“Learn to live without self concern. For this you must know your own true being as indomitable, fearless, ever victorious. Once you know with absolute certainty that nothing can trouble you but your own imagination, you come to disregard your desires and fears, concepts and ideas, and live by truth alone”.

“Just realise you are dreaming a dream you call the world and stop looking for ways out. The dream is not your problem. Your problem is that you like one part of your dream and not another. Love all or none of it, and stop complaining. When you have seen the dream as a dream, you have done all that needs to be done”.

Nisargadatta Maharaj

I am struck by the first word in this quote:

LEARN.

If I allow myself to be consumed with worry, despondency or dread that I cannot possibly accomplish such a total relinquishment of this “dream” I am constantly creating, then I have missed the point contained in the first word that Nisargadatta Maharaj presents to us.

LEARN

To LEARN is to apply myself to something by moving forward, one small step at a time. The distance does not matter.

Only the act of movement.

Only my willingness to Pause…

Only my willingness to shift and make a change.

My ineptitude?

My lack of experience?

My fears and excuses?

These actually do not factor in at all…

And I will do well to remember this is so.

If I am LEARNING, then I am never required to be instantaneously the Master.

I am a Student.

One who seeks.

One who is beginning…

Over and over again…

And content to be doing so,

Adding layer upon layer to find only more layers.

I am ever the Student…

And I find contentment in the seeking.

I am therefore freed from the pressure to be Perfect…

To be the Best…

To “find a way out”.

The “way out” is to choose not to resist.

I can take any action I wish, of course. But my best choices are those that I can only perceive AFTER I have stepped away a moment from my constant grasping, or pushing away of, what I do or do not like.

If I can LEARN to take note of those moments when I find I am clinging or resisting, those are the flashes of light in my heart that enable me to see more of the whole…

Not just my limited “dreams”. These moments are when my visual field can expand…

Because only there, can my perspective alter.

Learning to see “the dream as a dream” is, for me, like a slow awakening…

A coming to the surface after being long submerged in a very deep sleep.

The act of coming to the surface is the LEARNING process.

And it is okay for me to be where I am…

During that swim towards the top.

I am beginning to understand only lately just how much of a Beginner I am.

My “dreaming” ~ my personal “take” on reality ~ often hinders me:

It keeps me from allowing my curiosity to explore…

“What else might be hidden within this situation?

This person?

This line of thinking: mine or another’s?”

But…

I am LEARNING:

Present tense.

Now.

Learning implies movement, not stasis…

A process.

This give me tremendous relief to know I do not have to…

KNOW it all.

DO it all.

HAVE it all.

I am simply here to LEARN…

Above all…

That I am

…”indomitable, fearless, ever victorious”…

As I learn.

And so, in seeking the Truth, I MUST always put LEARNING as my primary focus…

For learning requires

Openness

Acceptance

Compassion

And only with these…

Will I “learn to live”

With Peace.

Within me…

And in our world.

5 thoughts on “The Eternal Student

  1. This reminds me of what Jon Kabat-Zinn refers to as Beginner’s Mind. He says, ” An open, “beginner’s” mind allows us to be receptive to new possibilities and prevents us from getting stuck in the rut of our own expertise, which often thinks it knows more than it does. Each moment is unique and contains unique possibilities. Beginner’s mind (or “learning to live without self concern”) reminds us of this simple truth.”

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  2. Learning is an ongoing, never ending process… a present continuous thought… “I am learning.” This is so beautiful, and a perfect reminder for me for the new year. Thank you!

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    1. So grateful to have your voice here, Dawn! Your idea to set up the new year seen as a learning experience is a wonderful practical way to apply this…and it makes me think:
      Maybe when I wake up each morning I remind myself that I WILL be learning…with all the excitement for new experiences…AND a healthy dose of forgiveness for my “falls” along the way for those times when I may not have applied all of my True Self to the process!
      Hmmm…Maybe a formula might be
      Learning = Curiosity + Courage + Forgiveness? What do you think? 😊💕

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  3. Loved reading this.

    What caught me was the way learning was defined here. Namely, looking at it as more the process itself and valuable in and of itself, versus what we are often led to believe it is – something that leads to more of something else: knowledge, all knowingness, wisdom, etc.

    Maybe we already “know” everything we need to know, but learning is the process of uncovering it and growing in our spiritual awareness.

    On another note as I first read this a couple points popped into my head that seemed useful to me to help navigate through life:

    1. If you can’t change reality, change your perception of reality. This is something I heard long ago, and it seems obvious – but it’s harder to implement at times. The beginning of the post brought it to mind, since it seemed to have an emphasis on shifting awareness.

    2. Don’t resist, embrace. This is something I’ve been telling myself lately and it’s just a general reminder to stop and pause and analyze a situation and my reaction to it before letting myself feel tension, stress, or some other negative emotion.

    During the pause I ask myself if I am just “resisting” – and hence feeling negative – as a result of habit or maybe some other bad external influence that I am letting get the best of me. If so, often times I can shift the energy to a state where I am able to allow myself to accept the situation, or feeling, or environment.

    From there the next step is to embrace it, which to me seems to be what follows naturally after I’ve let myself become very accepting of things in the moment.

    Thanks for the post, will be back for more 🙂

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    1. Thanks for adding your voice, Andrew and welcome! I really enjoyed your expanding on the post…especially your practical examples of how we can apply pausing and resetting to our everyday circumstances. It’s easy to have discussions about practicing this…but seeing yourself using it in a specific way in a situation or with a certain person, say, is quite a bit more challenging(!), with our fears and doubts often keeping us from actually trying something out. Your words are thought provoking and motivating and I appreciate your taking time to contribute here! Please do “come back for more”: it would be an honor to have you visit again~
      Until then!
      🐛🦋🌻⛵️🌊

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