Shed what’s in the way of that sparkling, shimmering stillness
By Jim Hawes
Looking, focusing on the world, one can see violence, hatred, turmoil, chaos — yes, even insanity.
One of my favorite spiritual thinkers is Bill Samuel (“The Child Within Us Lives”). His biggest lesson for me is the idea of what he calls the mountain Da Shan.
“Myriad forms of life appear to live on this mythical mountain. People are walking on the face of Da Shan, going uphill or downhill to one degree or another, or in circles, getting nowhere at all. Those of us doing nothing to discern the Truth — most are doing nothing — sink more deeply into the density and darkness of Da Shan.”
Samuel calls this the mountain of struggle. At any point on this mountain, we struggle with being identified with aches and pains, passionate political and/or spiritual beliefs.
But Samuel believes that we can at any moment be at the top of this mountain and turn to this always present Child Awareness. We can let go of what he calls the conditioned mind or ego. How does one get to this Child Awareness? Yes, first, we have to totally let go of these misidentifications or what he calls these false identities. Ninety-five percent of people are controlled by these false beliefs. But, one can be so depressed, angry, or agitated about their life that they surrender and find themselves in a different state of conscious awareness. Here at this very moment, we are the Child Awareness. Suddenly, we feel, sense and know that the wonder, joy, enthusiasm that we felt as a 6- or 8-year-old is at hand. Do not tell me you do not know what I am talking about, because we all have had these brief experiences. It could have been when you were doing the dishes and you saw bubbles come alive that seemed to be radiating a soothing beauty. Or as you looked at a tree or a flower and suddenly stopped thinking. There was a sparkling, shimmering incredible stillness or calm peacefulness.
These can happen anywhere, even in relationships. In almost 55 years of marriage where we continue to have fewer and less intense “spats” (as my dear mother called them) or serious disagreements.
What follows happened several years ago, and because of these experiences, my wife is not easily upset by these simple miscues. What happened is I opened the cupboard and picked a glass out. Immediately, she became very angry and almost shouted, “What are you doing? Don’t you know you don’t use those glasses! It is the bigger ones!”
Many times before, my ego reaction matched hers and I would react very angrily. This time, I suddenly felt and saw myself as that top of the mountain Child Awareness.
Quietly, I calmly said, “Listen, honey to me. I apologize, but we don’t need to shout or get angry at me taking the wrong glass out of the cupboard. We are better than this?”
What happened was amazing, a miracle. She became very quiet, and teared up and said “You’re right. I don’t need to get angry, over such a trifling thing.”
In conclusion, regardless of the chaos, violence, and insanity in today’s world, each of us can practice or choose to feel, sense, and know that this Child Awareness is always enveloping us in every daily experience. Yes, we can choose to be that wonder, joy, and peace each moment. Peace is not just the absence of war or violence; rather, it is fundamentally when more people choose to feel, sense, and know this Child Awareness.
Jim Hawes is a retired elementary and middle school teacher from Rogue River school district. Balboa Press published his first book, “Ageless Child,” in 2011. Send 600- to 700-word articles on all aspects of inner peace to Richard Carey (firstname.lastname@example.org).