Practical Advaita - A Story

Last night I was out with a friend.  We had a fantastic dinner and a long, long conversation.  At one point, we were talking about a personal situation (of "mine") and she was telling me that she felt sad for me, because she felt that I needed to change this certain situation.  All I could say was that I saw no problem, even though intellectually, of course I could see her point.  In fact, just months ago, I had "felt" from time to time exactly as she did now.  

I found myself agreeing with everything she said, at the same time expressing that my experience was peace around this situation.  She didn't believe me, kept asking if I was being honest with her.  I could understand why!  :-))  But I assured her that I was.  
And the funny thing was that I wanted her to convince me of the "wrongness" of the situation, I was trying hard to find that place of judgement, fear, worry, and dissatisfaction inside.

Couldn't do it.  

The more she grilled me, asking deep, confrontational questions (I wanted her to, she was not being unkind at all), the more peace I felt.  In short, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't find a problem.  I could see clearly how it appeared to others, and how it had often appeared to me!  But, no dice.  I couldn't get there - to that place of "this is not good, I need to do something."  There just wasn't any belief in the thoughts that were arising, even though they were seen clearly, understood, accepted.

After a while, my friend commented that if I was at peace with the situation, I would never get out of it.  In other words, it takes suffering to make change.  
Well, that may be true.....sometimes.....but who knows?  In that moment there was no need for anything to change, and yet, there was a complete openness to change, too.  No resistance to what was being expressed, no defending "myself." No need even for understanding. Nothing stuck, everything passed through well-being.  

Changing the situation seemed a funny proposition, because not only did I feel no need whatsoever to do so, I knew that there was no one who could.  The situation will change exactly when/if it is supposed to, without any effect whatsoever on what I am.

Of course, none of this happened to "me."  And now, it's only a story of a past....did anything really happen besides peace and well-being?  Is anything ever happening besides That?


Peter said...

Thanks Mary, this story speaks to many situations. As I scan the blogosphere, can't help but notice (and return to) sites like The Automatic Earth, that provide a detailed analysis(and a good education for my human, intellectually curious side) of this dream as it becomes nightmare. (Economic collapse in this case) More and more the "personal" is meeting the societal, as I inquire beyond my personal story, and consider that this may be another aspect of humanity's raising consciousness, a shared awakening in the dream.
Do you ponder such things?


Mary said...

Hi Peter,
Well, pondering does happen sometimes ;-) It does seem that (in the dream) there are a lot of people "waking up" for example....yay!! But of course, we know that this is not really the case at all. No one here to wake up....just Oneness, expressing...boggles the "mind!" It's an interesting story we tell, though, isn't it?


Ron Marson said...

Wow Mary! Sounds like freedom to me.

Moral responsibility seems required only when "one" identifies as a separate independent entity.

In the last stages of identification, one might feel like a wooden puppet, bereft of will, floating down a mighty river to the ocean.

Beyond identification, one might feel like God's mighty wooden puppet, with no separation between thought and action in obeying Her commands, right down to scratching one's nose, or saying something really stupid and feeling embarrassed. Anything is possible after understanding, just like before understanding. But as you say, there just isn't any more fear and worry. Nothing seems wrong any more. Nothing feels stuck.

Thanks for that lovely post.

Mary said...

Beautifully said, Ron! Thanks for writing!


Maury said...

Mary, not only do you express non duality well, but poetically as well. A very deep well, nowhere to be found.


Glad I found nowhere and found you there.


Gareth Jones said...

There is something about this post which resonates with me. I sometimes feel that if I wanted to 'get on' in the world more then I would need to acknowledge the negative more or suffer some more , and that being ok with things as they are is laziness or a sure way to stay in a rut. But then it all seems such a torture to always be striving for happiness in the future when all my failings will be put right. And sometimes it is seen that there never could be anything better than this very moment, this amazing and peaceful being-ness. If it is all here for me now and I don't need tomorrow to be 'better than this' then I guess that tomorrow has no pressure on it to provide anything and it's exciting to see what it may bring.

Mary said...

Hi Gareth,
Thank you for commenting, I really like what you wrote here, you express yourself beautifully.


Ernie said...

Miss Mary: What a lovely clear example of oness vs duality.

Thank you so much for sharing.

Mary said...

My pleasure, Ernie, thank you for visiting the blog!