A Simple Way
Everything here is impermanent. Between the cradle and the grave destiny holds sway and we all must die.
Yet, touched by an unfathomable nostalgia - an instinct of the soul - we somehow sense a sacred part of ourselves which is immortal and never dies. Thus the question must arise in the short time remaining: do we squander all our precious life energy investigating the part of ourselves that dies or that part of us that never dies? Put differently, how, with both feet solidly planted in the marketplace of life, do we once more re-connect with the Real?
The mystics, those rare beings who have themselves made the journey to God-realization, come to tell us how and why. There is only one God. He is everything, and everything comes from him and returns to him. And he has planted a particle of himself, the soul, in each and every human form. And at the deepest level the soul yearns to become one with him. And so that primal longing, the weeping and waiting for the Beloved is born again in another tiny human heart, on a little blue marble called Earth hurtling through space.
But from our point of view, we have no such perspective. Like a person sitting in the front row of a cinema with his nose pressed up against the screen, we are fully engrossed in the drama playing itself out on the theatre of our lives. The world is like that, designed like that. Its only law is volatility, change, cause and effect, all registered on the inner screen of the mind. It is never still and takes this whole projected illusion to be real.
How to escape? The mystics say: just still and concentrate your mind through meditation day by day. Any other effort only leads to further entanglement, like a panicked bird in a thorny bush. The remedy is simplicity itself, but since an egotistical and powerful mind can’t accept its own demise, it entangles itself again and again by trying to think its way out of creation.
All will be revealed in time to a humble, receptive and quiet mind. As the turbulence subsides we begin to sense the presence of the divine within us, and even the subtle presence of our Master, guiding and protecting us like a mother her child. As we meditate, a sense of perspective and balance arises. The mind gradually stops turning simple pain into true mental drama, and our self-created suffering starts to ease. We’re less inclined to look for happiness in fleeting and hollow outer forms and we turn inward to find our joy.
It’s just to hear the call and obey
To surrender the self and enter the Way
Let love lead you to our Beloved
I am happy tonight, united with the Friend.
Free from the pain of separation,
I whirl and dance with the Beloved.
I tell my heart, “Do not worry,
The key to morning I’ve thrown away.”
Rumi: Whispers of the Beloved,Translated by Maryam Mafi and Azima Melita Kolin