The Basics: Understanding
If there is understanding and wholehearted effort in any endeavor, the end will come by itself—no need to be anxious. Understanding is unequivocal clarity at the gut level where something feels very right.
Each situation in life stares at us like a question, and our response to each—either the key to let ourselves in to the inner rooms or a knock which aside from making noise and wearing out the knuckles—still keeps one outside.
We are not only part of life but one with life and to experience the oneness or largeness of our existence, the perfect response must be given to each situation. Can I do what needs to be done instead of what 'I' want to do or what 'benefits me' as the 'me' does not exist as a separate entity. We have created this 'me' and now, this non-entity defines us and is not only the cause of our problems but the problem itself.
Responses in the spirit of the existing unity of things is a way to rid ourselves of the 'me' and gives insight to the existing unity. Naturally, for this, we have to be very alert as the conditioning we carry, like a set of coloring crayons with tremendous energy, insists on coloring all that we perceive 'for our own best interests'. Conditioning is an amalgam of impressions charged with feelings or energy and when these surge within, it is difficult to know if we are consciously thinking or if habit is rising and falling as a wave in the ocean.
Tremendous zeal is required each moment to perceive 'what actually is' from moment to moment and to do what needs to be done. To see each situation as it is and to respond with what is needed (not by us but by the situation) increases clarity and understanding of things as they are.
Life is a series of occasions, like constantly seeing an unfinished jigsaw puzzle with a missing area staring at us for a response. We know well what will happen if we try to put in place what does not belong, so we look at the missing area attentively and the quality of attention itself suggests what must go there. Not only does it suggest, it gives the energy to put the missing piece in place and this very spirit of attention gains in skill and understanding.
There is nothing called emotional clarity as emotions are never clear or unequivocal, they fluctuate as the moods change. When there is understanding or unequivocal clarity, the whole being gets roused into action. This inner clarity itself releases the requisite energy for the task on hand and there is effort, but no struggle.
Each action is an expression of current understanding and returns as experience, just as a seed gives rise to the plant which bears fruit. Action or expression is like one's outbox and these themselves return as fruit or experience, like one's inbox. If we are concerned about experience or what comes, we must be very concerned about expression or what goes. What goes, comes—and hence, nothing comes or goes.
Like a cook who tastes his cooking first, we must taste anything we want to dish out first. With anger, for instance, before we vent anger, we must be angry and this point is very important to remember. I must first harbor any feeling sent out, just as boats docked at the harbor before they set sail. I then continue to experience these feelings while subjecting others to my expressing them; and after the outbursts, I continue to experience anger any time related thoughts surface in my mind. If similar occasions reappear, I am more prone to repeating anger, and therefore understanding or inner intelligence dims.
Cultivating understanding requires unrelenting zeal—you have to want the better and greater understanding to come from your own self. Conditions are opportunities to rise or fall in understanding. This understanding is not intellectual understanding or know-how, it is the very heart of one's being from where our responses rise. Skill in action is clarity in perception doing what needs to be done with all of one's being, without clinging onto action in any of its stages or its fruits thereof.