One of the first things I teach you when you come on your first retreat is how your mind is by far the greatest interference [groups_non_member group=”Registered”]there is with the way that the higher intelligence that governs our life functions. When you look outside and you look at all the life going on around you and you see the trees and you see nature at work, there isn’t an active intelligence at work there. There isn’t an active intelligence going, “It’s coming into springtime, I wonder if we should grow some leaves, and what if we made them this colour, today, no I don’t like that any more, let’s change it.” Nature is a pure response. It’s perfect. It’s pure intelligence.
It’s on cue every time and the response to what is going on around it is always
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[groups_member group=”Registered”]there is with the way that the higher intelligence that governs our life functions. When you look outside and you look at all the life going on around you and you see the trees and you see nature at work, there isn’t an active intelligence at work there. There isn’t an active intelligence going, “It’s coming into springtime, I wonder if we should grow some leaves, and what if we made them this colour, today, no I don’t like that any more, let’s change it.” Nature is a pure response. It’s perfect. It’s pure intelligence.
It’s on cue every time and the response to what is going on around it is always perfect. Now that intelligence supports life perfectly and it would support your life perfectly as well if you let it. But we are, as humans, blessed with this ability to be aware of ourselves as a discrete entity, a separate self conscious expression of life. And that basic principle, i.e. to be self-aware, mutates over time from the basic sense of just being self-aware to creating an idea of ourselves, which over time becomes ever more complex.
If we lose site of this, much of our life becomes an effort to uphold and project our idea of the person that we think we are to the world. And we formulate the idea of the kind of person that we would like to be, and this is how I’d like the world to see me and this is how I see myself. Our actions, our behaviour, our thoughts, our ideas, our views, all hinge around that idea of who I think I am, and clinging to this idea, we behave in any way that will continue to allow us to uphold it.
So I will use the word ego, just for simplicity. We live a wilful life, driven by our ego in an attempt to get the response or reaction that we think we want, need or deserve. This is what I call our pantomime, and large parts of our lives are spent playing out our pantomime.Take me for example. If I was to get too carried away with the idea that I am a meditation teacher, I would get lost in my pantomime, which in truth has little bearing on the essence of who and what I really am. It is clinging to these ideas of ourselves that is one of the fundamental causes of our suffering… Of all our suffering as a group of beings.
Now that energy invested in living this pantomime is what I mean by the interference in the system. And almost everything that we cling to or react to relates back to our experience of this personal perspective.
We never get to find out what life really is, what this extraordinary process of being human really is when we are blinkered by the lens that we look through. We are so wrapped up in our own world view that we would never come to a direct experience of how things really are.
So as we work to break down these ideas of ourselves and relinquish this dogged attachment to these ideas, we open our mind and our lens widens. We start to get a broader and broader perspective. And as we start to reflect wisely on our life and the nature of life, then our insistence on hanging onto the pantomime may gradually be diluted or worn away.
It is like this: If you take a crystal and you shine sunlight through it onto the wall, what do you get? You will get a rainbow. And what will determine whether that is a beautiful rainbow or not? The clarity of the crystal, and of course how smooth is the wall.
Now this rainbow is our pantomime. It is the projection of ourselves to the world and we spend our lives trying to polish it so that it looks just right. “That’s how I want it to look.” “That’s how I want the world to see me,” etc. And this is actually pride, which is comparing ourselves to others and to our own ideas, as better or worse.
We might polish the wall hoping that the rainbow is going to improve. And we might even realise that if we polish the crystal, which is the filter that the light shines through, that we might refine our pantomime. “Ah look at my rainbow. Now it’s just how I like it. Now everyone’s going to like me just the way that I want them to”.
But has it got any real relevance? What’s this crystal anyway? It is after all only a filter. If you were to take the crystal out of the way, then what would you be left with? The very source of the rainbow. The real source of the rainbow. The clear light from which is appears. The rainbow is in truth an illusion, a mirage.
Now that source of the rainbow is the essence of what you are, and this crystal is what you put in the way. There is nothing wrong with having it in the way. This is our living experience, and it may well be valid, but we doggedly identify ourselves with it rather than realising it’s just a dance of life and its energy. It’s not inherently relevant, but it may certainly be worth engaging in. But the danger is that we lose ourselves to it and we lose ourselves in this rainbow. That is like getting lost inside the matrix or down the rabbit hole and becoming so convinced by the illusion that we lose our connection to reality.
If you are able to remove the crystal for a moment then you may be able to start to see the clear light that is the source of what you think you are. Now that clear light is everywhere. It’s not just something that is behind you shining through your crystal producing your rainbow, it is behind everything shining through every crystal, producing every rainbow. And it’s effortlessly supporting everything in nature as it comes into being.
Now the creative power to bring things into being out of this clear basic space is so overwhelmingly powerful that everywhere something can grow on this planet, it will grow. Even in the most barren places on the side of a rock you will find some kind of moss growing. Everywhere you look there is something coming into being, there is life. And the power of that life is inexorable. You can’t cut it off as an act of will. And it’s the same power that is supporting your life.
How much of that energy you get as the active support for your life depends upon how much you are attuned to it, and how much you are interfering with it trying to provide that support for your life yourself as an act of personal will. Now when we are doggedly attached to this personality view, then our life is a wilful effort to express just that; our pantomime. It is a personal effort to sustain our life, and to continue to project this idea of ourselves. But if you can dilute your attachment to this idea and start to trust the principle of your life itself, then that resistance is removed and you will find that everything starts to reorganise itself for you.
The intelligence is there and the only reason that it’s not working perfectly is that you are in the way. Now you don’t know how to metabolise fat in your liver, or how hard your heart should be beating, or how to focus the lens of your eye when you are looking near or far. But you have the ability to do these things perfectly. This life support has intelligence far greater than anything you would ever comprehend.
But we just don’t trust it.
So when I ask you to tune into the stillness around you in the room as you meditate, I am asking you to take the sense of stillness in the room as something to come to resonate with because it’s calming to feel something that’s calm. But there’s more than just stillness there. If you were able one day to really get your concentration and feel this room you would feel that clear light that’s everywhere. And the power in that clear light is the power that supports all life.[/groups_member]