The Essence Behind the Form

Good day, all!
I hope you’re having a beautiful day so far, and an attentive practice day….

Here’s another prompt from the ongoing Five Skandhas online class that you might find to be interesting. Mess around with it if you like, and see what you see!!

Blessings to you, each of you.

“Good morning, classmates!
One of the fun things about exploring the fifth skandha is that we get to mess around in the mystical aspect of practice, which is by far my personal favorite. Here’s a little something along those lines for you to play around with today if you’d like to….

The teachings from just about all traditions (as I understand them) say the same fundamental thing:

There is one reality. Everything is of the same essence, the same substance. All things are one.

There is also the relative, temporal manifestation of that one reality: the form, the content, the stuff of our lives.

We conditioned humans tend to lose ourselves in the relative, in the form, in the stuff that we’re interacting with moment by moment. We forget to be aware of our existence, of our own essence, and instead we tend to allow our consciousness to disappear from view within the great variety of things that we cling to or resist. One way of talking about what spiritual practice is, is this, that spiritual practice is the work of disentangling ourselves from the relative, so that we may experience the essence, the one reality; so that we may embody that one reality, in fact, because, of course, that one reality is our own authentic nature. There is no separate “I” experiencing; there is only experience, only the essence of all that is.

You might play around with this teaching today in an experiential way. As you go through your day and interact with the world of form, with the content of your life and of your day, see if you can experience the essence behind the form. Look for the one reality behind the things you perceive. A Christian way of saying this same thing is to “practice the presence of God”. Don’t try to make anything happen that isn’t happening; instead, look to see what is actually here, in this moment, and see if you experience the one reality that is independent from and sort of behind or underneath or inside of everything you experience.

Have fun with it! And if you feel like it, let me know what you see!”