Today is eternity.
In eternity there is only awareness, awareness of the infinite, that which is beyond description, awareness of the finite, that which we can describe but not necessarily understand. The infinite is the unknowable. The finite is what appears to be known. But ultimately the finite, the world, that which we believe we understand, is, in my opinion, as mysterious as the infinite is. When we meditate, we experience the infinite. We go beyond time and space and condition and we experience the mystery for which there are no words. We experience more of that according to our awareness.
The pathway to enlightenment leads us to see that we are luminous beings - mysterious, unknowable, unfathomable. Yet, there is a pathway. There is a journey that we feel we can understand, but we can't. We can only witness it and observe it and be awed by it.
Over the years, I myself have witnessed eternity. And I continue to in many, many different ways. There is no end to our realization, and there is no end to perfection. Ultimately, we're just confronted by the wonder of it all - beyond reason, beyond morality, beyond rationality. Try as we will, we are confounded by life itself. While we invent splendid ways to frustrate ourselves and we make a knot that appears to be very hard to unravel, which we call our lives, life itself unravels it. Life ultimately puts all the loose ends together, rounds and shapes everything perfectly, effortlessly. We have much to learn from life. This is the study of meditation.
My own experience is neither typical nor atypical. I was born into this world without knowing why. I grew up, lived, experienced, and was always drawn to beauty, to light, to eternity. I've never been able to separate the finite from the infinite. I find eternity is as present in a flower or a person, in the sunshine, in the rain, in pain and health, in all of the humanness, as in nirvana. The way I follow and the way that I describe and guide, as a teacher, is this way - to realize eternity in the moment and beyond the moment, to balance the beautiful incongruities that our mind invents, to be both beyond and within.
We don't really have to do this. It just is. You might say we're just trying to perceive our "is-ness." There's really not much more. The ways are specific. The methods make no sense. The techniques are numerous. But ultimately, everything is done for us.
Today is the summer solstice. In this world, it is the day of the greatest light. We celebrate the summer solstice because we celebrate light. We celebrate the winter solstice because we celebrate night also - night not being connected with evil, light not being connected with good. Both light and dark are eternity. Human beings assign relative values to colors, but beyond the relative, there just is - what in Zen we call suchness.
I find the path circuitous and unusual. At a very early age, I was attracted to light, as most children are. I grew up in a world that seemed very complex. I watched people dreaming their lives. Even when I was very, very young - four, five, six - I could see inside people, their motives, their dreams, their apprehension of reality. This awareness has always been there for me. The ability to see has always been a native talent, I suppose.
I've gone through many steps and stages in my own spiritual development. They appear to be neither typical nor atypical. They just were, or are. And yet they're all a dream, and they fade upon waking in eternity, in nirvana.
I've always found God in love; in selfless giving; in art; in literature and poetry; in people, the people of the world; in plants; in nature and in the sky and beyond. It's always seemed very simple to me. There is light and there is form, and they play together. So when I was very young, it was very clear. The way was apparent.