At some point, we all experience a degree of anxiety and stress that robs us of the quality of life we truly seek. In our fast-paced society, we work and socialize with people who possess different degrees of tolerance and temperance, putting us directly in the path of encounters that are not always favorable. How do we live peacefully when our lives seemingly dwell in the eyewalls of ferocious storms or when our homes seem to be invaded by uncaged, untamed creatures, those that dwell in both our physical and psychological spaces? Well, I am learning every day about how to enjoy a wholesome life in the absence of stress, even when it seems unavoidable.
To do so, I am applying the teachings of Nisargadatta Maharaj, a guru who believed that “the only thing which is real is that which cannot be changed.” Those simple yet profound words taught me that all life’s stresses, as real as they may seem, and the circumstances that cause them are in fact changeable and pass with time. This realization led me to begin focusing on the “unrealness” of every situation, which ultimately caused me to be less anxious. Most times, when I applied this approach, I found myself on a large freeway to peace.
However, to maintain that constant awareness, that idea of living in absolute consciousness meant not attaching myself to the realities that exist around me. It almost meant that my focus would have to undergo a paradigm shift from a sense of just living routinely and mundanely to a sense of a greater awareness; that “I Am” a stew of potent paradoxes, so powerful yet humble; strong yet meek, great yet small, because of a superior power within me, the same omnipresence and omnipotent power that exists in the universe. With his greater awareness, I no longer became a hostage to chronic stress because “awareness” taught me that operating in my finite self, my mind and body, which absorb all the stresses of life and have many limitations, was the direct result of my own ego. But when I operated in a higher consciousness, I was operating under absolute wisdom and absolute truth, which taught me that even my perceived stresses were just illusions—things that can be changed; the “unreal” things, as Nisargadatta calls them.
Therefore, even in the hustle and bustle of big city life, I continue to see the triple consciousness in me—the idea of mind, body, and soul—and because the soul is the only infinite energy within me, the only thing that is unchangeable, my focus is to advance toward a greater spiritual renaissance and awakening—to be able to better connect with my spirit. Such would allow me to place less emphasis on some of the things that channel through my thoughts and thus adversely affect my body. Accordingly, I must constantly remember to remain still during meditation and be mindful of my thought processes. In these moments of spiritual renaissance, I am reminded of how minute I am in the grand scheme of things, and that nothing in the universe is really an accident. At those times, I reject the idea of cause and effect and find comfort that the higher consciousness of which I am a part has designed the blueprints for the life I am living and the life to come. At those peaceful moments, I surrender all that I am before the “Great I Am” so I can experience peace because I know “that everything works out eventually for the good of those who live and acknowledge a greater consciousness”.
In those moments of reflection, I call that which is as it is my frail Mind, which creates a dark abyss that forgets the horizon exists; my Body which is only a house, a finite shell for that which is greater; and the Soul—that which simply does not change and goes back to its creator, the source of love and grace. It is in this sphere of love that everything and everyone around me is perfect. And the stresses? Well, as real as they may seem, they are only illusions that pass with time, with every tick of the clock. They can only balloon and become bigger if I feed them with the energies that come from the deep reservoir where love is abound, where “I AM” pure as I was made to be—free from anxiety and always taking a posture of stillness, which brings peace-unbound to nothing in this world.
By Alene Mathurin