Built for YES to what’s here

 

Mentally struggling with what’s here creates drama and stress. It doesn’t help me much since it doesn’t change what’s already here, and it distracts from taking more clear and wise action.

So how can we say YES to what’s here?

Saying YES as a human self

A natural strategy is to try to shift our human responses from saying NO to certain experiences to saying YES, and to generally say YES more often to a wider range of experiences.

We can do this in several different ways. We can use heart-centered practices to shift our habitual responses and orientation. We can inquire into any stressful beliefs that gives a NO instead of a more receptive YES. We can invite in healing for emotional issues giving a NO instead of a YES. We can use body-centered approaches to find more comfort in ourselves and trust in life, which tends to make the YES more available. We can work with gratitude. And so on.

All of this does work, to some extent. But there will always be a mix of parts of us saying YES and NO, and the NO will come up in certain situations and in response to certain experiences.

It’s natural, understandable, and ultimately innocent, and there is absolutely nothing wrong in this. It’s part of the universal human experience.

What we are is built for YES

There is another way to find this YES, and that is to notice what we are.

When we find ourselves as capacity for the world, we find our true nature, and we find that this true nature is built for YES to the world. It inherently says YES to what’s here.

What we are says YES to what’s here whether our personality likes what’s here or not, and whether our human self says NO or YES. It even says YES to our very natural human response of NO to certain experiences.

It’s a big relief to notice this. It means we don’t have to struggle to change every little human NO into a YES. We can allow our human self to be as it is, and it’s OK. The YES is already here, we just need to notice.

The practicality of this

What happens when we go into a NO or YES at a human level, and what happens when we notice the YES inherent in what we are?

As mentioned above, the NO does create some struggle, stress, and drama, and it can distract us from more engaged, kind, and wise action and responses.

A YES at a human level can help us respond in a more kind and clear way.

And noticing what we are and the YES inherent in it invites in a softening of the identification with our human responses. We see that it’s playing itself out and lives its own life. And that does help us to respond more from the YES inherent in what we are, which – as above – gives us a better chance to respond with clarity and kindness.

What this is and isn’t about

This is about saying YES to what’s already here – these experiences, this situation. It’s already here, so it makes sense to say yes to it. Life has already said yes to it, so we make it easier for ourselves if we join in with that particular yes.

It’s not about saying yes to any option or request and so on. We still use our ordinary discernment and say yes or no to different options in our life, and we can work on changing the situation we are in and set the stage for future situations we would like to be in.

This is about being a good steward of our life in two ways. First, by joining in with the YES life has already said to what’s already here. Then, by saying yes or no to options and choices in our life as best we can, to create a good and meaningful life for ourselves in the world.

What and who we are together

We are capacity for the world, and what our experiences happen within and as. And we are this human self in the world. One says YES to what’s here, and the other typically says both YES and NO. And that’s perfectly natural, innocent, and even beautiful. It adds to the immense richness of who and what we are and our experience of the world and existence.

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A YES to the world

 

What does it mean to say YES to the world? And why would we?

First, what does it mean?

It means to say an internal YES to whatever is in our world – the situation and people, and our own emotions, thoughts, sensations, and whatever else is here.

It’s an intentional shift in orientation from the NO parts of us have towards the world to a YES.

Why would we say YES to the world?

Mainly for pragmatic reasons.

What’s here is already here. We are too late in doing anything about it. If I fight it, I just create additional stress and distractions for myself. If I say YES to it, the stress and drama calms down and I am in a better position to relate to it more consciously and do something about it if that’s appropriate.

Saying YES to my world is a kindness to myself. It helps me act more from clarity and kindness.

How do we do it?

For me, it’s easier to ask myself a question:

Can I say YES to what’s here?

How is it to say YES to this situation? To what I am experiencing now?

Can I say YES to the “no” in me?

This opens the mind to the possibility. It opens for curiosity. It helps me connect with the side of me that already says YES to this experience.

Does it mean being gullible or passive?

Not at all.

It just means to allow some of the drama to settle and finding the more clear side of myself. I’ll still act if that’s needed, and I may do it a little more effectively.

Aligning with reality

This is not only pragmatic. It’s also an expression of what we already are.

The reality is that we are already “built open” for the world, as Douglas Harding says. What we are is this awake no-thing that’s open for the world as it is. What we are is built with an inherent YES to the world.

By asking ourselves can I say YES to what’s here? a few things may happen. One of these is that we notice what we are and live from it, especially if this is available to us from experience.

Getting to know the NO in us

A side-effect of this is that we get to see the NO in us. We get to see the parts of us that say “no” to life or a situation.

It’s very natural and understandable that we have these sides of us. They were created from separation consciousness, and there is often a lot of pain and fear in there.

When we get to know them more closely, we may see that they are here to protect us and really come from and are an expression of love. They also come from painful beliefs, identifications, and sometimes trauma.

They come from unloved and unexamined fear.

By saying YES to the “no” in us, we acknowledge these sides of us while not getting caught in them.

A what-if orientation

These type of explorations work best if they come from a what-if orientation.

What if I do this? What happens?

This also opens from some receptivity, curiosity, and even playfulness.

Where does this pointer come from?

The YES to the world is something we find in many places – from poets to psychologists, philosophers, mystics, and some spiritual traditions. It’s one of the things we discover if we explore ourselves and how we relate to the world, and what works and doesn’t work so well. It’s also what we discover when we discover what we are, and explore this for a while in daily life.

I suspect that I got the “YES to the world” wording from Adyashanti although I don’t have a clear memory of where from. (I haven’t taken in much from spirituality for the last several years.)

Why do I write about this now?

Well, the answer is almost given. This is something I have explored and applied in my own life over the last few days. It’s something I have returned to since I have needed it. A lot of primal fear has come up, partly triggered by working on and exploring it in myself.

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How is it to say YES to what’s here?

 

I love the Headless Way, and I have tremendously enjoyed reading the graphic novel from 2016 called The Man with No Head: The Life and Ideas of Douglas Harding. The two pages above especially caught my attention.

A YES TO WHAT IS

How do we shift to actively welcoming what is and a wholehearted YES to what is?

There are several answers to this.

Here and now, how can we find this YES?

One way we can all explore it is through asking ourselves:

How is it to actively want what is here now?

Can I say YES to what’s here? Can I say YES to this feeling?

Can I say YES to the no in me?

This opens our mind to that possibility, we find some curiosity about it, and we may shift into the part(s) of us that already welcome it and say a YES to what is.

Befriending suffering parts of us

The suffering parts living in separation consciousness are what in us doesn’t welcome what is and says NO to what is. So befriending these help with finding our YES, as does inviting in healing for these parts of us.

This takes time and is an ongoing process, and it does prepare the ground for the YES to be more wholehearted, natural, and available in more and more situations.

Recognize as the divine

We can recognize all generally as the divine. And yet, when suffering parts of us surface, it may be easy to “forget” at some level that these too are the divine and get caught up in a no to the discomfort or suffering.

When this happens, I can ask the questions above.

I can ask: How is it to see this experience as a flavor of the divine?

And I can recognize that it’s all happening within and as what I am, and take time to take it in and let it reorganize something in me.

Maturing over time

Something in us shifts and matures over time – through seeing, living from it, noticing when we don’t live from it, and so on. It’s a kind of maturation process.

To the extent we stay involved with the awakening process and go beyond what’s familiar with us, it seems that we find a deeper and more sincere willingness in us to shift, to actively find a welcome for what is and a wholehearted YES.

Conscious commitment

Profound Declaration of Intent: My desire is that all shall be as it is since all flows from my True Nature.

Douglas Harding, quoted in The Man With No Head

Finally, we have conscious commitment. When we are ready, we may find and set a conscious commitment to actively welcome what is, and find a YES to it. This becomes a practice.

ADDITIONAL THEMES: SEEING & LIVING FROM IT

The two pages from The Man With No Head touch on some big themes in my own life, in addition to the YES:

There is a difference between seeing what we are and living from it.

There is a difference between generally seeing it and all our human parts being on board with it.

And there is a difference between passively accepting what is and actively wanting it and saying YES to it.

All these themes are connected.

Seeing what we are

First is the seeing. In some cases, that can be the easy part, especially if it comes through pointers and inquiry or if it comes spontaneously.

Living from it

Then it’s the living from it. That’s an ongoing and lifelong process. If all is ONE, how do I live in this situation?

What is it that makes living from it in all situations challenging? It may be that we “forget” and don’t notice what we are. And equally or more often, it’s because parts of our human self still operating from separation consciousness are triggered.

The way we perceive and interpret a situation trigger unhealed, unexamined, and unloved parts of us. A bubble of separation consciousness comes to the surface.

This is not wrong. It’s part of the process. These parts of us want to join in with the awakening. They want to reorganize – heal and awaken – within this new context.

The question is: how do we relate to these suffering parts of us when they visit? Do we try to slam the door? Do we join in with their fearful stories and reactivity? Or do we meet them as suffering beings that want healing? Do we meet them with kindness, receptivity, and understanding? Do we create a safe space for them to be seen, felt, loved, and heal?

How is it to say YES to these parts of us that say NO to what’s here?

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Adyashanti: When your ‘yes’ becomes unlimited, there’s profound silence

 

When your ‘yes’ becomes unlimited, there’s profound silence.

– Adyashanti, Silent Retreat Vol.62, Asilomar Dec 2017, Q&A

What does it mean that our YES is unlimited?

It means there is a yes in us to whatever is here, whatever our experience happens to be. There is always this yes, we are always this yes since our nature allows whatever experience is here. The yes Adya talks about is a yes that comes from this recognition.

Where does the silence come from?

When there is a no in us to our experience, there is struggle, and struggle feels noisy. So when the struggle rests, there is silence.

Also, when the struggle rests, it reveals the profound silence we already are and the profound silence all our experiences – including the apparently busy and noisy ones – happens within and as.

And how can our YES become unlimited?

One is to notice the yes already inherent in life and us. The nature of life, existence, consciousness, and what we are is to allow whatever experience is here. There is already a yes to it all. When we notice it, we can align with this yes more consciously.

The other is to reorient to our experiences through heart-centered practices, and also investigate any no in us and where it’s coming from – and invite in healing and resolution for it.

These two go hand-in-hand and mutually support each other.


Saying yes

 

Can I say yes to this?

– 0 –

How would it be to say yes to what’s here?

To the person I am with, the experience that’s here?

(And, of course, that  internal yes to the person can come out in the form of a an external “no” to any particular request.)

– 0 –

What happens when I say an internal no to what’s here?

What happens when I say yes to what’s here?

What fears and beliefs does this bring up?

What do I find when I look into these?

– 0 –

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The shift into a yes

 

Through inquiry, there is a shift into a YES around whatever the topic is about.

And there is a sense – or glimpses – of a deeper YES to whatever happens as well. A shift into a deeper trust, deeper sense of not knowing, and a deeper knowing that whatever NOs surface are there to be seen, felt and loved. They reflect a temporary belief, not reality.

There seems to be always new layers here.