Recognition, confidence and conviction are the integral elements of letting go. Usually, when the dam breaks, it is not a sudden occurrence. It is the slow and steady dislodging of small parts that weaken the structure.
This analogy can easily be applied to human nature regarding freedom from the egoic stronghold. Our attachment and suffering is not easily dissolved but eroded over time with the proper work of developing awareness and recognizing the true nature of mind.
Each glimpse of the true nature of mind gives us hope and confidence that there is something outside of our version of reality.
If we learn the ways of developing our attention and concentration through the subtle effort of being present, we get glimpses of our true nature. That effort is misunderstood and comes under the large umbrella of “mindfulness practices” that do not necessarily promote the gateway to subtle shifts in perception.
When we sit, by hook or crook, something will eventually give way. This is the way of zen, and if one is particularly stubborn, it may be the longer road to recognition of who we really are. However, what is greatly developed by sitting, even if it is simply bringing ourselves back to the breath, is our awareness and attention.
With a solid and consistent level of effort to observe oneself or even to wake up from our waking sleep during our regular activities, we will most certainly notice the contrast of when we have this faculty lit up and when we don’t. The frequency of that state should increase with our efforts.
Consider this “waking up” a way to weaken the dam.
When we wake up more often, it is usually from some key practices of awareness that we start to exercise in the beginning of our deeper and more serious search for freedom. Those muscles get strengthened and bring forth our ability to see outside of our “perceived reality”. We then have a point of reference, even if we don’t maintain that awareness for very long.
That point of reference now provides us with a new found confidence to continue moving ahead with our efforts.
We know there is something outside of our usual notion of reality. We may have a hard time returning to it, but we know it is there. That fuels something within us to keep going. We may experience what we believe are setbacks, but in fact, they are the introduction to a new level of effort.
We never lose the impressions that have fed our soul and grow our Being…never.
We gain strength and confidence to uplevel. We may set ourselves to a new standard. We may venture out of old relationships. We may attempt to do what we thought was not possible before. We may shift gears or go in a different direction. Those changes take confidence and courage to even make the move. That change may sometimes appear to be “the wrong move”, but we learn deeply and adjust.
We may see that we are still trapped in the pattern, but at least we see that. We know the hole in the sidewalk is there but can’t quite walk around it just yet!
The important factor is that we made a move, and we see more.
This confidence precedes a lifetime of conviction that never leaves us.
This place indicates we are now in the Work and not outside; unwilling or unable to make the proper efforts. When we have jumped to the other stream of life, it will carry us to freedom. We learn to give way because we have seen something of the true nature of mind.
Our setbacks do not stop us on the path. We are able to sustain a certain level of remorse of conscience that was not possible before. We gain humility and we can bear more. That does not always look freer from someone on the outside. To those on the path seeking liberation, it means bearing the truth of who we are and accepting that.
Our work plus our ability to relax into what is already there is then possible.
In conclusion, when something gives way in us, it is not us just letting go. It is the slow realization of our attachment over time. Each impression loosens the sticks. We cannot be in a hurry to tear the dam down or shear away the buffers that have kept us from seeing the truth. It is an organic process that unfolds like a flower. That unfolding is preceded by many systems in nature that have been in concert to allow that to happen.
The water has always been trying to rush through, but the dam has been too strong, too stubborn, too identified and full of fear. The dam usually breaks at just the right time because it can.
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