The Only Thing That Is Constant

‘The only thing that is constant is change.’ ~ Heraclitus

Change of all perceivable things is inevitable. As Heraclitus said, up becomes down, in becomes out, day becomes night. But to say that the only thing that is constant is change is not quite accurate.

Stop for a minute and notice your experience. Notice that your thoughts are always changing, your sensations and feelings are always changing, the sights, sounds, tastes, textures, and smells of the world are always changing. Yes, there is continuous change, but when you look deeply at your experience you discover that change is not the constant.

Ask yourself, what knows change? What is it that is aware of the change in all objective experience? Change is constantly happening, but by its very definition change itself is not constant. Isn’t something that is constant unchanging?

There is an unchanging element to all experience. What is it?

Who or what is it that notices anything? Identify that within you that observes the coming and going of all things but doesn’t come and go with them, the constant, unmoving, and unchanging aware presence that is the source of our being, the essence of our being, the background of all experience, the I that knows that I am.

This is it.

Change happens in this aware presence, or awareness, whose very nature is changeless. When is it ever not present? Does any experience affect it? It’s always the same regardless of what happens in the body, mind, and world – it is nameless, placeless, unmoving, all embracing, limitless, and timeless. And how do you find this awareness? By not looking. By not not looking. By simply being, no effort involved. You are because Awareness is.

Once you have identified this unchanging awareness in yourself, in all beings, as there can only be one that is limitless and timeless, and begin to live your life in harmony with this discovery, your essential self is less and less obscured by the ever-changing experiences of the body, mind, and world.

And finally, just as the sun shines brilliantly in the sky whether there are clouds or not, so to will your essential being shine brilliantly regardless of what happens.

And all will be brightened by your presence.

This brings to mind the final verse from the Ten Bulls of Zen:

10 bull.jpeg

Barefooted and naked of breast,

I mingle with the people of the world.

My clothes are ragged and dust-laden,

and I am ever blissful.

I use no magic to extend my life;

Now, before me, the dead trees

become alive.

(http://www.deeshan.com/zen.htm)

Connecting The Dots

Most of us feel a need to connect with others – our loved ones, our peers and neighbors, our community and co-workers, etc. Some of us feel a need to connect on a global scale, to be global citizens, setting aside our preconceptions and dogmas and connecting in some small way with the diverse cultures found around the world. But what actually connects us? Many of us think that it’s our common ideas and beliefs, our deep feelings for this or that, or our shared experiences. On the surface this seems to be the case, but is it?

To feel a need to connect infers that there is a ‘you in here’ to connect to an ‘other out there’. Two separate entities. But when looked at closely, no division can be found between a self and other, an inside or outside, here or there.

We can verify this by looking at our own experience, the only true test of what is real. If we rely on or blindly accept what others tell us we’ll never get the correct answer, never come to the same universal conclusion.

Just as all waves are made of water, all objective experiences, including that of our own body and mind, which includes all thoughts, feelings, sensations, and perceptions, are only made of the knowing of them, the awareness of them.

And does anything come from outside awareness into awareness? Where would this outside be? Can you find any boundaries to your awareness or consciousness, a place where awareness ends and something else begins?

We cannot find any limits to our own awareness because there aren’t any. And the same goes for everyone else on the planet. And this being the case, there can’t be more than one awareness, one consciousness. Therefore, all things must arise in awareness, and it follows that all things must be made of awareness.

There are no dots to connect. It’s not even that we’re already connected. It’s that you, we, I, are manifestations of one indivisible whole. We are all made out of the same stuff, just as all waves are made out of water.

Once this is experienced, understood to be irrefutable fact, all our actions rise from the limitless, unchanging, and indivisible source. And what is the one thing that has these immeasurable qualities?

Love.