Recently I was listening to a short meditation from the wonderful Peter Harper, aka The Drunken Monk. Peter shared with us a short koan that he invited us all to work with in 2023. Koans, as explained in a previous blog, are short riddles or puzzles that Zen Buddhists use during meditation to help them unravel greater truths about the world and about themselves.
The koan Peter shared is: “I live in a perfect world”.
Try saying it now to yourself: “I live in a perfect world”. How does that sit with you? Do you feel ok with it, at peace, when you say it? Or does your mind immediately debate with you – how can you say that? There’s war in the Ukraine, people are homeless on our streets despite the wealth in the world, climate change is real and scary, how can it be a perfect world?
Would you be willing to explore this ‘riddle’ to help you unravel greater truths about the world and about yourself?
Take It In
If you are curious about working with this, the first step Peter recommends is to simply take it in. Just like the rain falling on the earth and soaking in, allow this perspective to soak into you. And allow any arguments to emerge and still hold the possibility of it being a perfect world.
In truth, this is a concept I’ve been grappling with for many months now and while it is still something that my mind struggles with at times, it is also something that brings me great peace. It’s not that I don’t recognise problems or see things that I’d dearly love to change in my world. But in its own curious way, adopting this perspective is what gives me courage and hope and a belief that actually change is possible.
So I wanted to share the koan with all of you today and also share with you some of the insights and teachings that have really helped me to allow it to soak in and to embrace it more fully.
The first teachings on this subject that really spoke to me were from Wallace D Wattles, in a short book of his called The Science of Being Great. Wattles was one of the great contributors to the New Thought Movement in the US in the early and mid-twentieth Century. Wattles shared his own koan of sorts as follows:
Louise L Hay also helps us with this. In her book, You Can Heal Your Life, every chapter ends with a treatment, i.e. a flow of positive ideas designed to change consciousness.
Every single one of these treatments starts with the phrase: “In the Infinity of Life where I am, all is perfect, whole and complete.” And each treatment ends with the phrase: “All is well in my world”.
This is not to say that the world is static or that we can’t change. Rather, it is that in every moment there is the opportunity to think a different thought and create a different outcome.
What I take from all of this is that we have to stop resisting. We have to stop resisting all that we find wrong with ourselves, with others and with our world. Everything is exactly as it needs to be in order for us to learn and grow and advance. As soon as we tune into that perspective we have the opportunity to take the learning and grow. We can become better and do better.
Each of these teachers is supporting us to elevate our consciousness, to shift to a higher perspective. And as my great mentor Mary Morrissey says, every improvement in results on the outside is the result of an internal shift to greater awareness/higher consciousness.
If you would love to create new results in your life and see positive changes in your world, shifting your awareness is an essential part of the process.
So how do you do that?
All of these teachers concur that the point of power is in the present moment. Let’s do that together now, let’s tune into the present moment. Here are some ways to do that:
Focus on your breath, notice the in breath and the out breath, just notice. Notice the pause at the top of the breath as you breathe in and the pause at the end of each exhale before the next breath starts. Stay with observing your breath for a while.
You can also pay attention to the five senses. Tap into each sense for a moment or two.
- What can you hear around you? What are the closest sounds and the furthest away sounds?
- Notice the touch of your clothes against your skin or the feel of the air against your cheeks or the back of your hands
What can you taste in your mouth – run your tongue over your teeth, what can you taste?
What can you smell?
Open your eyes if they were closed or focus on a particular item or image around you, what can you see, look at the details of colour or texture or shading.
Tune into your heart, breathe into the heart and feel it expand.
As you do any or all of these practices, typically you start to feel a bit more expansive. Feelings like love or peace or trust or clarity arise. You realise that all is well. In this present moment awareness, you are free of the past and painful memories or regret and you are free of any worries about a future that may never happen. You are in the present moment, grounded, present and open. You are aware that in this moment all is well.
To support you to bring that feeling with you into your everyday, I’m closing today’s blog with the beautiful prayer of Julian of Norwich. As you may know, my husband is originally from Norwich, so I got curious about Julian of Norwich by association! Perhaps her best known prayer is the following. It has survived since the 13th Century, as the Truth always does:
All shall be well
All shall be well
And all manner of things shall be well
Use these words to support you in really knowing that all is well. You and I live in a perfect world. You are beautiful and loved. All is perfect, whole and complete. All is well.
You are receiving this blog on 1 January 2023! Let me take this opportunity to wish you and yours a Happy New Year and every success and happiness in 2023.
And let me that a moment to let you know that the in-person Vision Workshop is back! Coming up on 28 and 29 January 2023, you have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the fundamentals of transformation, with a group of supportive, like-minded people. To truly set yourself up for success, to create your best year ever, register here now!