Suffering is always the gauge. But one must be honest to self. If one still has certain ideas that one wants to push onto life and onto the reality then suffering will be accepted as part and parcel of the reality, one will think that it is normal because one is still bound to the other end of spectrum of suffering – conditional joy. Conditional joy is when the mind rests somehow in something and the anxiety, fear or misery is dropped for a moment. Most beings live in this cycle, it is taken for granted that there has to be this constant flow from positive or negative. And beings tend to try and trick life into reducing the negative and increasing the positive. The ordinary and ignorant art of living lies in this arrangement of trying to create all possible situations so that the mind can rest. Is it really the objects or situations themselves which somehow ‘cause’ happiness? Or is it the fact that in those situations the mind is somehow at rest, content because for a moment it is no longer searching, anxious or fearful?
The mind rests at one point because previously the mind sets out a deal for itself that ‘if x happens or I get x, then I will rest.’ But the refined mind needs no such formula. If there is any formula for the refined, content and stablilised in equanimity mind it is ‘I rest, and if x then I continue to rest’. It is an unconditional position in life. This is what it means to be rooted. This is what it means to be immovable. And it is not that one has thrown away one’s life in order to be established at this point. But one has to carve out within oneself a space of absolute inner immovable freedom and contentment. This is the process of establishing self in being and this is the process of realising one’s light essence. There are no tips and tricks or methods that can be taught to do this. It can only be transmitted because it is an inner state. This condition cannot be governed from the outside inwards. It is a being that flows and transmits itself spontaneously and effortlessly. And there is nowhere to go and nothing to do realise it. One is only to learn to rest and watch life unfold. If one is able to rest within and carve out this space of inner freedom and contentment that does not depend on conditional circumstances then life will begin to teach one in the space between that unconditional space and the conditioned appearances. And until there are still two, until there is a moment where one is still and a moment where one is again restless and lost in appearances, then the refinement process is incomplete, then there is still a scattering of awareness and there is still an expectation to find something of substance in that which is fundamentally without substance. If one discovers and establishes self in the real substance of this existence (and this does not mean just catching a glimpse of that substance) there will be never again be a need to search for that substance anywhere, for one’s knows the essence, the root and elixir of the reality and from then on one is nourished solely by that essence, root and elixir.
However, one can be connected to that essence and one can perceive that self and yet there can still be a struggle. The struggle is because the weight or negative gravity of the conditional reality is so strong. The power of consciousness is as if stuck or glued to the appearance. The conscious state is somehow bound or tied to the appearance that simply rises and falls within it. Thus one is a prisoner of the world, of one’s own mind and of one’s tossing back and forth within self. To sever this tie means that one completely lets go of everything. This is impossible in one swoop because at the start that everything mentioned is literally everything, it is the totally of one’s conscious (or unconscious) creation and perception of the reality. To destroy this in an instant would mean insanity or death for the body. And that is why the process is gradual and the veils have to be peeled back slowly bit by bit. One has to learn to gradually live with a different perception of the reality, and that perception has to perjure not just in meditative absorption, but in every moment of daily life. One gradually shifts one’s centre of gravity or being from scattered and tied to the shifting appearances to a complete stabilisation in the ultimate ground of reality. And one must function from that point, from the condition of absolute inner freedom, equanimity and bliss. This does not happen because one has an experience and then conceptualises upon that experience and continually reinvents it within the present. It happens when one is open to each moment of life in a content and aware state. When one approaches life in a lustful or fearful states then life will continually pull the wool over one’s eyes. But when one meets each moment with full awareness then one begins to know life and the reality on a deep level beyond mere appearances. One’s self is not just whatever old dusty thoughts and memories lie somewhere in the mind, but each fresh perception of the world at every moment. Everything that one sees is self and everything has something to say as a mirror and as reflector of self. Hold on to the contentment at the root and perceive life from there. This way, one refines, transforms and eventually becomes a living vessel of Yoga.