Monday, February 28, 2011

It Has Already Been Welcomed

Whatever shows up in your life, or in the world, for that matter, has already been welcomed.  How do you know?

Because it's here.

That presence of Awareness,which all teachers and sages have pointed to as our true nature, welcomes every appearance.  How else could anything show up?  Every appearance has been invited to the party.

Something (though not a tangible "thing") has chosen or decided that whatever is here is supposed to be here now.  I admit that words like "chosen" or "decided" are somewhat misleading when talking about Awareness or Consciousness, but I think you get the idea I am trying to convey.

Students of nonduality are always taught to welcome or allow whatever phenomena appear.  That includes thoughts, feelings, emotions, perceptions, and experiences.  We are told to allow everything.  Welcome everything.  Resist nothing.

At the early stages of self-inquiry, it's difficult to "apply" this advice.  The mind has a natural tendency to judge phenomena and to want things to be different than they are.  Thus, when we have a headache, we don't want to welcome the headache.  We want to be free of pain.  We reject what is.

It seems like we have to make an effort to welcome whatever appears.  It's almost like the mind is learning new rules -- to welcome all appearances instead of judging them and trying to change them.  But the mind is still active at this stage. 

I've found that as the self-inquiry matures, a deeper understanding sinks in.  Namely, that whatever appears has already been welcomed.  Awareness, Presence, Spaciousness, Spirit or whatever you want to call it, is a completely welcoming, open space.  Whatever appears in the space has been invited to be there.  It is a welcome guest from the outset.

No effort needs to be made.  The mind doesn't have to strain to accept any appearance.  Keep the mind out of it. The fact that something shows up means it has already received an invitation from the Divine. 

It's easy to see this when we're talking about a smiling baby, a beautiful sunset, or a hot cup of your favorite coffee or tea.  Not so easy to see or accept when the appearance takes the form of murder, pain and cruelty.  The mind doesn't want to welcome the latter.

Yet the invitations have been given in all instances.  Everything has already been welcomed.  Bypass the mind and see this.  Feel this.

If you are still fighting what appears, that's ok.  It only means the mind is still trying to change phenomena as they appear.  That resistance has already been welcomed!  It's another guest at the party. Welcome whatever you see, think, or feel.

The time will come when you begin to welcome everything and see that whatever your mind has to say about the current appearance is utterly meaningless.

We come to see that there is no need to resist or fight what has already been welcomed.