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Rising Above "I"                                                        
          ... and Discovering Ever-Lasting Peace


The greatest problems of life are often caused by the self-created sense of "I", "me" and "mine". Whenever we strive for "me", "my desire", "my preferences", we fail to find lasting peace or enduring satisfaction.

Ever-changing Forms

All that appears as "my life" is merely a small fragment of a great play wherein all of creation is continually changing from one form to another form. If we become attached to any specific form, then we will eventually bring needless suffering upon ourselves.

Forms come and forms go. That is the way of this world. This is the reality: a fish eats a smaller fish, an animal eats the fish, a snake eats the animal, another animal eats the snake... and so it goes, with each physical form coming into being for only a brief moment before being transformed into some other form.

Even within our own bodies the forms are ever changing as invader cells of bacteria and virus are killed by our immune system cells. These changes of form are not the destruction of life, rather it is merely life changing from one form to another form. The form changes, but Life itself goes on.

Don’t grieve,
    anything you lose comes round in another form.
The child weaned from mother’s milk
    now drinks wine and honey mixed.

God’s joy moves
    from unmarked box to unmarked box,
        from cell to cell.

As rainwater, down into a flowerbed.
    as a rose, up from the ground.
Now it looks like a plate of rice and fish,
    now a cliff covered with vines,
        now a horse being saddled.

It hides within these,
    until one day it cracks them open.

Essential Rumi, Coleman Barks

If we willingly and joyfully go along with these inevitable changes, then we can abide in everlasting peace. But if we resist the changes, then we will only find great suffering.

So, this is our choice: Shall we choose to resist the true nature of ever-changing life and thereby throw ourselves into despair? Or shall we willingly and joyfully go along with the ever-changing nature of this world, thereby discovering eternal happiness?

All that truly exists is the Holy One constantly changing from one form to another form. The forms are not "ours", and we cannot control the coming and going of these forms... all that we can do is enjoy the great mystery as it unfolds before us.

When we clarify the whole matter of dissolution and what is prior to the world of words, we can live here in tranquility.

Joshu Sasaki Roshi

These physical forms are only momentary displays of the wonder and glory of the Ever-present, All-knowing One, the One whose existence is known to us through these ever-changing signs.

In this world, things are contrasted and become distinguished from one another by means of their opposites. Thus by means of these changes of form, we can become aware of the signs of the One who is changeless and formless.

We are the signs of the presence of the Holy One; we are the instruments through which the Holy One manifests in this world;  we are here to radiate the loving-kindness, harmony and beauty of the Holy One.

Emptiness and Longing

Yet, despite our sacred purpose, many people suffer from a hollow feeling, an emptiness, which is a sign, calling us to rise above our ordinary daily concerns and to discover the One Cause that is behind all causes, the One Power behind all powers. All too often we forget to acknowledge the One who gives us life, the One who has arranged all things, and our deep inner longing is but a faint recollection of the One whom we have forgotten.

Sadly, most people are living a life filled with "I", "me" and "mine", and only seldom see the wonder and glory of God all around them. All of this creation is but a sign of the wonder and glory of the One who has created it all.

When you do things from your soul,
    you feel a river moving in you, a joy.
When actions come from (the self),
    the feeling disappears.

Don't let others lead you.
    They may be blind,
        or worse, vultures.

Reach for the rope of God.
    And what is that?
        Putting aside self-will...

Don't insist on going where you think you want to go.
    Ask the way to the Spring.
        Your living pieces will form a harmony

Rumi: We are Three, Coleman Barks

For those who merely see "things" around them, then it is indeed very difficult to remain connected to the Divine. However, for those who see the Divine in every person, in all of nature, in every molecule, in every particle, then Divine remembrance comes naturally and joyfully.

In this world, all things are contrasted and become distinguished from one another by means of their opposites. Thus our inner longing and lack of peace call to us to become aware of, and help us to recognize, the wondrous presence of the One who is Ever-present, Ever-satisfied and Ever-peaceful.

Strive then to see the hand of the Creator in all of creation, and to see all of these works as signs of the wonder and glory of the One who has created it all. When viewing creation from such a perspective, the Divine connection is ever-present, the false sense of "self" is diminished, and love, harmony and beauty are all-pervading.

Meditation

Meditation has many different forms, with some specific form being most suitable for each particular individual. Meditation is highly recommended by many spiritual teachers, and the end product of all the different forms of meditation is liberation from our excessive preoccupation with "I", "me" and "mine", leaving us free to more clearly understand who and what we really are.

What are we?

So, what then are we?? We are the signs of the presence of the Holy One; we are the instruments through which the Divine Presence manifests in this world; we are here to radiate the loving-kindness, harmony and beauty of the Holy One.

Yes, that is our task: to freely and joyfully radiate love, harmony and beauty into this world of never-ending changes of form. When we abide in that reality, rather than our own preferences, we find that we are emissaries of the One, sent on a glorious mission of beauty, wonder and joy.


Wishing you love, harmony and beauty,
    wahiduddin

posted August 06, 2007