A short excerpt from the book

Maybe at first the beautiful experiences enhance our lives and cultivate a sense of joy that we believe is contained within that beauty. And the negative experiences seem to disrupt our lives and pull our attention away into fear. But the truth, behind our experience of fear and joy, is that there is something that is un-contained and never disrupted.

If we allow both the beautiful and the painful to point us back to not knowing, regardless of our circumstances, we come to see that it is the only constant in a world that swings between good and bad, up and down, right and wrong.

And so the pain served as an eraser. It came in and slowly took everything. It’s primary message is to let go. Its gift is silent fullness. It demands brevity and so points without delay to the fundamental fabric, that ground of the unknown.

When we inquire into the hidden value of the unknown, especially in a moment of great pain or great beauty we may not find an answer. We may instead experience an out-of-the-question silence that contains a profound reverence.

For true peace in the face of great pain, and for the resolution of its suffering, it is this unquestionable silence we must reveal within ourselves. It is not a tool to help better ourselves. It is not a pain killer. When the transient lights of our own lives are going out, and we no longer know anything – it is who we truly are, and we are already home.

Chronic pain can be used for spiritual self-inquiry

Sruti is a spiritual teacher who shares her experience with an uncommon and painful illness called Interstitial Cystitis. This ongoing and chronic condition challenged her to stay present with daily pain and to look further inward for answers.

In an extreme moment of pain, in which consciousness began to fade, Sruti experienced the erasure of all that clouds over the earliest source of vision. She asks the question: with whose vision are we seeing when the lights are going out? Has this early vision ever known anything at all?

Sruti finds that we can allow what is painful to become a tool to disrupt the ordinary layers of our experience. Underneath these layers we find the unconditional peace that is our constant being in each moment.

Can we investigate the source of ordinary vision – can we find the place of true seeing that is earlier that who we think we are?

When we inquire into the hidden value of the unknown, especially in a moment of great pain or great beauty we may not find an answer. We may instead experience an out-of-the-question silence that contains a profound reverence. For true peace in the face of great pain, and for the resolution of its suffering, it is this unquestionable silence we must reveal within ourselves. – Sruti

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