What does it mean to come to a stop, to move to a state of allowing? You may think when we are sitting in meditation that we have come to a stop because we are not moving, but what we are really talking about is stillness and quiet. We can actually have stillness and quiet and move at the same time. The stillness we are looking for is the silence of the mind, the relaxation of the body, the surrender of control. We may not be aware of how active we are even when sitting still; our mind is processing, going over problems either from the past or the future, figuring, calculating, ruminating. Our body may be in survival mode, there may be tension and holding, we may be holding ourselves tightly.
The metaphor of dying is used often in spiritual traditions to describe the process of letting go of our identity, giving up being anything that we think and just being what we are. While we are listening to our mind, we are distracted from what is real. If we are afraid to be without our identity, we are afraid to die. We believe that our identity fills in the darkness and blackness of nothingness. We look to our identity to comfort ourselves from feeling that we are nothing. The reality is that the identity is nothing; it is only an idea in our mind and has no reality at all. There is nothing to it. We cannot know who we are through thought. We can only experience it. We cannot experience it while we are distracted.
Giving up the identity, dying to ourselves, does not mean the end and does not mean nothingness or blackness. It is the beginning. It is the experience of truth and light, of richness, beauty, depth and authenticity. We lose nothing when we die to ourselves. We fear a letting go because we made a decision that what was in us was bad or unsafe, dangerous, uncontrolled – based on the response of those around us to our free expression. We are afraid of our own spontaneity, our own creative ability, our own free expression. We are afraid of our uniqueness, our difference, our own special qualities. Yet that is where the fullness of life will be experienced – the depth of love, the exhilaration of connection, oneness and authentic self-expression.
So we must understand and recognize that our fear is from the past and does not represent reality. We can turn that fear to excitement, to anticipation of the rewards of authenticity, knowing who we truly are, of being just who we are. There is nothing wrong with us. There is nothing bad in us, nothing broken. There is power in us, creative power and intelligence, love and light. There is freedom and there is peace. There is a deep knowing of our oneness. This is what we fear. This is what we die to. We do not need to do anything to make this real; it already is. It is real in its complete fullness whether you are aware of it or not. Say yes now, yes to quiet, yes to stillness, yes to what is real.