Loving Every Little Mundane Thing

washingdishes
Something popped into my head this morning as I was putting away some food from my breakfast. It was just such a joy to be doing this mundane task, and I realized how many such tasks make up my life. Most of the things we do during the day are mundane, really, but they all string together into a day where we either feel like we've accomplished something or not, we've been happy or not, all those kinds of judgements passed on what we did or felt.

It made me think about the saying "Be Here Now," which was made famous after Ram Dass published his book by that name in 1971. And that made me think of "The Power of Now," Eckhart Tolle's very popular book which created a stir in the late 90s until today. "Now" has been talked about a lot, and it's supposed to be the key to happiness in some way, being present in this moment instead of lost in thought and not paying attention to the very rich reality of being there.

But the problem with the "now" teaching is that they always emphasize the fact that it's already gone. That "now" that is the key to your happiness? — sorry, it's over. Now there is a new now. This kind of thinking doesn't allow for the unfolding of the task, the appreciation of the beauty of it, the simplicity, the very act of doing, and how very special that is.

I prefer to look at my "now," or my task at hand, as something that God is present in. God is participating in this unfolding task with me. I don't know how it's going to go, but I don't need to know. I don't need anything from it. In a way I can offer this moment up to God, as opposed to looking for a way for this moment to serve
me. In giving it away like this, the task at hand becomes a loving act, and I am experiencing that love. There's a reciprocity going on, and that is felt as joy, ease, and appreciation. This "now" moment becomes so full, not just of "being here," but of love.

Loving this very thing that I'm doing right now, as it unfolds, and not needing anything from it, not judging it or needing to feel like I'm accomplishing something, brings a "power of now" that is full, overflowing, and life-giving. Makes doing the dishes something to look forward to.




Two Ways of Seeing

holyspirit
I want to compare a couple of statements, both of which I agree with now or have agreed with at some point. Here we go:







It's okay if I don't feel psychologically or physically great right now, because regardless of how I feel, it's all arising in the unlimited awareness that I am, and I can never lack, knowing the fullness of awareness to be my Self.

It's okay if I don't feel psychologically or physically great right now, because regardless of how I feel, I can never be outside of God's love, and that is far more solace to me than my physical well-being can ever be.

The first is a non-dualistic statement, and the second is a religious one. I'm leaning towards the religious. The reason being that the heart has to be involved in this answer — the answer to the longing of the soul for an increasing closeness to the great mystery. The heart tells us where we are in the journey. If the heart is not made to sing, and if love is not kindled, as the mystery is drawn closer and more intimately, then I think we are missing the whole point of there being an existence of anything in the first place. "God loves me" is a thought that makes the whole world right.

I'm sure there will be more to come along these lines…




Am I Doing This Right?

baby
What is a spiritual journey supposed to look like? The good news is, it’s supposed to look exactly like it looks! You can’t get it wrong. You can’t get one single moment of it wrong.

You are unique. There’s only one of you in the entire universe. That makes you very special. Appreciate your specialness for a moment. The very existence of you – the human being that you are – is a total miracle. Have you ever been present at the birth of a baby, or seen a newborn? That being arrives into this world straight from the arms of the great mystery, so awake and alive, ready to share its own unique version of universal love with whoever is willing to receive it. That being is you.

So get to it. Whatever it takes. And enjoy it – that’s the most important part. What a blessing this is that we are able to share love, in whatever way suits us best. That’s the challenge, really – to find your own way of aligning with the universal love and beneficence that is All, and to find the joy of expressing it, of sharing it.

Your path might take any number of twists and turns. Don’t worry. That’s the fun of the journey. You don’t have to follow one teacher, or one teaching. I read early on that it was necessary to stay with one thing, and not ask too many questions. I tried that, it got me into trouble. Certain parts of the unique me were being muffled, and that wasn't bound to last.

You might find that non-duality is too limiting for you to find full satisfaction of what you are looking for. I certainly did. There is a strong focus in non-dual teachings away from your physical being, your human experience, and particularly your body. Looking back on some of the things I was taught in non-duality, I find them downright unhealthy. But when we are buying into a whole package, and we trust our teachers, sometimes we just go along with things.

But you might find yourself wondering how your fantastic, unique physical being can be a part of this journey towards wholeness. The point in non-duality is clear – attachment to things in the material world cannot lead to permanent happiness, because everything material is impermanent. It’s a sound argument, and I spent years defending that argument myself, on this very website. But now, I am instead including my physical, emotional, and psychological selves in my exploration, and it’s a much richer experience in every way. There is a joy in my journey that was not here before.

The beauty of exploring our experience as one particular human being with a unique mind, a complex past, and a mortal physical vehicle is that all of these sprang from the great mystery itself. This great mystery is the “awareness” of non-duality – this is the “consciousness” they are talking about. From this consciousness arose you, beautiful you. Special you. One-of-a-kind you. It is not important to think about yourself, or the world you live in, as unreal.

Go ahead and take yourself as a human being. Live it. That’s the whole point. You are a unique window into consciousness, and only you can bring the flavor of you into the stew that is existence. You are needed here. Go ahead and have therapy – lots of it. Explore your past hurt and childhood traumas. Cry them out. Live in your body, learn how to heal yourself with energy, be humbled by aging. Let your heart burst with joy, and let it also get broken in pieces. Be amazed by your senses and the insane variety of experience coming into them.

But…

Here’s the fun part. While you are being an intrepid explorer of physical reality, which can be quite intense and challenging at times, you can also know, at the same time, that you don’t have to take any of it completely seriously. If you have dabbled in non-duality, this all goes without saying. If you have not, you might want to. Because knowing that all this just appears, is indefinable, and leaves no trace is ultimately completely freeing.

There need not be a detachment from this physical reality at all. We don’t need to leave this world behind. That is not what freedom needs to look like. Freedom is going to feel like freedom. You won’t have to question whether you’ve “got it” or not.

I guess what I’m saying is, if you are dissatisfied with the results of your search so far, it might be that you keep moving further “out” in hopes of making some final break. And my recommendation is to start moving “in” and see if that’s better. It’s okay. You have the tools to navigate it. You won’t get sucked back into taking this whole world seriously.

Expressing the unique “you,” as an outpicturing of the One Awareness, seeing how far you can push that in the time you have left on this planet, and seeing how much love you can give and receive – that seems to be what this Awareness would tell us it ultimately wants, if it could talk. Oh wait, it CAN talk – that’s YOU.