A Dharma brother of mine and I had a chat over the weekend and he said something that I have heard before but really sunk home this time. He reflected that most of us don’t practice being in presence because our conditioning says “This reality isn’t good enough, I prefer to live in the alternate reality of my choosing.” That we are somewhat convinced that there exists a better reality and all we need to do is think hard enough to change this moment and my experience will switch to that new reality.
That stings, because I know that’s somewhat truthful for me. I am rarely entirely accepting of the reality that is, I am always trying to change it or at least add some different flavoring. It’s not that doing so is right or wrong, but I cannot change experiencing what’s is in front of me no matter what.
I have a friend whom I admire greatly. She is consistently OK with whatever is happening. It’s not that she rolls over or likes what is happening but she doesn’t bother disliking either. She has grounded herself in the truth that she can accept what is and be involved and have influence by involvement, or spend time wishing life was something other than what it presents. She often says she lives in gratitude for having any experience at all. She personifies that idea that all spiritual paths and religions embody, the faith that she is equal to her own life and experiences. That being grateful for the opportunity to be alive and breathing right now makes all experience worthwhile.
She is not without some serious health challenges, she just left the hospital after another prolonged stay, but considers them opportunities to experience more growth. She loves those times when everything is well, but doesn’t attach knowing everything rises and falls. She loves her religion but also realizes that we are all different and different religions meet different needs. She is not a Saint, Sinner, or Bodhisattva and likes to say she is in no danger of becoming one of those.
I cannot help but realize that she embraces this journey of being human. How awesome is that? I can choose that too!! Be here. Be grateful for everything exactly the way it presents. I can’t “Do life” unless I am willing to be in life first.
What is happening in your life? Are you aware that no matter what it may be you are equal to the experience? Look at all you have done, all you have experienced, and realize that you are equal to life’s offerings.