When all your desires are distilled
You will cast just two votes
To love more
And be happy.Hafiz
There's this idea that enlightenment exists outside of "real life". That we can have so-called spiritual experiences, but inevitably we must return to the real world of work, family, relationships and all the struggles we face each day.
However, awakening to the truth of Who You Are doesn't mean you leave your life behind. It doesn't mean you move to a mountain top and exist in a perpetual state of selflessness. It simply means you walk the journey of your life with the realization of who you really are — your essential Self. Carrying that knowledge and that wisdom with you, even as you move through your daily chores and experiences.
Your essential Self is not found somewhere "out there". It's not something to strive for or work toward.
It's simply the You that exists closer than that which you can observe and label. Whatever you can observe or label, is not You. It is merely phenomena that You are witnessing. Closer than all that, is a space of pure Being, that which cannot be observed or labelled.
When you let go of all questions about yourself, all expectations, all labels that you or others have applied to you, you are left only with this subtle space of Being. A space of living presence.
What is this space, exactly?
I Am is a constant flow of presence, an ever-blossoming newness. It's like a river, flowing continually into the Now.
No history or future, just Being.
It is an emptiness that is somehow overflowing with aliveness. Observing, flowing, arising. Being. Without expectation or remembrance, without worry or fear.
I Am just... is.
And what arises in the space of I Am? Joy. A sense of wholeness and completeness.
Not the kind of love that attaches to someone or something, but an experience of Love radiating. It can't be described with words, really. It's kind of an experience of Oneness, a joyful feeling of Being and presence.
And yet it's not really a feeling at all.
It just is.
We can take the truth and beauty of I Am with us, even as we return to our mind, and all the experiences of living life.
Even as we go through our day and all its drama, we can remember the truth of I Am: We are not the drama. We are not our sadness, our anxiety, our worry, our fear. We are not the perceived flaws in our personality and our body. We are not the struggle. These are all ripples on the surface of the water — we are the Ocean Floor, observing all of this.
As you set aside the time to turn down the volume of your mind, your expectations, and your labels of Self, you become more attuned to the I Am that is always present and essential beyond them. More and more you can "return" to this space for clarity and perspective — yet you aren't really returning. You're simply experiencing the essential Self, that which always is. You, without labels and observations.
Let this be your practice. To know your true Self, to awaken to it. To know the transparency of all the dramas that unfold throughout your day, how fleeting and non-essential they are, and to walk in the freedom of I Am. Let this be your journey.
And realize that the I Am that exists in You, also exists in all others. It is our most fundamental connection. I Am is the Source that we all arise from and return to. In this, we are brothers and sisters. We are One.
May a sense of love, compassion and an intimate understanding of each other arise in You from this realization.
May you walk in freedom and joy.
And may your priorities be simply this: To love more, and be happy.