The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Friday, January 11, 2013

Every word, every step, every breath

The mind can be trained to steadiness through those forms of concentration which have relation to the sense perception.--The Yoga Sutras of Patangali

In "unpacking" the core meditation I was given by my teacher, it impresses me that it meets the student wherever he or she is. Merely beginning to "sit" and quiet the mind opens the door.

Becoming familiar with the cacophony within, and accepting it with humor and persistence. Listening to the heartbeat, with gratitude for life. Finding the youngest part of yourself that you can contact, something living before the strain of life warped your dreams. Nurturing that self, so that it can release you into the progenitive, nascent energies.

Cleansing the levels of your existence. Anchoring to your elder self, beyond all need to strive or pretent, beyond shame or pride, and having the courage to ask "Who are you?" of a being about to shed the flesh.

Every step in this process is an endless journey, impossible for the time-bound aspect of mind to plumb. But persist, and you begin to step outside that self, into a different world that cannot be described. There is a purity to that new experience that will spread back into your "ordinary" life, but understand: there is no place to "get to." It is the work itself that opens the door. The "you" that seeks to complete the journey is not the part of yourself you will encounter along the path. Some of this may make sense, some not. But the effort itself, the daily emptying, re-commitment, humbling and exaltation will teach you what is real and what is not if you build upon that foundation, extend it out into your sensory world, test the quality of your perceptions by noting the results achieved in the external world. When the inner journey and the outer journey begin to align, there is both peace and power. You will know when you are "there" and when you are not. See the direction of the light and be able to re-orient. It is quite a journey, and everything you do and learn can and should be just another way of exploring its depths.

Start with the heartbeat, or the breath. Embrace love and gratitude. Re-connect with your dreams. Align them with your values. Examine every action and thought so that it expresses this core, personal truth.

There is a lifetime of work in just the tiny sliver of wisdom I was given, and I am so honored to share it. Our imperfections do not matter. Our actions and commitments are as critical as our next heartbeat.


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