Every human being I work with has their attention claimed by the duties and difficulties of life. And yet, how many of you know the abiding peace James Allen speaks of below? To be clear, abiding means enduring, life long and permanent. Do you know this abiding peace now? Is this a permanent state of awareness for you?
The turmoil of the world we cannot avoid, but the disturbances of mind we can overcome. The duties and difficulties of life claim our attention, but we can raise above all anxiety concerning them.
Everyone is surrounded by noise and even so, according to Allen, a quiet mind is available. I used to have dreams of escaping to the Himalayas in search of this abiding state of peace. Now, I am more interested in experiencing a restful heart and abiding peace in the midst of the strife. This is our birthright and available to us all. There is no greater achievement than realising this state within the noise.
Surrounded by noise, we can yet have a quiet mind; involved in responsibilities, the heart can be at rest; in the midst of strife, we can know the abiding peace.
The shadow in psychological terms and in many spiritual paths is seen as the part of the psyche we are not aware of and is usually portrayed as our dark side. My shadow materialised this week when preparing for a public talk. I suddenly became absorbed in a heady cocktail of self-doubt, fear and shame. I had not experienced this once familiar pattern for quite some time and it came as a surprise. It took me out of life and into the mind. I became dead to the world. The abiding peace was out of reach.
The abiding peace is accessed through the body. The body and senses are the gateway. My own perception of the shadow is that it contains any material taking awareness out of the present. Even ‘positive’ characteristic traits belong to the shadow. There is full awareness of some aspects of mind and yet they remain the shadow when there is identification.
We were asked this week during a group call to express our ‘core competencies’. At the start of the call, I became filled with a pulsating energy. It demanded my full attention and was situated in different parts of my being. There was a process happening within that is beyond the knowledge of mind. It was a process beyond any recognition of ‘I’. My conclusion is that the only ‘core competency’ available for me in this world is this energy. This nameless, formless energy, in which there is abiding peace. All else is the shadow and it pales into insignificance compared to its majesty.
The shadow or ego is of the mind. It is very useful and required to create in this material world. Even to create the words arising in this space it is required. Many of the people I work with have created wonderful things in this world. They inspire fellow humans and are shining examples of the power of mind. And yet, many of them seek the abiding peace. They seek the heart being at rest within the heat of the battlefield.
Awareness is the way to abiding peace. Being here fully right now. Every cell of your being filled with pulsating life. Whatever the mechanism of your particular variety of shadow, keep coming back to now. If the abiding peace is unfamiliar to you, seek it. Mind never rests until it is known. Notice what is in your awareness now and follow. Follow the awareness deeper and deeper until there is no mind.
Allen speaks of the quiet mind, available always. The individual shadow dissolves in no-mind. No-mind reveals itself through presence and is beyond the quiet mind. The beauty of my work is that presence awakens something within. Working with beings in this way wakes this up and this journey to abiding peace accelerates. This journey nowhere to the timeless place that always existed and was covered by the shadow.