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Dharma Talks , Inspirations

All is Accomplished

One of the oldest teachings in yoga proclaims that the world is complete just as it is. You may be familiar with the well known verse to purnam, “the entire,” that begins the Isha Upanishad. The notion that nothing is ever left out, that nothing is missing, has always baffled me. How could the world be complete when there is so much left undone? Today, nations are unstable, there is social inequality, and thousands are victims of war, drought and famine. Personally, when death comes knocking, many of us feel that our lives are left hanging – plans are incomplete, relationships unresolved, and goals unfinished. And in the course of a lifetime we may feel plagued by feelings of insufficiency. All too often, we feel less than, never good enough. Thus, to conclude that you and I are whole just as we are and that in every second, every hour of the day all things are being consummated, is radical if not absurd.
That all things are entire just the way they are is not to comment on whether things are good or bad. This is a bare-bones view of things as complete, because they are. In Zen when asked about the ancient way of the Buddhas, teachers would point to the big tree in the garden, hold up a sack of rice, or raise one finger. The Buddha himself was known simply as “thus come,” or “that which is here” (tathagatha). Everything is complete because it appears “just as it is.” The belief that you are whole just as you are requires a simple, yet radical shift in thinking. It involves a kind of total acceptance, in the moment, with what is. When you witness the sundown see the day as complete, when you have pain in your hip feel the sensation, when you get stuck in traffic be in traffic. The finite is always an expression of the infinite. Thus whatever gets revealed, whether terrible or sublime, see it as part of a greater whole.
Try this. Spend a day being with things just as they are. Don’t reject things. Don’t cling to them. Simply be awake to the fact that everything is “full on,” just as it is.
Alchemy + Aim