No one else has the answer.
No other place will be better.
And it has already turned out.
At the center of your being you have the answer;
you know who you are and you know what you want.
There is no need to run outside for better seeing.
Nor to peer from a window.
Rather abide at the center of your being;
For the more you leave it, the less you learn.
I’m now seven-and-a-half months pregnant. I have long since given up the notion of sleeping through the night without having to make several journeys downstairs to pee. I have given up the wish to “know it all” or to feel prepared for the upcoming challenges of motherhood.
I have given up feeling guilty if I don’t practice yoga or sit in meditation for “x” minutes per day. I still practice, of course, but it feels good and sufficient to integrate my dharma throughout my moment-to-moment experiences rather than just sitting or stretching in an isolated capsule of the morning.
There’s nothing more liberating than letting go of a struggle. It’s a delight to let go of resistance and fighting, whether internal or external.
I recently finished reading Radical Acceptance, a wonderfully accessible Buddhist book by author, therapist and Elephant contributor, Tara Brach. It’s full of practical, down-to-earth suggestions and situations that remind us how to best bring our yoga and dharma off the mat and into our daily lives. Here, I’ll share several inspiring quotes from Tara and other prophetic spiritual teachers.
Our original and true nature is described in Mahayana Buddhism as prajnaparamita, the heart of perfect wisdom… the Mother of all Buddhas, ´the one who shows the world as it is.´ She is called ´the source of light… so that all fear and distress may be forsaken.´When we are in touch with our true nature, we are completely free of the trance. No longer afraid or contracted, we know our deepest essence as the pure, wakeful awareness that beholds, with love, all of creation.
~Tara Brach, Radical Acceptance
An excellent question posed by the book, and one that we can ask ourselves every day:
Do I really trust that I am a Buddha?
The real world is beyond our thoughts and ideas we see it through the net of our desires divided into pleasure and pain, right and wrong, inner and outer. To see the universe as it is, you must step beyond the net. It is not hard to do so, for the net is so full of holes.
Lama Gendun Rinpoche:
Happiness cannot be found through great effort and will power,
But is already there, in relaxation and letting-go.
Don´t strain yourself, there is nothing to do…
Only our search for happiness prevents us from seeing it…
Don´t believe the reality of good and bad experiences;
They are like rainbows.
Wanting to grasp the ungraspable,
you exhaust yourself in vain.
As soon as you relax this grasping,
space is there — open, inviting, and comfortable.
So, make use of it. All is yours already.
Don´t search any further…
Nothing to do.
Nothing to force,
Nothing to want,
–and everything happens by itself.
… and (not from Radical Acceptance) but rather written by the controversial spiritual teacher, Osho:
…if you accept yourself as you are, the ideal can be filled immediately–with no time gap, right this moment, here and now, you can realize that you are perfect; it is not something to be attained in the future, it is something that you have always been carrying within you.
One has to learn how to be effortless, in a state of surrender, in a let-go. The greatest secret in life is the secret of let-go, of surrender, of trusting existence. All that is great comes as a gift. Don´t strive for it, otherwise you will miss.
Remember: Everything you need is already within you. Abide in that truth. You are not lacking anything. You are life expressing itself in this precious present moment.