Trust Emergence

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We have established the core of the practice:

Mindfulness — Pause

Calm acceptance — Relax

Mutuality — Open

We meet the moment awake, loving, and spacious. But what do we do when we find that the moment changes uncontrollably or when our habit-driven world seems unchanging? How do we generate faith to be present with our impermanence and our habitual reactions?

The fourth meditation instruction, Trust Emergence, addresses these questions by inviting us to be in the changing present moment and to make impermanence itself the object of practice. Trust Emergence is rooted in wisdom, seeing things as they are: complex, impermanent. Emergence is the process by which the complex things we experience arise spontaneously from underlying contributing factors. Trust refers to the faith required to be present with this instability, to accept that we don’t know, to let go into the changing now.

The senses are our gateway to Emergence. Observation of our bodily sensations is a direct way to connect with impermanence. We become aware of a specific sensation, such as a point of discomfort. We notice how this sensation and then others continually change dependent upon the stimulus and the sense organ. However, this is known by consciousness, which also constantly changes along with what arises. In short, wherever we contact the truth of impermanence, we can practice Trust Emergence.

Both Open and Trust Emergence ask us to release short-term attachments and agendas that hide us from each other. In Insight Dialogue, we let go of predicting what the other will say; we let go of planning our response. We practice without the bias of a goal. While background aspirations of compassion or peace remain, we focus on setting aside our images, judgments, and expectations to remain in the ever-changing now.

By trusting ourselves to be present with impermanence, we emerge wiser and more compassionate.