The past is inevitable. I thought that up a while back and, apart from it sounding clever to me, I didn’t really see much in it. I know that sometimes when I look back on things I think, Okay – I see how I got here. But saying that the past leads to the present is sorta obvious. So, I throw that little phrase out there once in a while, but I haven’t really worked with it.
Last week I was at Kripalu with a group of openhearted souls whom I adore and to whom I bow. We work with Swami Kripalu’s instruction to teach from life experience and from love. The first principle is love.
I’m going to digress for a moment… Patanjali wrote in the yoga sutras that the phenomenal world is a world of experience that exists for our edification. We can experience the events of our lives, learn a bit and leave it at that. We can also go deeper into that experience and move toward realization of the Self.
I came into the week with things on my mind. The sessions in our group can get intense, and they can amplify what’s on my mind, and there came a time when the intensity peaked for me. It was all I could bear. I thought I was going to blow a fuse. I ran into a wall of simple truth, and it wasn’t even new truth; it was shit I know very well. But it came with such a hard edge. I tried to change the subject and I couldn’t. I hated the experience because of how bad it made me feel.
We were supposed to talk about our experience afterward, but I couldn’t face doing it. I couldn’t find any words. I couldn’t get purchase. So I clammed up.
By the next morning I had calmed down and I made my report to the group.
Sometimes I get caught up in what the story says, and I miss what the story tells.
The events of the week were exactly what I needed. The events brought about an experience that contained a lesson that I had to get. The lesson was a simple truth that I’d been able to dodge until now. And the intelligence manifest in the course of events had become insistent about my getting this lesson. So a ton of bricks was dropped on me in order to get my attention. Fair enough.
From the experience itself, from the chain of events, from the way it went down I’m catching on to two things among other things…
1) I’m always offered what I need. Always have been. And I don’t always have the necessary awareness to see the truth and to accept what I need. But truth is eternal and it will out. And if I can’t get my lesson from a butterfly, then eventually I’ll have to get it from a brick. Hard head = hard lesson.
2) If it is true that so far I’ve been getting what I need, then maybe I can afford to have a little more faith in the unfolding future. Particularly when things don’t seem to be going my way.
I don’t want to rationalize suffering with this insight. I don’t want a slogan that I’ll become attached to. I don’t want a reason to be passive. What I do want, is to see as clearly as I can the teaching that is in front of me. And I can’t do that if I’m being fearful and insecure.
My life will go the way that it must according to how I live it. And everything that I need for this moment is present. The difference in the course of my life will be made by whether I react to my experience with narrowness and discontent or whether I take my seat in love and welcome the truth.