When I embarked on the journey of offering my essential teaching of “the freedom of openness” in the form of this book, I had no idea the world would almost literally fall apart as the book developed. Certainly the world has always been subject to turbulence, but seemingly overnight it has changed dramatically and many people are facing immense challenges and overwhelming fear in everyday life.
We are now in unprecedented times in which, individually and collectively, we so obviously are facing the unknown. Everyday routines and choices that we long have taken for granted are no longer safe or secure. Our daily habits, our lifestyle, our jobs, our recreation, are all changing. For some there is uncertainty about financial security, for others there is fear around physical survival, and for yet others there is loss of friends and family. The global economy, planetary resources, social patterns, the basis of our health and wellbeing are all on shifting sands. And there is a lot of confusion, a lot of conflicting reports—a lot of information and a lot of misinformation—in the news, in social media, and so on.
But more urgent and fundamental than the changes we see in the world is the contagion of fear that underlies the unconscious human condition. This fear has always been at the root of psychological suffering, but now it is amplified because we are so connected through information highways and world events that impact us all. Fear actually isn’t rooted in the reality of now. It is the result of coming to a conclusion about the future. It’s what happens when we give our attention to the drama of thought, when mind flaps about on the surface looking for something to be concerned with because it cannot rest in the unknownness of now.
When faced with the intensity of collective fear, we may go crazy with believing our thoughts to be reality or we may be forced to go inwards and ground ourselves in what is deeper than the seeming importance of form or thought. The real question is not how will you cope with your life, but how can you meet life—this life today, not the imagined life, not the future life, but this very moment—from a deeper place than your habitual narratives or anyone else’s. Can you meet life—now and now and now—as openness? I’m talking about the very immediacy of your experience—wherever your location, whatever your circumstances, whatever your state of health, somewhere that is closer than all of that.
What is closer than economic collapse? What is closer than social breakdown? What is closer than any loss? What is more intimate and direct than any thought? Right here, right now—if you stop and listen, if you stop and feel—is the warmth of your body, the ebb and flow of your breath, the pulse in your belly. Right here, right now—if you stop and soften—is the simplicity of being.
This recognition of the truth of your innermost nature is not a spiritual palliative. It’s not about denying what’s going on in the world. It’s not about sticking your head in the sand. It’s about meeting reality as it is, not as you imagine it to be. It’s about waking up out of the dream of separation and returning to the sovereignty of your innate wholeness.
Forgetting our true source as one being-ness is what keeps us in a divided internal state and in a divided world. This unexamined belief in a “me” as a separate entity leads to the mass hypnosis of fear and the loss of our true inner authority. But in the midst of adversity is an immense opportunity.
Right here, right now—is your chance to remember who you really are, to be rooted in that which is more constant than anything that can be lost or anything that can break. This that cannot be lost and that cannot break has been with you ever since you took your first breath and will be with you until you take your last. It is your essential aliveness. By aliveness, I mean the naked fact of “I AM” that is always here—that can never be taken away from you. No one and no event has the power to take this, your essential nature, away.
A new landscape is before us, a terrain never before traversed. We are called to take one step at a time, gentle yet firm, neither looking backward to how it was nor looking forward to how we imagine it could be. We are invited to befriend the unknown, to get right up close and intimate with an openness the mind cannot possess.
Often we may feel overwhelmed, confused, enraged, as we experience inner and outer worlds crumble and fall. Often we may feel as if we’re walking through the valley of death, our hearts broken open and the suffering of humanity pouring in. But as we keep still, perhaps we feel the silent goodness that runs through it all, an undercurrent of aliveness that is always here and so easily missed in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, so easily bypassed by the acquisitive mind.
Perhaps now—in the midst of this uncertainty—we are naked enough to be touched by the impermanence of the world, the insanity of giving our allegiance to fear, the futility of holding onto the known at all costs.
Perhaps now—in the mess of a world shaken to the ground— we are down on our knees enough to be humble enough and grateful enough and kind enough to attend to what is more essential than our cherished beliefs and opinions and ideas of right and wrong.
Perhaps now—as we fall into this unknown moment—we will be resurrected into the verticality of being and walk this new terrain as warriors of an open heart.
Perhaps now we will be rooted in our true immunity of presence, in our true authority as love, and in our true birthright of freedom.
This is the invitation of openness that is at the core of my teachings.
Namaste — Amoda Maa
Amoda Maa is a spiritual teacher, a warrior of the heart, sharing a fresh approach to the age-old search for spiritual freedom. Her essential teaching features a timeless truth that is highly relevant to this moment—for contemporary seekers willing to go to the raw edge where spirituality meets humanity.
Since 2012 Amoda has been offering meetings and retreats to support and deepen the living of an awakened life. She has been a speaker or guest teacher at a variety of conferences, featured in several magazines, interviewed for numerous broadcasts and podcasts, and has written four books with translations into five languages. Her teachings do not belong to any tradition or lineage and are accessible to all. She brings to them a deep understanding of the human journey, born out of her own direct experience.
Amoda lives with her beloved Kavi in New Mexico, and inspires a growing following worldwide.
More info about Amoda Maa and her teaching at www.amodamaa.com.
Her videos are available at www.YouTube.com/AmodaMaaJeevan