Life Is the Teacher and Love Is the Lesson
Every movement of my body was integrated as I experienced a moment of complete stillness at the apex of my jump. With arms and hands cocked like a spring in perfect alignment over my head, my torso, legs and feet motionless, my whole sentient awareness was unified in a instant of complete concentration as the ball left my fingers with smooth a flip of my wrists creating the perfect backwards rotation on the ball. As I came down and landed from my jump, I watched the ball sail in a flawless arc and float through the hoop to make a satisfying swish as it hit nothing but net. It was 5:30 am in the morning, and I was at the gym before work getting some time in by myself on the basketball court. This was my meditation, another way to find the stillness within through the act of complete concentration on the court while listening to U2's song “Pride In the Name of Love” pulsing through my headphones.
While a regular prayer and meditation practice to access and find the stillness within is important, life is the real meditation and every moment is another opportunity to be fully present in the moment and tuned into the awareness of Love’s presence. I'm not always aligned and in the flow and I often loose my focus. However, every moment is an opportunity to call myself to center, and whether the ball makes it in the hoop or not is an indication of my state of awareness and reveals the quality of my concentration in the moment. By the same token, all the results in my life are always giving me the perfect feedback to let me know whether or not my awareness and attention is fully centered or not. Am I fully present in the here and now or is my ego chattering, worried about my life concerns or wondering if the people lifting the weights or running on the treadmill are looking my way or not.
Every second in my life is an opportunity to choose based on my truth or based on fear. Every moment is potentially a meditation if I bring my full presence and awareness to my life situations. Every conversation, every interaction with others and every act I do is an indication of the level of focus I bring to each moment and the results in my life give me a good indication of the the state of my awareness and focus or on the lack of it.
Life is your meditation, and life can be your constant teacher if you are willing to fully own the results and the impact that every thought, every emotion and every action has on your life. This awareness and pure focus on the present moment is the true nature of mindfulness. You may not know the right thing to do tomorrow, in an hour, or even in five minutes, but you will always know the right thing to do right now when you recognize and release your fear-based thinking and become fully present in the present moment.
All suffering is either anticipated or remembered, but never experienced in the present moment. The more present you are in the now, the more your suffering disappears and the awareness of the presence of overwhelming love becomes more insistent, more alive and more real. This love then begins to influence your every action, your every thought and your every emotion and you enter the flow more easily and more consistently until all your decisions from the big life choices to the moment to moment choices about your thoughts and emotions become more aligned with your source and your life becomes more and more an expression of the Divine.
Will you allow others behavior, your past, your current life situations, the politics of our nation or any other external condition to hold your emotions and your happiness hostage? You are made in the image of the Divine, and when you begin to realize this truth, then you start to more effectively impact the conditions and situations around you that seem so difficult and insurmountable.
The more you repeat the patterns and cycles of conflict in your life, you begin to realize that your one job is to learn to face and release your fears and become more and more centered in the here and now where the awareness of love’s presence becomes the foundation of your decision making process and becomes the center point of your conscious awareness. You can be a force of nature that makes a positive difference when you release your fears and embrace this authentic Self. To quote Martin Luther King, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” When you allow the light of your true nature to shine, then the limiting conditions and circumstances of your life begin to fade and the results you are working for become more achievable.
My relationship with the hoop is my relationship to life. When I’m playing basketball, I’m not focusing on the hoop, but I’m aligned with the empty space inside the hoop. Whether I am counseling with clients, getting my daily tasks done or hanging out with family and friends, when I am in the flow, I am aligned with the quiet clarity and silence of the intuitive knowing of the Divine presence welling up from the depths of my consciousness.
God’s call to us will always seem to be a sort of silence, because his language is not what we expect. Allow your life to become more and more an expression of the Divine. Let each day become another opportunity to release ego by allowing life to be your teacher. Learn from your life experience and embrace the exquisite beauty of every moment of your life.