Yesterday evening Chris and I visited the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. First we parked near, and visited, the Trading Post. And maybe some ice cream was had… 😉 Then we ventured out on the trails and started exploring. It was very crowded near the “Balanced Rock” – a huge 700 ton rock formation which is connected to the ground by only a few feet of rock as its base. It does look quite precarious. Then we walked further on and saw many more such formations, as if they had been shot up from the earth. How are they standing there? What is supporting them, or are they like tips of icebergs? Something so massive is buried underneath that I can’t see.
As we sat on one of those rock slabs looking at the Rocky Mountain range on one side and the valley on the other side, I started brooding over this thought: What is underneath these rocks that are making them stand that way?
I was trying to compare myself with them, too. When am I in Balance and out of balance? Is there anything invisible that is holding me? Of course my physical body seems to play some role in my life. When I feel good I am more balanced and when I am sick it is the reverse. OK, but even when I am well at times I lose my balance – when my emotions are provoked. OK then, what is it that provokes my emotion? My mindset – yes it plays such a BIG part in my life – the quality of my life pretty much depends on my mindset. Hmmmm… so how does that work?
What influences my mindset? My beliefs and values seem to play a big role. When my desires don’t manifest in my life then my mind seems to say, “BAD,” and that one word can make me shrink and curl inward like a caterpillar. When all my circumstances are aligned with my values I fly like a Butterfly. Hmmm WHY? Why does my mind react that way, and what exactly are these values and beliefs anyway? I have firsthand experience – when I came to this country the cultural shock rocked many of my fundamental values and beliefs. So I learned that beliefs differ – from one era to another, from one continent to another… They seem so transient, in which case my very quality of life is based on these transient things!
I remember when I started my spiritual practice there was a lot of talk about discrimination, which seems to be one of the most important qualities that a spiritual aspirant has to develop in his or her lifetime in order to succeed in spirituality. What exactly is this discrimination which must be cultivated? It is the awareness between the permanent and the transient. And to develop one’s mind to differentiate between the superficial dualities of right/wrong, good/bad, virtue/sin, and the Unchangeable TRUTH which never changes. That unchanging truth IS the unseen part of our existence which is holding me and you and everyone and everything together – the supporting structure underneath which is holding up the visible parts of our lives!
The great Masters of different era’s gave this truth different names, but they had a unanimous understanding of its common Nature. How did they perceive it? By turning ALL their attention inwards. For instance, if I have to know about these rock formations, I have to go towards the earth crust, not towards the sky. When we do this, we find out they are part of the Rocky Mountains; they are not there alone. They belong to the massive majestic Rockies! Once you know this TRUTH, how do you perceive them now?
I, too, am not merely this single individual thrown here and there by my emotions and life situations. I belong to a larger Being. Yes, my mind may play its part, but I have the definite ability to master my mind through meditation – to rise above it and be in the LIGHT always…if I WILL. And I WILL, and YOU too…