Resting in the Perfection


Yoga

Photo from Stock.Xchng

by Bruce Sanguin

This posting originally appeared on Bruce Sanguin’s blog IfDarwinPrayed.com. Visit his blog for more postings, webinars, and podcasts on Evolutionary Christianity.

This practice originates in Buddhism. It feels right to me that there is an abiding perfection (completeness) in this and every moment. From one perspective this seems preposterous. How can we talk about perfection in a world or in one’s own life when a pretty solid case can be made for it all looking more like a train wreck waiting to happen? There is so much suffering and pain. It’s not easy to hold both possibilities simultaneously.

The biblical equivalent to this teaching is Jesus’ admonition to his disciples:

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! 25 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 26 If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. (Luke 12).

Resting in the perfection can be experienced as a state of consciousness in which there is nothing to do and no place to go. It is the unborn and deathless Self, an infinite spaciousness and peacefulness, before the “strangeness” of separative consciousness descended upon us. Most of us have tasted into this state, in which where there is nothing to worry about, no past to haunt us, no future to plan for. It is timeless, pre-time, pre-space, pre-movement, and indeed, profoundly restful.

This condition is available at any moment, in meditation, but also in the daily routine of our lives. The primordial beauty of nature, for example, impresses itself upon us, stunning us into a reverie, apprehending us with an urgency to organize our personal and collective lives according to the imperative of devotion. Again, in the arms of a lover, boundaries between “self” and other temporarily dissolves and we feel ourselves to be this flow of interacting energies, in some kind of synchronized perfection that transcends the rational mind. “This is perfect” we hear ourselves saying, and what it means is that in this moment, the universe has completed itself in love.

But I also experience the paradox that there is a kind of perfection in the realization of the imperfection of my life. At any given moment, I can awaken to the truth that the universe has organized itself to mirror back to me the truth of my life. When I was doing hot yoga, the front of the room was always wall-to-wall mirrors. The teaching is that you want to see yourself clearly. You want to see how and where your body is restricted. No looking away from your life. There you are. What are you going to do with yourself? No hiding. Just watch what comes up. Great practice. The world as it is perfectly mirrors our personal and collective lives. The only question is whether we’re ready to see.

Every moment then is a teaching—an opportunity to witness how we are being lived, and how the movement of our bodies and the movement of our living syncs up with what is wanting to be born in, through, and as us—or how we are out of sync. And whether we are in sync or out, it’s all just information. Judgment is replaced by curiosity and radical self-acceptance. To be in this process of being completed, with clear intention, is to be in the perfection of the life process itself.

Face it, feel it, integrate it, and move with it. This is what Thomas Hubl calls the “competency of becoming”. Just don’t look away from what is obvious. Nothing is hidden. The whole of it arrives in every moment to heal us and move us forward.

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture,

still, treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out

for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,

meet them at the door laughing,

and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond

—Rumi

To “rest” in this perfection is not passive acquiescence in the face of personal and planetary crises. Rather, it is grounding our desire to repair, restore, and renew within a non-anxious presence. We orient from the deep truth of our identity as the presence of the process itself finding Her/His/It’s way through us. The witness of our equanimity becomes the most effective instrument of allurement toward the integrity we seek. Neither does resting in perfection diminish the sense of urgency. Rather we contend with ignorance and blindness, in ourselves and others, with compassion, patience and trust. We cannot force the transformation. By becoming the beauty that is seeking us and for which we yearn, we cooperate with and amplify the life process with a restful, non-coercive urgency that is a far more effective and efficient catalyst.

Bruce Sanguin is a minister serving Canadian Memorial United Church in Vancouver, BC. Bruce is passionate about raising public awareness that there is a form of Christianity beyond the belief-based, biblical literalism that is associated with traditional “church.” In 2011, If Darwin Prayed: Prayers for Evolutionary Mystics, won an IPPY gold medal for best spiritual and inspirational book. His most recent book is The Advance of Love: Reading the Bible with an Evolutionary Heart.

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Categories: Bruce Sanguin, Embodiment, Featured, Inspiration and Meditation, People, Self-Help, Spiritual Growth

Author:Wood Lake Publishing

At Wood Lake Publishing we are passionate about supporting and encouraging an emerging form of Christianity, which is rooted in ancient wisdom and attentive to the movement of spirit in our day. Visit us online at woodlakebooks.com

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