I want to examine the relationship between what I describe as Deep Trust and the practice of paying attention. Deep Trust operates on the assumption that there is something within us that has no external dependencies. In fact, you can’t influence its existence at all. This can provide a feeling of alrightness quite unlike any other, and is available to all of us if we just pay attention.
The Origins of Deep Trust
The thoughts, the chatter, the memories, the pain, the joy. None of it is here to stay. The present blends into past and future before we get a chance to breathe. Time moves forwards relentlessly. We feverishly hold on to the good and push away the bad. Deep Trust? In a world where chaos reigns, what could it already be based on?
Take a step back with me. Let’s look at the space in which everything arises. Consciousness. This infinite void, this sense of spaciousness in which it all exists, this never ending capacity for things, is itself the only constant in our experience of the universe.
This space is forever present. Its open nature never changes. It is the only thing that is with you from your first breath until your last. And it is there without you ever having to do anything for it. Your doings bear no influence on its existence. This is nature’s true wonder. Understanding that you are none of the contents of consciousness, but rather the space itself in which everything arises all the time. You are none of the things that trouble you. That is the source of Deep Trust. Connecting with this understanding of self means connecting with your unchangeable nature.
The tears that run down your face the moment you understand that someone precious is never coming back. The joy that arises as your body clashes with the waves of the ocean. The ecstasy you feel when eating a slice of your favorite pizza. Everything that comes into view has a right to be there. It all belongs to you. It is a part of you. But it is not who you are. Trust in the constancy of consciousness.
Practically speaking, accessing this mode of being requires little more than the determination to do so. Pay attention.
This is often called meditation, or mindfulness practice. I find that these terms can be a bit loaded, misleading even. They can evoke eastern imagery of the total renouncement of everything we think and feel, when in reality, it leads to the opposite. Meditation is about embracing the reality of experience that is so often clouded by a misguided identification with its contents. When you strip away the loaded imagery, the traditions, the religion, meditation is simply the practice of paying attention.
Paying attention leads us to connect with the constancy of experience. The more we feel like there is a layer underneath all the chatter, the more we can begin to trust in its availability. Drop back and receive what is headed your way. It can help us feel more alive. And I’m not talking about that carrot-on-a-stick version of aliveness, dependent on the things you don’t own, how you fail to dress or what experiences you almost never had. I’m talking about re-discovering the magic of being who you already are, without all the nonsense you need to keep buying to prevent society from collapsing.