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No Thing and Every Thing

From Chapter 4 ("Coming Home to Our Body") of Tara Brach's Radical Acceptance:

As I noticed feelings and thoughts appear and disappear, it became increasingly clear that they were just coming and going on their own. Sensations were appearing out of nowhere and vanishing back into the void. There was no sense of a self owning them: no "me" feeling the vibrating, pulsing, tingling; no "me" being oppressed by unpleasant sensations; no "me" generating thoughts or trying to meditate. Life was just happening, a magical display of appearances. As every passing experience was accepted with the openness of "this too," any sense of boundary or solidity in my body and mind dissolved. Like the weather, sensations, emotions and thoughts were just moving through the open, empty sky of awareness.

When I opened my eyes I was stunned by the beauty of the New England fall, the trees rising tall out of the earth, yellows and reds set against a bright blue sky. The colors felt like a vibrant sensational part of the life playing through my body. The sound of the wind appeared and vanished, leaves fluttered towards the ground, a bird took flight from a nearby branch. The whole world was moving—like the life within me, nothing was fixed, solid, confined. I knew without a doubt that I was part of the world.

When I next felt a cramping in my stomach, I could recognize it as simply another part of the natural world. As I continued paying attention I could feel the arising and passing aches and pressures inside me as no different from the firmness of earth, the falling leaves. There was just pain … and it was the earth's pain.

When we are free of mental concepts and our senses are awake, the sounds, smells, images and vibrations we experience connect us with all life everywhere. It is not my pain, it is the earth's pain. It is not my aliveness but simply life—unfolding and intense, mysterious and beautiful. By meeting the changing dance of sensations with Radical Acceptance, we discover our intrinsic belonging to this world. We are "no thing"—not limited to any passing experience—and "everything," belonging to the whole.

(cf. 0-1 (2014-08-29), No-Self and the Space of Wonder (2014-10-20), No-Self (2014-12-25), ...) - ^z - 2015-09-20