to enact it.