Ever wonder how the Dalai Lama retains a loving and light-hearted way about him – even when his nation and beloved people have been nearly destroyed? One way might be the following …
In these tumultuous times as we seek to “change the world” and find relief from our anxiety, I propose that we’re doing so in ways that will never fulfill our hope. Follow me here. Because we perceive ourselves to be a single fixed object; a person, a body, a political party member, a gender, or this or that, it causes us to believe that in order to find peace we need to change other seemingly fixed objects in the external world. Don’t get me wrong. Of course, engagement with the world is natural and appropriate, but read on.
Ultimately, our suffering and fear comes because we perceive ourselves to be something that can be threatened, depending on the identity we choose to defend or launch an attack from. And yes, the body can be threatened. And yes we play many roles. But through all identities there is undeniably something else, something constant that holds the deepest relief we seek.
Name it as you wish; presence, awareness, being, love, the True Self, consciousness. The choice of label is irrelevant. Its simple existence, although mostly overlooked, is what is referred to here. From my book, The Ocean of Now; “Awareness/presence has no position or opinion to defend. It is like the ocean which contains all of life and judges none of it – while being the essential nature of all of it.”
Yes, if moved, we should do our best to eradicate hunger, injustice, and war. This is not in question. The question is; are we driven by the desperation of individual fear and separation, which ultimately has no lasting fulfillment? Or are we lead by the profound recognition of Life’s (and thus our own) undivided and precious nature, like an ocean of natural existence that requires cherishing in order for it to sustain our very being. When this is deeply felt, we continue caring for this earth and ourselves, but from an unshakeable love and knowing of its beloved being – rather than from aloneness and fear. I can only guess that the Dalai Lama walks this path more than another.
Thus, regardless of the tumult of the current world, we can passionately strive to do the best we can, while somehow, as challenging as it may feel, remembering the unshakable and timeless place of truth deep inside – that no one and no-thing can enter – the final, and only, place where true relief and rest can be known.