Cultivating a Center of Gravity
Life unfolds around a center of gravity. In our solar system, the sun is the center of gravity. Without the sun’s force holding the planets within their orbits, life could never evolve; planets would simply fly off in every direction and the delicate harmony upon which life manifests would be shattered. Human beings are like small solar systems made up of diverse interests, desires, plans, and impulses. In order for creativity, harmony, and beauty to evolve from this tension of forces, a center of gravity must be forged from our most cherished intentions and motivations.
On the Tantric Buddhist path, intention stands at the core of every activity. First one must consciously formulate ones intention and look with care to make sure it truly reflects one’s highest and deepest motivations. The intention which lies at the heart of the Tantric path is to realize Buddhahood and allow this realization, this truth, to ripple out as compassion to, and through, all beings. The Tantrica strives to forge this intention into a center of gravity around which the various planets and moons of their life are drawn into harmonious orbit.
Meditating on intention, making it the center of our lives, shaping our decisions and actions around it is a simple act, no great mystery of mystical revelation, but it is the foundation of great accomplishments.
The simplest way to develop a spiritual center of gravity is to cultivate the “wish to grow.” The “wish to grow” is simply our innate spiritual longing. It is the force inside each of us that moves us into the great journey of spiritual discovery. This is a bit vague but that is good. It is best not to define away the infinity of possibility too early. Spirituality is a journey without a goal, a direction without a destination. Cultivating the wish to grow and forging it into a center of gravity is deceptively simple. One need merely feel “the wish to grow” like a flame within ones heart. Then, on the in breath, direct the energy of your life into this feeling. Offer your life force into this spiritual longing. On the out breath allow the accumulated force to suffuse the whole body.
There is a simple spiritual truth that goes like this: you become what you meditate on. If you meditate on the feeling of spiritual longing, the wish to grow, then this feeling itself will grow stronger and stronger and, over time, you will “become it.” Over time it will become the center of gravity around which your whole life revolves and confusion, the sense of being buffeted about by competing desires and wasted time will all dissolve like mist in the morning sun.
An excellent example of this is the mala – the Tantric Buddhist beads used for counting mystic practices. The mala is a string of beads, 108 in all. When held on the string each bead is like a moment of life - good moment, bad moment, boring moment, happy moment, sad moment. When the string breaks the beads scatter wildly across the floor in disarray. The wish to grow, meditated upon and fanned into a fire, is the string upon which the beads of our life experiences are strung. Without the string the moments may be good or bad but they become a jumble with no depth, they scatter in disarray. The string through the heart of the mala and the heart of our lives is spiritual longing made into intention and then forged into a center of gravity.
This little meditation is very simple. Often people ignore what is simple believing that if it is not complex and impossible it is not worthwhile. But if you truly do this small practice, unifying intention, breath and inherent blessings contained within our spiritual longings, then the flame of spiritual longing will grow into a raging fire and whine like a sun at the core of your life. This blaze of spiritual yearning is, in itself, a great bliss and joy on which all the moments of your experience, good and bad, attain meaning as vast as the sky and deep as the ocean. The Tanrtic tradition is a path that takes all appearances, all experiences, onto the way. The realization arising from this method is that all appearance is the ornament of Buddha Nature – the luminous wonderment of pure potentiality.