ashland.news
July 23, 2024

Inner Peace: Have you paused to consider who you are, really?

Inner Peace Edward Hirsch
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
July 1, 2023

Inquiring into why you are living this life may be a scary, sacred process

By Edward Hirsch

You are living your life, every day, right now. No one can really tell you how to do that or what to do with your life. No one has that right or that knowledge. But you might consider this: Who is really living your life? Is this something so sacred, private and intimate that it cannot be inquired into? Not by me, not by anyone else, but by you. In fact, just because it is so sacred, personal, and intimate, it deserves to be inquired into, to find out just what/who this really is. Wouldn’t you want to really know?

Wouldn’t that call for a stopping of your doing, just for the time being, to find out? Can you really “do” this inquiry? Who would be “doing” the inquiry anyway? If we say you can’t really “do” your life, or yourself, that you have to “be” it, you might simply say, “But I already am that, I already am myself!” And then that would be the end of it, without any further inquiry needed. And then you are simply back where you started; so then what is the point, right?

Maybe this: When you stop and make a space for inquiry, you come to the following realization: I do not really know why I’m living this life; I do not really know why I’m even alive; I do not really know who I am.

Is this scary? Might you go crazy, or get depressed? What if that sort of thought or feeling was actually freeing, liberating, if you could simply allow it? What if it could simply be recognized as something arising in this open space, and not something you had to “do” anything about? Just be curious, and just be open to what arises in this space. What is this space (that we call a “space”)? Are you opening to your being? Where is this? Is it in your heart? Is it a vastness in which you, and your heart, arise? What is your felt relationship to this, to your own being? Is it something you need to “do” anything about? What if you simply allowed it, let it be, let it reveal itself to you? What if you simply enjoyed it?

Does it draw you closer to itself, and if so, what does this feel like? Is it anything like a feeling of love? Does it feel like a receiving, a receiving of what is given freely, as by grace, the grace of being (Being)? Can you receive that deeply in your heart? Can you recognize this as your own being? Is that being, the nature of that being, anything separate or different from Being Itself, the nature of Being or Reality? Is your suchness anything separate from the Suchness of Being or Reality? And yet, you are you, in some way that you cannot define with words or grasp with the mind.

Is this something you can enjoy? Is it enjoyment itself? Can you let yourself enjoy this? And if there is anything in the way of that, can you simply let that be, let it arise, without having to “do” anything about it? Not having to fix it or judge it? Can you recognize that it is an “it,” or a process, a content of experience, and not defining who you are, simply not who you are? Can you simply be with whatever arises? Can you enjoy it? Love it? And in all these questions, all these inquiries, these noticings, can you recognize that the word “can” does not refer to a “doing” but more of an opening, an allowing, a willingness, an enjoyment, a presence?

Can you recognize that this is a precious process, a sacred process, one worth attending to? If you really attended to it, if you really allowed it, enjoyed it, entered into it, surrendered into it, how would this shift your priorities, your values, your sense of yourself, your life, life itself, reality itself? What practical impact might this have on your life?

Edward Hirsch, M.A. teaches about the Practice of Presence at OLLI and offers free weekly Zoom meetings in the teachings and practices of Presence, Saturdays 1-2:30 p.m., on a drop-in basis. us02web.zoom.us/j/84805886301.

Want to contribute? Send 600- to 700-word articles on all aspects of inner peace to Richard Carey (rcarey009@gmail.com).

Picture of Jim

Jim

Related Posts...

Inner Peace: Spiritual fervor

Jim Hatton: Those who believe in the principle of Omnipresence would maintain that God is everywhere, all the time. Yet, if one is looking for God in a certain place, it must mean that God is not in the place where the search is starting! It is such a saddening thought that God is only in certain places.

Read More »

Inner Peace: Traces left behind

Annie Katz: Day by day, knowing that my behaviors ripple out into the world in ways I can’t predict, I can do my best to make the traces I leave behind sparkle with generosity, kindness and joy.

Read More »

Latest posts

Obituary: Steven Maryanoff

Obituary: Steven Roy Maryanoff, beloved brother to Bruce Eliot Maryanoff and friend to many people around Ashland, passed away peacefully on June 18 at the age of 75 in his private home in Ashland. He was active in the Buddhist community in and around Ashland.

Read More >

Explore More...

Shakespeare’s "Coriolanus" hits the stage Tuesday at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Directed by Rosa Joshi, the play tells the story of a powerful yet starving population and a war hero turned politician.
Childcare providers have until Friday, July 26, to submit applications for Early Childhood Affordability Grant Program grants, according to an announcement by the city on Monday, July 22. The application period opened July 12, the release said.
A master plan tailor-made to guide the city of Ashland’s approach to homelessness was unanimously approved Thursday evening by the final committee standing between the plan and a review from Ashland City Council. A review of the master plan is scheduled for the Aug. 5 council study session. 
John Marciano: Violence at home and abroad is not antithetical to America, it has been its very nature since the founding.
Volunteers gathered Sunday morning in Railroad Park to make repairs to the Say Their Names memorial T-shirts along the fence by the park. it was the third or fourth Sunday in a row volunteers came to the park to slowly recreate the memorial for its fifth iteration.
ashland.news logo

Subscribe to the newsletter and get local news sent directly to your inbox.

(It’s free)

Don't Miss Our Top Stories

Get our newsletter delivered to your inbox three times a week.
It’s FREE and you can cancel anytime.