Few dharma teachers speak to my heart as does Ezra Bayda. His books Being Zen: Bringing Meditation to Life and At Home in the Muddy Water: A Guide to Finding Peace Within Everyday Chaos came into my life when I really needed to learn more about the gentle wisdom of opening up to what is and letting go of a limited sense of self.
“What is Our Life About?” is a wonderful poem of Bayda’s that I first read in Being Zen. This is a later version in his more recent book Zen Heart: Simple Advice for Living with Mindfulness and Compassion. I hope this poem comforts and inspires you as it has me. At the end of the poem please enjoy listening to the incredibly beautiful I giori by Ludovico Einaudi; it fits perfectly with the poem.
May this poem and music bring calm to your mind and peace to your heart!
What is Our Life About?
Our aspirations, our calling, our desire for a genuine life,
is to see the truth of who we really are—
that the nature of our Being is connectedness and love,
not the illusion of a separate self to which our suffering clings.
It is from this awareness that Life can flow through us;
the Unconditioned manifesting freely as our conditioned body.
And what is the path?
To learn to reside in whatever life presents.
To learn to attend to all those things
that block the flow of a more open life;
and to see them as the very path of awakening—
all the of the constructs, the identities,
the holding back, the protections,
all of the fears, the self-judgments, the blame—
all that separates us from letting Life be.
And what is the path?
To turn away from constantly seeking comfort
and trying to avoid pain.
To open to the willingness to just be,
in this very moment,
exactly as it is.
No longer ready to be caught
in the relentlessly spinning mind.
Practice is about awakening to the true Self;
no one special to be, nowhere to go.
Residing in the Heart, just Being.
We are so much more than just this body
just this personal drama.
As we cling to our fear,
and our shame, and our suffering,
we forsake the gratitude of living from our natural Being.
So where, in this very moment, do we cling to our views?
Softening around the mind’s incessant judgment,
we can awaken the heart that seeks to be awakened.
And when the veil of separation rises,
Life simply unfolds as it will.
No longer caught in the self-centered dream,
we can give ourselves to others,
like a white bird in the snow.
Time is fleeting.
Don’t hold back.
Appreciate this precious life.
Please enjoy the title song from the album I giorni by Ludovico Einaudi. Click on the arrow to listen:
You can purchase I giorni from iTunes here: