Many years ago I attended a weekend retreat led by Gangaji, an awakened teacher who emits pure, open, silent presence.
The very first thing she said was, “Let’s take this weekend and not work on ourselves.”
You could quite literally feel the collective relief felt by everyone in that room. In that moment, however brief or fleeting it may have been, the burden of fixing was released and immediately there was relief, space, true relaxation; nothing left to fix. It was clear that that moment is available at any moment. Truly, if everyone would have stayed true to that realization, nothing left was needed to hear.
I, like I assume most everyone in that retreat was there because on some level there was an acknowledgement of not being good enough; some knowing that there is a fundamental flaw, or simply just wanted something deeper. And naturally this knowing and this desire tends to direct us to the spiritual path; and in that it has the capacity to serve. Of course there is no shortage of teachers and self help gurus who capitalize on this desire to be “better” or to manifest your dreams or any other number of traps that are all so tempting for this lacking ego to fall for.
This was different. This was an invitation in that very moment to be exactly as I am. And what was discovered was not that I was this person that needed improving, or wasn’t enlightened, wasn’t kind enough, strong enough and every other “not enough” you can think of, I was/am the invitation or what I may call this space of acceptance. This, I have discovered over the years is very different than the approach most of us are taking which only leads to the discovery of more that needs to be fixed; a vicious path with no end. This was immediate and not bound by circumstance. It is unencumbered, open and not bound by my physical,emotional or mental identity.
It is essential that at some point we realize we are enmeshed in the story of me; my life, my needs, my accomplishments, my shortcomings, my failures, my family, my survival, my gender, my sexual orientation and on and on.
We’ve all had moments when this story stops. When we’re laughing, or maybe captivated by nature, making love, deep sleep, meditation, listening to music, whatever it may be, we love it. We love it when “me” gets a break; it is so deeply nourishing and fulfilling.
But those moments come and go and at some point the mind comes in and says something like ‘time to get back to business,’ and our world of fear, doubt, anger, neediness comes back in a fury. This moment is a choice point.
The possibility is to stay true to this true self which doesn’t need any fixing. On some level, this takes enormous courage. All of our conditioning, our innate survival drive has convinced us that safety and security is more important than being free; unencumbered by our story.
Points of Inquiry:
What would happen if you gave up your addiction to fixing right now?
What is your story giving you that you’re not willing to lose?
Is it working?