Friday, August 18, 2017

Stability

It is much more comfortable to say "I am awareness," rather than say "I am Maury, a person." The reason is simple. Awareness never changes, but Maury does. I am not the same person I was as a child, teenager, or young adult. But the awareness of these states hasn't changed. It follows then, that the only stable factor is awareness. Can I depend on Maury who never stays the same? Or can I depend on awareness that does not change.

So Much Time. So Little To Do

All of us are aware, but few of us realize that WE ARE awareness. It is ordinary awareness, always available, and never takes any effort. Being eternal there is no rush, and it really has nothing to do but watch. Pretty simple. So much time. So little to do.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Open Senses

Senses

The eyes do not chose what they see. They are an open system. Whatever appears, the mind forms the images.

The ears do not choose what they hear. If a sound occurs, pleasant or ugly, the ears hear it.

The nose may like certain smells and despise others, but whatever smell arises, it registers.

The tongue likewise, tastes whatever is put into the mouth, good or bad.

Touch is also open to whatever is in the environment, hot or cold, windy or still.

What is common to all these systems is that they are open. One might say that they possess choiceless awareness.

Of course our bodymind can take action and avoid certain sights and sounds, and select the food we like. But the senses themselves are open, choiceless.

We can see that the essence of all our sense organs is open Awareness.

All sentient beings, regardless of name and form, have senses that are open. In essence, sentience is Awareness.

Awareness at the cosmic level registers all the sensations, all the experiences of all the sentient beings. It is open to all, choicelessly, and that is love.

Since Awareness is the essence of all experience and knowledge, we must be that love. 

Friday, August 4, 2017

My Body, Mind, and Personality

The hints are all over in plain sight. Our self referencing talk is full of it: my mind, my body, my personality. Yes, there is a body, mind, personality for each of us. But isn't it strange that we always use a linguistic subject object split? We always refer to the subject "my", and the objects: body, mind, and personality.

We all say "my" when referring to body, mind personality. The "my" is universal, the body, mind and parts are just functions.The subject has no attributes, it's simple ordinary Awareness.

This obvious linguistic split we use every day, points directly to our true self, Awareness. The objects are the body/mind parts and attributes. So, even our everyday language reveals the truth of Advaita Vedanta. We are not these bodies, parts and minds. We are the universal Awareness that knows them. How much more obvious can it be? 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Destination

You can be assured of one thing. The destination is always available. It is always here. Always everywhere. Presence is a good word. You Awareness, is always present. So really, how far do you have to look?

Any Movie Will Do

Imagine going to the movies without caring about what movie is showing. It doesn't matter, any show is fair game. Whatever the movie, you watch without judgement, without opinion. You just enjoy it. Sort of like Awareness. 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Peace

I watch the jiva flow every day, from where? From wherever I am. I Awareness, just watch. Thoughts, feelings, movements, come and go. I am always here to know them. If some of these experiences are intense, the mind remembers them. If those memories surface, I awareness know them again. And yet, I never had a thought, a feeling, a movement. I just observed them. How peaceful.

Trusting Awareness

I am not privy as to why I am here, or what I am supposed to do. As an apparent individual I just arrived with a body and an environment to play and suffer in. Since that wasn't enough, I discovered that I am That Awareness that was never born and never dies. For me, that does away with any concerns as to why I am here or what I am supposed to do. The jiva just responds to what comes up, knowing it's all one, all connected, all in order, and there is nothing for me to do but trust.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Our True Self

The most we can know about our true Self is that it is aware. Whether we are male or female, rich or poor, religious or not, we are aware. That Awareness has no filters, no attachments, and no aversions. Anything that appears, and whatever happens is observed without judgement.

Awareness is not an object we can gain, or use to any advantage. It is what we are, and therefore we can only know Awareness as all pervasive, ineffable, open, and limitless.

It is said that Awareness is without qualities, but when we stand as Awareness and look, we see that everything is accepted, and therefore loved. As a Jiva, we can only say that we are loved unconditionally. 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Means and Method

Pronouncements about realization are fun, and the story of how it happened are entertaining. Statements about realization are a good starting point, but not helpful for getting there. That is where a "means of knowledge" comes in. Without a means, a method, there is no map to get there. The map is not the territory, but we are lost without it, if we want realization. This is where Vedanta stands tall, it has a means, it has a method, and if you follow it you realize you never left home.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

An Erroneous Concept of Enlightenment

You have an erroneous concept of enlightenment. It is not about being good, spiritual, perfect, or otherwise a better person. It is about knowing who you are. Vedanta is the science of consciousness, or as Nisargadatta would say, "The I am." 

Enlightenment is about knowing "You are That." It is not about being a better person, a more spiritual person, a non smoker, etc. Many enlightened sages smoked, some drank. It is also not about anger management. It's about knowing who you are.

Granted, enlightenment tends to make positive changes, but the character of the sage will remain much the same. Personality style will just be the vehicle through which the knowledge comes. 

Enlightenment is not only for the jiva, but release from the jiva. Since Nisargadatta knew who he was, the Self, he spoke from that. But he still had the vehicle he had when the knowledge came. 

If you want to be a saint, quit smoking, drinking, and be celibate if you like, but that has nothing to do with enlightenment.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Around the Block

One person is meditating, another is praying, another is doing Jihad. All are trying to experience the truth while deeply immersed in it, as there is nothing else.

The mediating is happening where? In awareness. The praying is happening where? In awareness. The Jihad is happening where? In awareness.

All these activities would immediately cease were the participant to realize they were the awareness in which all this activity was happening. With that realization all foolishness stops.

All identities other than awareness are equally foolish. All efforts at getting somewhere, are going nowhere, as all activities are already home in awareness.

All paths lead to Rome since none of them is outside of Rome. How's that for a circle around the block? How much better was your path over another? How's that for nowhere to go and nothing to get?

You, awareness, never left home. You, awareness, never went anywhere. You, awareness, just had a grand tour around the block. You, awareness, never went to the theater, never left your seat, yet a pretty good show was had by all.

Enjoy the ride. You're going nowhere. It's a grand lila, a play, just act your part as well as you can. Nothing ever happens to you, awareness. Presence is all there is. You are that presence. Peace. 

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Advaita Vendanta, the Light and the Way

62. The inquirer said. “I negated the five sheaths but I see only emptiness. Is there something else to be known through inquiry?”
63–64. The teacher said, “Yes, it is the knower of the emptiness. That is you, limitless awareness. You are adept at inquiry.”   ~ From Vivekachudamini ~

Apparently "emptiness" is not the last word. The knower still exists when "emptiness" is seen. Existence, consciousness, bliss. This is a wonderful reminder that whatever we perceive is not who we are. So even emptiness is not the ultimate. The knower of emptiness is. It can't be empty because it is has no attributes. It is full of potential. And we are That! hallelujah!

After many years I came to the complete Advaita Vedanta teachings via James Swartz. He ties it all together so well, laying out a careful path that just can't be denied. The complete teaching was necessary for me. I intuitively knew there were missing parts, but I did not know what they were.

I do admit that I studied everything else first, so I was a pretty mature failure of understanding by the time I found James Swartz complete teaching. So much fun to be humbled in the right way. True knowledge is the light and the way. 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Effortlessness Free of the Thinker

Seeing, hearing, tasting, feeling all feel effortless. But, as soon as we start thinking, we add an assumption that "I am thinking." With that assumption the whole bodymind thing takes off. We are stuck in that assumption and and never question it.

So, seeing, hearing, tasting, feeling now take on the same assumption, "I am seeing, hearing, tasting, feeling, etc." It's a lie. These are just happening and you are not the owner.

And not  being the owner means you are not the doer, feeler, taster, hearer or thinker. You are bigger than that! You are the unbounded awareness in which all this is seen and done. Relax and be that. It's effortless. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Awareness and Potentiality

Awareness is the ground of potential. Any form may appear in it and become an object of consciousness. This conforms to quantum physics where the collapse of the wave function creates the material universe.

One of the conundrums of quantum physics is how can matter come from something as nebulous as awareness/consciousness. It seems the rishis answered this question long ago by examining our experience.

Their answer was that everything we see, everything we hear, touch and feel, is nothing but perception interpreted through our sensory organs. Since all these sensations are interpretations experienced in consciousness, everything in existence can be nothing other than awareness/consciousness.

Long before the invention of virtual technologies, the Vedas pronounced that this very universe we live it is a virtual world, a projection, an illusion in awareness. Not that our world does not exist, but that its existence itself is a projection, like a movie appearing on a screen.

Just as the movie is a projection on the screen, just so, all objects are projections created in awareness by our sense organs. Just as the movie has one source - the film - just so, everything we see has one source, awareness itself. Existence, consciousness, bliss; everything else is illusion, entertainment only, Lila. 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

FALSEHOOD

If you believe one falsehood you are likely to defend it with more falsehoods. It's a downward spiral. The root falsehood is often unconscious. Its purpose is to protect the ego.

Falsehood propagates untruth, and since untruth is ignorant, one cannot follow dharma. The result is suffering.

Vedanta goes to the root of ignorance, the falsehood that "I am the bodymind." With realization that falsehood is removed and following dharma then becomes easier, or natural.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Sat Chit Ananda

Pain totally focuses attention. That was a major point I was making. Pain so severe that one can only look at it, examine it, feel it out, and know it entirely. Then there is only one question. What is the error that is causing the pain? I went looking for that error. It was my own thinking, my own beliefs, my own bias that was wrong. The answer was dropping all beliefs, starting from scratch and examining my own experience. Quantum physics and non duality agree, existence is primary, awareness itself. Any form that arises in Awareness points directly to awareness, as only that can be conscious of anything. The bottom line is that my bodymind, your bodymind, are appearances only. I am that eternal Awareness, and so are you. Knowing this dissipates mental suffering. Only the dream remains. 

Saturday, June 3, 2017

A Peaceful Mind

There may not be different truths, but there certainly are different levels of understanding. Having determined that I was missing something, I went looking. I read everything in psychology, philosophy and religion. I did therapy. There was progress, and suffering lessened. The process I went through could only be described as deconditioning. It stands to reason that this had to happen because I had beliefs, and misunderstandings that had to be undone. Unfortunately there were layers and layers that needed undoing, and that takes time. I remember telling so many people that I was cursed. Why? Because I had this mission to find the truth, and I could not let it go. It was karma. I had no control over it. The pursuit was a given, a fact of my life that was not to be denied. The result of all this inquiry, this undoing, was a more and more peaceful mind. Instead of a million conflicting thoughts, only a few major questions remained. There was now enough space to contemplate these few. These were now fundamental questions, subtle questions. After forty years of this process, with mental anguish much diminished, I found Advaita Vedanta. What was beautiful about it was that it corresponded to my experience. For example, Advaita says that one must be qualified to understand it.
I remember telling so many people that I was cursed. Why? Because I had this mission to find the truth, and I could not let it go. It was karma. I had no control over it. The pursuit was a given, a fact of my life that was not to be denied.
The fundamental fear is death. We want permanent happiness, and we cannot avoid wanting this even though life contains a lot of suffering. The existential question has always been, "Is this all there is?" Perhaps we could not even ask this question if on some level we knew that this was not the case. When I was in my twenties, I suffered greatly. It was mental anguish, and it manifested in the body in various ways. The suffering was so great that I could only surmise that this had to be an error. No being would choose to live if this were the truth. The only conclusion was that I had a error, a misunderstanding. It turns out that I was correct. There may not be different truths, but there certainly are different levels of understanding. Having determined that I was missing something, I went looking. I read everything in psychology, philosophy and religion. I did therapy. There was progress, and suffering lessened. The process I went through could only be described as deconditioning. It stands to reason that this had to happen because I had beliefs, and misunderstandings that had to be undone. Unfortunately there were layers and layers that needed undoing, and that takes time. I remember telling so many people that I was cursed. Why? Because I had this mission to find the truth, and I could not let it go. It was karma. I had no control over it. The pursuit was a given, a fact of my life that was not to be denied. The result of all this inquiry, this undoing, was a more and more peaceful mind. Instead of a million conflicting thoughts, only a few major questions remained. There was now enough space to contemplate these few. These were now fundamental questions, subtle questions. After forty years of this process, with mental anguish much diminished, I found Advaita Vedanta. What was beautiful about it was that it corresponded to my experience. For example, Advaita says that one must be qualified to understand it. A major qualification for a student of Advaita Vedanta is a quiet mind. Various yogas are prescribed to obtain a quiet mind so that one can hear and understand. I never liked meditation, but I was contemplative and inquisitive. I was a knowledge seeker. It just so happens that one of the yogas is Jnana yoga (knowledge yoga). Jnana yoga is a thinkers yoga, best for intellectuals. That fit me to a tee. Vedanta also goes through a process of stripping away false premises. That's what I had been doing. In other words, what I had been doing was what Vedanta proposed. Vedanta confirmed a process I had been doing for years. I did not on my own come up with the answer. I was close, but Advaita Vedanta not only supplied the answers, but the questions as well. Right before my eyes was a complete system pointing the way out of the wilderness. It also confirmed a process I had been doing for forty years. Vedanta is very scientific, very thorough, and provides the means of knowledge to know the Self. It confirmed my experience that a primary requirement is a quiet satvic mind. By the time I found the complete teaching (the means of knowledge) I was ready. It was a quick trip to realization once the means of knowledge was found. It is humbling to know that this knowledge has been around for thousands of years. "There is nothing new under the sun," is a true statement. It is also true that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. When I was ready, I found Vedanta. I had found the Christian mystics much help. And I found the Indian sages extremely helpful, but it was the actual study of Advaita Vedanta that finally brought peace.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Awareness Is Like Water

Awareness is like water in a bucket. If you place a rock in the water, it takes the shape of the rock. If you place a hammer in the water, it shapes itself into the form of the hammer. Whatever is placed in the water, the water conforms to that shape. When the objects are removed, the water goes back to its original state.
Awareness is like water. It accepts whatever form is available, makes it conscious, and when the form is no longer available, it returns to unqualified awareness. Nothing happened to awareness itself.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Awareness as Presence

All a sentient body does, is shape Awareness into a particular form of consciousness. The awareness behind the form taken, is unaffected.

A bee sees a different spectrum of light than we do, and therefor sees the world in a different form. But, the awareness behind bee consciousness is the same as ours. That awareness is not affected by the bee's form of perception.

Our brains have different areas of function. Areas for sight, sound, taste, etc. However, these areas are just interpreting and creating a perception - a form of consciousness.

All sentient beings are just interpreting "what is" according to their form. They are not seeing or experiencing "the thing in itself." The thing in itself is the knower, the subject of all that exists.
So, we can say, "The observer is the observed," because everything is of the same essence.

Awareness is the base of experience, the field in which all appears. It is an open field of potential. Any living form has a certain structure of interpretation based on its sensory apparatus. Awareness interprets according to that pattern, that structure, and provides consciousness accordingly.

All of science is based on what we observe. But, do we appreciate that everything we observe is an interpretation by our senses. The true state of what we observe is never known. It is always an interpretation.

The hard problem of physics has been called materialistic reductionism. But, no matter how detailed science can get into the physical world, it cannot answer the question of conscious awareness.

What comes first, a dream or awareness? Without awareness would a person ever dream at night? To say a dream causes awareness doesn't make sense. But to say a dream appears in awareness does.

We can be nothing other than awareness. Awareness is the primary potential - the open field in which any form of consciousness appears. Since all living beings are aware, all are That. Thus the phrase, "That thou art." Beyond that we cannot go. We are the mystery.

Everything that exists can only be known by a conscious experience in awareness. Nothing can be said to exist without it being known, and the knower is Awareness itself.

All experiences are therefor nothing but appearances in awareness. Thus, when one is enlightened, it is known that one is That Presence that is aware - the one eternal essence that was never born and never dies.

With that identity, life is just an experience of a particular form. What we really are is Awareness, and knowing that, one knows one is eternal and can never die.