2021 Nov 16 — Meditations on the Way of The Sage
The sage understands that everything they experience is a projection of their inner landscape, or dream. This means that because we are the creators of each event and incident in our life, nothing ever happens to us. We never need to fix anything in the outer world—if we want to transform some circumstance that appears to be outside of ourselves, we need only to own it and change it within.
Practicing no-mind requires you to break free of your thoughts and get in touch with the sage within, who is beyond thoughts. You don’t have to spend hours upon hours in meditation to do this. When you become aware of how your mind foolishly jumps from thought to thought, you can sit quietly, amused by its activity. The parade of thoughts will continue, but you won’t get caught up in it. There will only be the sage.
What brings you home to the sage is always this: “Who is it that is asking the question?” The minute you ask yourself this, you break the trance and the mind dissolves. Only Spirit remains, because Spirit is the sage.
Sit comfortably in your favorite chair and dim the lights in the room. Light a candle if you wish, but make sure that you’re in an absolutely quiet place because you want to listen to the chatter of your mind. Close your eyes and begin to take deep, regular breaths . . . count your breaths from one to ten, and then start at one again.
Bring yourself back to counting your breaths. Now ask yourself, “Who is angry?” “Who is late?” “Who is breathing?” and then, “Who is it that is asking the question?” Be still and observe what happens when you ask this.
In the West, we’ve been taught that time flows in one direction only; that the future is always ahead of us and the past is always behind us. This is monochronic time, which flows linearly. But time doesn’t just fly like an arrow, it also turns like a wheel. Nonlinear time, or polychronic time, is considered sacred. Here the future seeps into the present to summon us, and we can change events that have already occurred.
The main operating principle of linear time is causality, or cause and effect, in which the past is always spilling into and informing the present. But when we perceive time as turning like a wheel, the main operating principle is synchronicity, or the serendipitous occurrence of events. What we call coincidence or chance is as important an operating principle as causality is.
Sit comfortably in a quiet place, in your favorite chair, and dim the lights in the room. Light a candle if you wish and contemplate the synchronicities in your life that led you to where you find yourself today. Are there events in your life that have already occurred that you would like to change?
To own your projections, you must discover and acknowledge the parts of yourself that you’ve refused to look at. It turns out that everything you believe to be true about the people around you, or the situations you find yourself in, mirrors a story you hold about the way the universe works. Once you understand this, you can take a long, hard look at every difficult situation in your life and then change it within.
But to change it, you must first recognize that you’re seeing a reflection of your hidden self in others. The psychologist Carl Jung called these hidden parts the “shadow,” finding the metaphor valuable to help him understand the unseen aspects of humankind. Our shadow is always there, following us everywhere we go, yet we are seldom aware of it. When you own the parts of yourself that make you feel uncomfortable, you no longer hold anyone else responsible for your pain or happiness. Then you shine with your own light, like the sun, which is the only thing that casts no shadow.
Sit comfortably in a quiet place, in your favorite chair, and dim the lights in the room. Light a candle if you wish and contemplate old stories holding others responsible for your pain or happiness. Turn each one into a story of power and grace, which is called a journey statement. For example, you could say, “As I make myself happy, everyone around me mirrors that back to me.” In this way, you assert your power over your own happiness and can look within for the resources to do so. This will invite the ever-compliant universe to support you.
Indigenous alchemy is made up of four categories: identification, differentiation, integration, and transcendence. Identification is the quality of serpent; differentiation, of jaguar; integration, of hummingbird; and transcendence, of eagle.
The philosopher Ken Wilber explains this process and describes how as children, we identify with our parents, and then as adolescents, we pull away from Mom and Dad and differentiate and develop our own identity. Eventually, we’re able to integrate our parents into our lives without fearing that we’ll lose our sense of self, and we finally transcend by becoming parents ourselves.
Sit comfortably in a quiet place, in your favorite chair, and dim the lights in the room. Light a candle if you wish and contemplate how the four categories relate to your life. Then consider how you might find your way out of these categories. The way out of identification (into jaguar) is by owning the projection. The way out of differentiation (into hummingbird) is by turning it into a journey statement and asking yourself, “What do I have to learn in order to move on?” The way beyond integration into transcendence (eagle) is to see opportunity where you once saw only problems.
Are you ready to step into being a sage?