Video excerpt taken from a Satsang during the November 2020 Diving Deep Retreat.
“Have your loyalty be to this moment, not to the imaginations of what the conditioned mind says it ‘should’ be.”
Q: I’ve been a seeker for many years, and am getting simply tired and exhausted with it … I’ve had my share of spiritual experiences that their memory has kept me going in feeling that the “Self” is not a charade created to soothe the aching soul of us. So I just sat with your kind Divine Light Transmission. Thank you, greatly appreciated what you are doing. I must confess I kind of gave up on any hope for this life … I’ve suffered a lot internally. I get confused when I see some hope like you “transmit”. It’s sometimes easier to keep ones head down and push till the end of this one and hope that we are just matter and that we don’t have to thru this again and again or if we do — just get the next phase of it. I felt you are a kindred soul and might have some words of advice in these turbulent times which my internal life seems to reflect.
[Note: This is a shortened version of a message I received with all the personal details taken out.]
Imogen: I would say it’s less hope and more love, freedom and the seeming paradox of fullness AND emptiness that is being transmitted and then recognised by you, in you; the unconditional love and acceptance of life. The human mind, the human conditioning, comes up with all sorts of weird and wacky conditions and expectations that it sets on life, none of which are truly true in the greater context of life, the context of consciousness. They are partial and fleeting relative truths that our mind takes to be something all together more pervasive, and this causes an awful lot of suffering, discomfort and discontent with life.
For me it’s been very much a path of dropping all expectations, conditions and limits of any ‘shoulds’ and coming to be with life in the present moment, entirely innocently and honestly almost like a curious scientist observing the happening of life moment by moment without drawing conclusions, just experiencing life with almost a child-like wonder. This allows for the inclusion of all and the rejection of none which brings a great sense of liberation from the confines of life as we thought we knew it.
To me awakening isn’t some grand big ‘other’ state or thing to ‘get’, it’s not spiritual experiences in themselves either. It’s a dropping into this moment fully. It’s the recognition of it all as an appearance in consciousness that gives rise to the entirety of life, the good, the bad AND the ugly. When you really see this (experientially) there’s a sort of surrender that comes around. A union WITH life, AS life, rather than a constant striving and war with life.
You mention a giving up or an exhaustion with seeking…. To me this is actually a good thing believe it or not! The ego/mind has exhausted itself and it’s need to control and find, next and next and next. The search for something other than THIS. It becomes recognised in your very Being and also felt in the body (exhaustion) that the seeking mind leads down yet another road that is oh so familiar, another endless dead end of more searching. The seeking mind is the opposite of the peace and contentment that is found when one surrenders TO LIFE and falls in love with WHAT IS, exactly AS it is, moment to moment.
Awakening isn’t a flashy ‘spiritual experience’ (although they can show up along the way too) it’s to become aware of, to awaken to what life is, what you are, awareness-consciousness. It’s to see that you are the sky and the clouds (or content – including the mind and all phenomena) are doing as clouds do, passing in the sky. Sometimes there are thunderstorms, sometimes there are clear skys. But not once does the sky try to hold on to any of it, it simply experiences it all, has room for it all, accepts it all, as part of the play of life. To me this is the love of life, this is the freedom of life, when you’re not identified as being the clouds, but the clouds being IN you!
Practically speaking my small tidbit of advice would be, find and root out where your shoulds or expectations of life lie… is there a gulf between those and the reality of life? Where is your loyalty, to your imaginations and therefore conditions of what ‘should be’, or to life as it is? When you allow yourself to really and fully let go of expectations and shoulds, do you find that a space of ease opens up? Drop thoughts of future or past, be present to this moment without limits or conditions on what this moment ‘should’ contain with in it…. Do you find there is still a ‘problem’ or discontent with this moment? Do you find that life allows and has room for all that is arising to be there, without exception?
I guess all this is to say, from this perspective do you feel like you are at war with life, or are you ALL that life IS?
The ‘Conversations & Questions’ series comes from snippets of conversations taken from emails, 1-on-1 sessions, group meetings or in-person conversations. I take out any personal or sensitive content, but often these conversations have a universality to them that can be helpful to more than just one person. Feel free to get in touch via email, social media or even post your question in the comments below and I may answer them in this way…
We go lurching from one action to another all in the name of trying to pin down and find a sense of stability, find a resolution. All to avoid or fix the strong feelings and sensations arising in the body-mind. If only we could slow down or even stop in those moments, find our centre, find our inherent stability of Beingness and then observe what action comes about from this. Not an action based out of reactivity and fear but an action based from the quietness and centered-ness, stability even, of Self. An action that isn’t impeded by the conditioned mind, an action that is natural, spontaneous and correct for the moment.
Trying to ‘get away from’ is the source of so much suffering, quite often the thing we’re trying to get away from isn’t half as much trouble and suffering as the act of trying to avoid the feeling or sensation arising around it.
We jump from moment to moment constantly chasing or being chased, never realising that what we seek isn’t over there but here… in this moment, in the heart of this experience should we take the time to look, to BE.
What it actually takes is the willingness to sink into this moment and let everything else be as it is. Let everything else come and go without getting involved with managing the traffic like a traffic cop for phenomenal content.
What it takes is the willingness to sit in the fire and intensity of the moment until it burns itself out and gives way to the next moment.
What it takes is the self love and holding of space without conditions and judgements of all that arises.
And what it takes is having loyalty to being, not loyalty to thoughts and ideas of shoulds.
“Bring conscious awareness to it all, see the unfolding dynamics and suchness of life without overlaying the beliefs of the limited conditioned mind. Drop all ideas of how life ‘should’ be and live in the flow of how life is.”