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Continued from our discussion about meditative stillness.
It’s ironic that we require the effort we do to reach a place of simplicity and ease, but it’s only necessary because it’s so difficult for our minds to accept this simplicity, this nothingness. From this bareness, everything is created and flows harmoniously.
From zero point, from nothingness, everything is created and sustained under the absence of mental constructs like identity. Spiritual guides who speak to us appease our need for an identity, a label of who they are, but they’re waiting for us to understand that names and labels are human concepts that won’t follow us into a new era.
Inaction is the greatest action we can take after we start flowingly receiving the gifts of the divine. We create and experience a higher state of consciousness in our silence and stillness, and exiting mental reality is essential to reaching a place of stillness.
So far, we’ve explored the idea that effort is necessary at first to find personal and collective enlightenment. We’ve examined some quotes about the importance of being active in the initial stages of our growth, and now, we’re going to take a look at the flowing rewards we receive from the divine after we put in the effort.
In a more radical quote about zero point, Chuang Tzu tells us about “resting in inaction” before embracing nothingness/allness.
“You have only to rest in inaction and things will transform themselves. Smash your form and body, spit out hearing and eyesight, forget you are a thing among other things, and you may join in great unity with the deep and boundless… (1)
If everyone can do this, we’ll be able to change our planet with relative ease. By individually reaching zero point, perhaps we serve in a greater way than we think.
Maybe by reaching zero point, we anchor a purer vibration and make it easier for others to do the same. Maybe our energetic influence spreads to people who wouldn’t have otherwise been able to awaken, and our physical and spiritual effort combined could perhaps do the greatest good.
I can imagine billions of people finding a small degree of enlightenment and feeling driven to change the world, but I couldn’t begin to imagine what’ll happen when everyone reaches an advanced stage of enlightenment. Oh, the things we’ll do!
Bodhidharma tells us that transcending both motion and stillness is the highest form of meditation (note: an “arhat” is an enlightened Buddhist).
“To transcend motion and stillness is the highest meditation. Mortals keep moving, while arhats stay still. But the highest meditation surpasses that of both mortals and arhats. People who reach such understanding free themselves from all appearances without effort and cure all illnesses without treatment. Such is the power of great zen.” (2)
It’s fascinating to think that there are deeper levels beyond simple stillness.
If we employ stillness in our meditative pursuits, we’ll eventually unlock those deeper levels as we enjoy the flowing energy we’ll access. Stillness begets greater stillness as we grasp deeper and deeper states of consciousness, and we bring the divine and all of its bounty to us when we practice being anchored in zero point.
Master Lin Chi reinforces the importance of simplicity when we reach a state of flowing divine abundance.
“Followers of the Way, even if you can understand a hundred sutras and treatises, you’re not as good as one plain monk who does nothing.”
“When you get hungry, eat your rice; When you get sleepy, close your eyes. Fools may laugh at me, But wise men will know what I mean.” (3)
Simplicity is powerful in its own way.
By reaching zero point and being able to remain in a simple and humble place, we anchor a wealth of pure energy onto ourselves and the planet around us. We perceive reality in a greater way when we embrace humbleness and do away with the need to be impressed with “big” things, and we don’t even need to study spirituality to prosper.
Western society has conditioned a lot of people to feel like they need to be impressed or wowed, and this mindset blocks us from a purer perception that’s rooted in simplicity. Moving beyond the ego-driven need to be amazed with big displays will actually help us witness big displays. Ironic, isn’t it?
Ramana Maharishi tells us about achieving a “natural state of freedom from concepts”.
“[One should continue practicing] until the mind attains effortlessly its natural state of freedom from concepts, that is till the sense of ‘I’ and ‘mine’ exists no longer.” (4)
When we see beyond mindsets that are focused purely on the self, we start wanting to be of service in every way we can. We ask ourselves how we can serve the planet in the most helpful and effective way, and we severely decrease the amount of energy we give to thinking about ourselves and our wants.
It’s been said that serving others becomes a strong desire when we reach a higher vibration, and when we reach a state of identity-less existence, we’ll all be seen as one. We’ll understand the importance of working together to keep our existence sustained, and we’ll make much more progress than we do now.
“Da Free John” proposes that a flaw in many of the differentiated spiritual concepts is that they’re just that – differentiated.
“I saw that all kinds of seeking were founded in identification with a certain level of life, experience or motivation. The dilemma that was always involved was founded in a present act of differentiation, whereby what was constantly being realized was separated and threatened consciousness. Thus, I was not moved to pursue any goals, experiences or forms. All such things were merely matters of seeking. I did not even pursue my identity with Siva, Self or pure Consciousness.
Such was also a form of seeking.” (5)
It seems that by seeking identification in nothing, physical or spiritual, we can reach a much higher vibration. And of course, by doing so we spread a greater perception and raise the consciousness of others, which’ll eventually lead to planetary healing.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t identify with the spiritual concepts that you take comfort in or that resonate with you, and in fact, the mindsets those concepts breed serve as great avenues for the expression of a higher energy.
It’s simply that zero point; nothingness; whatever you want to call it, is empty of conceptualized ideas and this allows for a massive expansion to take place that might not be attainable otherwise.
As always, you’re encouraged to do what works for you and let everything else be. We’ll all find the higher vibrations in our own ways, and no two paths will be alike. It does seem like along the way, however, a lot of seekers use zero point to find enlightenment and awaken others.
Swami Chetananda tells us that self-surrender is the highest spiritual state we can reach.
“It is true that God helps those who help themselves; but it is equally true that God helps those who do not help themselves. According to most theistic religions, self-effort is essential for the beginners, while self-surrender is practiced by the advanced spiritual aspirants. Self-surrender is considered to be the highest state in spiritual life.” (6)
Throughout all of these quotes, the consensus continues to be that hard work in the beginning equates to smooth sailing as our consciousness rises. I don’t know about you, but this motivates me to put in the work needed before the divine energy can really flow through.
I feel like a child on the last week of school before summer vacation, or an office worker who’s about to retire and enjoy a better life. I’m excited to put in the work needed to reach a state of effortless flow, and I’m equally excited about the prospect of it being as simple (yet as complicated) as embracing a simple, humble existence.
We’ll enter heaven by exiting our mind-centered perception of ourselves, and in doing so, we’ll see everyone as integral facets of one conscious energy. We’ll understand our oneness, as well as our individualism and embodiment as humans of different races, and we’ll do away with division completely.
Concluded in Part 3 next week.
(1)- Burton Watson, trans. The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu. New York and London: Columbia University Press, 1968.
(2)- Red Pine, trans., The Zen Teachings of Bodhidharma. Port Townsend, WA, Empty Bowl, 1987.
(3)- Burton Watson, trans. The Zen Teachings of Master Lin-Chi [Rinzai]. A Translation of the Lin-Chi Lu. Boston and London: Shambala, 1993.
(4)- Sri Ramana Maharshi, Spiritual Instruction of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi. Eighth Edition. Tiruvannamalai: Sri Ramanasramam, 1974.
(5)- Da Free John, The Knee of Listening. Original Edition. Clearlake, CA; Dawn Horse Press, 1984; c1973.
(6)- Swami Chetananda, They Lived with God. Life Stories of Some Devotees of Sri Ramakrishna. St. Louis: Vedanta Society of St. Louis, 1989.