Sati, an ancient word for the mindfulness that so many people seek, literally means to remember the present moment. Sleep is forgetfulness.
But true awakening involves forgetting as well as remembering. Deep down we understand this seeming paradox. We have moments when we forget ourselves, when we leave the cramped attic room of our thinking and come down into the life of the body and just see and experience life in the present moment. But in those moments, we discover that we aren’t isolated observers but receivers and responders, not separate from the ten thousand joys and ten thousand sorrows of life.
Usually our dreams are very simplistic—we have too much baggage to make a difficult journey; we are lost in a strange city. But even these dreams remind us of what we are in essence, that we don’t just think and know: we are creatures who sense and feel our way in the world. Deep down we know that the true wilderness is beyond and known, and we really don’t know very much. This essential vulnerability is the wellspring of our compassion.
Contemporary Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron builds on this, teaching that the more you open to what is happening (even at the movies), the more your boundaries dissolve. “The journey of awakening happens just at the place where we can’t get comfortable,” she writes. “Opening to discomfort is the basis of transmuting our so-called ‘negative’ feelings.” Our brains are hardwired to avoid this—to fight or flee or freeze out discomfort. Judgment is a one-way street, and most of our thinking are forms of that, comparisons, discernments, opinions, all designed to keep us safely cordoned off from what we are seeing, assuring us that what we are perceiving can be safely labeled as known.
To truly awaken, we must dare to enter the unknown.
and then I had to find new courage…..like something that felt old and stale being washed clean….
inquiry for today~ what is worn out like an old pair of shoes?….what is fresh from leaving them behind?…..
It’s about freedom, what it means to be free. Increasingly, we humans are becoming part of big systems. More and more people live within congested settings, and they work within structures that are completely set for them. Wild for me represents freedom, and it represents the hope of freedom. When you see a bird, it is because that bird wants to be there, not because it is part of some business plan. That little plant popping up through the asphalt has taken the opportunity to grow there.
And it is about hope. That bird you see in flight is giving you hope of another life. Then there is what I call the joy of the wild, the sheer joy of it, and that is in our genes. We have that inner sense of the joy of the wild but some people don’t experience it because they never have the chance to feel it for themselves.