Light on the Shadow
"If I keep busy, I won’t have to look at what is frightening me."
One night Nasrudin’s neighbor Jalami found Nasrudin on his hands and knees under a streetlamp, searching for his house key. Wanting to be of service, Jalami joined Nasrudin on the ground and together poked around in the grass. After 20 minutes, Jalami asked Nasrudin, “Do you remember where you were standing when you dropped the key? ”
“Yes, ” answered Nasrudin, “over there, ” pointing to a tree 30 feet from the lamp where the two men were searching.
“Then why are you looking for the key here? ” Jalami had to ask.
“Because there is more light over here. ”
It is tempting to look in easy places for answers, instead of confronting our inner thoughts and beliefs about ourselves. One of the techniques we use to distract ourselves from facing our fears is to create endless errands, projects, meetings, emergencies, dramas, crises, upsets, and intellectual dances that keep us so occupied that we have little or no time left to be with ourselves. But simply taking a few quiet moments to honestly face what is troubling us may be exactly what we need to heal the insanity we create in our outer circumstances.
Enlightenment is an inside job. Doing more in the outer world will not result in more peace; only being more will get us what we want. Peace is attained by letting go of everything that distracts us from it.
Step back from your busy-ness and look within, where you will find everything you have ever sought in the outer world, and more.
All I really want is to know You. Help me to stay on purpose.
Give me the inspiration to look within for my answers.
Help me take the time to be with myself and find the peace I seek.
In quiet I look within and discover the light I am.
This meditation is an excerpt from Alan Cohen's meditation book, A Deep Breath of Life.
Also available at "In The Rooms" website.