The Middle Way - Walking the Razor's Edge http://www.blissful-wisdom.com/the-middle-way---walking-the-razors-edge.html
There was a time when using the one wing of the dove was a failed attempt to fly. The idea was that "If I meditate and pray, then enlightenment will eventually dawn". Well, that dove kept wondering why it never left the ground. The dove finally awakened to the usefulness of its other wing. Both wings were necessary to fly. That other wing is the wing of 'discrimination', the wing of dharma, the wing of 'righteousness'. In other words, "Being a good person; Being in the world but not lost to the world of the senses; Being simple, honest, patient and compassionate in life". Yes, meditation and stillness are one wing of the dove, but living a life of simplicity and compassion is the other wing. Otherwise, the honey-like bliss of meditation is eaten up by the tendencies of greed, lack of integrity, impatience, arrogance, and getting lost in the addictions of sense experience.
So, the Middle Way is like walking on a razor's edge, being highly alert to the arising tendencies which might lead the life off the path of dharma/righteousness into the field of the sense experience where compassion is lost and the Heart is closed.
The world's present day Avatar, Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, has told her devotees to stop identifying with the body and the mind. She has said: "Stop reinforcing the belief that 'I am the body'. Stop telling stories about this body as being your 'self'. You are not the body; you are not the sense experiences (the mind); you are the Silent witness awareness".
She stated: The mind is like a shadow which follows and haunts the life with unending experiences of sorrow and joy. However, when walking as 'awareness', the light of awareness reveals the mind (the field of the sense experiences) to be nothing more than an illusory mirage."
Her message is much like the teachings of the Buddha, the Christ, Shankara, and other renowned Mahatmas of the past. In a nutshell, it is a message to reside in the heart of Awareness amidst the ever-changing comings and goings of worldly life. 'Staying in the Middle' means the inner calm and transcendental stillness of the Heart connects with life but does not attach to the life experiences. Walking in the Heart, as awakened awareness, allows the old tendency (seeking satisfaction through other people or worldly pursuits) to fall away. The body/mind mechanism still engages in the duties of a married life, or the duties of a monastic life, but the inner contentment and awareness diminishes the overshadowing influence of the body/mind activity.
It is told that the method to walk the razor's edge of dharma, is to express charity, politeness, discrimination, and patience in daily activity. Practicing discrimination means being aware of the consequences of words spoken and actions taken. For example, in the West, having "an affair" may seem desirous, but the consequences of fulfilling such desires may bring about the breakup of one's family. A marriage break-up emotionally impacts one's children. In the same stroke, the "affair" may also upset the new, sexual-partner's family. The faculty of discrimination keeps the life on track, on the path of dharma, and avoids activities which bring sorrow to others. Actions which are not life-supporting are called a-dharma, or, the opposite of dharma. Such a-dharma actions result in closing the Heart..
Kindheartedness, gratitude, and humility keep the Heart open and full. By sharing wealth and abundance with those in need (acts of charity), the flow of abundance in life stays lively. "Love thy neighbor", means consciously performing acts of service and charity.
Walking the path of dharma is a life looking to console rather than to be consoled. Walking the Middle Way means being a light of love, rather than seeking love from others. The intention is to shift from seeking satisfaction in the field of sense experience, to performing one's duties in life while maintaining a compassionate Heart.