Within the heart and mind of each of us there is a desire to attain peace, freedom and love, although we may not be aware of it. We aspire to reach the pinnacle of our expression as a human being – to be alive with spirit, to feel always at home and to be at one with creation.
Whether we refer to this goal as enlightenment, as the knowing of Truth or simply as being fully alive, it is a goal worthy of our focused attention. After all, given a choice, who would keep on suffering with the deluded mind that slam dances with life? Don’t we all truly long for a dance of ecstatic love, sweet joy and deeply satiating quietude? This possibility is not out of our reach. We do have a choice. We can have a grace-filled waltz with life.
Peace, love and freedom are our true nature. Yet most people do not experience this. We have identified deeply with the belief in separation: the belief that absolute and eternal values are separate from ordinary people, and beyond us. The perception of our true Self has been externalised as if it is out of reach. And, as a consequence of our dysfunctional attitude to life, we continually bang into the blocks of our illusions. We feel limited and trapped, believing ourselves to be separate from our true freedom and power. Transforming the belief in separation is required before we recognise the source of Truth within our very selves.
Nonetheless, despite all of our limitations, it is simply the truth that freedom and peace, love and joy, wisdom and truth, in their highest capacity, are awaiting within the heart of every being to be remembered, embraced, embodied and celebrated.
Yet typically this truth seems elusive for most people and efforts to know it often result in frustration and disillusionment. Sadly, these efforts are largely directed by the mind. And if we keep following the path of the mind we will feel our efforts are all pointless – because the mind cannot reveal what is true. Only our innermost being which is free of the mind can reveal our true Self. We must renounce the belief in separation and turn from concepts to our own being. And thus, we discover our inner being is the source of insight.
When we look within we enter a different dimension of seeing. We enter the presence of conscious awareness which releases inner vision – insight. With insight comes true and authentic feeling. With authentic feeling comes experience. And with experience comes knowing. With the experience of knowing, our doubts and the rejection of our self as love and peace dissolve.
For us to continue this experience, commitment and application are required. The habits of maintaining limited beliefs and looking outside of ourselves are deeply rooted and compulsive. Rest assured, letting go of these habits is well worth the effort. The prize is the experience of awakening in one’s own process, of gaining one’s own Self – something that no other can either give or take away. It is so great and immeasurable in its joy, love and peace; whatever appeared as suffering no longer has any relevance once we are self-realised.
Within the authenticity of our own realisation, we transcend all doubts and remember that which we are. We discover that what we were seeking was, is and always will be within us.
Yet without this experience, the seeking remains. This is why there are so many seekers and so few finders: we have been, both subtly and obviously, taught dependence on someone else’s experience. Even though we may hear or read truth over and over from a living master and think that, by their grace, if we are devoted enough, we will gain the blessing of liberation; the deep doubt niggles and uncertainty remains. The true placement of our power to awaken is misplaced. . It is never the master who is a signpost that gets us to where we are going; it is our travelling to where the signpost is pointing that does. It is never the teacher who sets us free; it is our exploration of what the teacher reflects back to us – our innermost being – that leads us to experience and KNOW the truth that sets us free.
When seeking any guidance for our awakening, healthy discernment is of the greatest importance. Unless a master is clearly advocating a path of direct communion and presenting tools that cultivate a trust and deep connection with the innate wisdom, enlightenment and awareness within our own being – there is reason to be cautious. Any relationship that fosters worship or dependence upon the powers or illumination of a master, is, in part, a procrastination of our own self-realisation.
However a relationship that fosters self-knowledge, through an apprenticeship using tools that lead to our own mastery, is to be cherished as an immeasurable gift. The nature of such a relationship is one of a journey, not a destination. As long as there is any excess focus on a destination (even if that destination is liberation) there will again be a disengagement from the source of the awakening itself – which is the power of the innermost self in the present moment. The HOW is always in the NOW. For the now is the looking glass in which we see the truth within us.