It’s often hard to remember to be grateful for things that make us uncomfortable, those we refer to as “spiritual opportunities.” This one could be filed under several headings: “It’s not what, it’s how,” “We don’t see it until we see it,” “Hit with just the size 2-by-4 that was needed,” and more.
For several years, I have supported Practice by stewarding a particular program. There have been many experiences that revealed egocentrickarmicconditioning/self-hate, including the tendency to look through the lens of “I have to get it done,” “I have to do it right,” “We’re up against the deadline,” “What do you mean I left something out?”....
But this year we are practicing turning our attention to what we want for our life, to Life itself. We don’t have to wait around for Life to come calling, it is giving us information all the time. As it happened, on a recent morning, I was listening to the Yearlong Retreat radio show, and a caller described how they chose to practice participation. In particular, they mentioned their sense that the universe was indeed a friendly place and that their choice to participate was welcome. They projected that there was a “friendly someone” on the other end receiving their contribution.
In my years as a steward I had never seen this possibility, in fact quite the opposite. As described above, I often fell into old habits of mind. In an AHA! moment I saw that a completely different perspective was available; that I could gratefully welcome what was being offered and be that friendly someone.
In fact, even more profoundly, my participation is welcome in Practice as nowhere else. I show up, Practice welcomes me as I am, and through my choice to practice I have the possibility to see through the karma that keeps me in suffering.
On the radio show, Ashwini and Cheri continued the conversation.
Ashwini: [We see] how much our showing up for Life is not actually mirrored in any way. There’s that notion that if I show up and I’m acknowledged, that’s when I feel like it’s a friendly universe because we’re so often greeted by the negativity of conditioning that we need to be reassured that the universe is friendly. It’s such a spiritual place that my showing up without acknowledgement or validation is a way in which sufficiency is taught to me. Because Life just shows up as Life, and it’s fine and complete in that way. And so we find our sense of being welcomed in ourselves. And then the bonus is when some other node of intelligence says welcome.
Cheri: What you’re describing is, it goes from being all about me to being all for me.