Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice

 

Inner Work


For the week of July 20, 2009

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Spaciousness, Peace and Equanimity

(Part 4 of 9 in the series: Stages of Becoming Conscious)

In letting go and allowing all to be as it is, we develop equanimity and peace. In opening to the conscious energy, we touch the spacious stillness of consciousness. Thus, meditatively abiding in consciousness deepens our non-identification and ushers us into a world of spaciousness, peace, and equanimity. These are the hallmarks by which consciousness announces itself to us, especially in sitting meditation. But even in the midst of activity, once we have learned the way of sensing our presence and letting go into the cognizant stillness that surrounds us, we may enter consciousness. We can be in spaciousness, peace, and equanimity while we go about our daily doings.

Inner spaciousness derives from the vastness of consciousness without boundaries. Like being on a mountaintop, this big-sky mind enjoys an unobstructed view in every direction, an expansive perspective on the unalloyed background of all experience. With no boundaries between inside and outside, we enter an open and undivided field of awareness. Thoughts no longer bounce off the narrow walls of our mind to attract our attention, but instead dissipate into the distance, leaving us in quiet joy and contentment. In this unlimited inner space, we have no need or desire to stake out territory and call it mine.

Inner peace derives from the timeless quality of consciousness. In the vastness of pure consciousness, nothing happens. Consciousness is. Time disappears, replaced by the timeless wonder of eternity. In our practice of presence, however, where sensitive awareness is superimposed on consciousness, time and eternity coexist. Events happen, but in the context of timeless consciousness, eternity imparts its inherent flavor of peace throughout. We can just be, without feeling driven to do anything. However, if we so choose, we can do what we wish to do while inwardly staying in touch with the deep, still pool of peace that is consciousness.

Equanimity grows as we realize that consciousness is not centered in us, in any particular person or self: no exclusivity and no preferred viewpoint. No one can truthfully say “this is my consciousness” for consciousness has no center. This opens us to a particular type of unity with others, the unity of shared consciousness. In consciousness we learn to step beyond the narrow confines of self-centeredness. If I am not my personality and not my ego, then I can relax into equanimity and stop trying to impose my narrow will on life. I can stop desperately grasping at what I want and avoiding what I do not want.

So the qualities of spaciousness, peace, and equanimity exemplify some of the benefits and characteristics of consciousness. For this week, allow these qualities to guide you deeper into the experience of consciousness.


     

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