Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Are We There Yet?

We humans spend a great deal of our time in the future: in anticipation and hope of something yet to come our way. We are so often living in the future of what possibilities exist. There's nothing wrong with this, or, at least, it is natural enough, given that we seem to have an inbred sense or desire for perfection.

How do we balance, however, contentment and self-acceptance with the urge for self-improvement and betterment? How do we resolve the tension between the present and the possibilities for a better future?

Moreover, isn't it so that once we give up on hope for a better world, we might collapse into apathy, into ennui (boredom), and lapse into permanent depression? Frank Sinatra sang that depressing song, "Is that all there is?" (So let's go dancing......).

Are things really "perfect," as so many New Age'rs like to affirm? Any honest assessment of present realities must surely conclude that there's a great deal of suffering in the world. How, then, can we look someone in the eye who has just suffered a great tragedy and say, "It's a perfect world?"

Resolution of the tension between the present, past, and the future lies in the eternal now! Every night when we sleep we dissolve our dichotomy, our existential angst, into the perfect state of the present. Yet, unfortunately, sleep merely gets us ready for another day. It doesn't really resolve this tension.

There is a conscious act of sleep, however. It's called meditation. Meditation can bring to us a conscious experience wherein the tension of opposites resolves into inner peace. This inner "harmonic convergence," not unlike sleep, but taking us deeper into our existential dilemma, refreshes us sufficiently to cope authentically with life's ever existing paradox.

We see in the lives of great saints this capacity to be present (and content) and yet dynamically, creatively, and compassionately engaged in real life. No fantasies or obsessions, just the present: a gift in itself!

As meditation takes discipline, motivation, and inner strength of character, so too it produces in us the capacity to cope with paradox in real time and with lasting effect: upon ourselves and upon circumstances that present themselves in our lives.

There's no time like the present to "Be still and know that I AM."

Blessings to you, this only day there is,

Swami Hrimananda aka Hriman