People search for their true nature for many reasons. But the most basic one is to be free from tension. Tension is not your true nature.
Infinite volumes of spiritual literature can be reduced to a few simple choices in life. Either to be consumed by tensions, or to rise above them. It is really that simple. Tensions that consume our life are bondage. They lead us to live a reactionary existence and represent our inability to immerse ourselves in life with integrity.
In everyday life we act out our choices. The depth of our commitment to our true nature shows in many ways. We demonstrate the reality of our own motivations through our interactions with other people and through the quality of the environment we create. For example: if we drink coffee we are choosing tension. That is not a bad choice. It is our choice. Tension is not your true nature. Also, if we choose anger we are choosing tension. Tension is not your true nature. So, it is in small things, choices, that we reveal our true intention.
It is important for us to understand this so that we can look at ourselves in a realistic way and begin to make our choices, with consciousness and honesty.
Understanding that how you deal with tensions, yours and others, is really the fulcrum point puts the emphasis back on you. It is the daily articulation of your real investment in your vision, inspiration and purpose. If at the end of ten years you say “I am no closer to my goal than I was ten years ago, it is because of your choices, nothing else.
These choices are a practical and powerful expression of your conviction. All tension is energy wasted. Whether that tension is sparked by coffee, judgement, eating late at night, drinking wine, lost sleep or whatever, tension is to your account and is, at least here in the first world, a choice.
We have this opportunity to choose many times each day. We can make the effort to deal with tension and moods and therefore be open to live with gratitude or we can choose to see our moods and tensions as some sort of reward for effort, and mistake hard living for good living.
Tension gets attention. Therefore, to be in tension, depression, frustration and anxiety is to be in some strange way, rewarded by attention and this habitual conditioning keeps us from living our true nature. So much of it is unconscious and socialised: The fear of poverty, the fear of death, the fear of loneliness, the fear of insignificance, the fear of meaninglessness., the fear of no mind-lost control. These fears create dependencies on others and by demonstrating tension, we attract attention and the illusion of support. But really, these socialised responses to normal life, don’t work. We eventually start to believe that we really are in tension and then, well, we are in tension. It becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. “I am in tension, please pay attention, but for your love I have no retention, and therefore I feel inside, like I’m in detention.”
To break the habit of tension as a measure of your life and to live from your true nature is not just about getting past fears, although this can release many tensions and reactions, it is really about becoming aware of a deeper, calm, the essence of your own life. From my experience this comes with a sense of connection to and dependancy on nature. When you find this core within yourself you may still feel stressed by life but there will also be a calm beneath, and this is great because then you begin to live from that essence, whether you’re walking, riding the subways, working in your job, or something else. Your true nature sits beneath everything at all times and when you feel stressed you simply don’t allow it to go too far before you pull the escape chord and glide back into your true nature. Then whether you’re sitting still or moving around is irrelevant. You wont need a special place or environment in order to have that experience.
Your true nature is beneath your tension. To locate that true nature is a daily ritual best done four times a day. Once in the morning – a full charge of energy, twice in the day – recharges, and then again in the evening This way, your true nature becomes somewhat important to you and your sanity throughout your day, even on the weekends and public holidays, you supercharge, recharge, recharge and then discharge. That four step sequence holds you daily. It means that when tension comes you allow it, explore it but never let it get the better of you. You never allow the tension to build to explosion point where your anger discharges onto someone, in thought, word or action.
It is important at this stage to differentiate between meditation, mindfulness and your true nature. For a start, your true nature does not require forty years sitting on a cushion to engage. Your true nature does not only express itself in mindful action. Your true nature is your connection to nature, unconditional, no rules that say “doing it this way is better than do it that way.” Meditation is used to quiet the mind but this is just the surface of the lake and as such it is always vulnerable to someone rattling the cage and disturbing the tranquility. Such meditation implies that the turbulent world got it wrong and if the world would change, and be less turbulent, then the meditator would be happier and at peace. True nature on the other hand says that the world does not need to change for inner tranquility, only the ego, or perceptions need to change.
There’s a great story about two meditators on top of a mountain. One was covered in cobwebs because he’d been sitting still for so many years. The other was dancing, laughing and moving about celebrating life, sort of in her true nature. They both agreed to call down the “gods” and ask a question. The question they both had was similar but subtly different. The cobweb covered monk asked “how much longer must I continue to sit in meditation” he was told 40 more lifetimes, and he responded “oh shit.” and went back to meditation hoping the world would change to his impression. The other dancing monk asked a similar question but subtly different “How much longer can I keep dancing?” and was told the same answer “40 more lifetimes” and responded “fantastic” and was immediately enlightened.
Always running toward changing the world is a habit of tension. To change the world we do not need more people running around fixing things because in reality that is a part of the problem. What we need is more people who enjoy doing what they do, regardless of what it is.
The difference between true nature and meditation is huge until we go back to the roots of meditation and find that it is similar to true nature in its original purpose but has been hijacked by the “less stress” industry, the “flower power” fraternity and the commercial branding of truth.
All we need to do is find a way of being inwardly solid in the world, so that even if the Sun rose in the West instead of the East, we would still recognise ourselves as the same person, inwardly.
Tension causes exhaustion because it throws vital energy away through the erratic action of the nervous system. Emotion, stress and nervous tension are strong leakages of personal energy and no physician, no medicine, no drugs, pills or electric treatments have been able to turn that around. Once the habit of emotion, stress and nervous tension are ingrained in a person’s life, rewarded by the attention they seek, reinforced by self-fulfilling prophecy, illness, hurt and disaster follow.
But this whole cycle can be reversed in hours by finding authentic connection to your true nature. It is simply achieved by breaking the habits of the body, regulating thoughts, steadiness of the eye and calming the mind. (Emotional stability)
Tension causes energy loss by making a person uneasy, fidgety, squirming or in any other way addicted to irritated activity. Restlessness is bad a habit. It is the cause of lost vitality, lost concentration, lost focus, lost clarity and is the primary generator of mental diseases such as depression. Steadiness is an art that should be taught to children. The harmonious and attractive person is not restless and is magnetic to others.
The corpse pose. Lying down on the floor with a pillow under your head, covering yourself with an appropriate cloth or blanket and staying still for ten minutes might not seem like a big deal, but in this “frozen state” your body becomes under the control of your mind and your mind, although not controlled as such, is witnessed in either a tense agitated state or calm and centred state. The longer you lie there, frozen, the more the mind comes to rest and the deeper the experience until you lose yourself in the moment. This practice is transformative and does not have any of the fancy brand logo’s attached to it that certain meditation teachers would hope you subscribe to (TM etc).
Once the corpse pose is mastered, the ability to connect to nature in the emptiness and stillness of the moment expands and in this way, you find, easily, your true nature waiting beneath the tension that can so easily become your attention seeking habit for life.