9-20-20 Being


Being: The substance, nature, and essence of anything existent. That which is real. “Real” in what sense?  Philosophers like to discuss and dissect that question. We are more concerned here with an authentic, honest and connected state of mind and lifestyle. 

There are differing ideas about Being. Some think it is a spiritual or holy state that is above the worldly aspect. Some think it is just being who we are without any awareness or wisdom guiding us: “Hey, that’s just who I am.” Some think it is a constant struggle that we have little control over or ability to affect. Some feel there is a separate ME in there somewhere, and that in order to change in the right direction, we must get rid of the “bad” parts by fighting to keep them away. With yet more force we do “good” things, even though it feels alien and we yearn for the bad parts that were more fun.

Trying to change ourselves does not work in the long run because we are resisting our own energy. Efforts at self-improvement can have temporary results, but lasting transformation occurs only when we relax with and honor ourselves as the source of wisdom and compassion.

When we step into simply Being, when we are present and aware of the experience that is occurring, moment to moment, can we let go of harmful processes? Through the qualities of steadfastness, clear seeing, experiencing our emotional distress, and attention to the present moment, we inherently renounce our abusive habits in a natural and healthy manner.     Paraphrased from The Places That Scare You by Pema Chodron.

“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes…As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere Being.” — Carl Jung

“Modern society has become materialistic and prefers ‘Having’ than ‘Being.’” — Erich Fromm

“Identification with your mind causes thoughts to become compulsive. Not to be able to stop thinking is a dreadful affliction, but we don’t realize this because almost everyone is suffering from it, so it is considered normal. This incessant mental noise prevents you from finding that realm of inner stillness that is inseparable from Being.” — Eckhart Tolle

Simply Being has more to do with feeling and experiencing than thinking. When I project what might happen, good or bad, I am then emotionally and mentally enmeshed in trying to manipulate a situation or avoid something. Or, I can be filled with something that has happened in the past (good or bad), and that past experience, though it is over and done, emotionally discolors what is happening NOW.

To simply BE involves dropping all past graspings and all future projections and relaxing; honoring the clarity, the space, the open-ended awareness that naturally exists in our hearts. It’s not that we don’t have memories of the past or look forward, but those thoughts are secondary to our Presence and Being. Thoughts are like the salt and pepper on a meal, not the meal itself. This shift leads naturally to a deeper understanding of our self, our world, and a compassion for others.

“Teach me how to trust my heart, my mind, my intuition, my inner knowing, the senses of my body, the blessings of my spirit. Teach me to trust these things so that I may enter my Sacred Space and love beyond my fear, and thus Walk in Balance with the passing of each glorious Sun.” — Lakota Prayer
Meditating offers one means of learning to not fight our thoughts, but rather to recognize thoughts and gently return to a deeper, more open and honest place of clear experience that resides naturally within us. We can then extend that deep, quiet awareness into our “normal” daily life. 

“You reconnect with nature in the most intimate and powerful way by becoming aware of your breath and learning to hold your attention there…It brings about a shift in consciousness from the conceptual world of thought to the inner realm of unconditioned consciousness.” — Eckhart Tolle

“Being” involves a lot of not doing anything, rather than exerting effort to accomplish something. It is a bit surprising how much we initially need to exert ourselves in order to not exert ourselves. It does get easier to simply BE; it comes more naturally with continued practice. If we dropped everything, we would not have any baggage to carry.  Action through non-action, Wei-Wu-Wei.

A more common interpretation of wei-wu-wei sees it as action which does not force, but yields. Rather than being a version of “doing nothing,” this might be called “the action of passivity.” Under the weight of a heavy snowfall, pine branches break off; but by bending, the willow can drop its burden and spring up again.

We so often feel, from habit, that we need to fill any space with mental and verbal blather. When we notice the busy-ness occurring, we can smile, relax, and feel our Being filled with the space that is never full. 

It is because water is the softest and most yielding thing that it is able to overcome the hard and strong.

I wish for you the trials and joys of Being a considered and present life.

How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for.
Heart Of Recovery web site  –  fcheartofrecovery.com