Listen to “Pure & Simple” while you read. Lots more music by Alex here.
Have you ever seen someone searching for their reading glasses, while all the time they were on their head?
They search and search, hunting in vein for that which they will never find in any of the places they look, becoming more and more perplexed and frustrated. Yet all the time what they are searching for couldn’t be closer. And if they would simply stop going all over the place searching, sit down and be still for a moment, they would remember. They would feel that their glasses were on the top of their head, and laugh at how silly they had been!
Everything that our heart longs for – the peace, fulfilment, love, light and freedom – is already here, yet we are not seeing it. Instead we are listening to the insecure thoughts and endless desires that our mind constantly presents us with. As a result, we are only aware of all the things that we do not have, creating within us a feeling of lack and incompleteness which we naturally want to address. We cannot see the beautiful light of existence in our thoughts – they only obscure it, like clouds obscure the sun. We cannot feel a sense of peace and fulfilment in our mind, only in our heart.
Our mind can only present us with ideas, but if we stay on the level of thought we simply remain stuck in theories, beliefs, opinions and so on, forgetting that life requires us to be very practical about living. Enjoyment of life cannot come through thinking, yet many people get stuck in their mind, thinking about life, rather than living it. Our mind cannot create the harmony that we all need. It can create many things, but not harmony. Harmony flows from the heart.
What our heart longs for is freedom, so that it can pour its beautiful harmony into our lives, filling life with happiness, joy and fulfilment. Yet our heart is very much at the mercy of our thinking, which is so often anxious, fearful and insecure.
The mind wonders: “Who are we?” Yet we do not quite know for sure. “What are we supposed to be doing?” Yet we are not quite certain. “What does the future hold?” Probably struggle, difficulty, pain or frustration of some kind, we believe.
Such thinking creates tightness and contraction in the heart, as it simply responds to the contraction in our mind, as our awareness shrinks and focusses on such tiny things as thoughts, making them appear so big and threatening. As the mind contracts in thought, so does the heart. As above, so below, and vice versa.
But, when our heart expands in happiness, more space is experienced in our mind also, as we step out of thinking and let our awareness expand beyond the confines of thought. We feel more. We perceive more light in our mind – the light which is not coming from ‘out there’ but actually from within our own heart. It is the source of our light.
When out heart is given freedom to expand, unburdened by anxious thoughts, reality instantly becomes brighter. As the heart opens more and more to life, releasing its tightness and tensions, we feel lighter and freer. The heart becomes in charge of our experience, rather than the controlling and insecure mind, which can only perceive problems.
The reality that our heart brings us into is very different from the reality the mind creates for us. They are literally worlds apart; they couldn’t be more different. In fact, they are so completely different that the mind simply cannot comprehend the heart’s reality, and through its insecurity it chooses instead to deny it and invalidate it, to convince us of the insignificance of what our heart offers us. How sad that sometimes we listen to this.
What the heart offers us is an awareness of the light and beauty that comes from beyond the material dimension. Embodied within ourself, it is experienced as paradise, heaven on earth, beauty beyond all comprehension; a sense of light, love and freedom where joy bubbles effortlessly, up and overflows continuously. This is the reality of love – completely tangible and experiential – emanating from a heart unburdened by thought.
Therefore, the only worthwhile question the mind can offer us is “How can I be free of thought? How can I unburden my heart of worries?” Thankfully, the answer is a completely practical one…
Be still and calm. Allow silence to come into the mind.
As the body stills, the mind stills, and it is the movement of the mind which is creating our problems. Rather than letting your attention wander here, there and everywhere, bring it to a focus.
First of all, become aware of your surroundings; the things you can see and the sounds you can hear. Spend a few moments just observing and listening, calmly, unhurriedly, enjoying and appreciating your surroundings, no matter what they are. Notice the things which you find particularly radiant or beautiful. Let past and future disappear, and enjoy the freedom of relaxing into this moment, enjoying being exactly where you are.
Now, become aware of the temperature of your body. Are you warm, or cold? Notice how your body feels, and allow it to relax a little more, bringing a sense of increased ease and comfort. Relax your muscles; your face, your shoulders, your arms, your chest… Let your breath flow evenly and gently into your belly as well as your lungs. Breath slowly yet fully, enjoying each breath as it brings you more into a state of alert relaxation.
Relaxation is the antidote to the tension created by the mind, and whenever we decide to relax our body, harmony is restored to our being. As the body relaxes, more space is created within its tissues, which naturally allows for more energy and thus more awareness to flow through them. It then becomes much easier to remain aware of our the energy in our body, instead of being drawn into thoughts. Through a relaxed body, harmony and peace are effortlessly experienced as the heart relaxes also. A relaxed heart is a free heart, and we remember the joyful simplicity of simply being. In this space, there is nothing to do, nothing to achieve, no-one to become. You are perfect.
This moment offers you heaven, as does every moment. It will never be withdrawn from you and it is never ‘too late’, as time is just an illusion – another idea of limitation created by the insecure mind. As long as you are alive, the door to the perfect harmony of this moment is open to you. You are always free to relax, and walk through it…
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