The mind is a river, ceaselessly flowing, full of life, unexpected turns, and currents that may either guide us toward tranquility or chaos. Every thought, a droplet in the river; every emotion, a ripple across its surface. It's easy to be swept away, to let ourselves be carried off into the current of the river, lost in the ceaseless change we're riding in. Yet, it's our awareness and attention that serves as the anchor, grounding us amidst the flow.
Awareness is the realization that we are not the river, but the observer on the bank. We're not the individual droplets or the ripples, but the constant presence witnessing the scene unfolding. There's no ebb or flow for us, only existence, only observation. We are always here, despite the changing scenery. No coming, no going, no becoming. Just being.
Attention, on the other hand, is our compass needle. It guides us, pointing towards what deserves our focus at the present moment. Like a lighthouse, it illuminates the way in the vast sea of thoughts and perceptions, helping us stay centered, unswayed by the torrents of thoughts and emotions. Are we learning to use it to stick to the here and now, embracing the current moment, guiding our actions and reactions?
As we've journeyed, we've learned that practice isn't about striving for perfection. It's about growth and the constant journey toward understanding. Practice isn't meant to culminate in an ultimate state of perfection but to be a constant, ever-evolving process. Each moment of practice is a step, a breath, a part of the journey. It doesn't make perfect - it creates a deeper, more intimate connection with our own existence.
We are not practitioners. We are the practice itself. The constant interplay of awareness and attention, the ceaseless observation and interaction, the continuous learning and growth - we are all of this and more. And so, we continue to flow with the river, anchored yet unbound, observing yet participating, still yet dynamic, always in the ThisHereNow.
一We Are the Practice Itself