“If you are not helpless, God is helpless”

by Joebaby on April 15, 2011

If there’s a phrase that sums up for me the grand ‘AHA!’ of my retreat here in India, it is the above comment…

The quote is on the calender of the Oneness University, and comes from Amma Bhagavan. The perspective here is that, until we realize that we are not the mind, and that we cannot change the mind, we will suffer. And as soon as we realize that the thoughts, beliefs, emotions that come from the mind have nothing to do with us and that we can do nothing about them, we become helpless…

And helplessness is exactly the condition wherein the indwelling Divine can reach, embrace, transform and awaken us…

Its a radical departure from what I have lived. And while I have resisted this perspective for decades, (including the belief that we cannot awaken ourselves, and that awakening can only come as an act of grace), I have fully embraced it during my time here.

The results are transformational… ‘I’ watch this mind’s endless habit of creating meanding and significance and judgment upon every action. We did an hour of gardening seva the other morning. I grabbed a hoe and began weeding. The thought stream was endless…

“I’m good at this, I worked on a farm as a kid”

“Look how well I can swing this hoe!”

“I’m doing a great job, better than anyone else”

With blisters forming on my palms, ‘I’ think “Look at what a passionate worker I am!”

“I’m one tough guy!”

“I’m no sissy, I’m rugged, but I won’t tell anyone about these blisters (that’ll make me even more rugged!)”

I set down the hoe and start weeding around a rose bush… the mind narrates; “I’m very good at this, I learned how to do this as a child”

“I am faster and better at this than anyone here!”

“I love nature, I have a unique relationship with nature. My relationship with nature is special”

The endless commentary is laughable… The more I just witness the thoughts, realizing they are not ‘me’, the more I am aware of a profound sense of peace and quiet…And the subjects and topics and triggers of the past, the alarms and hot buttons and painful judgments, are somehow gracefully losing their importance… and the simple joy of swinging a hoe,  pulling a weed and washing my clothes is more and more evident…

This morning, as the sun rose into the humid Indian sky, I walked the grounds, enjoying the feeling of absolute helplessness…. celebrating the truth that I am helpless and that I know nothing!

Namaste from India!

Joe

 

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