by David Deida: Truth: If you are sensitive, you know you are terrified, lonely, and feeling stressed.At depth, you are infinite and unbound openness. But you become unhappy in every moment that you assume you are fundamentally a separate individual. First of all, the possibility of death lurks under every moment. From this constant fear of annihilation are born the twin needs to succeed and be loved. Everything you do, every moment of thought and feeling, is based on your fear of death and your stressful need to accomplish success and experience love.
In truth, you are already as good as dead. If you feel this moment with utter attention, you will notice that it is empty. It is gone. And yet also full of boundless livingness. If you feel who you are with absolute awareness, you will find an immense nothing of luminous presence. You and the world are tangible, full of light and aliveness, and also phantasmagorical, vaporous, existing without a trace.
Therefore, as long as you try to hold onto yourself in the midst of this constant change and dissolution, you will grind in the stress of your own self-grasping. You will mull and cogitate, hoping to solve the continually appearing problems in your life. You will feel hurt and angry as others abuse you with their closure and confusion. As long as you think that you can win, the struggle of life and the whims of your loved ones will torture you. Fundamentally, you will feel incomplete and unloved.
The only way beyond this bind of perpetual self-concern is to actually feel who you are and what the world is. At your deepest, who are you? Behind your thoughts and feelings, even in the midst of your dreaming and sleeping, who are you? What exactly is your experience of the world? If you feel this moment with utter precision, unwavering in your attention and without preconception, what is your raw experience?
To persist in this practice is to discover that you cannot win because there is no one to win. There is nothing to conquer.
This will sound like abstract philosophy for as long as you think you can solve your constant yearning for freedom and love by doing something or being with someone. You will actually believe there are people out there and a “you” in here. This sense of division and separation is the root of your suffering, but it seems so real. That you live in a world seems to be an irreducible fact. And so you stop there and try to arrange yourself and the world so your suffering diminishes, but always there is the fear of death, the continual stress of hoping for success and love.
Eventually, you realize that you are still afraid, incomplete, and lonely, regardless of how you have arranged yourself and the world. At this point, you can stop trying to change things and simply feel how things are. Precisely. Nakedly. Without closing to anything.
In any moment that you can feel this fully, you will discover that your constant struggle is grounded in an illusion. The you who you thought you were is only a self-image. The world you thought you lived in is rather spacious. You seemed to be the center of the universe, as if your life drama was oh so important, and now you realize that there is no center to the universe. Your life drama continues, the world and your self-image continue, but everything appears and disappears in a great openness of love, an unbounded beingness that is totally free.
You cannot arrange yourself or the world in order to experience openness, but in any moment you can feel fully as unbound empty-feeling-fullness. This open being is the very love and freedom you seek as a separate struggler in a world of strugglers.
Everything in this world dies, guaranteed. No arrangement lasts. Your fancy car will get scratched, your body will become diseased, your lover will betray you one way or another. Dissatisfaction is healthy. It is evidence of your sensitivity to the truth of what you feel. You are suffering. You have tried all kinds of ways to feel better, but they haven’t worked. You are still stressfully seeking a sense of completion, fullness, success, and love.
The deeper truth is that you exist as unbounded love-fullness, without limit or fear. But the rubber band of presumed separation stresses your heart. At any moment, everything you’ve worked so hard for can break. The rubber band will eventually snap. You will lose everything, including your sense of self. Of this you are terrified, and yet it is certain.
Practice this many times every day: Feel this moment completely. Feel your fear. Also feel deeper than fear. Feel deep and wide. Open with this entire moment precisely as it is, as miserable or blissful as it may be. Stay with it, fully present, and without the effort to change. Instead of struggling, consent to be exactly what you are, whatever that is. Surrender precisely as you and as this moment is. Be. Utterly be.
You will notice that you automatically start thinking about things. You automatically presume yourself to be a separate individual who is trying to do something. Memories of your past or desires for your future arise. You want to do something. In the face of this grinding wheel of thought and desire, feel the entire moment exactly. Be present with precision. Surrender without edge.
Relax your belly. Loosen your mind. Release your heart. Open wide as this moment. Welcome whatever comes when you totally trust. Find out what you do when action blooms from your depths. Intensely alive, deep, open, and spontaneous, allow this moment to be.
Dissatisfaction is the feeling of presumed separation and the consequent struggle to avoid impending annihilation. Welcome dissatisfaction, and practice to feel this moment precisely, unerringly, and without protection. Live true to what you discover, open with what is, offering your love, moment by moment.
Best-selling author David Deida has been widely acclaimed as a “teacher’s teacher” in the fields of sacred sexuality, women’s spirituality, and the men’s movement. His teaching and writing on a practical, fully sexual spirituality for our time have been hailed as among the most original and authentic contributions to personal and spiritual growth currently available. Known internationally for his transformative workshops on spiritual growth and sacred intimacy, David is a founding member of the Institute of Integral Psychology and has taught and conducted research at the University of California Medical School in San Diego; University of California, Santa Cruz; San Jose State University; Lexington Institute, Boston; and Ecole Polytechnique in Paris, France.