Everything is as it is. It has no name other than the name we give it. It is we who call it something; we give it a value. We say this thing is good or it’s bad, but in itself, the thing is only as it is. –Ajahn Sumedho
During the days when my consciousness was sleeping, my life was pierced with episodes of roller-coaster love and fantasy, mounting personal insult, and limitless reasons for discontent. In my passion for a better world, I railed against those I judged to be the causes while my soapbox teetered. High-pitched conversations and recapitulated tales of woe made me feel alive, although I did not realize until later this sensation was only an adrenaline rush, accomplishing nothing to improve the human plight.
Reactionary and fearful, there were few situations in my life or even in the world at large I did not take personally. I could not trust life to unfold without manipulation, believing my meddling was constructive action. My separatist ego led me haplessly into a locked room of self-absorption without regard to the anguish this isolation would cause my gentle spirit. Duality coiled itself imperceptibly around my neck, steadily choking off my life force and access to joy.
Duality is the realm of polarity, form, and judgment. The ego presides over this pitted, rocky land of limits and conclusions. Yet when the ego is quiet for a moment, or a string of moments, duality must loosen its grip. Awareness rushes in like an electric surge. A gift of grace, these glimmers can interrupt ensuing dramas as swiftly as pulling the plug on a blasting television. Once the ego has been seen clearly, it has less power to confine life’s potential. The dramas we were once so attached to become paltry in comparison.
The unseen, intangible reality of the spirit offers oneness, formlessness, and acceptance. In this land, deeds to personal claims are irrelevant. The sprinting mind screeches to a halt. The shallow breath swells into a clear and brimming pool. Time slows, presence surfaces, and the dramas of little import fade away. Having grown tired of pointless suffering, the will can be called upon to pave the way for spirit. Surrendering the need to label oneself will unfailingly bring spirit forth. Jimi Hendrix put it this way: “I used to live in a room full of mirrors; all I could see was me. I take my spirit and I crash my mirrors, now the whole world is here for me to see.” Transcend duality and the world becomes just what it is. Silence the personal drama and I become who I truly am.
Halli Bourne is a Spiritual Life Coach, a yoga and meditation teacher and owner of True Self Wellness. Told she may never walk again after a near-fatal car accident, Halli began an ongoing voyage for healing and insight. Her journey has led her into extensive studies of yoga and meditation, ancient and modern religions, spirituality, massage and energy work, creative movement and dance, psychology and esoteric sciences. She offers spiritual life coaching, yoga and meditation retreats and workshops worldwide. She is also a writer, a vocalist and songwriter, a visual artist and dancer. Visit www.trueselfwellness.com to learn more.