jusummerhayes

Just this

I know, it's hardly the most inspiring title but what else is there?

When I say, just this, I mean all of it — everything we see, feel, experience and understand.

Life, right?

And yet, and yet, what do we see?

Something else.

A more hopeful future.

A different past.

A story of the moment that is, in most cases, purely of our thinking and has no bearing on reality — whatever that is. 

For me, what is clear is that even though I operate in a sense-making, pattern-recognising world, when I stop just long enough to take a few, slow breaths — or lie flat on my back sick, as I have been these past few days — I come to appreciate the understanding that all there is, is...

just this.

What it is cannot be described, save to say that what we see in one moment is moving on to something else the very next. 

You know this from your actual experience — everything is changing. It's not woo-woo, or myth or something you need to learn.

Everything is changing.

Nothing stays as it is — the unformed. The Buddhists would call it impermanence, other traditions something else but there's a profound acknowledgement of the moving, shifting, energetic experience of this moment.

If only we saw that let alone acknowledged it.

No, just to be clear, I'm not saying that we'd change our behaviour in this seeing or profound acknowledgement — as if we could — but perhaps, just perhaps, we get less hung up about all the issues that seem to vex us, knowing that everything changes.

For the record, this isn't me positing an escape hatch or something to dine out on to avoid life. No, this is a way to see the world as it really is shorn also of all the labels that we've taken as read. You call it this — e.g. a chair or table — but is it? It might be but it's only that because you've been given a label. The truth is, none of us knows what it is even at microscopic or dark-matter level. Energy? Perhaps, but that's not much help if we want to sit at one or make a restaurant booking to celebrate a special occasion.

Let me put it like this. I used to believe in all sorts of magical thinking, not least the fact that I was directing my life, I could think myself happy and by adopting a mechanistic meditation practice my life would be...well, at least a bit better. What I never did was look at my direct experience of life. It was only when I read Darryl Bailey's books and listened to his monthly monologue where he raised this 'everything changes' point that I started to look again at what was really going on. Little did I know then and certainly now, how profound would be the effect on my life. No, I don't mean I started to talk in a mellifluous tone with a constant smile on my face (my kids sometimes call me a hippy) but rather I've this inner peace, knowing that I'm no more and no less a part of this moving, shifting, energetic experience — albeit I assume a human form for the time I'm here. That's another reason why I've been attracted, over these past 10 weeks, to watching the river near my house. It always reminds me of how the river starts from nothing and ends with nothing and on its way it just flows naturally across all shapes, all weathers and all experiences. A perfect metaphor for life.

If there's a practical way to apply this insight, it's simply to sit quietly, do nothing (save breathe of course) and sit with everything that's arising, including the crappy thoughts, the heightened state of anxiety qua Covid19 or unemployment or whatever other shit is coming down the line. Or even the peace that you know is innate absent the overlay of thoughts. The thing is you're not trying to do anything — not that you could — other than to sit. For some people, this doesn't float their boat. That's fine. That's the way they're expressed. But for me, I need to feel all of my life and not disappear down another wormhole of doing to avoid my extant feeling or emotional state. 

Anyhow, I should have said I'm back writing — at least on Livejournal — and I'm pleased that I've got the energy to do so. I'm eternally grateful that the gods, once again, have given me a subtle reminder that I'm human and not a machine. Perhaps next time I might see the warning signs before I drive myself into the sand.

Take care.

Blessings and much love,

Ju 

Photo by Randy Laybourne on Unsplash


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