The deepest and most beautiful truths can never be captured in words, so they appear as paradox in language. The value and blessing of a paradox is that it checkmates the mind, stops our logical habitual trains of thought in their tracks!
Being willing to dwell in the paradoxical can return us to the indescribable truth of who we are and point to the very nature of being itself. Perhaps one of the most evocative ways that paradox reveals itself in our lives is being in the moment and at the same time having a sense of path, of direction.
In the practice of mindfulness, we place our heart or our trust in the present moment. At the same time, we have a sense of path, of momentum, of going towards something that is unfolding, leading us towards freedom, not just for ourselves but for the whole world. We hold the paradox of the timelessness of Being and the evolution of Becoming.
Of course, the odd part is, the direction of this path doesn’t take us somewhere else. The usual inclination of the mind is to sight-see, to wander around, to push us to always have somewhere to go. This path leads to here! It always brings us home to right here, home to our heart. It’s not a path to elsewhere.
That’s a tough one to actually take in and realize. We can understand the paradox: that there is actually no conflict between placing our attention on this moment, and knowing we are following a path.
Now, in the 21st century, we are called to shift from an ancient paradigm of enlightenment where the awakened individual is liberated from the imperative to become — to become someone, anyone, more, better, different. Spiritual awakening brings freedom to simply be, free from the insecurity of becoming. Yet, now, for the first time in human history, in order for our planet to remain habitable, we are clearly called to engage consciously and sincerely in the evolution of our world. The world needs both our passionate mystical presence, full-on being here, now — and radical re-visioning of our path, our enlightened becoming, courageously caring for the earth.
The root of the word sincere is actually “one-pointed”. And we can focus in one‑pointed‑ness, be wholehearted, right here with all of who we are, both in meditative being and in moments of committed, creative engagement with the world. This is what meditation and conscious, mindful community is all about.
Image Credit: T. Goodman