A Zen monk was traveling by himself, walking for days on end. Tired, exhausted, and about to give up hope, he reached a wide river. The monk was excited to see his mentor standing on the other side.
“Master,” he called. “I am so tired. Please show me how to get to the other side.”
The Master looked on him with compassion, before answering.
“Stop searching. You are on the other side.”
This story spoke to me because it contains a golden nugget of truth.
Wherever you are, that is where you are. Instead of constantly searching for the answers to your problems outside of you, be still and look within.
You have all the answers you seek. You have only to quiet the mind so you can hear your heart.
The heart speaks a language the mind cannot understand. — anon
When you forget to listen to your heart, your mind and ego play tricks on you, promising that if only X happens, then you will be happy.
Instead of being distracted by the voice of your ego and mind, look again to see what it real and what is an illusion.
The Other Side is an Illusion
The other side is an illusion that constantly keeps you moving and striving toward a future that promises relief. The only problem is that the future never comes, and you are left in limbo, waiting for a promised result while frustrated and alone.
The promise of the other side is that you will finally be saved. Keep striving and doing, and your fears will be resolved.
The problem is that life doesn’t work that way.
You were designed to live in the moment, but your mind is a time traveler. The past is brought into the present as a way to make decisions. The future is projected from the energy of fear, and you end up standing on the riverbank, asking how to get to the “other side.”
If your mind carries a heavy burden of past, you will experience more of the same. The past perpetuates itself through lack of presence. The quality of your consciousness at this moment is what shapes the future. — Ekhart Tolle
Instead of believing the illusion of the “other side,” step back and begin again. Except this time, you go inward and discover yourself.
You Are the Other Side
Breathe deeply and feel the oxygen filling your lungs. Hold your breath for several heartbeats, then release it slowly.
Repeat two more times.
As you return to yourself, your mind and ego become quiet. You have created a space for an inward journey, one that holds all the answers to your questions about life, love, and living.
You have returned to the present moment, awake and aware.
Feel the weight of your body sitting in the chair. Notice how your hips and legs are heavy, while your spine holds you upright.
Close your eyes and feel inside your body. Imagine that you are pure awareness, and you are inside your body. As you move your awareness around, you feel your fingers from the inside. You feel your toes, from the inside.
Move into your heart space and feel it expand with your awareness. Feel the love and beauty of your heart merge with your awareness until you are blended together, with no beginning and no end.
Open your awareness in your heart and expand it outward, beyond your body, beyond the room where you are sitting. Keep expanding it outward until you can no longer.
Breathe in the expansiveness of your being.
Welcome to the other side.
Read more from Kathryn Eriksen