Say YES to your unfulfillment.
OPEN yourself up.
For about two weeks I’ve been trying to make sense of it: The Headless Buddha.
…It was one of those moments when I was caught up in a spiral of self-doubt and self-flaggelation, when I re-discovered my heart.
In despair I was challenging the youtube-oracle.
I discovered a talk on “The trance of unworthiness” by Tara Brach, a teacher I really value for her compassionate pursuit:
“We can only meet ourselves with compassion,” she concludes the human striving for liberation.
Finally, I’m swallowing the medicine.
Suddenly I’m placing one hand on my heart and one on my belly.
I’m holding myself.
This is when I understand:
My mind deteriorates my self-esteem.
My mind strangles myself with reproaches.
Meeting myself with compassion – that’s the least I can do!
It is that simple.
And so I am lying there on the couch. One hand on my heart and one on my belly. My eyes filled with tears of relief.
I breathe and I cry.
That’s all it takes.
I remember the teachings of yoga I had received.
I let my body do the work.
A couple of moments later: All anxiety vanished.
I find myself going for a short walk.
What happened next still blows my mind:
I’m walking slowly towards the nearby park, contemplating the Buddhist teachings of impermanence – “anicca, anicca, anicca…,” echoing in my head…
When I gaze towards the bushes, suddenly, I see a headless Buddha standing there right at the framing of the sidewalk!
It is one of those decorative candle bearers a lot of people have standing in their bathroom or on the wardrobe.
Its head is accurately positioned where the candle is supposed to shine.
Immediately the omnipresent quote: “If you meet the Buddha, kill him!,” comes to my mind.
What does this quote, apparently firstly stated by Linji Yixuan, signifies?
“Killing the buddha” asserts ‘to quiet all concepts’ – about Buddhism, spirituality and ‘the path’ in general.
It’s about finding the teacher within.
It implies the actualization of emptiness by self-observation and unbiased contemplation.
The next thing I read is the word Kenshō, which is widely translated as “seeing one’s true nature”. Accordingly to Wikipedia it is often used interchangeably with the word satori, which signifies ‘comprehension’ or ‘understanding’.
It is often being mistaken for ‘enlightenment’, but this is not what it is. It is one step on the path, one realization of the non-personal nature of our lives….
I remember the moment on the couch earlier. The moment of surrender that lifted a weight off my shoulder and my chest.
It was the moment when I finally understood that this body is solely a vessel. It’s a precious vessel, because it maneuvers me through my physical experience here on earth.
My mind keeps me in chains, while my body sets me free.
There is so much more to say about that! There are so many terminologies and symbolism to study, but for now that’s all I’m able to share here – my personal encounter with the headless Buddha.
I can see it now clearly unfolding.
My life’s story.
The old voices have faded.
This morning I rediscovered the flame that is burning inside of me.
Calm and beautifully, undisturbed.
It burnt all the way through.
The soft power of the flame is relentless.
I knew it deep down inside.
There is something “more”…
There is a force beyond my perception.
As the conditions get worse, severe weather is impeding the sight, evil forces are dragging my will….
A fundamental strength establishes and executes.
Sudden revelations are the result.
A physical destruction of patterns and control.
This morning it was there: The flame.
Burning and nurturing my wild self.
It’s the clues we get.
There is always a lead.
The universe gives us hints.
It shows us the way at every occasion.
Be a symbol for change.
Be a beacon of transformation.
Be an example.
To appreciate silence one has to know noise.
To find order one has to accept the chaos.
To enter the light one has to befriend darkness.
To know freedom one has to acknowledge restriction.
The one who knows the dark will embody the light.
The one who fathoms confusion will encounter clarity.
The one who lives up to their limitations will grow beyond them.
Do you live your life? Or do you focus on the outcome?
The story of your life is not achievement.
It is not only adventure.
Your story is failure. It is pain. It is taking the wrong path. It is detours. It is twists and turns.
Companionship in one chapter.
Loneliness in the other.
Your story is bravery. It is torture. It is joy.
It is every choice you make.
Your story is unfolding every step of the way.
Only in the aftermath you do understand a part of its meaning.
If you focus on the goal. If you are only attached to the outcome, you will miss the whole point.
Life is in the moments….. The heavy and the light.
Life’s unfolding in ALL moments; in the dark AND in the bright….
All of it makes your story.
And this story is of significance.
You are not here to tell or to judge.
Your story is life itself. It’s us.
Do you take pride in your unworthiness? What would happen if you’d give it up? What would happen to your life if you’d take pride in your story?
I’m standing on Donnersbergerbrücke.
It’s the evening haze of a regular weekday in Munich and it dawns on me that I am EXACTLY where I am supposed to be.
I am not rushing to catch the bus I’m supposed to take.
The sun is painting its last colors on the sky.
I don’t remember the last time I was standing on this bridge.
But what I know is: It is not the same person standing here.
I have changed.
Something inside of me has changed fundamentally.
I felt strangely at home.
At this moment I realize that my shadow is comforting me.
It is my home.
“Just come as you are,” they say.
Okay, here I am.
All of a sudden it is there.
I take pride in my path.
I own my story.
A rush of gratitude fills my eyes….
I grew from the inside and for the first time I really feel that.
I evolved – FROM the inside.
I have done the work. And now I am standing here.
“What’s next?,” my busy mind wants to ask.
Again, I gaze towards the setting sun….
“What if instead of moving forward, i’d move backwards?,” my busy mind itself countered with an open question.
I can’t sow endless seeds.
Now is the moment that I finally understand that rest is AS important as progress.
Digesting what is instead of preparing a new meal.
Clearing the debris instead of building anew.
Integrating what happened instead of initiating something else.
I can’t sow endless seeds, no, but I can praise the garden that is growing inside of me, in front of me, around me…
I don’t know how I could not get it earlier, but it does not matter.
On a random day, in stillness, I recovered the beauty of my life.
For too long I witnessed it within myself and in others…
We are pushing so hard to move forward. We are aiming for one dimensional progress. The thing is that progress is not one dimensional.
It’s round and whole.
It’s the yin and the yang. The animation and the integration are both equally important.
Growth is the integration of what is.
Growth is not only about harvesting the fruits, it’s about ploughing the land, fertilizing the dirt, and preparing for the upcoming season…
Personal growth is the care-taking of our internal motherland….
In some years maybe the harvest is not what we expected it to be. It is not as lush, as fruitful, or as delicious.
Some years we can only use it for compost. To fertilize the new ground in front of us.
Here we go 2023.
It’s the reversed resolutions…
Sometimes what we thought would be the salvation is our defeat.
Sometimes our highest highs lead down to our lowest lows.
Sometimes a downward spiral turns out to be our way home.
Sometimes when we are close to death we feel the most alive.
Sometimes by losing everything we ever had we gain everything we need.
Sometimes life teaches us devotion when we least expect it.
When the old voices become quieter and quieter.
When the new story is not being told.
This is the time when you step into your creation.
This is the time to act.