Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Drop It All and Take a Walk - A Response to a Reader

Raj: I can feel or let me say, I know I am 'aware' only when I see things around (visible world). Without them I do not even know whether I am ‘present’ or 'aware' (like in deep sleep). So is it correct to say: my Awareness = the things around when I am in my wakeful state?

VF: Raj, you write “without [objects] I do not even know whether I am present or aware. So is it correct to say my awareness equals the things around me when I am in a wakeful state?” Who possesses this awareness referred to? What is this “I” that is or is not in a “wakeful state?”

Please look clearly at your question and see the misunderstanding at its core. Seeing that, the question dissolves. So, let me add a little solvent to see if we can hasten the process!

Is there an 'I' who is 'aware'? That is, on direct investigation, can a separate entity be found who is aware? Or, is there just IT/Awareness in and as which ALL objects - physical, mental, emotional, visible, aural, textured, and odorous - appear? There is never a 'you' present whether in deep sleep or waking or any other expression of consciousness. There is no separation between objects seemingly arising 'within' Awareness and Awareness. They are one and the same.

Everything is an expression of formlessness. Everything is an expression of IT. There is not a reciprocal relationship between objects and Awareness - for this to be so would require separation between the seeming object and a seeming witness. Even this seeming reciprocity is part of IT. THIS/IT is causeless. IT arises immediately-spontaneously-completely-at once!

Raj: The so called end of seeking is: this body-mind exists with all the sensations sort of smeared somewhere in the visible world without my consciously feeling “I-ness" and it feels like an effort to call the "I-ness" into attention?

VF: It is much simpler. The end of seeking is simply the recognition that the seeker is the sought. The end of seeking comes when the fiction of a separate someone who is looking for a special something is seen for what it is - a phantom, a shadow, a vanishing echo, a dream.

Is there seeking right now? Or, is there just looking at squiggles on the screen and thoughts arising? What is seeking other than more thinking, more story about something to be found? Drop it now! Finish this! What is sought will NEVER be uncovered with more thought – only more deeply buried.

Raj: Even in that non-existent "I-ness", this body is still separate and distinct sitting in this space (India) and Vince is another body sitting in another space (USA).

VF: Interesting story!
Find something that is not IT. Separate something from IT and send it to me. Is there anything not IT, including the story of a separate body here and a separate body sitting there? Raj, I-IT is looking through your eyes right now and you-IT are looking through mine. Where is the separation? Remember, the role of thought is to divide. The ability to divide has its uses, but a thought cannot know IT even though thought is an expression of IT.

Better yet, drop all of this, including my response, and take a walk. Listen to the birds, to the wind, smell the air, look at the open sky, feel the earth beneath your feet. Leave these considerations alone and rest. IT is Raj-ing, Raj. Just rest as IT (there really is no choice anyway) and then see if there are any questions or if there is just relief!

Be well.

Monday, June 23, 2008

End the Search with THIS!

Right now, in this moment, aren't 'you' being?

Right now, in this moment, look directly and answer this question: does it take any effort to be right now?

Right. Absolutely everything else is a dead-end direction.

There isn't any more to IT than This.


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Open the Door Even Wider

This pathless path is not one of perfection. As has been written by countless others, there is nothing that you need to do to recognize who/what you really are. Nonetheless, many of us are addicted to the idea of spiritual progress or spiritual perfection. We have been taught to look at everything we do – eating, sleeping, exercising, raising children, cleaning the porch, washing the dishes, making love, maintaining a relationship, dressing, earning money, decorating a house, driving the car, being a ‘seeker’ – through the eyes of achievement.

Achievement suggests that there is something that we must do in order to obtain some desired result in the future. We assume (read here, ‘believe the thought-story’) that there is some ‘secret way’ that will result in some kind of special and life-altering attainment. It is this very movement away from what is towards what we believe should be that creates the (seeming) barrier to our (seeming) ‘attainment'.

The only thing that ever needs to be ‘done’ (and it really isn’t a ‘doing’ so much as an ‘allowing’) is to open the door wider. This means to simply allow whatever is arising in this very experience to be as it is. Is there disappointment? Good. Open the door. Is there fear? Good. Open the door. Is there the story that ‘you’ will never ‘get it’? Good. Open the door. Is there disinterest in all of this seeking? Good. Open the door. Is there pain in the body? Good. Open the door. Is there joy? Good. Open the door. Is there frustration and disagreement in reading this? Good. Open the door. Is there a complete lack of understanding of what is being pointed to here? Good. Open the door. Is there recognition that weeds need to be pulled from the tomatoes? Good. Open the door. Is there boredom? Good. Open the door. Is there a desire to practice? Good. Open the door. Is there a desire to pray? Good. Open the door.

Just keep opening the door wider. Allow and welcome all of the ‘guests’. Especially, open the door to, and welcome, your own beautiful and bumbling humanity – the struggle, the worry, the pain, the upset, the miserable, the magnificent, the fearful, the loving, the transcendent, the daily grind, the conflict, the despair, the hope, the vindictiveness, the greed,the loss, the joy, the contentment. Seeing who You are doesn’t erase this life,this very moment. That is another belief,another idea – open the door wide to it, too.

If Beingness-Awareness is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent, then IT is HERE NOW in this very experience! ‘You’ are ‘It’ NOW. No achievement or attainment can bring It to ‘you’ – It is you-ing you! There isn’t a ‘better’ experience to ‘work towards.’ This is it!

Open the door wide! Better yet, take it off its hinges and throw it in the fire. By the way, the belief in a separate ‘I’ is the material from which the door is made and is completely combustible – let it burn.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

No Effort Needed

If you really want to be done with the search, don't read this as an intellectual exercise. Don't read this as just another step on your way to "finally getting it."

Instead, right now, look directly at this very moment. Take your time and really look.

Listen to sounds.

See color, shape, and movement.

Sense pressure, texture, and temperature.

Notice that absolutely no effort is required for any of this to happen.

Sensing, seeing, hearing are all happening, right now, effortlessly.

Notice, in this moment - right now - reading is happening. Squiggles are seen on the screen and thoughts take shape.

Notice thought in this moment...picture, word, sound.

The content of some thought refers to activities that have already occurred - the past.

The content of some thought refers to activities that may occur - the future.

Notice that regardless of the content of the thought, the thought itself is arising in this moment - right now.

Notice that there is probably an assumption that 'I observe the thought...I hear...I see...I sense...'

Notice that these assumptions are also thoughts arising in this moment - right now. They are seen by...?

Notice that any answer given is another thought arising right now and seen by...?

It takes no effort whatsoever to simply see, simply listen, simply sense. If efforting arises, that is simply seen, too. It takes no effort to notice effort.

This is Awareness. This is Beingness. This is Isness. This is It. This is what you are. No effort is needed to see this. No effort is needed to get here. No effort is needed to be.

Attempt to not be aware. What happens? Try to not be here. What happens? Try to not be. What happens?

Let effort be the reminder that no effort is necessary to be what you already are.


Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Good News

There is nothing to do that can take you any closer to where you already are.

What if everything is already alright? What if you are exactly where you need to be? What if life is living you perfectly? What if it is seen that the ‘you’ is just another thought arising in…?

You are already whole, already complete. There isn’t anything you need to change or improve or understand in order to rest as this vast Natural Intelligence that you are. It is only a thought that says there is a ‘you’ who is ‘alive’. The Knowingness that you are recognizes that ‘you’ are really being lived.

You can relax. It is already done. You are already a Buddha, already an expression of the Body of Christ. There is nothing more that can be done to improve upon it. Notice this now and simply rest as this Natural Great Perfection. Attempting to improve upon it is like trying to increase the height of Mount Everest by dropping a grain of sand at its base.

This is good news. You have arrived. You never really went anywhere to begin with. It is only the character in the story that has traveled. We are all dreaming until realization. Then, the dream continues as before, but there is a knowing that the dream is happening. Nothing changes and everything changes. This can all be seen from the very spot on which you now stand. You are already on Holy Ground.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Nothing Needs to Be Done

Nothing needs to be done to simply rest as the awareness that You are.

No practices are needed. No special breathing. No need to sit in the lotus posture. No more books to read. No more talks to attend. No more weekend workshops and trainings are necessary. No particular geographical location is more auspicious than another. No special clothes need to be worn. No need to wear Birkenstocks. No need to become a vegetarian or a vegan. No need to join the Green Party. No need to stop smoking cigars. No need to only wear natural fabrics. No need to Wabi Sabi or Feng Shui your home. No need take a month long retreat. No need to stop listening to jazz and start listening to Indian ragas. No need to look for a blessing from a spiritual teacher. No particular type of thinking is necessary. No particular order of thinking is necessary. No need to have a flexible body. No need to be in good health. No need to sit zazen. No need to watch Nisargadatta on YouTube. Understand, you may do any or all or none of these things – nothing wrong with any of them – but none of them can take you anywhere or make what You already are more available than it is in this very moment.

You absolutely, unequivocally, already are the vast, open, clear, unstained, unnamable, unknowable, inexperiencable (is that a word?), beyond-intelligent, unendingly creative emptiness. Everything else, absolutely everything else is a seeming-object/form arising within You…even the seeming-you.

Whenever doubt or worry or urgency or straining or efforting or hopelessness or certainty or ease or, well, anything arises, do nothing. Rest. Notice that it arises, has its moment, and dissolves again into…what? You. In fact, even the objects/forms are Awareness – are You. Even the sense of separation is Awareness/You. You can’t get away from You. Everything arises within and is dependent upon You. Give up. There is no escape. Another way of saying this is…aaaaahhhhhhh…rest. No matter what thoughts or books or self-improvement programs tell you, You are already fine the way you are.

You are already what you are looking for – but only right now.