the happiness of our nature

the belief that happiness lives in the future – in some hard-to-imagine result of work and effort or in the result of discovering the perfect relationship or state of mind, for example – is a deep and predominant current of thinking in our culture. it is amplified, perhaps, by the belief in some happy past, whenever things were aligned and perfect and innocent. it makes no difference whether we look for happiness in the past or future – that’s not where it exists.

the belief that happiness is not available here, now, in all conditions and situations – that happiness is anything other than the experience of Being divested of belief – keeps us stuck on an endless hamster wheel. we remain searching, fruitlessly, for the thing which we can never truly leave, no matter how hard we try.

the substance, or reality, of life is happiness itself. that is the fundamental discovery of all spiritual traditions and it awaits us at any moment we truly open ourselves to a new possibility: that these little body/minds that we perceive are not us – they appear in us, they are made of us, and they are known by us, the one infinite consciousness that perceives them in every moment…that we are in fact the singular, indivisible, indestructible Reality of life, Consciousness, and our nature is the Peace and Happiness that every seemingly limited being seeks in their activities (and eventually finds, one way or the other).

what is the route to this discovery? to investigate, without cease, and without ulterior motive (other than a love of the truth), the nature of our experience, and the nature of the consciousness that perceives. a genuine love of truth is like a guarantee – and it cannot be manufactured. it’s mysterious in that way.

at some point we realize that we perceive our body, we perceive our mind, we perceive the senses – and so ‘we’ cannot be found there. we see that we are whatever it is that is perceiving, and so we can never lose ourself. and if we are open to it, we realize at some point that whatever is perceiving has no objective limitation – it is free from all perceived experience, independent from the momentary movements of all life – and its very nature is the Peace and Happiness and Love we have always sought.

after this fundamental discovery takes place, the realignment of our life begins, from a new vantage point: instead of frantically seeking a distant happiness in all realms, we begin to express the happiness we feel as our known nature, as our reality, and as our only real love.

A Mirage of Being

Nothing that arises is independent from its Being, and of Being, there can be only one. We know that there is only one Being, because if there were two or more Beings, what could they all arise in but a greater Being? The great-est Being must be the one true Being, because it is the one in which all the seemingly smaller beings arise. We could say this Greatest Being is the Real Being, and what other Being would we be interested in – an alleged one, which has no reality of its own?

Anything that arises is made of Being, there being only one substance to reality, consciousness itself. Yet we could grant an ‘objective existence’ to the things which arise as we perceive them. In that sense, perceptions exist, as objects rising in consciousness, known by consciousness, made of consciousness. However, these perceptions never truly separate themselves from, nor can be they be ultimately distinguished from the one experience that ever is: consciousness’ knowing of itself. At the same time, for something to exist it needs to be independent – for if it depended on something, then that which it depended on would be the real thing that exists – and no object is independent from the consciousness that perceives it. Thus, no object truly exists.

The only thing that ever arises is a mirage of Being, a play of light and sound and all the rest. The body, the mind, the world, the elements of human perception experienced as feeling, thinking, seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching – are like an oasis in an infinite desert space. This oasis is completely full, variable, moving, and ultimately always transparent to its real Being, the peaceful emptiness of a desert wild.

the indomitable ocean

these perceptions, experienced momentarily, inevitably resolve themselves into Being. who can say which way the wind will blow? the future, abstract object of the imagination, never comes; we find always the same indomitable Presence wherever we look, even in time and space. the changes of life through its seasons, days, movements and motions, arise always within…everything is within.

how could the captain of a boat decide upon the movement of the ocean? particularly if his boat has sprung a leak, and slowly his weary bark is returning to the depths of the sea. the captain is a limited will – it may seem that he sets sail on his schedule – but even unknowingly he always obeys the sea. and if the ocean so desires, the captain’s controlling belief may meet its maker, as he sinks into the waters of the unknown. the leak sprung in the boat is the mark of grace, the love of truth, the path to reality.

where does a perception arise from – and towards where does it point in its existence? the source and the destination of all objects are the same. before you fall asleep and dream you know the waking mind, after you wake up you know the waking mind. likewise, before an object arises there is consciousness, and after an object dissolves there is consciousness. the reality from which an object borrows its being, without ever separating itself out from the Being which sustains it, is the same conscious reality which perceives only ever itself.

this still deepening moment

the deepening of experience, the deepening of intensity, the growth of a life and of living: this all arises within formless consciousness like a wave cresting, rolling, foaming on the surface of an endless ocean, its natural home. at depth, nothing changes; but as this changeless-nothing is refracted through the lens of mind – in other words, on the level of what we call manifestation – everything changes.

reality is non-phenomenal in nature; everything is empty of any substance apart from pure consciousness. the dynamic motion of consciousness, however, creates this cascade of phenomena, Life. Life is really sensation, an expanse of consciousness creating for itself a body, and it’s through the vehicle of the body that we reconnect to the felt expansion, blossoming non-duality on a sensory level.

the body is extremely intelligent. it knows intuitively through a wisdom not accessible to the mind. when freed from the cage of limiting belief, the body is free again both to feel its natural expansion and to continue, unhindered, in an open exploration of felt experience that deepens and opens ever onward. thoughts are mostly superfluous, they come and go like the wind, what matters more is the sensory engagement with the moment, and what matters most is Being.

one conductor

this little vessel made of sand and stone – this shape that reforms itself anew at each moment – is but a moving pictogram, struck, as they all are, by the light of the origin. cascading waves of desert grain create, in the blink of the eye, a remnant of perception; a bare shift of energy within the creator’s reality. what remains after the glimpse of eternal being is that same sandstone: ever refining, ever deepening, ever opening – a dance of mind and body coagulating into the varying forms of Life’s celebration.

the wry musculature of this formed body asks for release…and simultaneously yearns to be rebuilt, a construction project built on the grounds of peace. It is a failing attempt to contain the multitudes of feeling within – failing because any container will soon overflow where Love is concerned. 

In this little corner of the infinite, I – although which I, I don’t know – learn somehow to play this instrument with a little more precision and a little more grace, to tune in to the harmonic symphony of the absolute where we all all played by the same Conductor. The conductor is fully in charge, and in fact he too is the only one musician with a million faces and a million bows. We could say he works through our bodies and minds as we learn to live in greater harmony with what is here, and all we can do is to truly disappear – to become transparent to him – to rest as our self and allow his work to be done.