It cannot be sought, it cannot be found, it is
By Wallace Huey
When I was a young man, my favourite sport was hang gliding. Then years later I realised why I liked hang gliding so much.
Hang gliding was a metaphor.
As a sport it contained all the qualities I wanted to nurture in myself.
These qualities were brought into my life, through engaging in the sport.
When piloting a hang glider, moving from one place to another is effortless. You lie below the hang glider in what is called the “prone” position and you control the hang glider by moving your body, left and right, forward and backward. You need to be able to “read” the sky of course, to know where you could get lift, and to avoid turbulence. So the amount of physical effort required to move across the land was an absolute minimum.
As I covered ground in my hang glider, there was absolutely no noise. I might be flying at 30 - 40 mph but there was no roar or rattle of an engine. The experience was one of gliding across the sky and over the land in complete silence - Beautiful.
From my prone position, high in the sky, I could look forward to see the cloud formations, and down to be aware of potential landing places and to admire the landscape from above. I had a complete panoramic view of my surroundings. This enabled me to respond to changes in my environment, harness available lift and to stay out of trouble.
The hang glider is a perfectly balanced flying device, with the person, instead of being a dead weight, being an integral part of the man/machine system, all held in a perfect balance of forces. And you feel this when piloting the hang glider. You experience yourself held securely as the focal point of the forces in the man/machine system.
Of course there is risk hang gliding. But not as much risk as you might suppose. As the onlooker sees the pilot suspended from the wing, hanging in space way above the ground, he appears very vulnerable but he is actually quite secure, held as he is by the balance of forces.
As the pilot flys across the landscape below, moving to the left and right, occasionally circling to catch a helpful thermal and gain height, the whole experience is more akin to ballet, than to transport. It has grace running right through every move.
There is indefinable joy in experiencing such an all embracing immersion in the environment. After landing and coming “down to Earth” the whole experience felt incredibly light, effortless and magical, compared to how I normally got around on land.
I felt exuberant.
However I needed to find a way to make these qualities integral to my way of being, not dependant on anything external like hang gliding as a way of accessing them. Then when I reached 29 years of age I gave it all up. I was on a different path - I set out on an inner journey where, because of an inner transformation, these same qualities that I experienced when hang gliding, would come to be the way I experienced the whole of life…
Gradually the effort that I exerted to achieve my goals dissolved and then disappeared altogether. As it did, so did the goals.
My life became quieter and my inner mental processes slowly dissipated until I experienced mostly inner silence.
I developed a panoramic vision not of landscape but of life itself. I came to see what others could not and use this ability to see how all things are interconnected and work for the good of the whole.
One of the things I was able to see was how life is exquisitely balanced. A particular aspect of life may appear to temporarily have come out of balance, but when I expanded my vision I saw that life, as a whole, is never out of balance.
I saw that risk is a mirage and that in life the only failure is not to respond, and that carries the biggest risk.
I saw that life, due to its inherent balance, is always graceful, and I came to embody this grace in the way I communicated and acted.
As the suffering dissolved from my life, joy expanded exponentially. This joy had a different quality from the happiness that most seek. It was a permanent deeply experienced joy that cancelled out any suffering and brought with it exuberance, present even when I was inactive, sitting quietly at home.
As a result I have long ago given up my wish to engage in hang gliding and have instead embodied its qualities.
Can you gain freedom through the ways of the world?
Or is there another way?
The way of the wing
The way of the wind
The way beyond words………
This way is the way of spiritual liberation.
It cannot be sought, it cannot be found, it is.
Exuberance - Here and now.
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