December 25, 2009

Discover Your World

Living in line with truth is the point of meditation, truth about the world and the way things really are. Buddha said, “Your work is to discover your world and then with all of your heart give yourself to it.” Those two things are in order because you need to understand your world and yourself first before you can give yourself to it or anything for that matter. Who are you, really, deep down? What are the ways of the world, the kinds of truth that will always be and principles that will never fail? I have a long way to go but with some time, patience, and meditation, I think I know a little.

Everything Changes
Here is one of my favorite quotes from Abraham Lincoln, “It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: 'And this, too, shall pass away.' How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! How consoling in the depths of affliction!” At the smallest level we can observe particles constantly in motion at incredible speeds. At the largest level galaxies flying away from each other in our enormous universe. Somewhere in between civilizations flourish, mountains crumble, life ends and life begins. All around us our world tells us that everything changes and yet...we act surprised. Not my body. Not my car. Not my life. Surely something must stay the same. Just this: everything changes.

Let Go
When we meditate on this fact, when we apply it to our lives, we are forced to let go of our preconceived notions of how things will go or how our lives should or shouldn’t be. Life isn’t meant to be permanent, it is meant to be experienced. Love and let go. Laugh and let go. Meditation is about truly seeing the world as it really is, in this moment, experiencing it and then letting it go. Moment to moment awareness, of this repetition, this kiss, this smile, this beauty, allows us to truly give ourselves to it. Whether it’s your first or your last is irrelevant. In fact, if you truly experience your life moment to moment and let go of expectation, you will do what many people hope to do: the popular and often sung idea of “living every day like it’s your last.”

The nice thing about truth, about life, is that everyone can experience it for themselves. Actually, everyone has to experience it for themselves. Meditation and enlightenment rest entirely on the shoulders of the person doing it. No one can do it for you and all the words in the world will mean nothing if they don’t live out through your experiences. As you grow stronger in your body and your mind, be sure to grow stronger in your understanding of the world around you. Then, when you are ready, give yourself to it with all of your heart. At least that’s what I think. And Buddha too.