“We don’t reach home, we don’t find home, we don’t even come home, we are already Home, and always have been, and all things come to rest in the vast home that we are.” – Jeff Foster
No matter how life is appearing, there’s always a stable foundation of stillness and peace here. This background of knowing and relaxation has been given many names; many have tried to capture and express it. It is mysterious, yet it’s what we know most intimately and obviously. It cannot be owed or cultivated; it’s simply what we are. Our inherent nature…Life.
We’ve started calling this background ‘abiding nature’, because what you are embraces every expression of life, of yourself. To abide means to accept, to remain, and continue. Our true nature is acceptance; it is always at rest, always at home.
At times, we fall into the transitory appearances of life and get lost in all the drama. Life isn’t choosy; life loves all stories, without condition. But when we forget who we are, when we take ourselves to be the things that come and go, we’re bound to suffer to some degree. We feel limited and restricted, separate from the whole of life. It’s only natural that we seek wholeness and completion.
Our Abiding Nature is constant and unmovable, always here. Not realising that, we attempt to access it in a million different ways: through relationships, seeking approval, drugs, being good, being successful, attempting to be unique, attractive, or spiritual … the list is endless.
Despite what we think we need, we just want to come home; to be what we already are.
Humans are creatures of habit. We tend not to question things or inquire into what we take for granted. The me that we take ourselves to be often feels dense, heavy, and permanent. This is because we habitually and innocently ‘bundle up’ our thoughts, images, sensations, and emotions to create a seemingly solid sense of ourselves and the world. We create a universe of things. This ‘velcroing’ (as Scott Kiloby calls it) of the various aspects of Second Nature also creates our suffering.
In reality, what you are doesn’t change or come and go – our Abiding Nature is always here, utterly secure and totally reliable.
As young children, we are aware of this truth. As we grow older, conditioning and intellectualisation seem to obscure it. But we don’t completely forget it. We catch glimpses; a beautiful piece of music, falling in love, a stunning sunset or the birth of a baby. For a few moments, everything just falls away and we feel at one, connected. Listening to someone talk about this in a meeting can also be transformative, as can facilitated inquiry.
“Each time you meet an old emotional pattern with presence, your awakening to truth can deepen.” – Tara Brach
We invite you to an exploration of this present and timeless moment.
When the transparency and looseness of Second Nature is seen and allowed to be as it is, we start to relax naturally; we begin to notice our Abiding Nature. This is a seeing, not a self-improving. The stillness and peace reveals itself naturally as we see through the sense of “me.” And within that place of relaxation, all states and feelings, pleasurable or uncomfortable, are allowed.
The Living Inquiries are an exceptionally effective tool for seeing through our beliefs about ourselves, other people, and the world. Developed by author and teacher Scott Kiloby, the inquiries help us shine the light of presence onto aspects of Second Nature and bring about lucidity. The denseness of our unquestioned stories unravels, and we discover that we’re not who we’ve taken ourselves to be.
As Scott (and others) has identified, at the heart of our suffering lies a belief that we are truly separate beings. With that sense of separation comes a sense of deficiency. Each of us has a core deficiency story that colours our experience, particularly in relationship with others. I’m unlovable. I’m unsafe. I’m being punished. I’m not good enough. Whatever the story is, our identity is built upon its foundation. The inquiries give us a way to unravel our stories right back to the core; this is not about replacing a negative belief with its positive opposite – is about seeing beyond opposites.
When the self is looked for with gentleness and keenness, it is unfindable; instead we simply find benign aspects of Second Nature arising and falling. Through inquiry, the rediscovery of our Abiding Nature is possible, and that is the end of suffering. Second Nature can finally come to abide in the limitless capacity that we are, to arise and fall without constriction or judgement.
Whatever challenges or struggles you’re facing, there’s a very good chance that the Living Inquiries will be of some help to you. Whether it’s relationship difficulties, a sense of never being okay in yourself, difficulties with addiction or compulsion, anxiety, or the desire to be at peace, let’s take a look at your experience in this moment.
Just as the waves and the ocean are made of the same water, what you are and what comes and goes in what you are have the same essence. They are ‘not two’.
“I am really enjoying expressing, and playing with, and exploring the paradox of it all. The fact that although I am That that is aware of it all, I am also paradoxically the person in it. I am both, simultaneously. And this doesn’t make sense! It’s not logical that you could be both; that you could be beyond it all and untouched by anything, and yet completely touched, completely blown apart by the intensity of sensation and experience. And I find that fascinating.” – Unmani
Embraced by Life retreats combine inquiry, sharing and being together……you are invited to join us.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.