The Ground of Being is more than a working concept for those of us who have incorporated the practices of meditation, mindfulness and yoga into our lives. When one has had an experience of this ground of being, it becomes an actual felt sense in one’s body and, thereafter, each visit is like returning home. So, what is it? How does one describe what shows up in this felt sense? Why is it even important to consider?
I imagine the answers to these questions require an appreciation of what motivates us to do meditation and yoga. Perhaps what draws us to these practices is an inner knowing that there is a connection to something larger than our smaller selves. Or perhaps it’s simply that we want to explore whatever connection we have to who we really are. That would mean setting aside the daily chronicle of words that speaks to us from inside – you know, the words that accompany every action and intention that we have throughout the day. Because, after all, we are really much more (or less) than the thoughts and emotions that are attached to us as we take our next breath or next step.
Doesn’t it sometimes feel as if what’s inside us is always moving, shifting from one thought or feeling to the next with almost no space in between? What of silence? Is there really nothing there when we are silent – or is that when the door opens even wider to let in more words, opinions, judgments and the like? So, maybe the task before us is not so much to explore silence as to create space, take a step back so that our perspective is from a larger viewpoint. With that action of stepping back, however subtle, a shift happens and space opens. It may not be a lot, but just enough for us to see that our thoughts and emotions arise out of somewhere. They are not present all the time. There is much movement in them, even though at times the movement may seem quite circular as we are drawn back to the same issue over and over again.
So, where do they arise from? Certainly not from nothing! There is some ground, some sense of spacious awareness, from which all these thoughts and feelings come, take up space and then recede again. That is the Ground of Being, the larger awareness that we all have, more or less masked by the constant filling up with words, judgments and opinions. And while these may serve us in our day to day functioning, what might it be like to return home as it were, to the spacious awareness that is in us, that connects us with the Ground of Being in everything. This may seem like a difficult task if looked at as a goal to get to and then reside in. The easier path would be to carry the intention of touching it briefly, over and over again.
Remember that it’s always there, never lost. It’s simply a matter of noticing, observing while stepping back, shifting perspective. How amazing to realize that in the midst of all that changes, there is a connection to this larger spacious awareness! Doesn’t that just make you want to smile…