I was frantically searching, asking, looking for something. I didn’t know what because I probably was afraid of what I knew I would find. When we reach a long desired destination then we still by default go on searching. It’s like the dog who turns round this side and that side frantically many times before finally sitting down. Reaching the most important goal of life, feels like that; not able to accept that we have arrived, that we will have to search no more, go nowhere, sit now, ..for ever!?
So I decided that what I was searching, was a meditation that could lead to centering on oneself, to thoughtlessness, as thinking too much is the door to madness!.( But in my eyes “I AM thinking”, so was I searching how not to be me? How to put an end to myself? That was already disturbing my equilibrium!)
'What you are searching for is already there’. I usually take a book to read as I wait for my son's school bus. That day I grabbed a book in random, hurridly glanced at it: Oh no! J Krishnamurthy” It was one of a set of books my husband had brought months ago which I had abandoned after the first two pages. Titled “Beyond Violence” Something I had thought was beyond me! Shucks; no time to select another book, I thought and took the book anyway. At the stop I decided to read as I usually prefer..in random. And there it was! My husband had, as alway, brought to me the right book!
There it was the chapter- ”Meditation! To Meditate is to be Aware. It told me that one cannot stop thinking, but that one needs to distinguish thinking from awareness. To think is to use past memories and data to process current data. Thinking can breed pleasure and fear. Awareness on the other hand is seeing and comprehending the truth without judging, without fear, without pleasure.
It is difficult to write when you have to include the name Krishnamurthy. I will try anyway. Well, going by Krishnamurthy’s (ahem) ‘thoughts’ (He would have sneered at that word 'thoughts'!; by his ‘analysis’?, no he hates that word too, heck 'thoughts' it is!) I realize that in ‘awareness’ (the only word he seems to like…uh huh ‘like’?) there would be no conflict, no movement, just a standing still.
Do we know “no movement”? We only know movement! We know what the feeling is of 'conflict', of the pull to reach some where, or the polarity of good bad, right wrong, past future;a movement from what is, to what should be. But really, what is it to have reached the ultimate destination with nowhere to go? Can we handle what it is to have arrived. To arrive means ‘not trying to escape anything and not trying to move towards anything’.
This is a painting I made six or seven years ago describing which I wrote a poem in 2009.
Dreams fly and soar,they are wings fluttering free
Truth grounds and floors,it is earth rooting me
Am I free am I rooted, or ‘conflict’ in entirety!
Oh the sky has its pull, but the earth has its hold
Yet mind is never still, though the past put in mould
Yes, there are the wishes....then there is the practicality!
I move to a future, then move back to a past
I am pulled, I am held, I am tearing apart
Oh I stop the striving, ‘Pull apart to a rarity!’
The light shines on me, but darkness doesn’t leave
In my hands there is joy, but inside there is grief
Bright.. the ideals, untouched...reality.
We are fed into a particular view from our childhood but reality seems different. So we are confused, we are in conflict; like the plant rooted by the earth and also reaching towards the sky. As long as we depend on something, as basic as the earth to stand on, as basic as beliefs, we are conflict. As long as we are searching for the sky, for understanding, we are conflict; for we stand on some beliefs which don't free the mind as it strives towards freedom of thought. As long as we are thinking we are conflict as we are interpreting ‘what is to know’ according to our limited collected “what we know”. How can we learn just to observe with freedom, to be aware, to be free of conflict even as we walk through this mysterious journey of life?
'Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me' Psalm 23;4 seems very comforting. How beautiful I used to think to be shepherded by The Lord to the destination. But infact this verse 4 in the psalm 23, also means a path of darkness, and possibilities of straying and so descipling, using the rod and staff to keep the sheep, from wandering! It can mean a lot of pain when we don’t realize when to let go of a past and walk towards future.
I have seen that whenever I hold on to a place and do not want to leave it, everything I valued there quite visibly starts to deteriote and then I become more willing to leave it. Sometimes despite the signs we may still hold on until it becomes unbearably painful. Or when I run from something that I should confront, then I find I have only run into the same situations repeating, and I realize I have to stop running and confront. Rod and staff indeed!
I sometimes wish I shouldn’t want anything that the "Shepherd", the Lord doesn’t wish rather than be hit so painfully. But I also realise that to "let go" has a certain strengthening factor, it develops independence, to enjoy the grass and yet leave when the rod gently taps. With time trust also develops; that this tap is for my good. The tap then becomes comforting, a sigh that I am watched over. Learning thus not to become dependent on any pleasure, learning to enjoy the new path, trusting the shepherd to know the right way and letting go with that faith over any personal desires.
When we let go with faith, some day we realize what we were looking for we already have, for what we look for comes with us, travels with us just as we travel with the Lord and leave everything our dreams our wishes with trust in him. 'My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.' John 10:27 What is really ours is always with us and is never separated by birth, death,or eons.
Could the moment of trust be a destination? But what is the feeling of having arrived at the destination and having nowhere to go, nothing to pursue.How do we recognize it and what happens after? Where to from nowhere! ? Would we be frantically looking this side and that side, turning round and round, not sure how to sit down! Could Krishnamurthy help us sit?
From Krishnamurthy what I basically take away is the intent to free each moment from the past experience and the future experience and arrive at the present experience. I know all intellectuals say that but he explained why we hold on to a past or move towards a future we would like. And why even love as we understand is in fact violence!. According to him it is fear that makes us hold to past pleasurable experiences because we are afraid of losing it, we want to recreate it in our future Love brings pleasure and the dependence for pleasure and then this pleasure brings the fear of losing it, it brings in the violence of jealousy. These are thus all interconnected. Love and violence are the same energy, the energy of division. A movement from what is to what is wanted, desired.
He gave a very powerful example, simply stated; If we saw a wild animal say a lion, we recognize it as danger and would we not as a result try to get away from it? In the same way if we really saw that love is in fact violence, a danger, we would not want it anymore!
Krishnamurthy takes repeated readings to understand intellectually. It takes many more days to understand experientially. It takes confronting. We have to confront our fears or pleasure (if u confront one you are confronting the other too!). Lets confront then - If my thoughts are producing fear, it means I am running away from something? What? Loneliness? Let me look at all around me, Is anybody going to stay with me for ever and ever. I will die, they will die. Then? I, my spirit is alone, all are alone. Nobody carries anything or anybody.
How long will any person be with you can you tell? Who can u say will be with you for ever and ever as long as ur spirit is? Not any earthly body surely.
I accept loneliness as the truth of me, of all mankind. Nobody is there for anybody eternally! That is what I knew and was running away from, afraid of accepting. There is nothing to what is generally called love and togetherness!
When I finally confronted, I felt liberated, joyful. I am lonely! (yeahee) I had feared I would be shattered by the truth that was knocking at my consciousness for acknowledgement for a long long time. "Confronting" I realized is the process that helps move from 'thought' to 'awareness'! The worst moment is just before we confront our fear. The truth on the other hand, is indeed liberating. The truth made my heart laugh in its realization! Everything there is, is just me. My whole universe is me, for ever and ever and ever! I am complete in myself?! Life is ephemeral, everything any man may seek, love, fame, success is all ephemeral; then why seek it? Seek something that is for ever and ever and ever. Seek the self, one's own eternal soul, one's own only companion.
Filling our life with love is evading the truth of our completeness, by ignorance we see completeness as loneliness and so we try to fill our lives with love as an attempt at running away from the truth and then this love brings in fear of losing it (it never was a part of 'everlasting' and our heart knew it), that brings in efforts to preserve it, brings in jealous anger.
The escape from this lion, towards freedom is only in confronting the truth that love and togetherness is a lie. That nobody can be there for anybody for ever. We are our own universe .
Loving is merely loving oneself, but centering on oneself is not selfishness.When we realize that nobody can be there for us, we have only one option, of being there for others. Devoid of the need for another, the need for pleasure, the need for words, comfort, support, such a complete person relates to others in fact in a much better way, ‘without expectations’. When our cup is full, it flows out, when we arrive, we become the channel. Jesus said “I am the way”.When we become fully aware to Jesus, as he shepherds us, we arrive. When we arrive, 'sitting down' means becoming the way, the passage, the channel for the Divine Love that is the Shepherd Jesus.
There is that lovely Hymn “Make me a channel?
The last stanza
“ Make me a Channel of your peace.
It is in forgiving that we are forgiven
In giving to all that we receive
And in dying that we are born to eternal life”
Whatever you do to others good or bad, you do to yourself. Don’t we see, If we cannot forgive ourselves small things, we cannot tolerate others either. When we can forgive others big things we can forgive ourselves too. When we support we get support by default, two people holding each other. When we see no purpose to anything in the world, we stop pursuing, we arrive. When we rise above our fears, give up that which we think is a requirement for our happiness, we get happiness, the freedom from fear. When we give up searching, we find, the truth alights on us. When we embrace the sorrow we are running from we are freed of it. Giving up the ephemeral world, we get freed of its conflict and gain the eternal self. When we are neither held to the ground nor trying to reach the sky, when we are as blank as the space, we are free. When we desire not this way, nor that, we are free of the pull on either side. When we stop resisting, stop reaching out, when we are still, we arrive.
We then live not in some expectation some hope. We embrace each moment as a new gift without the burden of the past or of the future. When we accept our loneliness we are complete. Its in turning in, centering in onself, embracing ourself, that we embrace all