Sunday, September 26, 2010

Awareness is Not a State

Awareness is not a state. It is that on which states appear. You cannot experience awareness itself because you are awareness, yet everything you experience is in awareness.

The beauty of awareness not being a state, is that you cannot loose it. In fact, you have never been without it. You don't have to do anything to have it, it is already yours.

The reflection of enlightenment in awareness, however, may change what is experienced. An enlightened mind may experience life differently: the absence of suffering, or less frustration with the way things are. 

When one first gets a glimpse of oneness, the mind may feel an overwhelming bliss, or ecstasy, but bliss will not last. It is a great experience, but it is not permanent, and it is not enlightenment. When it goes, one may be rather dismayed, yet if one can take the experience as a pointer, it may lead to the understanding that is enlightenment.

With or without that blissful experience, you are awareness. Enlightened or not, you are awareness. You can't feel awareness directly. It is a potentiality, a constant, eternal readiness for experience.

Awareness is the foundation, the potentiality, for knowing, for experiencing, any and all things - however gross or subtle. It is the field in which interpretations of experience are labeled good or bad.

Enlightenment then, if not a state, can be nothing but understanding - understanding of the fact of non-duality. Those who understand we call enlightened. Yet all, with or without understanding, are awareness, and are standing in non-duality.

Experience is experience, it does not necessarily translate into knowledge. And it is knowledge that is required for enlightenment. Enlightenment is not getting something you didn't have, it is the realization that you are that - eternal awareness, waiting, ready for anything.

In enlightenment, you realize that the ordinary is okay. You do not need what is not in the world, you know that whatever is out there, or not out there, does not affect you. Your happiness is not out there, and seeking for self has ended.

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Teacher Points

A small group of new students gathered in the room. A young man, quite impatient asked, "How do I find out who I really Am?"

The teacher said, "We'll get directly to it. Please everyone give your name." The students proceeded to do so.

"I am Jane."

"I am John."

"I am Ashley."

"I am Charles."

"Very well," said the teacher, "tell me a little about yourself."

Each student proceeded to provide a short description of their background and interests, and what brought them to the teacher. Then the teacher spoke.

"Each of you has described your attributes. Each of you has spoken of your Jane-ness, John-ness, Ashley-ness, and Charles-ness, but you have all overlooked something very fundamental. Each of you prefixed your name with 'I am' but none of you have talked about that."

John said, "That's just a matter of phrasing. It's typical. It's just grammar, you know, the way we talk."

"Is it?" said the teacher.

Jane piped in, "What does 'I am' have to do with talking about myself?"

"Well, said the teacher, "It seems to me, if you each prefaced your name with 'I am,' that it must be fundamental to you. Have you overlooked something?

The students sat in silence.

The teacher said, "All of you provided descriptions of your attributes, that which describes your apparent separateness. Even your names provide attributes, maleness with John and Charles, and femaleness with Ashley and Jane. What I am asking is what is common among you, and not separate?"

The students were again quiet, pondering.

After awhile the teacher spoke again. "You see, all of you have overlooked that which has the attributes. Wouldn't you say that that which carries the attributes is more fundamental to you than any attributes you attach to that?"

Several of the students nodded "yes," but said nothing.

"Consider," said the teacher, "that 'I am' is fundamental to each of you. 'I am' is the one statement for which you need no proof. Would any of you say that you do not exist?"

They all shook their heads indicating, "No."

"So, when you say 'I am' you are saying first, 'I exist' and only secondarily you are qualifying yourself as Jane, as John, or Ashley. Do you not see that you first are stating who you really are, and only secondarily that you are Jane or John?"

All were still silent.

"When Moses was on the mountain where he received the tablets, he asked God, 'Whom shall I say hath sent me?' What was the answer he received?"

Ashley spoke up, " God said, 'Tell them I Am has sent you.'"

The teacher said, "If God is I Am, then we can agree that 'I Am' is fundamental?"

The students eyes were getting big. Something was dawning on them.

"We overlook 'I am' and get caught in attributes. But our attributes are qualities. These qualities are like clothes. The clothes that God wears."

John and Ashley's jaws were dropping open. They had never considered this.

"I am is common to each of you in this room. I am is what you must have first, to be Jane, or John, or Ashley or Charles. Your parents said I am and your children's children will preface their names with I am. It is not a part of common speech by accident. It is fundamental. Can you see that I Am is what each of you are, before you forget yourself, and took yourself to be Jane or John?"

"Wow," said Charles, "I never saw it that way."

"Ah," said the teacher, " You are beginning to feel that presence, that something that is more basic to you than your attributes. I can see it in your eyes. That's good.

"Do you see that there is a common essence, an I am-ness present in each of you. It has no attributes, so it is easy to overlook, but it easily takes on attributes. Each of you are really that. Your Jane-ness, or Charles-ness, is really a presentation in I Amness. And each of you have taken the clothing as the real you.

"Some call it consciousness. Some call it the 'I principle,' but it is that which we overlook. It's easy to do. Having overlooked this, we begin the search. But we search for what we already are. We are looking out of what we are searching for!"

"So, what am I?" asked Charles."

"You are that. 'I am' has sent you into the world to play Charles. You are an actor on the stage of the manifested world. As Shakespear said, 'All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players.'"

Charles just kept saying "Wow." The others were silent.

Knowing that this was enough for the evening, the teacher thanked them for coming and and went to make coffee.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


The teacher is at peace because he is standing as the background. Just as the movie screen is at rest, whether a movie is playing or not. The teacher is resting in understanding, no matter how animated he may appear.

The teacher is aware that nothing is happening. This is the truth. Standing as awareness, the pure background, everything else is just the dance of appearance. The fundamental, pure I, remains unchanged.

The teacher knows that whatever appears to be happening, changes nothing. His stand is in the absolute. All that appears to be happening can be enjoyed, but it changes nothing.

The understanding of the teacher is not personal. For seekers to place the label of "enlightened" on the teacher is misplaced. The teacher is an appearance as well, and can't claim enlightenment.

Seekers only lack the simple understanding of who they really are. If they understood, they would know that there is no difference between them and the teacher.

Satsang is really a comedy of errors. The teacher knows where all the questions are coming from. Their fundamental error is all the same. That is why many sages  proclaim that "The answer is in the question."

All the teacher can do is answer the questions until the questions stop. And the comedy is, that once understanding dawns in the seeker, the seeker disappears as well, having fallen into the impersonal himself. 

Nothing has changed, only understanding has dawned. The play goes on. The ordinary continues. There are ups and downs, but rest is there, and questions don't need to be answered.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Do Objects Exist?

Material objects are known to exist only because we say so. Our senses of sight, hearing, touch, etc., tell us so. Any object we claim to know is entirely a subjective experience. We ourselves are the proof that the world exists.

Do objects exist without our perceiving them? We've read of someone hit by a bus they neither saw nor heard, or the soldier killed by a snipper's bullet he never saw coming.

It appears that objects do exist without our senses having to perceive them. But that does not make them separate. That we perceive objects seems to indicate that we and objects are made of the same stuff.

To be able to perceive what is, implies a common foundation with what is. It cannot be separate if we can see it, smell it, touch it. A common underlying principle must be present.

What is common to all perceptions is consciousness. We tell a friend, "Go to the museum and look at such and such a piece of art." Our friend goes and sees. Doesn't this show that the same consciousness that is in us, is in our friend.

It is obvious that there is one principle behind what is. That principle is awareness. It was present when you saw the art, and again when your friend saw it.

When you saw the art, awareness became conscious of it. When your friend saw it, awareness became conscious of it again. Two people, different times, same aware presence.

That presence is always everywhere aware. It is conscious of all experience. There is nothing separate from it. Consciousness is all there is.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Veil of Objects

It is the apparent utility of things that causes us to focus on objects and forget the Oneness of experience. The utility of things causes us to conceive objects, which are actually concepts. Yet the field of existence remains One.

Concepts are utilitarian and we focus on them, naming and dividing until the world is full of things. We name all things, creating separateness where none exists. Naming is the veil we cover Oneness with.

Our naked experience is no longer seen, or knowable, and intimacy is lost, out there in a world, of created things.
One is sliced and diced into a million objects, named, categorized, and filed away.

We are dressed to the nines in concepts, robed in words, defined, refined, and abstracted into a billion things. We are the king of concepts, the king of naming, the king of separateness.

Yet behind the veil of separate things, I alone exist. I am not named, not defined, not separate, and not divided.
I am all experience, and do not label it good or bad. Everything is a sharing of myself alone. At peace with all.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

How to Look for Who You Really Are

When we start looking for who we really are, we start looking where we know to look. We actually start looking in the areas we know. What we don't realize, is that we are looking in boxed sets of assumptions, unquestioned opinions, looking through beliefs, looking via religions, philosophy, psychology, etc.

But the answer is not there! The answer is closer than that! Closer than your body. Closer than your mind. That is why so much looking goes nowhere. The answer is not where we are looking, and we don't realize that we don't know where to look.

Without help we are likely to have to plow through all the religions, all the philosophies, all the psychologies, and exhaust them all, before we even get a hint that we are looking in the wrong place.

This is why it is often stated that you need a teacher, a guide. Because, if the teacher knows, the teacher can keep pointing out that you need to look closer, that the answer is closer than all those beliefs, closer than all your assumptions, and outside the boxes in your mind.

The simplest thing is to look at what is subject, and what is object. Investigate if an object is really "out there," and you "in here."

Remember that the only proof of "out there" is your own self. Everything you see "out there" is sensed by you, interpreted by your body and your mind. That interpretation is all done in YOU. So where does that object actually exist? ONLY IN YOU!

And when you see this, you see that there is NO "out there." There is only here. And when you look at your own body, and your own mind, you see that even yourself is an interpretation of the senses, interpretations of the mind. And if you follow this to the conclusion, you can only deduce that what you are, and what everything is, is SUBJECT only.

If subject only exists. Then YOU are THAT. When you see it, it is very simple. It changes your perspective, you no longer see anything "out there." All is SUBJECT only. All is  only now, always and forever, and only as it is. And you are THAT.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Background of Enlightenment

Some teachers say, "You don't have to put out effort to be enlightened. " Paradoxically, they are correct. Yet the seeker doesn't get it. Can the seeker get it without effort?

Probably not! The seeker who doesn't get it, may need to put in some effort. For, though the truth is that they "are that," they do not recognize that to be the case.

The paradox itself has enabled some to get it. For others, they seek something, or a teacher, that to them feels more helpful. Of course, they will need the help until they don't.

Some seekers would insist that their search for Truth isn't even their own, and they can do nothing to stop it. These are the lucky ones. They can't help but make the effort. They are pulled by their own future, like an addiction.

Wherever the true seeker looks, in every form, whether physical, or conceptual, the obvious is there. In every function, the obvious is there. Everything is pointing, and everything is resting in that.

Everything is resting in the obvious. Everything is standing in the obvious. And what is this obvious thing, this silence, this rest? It is the background on which this appearance and every function rests.

Everything that is, points to the background on which it rests. There is no need to run from thoughts, to run from pleasure, or run from pain. Just see on what, in what, these forms and functions are appearing.

You and everything you see, touch, hear, and feel are in That. Every thought and feeling are in That. And That you are!

You are the Truth that has always been lurking in the background. How else would you see? How else would you know? You and everything else is dependent on the background. How did you fail to see that?

Truth is quiet, allowing, open, spacious, loving, and independent. It is aware. You are That!  Enlightenment is but the recognition of That.

In the recognition of that, the seeker disappears. The one needing help disappears. And since what we are has always already been there, enlightenment is often described as a "non event." It is as ordinary as waking up in the morning.

The only thing we ever did was place our attention on everything appearing, and not noticing on what, in what, it all appeared. A big mistake, so obvious, one can only laugh, or cry, and wonder.

And then you are in the position of saying that it is so obvious. You say that to others. And they in turn, look at you as if you are teasing them, because it is not obvious to them. A fun game, is it not?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Awareness is Alive

Awareness is alive. It is ready for anything to appear. As soon as something appears, awareness becomes conscious of it, whether it be seen, heard, thought, or felt.

Everything one can be conscious of dies, yet awareness remains. So one can say that all appearances are dead. None will last. Awareness alone remains.

It is awareness that is life. Everything in the universe is but a step child appearing for a moment. If you are aware, you can never die, for all things, including your body, mind, thoughts and feelings appear in that.