Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Oct.10: Awareness and Saving our Souls and our Love and the Earth (is that all?)

Wow. What a title, and we’ve already seen: without awareness of the present, we are more or less missing our lives as we live them. That’s our souls: the knowing and loving and appreciating of our life as it is happening. Happiness, often toted as one of the great blessings of human life, this can come only when we are there with our lives.

Happiness won’t come as we rush off to the Next Thing. Happiness can be recycled, in a sweet story of a nice or wonderful or an amazing time in the past, and even here, even here the happiness is the inner glow and smile and satisfaction that comes here and now from the vibrations the story sets off in us.

Awareness can save our souls this way, too: it can lead us back to love. Recall almost any argument we’ve had with someone we so-called “love.”

Here are some characteristics of the argument:
• We don’t look at each other as we argue.
• We say hurtful things.
• We try to make the other person wrong.
• We use a tone of voice or shouting, or both, meant to imply that the person to whom we are snarling is a very bad and worthless and small person indeed.

These don’t seem like the way to love, do they? And what is the not looking at each other about? First, it’s a way of avoiding knowing with whom we really are. Most deep arguments are a rehash of an old issue, and by not looking, our unconscious can keep alive some vague idea of slugging it out with Mom or Pop or whatever we are deeply angry at. Also, by not looking, we can avoid knowing the pain we are inflicting, being selfishly engaged in our own pain.

So how can awareness save us from this? How can it not?

By looking at the person in the moment, we see the one we are really with.

By seeing the pain on their face we can see the results of how we are talking and acting.

By listening to our own voices in the moment, we can realize how hateful and hurtful we are being.

By listening to our words as they come out, we can realize that these words could just as well have been said about ourselves.

By sensing inside ourselves at how tense and devoid of breath and joy we are making ourselves, we have a huge incentive to just shut up, calm down, breathe, relax, take turns talking and listening, and find out what we really want: which is to be back in love again.

And what of the other way of avoiding love in a relationship, the taking each other for granted, too busy to give real attention to each other route? This is better than fighting and hurting, and it’s still not love. It’s convenience. It’s a business. And to come to the present, to really look, to really touch, to really listen: ah, then we can come back to the love that brought us together.

This is actually very simple. When we are present, all we need is a good book, or a pleasant stroll, or a plot of ground on which to garden, a walk on the sidewalks or in the woods, a conversation of real listening and sharing.

With that, we don’t need to consume stuff that is made by consuming the earth, don’t need to rush off in our cars to go somewhere else. We are happy here, we are happy now, and that’s enough.

Following the breathing and feeling our footsteps as we walk, and actually listening to other people as they speak and being happy to be alone since being alive is such a love on its own: we don’t need all the extras. We can slow down. We can enjoy life. Simplicity and presence and love and awareness is enough.

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