It struck me this morning yet again, how many limits we place on ourselves. On our perceptions. Our experiences. And it led me to the question: can removing some of these holds lead us closer to being fully present? to a richer experience of the present moment?
I read this beautiful zen poem recently, which talked about how if you go in with an image of a single leaf, and you look at a tree, thats all you will see-a single leaf. And yet, if you remove that thought from your mind, you will be able to see all of the tree, and all its many many leaves.
After all, the tree is there in all its glory. We choose how much of it we want to see. Its just like mindfulness. Have you noticed that just because you stop paying attention to your breath, you don’t stop breathing. The breathing still continues. that is reality. And yet, you are not in that reality anymore when you are not mindful. Instead, you are in some formulation of your mind-something your mind has created for you to pay attention to..and we miss reality this way.
It leads to the question: what is the present? We could call it this moment right now..and yet that is only a word. A moment is more than that. more than words. and each person’s experience of the moment is different, even if they are going through the exact same thing. That is because our experience depends on our perception..our thoughts..whereas the reality is just what is. So, then the present is the reality and our experience of it. We think it is just reality, but really, it is how we experience it. and into this experience come a myriad of emotions, limits and expectations. for example, yesterday I was not feeling very well. I told myself in the morning-today is going to be wierd, my brain is not going to function. interestingly I found, that perception started to color my day. then I changed my perception to: I’m not feeling well. But I’m here. lets see what comes along. It was a different day altogether. Yesterday was one of the most productive days of January and my mind was as sharp as it comes. Now, all that changed in the situation was the perception. I had removed the limits I had set on my experience of the day.
Its like I heard a dialogue in ‘Matrix’ when Morpheus tells Neo something to the effect that the mind really has no limits. Its our own ego telling us how much we can do. or being amazed at our capacities. and yet the true mind knows none of these self-imposed limits. As Morpheus says, ‘ I’m trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You’re the one that has to walk through it.’
When we can let these limits fall, we can experience true freedom for what is. That is not a different reality. Just a different experience of it. Richer. That does not mean problems will go away. But we will not think of them as problems anymore.
Our boundaries and limits confine us, prevent us from having a true experience of reality, to see things just the way they are, and appreciate them for what they are.
Here is an interesting thought, an experiment I’m going to try, and you are welcome to do so too: today, I would explore what boundaries, what expectations I carry with myself into each situation and moment I’m in. And by letting go of these burdens, can I experience more freedom and a richer experience!?
And as I write this, I’m also telling myself ,I gotto see matrix again!.