There are many moments in our day that support beginning. The morning is a natural beginning. If you are able to sit quietly before the flush of your day has taken hold, you are at a moment of beginning. Less easy than the morning, there are nevertheless a hundred other chances. A minute of quiet, here or there. A pause in a discussion. A hesitation before a repetitious argument. But because there are many chances, don’t assume they will always arise. One day you will arrive at your last chance.
Beginning requires attention. It is a state of being in question. Beginning, for me, requires a letting go of attitudinal answers. Like the attention you invite when you stand in a yogi’s mountain pose, to begin you must casts aside emotionality, attitudinal stances of all sorts, and the posture of being the one who already knows. As knower you cannot be in question. As seeker, you can.
Beginning becomes possible after an ending. We seek to solve our problems, but anyone who has actually solved one has seen that a real solution is more like a dissolution. The terms of the decision are not necessarily carried into the solution. Take a break up as an example. In the throes of the conflict you have with your mate you struggle this way and that to make the relationship work. If you solve your problem by breaking up, the struggle simply evaporates. You abandon the terms you were trying to meet.
Inner moves also have this character. Let’s say you are struggling with the sense that you are inadequate. You feel the heaviness of disappointment in yourself, and wonder why it is that you cannot do better with your efforts. Then, almost miraculously, you make a decision. You decide to go to school, or lose weight, or apply for a job. A new inner energy awakens and you are able to do what you thought you could not do. You have dissolved your previous answer; the previous refusal to make a move in life. In the dissolution of your inertia, you discover that you can act. Doing, which previously seemed impossible to you, is now possible.
With spiritual work, we begin. We ask the most fundamental questions. “What is satisfaction?” “How am I attempting to be satisfied in my daily life?” “If I am not satisfied, how is my answer inadequate?” The beginning returns when you ask the right question. With each life transition the question arises anew. “How am I seeking satisfaction? If I am satisfied, what is my satisfaction?” Arriving at these questions is your beginning. Your question, which may begin with torment, is your jewel. Hold it with great care. It can open a door.