It’s Friday night and I ain’t got nobody…. What is it in us that insists that we always must be with someone and/or in love? I know for years, I couldn’t stand to be alone on Friday night. Most of us will do anything to never be alone. Most of the things we do to busy ourselves are attempts to never look and see what is here within us. But what we are avoiding actually becomes unavoidable at some point, and we realize that we are alone all the time, whether we are with someone or not. No one or thing can keep us forever from ourselves, despite how hard we try. And in this aloneness lives something overwhelmingly amazing.If we take a peek into this aloneness what do we find? Take a look and see; is it empty, spacious, and vibrating with an alive Peace? We have to be willing to fully look. If we just take a peak, we see emptiness and often recoil back into our minds. Most good Buddhists are searching for this emptiness, and we, like them, can take a big leap out of our fears of being alone and into this spacious vastness. Nearly every time I talk about this, people turn pale, like they would actually die if they opened to that huge emptiness, which lives on the edge of our busyness. Before I knew what It was, I was, actually, completely scared too. But once I found out what It was, I fell in love in a big way….
Our culture supports us in a busy schedule filled with constant activities, constantly plugged into everything. But what if we unplug everything, what if life unplugs us, what do we notice that is here? What is all this activity taking place in? What is here all the time, beyond our thinking minds? I can remember taking a group of high school students down to the river, and experiencing the great expanse of the river. I turned to one of the kids and asked,” Do you feel this?” He replied,” Yes, it makes me want to have a cigarette.” “Why?” I asked? He said, “It makes me nervous.”
So many people, who I have worked with, have given me a similar response. The ironic thing is, this is the Peace that so many of us are looking for. If we look clearly at what Life is, at what we are walking around in; if we look at what is here all the time; it is big, open and silent. All of life takes place in this huge openness. Even our busy minds arise out of a Silence. The very Peace and Freedom that so many of us consciously or unconsciously are looking for is right here. It is like a fish looking for water, we are literally swimming in it….
As I walked down the street tonight, part of me wanted a date, a companion to talk to. I felt the cold ache of the emotional heart that wanted to be seen, felt and loved. As I walked I saw this look in so many eyes. People were out looking for something. Even those who were on dates, had this look in their eyes; we are all searching. As I looked up the street, something caught me; I saw Christmas lights shimmering on an old building and for some reason I fell in love with these lights. I noticed that the whole world was alive and shining and amazingly spacious. I stopped and got a slice of pizza, and even it was vibrating light. I fell in love with my pizza, not the taste but its’ essence. It sounds silly to say such things, but love was pouring out of everything, even my pizza; and the walls, the air, the people around me, everything. The world was not as lonely and scary as my mind defined it to be.
Sometimes I forget how Beautiful everything is, when I identify with the nonsense and habitual nature of the mind. These habits of the emotional mind, can keep us stuck searching for love, depth and connection in others, for literally lifetimes. But we do not have to give into the pull of this mind, we can be free here and now. We must be willing to put our attention, not on the desire, but on the space in which our mind arises out of. Buddhist call this turning awareness upon itself. What do we see, experience and become when we turn awareness upon itself? What is here all the time? What is beyond our habitual nature? Look and see…..