Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Benchmark of Enlightenment

The Benchmark
How does one know who is enlightened and who isn't? The history of religion is just as full of charlatans as saints. Many have led the masses astray. However, a few great people have changed the world. They were certainly not charlatans, and many have been called saints or sages. These few may be worth studying.

If you are looking for enlightenment, you will not find it through them, though you may find a few good pointers. So, what does mark the enlightened? The truly enlightened have an authority that is indomitable, yet not overbearing. They process a knowing that is unchallenged by pain, hardship or
intellectual discourse. It stands on the firm ground of being that is prior to intellect, so it is not challenged by it. Being prior tointellect, it's authority is greater than intellect or feeling.

They have imbibed an experience, a knowing, that cannot be logically justified to themselves or another. Yet the results of that experience places them on rock solid ground, where the personality is finally at rest. Fasting in that state, nothing can take it away.

A sure sign of the truly enlightened is a humbleness in equal proportion to their abilities. Their constant mantra, spoken or unspoken, in their words and between the lines of their writing, is the affirmation, "Not I, not I, but spirit." They may call their gift Spirit, God, Christ, Buddha, Matraiya, Source or Self, but the "Not I" is their primary stance. They may be pacifists or martial artists, but their pervasive attitude is one of surrender to that which is whole, transcendent, beyond the grasp
of intellect, self contained, complete and at rest.

No matter how brilliant their writing, how clear their thinking, how deep their awareness may be, if you feel the taint of ego -- the touch of me and mine, of specialness, this is not an enlightened master. This is not to disparage the ego. The ego is a necessary and useful tool for Source. Without an ego, what is there to surrender? The body-mind needs an ego for its particular work. But the enlightened sees the ego as a tool, like an arm or a leg. It is there, at the moment of surrender, just
another tool for spirit to use.

Another way to make the same point is that in the Sage, the ego has expanded to include the whole. In the East they may say the denial of the ego is the path to enlightenment. In the West we may say
that the individual self, the ego has expanded to include the whole. Either way, the result is the same, a powerful presence, filled with humility, but sure. As Nisargadatta points out, "The sinner and the saint are just exchanging notes."

All the truly enlightened express the drooping off of fear, of guilt of sadness and hope. They are those who have risen above the apparent opposites of fear and hope, where these defining feelings are merged into a bliss -- "peace that passes understanding." There is NO understanding it with the conventional mind. The Buddhists have fine tuned this knowledge with their many metaphors. The finger pointing to the moon is not the moon.

The "eternal now" is a backdrop of the enlightened one's talks. There is only, truly the present, and this is seen and felt in their words and behavior. When you are with a saint, a guru or priest, who speaks, yet claims, it is not I speaking, who acts, but claims no praise or glory for himself, these are signs of being in the presence of Source.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Letting Go


"Let go and let God." These five words may be the most powerful you will ever encounter. Simple, so simple, elegantly simple. Read them quickly and you will miss the profundity. Slow down, ponder, and take them to heart, and you may just experience a deep and abiding peace.

Let's define the words to slow the mind down and actually take them in.

Definitions:

Let: Not prevent or forbid; allow
Go: Move from one place or point to another; travel.
and: To join
Let: Not prevent or forbid; allow
God: Creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority; the Supreme

If you take in the definitions of these few words, one sees that what is expressed twice is the word Let, the concept of allowing, of not interfering or forbidding  This implies surrender, allowing that which is, to be, without judgment, without holding back. This is nothing other than love.

Go, in this sentence means release. Anything that we have not been allowing is released. We move from the position of holding on, holding back and resisting, to letting go.

And is a joining. This joining is accomplished by letting go of our positions, our judgments, and joining with the source. Our creator.

God, being the creator, the source of all that is, alone, is in position to judge.

Taking these words to heart will bring peace to your mind, contentment to your soul. These words point to the letting go of your worries about how things are. Source has created all this. Whatever appears to be happening is allowed. Even your disagreement with what is happening is allowed. Seeing that all is allowed, it is easy to be what you are, and know that all is well.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Accomplished


What this little self does is not really important, like a blade of grass on earth. Ah, but the Self is here, watching and tending this little blade.

This little self is neither good nor bad, just somewhere along the path. The Self is watching tenderly, knowing that little self is doing the best it can.

I am that Self watching the little one. I watch the little one feel good, feel bad, feel up, feel down. That little one will come to fulfillment someday. After all, it is already all accomplished.

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Glass House


The sense of personality, of personal identity, does carry weight, but how real, how permanent is it? Is it not possible that the self is but a reflection in Awareness of sensations in a body, and subsequent concepts and opinions about those sensations?

With further refinement and sensibilities, further contours and subtleties develop. Now we have a full blown personality with opinions, preferences, sensitives, and hurts.

With a personality and concepts fully developed, our image of self takes on a solidity that cannot be justified. It cannot establish itself in any permanent way. So we must defend it, this paper tiger in a glass house. It looks real, but is as fragile as wind.

This fragility is betrayed by our willingness to defend it. Are we not willing to defend it to our actual death? The image has taken on life as its own. We will kill to defend it.

The willingness to defend this image to the point of death reveals the security it falsely provides. This something so ephemeral, so unreal, and yet so precious we are willing to die for it!

Giving up that false self is the only real death we can ever experience. The prison of the conceptual house can be seen through, but the guts to do so are directed at defense, "at all cost."

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Presence


There is an opening here. It has methods of perception, eyes, ears, mouth, nose, touch. The opening has use of hands, arms, and legs for movement. It has a mind to use in pulling all this together. The mind extrapolates, comes to conclusions and reports back to that which is open. But what is it that is open? Everything listed above is for the use of that, but what is that?

The body is here, no doubt, with all these openings reporting. The mind is here and it is interpreting all the reports. But who, or what, are the body and mind reporting to? Even the mind knows that something is looking at it. Could it be that in the end, you cannot be defined by what the openings reveal, nor what definitions the mind creates?

You cannot put your finger, much less your mind, on what you are. You are an unknown. But there is no denying that you are here. All the openings reveal that you are here. The mind knows you are here. It just can't put it's finger on it. 

What is looking through all these openings? There is an unknown here, always present, always aware. It knows that it is here. It knows that it is present. It knows the body, it knows the mind. But what is that? 

This undefinable presence is known to be here, but it is not an object. It is the knower. Any of the millions of forms, with all their openings, open to this. This, that takes in all the knowing, all the perceptions, of all the forms. This is what you are. You are That. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Open Path, Recognizing Non dual Awareness



 I had the honor recently of reading a book by an author I had not previously encountered. The book is The Open Path, Recognizing Non dual Awareness by Elias Amidon. What a pleasant surprise to discover such a well written book in a genre I thought I had pretty well exhausted.

If I try to distill down to a couple of words a description of this book, the words would be "gentle" and "clarity." These may not be big action words, but when we are considering the field of Awareness, that which is subtle beyond measure, a book such as this is striking.

Though feeling like one is riding a gentle breeze, this book has the depth and understanding to point very clearly into what is beyond words. At first glance the book does not strike one as particularly hard hitting, but this turns out to be deceptive. Gentleness and clarity do not lack power, and continued reading allows one to see the depth of the insight.
A wonderful aspect of the book is that it does not tag itself to any particular religion or non dual lineage. From the world at large, those writings that point to Awareness from whatever tradition, are used well, and delicately. It reminds one of the passage, "He who calls on me by whatever name, is mine and dear to me."

From a good deal of reading in the field of non duality, one can state confidently that doing "self inquiry" is a common and oft repeated instruction. However, it is seldom that one runs across a book that gathers and expounds on the self inquiry process. Elias Amidon makes it clear that "self Inquiry" is not a single note, but has many contours and edges. He lays them out in a very clear terms. It becomes obvious that this writer has explored this path, "opened" it up, and made it available.

It  is obvious that this author comes from the standpoint of Awareness. With gentleness and clarity,  this book carries power that points to a deep understanding. It is clear that years of working with the process of opening are behind this book. 

I would highly recommend this book to anyone on the path to discovering that which already is.

Maury Lee 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Understanding is All


That which is, suchness, can through an apparent individual state, "there is enlightenment. There is understanding." But the sage will not say, "I am enlightened." Others may call that person a guru, an enlightened being, but that apparent individual will not have any sense of "I am enlightened." For the sage there is no individual left.

Anyone who truly understands no longer has a belief in himself as a separate person. The understanding wipes that slate clean. Thus the sage speaks, eats and sleeps, and apparently has likes and dislikes, but he himself, no longer has a sense that any individual remains.

Words will come from an apparently separate body, a seeming particular mouth, but there will be no separate person speaking. Actions will happen but they will belong to no one. Awarenss appearing as consciousness is all. Understanding is all. None other.

It appears a paradox to those remaining in ignorance. But close examination is required. The same lack of center that you can't find in yourself is that same no thingness that is all there is. If you do it well, you too, can be nobody, and All there is.  

New Book "Simply Being" on Amazon Now

I had the privilege of reading Simply Being by Charlie Hayes. What a delight. By the way, he may just piss you off. That's right, and in the next line he may simply ask, "Who's pissed off?"  

Charlie's writing is very straight forward. Simple as Being. No fancy outlines of a path or breathing techniques, just simple looking. Who needs all the delays of doing when simply looking works? The only thing that becomes obvious in the end is "How did I miss this?"

This is blue collar pointing. No fancy terms, no complications, just look at who's thinking, who's asking the questions. Amazingly, nobody looks, and that is the only thing in the way. How complicated can looking be? Well, if you are looking with all your assumptions, you are looking in the wrong place, and Charlie Hayes points this out very clearly. 

Charlie doesn't protect his reputation. He tells stories on himself. Guess they're just stories to him. Right on! Good stories full of pointers. Once you see beneath the stories, what's not pointing? Everything is a pointer. 

The book takes verbatim questions. You get to experience directly the straight talking exchange. The dialogue between Charlie and the various seekers is the real thing. Charlie invites you into the looking. It's real and it works. 

There are excellent passages from some of the great non dual sages. The quotes tie in well with the questions and dialog. It's clear that Charlie is not blowing his own smoke. But Charlie's take is original and fresh. 

If you are really willing to look, and willing to look clearly, it is really simple and obvious. Then you too can be "Simply Being. "

Maury Lee 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Awareness Is All


I know I am,
therefore I admit to being aware.

I feel the sensations of a body,
therefore I conclude the body is present.

The body being present,
points to awareness as the field
in which it appears.

Where else is knowingness,
other than awareness?

Consciousness of objects appears to be
limited to one thought, one object at a time,
This allows for the functioning to be directed.

Whatever becomes conscious,
limited as it is,
always appears in one place,
awareness.

Though this body consciousness,
cannot directly experience another's
body consciousness,
it must be that their body consciousness
also appears in awareness.

The two bodies,
though appearing different,
function similarly.
They both need food,
water, sunlight, air, warmth, shelter.

The awareness of each consciousness
may be different, and apparently separate,
but they must be in the same place,
on the same screen of awareness,

You can say that this is inference,
this pointing to awareness,
as the ground of being.

Are your current conclusions,
any better than this?



Sunday, February 26, 2012

Silence Knows


How do you put into words
the silence that does not speak?

How do you say what silence sees
when it looks at concepts?

It sees the royal road to suffering is paved with
thoughts and concepts.

So much glamour, full of chatter and pain.
Silence watches quietly.

Silence being what it is, peacefully looks on,
without a move of interference.

Silence in compassion does nothing,
yet remains the invitation.

Silence knows that thought could be dropped,
but the mind does not.

Silence is what it is, not waiting, always present,
just being there.

Silence is, remains, and knows.
Any mind, any time, may let go and be silence.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Well Unknown


There is too much
unknown to nail it down.

No form to make bricks,
to lay a foundation.

No place to lay your head,
or mind.

The unknown is infinitely deep,
and the bottom not seen.

But you can look,
and fathom the deep.

Feel the mystery,
and rest in unedning awe.

Monday, January 23, 2012

I-I and Waking Up

Of someone who was complaining about being unable to obtain enlightenment, Ramana Maharshi said, "He is concentrating on the reflection and complains that he cannot see the original." This is of course the common human condition. Fortunately, few are concerned with this and lead beautifully ignorant lives.

Anyone reading this blog is not likely to be such a one. You are, I am sure, quite knowledgeable of the fact that you are awareness and not the reflection. Ramana referred to the Self  as the I-I. For a long time I thought that was some mysterious mystical thing, or perhaps a miss use of language.

It seems however that Ramana was simply showing that duality was only apparent; that reality was non dual. The I-I refers to the ultimate reality and the reflection of that in the person. Perhaps it might be better stated as I-i. But that would then indicate a difference where there really isn't one.

The other night I was dreaming and got really bored. I just couldn't listen to another word that was being said. I laid my head down and fell asleep. I was immediately awake in my bed. This really left an impression on me. I kept saying to myself, "You fell asleep in your dream and you woke up!" I had never had this experience before. I was far more familiar with going to sleep and dreaming. It never occurred to me that if I went to sleep in a dream I would wake up. It was rather stunning.

In a dream last night I picked up a book and realized it was my autobiography. I was surprised to see that it was complete and in print. The thought crossed my mind that my publisher would want to know, and would want to promote it. But I had no inclination to do so. I did not want to contact the publisher, nor did I need to make money from it. The completion was real, There was nothing more to be done. It was complete! Complete is complete, and there was nothing more I wanted from it.

It might be interesting here to note that my dreaming has increased significantly since I started doing T'ai Chi Chih. I thought I was just getting into a light physical exercise, but T'ai Chi Chih is about enlightenment. It is about opening and balancing the Chi. T'ai Chi Chih means Ultimate Supreme Knowledge. Rather synchronous with my life for the last thirty years.

Apparently moving and balancing the vital force affects the mind. How could it not? The mind affects the body, why not the reverse? I suspect that as blocked energy channels opened and energy flowed in new ways, old channels in the mind had to move as well. To deal with the change in flow, my subconscious seems to have gotten really busy catching up.

Interesting times.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Three States - One Reality


The waking state is the ego looking out and experiencing the world. For most of humanity the ego assumes that it is the doer, enjoying or suffering experience.

The dream state is the unconscious projecting its position via dream symbols and a story line. Dreams are different from the waking experience because the ego position is dormant, or only a partial player. The ego is not in charge of the dream state.

In deep dreamless sleep the ego is dormant and the unconscious is dormant. In this state there is true rest as the mind is absent.

Awareness is present in all these states. How do we know that awareness is present in deep sleep? There are two answers. One is that upon awakening one knows that one had deep restful sleep. The other answer, which seems to be the better one, is that if a loud noise or other external event occurs, one is immediately awake. If awareness were not present, one would not hear or feel the event and one would remain asleep.

When examined closely, it becomes clear that awareness is the background of all these states. Deep sleep is the best representation for awareness as potential; the blank screen on which the waking and dream states play out their scenes.

As soon as any experience appears in the waking or dream state, the object becomes conscious. Thus awareness becomes consciousness. Sometimes awareness is described as "pure consciousness."

Awareness is the primal fact, the holder of all potential experience, the vessel in which all consciousness is contained. Since anything one can experience is consciousness, one can say that "all is consciousness." Yet all consciousness is contained in, or dependent on, awareness.

For this reason, when one identifies with awareness, all experience is but a show, characters on a screen. One then wears the world lightly. The world is just a garment one lays down easily, without regret. It's like a movie. When the show is over, there is no dismay at leaving the theater.

Awareness is primary. That is what one is. Awareness doesn't suffer. Examine how one knows experience and see if you are not awareness. "That thou art. Now you have become peace.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Thinking is a Thorny Issue.


Thinking is a thorny issue. Sometimes our thinking drives us crazy. Sometimes we like our thoughts - enjoy them immensely. When thoughts are driving us crazy we want to be rid of them, but that does not seem to be possible. If we could control our thoughts we might come to like them very much. But they seem to have the run of the house, "My thoughts ran away with me."

If one accidentally steps on a thorn and it pierces deeply into your flesh, it hurts. You hate the thorn and its effect. But if there is nothing available but more thorns, you use another thorn to remove the first one. This metaphor speaks to the problem of thought.

Thought is a thorn when it has its way, worrying and tormenting. But, like using a thorn to remove a thorn, right thought, true thought, removes worries and fears. Tormenting thought can be removed by true thought. Untrue thoughts are the enemy, not thought per se.

True thoughts, used as pointers, remove untrue thought. True thoughts can be discovered because they bring peace. True thought brings light into the dark. The untrue is then seen as the dark that light disperses.

True thoughts dismantle false thoughts, beliefs, and perceptions. The mountain of untrue thoughts which seemed insurmountable begins to dissipate. At some point, the mountain is no more. One beholds few or no thoughts. There comes a time when even true thoughts are no longer needed.

There is only peace and silence as all that is.  

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The problem of first cause

Obviously the big bang does not answer the question of first cause. The big bang is just the evidence perceivable to science -- the first measurable evidence of a beginning.

There must be an energy that is not measurable currently by science. That energy is that which spiritual traditions call the "Unmanifest." As unmanifested, it is outside of time. A reality that does not have a beginning, or an end.

For example, in the experiments where paired particles are separated by thousands of miles, a change in the spin of one particle is immediately reflected in the spin of its separated twin. This happens faster than the speed of light. Faster than any measurable time.

So we have evidence of power, or energy, that is not currently measurable by science. That this energy is not perceivable by science does not equal its non existence.

This unmanifested power is the first cause. Spiritual traditions have called it God. Although difficult to describe in linear terms, it is knowable. The mystics of all ages have proclaimed intimate knowledge of this power. It is the underlying reality, the first cause of all that exists.

The Eastern spiritual traditions have called the manifest world "Maya," which is described as illusion, or the apparently real. It does exist, it is measurable, but it is not the ultimate reality.

If you define reality as that which never changes, one can begin to see it as the screen on which everything appears. Reality is the unchanging screen and first cause of all that apparently exists. The operating principle for the screen is awareness. That awareness allows anything and everything to be experienced, or known. What we are aware of we call consciousness.

The conclusion is that unmanifested source, call it God, is the first and only cause. Awareness is the knowing principle of source which underlies all knowing. Science itself knows only via awareness, and therefore must bow to the reality of the unchanging unmanifest source as the ultimate reality.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Who is Hiding the Light


Who is hiding the light? You are - with your thoughts, your feelings, your prejudices, your likes and dislikes. You are the clouds hiding the sun.

You could think of clouds as being opinions, emotions, reactivity. These impositions form the clouds of ignorance that hide the light.

The light is love, for it accepts all things. It shines on the so-called good, and the so-called bad alike. It doesn't discriminate.

But you discriminate. You judge. You don't accept. You hide the light with your personal drama, forming the clouds that obscure the light.

No one is hiding the light from you. The clouds are of your own making. The clouds are nothing but your own ignorance, obscuring the light.

Ignorance is simply putting your own spin on things. And the clouds will persist as long you insist on maintaining your own spin on things.

But the world is not here to be according to your likes and dislikes. It is what it is. The best you can do is clear away your ignorance by stepping aside.

The light is simply Awareness. You, as a body-mind, are but a reflecting focal point of that awareness. And you are experiencing according to your likes and dislikes.

Ignorance will keep you in the darkness as long as you insist on believing things should be as you expect. But sun is shinning.

The light is Awareness. It has the potential to experience any and all things. Any like or dislike, any emotion, good or bad, all is fodder for the light.

Enough suffering will get you to take a look at why the clouds are forming, and why they remain. Do you ever wonder what would remove them?

Knowledge of who, or rather what,  you really are, will dissipate the clouds. As Awareness, you know the body-mind, but as Awareness, you are not the body-mind.

As Awareness, I experience the body-mind, but I am not the body-mind. The body-mind is an appearance only. From this knowledge dispassion arises, and freedom is known.

When you see that you are not the body-mind, but pure Awareness itself, the clouds will dissapate. The light will shine, as it always has, And you are free.


Monday, August 15, 2011

Not of This World


How well I do in the world and how contented I am, has nothing to do with the world at all. For the world is an effect, the result of a dream. What goes on in here, the silence creates. The world is but an out-picturing of choices made.

A contentment covers all, not touched by what appears. And what seems uncalled for, really was called. I would have known it, had I been paying attention. A lesson to be learned.

Where I am unconscious, still I create. Any suffering is to be listened to. How did I call it into being? From the silence, where all things originate.

We may look for cause and effect here, but it comes from there.

I do not live in the same world as you, because we see different, and call out different. Awareness brings light, and with it, what was called is seen. It is all effect. I know not to turn away.

Contentment seems uncaused. It is not of this world. It came from intention, surrender, and manifests here. How sweet to see myself here, reflected in the mirror.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Natural State

"I determine nothing; I do not comprehend things; I suspend judgment; I examine." In his essays he compared primitive society to civilized society and found that natural society surpasses what man has wrought in many respects, that "pre-civilized man is possessed of natural virtues which civilization has obscured, perverted, or destroyed ..."

~Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

Many call enlightenment "The Natural State." We might say that the natural state is the state prior to the original sin, which was the knowledge of Good and Evil, or judgment. To judge without suspending belief even for a moment, is the royal road to your own private mental prison.

The sages speak of discernment, not of judgment or condemnation. To see without judgment opens vast vistas of uncharted territory. To be in that open space is a joy, a relief, a contentment.

Discernment enables a quality of being which is able to grasp and comprehend that which is obscure. That which is obscure, has simply been covered up. It would be helpful to take care with our thoughts, looking at them from a space that suspends judgment. It is a means of seeing the truth.

The "Natural State" implies something that was always there -- before it got covered up.

The human condition seems to be one in which we are born into obscuration, the original error, a process of judgment which quickly veils the Natural State. Our judgments may help the body survive, but it is the royal road to suffering.

If we could take every act of perceiving and hold it without judgment, we might be able to discern what is usually missed. Suspending our own prejudices opens a door to pristine territory.

Our lack of discernment leads to disastrous choices. At minimum it leads to an unexamined life. Socrates said "An unexamined life is not worth living." Yet the Natural State is eternal and the fear of death is undone.

A lack of discernment may result in the inability to know a true friend -- to be a true friend to ourself. A lack of discernment leads to the failure to see who we really are. Who among us knows the Natural State?

Enlightenment is the Natural State. It can only be discovered. It is not new, it is not alien. That is why when the Natural State occurs, it is known as coming home.

 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Surrender Leaves Nothing But Love


This body is here and I am well aware of it, but I am not this body. I have a body. It is not the same body I had years ago, so it is obvious that it is not who I am.

And this personality that I seem to be stuck with is here, but it is not who I am. It used to be different, not so subtle, more critical, and not as forgiving as it is now - both of self and others.

No matter where I look I don't seem to be able to pinpoint myself. Where am I but everywhere?

No perfection in this bodymind from the human perspective, yet perfection is here and all around.

Surrender leaves nothing but love. Can't you feel it?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Abide as yourself


As a particular body-mind expressing yourself at the highest level of truth currently known, you serve the world. You do not need to go on adventures to find a better place to express yourself. Right here, right now is good enough.

At the highest expression of consciousness you are capable, be yourself now, here, where you are, This is all you need do. Going around anxiously trying to change the world abruptly expresses disgrace.

Wherever you find yourself, it is enough to be love and peace there. You do not need to find a different place where you think you are needed more. You will only create drama. Abide in yourself, as you are, you are already one with all.