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Lessons From the Spiritual Quest

We’re living in unprecedented times, certainly in living memory. And with unprecedented times comes uncertainty and a big step into the unknown. There’s no blueprint to follow. No way forward that can be relied on and measured against. No absolute solutions and answers. We are left flailing in the open-ended unknowingness of the moment, searching for a new ‘norm’, and whether we like it or not we’re called to stay nimble, stay fresh, and change with the moment.

So can we find peace and contentment in the midst of this, in the midst of uncertainty?

I would argue that this is much of what the spiritual awakening journey shows us and a lot can be learnt and mirrored from it for these current times.

Much of what characterises the spiritual quest is the breaking down of what you thought to be true and the emergence of a fresh perspective, often conception free and open with a lack of grasping at life – at least if you’ve really got down to the bottom of the quest. Or if you like – a spontaneous lived in the moment, unconditioned view of life. This requires a radical unknowingness and uncertainty because certainty is born of held beliefs based on, or built on, previous concepts of the conditioned mind.

When these conceptions begin to crack and fall apart we are left in a space of groundlessness with nothing to hold on to. A step into the wonder of this moment, like a small child without knowledge and ‘shoulds’ of how the world is.

The stability IS the uncertainty and unknowingness. Life becomes a playful exploration of whatever is showing up. No past or future are referenced, just an intimate and raw relationship with NOW.

And so I would argue our current state of affairs is similar. We can’t rely on past, because there is nothing of comparison on this scale that can be directly applied to right now. And we can’t rely on the future because we don’t know what that will bring. So what we are left with, not as a booby prize, but what is uncovered as the previously unseen gem, is this present moment.

Let this moment be known not by measurement and comparison, but by its direct felt and lived experience. The wind on your face, the sound of the birds, the person in the next room moving about, your beating heart and your breath as it moves through your lungs. Hold no reference point other than your direct experience of this moment. Hold no ideas in the mind of how this moment should go or shouldn’t go. Let this moment BE as it IS.

This is peace. This is contentment.

When there is no conception of what should be happening, you’re left with what IS happening. And if there is no should, there is no judgment.

A space opens up around this experience. The cage of the mind dissolves and you’re left with the wide open space of NOW.

But the other big piece to this puzzle for me is in the form of love. When you allow yourself to just simply BE in this unknowingness, this nowness, you’re placing no blinds on yourself or this moment. You are acting in the most loving way possible. You are not placing a limit where there is none. The loving acceptance of the full expression of life as it intimately unfolds.

With this peace quickly becomes joy. Joy is the loving expression of when peace is known in the heart.

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