Wednesday, January 05, 2011

A revisit and a reaffirmation ...

Krishnamurti once offered his secret of life ... his answer was simple and succinct: "I don't mind what happens."

Eckhart Tolle tells the tale of Zen Master Hakuin, who lived in a town and was held in high regard by many people who came to him for his spiritual teachings. One day the teenaged daughter of his neighbour was discovered to be pregnant. When asked who the father of her child was, the terrified teen answered "Hakuin".

The girl's parents rushed to Hakuin's house and confronted him angrily and with accusations based on their daughter's revelation.

The learned man replied only with the words: "Is that so?"

As news of this scandal spread, The Master Hakuin lost his repuation. But this did not trouble him. No one came seeking his wisdom, but still he remained un moved.

When the child was born the girls' parents took the baby to Hakuin and said - "you are the father, you can look after him ..."

Hakuin took the child and cared for him with great love and care. Then a year later, the teenaged mother confessed to her parents that she had lied, and the real father of the child was a young man who worked nearby.

The parents were deeply distressed when they went to Hakuin to apologize and ask his forgiveness.

Hakuin's reply was "is that so?" as he handed the child back to his mother and grand parents ...

Tolle cites this story as an example of living present to this moment, and remaining apart from the drama and the value judgment of the events unfolding ... Hakuin, in replying "is that so?" is allowing the moment to be what the moment will be, with no value of good or bad brought to bear. Rather than taking personally the happenings around him, Hakuin accepts what is, and
releases himself from being enslaved by the events and happenings. Hakuin finds contentment by not allowing the world around him to determine his happiness or his unhappiness.

He remains present to the moment, and simply accepts what is happening as it happens ...

By Tolle's admission, this step is a challenge for some. In the introduction to his book "A New Earth" he ackowledges that many are not ready for this shift in consciousness, and they will only benefit from his writings, and the healing they and other resources offer, when they are ready and open ... the challenge is to overcome the veil of delusion (called maya in Hinduism) that convinces us that our 'normal' is healthy and alright ...

I value Tolle's counsel to stand fully present to this moment -to the NOW, as he calls it:

"when I don't mind what happens, what does that imply? It implies that internally I am in allignment with what happens. "What happens," of course, refers to the sucness of this moment, which always already is as it is. It refers to the content of this moment - the only moment there ever is - takes. To be in alignment with what is means to be in a relationship of inner non-resistance with what happens. It means not to label it mentally as good or bad, but to let it be. Does this mean you no longer take action to bring about change in your life? On the contrary. When the basis of your actions is inner alignment witht he present moment, your actions become empowered by the intelligence of life itself."

Tolle goes on to share the story of Hakuin, which he then uses to explain the vital importance of checking one's ego and choosing instead to live present to THIS MOMENT:

"To the ego, the present moment is, at best, only useful as a means to an end. It gets you to some future moment that is considered more important, even though the future never comes except as the present moment, and is therefore never more than a thought in your head. In other words, you are never fully here because you are always busy trying to get elsewhere.

When this pattern becomes more pronounced, and this is very common, the present moment is regarded and treated as if it were an obstacle to be overcome. This is where impatience, frustration, and stress arise, and in our culture, it is many people's everyday reality, their normal state. Life, which is now, is seen as a "problem" and you come to inhabit a world of problems that all need to be solved before you can be happy, fulfilled, or really start living - or so you think. The problem is: for every problem that is solved, another one pops up. As long as the present moment is seen as an obstacle, there can be no end to problems ..."

For many, Tolle's counsel - a counsel grounded deeply in the spiritual traditions of humanity - is about living present and fully in THIS MOMENT - in the now ... and for some it is an alien and uncomfortable place, but for others, it is the ONLY place to find wholeness and healing ...

As Tolle says - when you're ready, living in the Now just makes sense ...

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