After the death of the ego-centered self,there comes an arising……
A new consciousness,an awakened state of heightened awareness.The state of waking up to the absolute truth.
In this state there is the feeling of losing everything,being nothing,being no-one,yet it feels at the same time like having everything and being everything…..the Oneness and totality of existence is experienced.The body,mind and soul have integrated to become One…..there is no fragmentation of thinking and feeling,the mind has been quelled and the heart has regained its purified status and capability of loving without conditions and limitations….it has become Infinite,Eternal…..an end to reincarnation!
This is the meditation of Self awakening………..to be reborn….as Jesus says..”unless anyone be born again,he cannot enter the kingdom of Heaven”.Here Jesus talks about being born in the Spirit…..in today’s version,its about transformation of the self,a new growth,a shift of consciousness ,a renewed life,death to the old habituated ways of life/living and deluded perceptions.Death to the old-self has occured!
In the dying process,it has emptied and purified itself of all afflictive states……its innate states of love and wisdom are restored!
Like a child being born into the light after being in darkness in its mother’s womb for all those months………..
Contemplate a child at play….the purity of heart at the way it runs and plays carefree and unburdened,the innocence of the child as it looks at everything in awe and wonder,it laughs and giggles when it sees a butterfly flitting by…it is not afraid to simply be,to trust,to know that it is being taken care of and guarded.It carries no worries or anxieties over what to eat or where to sleep……….
So too is the new Self,is child-like(trusting) and pure of heart(sincere) in all endeavours.Like a snake that has undergone the painful process of shedding its old worn out skin,it is triumphant to show the new one.
After its rebirth,in stillness the new Self will only live in the Present…it has died to the past and knows that the future is unpredictable,uncertain and unknown……..everything is impermanent……its status is in the constant Now!
The new Self does not partake in the influences and chaos of the world,it understands and feels compassion towards it…as Jesus said…..”be in this world but not of it”…………………
The tomb is empty…….do not look for the old self there…it has Risen(transcended)!
The last day before his death,Jesus spent that evening as we are told in the gospels with his closest and dearest friend,his so called disciples(twelve of them,probably more which could have included his mother Mary as she is known and Mary Magdalene).
That night,his heart must have been heavy,troubled and filled with a mixture of tenderness, sadness and fear for he knew the tragedy that would befall him very soon…….his sense of awareness was on high acuity as to all the happenings and the plottings against him.The deepest sorrow and heartache Jesus must have felt that night was for that one friend who was about to hand him over to his captors.
It was not a night of light enjoyment with his companions but instead it was a night of celebration of a great lesson to be learned and experienced……….Humility,the annihilation of the ego!
While sitting down to having supper with his followers,he filled a washbasin with water and took a towel and began to wash the feet of the disciples……………all of them must have been in shock and perhaps feeling disgust,they couldn’t believe that this man whom they called Master could perform such a lowly gesture.Yes they taunted him saying to not only wash their feet but their bodies as well.They did not understand the truth behind this noble sacrificial action.They did not know,what Jesus quietly knew within himself…………………his action was not one of showing -off,it did not come from ego-centeredness but an open-hearted,spontaneous act moved by courage.He recognised his intense suffering and had to soften his pain by way of humility.
To Jesus it was an act of absolute surrender(especially in the knowing of his final hours left before his upcoming imminent demise)…….the letting go…to be completely free from any residual pride and arrogance and attachments…………dying to himself before his physical death.He had to humble and empty himself in order to accept and not resist or reject the agony that awaits him….it was a way of feeling a lightness of being,a knowing of the truth of his innocence,yet a willingness to face unjust accusations and consequences.He showed no distinction between master and disciple but displayed an understanding of the human frailties and potential for spiritual growth and the relatedness to each other on the human level.
His humanly sublime action came from a place of inherent love(compassion),wisdom and peace….he had to exemplify this form of humility in order to justify all that he had taught during his short ministry…..to love,to forgive,to be peacemakers,to find joy,to be kind,to be wise as a serpent yet gentle as doves,to be meek and pure of heart(sincere and child-like) and be free from transgressions………………
Could we be one of them whose feet Jesus washed?What would our reaction have been?How would we react in truth even if someone we knew,humbled themselves sincerely with these simple words….”I am sorry”and was willing to make amends?Will we be humble enough to allow the chance and be sincerely reconciled to make peace and grow in a better direction with it or will we be petty and immature to be disgruntled and vexed by the the other’s honesty to make changes?Could we truly be courageous to express contrition and vulnerabilities to another and change for the benefit of ourselves and others even without the other’s acceptance or approval?or will that seem as having low esteem and no dignity?
When we hear of the word humility………what and how do we feel about it?Do we tend to associate the word humility with humiliation and see it as a sign of weakness or see it as allowing ourselves to be abused and belittled and being taken advantage of?Do we allow fear to keep our hearts frozen and be cut off from forbearance,fortitude,courage, pliability and to be humble?
To be humble doesnt mean we bend backwards to please another/others for another’s selfish needs,whims and unwholesome intentions.
True humility is a soft,gentle,flexible yet positively strong,powerful,wise and transformative energy that allows one to be resilient and subdued in difficult and challenging circumstances.When we can take courage to be humble in the truest sense at times of trials and difficulties,we allow ourselves to be open to learn,to take responsibilities with mindfulness(we avoid blaming),we loosen the rigidity in our hearts and minds and are able to make it easier to access the wisdom of the heart in seeking potential answers and to make positive transformational changes to find comforts that are beneficial to all parties/situations and a way out of further suffering.When we exercise true humility,there can be no humiliation involved,there will be only beneficial lessons to be learned,taught and experienced.
Are we able to be strong to be humble in order to allow ourselves to transcend suffering and make life better for ourselves and others especially so to start with the ones we care for and say we love?True humility allows for helping each other grow and learn from our mistakes, transgressions and sufferings.
From Buddhist texts,it is related that the Buddha practiced humility all of his life.He was an Indian prince,married and had a son,lived in a palace,surrounded by glitz and glitter and dancing girls and had everything made easy for him,but he was not allowed outside the palace walls.Yet deep down he was not satisfied,he felt like a prisoner,he wanted to know what was happening beyond the palace walls.One night he did venture outside and witnessed very disturbing truths………from that night he was determined to find out the truth of these sufferings,old age, sickness and death.
So he left his palace,wife and son………….wandered in the forests mingling with ascetics,spiritual seekers and simple minded people.This was a great act of humility by the Buddha….to give up all comforts of life in a palace and the pain of leaving his wife and son to go seek for the truth of life.He too had to die to ego…to selfish desires and attachments.How intensely hard it must have been for him to give up all the comforts that he had and to live simply and frugally in the forest.
After he attained enlightenment,he never went back to his palace to take up position and former title,although he did go back to visit his father,wife and son.He went on wandering the country instead teaching the truths of suffering and how to find a way to end it.
In his wanderings,he was humble enough to befriend murderers,thieves and prostitutes and charismatically making them his disciples.While many were following earnestly to hear the Buddha’s teaching,he formed the sangha(community).It is told that the Buddha practiced serene acts of humility in the sangha by nursing his followers when they were sick and even sweeping the floors to keep it clean…….again we see no distinction between a master and his disciples and in this case,a prince and his subjects!
Are we willing to learn true humility from these two great Masters……..Jesus who washed the feet of his disciples and Buddha, who left the comforts of his rich palace and royal title to live among the common people.Both taught the same thing,humility,love,peace,freedom from suffering and wisdom.
….……….Humility is a sublime virtue!
….……….it can bend before the mighty wind,
….……….yet arise with courage.
….……….It can bow before a powerful sovereign,
….……….yet remain his equal.
….……….It can be intimidated by the unjust,
….……….yet not be humiliated.
….……….It can be gentle before injury,
….……….yet have the strength to forgive.
….……….Humility brings the antidote to pride and arrogance
….……….and allows the openness to learn and accept.
Closing the year……………
I like so much the title of this 4th episode of the new TV series Knightfall……it says…….”He who discovers his own self,discovers God”………………..how true!
In a few days, we all will be closing the last day of the present calendar year 2017….some will close it with a big bang,special celebrations to welcome the new year cycle 2018.Some will be alone,some will have some kind of get together and there will be others with a ‘who cares’attitude.In most religious traditions,there will be some sort of service to give thanks for what the year long has brought and to ask for blessings for the new year.
It is good to have any kind of celebratory recall of what we as individuals,community and collectively have experienced in the course of the days of the year………….it is good to reflect on our private and open memories of what has transpired within ourselves and our situation,how we have been affected by others,by our own actions,thoughts and words and how we can help make ourselves better,thus influencing a better growth around us……….we not only see the days of this calendar year but we can check in ourselves anytime and everytime to keep track of awareness of our being,our present state…….there will be recalls of beautiful/lovely things,we have done,seen,said and felt…….we can nourish these memories by loving ourselves for them sincerely,we can witness our capability to be more loving,caring,charitable and kindly in order to harness the goodness we desire around us.
There will also be unhealthy memories we want to suppress,let go,escape from or be afraid to see……………there is no need of fear…….they are of the past and whats more important is the present,we can make changes and start afresh…..we can have the courage to forgive,make amends, heal and find peace,anything is possible…………….when we go into ourselves,we discover there is Only God(Love)!