The major hurdle is ‘I the seeker’
With that thought, we can’t go deeper
Everyone is a seeker—of one thing or another. The motivation is finding and realizing the promise of eternal joy. We use the mind’s capabilities to search, seek, and discover what makes us happy. By combining intellect, memory, and imagination with our rudimentary hunter and gatherer instincts, the mind turns into a tool for seeking and experiencing.
Seeking can go on for a lifetime, but any experience, however novel, is fleeting. The question to ask of ourselves is, ‘Do we want to spend an entire lifetime seeking ephemeral experiences?’ In that shadow of that seeking is the forgotten seeker.
The seeker is in the present. Experiences recede into the past, and seeking shifts our attention to the future. While we dwell on thoughts of future experiences, we forget the here and now is where life is happening. There is much to explore and enjoy in ‘what already is.’ When we set our sights on ‘what may come,’ there are no guarantees.
When we seek an experience, we have an idea of what that experience should be—rarely does anyone say, ‘I don’t know what I am seeking.’ Holding a preformed idea makes us compare and contrast one experience with another. We become rigid and keep searching until we find the experience that matches our desire.
Life cannot assure us that we will get what we want. By clinging to our desires, we set ourselves up for disappointments and the feeling of being incomplete without the experiences we crave.
Life does not impose a hard requirement that we need to seek and experience to be happy. If we stop seeking and begin to flow with it’s current, existence may gift us more significant experiences without us asking.
Moving with the current of life is like floating down a river. When we seek, it is like swimming upstream. It does not take much effort to float downstream. We can relax and enjoy the various sights on either bank. To go against the current requires hard work. We cannot rest for even a moment, let alone trying to look around.
When we stop craving, a door opens to the present. It relaxes our mind and our being. By dropping the idea of wanting to experience, it stunts the ego. The ‘I’ that seeks to experience is a deep-seated idea. As long as we identify with the ‘I,’ we live in limited awareness.
Taking one step back, we can witness the ‘I’ that seeks to experience. In the beginning, it takes effort to sustain this separation. By persisting, we become more flexible. We are no longer defined by what we experience. This flexibility replaces the ego’s rigidity, and life becomes an ‘effortless effort’ as long as we remain alert, aware, ready, and receptive.
When we stop linking our happiness to experiences, our receptivity to life grows. We can sink into the depths of this very moment. Traveling thousands of miles on the surface of the ocean will not take us closer to its bottom. But being in one place and allowing the sea to draw us in, in a few miles, we can reach the bottom (in a submarine, of course).
Experiences are like the ‘surface’ of life, and this moment is its ‘depth.’ The ‘I’ lives on the surface. By witnessing the movement of the mind without seeking allows the moment to take us to its depths.