|The following article is from the Spring, 2012 issue of the Snow Lion Newsletter and is for historical reference only. You can see this in context of the original newsletter here.|
by ANAM THUBTEN
The most direct of Buddhist paths is here presented by best-selling author Anam Thubten with his trademark clarity. This excerpt is adapted from his new book, The Magic of Awareness.
The practice of true devotion is devotion to life. It is not devotion to some grand idea of divine, but devotion to life itself. In that process the notion of your life and my life dissolves.
There is only life.
It's like sitting in the ocean. There is no my ocean. There is no my sky, my universe, or my cosmos. There is only ocean. There is only sky. There is only cosmos. In the same way, there is only life, and life is already unfolding.
How can we discover life? The path is very simple, utterly simple. Buddha gave a sermon that he said summarized all of his other sermons. He said, Do not with total awareness and insight. Be in the present moment. This is the pure way to discover life that is none other than emptiness, divine truth, and oneness.
Can we be in the present moment? Can we be in the present moment by simply diving into the river of breath or by simply listening to the sound of birds chirping outside? Can we be in the present moment by feeling the dance happening inside our chest, the pulse, the divine dance? Can we bring all of our attention, all of our focus, all of our heart into that pulse and discover reality and life itself?
Life that is free from all of the tenets of our projections and ideas and preconceived notions, life without any barriers. That, perhaps, is like meeting the eternal Buddha. Then when we try to describe life, all we can say is that it is happening in this moment- inbreath, outbreath, space between thoughts, and sensations in our body.
Can we surrender to this present moment? Can we surrender to life that is already unfolding right now? Can we open our heart and instead of waiting and postponing, immediately, in this very moment, surrender all of our ideas of what life should be? Can we surrender the concept my life with total trust that life, this mysterious and uncontrollable flow, this force, this existence, is indeed divine?
In that moment my life and your life dissolve. There is no separation between us and the rest of the world. There are no more boundaries and limitations.
Can we open our heart and instead of waiting and postponing, immediately, in this very moment, surrender all of our ideas of what life should be?
Then there is only love. There is only joy. This is the true sacred outlook.
Life is always speaking to us but we don't hear it. Life is always inviting us to an eternal feast of freedom and unconditional love. Life is always asking us to let go of all of our fear, all of our hatred, asking us to dissolve into life itself. Then life is sacred. Life is actually everything. This is very simple, but very hard to understand. That's why we may have to keep getting lost in spirituality for a while. So please, let's continue getting lost for a while or we can quit being lost and be free, once and for all. It's our choice.