Clear Mind, Open Heart, Transparent Body
“There is no end to the depth of this freedom.” I remember hearing Gangaji say that many years ago. It felt intuitively true. But I have to admit that, on some level, I wanted there to be an end to the depth of freedom. Her words sounded almost like a life sentence, as if I would always be seeking new levels or depths. But she didn’t mean that at all. It was the seeker in me, hearing her words through the filter of the ego mind. To the ego, everything is a game of time where the final reward is like some pot of gold at the end of that game. I came to find out that there is no pot of gold, there is no game and there is no time. That’s precisely when her words came to life in me. She was really talking about deepening, not seeking. Deepening is an entirely different matter. There is no seeking in it. It’s like consenting to the inevitable movement of freedom, which seems to have certain milestones along the way but that has no end in sight. Life is movement. Constant movement. Even as the stillness in the midst of life is recognized, the movement keeps on moving, perhaps more fluidly than ever.
“End” is a funny word to me now. The end of seeking. The end of your world. The end of life. The end of thought. The end of time. But the deepening has no end because life has no end. If there is an end, it is more like the end of thinking there is an end. An end assumes a final point where one is finally something, or finally nothing, or where one has achieved a certain state or statelessness. The poetry of enlightenment can sometimes be read to make enlightenment into the final ending point of something. But as the deepening continues, the mind gets clearer and emptier, less and less hung up on the old patterns of thinking including the pattern of thinking of life as if it has an end. It’s the end of thinking of death as an end. It’s the end of thinking that the ego comes to an end, for the ego is seen to be nothing more than the movement of life itself with millions of different patterns to it. Some ego patterns fall away. Some take a little more time to fall away. But even as most of those egoic patterns fall away, the ego itself is seen to be movement, not a thing that ends. It was never born and therefore it never ends. This is what makes the mind so clear. It is clear even in the midst of movement. It is still even as thinking arises and falls. Even the idea that there is a mind arises and falls.
In the deepening, the heart does seem to open. But as it does, one starts to see that it also has no end. This is because there really is no heart. It’s a concept that arises and falls. And as the concepts about love, relationship and heart fall away, the expansiveness of love feels endless. Love is seen not to be a thing, but rather a seeing that things have no boundary, no solidity to them. I am you and you are me. I am the tree, the earth, the sky and those things are me. The heart is seen to have no boundary and no solidity. So it stops seeming as if the heart is something that opens. It is not a container. You will not see yourself as a heart that is fully open. That concept will fall away also. Only a thing can open. What really happens is that all that psychic sediment contained in the heart area that once made you feel separate begins to dissolve, leaving no sense of contraction there. And in that dissolving, there is an openness without end. Possessiveness, hurt, rejection and longing dissolve along with that contraction. And so the stickiness of relationship dissolves. Even as the contraction seems to have totally dissolved, it does not feel like an “end” – for life is constant movement. In the next movement of life, the next laugh, the next cry, a deeper openness to life can be realized.
The body begins to feel transparent. All the other contractions begin to dissolve – in the throat, the stomach, the pelvic area and the root. And as that sediment disperses into the light, it can feel as if the body is light itself. But that light has no beginning and therefore no end. The light is neither inside or outside of you. There is no boundary to it. It reaches into the deepest caverns of your inner being and into the farthest reaches of the universe. And just when you think you are fully embodied, life moves again, showing you yet another pocket of that sediment, which can then dissolve into the light. If you think you are fully embodied, go spend time in some uncomfortable or fearful situation that you would rather avoid. Go spend time with family. Visit the funeral of a loved one. Call up an old lover. Let the movement of life move into your experience even more deeply. Life has this magnificent way of showing you that there is no end to this deepening.
So is that the end? Is the end when the mind is clear, the heart is open and the body is transparent? No, at that point you are like a newborn, ready to live life all over again in the next moment. The next moment is simply another opportunity to live, to breathe, to think, to rest, to feel, to awaken to the freshness of this moment, to discover why you are here in this moment. And as each moment is a death, each moment is also a rebirth. There is no end in sight. In that way, you were never born. You never die. “You” is a thought that arises and falls.
You never find the beginning of life, and so you never find its end.
At the point of physical death, the last breath may be taken, the last pain felt. But life does not end. It merely moves into yet another form. Since you were never this self, this body, this form, this heart, or this mind, you don’t die. You don’t end. You are life. Life is constant movement. A clear mind, open heart and transparent body is merely the way to allow the movement of life to be itself, without end.