It is what you do everyday that determines what you get out in the end.
I don’t know where this quote came from, but I discovered it when I was a student and it has stuck with me ever since. For me it applies to my fanatical, perfectionistic pursuit of spiritual goals – ie inner peace.
In a similar vein, here is a reprint of a quote from Vernon Howard:
You have nothing to do. You have everything to be. People are so confused about what to do with their family affairs, love life, finances, health. And no matter what they do, nothing helps very much. Of course it doesn’t. Nothing can be truly different until the individual is different, really different internally. Doing without being is a dreadful way to spend the day, as millions know. But you can be different.
The key to this quote is the word “being” which is my favourite word at the moment. It has taken me a long, long, long time to get an idea about what it means and even now I cannot claim much more than a vague, fleeting appreciation for it.
Being is an experience which cannot be intellectually understood, in the same way that a strawberry can only be understood by tasting it and not by talking about it.
Here is an analogy about what it means to just be (ie let me talk about the strawberry!)
Imagine a public park. People are walking and running in the sun. Their heads and hearts are full of noise – thinking about yesterday, tomorrow, what so-and-so said, tonight’s dinner, the cost of the house over the fence, etc. It can all be summed up in one word: distraction.
There is a time and place for thinking about what needs consideration, but for most of us this thinking devolves into continuous, unproductive rambling. It rules our lives without us even knowing because it is so “normal” that it slips under our radar and because we’ve never known any different. All we know is that it is hard to go to sleep at night because of too much “thinkiness.”
This excessive, useless, over-activity of the brain causes us to lose our peace, composure, connection and pleasure. We are so overshadowed by our own internal, invisible brouhaha that we miss what is going on around us. It is like going to a magnificent stage-show but instead of seeing the show we sit in the audience reading a dull and repetitive book about our own opinions, analysis, feelings and prejudices!
Being is what you already are – your essential Self, but it is hidden by the veil of the mind. When the heavy and dull mind is purified, it becomes transparent enough for pure consciousness to shine through. The qualities that comes with pure consciousness include peace, clarity, ease, rest, simplicity, receptivity, balance, contentment, and this is just the beginning!
Whilst some people declare that it is easy to just be, and it is, the hard part is finding our way out of the thick jungle of our own ignorance. Tremendous skill and insight and grace are needed for this – along with lots of motivation.
Motivation is much easier to get. The easiest fuel for motivation is suffering whether that be a mild discontent or burning torment. And this fuel is cheap and plentiful. However, while suffering is an effective fuel the real motivation is the onward movement of life itself – like the flow of water which is neither chasing the ocean nor running from the mountain.
In the light of being, life is seen as a wonderous mystery rich with layers and paradoxes that are eternally occurring right now.