Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice

 

Inner Work


For the week of April 3, 2017

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No Center

(Opening to Oneness 7)

Are we centered? In experiencing oneness, are we centered or is there no center? In exploring these questions, we look at three levels: being lost, being centered, and having no center.

Being lost means living by habit on autopilot, with no one at home, half-aware, passively falling through life, and out of touch. When we are inwardly lost, we are not directing our attention but letting it be drawn haphazardly by whatever happens along, including following random trains of thought passing through our mind.

Centered is the usual view of what presence is. Here I am. I feel that I am here, I am in my body, I am the person that has my name. I am the thinker of my thoughts, the seer of what I see, the witness of what I notice. I feel that I am the one who is doing all that I do. I am centered here in my self. This state of centered presence is a huge step forward from being lost underneath our life. Much of our inner work leads toward centered presence.

The state of no center is yet a step beyond centered presence into oneness. Our ordinary perceptions appear to come from a center. For example, we see from the perspective of our eyes, we hear from the perspective of our ears, and we sense through our body. Our center is our body, or in our body. The thoughts we hear are in our own head. The emotions we feel are in our own chest.

But the awareness behind all this, the pure conscious screen receiving all these sensory perceptions is unbounded, not centered in our body, or equivalently, centered everywhere. It is infinite. It does not stop at the boundaries of our skin. In this way, we are everywhere and everything, the great wholeness.

This truer presence touches oneness. It has no center. The ordinary notion of presence is that I am centered here, you are centered there, and we are separate. When we come into consciousness, knowingly, and see the unbounded nature of awareness, we also begin to see through the illusion of separateness. In this higher presence, we all participate in the same consciousness, in the one, seamless field of consciousness, with no particular or privileged center.

Our perception of our body and its perspective as the center of sensory impressions remains. But that is no longer the whole story. We enter a vastly wider world, which includes everything. Our body with its perspective becomes one unprivileged drop in the great and wonderful ocean of reality. We find we do not need a center. We find that our inner center is everywhere, just as physics has discovered about the great universe.

For this week, expand your center.


     

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