You know that feeling when the ground gives way? You’re going along with the plan and suddenly everything falls apart? Staying grounded while the earth shifts under your feet requires flexibility and adaptability and the ability to release familiar reference points. It may mean letting go of precious dreams or relationships. Sometimes even having your feet on the earth does not guarantee solid footing, because change is the only constant. And sometimes that change is dramatic.
We take our ground with us.
Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche spoke about the 3 aspects of the spiritual journey as ground, path and fruition. We could say that each element is present in anything we do.
The ground of our experience is the pure awareness of the present moment, without embellishment. The trouble is, most of us spend all of our waking hours embellishing. So we lose the connection with that stable ground. We have the seed of our own awakening inside us already. It’s just a matter of recognising it.
So the path consists of identifying where we get in our own way. We learn our habitual patterns, and practice methods to help us purify our view so that we don’t get caught up in the confusion of believing our thoughts. We learn step by step, through a contemplative practice such as sitting meditation, to rest fully in the now, relaxed and alert at the same time.
With sustained practice, eventually we see results: a sense of peace, a bit of clarity. Insight. We learn to dwell in our natural state more frequently. We stop struggling.
Staying grounded means allying with our internal reference points.
External reference points are constantly shifting.
The ground of any situation is always present, however obscured or chaotic it may appear. In order to ally with that ground and create the seeds of awakening, we need to learn to ride the moments when change throws us to the ground. We learn to be with events cleanly, without creating anything extra.
Our friends in Nepal this week have experienced in the most dramatic way what happens when the earth shifts under your feet. But we all experience this daily as impermanence and time tear through our lives, destroying and birthing new situations.
When you are able to come back to the present moment again and again with a sense of ease, then you have found ground.
Maybe the ground we seek is in the centre of our hearts, providing the foundation that supports us and keeps us connected. Maybe this is the real yoga – the union of heart and mind so that we recognise our interconnectedness with all of nature. And our connection with each other.
Please send your blessings to the people in Nepal. If you’d like to send a donation to a local grassroots organisation (so that 100% of your donation will get to the people who need it) you can make your donation here.
How do you stay grounded when things get topsy turvey? Share your insights below, and please share this post with your friends if you found it helpful!