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A ripple is an ocean

A ripple is an ocean

Idan Meir, Tuesday, 16.11.2021

A short chapter on the journey towards conscious living. Separa­tion leads to frustra­tion and gradu­ally can lead to aggres­sion. Gordon Neufeld talks about it with his clear voice in “Hold on to Your Kids” which he wrote with Gabor Maté.

I can see what happens when I am too busy with work and separated from my son, or when he is too long in the kinder­garten, how the separa­tion from us, the parents, affects his behav­iour. But what about us, so-called adults, we also experi­ence separa­tion, constantly. We were thought that separa­tion is the normal state of reality. But here is the old news, it comes down to a state of mind, culti­vated by the culture of individ­u­al­ism where the egois­tic mind constantly confirms the story of separa­tion and separates us from our true nature of present and aware­ness of what is alive and real right now. Living in discon­nec­tion from other species, from nature and from other humans, sometimes, from those whom we love most leads to suffering.

When we move, when we dance, do yoga or any other embod­ied practice, there is a sense of growth and expan­sion. It is as if we are going beyond our borders towards something bigger than us. This is a process of exten­sion and connec­tion. Not only that I am connected to my body and mind, but I am also connected to my environ­ment, the space around me, the objects in the room and other people who are holding the same focus and aim as me. But out of the practice, many times the busy mind doesn’t allow us to experi­ence the present moment and expan­sion. That’s how our daily routine becomes many moments that we want to skip to a futur­is­tic time where we will be content somehow.

When the mind doesn’t allow us to be present we are cut out of a sense of unity with ourselves and others and the possi­bil­ity to grow beyond the distrac­tions and the stories of it are limit­ing. We forget or deny that we are part of something bigger than our little stories. It is like a ripple thinks that he is separated from the ocean. It can never be separated, it might experi­ence its individ­u­al­ity, strength, creativ­ity or vulner­a­bil­ity, but is always part of the big sea, which he came from and will come back to. Same with a ray of light that is never separated from the sun and same with us humans, that are never separated from whatever you call it. I choose to call it life, or life force, or the unknown, God? it’s just a matter of which termi­nol­ogy suits you right now.

The fact is that we are never separated but living a delusion of separa­tion which may lead to frustra­tion, aggres­sion and suffer­ing. We have impris­oned ourselves in the think­ing mind, which is separat­ing us from the moment and from living presence. The way to break this vicious cycle is by bring­ing conscious­ness to each and every moment, especially when we are triggered by somebody or something.

But how do we do it? How can we break the cycle? When I move, breathe, dance or stretch my muscles, or write these words, I can experi­ence the space around me, the sense of my body, and slowly I can realise where is my mind. I simply ask it to stay here, not to go anywhere else, not into stories, planning or memory and just to experi­ence the physi­cal sensa­tions rather than the illusions of the mind. To come back to the breath helps, to find physi­cal anchor, direc­tion or focus, to feel my feet on the ground, my surround­ings, the people I am sharing the space with, or if alone, the colours of the room, the flowers in the vase or the trees outside. All those are little stepping stones to the present moment, a refuge we can take and come back to whenever we remem­ber or are being reminded.

Last Sunday I went with my family to the forest. This is our favourite Sunday activ­ity. Taking the bus up the hills around Vienna, I was looking for an anchor that can help me to be back to the present moment. With three kids, you need to come back to your presence much often. I looked at the sky, my mind was quiet, I looked at the trees that moved while driving, it helped as well, I tried to let go of any distrac­tions, it all was ok, but when I looked at my son, something changed.

Many times when I look at him, a four and a half-year-old boy, my mind starts to tell me some stories, which, when I am not conscious, tend to deliver to him, it may sound like: ‘do this… don’t do that or look at this… why do you do that, stop with this and so. This time, I only observed and acknowl­edged him. No comments inside, no inner talk, no mind stories, just pure conscious aware­ness. It was a beauti­ful moment for me. Suddenly, I experi­enced deep silence within, my heart start to expand towards him, I became softer, loving and kind to him without doing anything, just being. I saw a sweet little boy, very naive, very curious, watch­ing the view out of the window. This boy is my son, and I felt how much I love him. No more story.

It was a sensa­tion I wanted to hold on to. I tried to stay with this sensa­tion as long as I could and I try to come back to it as often as I can when approach­ing him, especially when things are not so nice and sweet.

When the mind doesn’t clutter the present moment, the heart is opening a window to our true nature of love, compas­sion and freedom. Thanks for reading so far, please feel free to comment below and share your thoughts with me. I am curious to hear from you. May we stay present, conscious and connected.

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