12/29/2012

Nothing Doing


There is no one outside the great Verb, doing it. It's just happening. Planets around suns, suns around galactic voids, galaxies spiraling with countless other galaxies: where is the dancer separate from the dance?

If there is no cosmic do-er, why imagine that there is a do-er in me?

Is this not the irony of our experience? When we are fully in the dance, doing what we love in the zone of peak achievement, the do-er vanishes, and we feel a profound stillness at the heart of whirling?

To un-do the do-er is the most creative act.

No action is insignificant, and no action more significant than another. If I am truly awake, to bake bread for my children and wipe a little bottom, or play baseball with a kid whose father has gone off for his third tour of combat, or walk quietly in the woods, giving thanks for golden photons in a green chalice of leaves, uplifts the world as surely as any peace march, occupy movement, or 'social action.'

Perhaps the deepest form of social action is simply to be awake.

When the heart is alive, the smallest task becomes for us a rite of passage from earth to heaven, and a portal from heaven to earth for the angels.

Only the ignorant say, 'I am an activist,' regarding their good works in higher esteem than the action of common people. Political activism is no more noble than the humble duty of family support, or singing a song, or planting a crop of turnips. When awareness is open and clear as the sky, the light of grace bathes our most ordinary acts. The anonymous sacraments of the commonplace can flood the earth with love.

In Ramana Maharshi's words, 'The real Self is waiting there to take you in. Then whatever is done is done by something else and you have no hand in it.'

Action happens. No one does it, and no one can avoid it. One cannot stop breathing, or beating one's heart. We must eat and keep warm, chop wood and carry water. Yet there is no sense that 'I do' any of this. Here, a great misunderstanding has arisen. It is not 'I' who dissolves, but my sense of do-ership. 'I' remain as the Witness.

Renunciation does not mean refraining from action. It means giving up the claim of do-ership. When I am no longer the do-er, action flows through me innocently, with fresh new life, never one moment old. But when accompanied by an illusory 'do-er,' who only exists as a ghost of thought, my action is the repetition of past thoughts, beliefs and desires, mere karmic momentum.

In every situation, even in the hectic marketplace, our one and only duty is to choose, and the choice is always the same: Do-ership or Surrender. Do I claim to be the creator of the flow, or let it pour as a libation from the still well of Presence?

To offer everything that happens, as it happens, is sanity. Insanity is imagining oneself to be the do-er.

I float on a stream: not an actor or achiever, nor a mover nor a shaker. Any role I play in this drama is just a thought in my head. My real power is not action, but choice. I choose which stream to float on.

Shall I be a leaf on the stream of karma, trapped in the circling eddy of past causes? Or shall I surrender to waves of divine love, that carry me over the ocean of grace from stillness to stillness?

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