Grist

You say every life situation is a perfect lesson, how is that so?

“The universe is made up of experiences that are designed to burn out our reactivity, which is our attachment, our clinging, to pain, to pleasure, to fear, to all of it. And as long as there are places where were vulnerable, the universe will find ways to confront us with them. That’s the way the dance is designed. In truth, there are millions and millions of stimuli that we are not even noticing, that go by, in every plane of existence, all the time. The reason we don’t notice them is because there’s no attachment to them in us. Our desires affect our perception.

Each of us is living in our own universe, created out of our projected attachments. That’s what it means when it says, “You create your own universe.” We are creating that universe out of our attachments, which can be out of our avoidances and our fears. More and more we keep consuming our own reactivity and saying, “Right, and this situation too, and this one too, Tat Twam Asi, and that also, and that also, and that also.” Then it starts to lose its pull and to fall away.

And we get so that we’re perfectly willing to do whatever we do-and to do it perfectly. It’s like Mahatma Gandhi gets put in jail and they give him a lice-infested uniform and tell him to clean the latrines, and it’s a whole mess. And he walks up to the head of the guards and he says, in total truth, “Thank you.” He’s not putting them on or up-leveling them. He’s saying, “There’s a teaching here, and I’m getting it; thank you.” What’s bizarre is that we get to the point where somebody lays a heavy trip on us and we get caught, and then we see through our catch-ness and we say, “Thank you.” We may not say it aloud because it’s too cute. But we feel ‘thank you.’ People come up and are violent or angry or write nasty letters or whatever they do to express their frustration or anger or competition, and all I can say is thanks.”

“…all methods get to the top of the mountain. And that we can find God in everyone. Then we no longer are Buddhists or Hindus or Christians or Jews or Moslems. We are love. We are truth. And love and truth have no form. They flow into forms. But the word is never the same as that which the word connotes. The word “God” is not God, the word “Mother” is not Mother, the word “Self’ is not Self, the word “moment” is not the moment. All of these words are empty. We’re playing at the level of intellect, feeding that thing in us that keeps wanting to understand. And here we are, all the words we’ve said are gone. Where did they go? Do you remember them all? Empty, empty. If we heard them, we are at this moment empty. We’re ready for next word. And the word will go through us. We don’t have to know anything; that’s what’s so funny about it. We get simple. We’re empty. We know nothing. We simply are wisdom. Not becoming anything, just being everything.”
—Ram Dass

 

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Posted by | Paul Reynolds
In addition to teaching yoga on the Island of Kauai, Paul is the facilitator of the Living the Question Blog - a repository of wisdom and inspiration. Paul also produces and hosts the weekly Le Guru is You Radio Show, showcasing everyday gurus.

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