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Nonduality Highlights: Issue #3423, Sunday, January 25, 2009, Editor: Mark
The way to dissolve our resistance to life is to meet it face to face. When we feel resentment because the room is too hot, we could meet the heat and feel its fieriness and its heaviness. When we feel resentment because the room is too cold, we could meet the cold and feel its iciness and its bite. When we want to complain about the rain, we could feel its wetness instead. When we worry because the wind is shaking our windows, we could meet the wind and hear its sound. Cutting our expectations for a cure is a gift we can give ourselves. There is no cure for hot and cold. They will go on forever. After we have died, the ebb and flow will still continue. Like the tides of the sea, like day and night - this is the nature of things.
- Pema Chodron, from: When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
Surrendering to "what is" or "the Now" seems to be an important aspect of your teaching. Is there a distinction between "surrendering to what is," and the use of the popular cliché, "go with the flow of life, where ever it takes us"?
Surrendering only refers to this moment, whatever "is" at this moment-to accept unconditionally and fully whatever arises at this moment. "Going with the flow" is a more general term. For some people it is an excuse for not taking action and it refers usually to one's life situation. Let's say you are in a particular job and that is the flow, you stay in it.
Surrender is only in reference to Now. So "going with the flow" is not necessarily true surrender and may lead to passivity, lethargy and inaction. Surrender to the Now is something very different because it only concerns accepting the reality of this moment. Whatever action is needed will then rise out of that state of complete acceptance. The most powerful state for a human to be in is the state of embracing completely the reality of what is-Now. It is to say "Yes" to life, which is now and always now. There is a vast power in that "Yes," that state of inner non-resistance to what is. Action arises out of that if it's needed, as a spontaneous response to the situation.
So surrender to Now never leads to inaction because it only concerns the reality of this moment and perhaps action is needed. In the book I give the example of being stuck in the mud. So you wouldn't say, "O.K., I surrender to this and I'm going to stay here." It simply means, "it is;" there is a recognition of "it is" and to saying yes to "it is." And there's much greater power now that arises that will move through you and manifest as action if it is needed than there could ever be in the state of saying, "no" to "what is"-and then perhaps taking action that is always contaminated with negativity. Whenever you say "no" and then action arises because you are fighting "what is" that is karmic action in Eastern terms, and it leads to further suffering because it arises out of suffering, which is the non-acceptance of "what is"-suffering. Action arising out of suffering is contaminated with suffering and causes further suffering, and that is karma. Action that arises out of a state of "acceptance" is totally free of karma. And there is a vast difference.
- Eckhart Tolle, excerpted from an interview, from Dialogues With Emerging Spiritual Teachers, by John W. Parker, posted to The_Now2
How can a troubled mind
Understand the way?
If a man is disturbed
He will never be filled with knowledge.
An untroubled mind,
No longer seeking to consider
What is right and what is wrong,
A mind beyond judgments,
Watches and understands.
Buddha, posted to The_Now2.
In this moment - for you, right now, - there is a clear light of awareness in which everything is appearing. It is what you are. You are that! It is free, totally unobscured, full and complete. Christ said, "I am the light of the world." You, as that awareness, can say the same thing. Separation from that is a total illusion. It never happened, except in imagination. It is based on a `me' that never existed. It is just a wrong idea.
- John Wheeler, posted to AlongTheWay
Each new moment arrives empty, fresh, totally free of content.
- Annette Nibley
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