Eyes turned inward see the butterfly in every caterpillar.
It is already so - at the very same time it is becoming so.
Sometimes it takes some time
for us to shed enough layers of our 'cocoon'
in order for the warmth of What Already Is to be revealed.
It’s so easy to love when others do what we think they should
but if love is really unconditional then it has no borders.
What's easy doesn't mean it's true.
Waking up to our true nature is a call to the knowing of this love.
If we’re selective with love - if anyone at all is excluded –
then that's an invitation - an opportunity - to look deeper.
Our thoughts tell us love has limits -
certain people at certain times seem outside of our love.
Thoughts know nothing about love - how can they?
They're only thoughts ...
but our Heart knows.
Thankfully, we can always choose what to trust.
Soften your eyes. Notice your breath.
Sense Life Directly.
Love is free of all strategy
We are so conditioned to judge our conditioning
(all those ways we've been programmed to resist,
withdraw from, or grab hold of whatever is now happening)
that whenever conditioning comes up we often either feel a kind of
‘Oh, no, not that again’ dread toward ourself
or a type of ‘How dare you” anger toward those
we perceive have triggered it.
We either feel bad about ourself or others.
We feel we are the problem or others are the problem.
We feel that because conditioning comes up
we need to somehow change or others need to change.
Yet – there is a third way to view conditioning.
When we are open hearted toward all experience
that means we are open hearted toward any conditioning that shows up.
When we see conditioning clearly we’re not judging it, ourself or others.
The conditioned resistance comes and goes
and we are free to know and sense our freedom from it all.
And then gradually, gradually, the open heartedness
of seeing all the way through the judgment of Self and others
to the true sense of Self
gives way to a genuine ‘Thank you’
whenever we become aware of conditioning.
A deep gratitude wells up within
as we see it all clearly -
the conditioning and the Unconditioned.
No longer misperceiving conditioning as what we are
but simply as what is now passing through
allows the understanding of what we actually are to stabilize.
Freedom reveals itself
when we allow what is coming and going
to come and go without judgment.
When we see conditioning clearly we see it with the eyes of Love.
The clarity of Love says, "All is welcome here."
Sometimes the question about whether awakening to Stillness
is a matter of grace or effort comes up for someone.
But in my experience, I don’t see it as an either or kind of thing –
but both. As well as both being kind of the same.
Yet often, I find that there is some built in confusion
about what grace and effort is actually addressing -
which I hope is cleared up in the following story …
Imagine there is an eagle who thinks he is a chicken.
Now, there is nothing wrong with being a chicken – if you’re a chicken.
But if you’re not a chicken and you think you are …
well, then … that misperception creates a lot of inner conflict and confusion.
The eagle endlessly pecks at the ground while having visions of soaring.
He feels deeply claustrophobic within the behaviors of a chicken’s limits
while feeling so much more is possible.
So – although nothing at all – neither grace nor effort –
is needed to become what he already is …
both grace and effort are needed for him
to come to an understanding of what he is.
Grace, however, is not something that comes to him
at rare, random moments –
it is the very thing he is now experiencing …
as he feels the frustration of the unnatural limitations he has taken on,
senses the truth of expansiveness,
and makes the conscious effort to not only see what is untrue
but discover and trust what he senses is true.
I see effort as grace.
And sometimes, grace as effort.
Effort is the grace of Love at work -
Love clarifying Its understanding of Itself.
Even while earthbound, as the eagle senses his expansiveness
he begins to lift his head, feel his body a bit differently,
spread his wings a little more,
get acclimated to the warmth of the sun in places he never felt it
and then gradually,
ever so gradually,
get a sense of flying … and then soaring.
Grace and effort are the two hands of Love -
and sometimes it's impossible to tell which is which.
It is all very simple. Instead of seeing things imagined, learn to see them as they are. When you can see everything as it is, you will also see yourself as you are. It is like cleansing a mirror. The same mirror that shows you the world as it is, will also show you your own face."