…allowing ourselves to be fully what we are.
We chase our fulfillment elsewhere. This is our fundamental human problem. We think that we will find true fulfillment in other experiences than this one, right here and now. It will come from achieving something, or having something, or being with someone. While all kinds of experiences, events and relationships in our lives can be conducive to our fulfillment as human beings, there is only one place that fulfillment can happen: here and now.
What is fulfillment? It’s not satisfaction or satiation, though it is totally satisfying. It’s not pleasure but it is blissful. It’s not accomplishment though we may feel fully accomplished as human beings when we experience it. Our true fulfillment is, in a nutshell, being fully ourselves; allowing ourselves to be fully what we are.
We tend to think it’s about doing. But it’s really about being. It is not actually dependent on setting up the right circumstances. We can be in the middle of confusion, distress and conflict, and yet find our complete fulfillment.
One Dharma teacher was caught in a clash between police and demonstrators in the late 1960s. As she stared at the angry face of a policeman behind his riot shield just in front of her, she suddenly she discovered who she really was, and realised that she and the policeman were not two separate beings. She experienced complete fulfillment in the midst of danger. She realised oneness. Or perhaps we could say: oneness realised itself.
There is apparently no fulfillment that does not involve our seeing beyond our own self-limited view. Our real fulfillment lies in the realisation of the boundless fact of our true being. Nothing can come close to that. No experience we will ever have can come near the totality inherent in our experience of true fulfillment. To experience it is to have fulfilled ourselves as human beings. That’s why such an experience always comes with the recognition firstly that all is well and always has been and always will be; and secondly, that it is just fine if we die now. We have seen that life and death are not what we thought. Therefore, just because we’ve seen that, it’s fine to die now.
Which of course we generally don’t do. Our lives carry on. But now we know what we didn’t know before. We have seen it, tasted it; we have experienced complete fulfillment. Therefore we train in the great task of fully embodying what we have realised, so that we can live ever more fully aligned with it, in accord with it, and more deeply in awareness of it; which now naturally means giving ourselves away in order to help and serve others.