After a few moments the guru answered, “A wise response.”
As I heard this story I thought of the many unwise answers I have given in the past and truly hope that my long and devoted spiritual practice has helped me become somewhat less reactive over the years.
At the very least I like to think I am headed in this direction.
Otherwise I might just as well fritter away my time on distractions and petty activities, ignoring what my mind is causing me to do.
I have chosen, however, to pay attention to, watch carefully, what is happening within my mind.
For mind is the beginning of everything.
It is my experience that careful and attentive moment by moment observation of the mind is a path to wisdom that leads to wise responses to life. This is what a spiritual practice is about.
Quantum Physics reveals that the very act of observation changes whatever is being watched. We are not independent of that which we are observing.
When we watch something with loving attention, our mind, body and our world is transformed. For everything exists within us.
We are not independent, but interdependent. The world is within the mind. There is relationship.
That’s how powerful the mind is!
Mind is our primordial Essence, the ground of our being. The ground that is groundless, in that it is substantial without having a solid form or shape.
Yet it is all we ever really have to live in. It is our home and our safety.
Every moment things are changing according to how we see, and how we listen. We can feel as safe as we choose to feel.
Charles Fillmore, the co-founder of Unity School of Christianity, has said that we don’t own anything except the use of our “I AM.”
One of Unity’s definition’s of the “I AM” is the essential nature within us that perceives and gives us the ability to shape and form substance, according to our seeing. And by its very nature, the “I AM” is undefinable.
The “I AM” is the Light of Spirit that we are. It is always here within us. Just as is the Kingdom of Heaven. Luke 17:21
It is Unity’s view that we live in this great Mind of God through the use of the “I AM.”
The “I AM” is pure awareness and can never be damaged or hurt by anything it touches. And it’s accessible all the time! It’s who we are in the depths and heights of Spirit.
My greatest challenge and opportunity is to watch my own mind, noticing what my attitude is each moment.
To what do I cling? And what do I avoid, or try to push away from my experience?
At this moment I notice a great desire to say what I really mean. Am I clinging to this? Yes, I can tell because there is discomfort — a pushing force within me to try to get it right.
I notice this by sensing a tightness in my body. This is what the Buddha calls suffering, or dissatisfaction.
I can then choose to breathe deeply, relax, and release the tension.
I can choose to continue watching my mind in a more relaxed way.
What thoughts am I now thinking?
What is my attitude at this moment?
There is a great need to monitor the mind, for out of it come the circumstances and conditions of life.
Do I desire happiness? Serenity? Contentment?
These states come from acceptance, from accepting all that is in a way that doesn’t try to grab onto things or experiences, and doesn’t avoid that which seems unpleasant. This mind is open and expansive.
This view accepts everything in a way that is free from polarization or extremes. Nothing is missing. Everything we need is here.
With awareness in this Great Mind of God, Universal Energy, I continue to ask, “What am I not seeing?”
Let me relax, understanding there is always order within the chaos, and that everything is continually regrouping.
Let everything be included, for it all has a part to play in the whole. In fact, there can be no wholeness if parts are left out. How could it?
By its very nature wholeness is all-inclusive.
Something is always arranging and re-arranging itself.
Can I trust this mind to unfold naturally, to bring forth the fruits of the spirit?
Can I trust that there is a reason things are just the way they are right now?
Can I trust the yin and the yang and the movement between them that constantly flows? Can I abide in this flow?
Or do I try to nudge the yin just a little so that it will go faster? Or depress the yang to release whatever its doing because I’m not happy with it?
I also note how I would like to distract myself from my disappointments by blaming or belittling others, or myself, and telling myself things that simply aren’t true. Just old stories.
But will that relieve suffering? It never has in the past. In fact it causes more pain.
So, what do I really desire? Do I want to truly be a help? Do I want to relieve suffering?
A meditation practice slows down my mind enough so that I can observe, and sit with all that goes on within me. It’s not always pleasant, but necessary.
Meditating on the Great Mind of God helps me see and respond differently.
Hurry and worry begin dissolving through observation.
The energy of God is always working things out so that more beauty, truth and goodness are expressed.
Let me trust this Great Mind. If I can’t trust this, what can I trust?
Nothing else is reliable, for it is all impermanent.
I invite you to watch your mind. Don’t let it wander those dark streets and alleys alone. It needs wise companionship so that new choices are made. Your mind needs you!