A Flickering Realization
I think I just saw something. Like the fluttering of an insect as it passed through the very edge of my sight, it graced my periphery and then vanished into the ether. It was here quite clearly and even though it’s now gone, it’s outline still lingers in the memory of my experience. It was brief, but I honestly think I just got the answer to one of my deepest, most complicated questions and the answer is so unbelievably simple that I don’t even know if I can accept it. It is truly beyond words, not because it’s mystical or profound in any way but because the necessary words can’t convey the truth they are hinting at. The truth about the original perfection that has always been present. The truth that screams, “We are just fine! Nothing has ever been wrong at all, it’s all just an illusion!”
Our awakening is just the acceptance of what is right in front of us, without flinching or wincing at the sight of blemishes or bald spots. In fact, the real nectar of this wisdom is contained within those perfect imperfections. Words can’t do it justice because the answer isn’t a word or a sentence, it is an understanding-but even an understanding isn’t enough because understanding alone lacks action. The key to action is embedded within the dawning of a new cloak-one that is totally exposed but which covers the whole of our being. This is the mark of the awakened state: Being clothed in our nakedness, feeling whole in our own skin and accepting who and what we currently are without lending so much as a glance on the distant horizon.
This is what makes the great masters so unmistakably great. They are who they are and they aren’t afraid to shine with that remarkably unremarkable light. They start from the place they are sitting and they practice-not with the confidence of a recognized saint or with the eyes of a gifted seer-they simply practice, because that’s all there is to do. They practice being what they have always been and so effortlessness becomes the norm. They remember that it’s all ok. They acknowledge that the world is in fact, not at all ok, but they remember that deep inside it’s core-within it’s very essence, this life is perfect just the way it is. We are perfect just the way we are and there is actually no difference between the two.
But even beyond all that, the real illumination seems to come from the taking up of the challenge of not knowing and still showing up to guide others along the path. Not through proselytizing or preaching but through living. By choosing to embody the practice in each new moment and resolving to learn from our mistakes instead of judging ourselves for them, we become the perfect manifestation of awakened living. Even when we don’t know, just by accepting the not knowing and integrating that spaciousness, we are still teaching.
This isn’t to say this is the whole story or that there aren’t deeper levels of realization, this is just to say that everything else seems to stem from this kind of resolve. Just getting here takes an immense amount of effort and I’m not saying I’ve paddled my way safely to the shore, but I think I might see the outline of its highest peaks in glow of this flickering realization.