Right Answer

From: Awakening The Buddha Within

by: Lama Surya Das

In life we may keep looking for the right answer, but there is no right answer. Everything is relative rather than absolute. That’s the answer. In meditating we strive to keep going deeper and deeper, peeling off layers of the onion until we find the center of the onion, called sunyata, the Sanskrit term for emptiness.

As we keep peeling and peeling, we begin the process of unmasking our personas. First we unmask the body, then the mind. Then we go deeper and unmask the psyche, continuously letting go and unmasking all the layers. We all have so many masks it’s as though every day in our life has been Halloween. When we remove the masks, we are shedding our fantasies about ourselves, others, and the world. We can see
and be seen. We know and are known. We are.

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Truth is Everywhere

From Awakening to the Sacred

By Lama Surya Das

When I was young, and even more foolish than I am today, I believed that one had to travel far and wide in order to seek truth, divine reality, or whatever you call it. I believed that truth would most likely be found in the world’s so-called sacred places. Yet the fact is that truth is everywhere; it knows no religious, cultural, temporal, or ethnic bounds. Truth is the perfect circle. Its center is everywhere; its circumference stretches into infinite space. The land on which we stand is sacred, no matter where we stand.

The Tao Te Ching says: Without going out of my door I can know all things on earth. Without looking out of my window I can know the ways of heaven.

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Conscious Drifting

Finding the Natural Meditations in Your Own Life

From Awakening to the Sacred

By Lama Surya Das

Natural mind or primordial intelligence informs those moments when we are most true to ourselves. These moments often occur when we are doing something I like to call “conscious drifting.” Conscious drifting helps us get a glimpse of our natural Eden-like state. This is something we already are, not something we have to be injected with or acquire from anyone else.

Here are some examples of conscious drifting: staring at an ocean, lake, pond, river, waterfall, forest, or garden. Surprisingly enough, I think that fishing is for many people an instinctive expression of the human longing for peace, space, alone time, and a natural form of contemplative sweetness. One of my brother’s mathematician friends spends a good part of each evening in the bathtub with a swiveling tray that holds papers filled with scrawled equations over his watery lap. Driving to my local post office, I often see a woman ambling along with her large dog. They both seem very happy. Conscious drifting has nothing to do with shirking responsibility, not to mention thinking or worrying. Quite the opposite. The symbol Thich Nhat Hanh chose for his hermitage at Plum Village in southern France is a hammock, which more than anything else expresses what “drifting” means.

You can drift with others. “Let’s take a walk,” we say to a mate or a friend. Then without a real destination, we head off. “I think there’s a concert in the park. We could listen to some music. Or maybe ride the paddleboats.” Drifting is letting things happen. Letting the mind drift. Sitting in the rocking chair and letting the clouds drift by. The secret inner aspect of this practice is relinquishing control by surrendering and trusting. Everything will be fine; what’s the big deal?

Why is conscious drifting a spiritual practice? Because it helps us connect to our inner being. Our innate aliveness. Just being. To just be for a minute without trying to do anything; this is a spiritual discipline. It helps bring us more into the spirit of the moment-a spontaneous expression of oneness. We are in the right place at the right time. We can afford to just be there and enjoy it. Nothing special is required.

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