I have often heard from people that after a powerful glimpse of the unimaginable truth of their being, the demons of the past seem to arise more strongly than ever. Rather than the openness and innocence of “What is this now?” the response is often something like, “Why is this bothering me again? Why don’t these things just disappear? What is wrong with me that I don’t experience permanent liberation?”
On one hand there is misery and suffering, and on the other hand innocence and openness. These “hands” are the polarities of mind. True innocence is the innate capacity of the heart to openly meet whatever is appearing when it appears, and to see it truthfully for what it is. I guarantee that most everything is not what it appears to be on the surface, but in order to discover a deeper truth, what appears must be met fully in innocence. Not the learned innocence of “but I’m innocent,” but the natural openness of innocently not knowing.
Innocence is openness
True innocence is the capacity to directly experience what is here right now without any demands that it look, act, or feel differently.
Innocence is openness, the willingness to see and to trust, even if what appears seems absolutely untrustworthy. True innocence is not naiveté, nor is it delusion. However, it involves vulnerability. The willingness to be innocent is the willingness to be hurt. Vulnerability takes more courage than being cynical, strong, or powerful. It takes courage to be open, innocent, and willing to be hurt.
Look into your life and see what stands in the way of fully and permanently realizing the truth of your being. See if perhaps you find the mindset of having it your way, under your terms, not wanting to feel this, or to see that, or to know the deeper truth. Then see if it is actually possible to feel it, to see it, to know it.
What hurt am I unwilling to experience?
As a gateway to the experience of conscious suffering, and as a means of opening to vulnerability and true innocence, you can ask yourself this question: What hurt am I unwilling to experience? Do not look for the “right” spiritual answer, or lie to yourself, but simply open to what this kind of inquiry can reveal. The intention is not to fix or change the hurt, but just to see what is true.
Can you sense the energy it takes to avoid feelings of hurt? Review the ways you try to avoid hurt, what habits of mind you use to avoid it. Be willing to see the repeating patterns and to experience the price you pay for the avoidance, all of the time and energy that you invest in avoidance. Just in this moment, what if you simply open to it all, avoiding nothing, welcoming all?
Love is the teacher
There is a treasure that is the truth of your being and it is saying, “Come in.” Are you willing to trust love rather than your mind’s protection from hurt? If you are willing, then you will taste the possibility of living a life of love and conscious innocence. This is possible for everyone.
Love is the teacher. If you are willing to surrender to love rather than trying to control it, love teaches you who you are.
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