Give yourself a helping hand

“It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson 

I’ve been trying to help a friend lately who is going through a difficult time. We all play this role at one time or another where we share our time and words. We try to bring a little peace and contentment to the world of another. When life is flowing effortlessly, it’s so easy to give to another. No shadow of doubt exists in service of a friend.

Life is revealing. Exposing truth in its purest form. Each situation presents a lesson to learn and a chance to inquire into your true nature. My guru, Dhyan Vimal, has encouraged me at all times and in all situations to remember me. This act of self remembrance, or Simirthi as it’s know in Sanskrit, requires deep awareness. The movement of the mind, heart, energy and breath are all to be observed. A sharp and alert mind is required in order to be truly aware. Times of contentment can turn to sleepy times when the alertness is somewhat relaxed and not so sharp. It was in this relaxed and contented space of mind that I met with my troubled friend.

Have you ever observed yourself when listening to the suffering of another? Have you ever listened to the advice you give another? It occurred to me, when looking at this friend, that the words of wisdom which were imparted were actually words for me. I could see myself so clearly when I looked at my friend. This clarity was so pristine that I even had to question if I had ever seen past my idea of who this friend was. Had I ever really seen my friend at all?

Inner Inquiry

I decided to go deeper into this inquiry. Can I see past my idea of another? Past the projection of my thoughts on who that person is to me? And what is this projection based on? If my idea of that person is founded in reality then could there ever be discontentment? With this friend there has been discontentment and conflict in the past. As I went deeper into my personal inquiry, the blindness became clearer. When you look to another based on an idea, what you actually see is a reflection of yourself. You miss reality. Discontentment with another is born of the conflict between your idea and what actually exists as that person in reality. With friends, we can make excuses and justifications and force contentment to be there, but this contentment is of the mind and is not based on truth. We risk missing the opportunity to see ourselves. This discontent exists not because of another but because of our inability to see truth.

The mirror of truth

Each friend acts as a mirror, but to use this mirror, we must see past our ideas. When you see the illusion of your projection, an opportunity for deeper inquiry is revealed. If you see any discontent in this state of awareness try not to justify it or push it aside. It’s easy to believe that discontentment is based on something external to ourselves. By allowing the energy of discontentment to remain alive, we have an opportunity to see “what is” in all it’s rawness. Through this denuding we can see beyond ideas and justifications to what is really there. This was a most unexpected sight over myself, uncovering a truth that had previously gone amiss. These flashes of clarity have also allowed me to drop ideas I hold in regards to myself and not just my projection of the other.

What started out as helping and supporting a friend resulted in me learning more about myself. As well as going deeper into my own truth, I have the chance to see my friend in a new light. A vision without clouds. I have found an opportunity to meet both my friend and myself anew, and that truly is a blessing!