The Fully Met Life
When on occasion I contemplate how the practice of Miksang has affected my life, the first thing that comes to my mind is the many opportunities it affords to experience and express the totally cool things that are happening around me—the quality of the light, the breeze, the time of day, the endless coming together of color, light, and line. I can be worrying or distracted by all the details of my life that never seem to end, or I can be transported out of that suddenly as I am penetrated by an unexpected perception which dawns in my mind out of the blue. Noticing my world constantly disrupts my mental absorption with the linear stream of events that is my everyday life. I am reminded that beneath my preoccupation I am vibrantly alive and that nothing in my world is fixed and unchanging. I feel a tremendous sense of richness. I am completely without want for anything at all.
It is a sign of my passion for shooting images that I go out with my camera with the expectation that I will notice something that is surprising and often whimsical. I expect to be touched and reminded of the larger world beyond my own sense of limitation. When this happens I feel fully met, fulfilled in my relationship between my visual sense and my visual world. When a perception stops my mind I feel disoriented, ambient sounds recede, and the perceived appears brilliant, sharp and vivid. I feel joyful. What does this remind you of? Falling in love? Melting in a moment of love for your child? Feeling appreciation for your best friend in the world? Yes. In these moments I feel fully met. My partner in perception, whatever I am seeing, is not holding back, and I have no sense of shortcoming on either of our parts. I am fully engaged because I have no forethought and no second thought about how this should be or whether or not it is good enough. In this moment, the present moment, all is complete.
I am feeling pretty good altogether that I can have a relationship like this anytime I practice Miksang. It’s like an ongoing celebration, a party on a small scale, since nobody has to get dressed up. There aren’t any bad hangovers the day after or the sense that something could have gone wrong. Relationships like this make us feel very wholesome and genuine. They spill over into our human relationships. We notice more and appreciate more. We can let go of what doesn’t work and any struggle we are having and accept more easily the things that don’t conform to what we think would be better. Just as there is no such thing as half a flash, there is no question of having half a relationship. We have to be involved 100%. We are either in it or we are not.
As we connect fully with what is happening, our lives begin to change. Letting go of the fruition of the process of perception is the same as letting go of our hopes and fear about what is going to happen in the next moment, that evening, the next day, when we get old, when we are sick, whether or not our loved one will love, accept, and praise us. It’s all the same thing. We are letting go of our sense that we are not good enough. As we gain confidence in our ability to take genuine photographs, we also begin to feel confident about expressing ourselves in our relationships.
In Miksang we learn to stay open and not project our ideas and preferences onto what we are seeing. This is the essence of non-aggression, acceptance of what we experience without always judging it and determining whether it agrees with our own point of view. If we can bring this mind of equanimity to bear on situations that arise in our relationships, wouldn’t the world be a more harmonious place?
I’m saying these things and spelling them out not because I want us all to feel good about working on ourselves so that we can be better people. Miksang is not another personal improvement project. I’m saying this because everything we do in every moment has an impact upon our ability to wake up. The more we sleep the more we are pulled into a dream state. The more we develop and rest in openness and synchronize our eye and mind, the more vivid and direct the experience of our lives will become. It’s as simple as that.
© Julie DuBose 2010
May not be reproduced without the written permission of the author