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The Real Question

Friday, July 19th, 2013

We all do it. Every day. Many times a day. We forget our center. We forget who we are. We trade our peace and happiness for some worldly morsel and repeat the mantras “if only” and “what if.” Usually the stakes are higher—a job, a relationship, a trip around the world, or the fantasy of your choice—but it’s the same thing. We’re missing something and we want to fill the emptiness with whatever is closest at hand—in an example case, I woke this morning desiring a banana muffin. But, there were no banana muffins to be found! For this morning a banana would have done just fine to satisfy, at least for a while. But everything worldly is temporary. If I get attached to something temporary, I’m going to hurt all the time, because it will change or disappear. That is the nature of all worldly objects.

The real question is what am I really looking for? What will truly satisfy me? What will fill me so I no longer feel empty? On the days that I’m not allowing myself to be trapped by a muffin, I’ve discovered the trick is not to feed the emptiness. Just stay empty. Feel the emptiness. Enter it. Be one with it. Instead of trying to fill the emptiness with transitory objects and experiences, allow it to take you to the other side. Then you will be filled with that which is eternal, that which will not leave. Once that happens, you can still go out into the world and play with all its toys. But your senses will no longer jerk the reins out of your hands and run away with your mind, landing you in a mess. Now you’re choosing the direction and having the fun.

So when the senses tug at me and I find I’m about to give in, I try to remember to take a few deep breaths and ask myself: Ten years from now, will this matter? How about a month from now? An hour? No. So why lose my equilibrium? Even if I think it does matter, if I have no control over it, I may as well let go before holding on tears me into shreds. As long as I hold on, I’m ruled by my senses. But if I let go and center myself in my true Self with my breath and my mantra, I cannot be swayed.


Irene (Aradhana) Petryszak