The Zen of David Daniels


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What Really Matters – What If This Were My Last Day…?
By David Daniels, M.D.

“Here, I do my best to put in simple terms that love, and how to manifest it in our lives each day, is ultimately the path of liberation and “What Really Matters.” This means, embodying receptive presence with an open heart, knowing that receptive energy is the great emulsifier that integrates personality with our higher essential qualities”.

If this were my last day, my only day, then I’d say: there is only love. All there ever was, and will be, is love. Brilliance comes from the development of this inner-knowing. And by love, I mean, the connection of us humans in body, mind, and heart – souls together in harmony with a gratitude for what is. When love is present, everything radiates and beauty abounds. We are not captured and held hostage to our personality structure, to our opinions or our judging mind. We know that the fabric of the universe is a seamless flow until we cut into it, creating cause and effect, conflict and damage. When love is present, no one person is more or less than any other sentient being. We understand the oneness of all. Possibility abounds in love, which, yes, starts with a separate self that can pursue wholeness and therein union with others and the universe. Nothing destroys the essence of love.

To me, LOVE is the divine, the everlasting.

Since any day “could be my last day,” something unknown to me as such, I consciously start and end each day as if it is THE day of days. In living this simple stance, I do my best to embody presence and receptivity and an open heart, no matter the activity or endeavor in which I may be engaged. By this, I mean, I simply breathe in and down, centering myself in order to become grounded and receptive, opening my heart in kindness. Creating a state of receptive presence combined with non-judgmentalness, I have found that all matter of positive possibilities unfold for me. When my reactivity and defensiveness comes up, as it does each day for each of us, I do my best to befriend it with non-judgmentalness, which then allows me to return to purpose and receptivity. I remind myself to “live love,” supporting the well-being of myself and all others with whom I contact.

Embody this stance of “living each day fully.” Embody the presence within that leads to little or no regrets. How do I make this happen? I stop several times a day, for perhaps a minute or so each time, to reflect on the presence moment, my current intention and purpose, all while grounding in my desire to live this day, fully.

To embody this simple-yet-not-easy practice requires that we come in contact with the embedded, habitual pattern that we formed as children in order to adapt to the world as we experienced it, back then. Until we look at these patterns, then is still now. But then is not now.

Becoming aware of our early patterns allows us to understand our conditioning, which can then lead to liberating us from potentially limiting constraints. All the great wisdom traditions recognize that we humans are subject to automatic behavioral patterns, for better and worse. The practice is to observe our patterns in order to then free ourselves from their repetitive, not-so-flexible constraints, allowing us to reclaim our higher qualities, including for example, hope, faith, and above all, love.

Thus, I extol the Enneagram system of nine types. The Enneagram provides us with such a supreme map into having healthier relationships, with not only others but with ourselves. Its wisdom reaches down to the core of the personality patterning and consequently, down into our adaptive strategies. It’s aptly referred to as ”liberation psychology,” as it helps free us from the constraints of our self-induced repeating, often-limiting patterns. Its ultimate gift is that it provides us with a way of integrating our personality with our higher essential, spiritual qualities. Integration being the linkage of these two differentiated, highly important elements.

Moreover, the “Enneagram in the Narrative Tradition,” where panels of representatives of the nine types speak publicly as the foundational teaching method of the nine patterns, further gifts us with the direct witnessing to our human conditioning, inspiration, and hope. As we become centered, grounded, and receptive in non-judgmentalness, we learn to explore and then share our habitual patterns with others. With practice, we learn to free ourselves from the reactivity and defensiveness these patterns create. We come to understand both ourselves and others as we are to ourselves, and as they are to themselves, broadening our acceptance and appreciation, compassion and understanding.

This has been my path to liberation, love, and personal fulfillment. I invite you to explore this path for yourself. Allow it to gift you with a remarkable means to wholeness and to love. Make each day one along the path to wholeness. Wholeness of mind, heart, body, and spirit.

Feel free to share my mantra:

“May I live this day in love’s kindness, companioned with non-judgmental receptivity and presence, in each and every moment.”

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