just be it It’s about the work involved in establishing a dedicated practice to feelings of a bigger belonging through practices aimed at increasing feelings of compassion, gratitude and forgiveness

Just Be It…a phrase aimed to break the subject vs. object relationship

Published on 27/11/09
by randy

Mountain...Just Be it.  Snow...Just Be it.  Rider...Just Be it.

Mountain...Just Be it. Snow...Just Be it. Rider...Just Be it.

Words can only point, abstractions we’ve arbitrarily agreed upon. They either facilitate or hinder our movement to the felt experience of our interconnection.  We often block our learning by insisting that meaning is in the word.  This is not the case, since we each bring our own unique experiences to language and we therefore conclude that meaning is in the person, not the word.  This is a foundational principle from the field of General Semantics.  Put another way, the map is not the territory.  This is emphasized in the Chinese story ‘Pointing at the Moon’.  A dedicated student asks a teacher to explain some difficult text.  The teacher claims he can’t read and the student questions the teacher’s credibility.  The teacher claims that the territory and words are unrelated, stating how the finger can be used to point out the moon, but you don’t need the finger to see the moon.  The teacher points out the absurdity in mistaking the words for the territory, in mistaking the finger for the moon.

The master athlete or musician can not find the words to accurately describe the felt unified experience when subject/object duality is transcended.  The linguistic barriers binding us to our sense of separateness have been released.  Our descriptions of ‘in the zone’, ‘flow’, ‘nirvana’, ‘bliss’, etc., can help us aim to this experience, yet that’s all they can do.  At some point the mind must surrender the abstractions of language, of time and space, and fully enter the present moment in the ‘feeling’ of the unified experience.  At this point it’s all Subject!  I am not my body, separate from other bodies.  I am not the wave rider, separate from the wave.  The felt experience of ‘being’ my body in other bodies, my body in the wave, my awareness in relation to everything, within ‘this precious moment’, is peace.  The felt experience of myself separate, bound in notions of language, time and space, is my restlessness.

I have not found lasting joy in attachments to notions of my separateness.  There’s a transitory pleasure that can come from comparing myself ‘better’ than another.  I have temporary moments of pleasure from ‘my’ achievements and accumulations, yet the Law of Impermanence eventually dissipates this joy and I once again face restlessness.  In the Subject relationship, I can’t ‘have’ anything since nothing can be owned, and I can’t ‘do’ anything without affecting everything.  The observation of energy dissipation (everything changes) and interdependence (everything is connected) leads to the core teaching of all spiritual traditions: Love one another as yourself because you are not separate from one another.  This teaching drives us to ‘not harm’ and hopefully to compassion, even for our perceived enemy.  When our actions move from the heart’s felt sense of connection (love), we steward the advance of life’s abundance.  When our actions move from the mind’s sense of fear and ignorance, we risk harm, claiming justification for collateral damage.  Just as breath practice is a conduit to move from the mind’s restlessness to the heart’s wisdom, so is the phrase ‘just be it’ a tool to move from our ‘doing’, ‘having’ duality to heart’s felt sense of presence and interconnection.

A study of the wave has often been used to distinguish our notions of separateness from a bigger sense of belonging.  Consider the small wave never knowing from where it came, suffering in relation to the much larger waves in its midst.  He considers himself so inferior to the other waves until another wave points out that he hasn’t seen his ‘original face’.  Asking who he is, the compassionate wave explains how the wave is just a temporary form, that all waves are just water.  Upon realizing that his fundamental essence was water, the small wave came to peace and he no longer suffered.  Many waves suffer all the way to crashing upon some distant shore, only to realize they’ve always been water and always will be water.  While great suffering comes from the subject vs. object relationship, our joy, peace and courage move from our ‘felt’ sense of interconnection and continuation.

The felt sense of ‘just be it’ is always there, available to us even in this moment.  Try it.  Breathing in, surrendering my notions of separateness, I affirm meeting this moment fully with the felt experience of gratitude for the opportunity to participate, “Yes”.  Breathing out I’m filled with joy in my expression of gratitude, “Thank you”.  We can cultivate our practice in deepening awareness (interconnection and impermanence) and gratitude in the “Yes” response or we can remain in our restlessness with “No” and failure to recognize the gift in the given experience or opportunity.  Put simply, can we meet ‘this moment’ in awareness to ‘the gift given’ in awareness to our ‘not separate’ experience, forever changing, arising moment to arising moment?  Easy words to say, but extremely difficult to apply with a disciplined practice.

So the direction is to diminish our subject vs. object orientation and consequent feelings of separation and restlessness and to enhance our all Subject orientation.  The linguistic based thoughts arising from ‘just do’ and ‘just have’ seem to foster the separated experience.  ‘Just be’ seems better suited to move us from the thought to the feeling for more considerate living in stewardship to the health of all as one.  Put another way, aware doing from the heart is great being.  Unaware doing from felt orientations of separation has great potential for harm (notions of fixing).  From this perspective, aware non-doing has great potential for moving us to considerate action with intention to harm none.  Just as the wave came to felt sense of connection as water, our actions change as we experience all things as us, interconnected, forever in change, yet never to disappear.  In peace and joy, this precious moment, please consider adding ‘just be it’ to your arsenal of tools that aim to break the subject vs. object barrier.

That's it. What Next?

Please leave your comment so we know what you think about this article. Trackback URL: Just Be It…a phrase aimed to break the subject vs. object relationship.