As spiritual practitioners, we are all on this journey to be free, to recognize our true nature which is the fountain of peace, love, wellness, abundance and more. For me, very often, the journey seems long, arduous, full of hurdles, but also providing release, glimpses of freedom etc. Far too often it feels like that which I’m seeking – that liberation, that awakening, that freedom – is too far from grasp. That it may take lifetimes to accomplish!
Yet, recently, I’m increasingly noticing that I may have had it all wrong. That which I seek is NOT far, NOT distant from me, and the entire idea of a journey may in fact be fallacious!
Take the simple act of breathing? Who is breathing? The natural tendency may be to say “I am breathing”. But this cannot be true. Because when we are in deep, dreamless sleep, where the “I” is absent, the breathing still happens. It seems to me that the breath itself rises and falls autonomously without effort through another power that is already here. Some masters have called that power “Grace”, i.e. the Grace of our true nature. In that sense, quite literally, thousands of times a day, we are experiencing the act of Grace in the flow of the breath. i.e. That source of the Grace, our true nature, is literally closer than we think.
Take the simple act of feeling happy. Hopefully we are all feeling happy at least a few times a day. Perhaps it is just a piece of chocolate that is sending our taste buds into a delightful dance 🙂 Perhaps it is something we worked hard to achieve that showed up in reality. Perhaps it is a response to the smile or antic of a little child. Perhaps it is the beauty of the flower in our yard that sprung that smile to our face and lit our heart. Perhaps it is some act of synchronicity we encountered that we felt happy about. All these seem like happiness arises from outside events. However, enlightened masters declare categorically that happiness is our true nature. That when happiness is experienced, it doesn’t arise from an outside event, even if it seems so on the surface. That happiness spontaneously arises from our true nature when the mind comes to rest in it. i.e. When we are feeling happy in response to a child’s antic or smile, or that beautiful flower, in that instant, the mind stops striving, reaching, grasping, yearning, fearing and such, and drops to its resting place in the true nature of our being, and in that very instant, not blocked by the rising and outward moving mind, happiness naturally rises from our true nature and is experienced in our physical being. i.e. Happiness, as many times in the day as that occurs for us, is also a strong sign, a telling indication that our true nature is here, active, live all day long, and that true nature is closer than we think.
Take the act of experiencing silence. Hopefully we are all experiencing that 1/2 second, that 1 second, that 10 seconds of sheer quietness, the so called “pin drop silence” a few times a day. Perhaps that arises when we have just finished our Joshin Kokyu Ho or Hatsurei Ho or chanting or other meditation practice. In those precious instants, those invaluable moments of silence, we can notice that there is no striving, pulling, yearning, thrashing etc in the mind. Just silence. A silence from which arises a sense of peace, of wellness, of compassion, of love, of optimism and more. This is a function of the mind falling to its state of rest in our true nature. And that peace, wellness, compassion, love and more is naturally arising from our true nature in our state of stillness. This too is strong indication of our encounter with our true nature, potentially many times a day in stillness, and that is why I think that our true nature is closer than we think.
So, something that we are literally brushing against, thousands of times a day in our breathing, in our happiness, in our silence, the source of the Grace that keeps all this happening without effort, is our true nature, and it is already here. Closer than we think.
What then is this long arduous journey about? What is this quest to gain knowledge? What is this struggle and battle with the “I”? That “I” too rises and falls, but only the true nature remains unmoving, unchanged, and yet, eternally active, doing things in our physical experience effortlessly.
Consider deeply what I’m suggesting here. Notice your encounters with your true nature that is already happening thousands of times a day in those breaths, the smiles, that happy feelings, the silence, the stillness.
That which we seek is already here, closer than we think it is. When this becomes your truth, what might become of your journey? After all, what is the distance and duration of the journey, when it is only as far from the breath to that which is causing it?
Usui san says in the precepts “The secret of inviting happiness through many blessings“. Could it be that the “many blessings” that Usui san points to, are the encounters with Grace thousands of times a day in those breaths, the smiles, the happy feelings, the silence, the stillness!! Could Usui san be pointing to that continual flow of Grace and the eternal source of that Grace which is our true nature, Reiki, suggesting as it were, the same fact that “It is closer than you think”!!
Sundar Kadayam is a Shinpiden graduate of the International House of Reiki