I’m listening to a book right now that a friend recommended to me. In fact, he forwarded a link to the audio book to be sure I couldn’t make any excuses about not listening to it. And since the “credits” in my Audible account have been piling up lately (due to a pretty busy schedule of late), I went ahead and dowloaded the book and I’ve been giving it a listen on some free time and before bed.
The book is called Falling into Grace: Insights on the End of Suffering by Adyshanti. First of all, my favorite thing in audio books is when the author of the book reads their own work. And this is the case with this book, so that is a plus. And I have to say, I was skeptical of the book for a few reasons, not the least of which was because I spent years in the study of meditation and mindfulness to address suffering, and a title like this seemed a bit audacious. But in giving it a try, a theme the author develops over a few chapters started to come into focus more for me. The theme is that the thoughts we have are not actually real things.
Now, I have a lot of thoughts. I have thoughts about food, about exercise, about friends, about justice, about pretty much everything I see around me. And the thoughts of some of the great minds and great artists of time are of enormous value to me, too. Are those imaginings, those works of thought also not real? As it turns out, the author does address some of these things in a way that is helpful, but what I have received from the book has been kind of remarkable, which is why I’m sharing it here.
For the first time in a while, in my waking, non-meditating life, nothing crosses my mind. I have gone long periods with a blank mind. Maybe this is something others readily access or experience and I’m just late to the party. Certainly we have all experienced drivers who seem not to have a lot going on in their mind, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about having a type of waking, conscious nothingness in one’s mind. I’m not even sure yet whether it’s something I care for too much. It’s still remarkable, though.
Because in the silence of my mind of late, my vision is wider. I see the beauty of the island even more crisply. In the silence of my mind of late, the voices that question me about worthiness and acceptability are as silent as all other thoughts. I see the beauty of my own life more fully. And in the silence of my mind of late, I don’t feel loved. I know I am loved, that I am beloved. It’s not even a thought on my mind. So I hope that each of you will know also, that you are loved, that you are beloved, no matter what else happens to cross your mind today.
And may it ever be so,
Rev. T. J.