Know The Beginning

March 10, 2009

image credit: Paco CT

In the Gospel of Thomas, the disciples asked Jesus, “Tell us about our end. What will it be?” Jesus replied, “Have you found the Beginning so that you now seek the end?” The disciples’ question about the end is not unlike ours when we seek for answers outside of ourselves. We yearn to know about realities other than this one, which we hope will give us some respite; some nirvana, “the zone,” or “the light.”  I think that Jesus was pointing his disciples to know themselves in the present and not to hope for some future refuge.

I have come to a place in my spiritual journey where I think, that which I have been striving for, these many years, is a lot simpler than I thought. I say simple, not easy. There are so many different paths, different teachers, and gurus who teach the ancient truth, each with their own twists of understanding and particulars of practice, according to their inclinations. After years of deciphering many different teachings I have come to realize that there is only one basic message. This message is put very succinctly by Jesus when he said, “Blessed is anyone who will stand up in the Beginning and thereby know the end and never die.” How does one, “stand up in the Beginning?”

In my understanding, The Beginning refers to our original nature, before ego has set itself up in our consciousness as our truth. It is what Shunryu Suzuki called the Beginner’s Mind. He said in Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind: …The purpose of studying Buddhism is to study ourselves and to forget ourselves. When we forget ourselves, we actually are the true activity of the big existence, or reality itself. When we realize this fact, there is no problem whatsoever in this world, and we can enjoy our life without feeling any difficulties. The purpose of our practice is to be aware of this fact.

So becoming aware of “The Beginning”or “Beginner’s Mind” or our “Original Nature” is to become aware of Truth.  We have so many options available to us today to become aware of this “Beginning.” And just like how we feel overwhelmed when we go shopping for cereal at the supermarket, with so many brands to choose from, we feel the same about the glut of spiritual information out there, present company included. 😀 My purpose for writing this post is to share with you how simple I think it could be, hopefully not to confuse you with yet another choice.

I have come to the conclusion that all practices are to help us to let go of ego or our false identification of the truth of who we are. So we practice meditation, chanting, hatha yoga, tai chi, prayer, and communing with nature as ways of calming the mind, to give us clarity, to witness our thoughts and to not identify with them. None of these practices are paths to the Truth. Truth already is in our consciousness, we just need to identify with it instead of identifying with everything else we have come to know as ourselves. These practices are merely aids to letting go of our ego identification, as they create a spaciousness where the mind stops and gives us a glimpse of the true reality that we are.

As I said, the spiritual journey is simple, not easy. If we can find some method that resonates with us that will help us to quiet the mind that is easily accessible, we can follow this practice as an opening to Truth. It is not easy because the ego is very difficult to let go of. We have to be constantly vigilant of the thoughts that bind us into thinking less of ourselves and others. We also have to be vigilant of those thoughts that make us feel superior to others or thoughts of perfectionism that keep sabotaging our equanimity.

I think that the crux of the spiritual journey is the ability to rest in equanimity, to keep coming back to this center, to this Truth which we are. It is the Beginning, it is how we arrived in the world, without a care or worry, pure beingness. The eastern mystics describe this pure beingness as awareness itself, it is blissful and it is of the nature of light and expansion.  Ego is heavy, dark, and contracting, it is when we feel worried, fearful, depressed, angry etc. When we are able to recognize that we are identifying with ego and come back to center, we are identifying with the Truth. We can do this by  simply naming it: worry, depression, anxiety etc. We say to ourselves: This is not the truth of who I am.

The Truth then, is as close as the next breath! When we come back to the breath, we stop identifying with ego until the next thought grabs us, and then we do it again and again.  Then one day we will realize that we can witness all the forms that ego takes and not get tripped up in it. The goal here is not to get rid of our ego, that is setting ourselves up for failure. As long as we are in this human body, there is ego or the feeling of separation from God. This process can take as long as we want, it is simple but not easy.

When we can rest in this equanimity, we will feel blessed, and we will have connected to the Truth of who we really are, which is eternal, it never dies, it is just our body that dies. The Truth that we are is the same in the beginning as it will be in the end. And as Jesus said, “The place of the Beginning will be the place of the end. Blessed is anyone who will stand up in the Beginning and thereby know the end and never die.”

{ 14 comments }

1 Maithri 03.10.09 at 10:36 pm

Preach it my sista! 😉

Wow…. what depth and beauty in this words….

To know neither ends nor beginnings….to stand up in the moment…. and awaken…. this is the goal so many of us have been ‘striving for’….

And yet while we strive…. somewhow we never seem to arrive….

Never sit down in our own truth and take the time to smell the fragrance of the jasmine or watch the clouds drifting across the ancient mountaintop….

Thank you for this profound and beautiful reminder to come back to the breath, to the moment, to the yolk of existence,

to the heart of things,

Sweetest, deepest love to you,

Maithri

2 Miruh 03.11.09 at 11:16 am

Hello Maithri,

Your insights and poetic references to the deeper experience of our truth touches my heart.

“And yet while we strive…. some how we never seem to arrive….
Never sit down in our own truth and take the time to smell the fragrance of the jasmine or watch the clouds drifting across the ancient mountaintop….”

I love how you phrase this. I am so amazed at how difficult we can make this simple journey of learning how to love!

Thank you for your beautiful words and heartful presence my friend!

May you always remember to sniff the flowers. 😀

3 Mark 03.11.09 at 11:17 am

You have eloquently presented a great wisdom. Yes, to be the beginning and to not have a care about the end, this is one of the greatest lessons. Thank-you for sharing your wisdom.

4 Miruh 03.11.09 at 2:02 pm

Hello Mark,

Thanks for your kind comment.

Yes, this is the greatest lesson and it comes packaged in so many different ways by all the great teachers. So simple!

May you always stand in the beginning my friend!

5 Alexys Fairfield 03.11.09 at 5:02 pm

Hi Miruh,

I like the whole concept of going back home – being whole, etc. I also like what you said about the truth being as close as our next breath. There is something comforting in that because at evey moment we experience our own truth.

Thank you my friend and may you always find comfort in experiencing the truth and sharing it with us. 😀

6 Liara Covert 03.11.09 at 6:24 pm

Miruh, the clarity of your words echoes through the depths of the souls of your readers. Every energy being is making the way back to as it was “in the Beginning.” This is a process of peeling layers of self-created illusion to where one arrives back at the clean slate of soul. Ego had not enetered the picture. Love is timless, endless, everything.

7 Miruh 03.12.09 at 10:14 am

Hello Alexys,

I like how you refer to this process of “standing in the Beginning” as going back home. There is a ring of comfort in it and what we naturally have to do. And isn’t it amazing that we can be that truth in every moment with mindfulness.

I am glad to be walking beside you on this path, may we always keep the vision of “home”!

8 Miruh 03.12.09 at 10:20 am

Hello Liara,

As you say, “Love is timeless, endless, everything.” The journey home and connecting with love is our birthright. It is where we experience immortality. It is the beautiful, simple truth that all our great teachers came to teach.

Thanks for being a bright light, wayshower on the path my friend!

9 Marion 03.12.09 at 12:13 pm

“We say to ourselves: This is not the truth of who I am.”

I sometimes must say this to myself a hundred times, before Ego will let go.

10 Miruh 03.12.09 at 6:50 pm

Hello Marion,

Yes Ego is strong but it bows to LOVE.

I have found that using the loving-kindness practice with the breath is helpful to coax the ego to let go. To stand in a place of gentle compassion for self may take some practice because often times ego digs its heels in. We can only do the best we can and each time we do the practice, we get a little closer to “home.”

May you grow softer each day to match the strength of Ego. 😀

11 eco 03.13.09 at 1:23 am

Hello,I am a Japanese.
Depth of this story and beauty, I were overwhelmed.The photograph is very good, too.I loveit!

12 Nicole 03.13.09 at 3:05 pm

Hi Miruh. Thank you for another wonderful post. I love reading your blog, your words are a healing balm to my spirit.

And you always get me thinking. I never thought of my anxiety, fear, etc. as not being a part of me. But you are right – This is not the truth of who I am. Thanks for getting me on the right track again!

Thank you. Nicole

13 Miruh 03.15.09 at 10:55 am

Hello Eco,

Welcome! I am Canadian. 😀

Yes, the image is amazing, it speaks to me of illumination.

The process of understanding Truth is an experience that opens us to our inner beauty, our birthright. When we recognize it, something clicks and it is awe-inspiring. It is the beauty of the spiritual healing journey.

Thanks for dropping by and your kind words.

May you awaken to your truth and bask in inner beauty!

14 Miruh 03.15.09 at 11:11 am

Hello Nicole,

Writing these posts are a healing balm to my spirit. I do not take credit for these words that come through as my fingers dance on the keyboard, they belong to the muse! I am sure you know the feeling, your writing feels that way to me.

The journey continues to reveal new information or at least we are ready to take it in and are receptive to it. It is a lifelong process and we are always learning and growing.

Thanks for your kind words.

May you stay on track and bask in the inner beauty and illumination!

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