30158001-114D-42DC-B8CE-381EB9F2C0D9‘At the discretion of River’ – Shitao, 1656-1707 – WikiArt


It seems to me that, at some point, we have to cease worrying about our lives. There will always be something to worry about, to be concerned with, to hope, regret, project, expect, envy. This is an endless, futile road with no visible finish line. And it also seems to me that, at some point, we have to question our constant spiritual reading, listening, this position of being forever a stranger, one who needs to know, to gain his or her position as being. Not that there is no beauty in reading an expression of truth from a talented seer, or listening to a perfect line of reasoning that brings you to the open field of your eternal self. Not that there is no necessity of seeing oneself as a humble beginner in matters of truth. Not at all. But we must come to the simple realisation that we have it all exposed in front of us, in our everyday, every moment experience of being. We are innate specialists of being.

Any sincere and thorough looking at our simple sense of being, any visit to the temple of our presence, always at hand, always on the map of the now, always accessible, contains in itself treasures of learning and understanding. This is our place of abiding — this being. Our cherished home. Never at a distance. Not a painstaking enterprise. Not requiring the perfect set-up or circumstances, the right number of retreats, the sufficient amount of reading, or the many hours spent on the cushion — for being is always present, always on display, in no need of practice or effort whatsoever. Being has the naturalness of something that can never leave us. It is closer than our blood and breath. So we have to abide by its rules, and notice it rather than seek to attain it.

At some point — at least it seems to me — one has to bring oneself down to the evidence of our own expertise at just being. And how much of it is already here, spread in and as our very experience, and ready to unfold its many truths and secrets to the scrutiny of our gaze. It doesn’t need a special time. Doesn’t need a silent spot. Being is forever present in and as the flow of our everyday experiences. Life then becomes our temple, if only we could grant being a little repeated noticing, a little stubborn remembering. Let’s stop believing that we are some kind of ignorant, hopeless person and not simply a luminous being forever placed on the course of its sacred, born-given destiny. We have to cease drafting our lives, and start to precisely sketch the gorgeous, elegant lines of our being. We are already accomplished artists. There is a well of understanding waiting at every looking at our simple experience of just being.

We all have a PhD in being. We all have a doctorate in presence, specialised in the sublime. And have all the required degrees to qualify for the post of happiness. So why keep seeing oneself as an eternal disciple, on the never ending path of progression, attainment, achievement. We have to leave that path and see for ourself that we have now all the qualifications for the pathless path of being. It’s all here, in the simple realisation of our being, in the quiet presence of the infinite which disguises itself as our experience. This presence is constantly flowing as what is. It is the wave of being that inundates every possible experience that we have. It has nowhere to hide. Not in the body. Not in a thought of the mind or a feeling. Not in the world either. Being is in the in-betweens, in the space right here, amongst and in the interstices of thought, body, and thing. And when we will have un-localised it where it is not, then — and only then — will we find the tissue of being as being everything, as being the body too, as the mind, and the many thoughts, and the world, and as every single appearance that finds itself nestled in the hard foundation of the One as being.

We need to transfer the spoken word into our lives. We need to make that jump into our naked experience of being. Concepts will always ever be untruths. Only being has the last word, the ultimate say. And we will find it in one place only: in the silence contained in our purest and most intimate sense of ‘I am’, forever free and disengaged of the thousands add-ons and the constant flow of never ending superimpositions. This presence of our innermost being is forever exposed in and as our very self. So we cannot miss it, if only we keep looking in the direction where it lives. In reality, being is ostentatious, like a splash, a bright patch that extends itself as much inside as it does outside. It is generous, offering itself constantly to our quiet noticing. There is nothing difficult about it. It requires just looking. And looking. And looking. Being a humble master of looking. Looking humbly at just being, without being grandiose about it. Feeling being. After all, look at any innocent gaze of a baby in a pram, and you will see one such humble master. So don’t make it an impossible attainment. No pride needs to be drawn out of it. It is something that you cannot not be. Now just board the plane of being, it’s all been taken care of already. We are all masters of knowing.



Text by Alain Joly

Painting by Shitao (1642-1707)



Shitao (Wikipedia)

– Other ‘Reveries’ from the blog…


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