A long time ago, during my golden childhood years, I would often go to a park near my home, where there was a swing, a slide and a climbing frame. My favorite in the playground was always the swing.
How nice it was to swing back and forth…. back and forth… back and forth…
I quickly learned how to gain speed. And so I went: back and forth… back and forth, always gaining height and speed. The swing would go higher and come back, higher and come back…How nice it was to play on that swing that was always there!
One time, during one of my swings, I vividly remember thinking: “How will my future be?” I never forgot that thought.
What I did not know then was that, while I was swinging back and forth, my future was right there, at that very moment. I did not know that life would repeat that movement of the swing many times, throwing me from one side to another, like the pendulum of an old clock, always at the present moment.
Sometimes it seemed that I did not have to do anything: the swing movement would happen anyways, regardless of my will. Life just happened, with many battles lost and won: for life, for love, for survival, all amidst such painful conflicts.
That constant swinging started to become very tiresome. The continuous oscillation of external circumstances, the incessant internal changes, in a rhythm not always conscious, caused me disgust and anguish.
That movement needed to stop!
Then it all added up and chaos appeared…meaninglessness…depression. Tears, smiles, joy and despair…. and a smile yet again! Opposite emotions… all on the same day.
That movement needs to stop!
But how to stop this swing? How to stop this movement which played with me as if I were a small toy in someone’s hands? I wasn’t swinging myself anymore: it was the movement itself which was throwing me from one side to another, in the usual conflict and discord.
So I started to observe! How agonizing it was to watch happiness and pain succeed one another day after day! Life went on. And there I went, walking and stumbling, already exhausted, but now trying to understand how to stop this swing which was causing so much suffering.
One day – such a beautiful day! – I found a garden, which was exceptionally beautiful given the time of the year. I sat down and started to observe. In front of me there was a patch of daisies, the flower which represents purity and love.
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe… to those who have not yet really observed the daisies. Its yellow center is like the sun, the petals as white as the snow… such a delicate flower, but it adapts to many different types of soils and is totally dependent on the sunlight for its development.
And I watched! I observed its center, surprised, remembering my biology classes back at school. In its yellow center there are hundreds of tubular little flowers, a pistill and two-lobed stigma, absolutely required for its reproduction. Each one of these little flowers can produce many seeds, but the daisy cannot pollinate itself. The seeds rest at the center of the flower, waiting for the birds and insects to help. There, in the center of that flower, is the potential of life! It lies still!
And as in a flash, I understood!
I also have a center which lies still, in which the events of my life are not defined as good or bad…where the true potential of life lies… where the true consciousness awaits asleep. It awaits my awakening.
I knew then that there, in my center, was my finishing line… there, where the changes brought by time do not affect me and where the storms which move that swing can no longer use me as a play toy.
There is the true consciousness, where time does not exist and where movement finally stops… pain and suffering finally end.
And in an upward spiral of searching, built with effort and stumbling, this true Consciousness makes itself present, and conflicts and disharmonies become nothing more than road signs on the road of life.
There… where peace and serenity reign absolute.
There… in the center of the daisy!