Just when I began to write the new post, the amazing Supermoon eclipse began. The huge red-white disc appeared on the horizon and I realized that the sun, the moon, and we were aligned in one straight power-line. This gave birth to today’s topic.
In everything we do, think, decide, and experience there is one key factor that can organize everything to good ends. I want to call this “alignment,” and it leads to a vivid awareness and a special kind of natural order. Without clear alignment it might feel as if we move aimlessly in an empty room, as if in a daze. We have come from somewhere and we are on the way somewhere, but we are floating in between, nowhere. Dependent on momentary winds and moods we will end up here or there, anywhere.
Where are we going?
Somehow we have arrived where we are and in every moment we are moving on towards somewhere else. Whatever we are doing or not doing right now will determine where we head. If we have a good base of motivation, clarity about our purpose, and presence, things can develop with ease and an internal consistency. We might not be able to completely determine our future, but with clear alignment and integrity we might feel like we are at the right place at the right time to do something of benefit.
How do we find alignment and what does it connect us to? What is the ground we are standing on, the root we are growing from? What are the poles we are moving between? In Buddhism we have the terms ground, path, and fruition as a way to talk about our practice. A great deal can be said about this topic, but for now I just want to mention that they are in complete alignment. Good comes from good, wakefulness comes from wakefulness. Being “aligned” might feel constricting to some, but if we are simply living day by day exposed to the momentary winds of our automatic reactions, then rather than feeling free and spontaneous, our life might feel surprisingly narrow. We might even experience some kind of entrapment by unconscious driving forces.
If we are coming from a chosen ethical base and move within our own clear motivation, our actions and maybe even our thoughts are supported by a special atmosphere. We might notice different impulses and automatic reactions, but based on our conscious wishes and choices it’s much easier to decide how we want to act.
So what is our alignment? Whether we consciously reflect on them or not, we all have opinions, wishes, things we like and things we don’t like. Some of us have chosen our preferences carefully and reflect on them regularly, and others, not so much. Our approach to life, what gives us meaning, forms our priorities and our decisions. Our approach leads to our activities in general and to our specific behavior. If we repeat the reflections that have led us to our clear alignment, in this way our direction will stay authentic.
If I have consciously recognized that I feel much better when I am friendly and supportive, then I’m much more likely to act in this way when life gets difficult. If I can’t do it then I have the chance to learn more. I’m learning what I’m capable of and what not. The ground is my wish and the decision to act positively that moment is my path, and it will show me what is possible. From there the future with its many different fruits can unfold along this line.
Where to now?
What would we like to see if we look back at the end of this lifetime? What is most important to us? In peaceful moments we might know our own answers to these questions. They can be our clarity for our authentic alignment and guide us along the way. Being ethically aligned is a kind of ground, but it is also a path, and in the same way it’s a goal, a clear direction. If we are aiming at money or fame then the result will be quite different than if we are aiming at loving connection, meaning, and contentment.
Now here in this moment we are moving in the space between the poles of the sun and moon. The more we can feel the connection to our ground and to our goals, the easier and more simply our life can unfold. Daily we have to navigate different challenges. In those moments we have to make fast decisions. If we know why and where we are heading, many questions are easily answered and many challenges and distractions pass by without any effect.
It’s rewarding to find some calm moments at the end of a year or around our birthday to re-calibrate in this way.
Am I still on track with where I want to go?
What’s motivating me and how am I going to approach this?
Am I clear about who or what is most important to me and how I’d like to act in this context?
Internal check in
For me personally these questions are always important, but I check in especially every new year and every birthday. I check in with my basic orientation and my feeling of alignment. Sometimes I change something a little bit, sometimes a bit more. In between these times I notice whenever I’ve lost orientation and find my way back. As in every formal meditation I simply remember my chosen orientation and come back to it. In our spiritual life, practicing with supportive vows and rituals can be a very powerful way to feel held within our chosen alignment. This might be a good topic for another post. 🙂
I wish for all of us that we can live in good alignment in our lives in the same way we do while living in the line between the radiating sun and the warm, red moon during the eclipse.
P.S. In case you are interested in joining my new 6-week online course “Joy and Ease,” I’ll leave the access open for free for a short time.
P.P.S. In case you’d like to watch interesting videos for this special eclipse you can find them here.