Imagine you are a projector shining your light onto a blank wall. Then imagine that a slide is put into your slot, with an image of violent conflict. In dismay, you turn away to avoid the image, yet the same image continues to appear on the new surface you now face. You break down the wall, and the image continues to project onto the wall behind. You run away, yet you carry the image with you, and it is reflected back wherever you go. Such is the futility of our attempts to change the world: we will never be satisfied until we go inward and change our slide.
At the age of twenty-eight I lost everything. At the time I thought it was the worst year of my life, but in reality it was the best. It was the greatest gift I could have received, because it brought me to find myself. I had to find something more secure, and that something was unconditional love. That’s who we are; it lies within us. When we start to heal, we find this place. It’s not just a peaceful, sweet place where we feel joy; it’s also the place that has all the answers. It knows the truth, it speaks from omniscience, and when you start to connect with this place, this space of unity, you discover yourself, your true essence. This is what the heart aches for.
Future transformation is not important. What is important is what we’re choosing in this moment. Ask yourself these questions: Am I choosing love? Am I choosing to be responsible? Am I choosing to change my life? Am I putting unconditional love above everything and trusting in that? When I see external insecurity, am I being internal security? Am I evolving, or am I isolating myself in more fear?
By going inward you can start to find the answers, your answers. Not my answers — they are not important. This is not a philosophy or a belief system; it’s about you finding the guru within you, and that takes responsibility. We always want someone else to fix us, but they can’t. You can’t just take yourself to the mechanic to get fixed as you can with your car. You have to go into your depths, but this is the wonder of the exploration of self: it’s the most exciting thing — the only land that remains undiscovered. When you start to discover yourself you will be amazed with how incredible you are, how brave you’ve been, and the choices you have made.
Join me now in the fourth installment of the movie Why Walk When You Can Fly? for the fourth facet, as we embrace the experience of unity.
The Fourth Facet
The fourth facet, which completes the three we have already learned, is
What is om? The ancient cultures of the world saw that there was an underlying essence that was common in everything, and they found words to describe that essence. In Sanskrit, the mother of all languages, the word is om.
Om is the all-pervading vibration of the universe. The sound of om vibrates at the most primordial level with everything that exists.
In the fourth facet, we bring om together with unity. To vibrate in the depths of om while focusing on the union that exists beyond the apparent separations in the universe brings the brain directly into the quality, feeling, and presence of oneness. The perfect harmony this creates in the mind is then anchored in the heart, resonating at the pinnacle of pure love-consciousness, and radiating that to all of creation.
In this way, the fourth facet complements the other three, grounding the experience we have been developing within the silent depths of union.
Here’s how to practice the fourth facet:
- Sit comfortably and close your eyes, allowing thoughts to flow naturally.
- Think, Om unity. Remember to think it just as you would any other thought, without forcing or straining.
- As you think the phrase, bring your attention up from the base of your spine to the crown of your head.
- After thinking the facet, leave a space. After a few moments, repeat the facet and again leave a space.
- Continue in this way for about twenty minutes. You can glance at your watch or a clock to check the time.
WHEN YOU HAVE FINISHED MEDITATING:
Now you have learned the four Facets:
Praise love for this moment in its perfection. (Attention: deep in the heart)
Thank love for my human experience in its perfection. (Attention: deep in the heart)
Love creates me in my perfection. (Attention: deep in the heart)
Om unity. (Attention: running up from the base of the spine to the top of the head)
Regular practice of these facets, along with the other teachings of this course, will bring you to unconditional love of self. They may look simple, but the more you practice them, the more you will appreciate the profound resonance they produce within your being.
This day’s focus: Emptying your cup
A Japanese Zen master once received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.
The master served tea. The Japanese tea ceremony is long and complex, and the scientist became increasingly impatient as the master went calmly through the fifty-four steps of the ceremony. When the tea was ready, he began to fill his visitor’s cup. When the cup was full, he continued to pour.
The tea began to overflow, and the professor could restrain himself no longer. “It’s already full. No more will go in!”
“Like this cup,” the master said, “you are full of your own opinions and ideas. How can I teach you if you have not first emptied your cup?”
In the modern world, we have been taught that by accumulating things — ideas, possessions, knowledge, experience — we will find completion, but in reality, true, vibrant living comes from being empty.
By cramming as much as possible into our every waking moment, filling our senses with an endless barrage of stimulation and distraction, we bury the greatest treasure in existence: our self. Deep down, beneath all the ideas, preferences, opinions, fears, and memories, is your true, eternal being — that which I call love-consciousness. It has always been there and always will be. It is who we areat the most fundamental level, yet we have lost sight of it, hidden it from view behind the “stuff” we prize so much. Only by emptying ourselves can we rediscover this most precious of treasures. Emptiness is full of what we deeply want and need.
We cling to the structures that are familiar to us because we think they define who we are. Even if they make us miserable, the alternative seems much less desirable: our fear of change is ultimately the fear of losing our identity — without our belief systems, political affiliations, preferences, and, indeed, our very personalities, who would we be? These ideas about the world and our place in it give us a sense of control; we know where we stand, and we know how to position ourselves in relation to everything and everyone else. But has this illusion of control brought us happiness so far? For the overwhelming majority of us in the modern Western world, the answer is no.
And so, if we wish to find a new vision for life, we must be willing to let go of our old opinions and ideas. Rather than clinging to them — remaining rigid, stagnant, resistant to change — we must be open to receive. We must be willing to evolve. Evolution is the nature of love-consciousness. And what drives evolution? Change. Without change, there is no growth, no life. Rigidity — the lack of or resistance to change — is death. Life must adapt to survive: if we wish to move forward we must be willing to transform, to leave the old behind.
How freeing it is to be empty. To not have opinions, ideas, boundaries, resistance. To say yes to the universe, to say yes to all of creation from a place of joy. It comes from embracing life without interfering, from sweet surrender to what is, from falling in love with our present reality. This is the true love affair — the love of an individual for life itself, for oneself, for the joy of being.
Until next time!