Between the banks of pain and pleasure the river of life flows. It is only when the mind refuses to flow with life, and gets stuck at the banks, that it becomes a problem. By flowing with life I mean Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â acceptance – letting come what comes and go what goes.Â Desire not, fear not, observe the actual, as and when itÂ happens, for you are not what happens, you are toÂ whom it happens. Ultimately even the observer you are not. You are the ultimate potentiality of which the all-embracing consciousness is the manifestation and expression.
~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
I’m moving! I have been living at the same address for 9 years. NINE YEARS! I don’t own this house, I have no ties to it, but for some reason, I have remained here, in the one place for 9 years. It’s time to move. This was one of only many occurrences that whispered change was arriving. Both my Nana’s passed away, within a week of each other in the month of November. I was close to my nana’s. They were my nourishment, almost like mother figures for me. I would visit them regularly, with Nana Mac we would drink champagne and eat canapes and discuss the events that she had listed meticulously in her diary. With my Nana Little, we would sit in her garden, laughing at the birds, her favourite one’s the magpies and reminisce over Â all that has transpired of our life knowing each other.
The river of life flows. It flows whether you want to jump in or grab onto the banks for dear life. It continues to flow whether you welcome change, or dig your heels in with stubbornness and believe that you get to control an outcome. It flows when you have to say goodbye to people that you wish with all your heart were still here to talk with. It is happening in every moment. Change. As this change seeps into life, the only companion that serves it well, isÂ the anchor of acceptance. Sometimes I succeed, I hold on as tight as I can, and this anchor of acceptance holds me steady, even though external events continue to fluctuate around me. Other times, I miss the mark. The anchor of acceptance drifts away from me, I wail, scream, kick, stomp, pout, sulk, avoid, behaviours that only reveal themselves as I desperately try to control an outcome, defiant in my perception that things should be different, not the way they actually are. I cause and inflict suffering upon myself, just from this experience of refusal to accept.
Observing the actual events as theyÂ happen, as theyÂ unfold. This strengthening of the inner witness, this ability to be with the experiences as they occur. No avoidance strategies. No running, addictions, compulsions, excuses, blame, complaining, just the observation. An experience of who we are, sitting amongst this experience of life, participating within our own levels. Our own levels of understanding, our own maturity as to how to work with these events, our ability to come back to that anchor of acceptance.
Becoming this all embracing consciousness, this ability to be the manifestation and expression of this consciousness. The understanding that life utilises us as the vehicle, those idea’s, inspirations, intuitions, guidances, was life, cosmo’s, consciousness, expressing itself, wondering if you were the avenue that the idea would finally be given momentum, that you were the vehicle that moved the inspiration forward. Without this river of life we become static, listless, bored, predictable. Yet when these qualities reveal themselves, we ache for change, for something, anything to happen, to wake us from this dream, this haze. Then change knocks on our door, and we hide, pretending not to hear, or we yell out to come back later, we’re not ready yet.
The comradeÂ of Â acceptance is non-judgement. In yoga, judgement falls under ahimsa,Â or non harming. Interesting, as judgement brings about harming, to self, to others, to the outcome. The experience of non judgement asks that I remain neutral, not detached, neutral. I find this about as easy as it is to hold handstand for 10mins! My gauge of life is a guilty indulgence around how I feelÂ about a certain event. These feelings gets translated into meaning, which turns into my impression or interpretation of the event unfolding. Imagine for one moment being neutral. The river of change flows, and you observe, observe yourself observing, and allow the torrent of feelings and thinking to flow past you. You hold your anchor of acceptance and have neither preference, you stand in your centre, impartial to the way the outcome unfolds. Could I really develop that amount of faith and trust in life? Would I dare let myself? Would the anxiety of how it’s all going to work out overwhelm me?
I send my intention out to this world that we all can strengthen our trust in how life flows, how the changes come and go, how we can all hold firm to the anchor of acceptance, relax our judgments, and let life reveal itself to us, rather then a dictation of Â how we think the story ends. I mean, the story will end how it was always going to end, the journey weÂ are meant to take will always occur, weÂ will always arrive in the exact place weÂ are meant to be all along.
The river of life will not forget you