Finding the Faith to Go

When the great mystical poet Rumi was asked: “How should one meditate?” his answer was simple “Close your eyes and surrender.”

Stepping into the unknown

Meditation is a conscious practice of letting go of the mind. It means consciously stepping into the space of which we truly and literally know nothing.

It is a very practical way to enter into the divine mystery, or to understand what may be spoken of as the cloud of the unknown, as it is called in classical literature.

We live in a culture where knowledge trumps almost everything else. Most of us have a strong aversion to the uncertainty and insecurity of our not knowing.

When it comes to matters of importance to use, we feel comfortable only when we know. As soon as we realize that we don’t know, we have a great need for research.

It feels safe to know. Not knowing is a scary and dangerous feeling.

When we meditate, we let go of the mind and enter into the unknown, and this journey from knowing to not knowing requires a deep faith in life because it requires us to relinquish control.

That’s what’s so terrifying about giving up control.

Closing our eyes and surrendering.

Let everything be as it is.

Leap of faith

Without great faith, it is impossible to allow things to be as they are without any attempt to control or manipulate our experience in any way.

What you need to believe is the natural goodness of life.

You should know that it is safe to give up control.

let go

If you don’t feel safe in relinquishing control—if you’re sure you need to defend yourself from life at any rate—then it won’t be possible to relinquish control; it will not be possible to let things be as they are.

If you are not convinced of the inherent goodness of life, there is no point in letting it go.

The great practitioners of all traditions throughout all time agree that it is safe to let go.

However, we still find it incredibly difficult to be a believer, and for good reason. We’ve all hurt, we’ve all seen the pain and suffering of life.

The fact that life is inherently beautiful does not mean that pain and suffering do not exist. This means that despite the presence of pain and suffering, there is an all-encompassing goodness in the entire process of living.

I would ask you to think for yourself: how much do you trust life

Give up control

How ready are you to let go of control?

Why do we think we can avoid pain and suffering through control and manipulation, when the great wisdom of most spiritual traditions tells us that our efforts to manipulate and control are actually the cause of suffering and pain?

Our struggle to control life makes the experience of pain and suffering worse, not better.

Meditation allows us to let go, relinquish control, and discover that life is valid. The universe that gave us life is not out to take us. Although things happen that cause pain and suffering, life is fundamentally good.

Realizing that life is essentially a benevolent process is one way to understand enlightenment. When we see that life is beautiful, we can finally relax to be here.

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