well-being & being well

 

Agnes Martin - Gratitude, 2001

 

There’s a mindset that runs a mythical story asserting that one’s “accomplishment” of awakening, and the attendant ease of well-being, is negated or compromised by any experience of being unwell. Beware of these myths!

Awakening is never “accomplished” or attained. It is simply a system-restore to the Natural State.

The Natural State – I call it wild wideawakeness – has no preference whatsoever for what might be being experienced by the body or the mind. It remains the essential experience, enabling and infusing all others. Its impartiality – and re-cognition of this – is what dissolves suffering and enables well-being – regardless of the passing play of one’s life.

Well-being does not depend upon being well.

It’s true that the more unshakeable one’s well-being, the more sensitive the organism becomes, bringing understanding and prompting changes that may lead to less physical and mental dysfunction. But well-being remains unaffected. Period.

I have been with frail, aged folk in heart-wrenching discomfort and pain and fully aware of the approach of their end days, who were aglow with well-being.

I have been with a close friend when she received a diagnosis that would strike terror into the heart of most people; she exuded such well-being that her surgeons and friends were at once amazed and relieved. (She has now fully recovered.)

I have been with myself during debilitating illness, pain, grief. At these times the litmus test for the extent of my freedom is a little inquiry: am I suffering?

And I have to say no; I can no longer find a solid-state ‘person’ here who could own a story about suffering.

If there is illness, no problem – I’ll seek help, I’ll take the medicine, but I won’t suffer.

Well-being is unaffected.
Well-being is the Natural State.
The Natural State is what one is.

Because the Natural State is ever-present and inescapable, accepting the entire array of experience without question, I’ve come to know it as Love. Love Divine. 

Whatever you call it – God, Divine Presence, Love, Suchness, The Great Perfection, Beloved – you are naming yourself and the entirety of your experience.

Along with everyone and everything else…

 


Painting by Agnes Martin, Gratitude, 2001. Courtesy of the Tate Gallery, London.


blessed are those who know nothing for certain

 

Bill Viola - Firewoman, 2005

 

blessed are those who know nothing for certain,
whose curiosity keeps them beyond the claws of conclusion,
who seek as an impulse of wonderment rather than for gain,
who question everything the pundits proclaim as truth;

whose questions deliver them, willingly or not,
to the fiery face of the Unnameable, and
who find the courage to keep a “yes” alive in spite of terror;
who come back speechless and trembling with gratitude

blessed are those for whom the encounter enlivens a capacity
and a willingness to hold both hands out to the world
(one to hold grief, the other, gratefulness)
for their heart knows the two as one;

who, without choice, stand naked in knowingness;
whose fulfilment is refreshed with every breath;
who are quietly content (which is not to say inert or passive)
in spite of all that life appears to heave at them

blessed are those who know these contented ones,
who count them among their friends and neighbours,
who seek them out for their simple wisdom, knowing
they have nothing to spin or sell – nothing to bestow
other than their crazy head-shaking heart-healing joy:

innocent – ingenious – immanent

 


Image: Bill ViolaFirewoman, 2005. Detail from video/sound installation.


memo from IT to ITself

 

IT is not understood until IT is forgotten

 

IT is not understood
until IT is forgotten.

When IT is forgotten
IT can express ITself.

When IT expresses ITself
you won’t recognise IT.

If you think you recognise IT
you are mistaken.

Realising you are mistaken
about everything

 

cracks open

 &

deconstructs

 

your many-layered
me-isphere

revealing IT to ITself

perfectly.

 


“IT” in this context = reality, big R.
This post might read like a madwoman’s rant, but those who have free-fallen into Unknowing will simply smile at the play of paradox.
Such is IT’s way.


Image sourced from Facebook, where credit was not given. Please advise if it’s yours and an appropriate link will be added.


who are you when you aren’t there?

Drawing by Michael Leunig

who are you

when you’re not constantly

re-minding yourself

on social media?

 

when you’re not sharing

your selfies, your mundane and mediocre

daily details?

 

when you’re not broadcasting

your insights, your threadbare, faded

knowledge?

 

what do you see

when you’re not there

telling yourself the old stories

(identify – label – judge)?

 

when there’s no observer

standing separate from

texture, color, energy?

 

when time and space

disappear, taking out your memorybank (poof!)

leaving . . . . . . . . . what?

 

who are you in that apocalyptic instant

when you realise that

every hard-earned conviction you hold

concerning

awakening

enlightenment

salvation

freedom

is merely an empty concept?

 

who are you when you aren’t there?

 


 

[conceptual answers not permitted; keep emptying!]

 


Drawing by Michael Leunig – it also accompanies this post from the early days of ‘the echoes’:

sitting in this leaky boat called ‘me’


 

game. set. match.

match. set. game. Photo: Shutterstock

 

One of the most prevalent and persistent myths swirling around the concept of awakening, is that those who have been obliterated by the irreversible EUREKA are instantly and henceforth rendered exempt from all the trials of the flesh that plague “the unenlightened”.

The mind loves to employ this fantasy to critique even the sagest of sages. (“How could someone like a Krishnamurti or a Ramana become a victim of cancer?”) But more sneakily, it turns its scorn upon one’s own delicate understanding.

It loves to hold up one’s (so-called) unattractive qualities – one’s addictions, physical ailments and emotional irruptions as proof that one hasn’t understood anything of import. Really.

What sport it is to watch and listen to this chattering, taunting, would-be bully. For a while you return the volleys. But it doesn’t take long to realise it’s a game without end and you grow bored – you know the score already.

So you serve your Ace straight up.

You simply ask whether the rock-solid immensity of Awareness is being affected, in any way, by whatever is coming at it.

The answer is always the same.

Game. Set. Match.

 


Jiddu Krishnamurti

Ramana Maharshi


In tennis, an ace is a legal serve that is not touched by the receiver, winning the point. – Wikipedia

Image: Shutterstock


full moon musings

Full Moon in May

 

luminosity

brushes

the edges of the threatening clouds

then

suddenly it’s sailing clear –

the full moon!

– – –

awakening is precisely like this:

our precious fears and foibles

begin to melt into lightness

at the edges

as

the dark curtain of concepts

and the tireless concept-builder

examined, unravel,

and there it is

the self-luminous light

of our eternal beingness

that was veiled

only

by ceaseless story-spinning

 


Image credit


letter to a reformed seeker

Echoes from Emptiness - Cartoon by Michael Leunig

 

Dear (newly wide-awake) reformed seeker –

If you haven’t yet been called delusional, flakey, misguided, weird, out-of-touch, in denial, crazy, mistaken, blasphemous, arrogant, heretical, evil, a nutter…

If you haven’t been judged, shunned, ostracised, scorned, ignored, rejected, excluded, gossiped about, sent to Coventry…

No worries – there’s still plenty of time.

Seven billion stories (and counting) are poised to project their characters onto the empty pregnant space that you know yourself to be.

Hang in there – if you can find a ‘there’ anywhere. (Chuckles)

When the barbs come thick and fast you’ll be astonished to find that they fly right through your shimmering spaciousness. It’s quite a trip actually!

Best

etc


Cartoon by Michael Leunig