When you look at what is here without any agenda to fix, get rid of, improve or move beyond what is really here, all you are really doing is being as you are with no mental game of wriggling for escape.
Scott Kiloby writes about this activity of spiritual bypassing, where we get lost in words and concepts about ‘being as we are’ or ‘being with what is’ rather than actually being as we are or being with what is.
This is such a subtle and powerful distinction. Let’s be honest. Most of us ‘try’ to be with what is or be as we are with some kind of agenda to feel better than we feel.
I meditated for years not because I wanted to sit in the infinity of this moment and simply witness what was already here but because I wanted to escape from what was already here, to feel better or fix myself or be a better person or cope with pain, anxiety, depression and confusion.
If you’re honest you might see that you’re doing or have done the same thing. The point Scott makes so clearly in his piece is that the practices we cling to and the words and concepts that surround them have a hypnotic effect, keeping us stuck on the level of describing some process or experience rather than simply being with what is actually happening, however painful or unwanted it is, however much we really want to escape to a better feeling place.
As adults, many of us have never really met unwanted feelings without labels and stories and the inevitable fear of what those labels and stories say about us. Simply being with what is doesn’t require words or concepts or analysis or description.
When we finally drop all of our descriptions, we might see that what is here doesn’t need fixing. Kansas was okay all along and the all powerful Wizard of Oz was just a harmless, sweet old man behind a curtain.
Our belief in some future where no pain is ever felt again and where we live happily ever after is our dream of the wonderful land of Oz. Paradoxically, what is actually on offer in any serious inquiry is what is already here. Look at Kansas – look at the fear, the loneliness, the anger, the guilt, the confusion but don’t look with eyes alone. Don’t look with concepts and stories told by the mind. Throw away the words and see what is actually here.
Looking and seeing IS the being with what is. This was never seen by the mind or with eyes alone. This was never heard only with ears. In the end, this is seen through the being of it – and you’ve never not been being it.