Michael Brown: The Bridge
To go from doing to being involves a death and a new beginning. To cross over from one state to the other requires a bridge.
The ordinary person has no point of reference for being — it makes no sense to them. This is why a transition is necessary, involving the death of who we have imagined ourselves to be, which is scary for a “doer” because it means giving up thinking we know what we need and want. Instead we open ourselves up to receive what we require at any given moment of our journey.
Don’t imagine for a moment that present moment awareness involves people just being “still” and “one.” Being is a state of aliveness in which we are responsive to what’s required in each moment of our experience.
Far from an inactive or passive approach to life, being is a vibrantly alive state because life is full of momentum. But what we need to realize is that there are two kinds of momentum.
Doing has a momentum of sorts. The problem is that because it’s driven by anxiety rooted in fearfulness, it manifests as a need to manipulate the situations, events, and people who come into our lives.
There’s a different kind of momentum that’s an expression of being. This momentum is characterized by a conscious aliveness.
There’s a world of difference between manipulating our emotions to force ourselves to feel what we think we should be feeling, and truly feeling our authentic being. The consequence is that we tend to invalidate our actual experience by imagining it should be other than it is.
Can we receive our experience as valid, as it unfolds? Or do we think something else ought to be happening? The moment we don’t accept our experience as the truth, we’ve strayed from the straight and narrow.
This was the great insight of the Buddha, who tried for six years to manipulate his experience, until he finally surrendered to simply being. He became present in his experience exactly as it presented (present-ed) itself.
To enter into life by what Jesus called the “narrow gate” and the “straight way” — the straight and narrow — is to embrace our experience as valid and to see what’s happening as required.
In stating “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” Jesus was validating his experience. Our authentic experience is the narrow way, the true way that leads to the fullness of life. No one enters into a present moment experience of our Source in any other way than the way Jesus did.
All doing originates in the manipulation of our true feelings to align with how we think our lives should be. To die to our mental concept of ourselves and all the doing we engage in to try to live up to our expectation of how things should turn out, and instead cross the bridge into being, is the only way to the fulfillment for which we have always longed.
Especially in these perilous times, being is also the only truly comfortable, safe way to live.