And for my mind to rest undisturbed, I know I must be present, experience things directly, with dispassion, without labels, knowing that things are the way they are because it’s just the way it is. I know that if my ego-mind, my feelings and perceptions, my learned experience are brought into play, then I am lost in a whirlpool of doubt and confusion, fear and anxiety, anger and negative, judgment.
This has not been easy because my ego-habit energy is very strong and overwhelming. However, I have found a way. What I have found in the past few months is that when something comes up which might in the past have generated anger, if I just say “things are the way they are because it’s just the way it is,” I feel mentally and physically relaxed and I am indeed open to receiving all the present moment has to offer, be grateful, compassionate, and experience happiness in the moment.
The first time I experienced this was when I was returning from a trip to Mexico last June, On the way down, I reacted to all the annoyances of traveling in my typical way … I got angry regarding what I considered either unprofessionalism or bad planning. As a result, not only did I not enjoy the process, but it ruined the trip for my partner who was looking forward to it.
Before departing on the trip back, I meditated on “things are the way they are because it’s just the way it is.“ And resolved to adopt this as my mantra on the trip back … which I did. The result was that nothing that normally would have upset me, upset me. I was calm, my mind was undisturbed, and I was able to be open to all the things the present moment had to offer … whether it was a beautiful sky, an interesting detail of architecture, the companionship of my friend, etc. I thus experienced happiness in each moment and was grateful.
What a change. On the drive back home from the airport, my friend said that it was like traveling with a different person. He was relaxed and was able to enjoy the whole process.
That experience was very empowering for me. Not only because I saw the practical impact that was in my control, but it was surprisingly easy to adopt a different perspective than was my want. I just did it. And so I have adopted that mantra towards everything that I experience in life.
Personally, fear has always had a greater impact on my life than anger or negativity. That emotion goes far more to the core of my learned experience. So the question to myself was, would this mantra work as well with fear?
I am happy report that my experience to date is, yes. When I am aware of fear starting to rise, when I acknowledge it with compassion but say my mantra and return to the present and my true buddha nature, the fear subsides. I know that fear is just a product of the mind and that in truth I have nothing to fear for regardless what life throws my way, I will always return to my true Buddha nature and experience peace, gratitude, compassion, acceptance, and happiness in each moment.