"To be or not to be: that is the question."
Or is it? By dictionary definition, to "be" simply means to exist or to live. Something that anyone reading this, is certainly doing.
When we have the sense that we're unable to "be", what is usually meant is that there is a recognition of inability to be in the moment, to "be here now." It's a sense of being cut off from the purity or core of existence.
In reality, we're never not being. It only can appear that way because we allow our attention to go to our thoughts, versus to the lived experience of any given moment.
Emphasis on thought creates what is, in effect, a "screen" that keeps out the present moment as our attention chases a past and future that isn't currently happening.
Is there anything to "do" about this? That depends on how you look at it. It's not really a doing. It's more like an undoing, a removing of the attention from thoughts constantly, persistently. Repeatedly. Until the prevailing habit is to be resting in the moment rather than chasing thoughts.
However, if we set out not to think, trying our best to be in the moment, this is not being, but rather the effort of doing. To want to be in the moment is to miss that the moment already is.
It's this very chasing of anything -- including the moment -- that makes this moment appear lacking or insufficient. It's, after all, just another thought that takes us away from here, wanting to be "over there," "in the moment." But it's never "there." It's always here.
You've seen the famous two-word phrase on T-shirts, mugs, bumper stickers and magnets, no doubt. The spiritual equivalent of Nike's "Just do it" slogan.
That's right, "Just be."
The question is, what is it, just to be? I'm blogging on what it means to be beyond mind, i.e. to "just be," so it bares definition.
The "just be" phrase shows up a lot in my book, Notes to Self: Meditations on Being. (See two relevant notes below):
Don't Be Fooled: It's Not About Action Vs. Inaction
"Being" and "doing" aren't mutually exclusive. It's not like suddenly because you're "doing," you're no longer "being." Or that because you're "being," you're not doing anything action-oriented. Being is a quality that goes beyond action or inaction.
"Just be" is more about letting things happen as they're happening, without the mind's tendency to jump in and try to control, force or manipulate things to go the way it wants them to go.
I struggle with this one on a daily basis. I'll be happily floating along, letting life mind its own business, when all of a sudden... BAM! Mind gets triggered by some event (or non-event) and decides to take over and try to force things. Besides the fact that this never helps anything, it's also a miserable experience.
The key here, I'm learning, is that even when that happens, you can still be. As long as you can see that it's happening and relax into even that - then you're actually being with the doing. In other words, you're still being.
Being is just allowing. Allowing even non-allowing.
Just a gal experimenting with what it means to live outside of mind.
Read more about Notes to Self, the "manual" on living beyond mind.