An Overview of the Journey

Peter D. Gerakaris, Tropicália

Everything is in flux.

One of the most fundamental insights of spiritual practice is that despite all the safeguards civilization provides, the feelings of security we achieve through work, relationships and family, etc, we remain inherently vulnerable to abrupt loss and change.
Everything is in flux: the world, people in our lives, moods and thoughts arising and passing in our minds. This fundamental change includes the way we relate to people, places and things: each new iGadget feels exciting and promising out of the box; months later it brings little more than a momentary diversion to the day.

So, what can we can count on in our march through time? 

With age, we’ll lose control of our bodies; eventually we’ll be separated from everyone and everything we love. Given this lack of control, for long stretches, if not entire lifetimes, we’ll grasp at fleeting solutions that provide false shelter. We’ll acquire countless commodities to avoid feeling powerless; we’ll people please to relieve shame, guilt or unworthiness; we’ll chase sex and relationships to avoid the experience of loneliness. And the relief we’ll experience will always be temporary, setting us up for another hit.
The grasping for false security keeps us from pausing and settling into the present moment, which is viewed as something to get through to a magical future that will never arrive, or a heaven that doesn’t exist. Right now is the only time where any true peace and security can be established.

So, what provides us with real ease?

We can awake to the way life is now, letting go of the expectations, greeting the actual sensations of embodied experience without resistance.
We attend to our setbacks and losses with compassion, we witness pleasant experiences with an appreciation free of clinging, knowing these experiences pass.
Eventually, with practice, we can let go of the focus on the various objects passing through our awareness (from the outside world to our inner perceptions etc), and become aware of the knowing mind and of itself. What is aware, rather than the events of which we’re aware.
The observing mind is luminous, spacious, immune from the ravages of change that surrounds us. This is enlightenment, the liberation from suffering promised by The Buddha.

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