a couple of years ago

Whatever happens…

There was a time I thought I was enlightened.

I was experiencing bliss for months.

Which is exactly what I thought enlightenment was supposed to be, I thought.

The only problem was, there was a nagging worry underneath it all…one that I wasn’t aware of until what I had been worrying about came to pass.

That worry was that I’d lose it.

And lose it, I did. The bliss disappeared. In the blink of an eye. And I was devastated.

Everything that happens is a blessing. The loss of bliss included. Because until I lost bliss, I didn’t realize how small that “enlightenment” was. Just how miserable it was.

Even though it was shiny, happy, blissful…even though I was genuinely happy…that worry that it could all be taken away was unmet. I was still making effort to protect myself from it.

When bliss disappeared, I had a choice.

And this is the choice that happens every moment of my life. And I will propose that it happens every moment of your life too.

That choice is not a choice of how I will feel. Not a choice of what I will think. Not a choice of what I will want. Not any of the choices that I think I have to make.

It is simpler. Subtler.

The choice is this: will I tell the truth or not.

And by tell the truth, I mean, in direct experience, what is actually happening? Not what do I think about it. Rather, in direct experience – the simple felt sense of being here – what is happening?

I can’t think my way out of this. No story will save me. No amount of clinging or avoidance will extract me from the unavoidableness of being.

Whatever happens, this is the choice. And it is totally unconditional. Because there are no conditions that can truly obscure this. No matter what the content of this moment – whether bliss or fear or boredom or unworthiness or love or anything else – this choice to tell the truth…to *acknowledge* the effortless truth that is already here as what I call me…this choice is always available.

It doesn’t matter what has happened. It doesn’t matter what I have done. It doesn’t matter how many times I have seemingly forgotten or lost my way or become confused. It doesn’t matter how terribly unenlightened I have been or for how long or anything else.

In this moment right now, equally available to the greatest saint and the greatest sinner, the simple acknowledgment of effortless being.

Bliss comes and goes. It’s nice when it’s here. But it will go. And its presence or absence does nothing to augment nor diminish what is always effortlessly present. Totally obvious. To you. To me. To everyone. We can’t actually miss it. We can only imagine that we could miss it.

But it receives even that. It receives the overlooking and the acknowledgment.

We can’t mess it up.

Joey Lott

Joey Lott is the author of numerous books, including The Best Thing That Never Happened and The Little Book of Big Healing. He lives in southern Vermont with his wife and children.

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