In order to be free we must ultimately surrender to something greater than ourselves.
Until that time we experience the myriad aspects of suffering that derive from the core experience of separation… fear, helplessness, loneliness, frustration, control, struggle, confusion, feeling lost, longing for “home”, resistance, exhaustion, judgment, etc.
When we begin to tire of the countless mechanisms that we engage in, the multitude of “addictions” that we use to escape from our core existential suffering, [our “shadow”], begin to emerge. At a certain point the suffering can no longer be denied. This moment of truth is the beginning of spiritual seeking. Until that moment we live under the delusion that we have things under control, that we really know what is happening, that everything is OK. Ignorance isn’t really bliss…that too is part of the delusion.
The seeking then begins… the struggle to get free of the suffering. But the very nature of the struggle itself is generated from the same state of consciousness, the same illusion of identity and reality that was the cause of all the suffering in the first place.
Eventually the seeker becomes more and more desperate and begins to taste the deep despair, frustration and helplessness that has always been there and was covered up by the hope of seeking Liberation or Enlightenment.
Here we encounter the frustration, the impossibility, of “trying not to try”, of letting go of letting go, of doing “not doing”, of struggling to stop the mind with the mind. No matter what we do, the “doer” is still there trying to rid itself of itself. The very effort to relax into pure being totally prevents relaxation. We are faced with the ultimate paradox of consciousness, the “Koan of Life”.
When the absolute impossibility of being able to extricate ourselves from the dilemma of separate existence that we find ourselves trapped in reaches its peak, we experience profound helplessness and hopelessness. This is a great gift. When this is truly realized we finally begin to give up. We stop running and for the first time are present in the Now. We cry and pray for help and now we are ready to receive Grace. Grace had been there all along, helping us with our process, but now it can be consciously received. True humility, the prerequisite for receiving Grace and liberation has arrived.
Hearing this is not enough. Understanding this is not enough. There is a temporary satisfaction in grasping this teaching with the intellect. But it must be experienced in order for it to be truly known. Sorry… there is no shortcut. Attempts to “do” humility, to force this state to be, will not work. Feeling frustrated and helpless yet? Good! Feel the frustration, the helplessness…it is the doorway.
Sincere prayer is helpful, as can being in the presence and receiving the help of awakened teachers. Intention is also a most important aspect of this process, but even the level of our intention, commitment and sincerity is itself a gift of Grace. Don’t forget Gratitude, which opens the door to more Grace and is an important part of shifting the habit of negativity.
Ultimately it is only Grace that moves our natural evolution to the ripeness of surrender and consequent liberation. There is nothing that we can do; yet everything must be done nonetheless, as if it will make a difference. The readiness and opening is Grace and when that opening occurs it is also Grace that fills the space created in ourselves to experience Oneness and Liberation from suffering.
Relax into the trust of knowing that “it happens when it happens” and that everything is being perfectly orchestrated.
This is Grace. This is the gift of Deeksha…Grace in a tangible form.