Seeing It All The Way Through

 

Our teacher, Sharon Landrith, frequently encourages, “See it all the way through.” This advice is given when students have experienced an awakening and begin to abide more and more as Absolute, and yet, have a remnant of a person/doer—almost always unseen.

Sometimes in desperation after a taste of our True Nature, of Self, we fake the “enlightened” life. There is a subtle doer in the embodiment of Awareness through intentional mindfulness. Mind brings forth intellectual understanding, language, and actions to support this stance, while looking outside to feed this story of “enlightenment” and to validate it. If this resonates, then Grace is whispering, “See it all the way through.”

Stop. Who needs this validation? In the experientially felt answer, the story is now seen and can be dropped. Emotions are a good barometer of a story believed. If something doesn’t feel quite right or irritation frequently pops up in the abiding, that can be a cue to ask, “What is happening here? What is actually happening?” Again, without going to mind for the answer, open to the direct experience of what is.

Awakening is a self-validating experience. Nonetheless, throughout time, those who have experienced Awareness have often gone to a teacher for validation. This is a double-edged sword. The experience as fully embodied Is-ness requires no validation and would accept no contradiction. And yet, a Truth-abiding teacher is invaluable in spotting one’s tilting to the left or tilting to the right. A story comes to mind of a student monk who experienced Is-ness and went to the master for validation. The master said, “No, go back and search more.” The student continued to investigate Truth and came back saying, “This must be Is-ness.” Again, the teacher sent the student back to investigate more. A third time the student came back and was again rejected by the teacher. The student responded, “Thank you, Is-ness as Is-ness knows itself.” The teacher bowed, “Ah, that is Is-ness.”

We should be careful not to prematurely hoist the “enlightenment” flag, as that is proof of an ego-driven nature that is still ruling the day. When Nothingness/Everthingness is clearly recognized, there is no debate.

Awakening is instantaneous, and yet, embodiment through that which has Awakened seems to develop over time. Validation has its place in the letting go process and is a very useful tool. Eventually, that, too, must be dropped for the story it is. What remains in the felt flow, felt movement, arises from what we are. Every apparent perception, flow, moment is ultimately not what we are. We are that from which all perception arises.

See it all the way through.

Love, Steve and Bec

Drugs and Spiritual Awakening

 

There is talk in the spiritual community of pharmacological shortcuts to Awakening. In a few cases, this has even been encouraged by self-proclaimed Awakened teachers. Seekers are being encouraged to consider Iowaska, LSD, or psychedelic mushrooms as a way to experience finer states of reality as a technique to speed their progress on the path to Freedom. Even a cursory look at this reasoning reveals the gaping flaws.

Awakening is recognition as that which is timeless. Drugs provide time-bound experiences.

Awakening is recognition as the unchanging. Drugs provide transient experiences of that which is always changing.

Awakening is waking up from the individual. Drugs provide experiences bound by the individual experiencer.

Drugs provide a sensory experience. Every sensory experience is an interpretation of reality. The experience may be substantially different from one’s daily interpretation of reality, but in the end, it is still just another mind-based interpretation of a sensory experience.

Awakening is the recognition of Consciousness as Consciousness. Awakening is not an interpretation of an external reality, because to Consciousness, there is nothing external.

In the end, what can be shorter than “Be still.”

The purpose of this is not to make a moral judgement on those seeking altered states of consciousness pharmacologically, only to point out it is not a viable shortcut to Awakening. We are sympathetic to the transient condition that can make us feel trapped in an identified story of Life, desperate to try anything to be in a state of Awakening. But as long as there is a someone looking for a state, it will not happen by any means.

Awakening is not a state of consciousness, it is Consciousness.

Namaste, Bec and Steve

No Instruction Manual Needed

 

Recognition of Truth is not about learning more. There are over 100,000 books about enlightenment, so where are the 100,000 Buddhas? We like to think if we try harder, learn more, we can grind our way to awakening.

Awakening is not about adding to our knowledge; it is about recognizing the timeless essence of Life. It is more about subtracting than adding.

Look to those examples throughout history where recognition had clearly dawned. These were not the intellectual giants of their day; they were sincere souls who had noticed the simplicity of reality. We can often get a feel for the clarity of a teacher’s experience by the frankness of their delivery.

Reading lots of books and posts about Truth is only of value when it pauses our mind chatter long enough to allow our true nature as eternally awake Consciousness to be recognized and experienced.

Look at some of the most classic pointers: Stop; Be Still; Notice what is looking; I am that I am. None of these are calls to intellectual pursuit. They are not instruction manuals for building an enlightened mind. These are simple admonitions to live as the eternal presence here right now.

We are all invited to drop the egoic pursuit of enlightenment. Stop. Be Still. What you are looking for is what is looking. Notice the eternal Truth that we already are the timeless I AM.

Love, Steve and Bec

 

Be Still

 

Sounds simple and it is. The problem we often encounter is we make “Be still” a doing. “Be still” is not an act of doing, it is Life spontaneously flowing. “Be still” is an automatic state when doing stops. Let go of mind’s obsession with thoughts, memories, and emotions, and what remains is stillness—Being. Awakening is the recognition as Being, as Awareness. This is the constant background and is often missed because we are looking for an experience and miss experiencing. We are solely focused on the foreground and are unconscious of the background on which it all plays out. Let go of everything we are aware of and what remains is pure Awareness—no object, no subject—just Being. The incredible lightness of Being. “Be still,” the instant, pathless path.

Stop. Be still. Now.

Hallelujah, Bec and Steve

 

Stop, Drop, and Be

 

How many times do we need to directly experience Truth before we drop the illusion of ignorance (known as the wheel of samsara in Hinduism)?

Several sangha members have very clear experiences as Nothingness. During our last satsang, some shared that this experience seems to come and go. All that is necessary to awaken to our eternal essence is to drop attachment to the mind (its memories, beliefs, accomplishments, and fears). When we drop these attachments, what remains is Boundless Eternal Consciousness. Resting as this Consciousness, it is immediately clear This has never been born and can never die—This is what you can’t pick up or set down. Consciousness is our eternal essence, immediately obvious when we drop attachment to the mind and its chatter for even a second.

Why then does this recognition produce a permanent shift for some and appear to come and go for others? When we rest as Consciousness, free from all identification with mind, it is Self-evident this divine essence cannot come or go.

How then does the recognition seem to fade for some? In the end, it comes down to a belief in a thought. Common ones are unworthiness, specialness, and arrogance, but any thought believed will do. We have a long habit of identification with the mind.

This truth was recently succinctly stated by Mukti, a beloved teacher in California:  “Thoughts themselves don’t create division, separation, and suffering. Rather, investing thoughts with belief, identifying with them, and taking them personally are what fuels the wheel of samsara.”

No one is unworthy. No one is special. Until established as our True Self, every “one” is arrogant. Get over it. Stop hanging on to excuses and avoidances. Whether we recognize it or not, we are Consciousness. We are free to either live in ignorance of our divine essence or open to Eternal Truth.

The mind is a tool, and as such, has many uses, but it is not fundamentally what we are any more than our nose or elbow is fundamentally what we are. Each piece of this body serves some functional purpose in this apparent phenomenal existence, but none are relevant to that which is non-phenomenal. We would never say, I am my elbow, but we go around pretending to be our mind even though both are simply tools.

An awakened friend of ours recently observed the fierce grace that has been his physical existence. He has multiple medical problems that have made it abundantly and irrevocably clear he is not his bowels, his muscles, his immune system, or his eyes. As he notes, “It is as if nature was taking me through piece by piece pointing out you are not this, you are not that.”

Fortunately, most of us do not have to go through piece by piece saying, not this, not that. We can simply stop and notice the unchanging Consciousness. Every time we stop identifying with our thoughts, memories, emotions, mind, and body, we immediately recognize our eternal Self. It’s time to stop acting like the person who is repeatedly shown a snake is a rope and still holds on to the belief it is a snake. How many times do we need to directly experience Truth before we drop the illusion of ignorance?

Peace, Steve and Bec

Perception Is A Matter Of Belief

 

We have pointed to the recognition that thoughts believed define the reality of the one who believes them. We have given examples of this in daily life, but recently a friend shared another concrete example.

A tool he uses to make this point is hypnosis. Through hypnosis, he plants a suggestion of thoughts to believe and the audience then observes the effect of thoughts on the hypnotized. Obviously, external reality does not change for the hypnotized from the perspective of the audience. For the hypnotized, however, the thought suggested by the hypnotist becomes the subject’s reality.

Prior to Self-realization, we go through life in a form of societal hypnosis. As Mooji has said, “We perceive what we conceive (believe).”

The fundamental belief shaping our lives is that we are existentially an individual identifying with a specific body, separate from the rest of life. Stop and openly examine whether this fundamental belief is true. We often accept this thought as true without really looking at, or considering why, we believe it.

In a previous post, we pointed out only 9-10% of the cells making up our body are human. By percentage, we are more bacteria, virus, or parasite than human. Even those cells that are human are constantly dying and being replaced by new cells.

If we are not fundamentally our body, are we our thoughts? Again, we need simply to look. We can see thoughts come and go. If we can see the thoughts come and go, we must be more fundamental than the thoughts.

Once more to St. Francis of Assisi’s statement, “What you are looking for is what is looking.” Nisargadatta Maharaj takes it a step further: “In seeking, you discover that you are neither the body nor the mind, and the love of the self in you is the self in all. The two are one.”

We are Awareness seeing the thoughts come and go, feeling the sensations of the body, and noticing the beliefs, but not affected by them.

Our body changes, our thoughts change, and our beliefs change. We are Unchanging Awareness expressing as “what is looking.”

 

Namaste, Bec and Steve

 

The Self in Self-Realization

 

We speak of Self-realization, so what is Self? What are the characteristics of Self? As we have pointed to before, Self is not something we can define. Self is not an object or state. Self, as we use it, is another term for Primordial Absolute. We cannot know Self, we can only be Self.

Often, Self is confused with silence, peace, bliss, and love. These are the perfume of Self, but are not Self.

Do not settle for existing in the experience of the perfume of Self. The mind wants Self to be a thing or an experience, something objective, because that is the realm of what we call the mind. If we call Self silence or bliss, there is a sense of, “Aha! Now I understand.” The bliss experience is no different than the pain experience as Self. It comes and goes, and ultimately, is not what we are. And while it is quite natural to prefer the bliss and to seek out the joy, we invite you to go one step further, to go beyond, to see this apparent journey all the way through to the direct experience of Self.

As Nisargadatta stated, “To myself, I am neither perceivable nor conceivable; there is nothing I can point out and say: ‘this I am.’” Mooji has often stated, “We are perceiving what we are conceiving.”

Recognize an essence that is beyond perceiving or conceiving. Beyond silence, bliss, peace, and love. What we are is the consciousness from which perceptions and conceptions seem to arise. If we pursue bliss, silence, peace, we may live a more silent, peaceful, and joyful, relative existence, but we will miss Truth. What sees even silence and bliss?

Be the metaphorical flower from which the fragrance of silence and bliss emanates. Take the symbolic backward step beyond what is perceivable or conceivable . . . Bodhi Svaha.

मौनम् Steve and Bec

 

Be

 

We cannot know what we are, we can only Be what we are. To “know” what we are implies two—what we are and what knows this.

Again, to the pointing of St. Francis of Assisi, “What you are looking for is what is looking.”

St. Francis is talking about resting in this very moment with no further interpretation. He could just as easily have said, “What you are looking for is what is touching, smelling, tasting.” To Be is to experience the unchanging, fathomless, Primordial Ground of Being as an expression in every aspect of life.

We are awareness, consciousness, subject without object. We are what remains when all else is dropped. Mooji states clearly, “Being here really is just the invitation to rest as Being. There is nothing you have to do. It is not an invitation to become.”

Nisargadatta Maharaj succinctly said, “Seek nothing, expect nothing, then the Supreme State will come to you.”

What a quandary for the seeker. We cannot find what we seek, we can only Be That. If this is understood, the search is finished.

Yours as Truth, Bec and Steve

 

The Simplicity of Self-Realization

 

If Self-realization is so simple, why does it seem so rare?

The answer to this question is an enigma. Any spiritual teacher with a clear abiding recognition as nonlocalized awareness will attest to the innate simplicity of Truth. These teachers, as Truth, point to the simplicity of recognition of Awareness as Awareness.

Seekers of Truth can parrot the statements regarding Awake Awareness and commonly voice an intellectual understanding, yet the simple experiential recognition appears to remain elusive.

There is a myriad of direct pointers to this primordial Awareness:

Stop.

“Be still and know that I am God.” ~ Psalm 46:10

“What you are looking for is what is looking.” ~ St. Francis of Assisi

“. . . knocking at the door. It opened. I was knocking from the inside.” ~ Rumi

What witnesses thoughts?

Any one of these pointers is sufficient, and often, none of them lead to recognition as Truth perceiving. We are focused on the objects of perception and miss the direct experience as perceiving.

Ramana Maharshi’s Self-inquiry Method, “Who (or what) am I?” may be the most direct approach to recognition as Truth. Often, however, the recognition is missed because we are looking for something different from what exists now. We already are nonlocalized awareness. Awareness is the only “thing” we can never not be.

We look for Eternity among the changing. We look for pure Subject among objects. The mind wants to know Awareness as an object. That will never happen. We have a lifetime of looking to the mind to answer all questions. That approach won’ t work for Self-realization. At our most recent satsang, a woman new to meditation and unacquainted with Self-realization rediscovered her essence as “just Being” and recognized the experience of true Silence for the first time. It does not take years of practice and discipline. It only takes a willingness to drop what we think we know and notice what is always there.

It is absolutely true that Self-realization is beyond simple. It is rarely noticed because we continue to look outward at thoughts, beliefs, the body, etc., and do not notice the unchanging, boundless Awareness behind the looking.

We cannot know Awareness, we can only be Awareness. Awareness is not an object to be perceived, it is the nonlocalized, boundless perceiver.

Awareness knows only Itself and perceives all “objects” simply as Itself.

Namaste, Steve and Bec

The Habits of Spirituality

 

Do you need to purify the body to realize the Self?

The short answer is, probably not. If you are sufficiently chemically impaired, it may be more difficult, but as long as there is awareness, there is the potential for that awareness to recognize Itself.

Some of the world’s most clear teachers, such as Byron Katie and Eckhart Tolle, woke up from the depths of depression. Eckhart reportedly woke up to his essence when a suicidal thought triggered the question, “Who cannot go on with life?”

The mind loves belief in the idea you need to purify the body or develop some technique to wake up. As long as we are focused on purifying the body—becoming a better meditator, perfecting our postures, following a code of life, etc.—we are feeding the mind and the identity as a person.

We are not suggesting neglecting proper care of our body or psyche, only pointing out it has limited relevance to Self-realization. If one is drawn to some form of self-development, that’s fine. We would simply suggest you look at who or what believes the self-development is necessary to recognize what you already are.

Truth is simple. Identification as a body, mind, person is hard. Rather than spending years purifying the mind and body, simply notice what is thinking those thoughts. First, recognize what is always present—timeless Divine Essence. Notice unchanging Awareness. Drop identity with the changing and rest as boundless Spaciousness. You are That!

We can spend our entire life purifying our body, or we can recognize our timeless Essence in an instant.

Keep it simple. Truth is beyond even simple – it is eternal, pervasive, all-inclusive. As Christ said, “The kingdom of God is spread upon the Earth and men do not see it.” In the words of St. Francis of Assisi, “What you are looking for is what is looking.” St. Francis did not say clean your lens of perception, so you can see Truth. He said it is what is already looking.

You do not become Divine by your own works of purification. You are already Divine. You only need to stop and notice the still, awake Awareness already looking.

Peace, Bec and Steve

 

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