“All descriptions of reality are limited expressions of the world of emptiness.
Yet we attach to the descriptions and think they are reality.
That is a mistake.”
~ Shunryu Suzuki
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All of us tell stories about the way things are, and then tend to complain about our descriptions, forgetting that we made them up. Instead, we could just enjoy what’s happening, without translation.
Imagine that you are the sky watching clouds go by. Would it make sense to judge one cloud and praise another? They are just clouds going by. Of course, life experiences are more impactful than clouds. Why? Because we make them so. We also convince ourselves that a penny is bigger than the sun but it only seems that way because we are holding it up in a way that blocks out the sun.
Here’s an invitation: Move beyond limited mind descriptions and come to rest. Witness the orchestrating precision of consciousness and let it fill you with the innate joy of being.
When we get caught up in our descriptions and interpretations and translations, this becomes our reality and we live in those descriptions. This means that we rarely experience true reality, just the projections of our interpretations and definitions. But here’s an intriguing question: what remains when the mind ends?
We all know the experience of a busy mind full of stories about everything, but do we know what’s left when that stops? Is it even possible for it to stop? Moving beyond the cacophony of random thoughts that produce fractured experiences has been the eternal quest of mystics throughout the ages. Many have broken through that boundary and issued an invitation: “Yes, you too can move beyond this. What remains when the mind ends is where the truth begins, the oneness of consciousness.”
Those passionately concerned about the state of the world could easily write off this approach as mere spiritual dilettantism. But that would ignore the real purpose of human beings. We are made in the image and likeness of God. We are designed, not just to witness the happenings of consciousness but to participate in creation. In the biblical story of Genesis, humans were instructed to name the animals. In other words, we have an active role to play in the creation, we are made to be more than spectators.
Here’s a simple prescription for happiness and fulfilment: Do the best you can. Do the best you can and know that everyone else is doing the best they can. All experience is appropriate and everyone is moving through the same process of growth. Our responsibility is to do the best we can and walk this path. Period.
When we actually have this experience, then we contribute in ways impossible to even conceive of in our prior state of limitation. We imagined it would be difficult, impossible even, to make a difference. Now we experience ourselves as difference makers… no matter what we are doing. Our beingness, in alignment with Source, opens a portal for Divine influence.
The mind wants to argue. So, let’s give it a test to prove our point. There’s a goose in a bottle. Your task is to get the goose out of the bottle without killing it. You have thirty seconds, go!
Assuming that you’ve come up with some innovative strategies, here’s the real answer: Problem – The goose is in the bottle. Solution – the goose is out of the bottle.
The problem was imaginary. But you probably made it real, exactly the same way that we make everything “real,” and then you struggled to come up with solutions governed by the laws of the real world. The answer is much simpler. It’s an imaginary goose in an imaginary bottle. That’s not real, it’s just a description. So, we can make another description: The imaginary goose is now out of the imaginary bottle.
The one answer to the many riddles of life really is that simple. We are telling stories about what happens and then struggling with the experiences that result. We can tell different stories. “The goose is in the bottle” becomes “The goose is out of the bottle.”
Coming to rest in the simplicity of this approach, we feel the reality of life – fundamentally different than any of our descriptions – and we realize that everything we have hoped for is suddenly here.