The Best of Me

It's in every one of us, to be wise, find your heart, open up both your eyes. From lyrics, " Its In Every One of Us "    David Pomeranz 1976

I first heard this song about 30 years ago;  something was waking up in me. I recall looking out the window and seeing a man on the balcony across from me, and having the odd sensation we were somehow connected. This coincided with a renewed interest in Buddhism and meditation, somewhere near the end of a long chapter of isolation and misery, within a seemingly self created silo.

The best part of me is universal. The best part of me -- at times buried beneath myriad layers of ideas and judgments about  me and you -- is in everyone.  We can relate to this as a concept, as a fleeting moment of awareness, or as an experience to cultivate and deepen.

When I read these lyrics now, they strike me as a simple set of instructions; a potential guide to a practice. We first find the stillness and wisdom of the heart, and then we open our eyes.  I've experienced this as a rising up of the energy of the heart into my seeing, and there is a recognition, a revelation. This recognition has an energy and tone of awake, alert knowing. It sparkles and dances between us. This awareness has no needs; its a river flowing between.

As a practice, we might discover that there are layers to pierce before we find the heart and value its wisdom.  The habit is to occupy our mental versions of reality, and not the sensed, felt universe of direct experience.

Images of the sage Padmesembava depict him with wide open eyes; his vision has expanded and transformed. This could mean that he saw the world in wholeness.

It's possible to cultivate this way of being and seeing so that it arises effortlessly. When it does, you might get a response like, " You look familiar, have we met?"  We're totally filled with the beauty of the other, see them as part of us.

There are numerous practices that cultivate this type of awakening, the foundation of which is loving. From a very pragmatic level, the practice of Kum Nye and the practice of Hakomi specifically develop heart centered seeing. In Hakomi, Loving Presence is a requirement, a precondition to the therapeutic relationship, a  state which the therapist or helper moves toward before beginning the session. It is both a way of seeing and a way of being.

The gift of truly seeing softens something within the beholder and the beheld, something can finally relax.

What intrigues me about Kum Nye is it's non reliance on psychological positions; Kum Nye advocates direct experience; loosening up the mental focus creates openness.  The mind has a way of tightening us, when it insists on its version of life. Kum Bye unravels these tight places that are held physically and energetically.

Perhaps we are called to really challenge our perspective. Is our habitual way of seeing another really true? What happens when we merely doubt?

Loving presence  expands our energy field, our 'Kum' in Tibetan terminology.  Kum expands and opens as we cultivate awareness of feelings or energy, both within us and beyond.  Awareness itself opens the gate, and begins to melt the blockages --our conditioning-- that limit us, and create separation. Kum Nye frees up our energy centers so vital energy flows into the heart, creating the experience of wholeness.

The best part of me is universal. The best part of me is everywhere. The way to awaken is to see this in you. As an exercise, now, if you are near people or can bring someone to mind,  notice storylines or judgments, then, find a point of stillness inside, and let it expand past the mind. Let appreciation, or gratitude rise up and shine. Open your eyes wide, and fill yourself with their beauty. And repeat.

Don McGinnis teaches Kum Nye Tibetan Yoga on Salt Spring Island,  Duncan and Victoria in the Fall, Winter and Spring, and offers Spring and Fall Retreats. For information about classes and contact or check out movingpresence.

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