The End of All Paths
By Akira Sieben
(Published originally on Malibu Quietude)
The hardest thing about being a spiritual writer or “teacher” is remembering that the only true teacher is the present moment. I don’t have answers to specific questions or remedies to specific forms of suffering. Life is long and complicated, and the journey of healing is more roundabout and convoluted than it is simple or direct.
There is no “six-step” program to a peaceful life. There are no “quick-stitch” solutions to our suffering. Indeed, healing usually involves the breaking open of old wounds and traumas, as we learn to make space in our presence for the pain of our past.
If there is one “path” to healing, it is the end of all paths. It is the surrender of control and pre-conceived roads to resolution. It is learning to become fully present, and entrusting our heart completely to the moment as it Is. It is about realizing that no feeling is wrong or bad, and that our body and mind is sacred in exactly the condition it appears. Only once we find space and love for our “broken” self, does our self begin to heal. It wants not to be “fixed” but fondled. It wants not to be healed but held.
This is the power of meditation: not to try and change ourselves, but to love ourselves exactly as we are. Meditation is about making space for whatever energies are in us, by seeing that we are the Space in which those energies unfold. It is not about casting out “bad” thoughts, and forcing in “good” ones. It is about being aware of the sanctity of them all, by recognizing that they do not come from some thinking “you.” They come from a higher Source. They are expressions of One Life.
Focus your attention on the illusion of the thinking “self.” See that thoughts come and go outside of your sovereignty, and feelings flow like waves from an unfathomable Source. It is the nagging desire to control which causes us to feel powerless. Only when we give up the illusion of control, do we earn the freedom to be exactly the way we Are. Spontaneity comes from surrender to a higher Muse. Letting go, and allowing our thoughts, feelings, and movements to naturally unfold—this is the essence of spiritual freedom.
Make meditation about seeing through the ego, rather than using it as another means to strengthen it. Humility is the path to peace. Surrender is the road to redemption. Get in touch with your true self—the formless Presence beneath your thoughts—and find that You are already free.
Thoughts come. Thoughts go. Feelings rise and fall. The body moves in synchrony with the world around it. Life is so intimate and intricate, colorful and complicated. It is all a beautiful Dance, and every thought, feeling, and movement of your body is a unique and choreographed moment. Surrender your mind and life to the Choreographer (call it God, the Universe, Oneness, etc.), and return to the formless freedom of being simply Present.