June 30 – Looking Away – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

“In exchange for the promise of security, many people put a barrier between themselves and the adventures in consciousness that could put a whole new light on their personal lives.” June Singer

The pull into the truth of things is very strong. Often the only way to resist it is to deny what we are seeing, to pretend our lives do not have to grow or change. Yet when we do this, our spirit, which doesn’t know how to present, keeps moving. For as the Isa Upanishad says “The Spirit is swifter than the mind.” We are then, painfully, like a dog at the end of its leash, staked and running at the same time, pretending we don’t know any better.

Interestingly, we tend to think of ignorance as an innocent not knowing, but the Buddhist teacher Chogyam Trungpa points out that to ignore someone or something is a willful looking away, a grave act of denying what is already conscious. Trungpa suggests that the willful act of looking away is a crime against the essence of things that costs us dearly.

When we find our spirit on the move when we are pretending otherwise, the tension can be ripping. It leaves us all with the need to learn how to discern between an innocent not knowing and a willful looking away. The is an inner knowing that can determine whether we will live like a dog at the end of our leash or whether we will run free through the grasses of life.

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