Two Veils Hide the Mystery Within

searching for purpose

Why is True Nature so hard to know from our direct, personal experience?

So many of the world’s contemplative and religious traditions speak of the Mystery within you and me. Yet although so near, Buddha mind, the Kingdom of Heaven, or True Nature – however you call it – seems so far from our experience as to be just rumor. Why is this so?

At least two veils shroud the Mystery, and deprive us of direct experience unless we rend the veils.

The outermost veil concerns our engagement with our daily life. The seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, and smelling associated with all of our daily living draw attention to the outer world and away from within where the Mystery dwells.

As long as the outer world entrances us, diverting our attention from within, the outermost veil remains intact.

But let’s presume that we rend the outer veil by allocating some time in our lives for introspection and meditation. Despite our balancing our lives in acknowledgement of the worth of an inner life, still a second veil blinds us.

What is the second veil? Thought, discursive thinking, reliance on the intellect.

Seemingly most westerners negotiate existence through the medium of thought. We identify with the thinking function. We are our thoughts, or so we think. Researchers vary in their estimates of how many thoughts we think each day. Some suggest 10,000 thoughts, others 50,000!

Imagine thought to be a stick that you dip into a small pond. Incessant thinking agitates the water, stirring it until the water darkens, and becomes murky with swirling silt. Remove the stick, and the water settles revealing the depths.

Rend the veil of thought by quieting the mind, and the Mystery stands revealed.

I close with a quote from each of two spiritual teachers:

“The single most vital step on your journey toward enlightenment is this: learn to disidentify from your mind.” ~ Eckhart Tolle,

“Step aside from all thinking, and there’s nowhere you can’t go” – Seng-ts’an, Third Founding Teacher of Zen.

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