"Our interpretations of reality, the stories we continually tell ourselves about people, places, things or circumstances, are like the clouds in the sky of our consciousness. They cover over the shining presence of God within us that is our own essential, true nature as God’s children. Just like the sun in the sky, our true nature is always shining. Its very nature is to radiate pure happiness. So, happiness is never really absent from us—it is just covered over sometimes."
-Francis Bennett, I Am That I Am
Francis Bennett, the former Trappist monk, Zen student and Vipassana practitioner who now makes his living giving talks and leading retreats on nondual spirituality, is elegantly articulate with a very simple message about awareness and awakening: We are already awakened; all we need to do is settle into our awakened state.
It sounds so easy!
Lately, I've been letting myself relax more and more deeply into meditation. I've managed to just stop trying to meditate. I've found a warm, merciful presence inside that just keeps inviting me into presence. No matter how distracted I get, or how determined I become to hammer that "nail" of a mantra, I keep hearing "Good. Now relax." It's not a permissive voice, saying "Anything goes." It's a voice that embraces what is, and returns me back to simple attention. At its heart, it feels like infinite mercy, unconditional love.