I feel and experience within myself an essence. It is composed of awareness and a strong sense of compassion and loving-kindness towards all living beings. It is that part of me that begins to tear up when I see a person or persons giving to those who are suffering and in need. This essence is experienced as a sense of being, which impacts my behaviour. There is a sense of when to speak, when to be silent, how to relate to what is happening … this, all within an atmosphere of compassion and caring for others.
This essence feels like a source of healing. It lacks reactivity and craving. When I am not in this space, I become aware of my sense of reactiveness and I am brought back into the now. My essence returns me to being aware, compassionate and loving. I find that my awareness grows the more that I experience this connection with my essence.
Any conceptual explanation of what is taking place within me is an egoic attempt to explain a spiritual experience. In Christianity, what I am describing is often referred to as experiencing ‘the Christ within us.’ In Buddhism, it is referred to as experiencing the ‘Buddha within us.’ My sense is that any attempt to define such an experience is beyond our ability to do so, at this time.
It seems to me that this essence is a true aspect of what our humanity is at its very core. If we are able to be aware of its place in our lives, our awareness allows us to see this difference between reacting due to needing to fill our inner void, and our capacity to express compassion towards ourselves and others. We, then, are able to live and share ourselves with our human family in a healing process that transcends our isolation from ourselves and one another.
I have found that by being in the present moment and by following my ‘path with heart,’ that which is due to find me connects with where I am. What it is that I need presents itself. It is as if by being one with ourselves in the present moment, we become one with the universe’s natural order of being, itself.
I want to thank Rick Hanson, Ph.D. and his work with the Neuro Dharma. I also, want to thank John Muir Laws for his work with Nature Journaling. Both of these individuals have contributed importantly to this article.
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