Yesterday, on a drive to Wollumbin with S, we passed the gateway to a non-sectarian retreat center. A sign had been nailed up:
Are beliefs of any kind necessary?
How tempting to rush in with a yes or a no or a maybe, inevitably meeting the question with our pet beliefs and conclusions, and kidding ourselves that we’re having a profound dialogue…
But the question isn’t pointless. It has beauty in its potential to act as a pointer to the utterly imperative, yet impossible, question:
Who, or what, is asking?
If you tell me ‘you’ are, I’ll ask you to show me a ‘you’ that’s a stand-alone entity.
If you can’t, I’ll ask you how come you believe you are one when you can’t prove it.
With a bit of luck we’ll both end up falling in a heap laughing so hard we weep.
awakening is easy;
wideawakeness is the natural state of any sentient being
so no one has ever been anything but fully awake
so, why does it appear to be difficult to r-e-a-l-i-z-e?
simply because we fail to examine two notions that are automatically acquired,
assumed to be true, and that become set in concrete in our thinking:
1 there’s a separate entity here (somewhere) that thinks thoughts, performs actions, is independent and bears ‘my’ name
2 said entity and its life are imperfect, unsatisfactory, bound, limited and therefore in need of improvement, salvation and awakening
yet no one, among all the billions of human beings
who have incarnated throughout time,
has ever been able
to find that entity
Image – artist unknown.
There were dreams last night. They involved intense activity and the emotional involvement was amazing. This is curious, for in the dream state called ‘daily life’ there is, for the most part, quiet emotional equanimity.
But clearly emotional reflexes are still intact and available in the brain, and there’s an ego construct that can ‘feel’ them to be real, even while the watching ‘I’ – the Knowingness of the dream – does nothing but be and see.
The impossibility of the separate existence of an entity that can own and suffer emotions penetrates even the night-time dream.
Wondering wonders if there will come a time when night-time dreams will disappear completely.
Strange, but ‘I’ doesn’t give a toss one way or the other. Night-time dreams and the infinite versions of the daytime dream are all the same to this changeless ‘I’.
Wild wideawakeness isn’t a partial or incremental affair. (Perception is always partial, apperception is holistic.)
Awakening can be a bit like falling through the bottom of a long-drop into an ocean of crystal-clear brilliance.
At some point the long-drop and its contents are seen to be all you thought you were as a separate self – a person with characteristics, a history and a future.
And all of it – all of it – is seen as a wondrous manifestation of Awareness.
Awareness, fundamental and infinitely creative
is the ‘I’ that knows both the long-drop
and the oceanic clarity
[long-drop? This may be a term unique to the lands downunder, where it’s what we call an outdoor pit toilet.]
Grasping the impossibility of a separate autonomous self with which one can ‘I’dentify opens the door to savage wisdom.
Awakening to the now-ness, this-ness and here-ness of consciousness playing the phenomenal self, to its marvelous imPERSONation within Life’s dream, is awakening to freedom.
At last one can speak authentically of self-love, for all versions of self are none other than IT knowing ITself.
How cool is that, Beloved?
“How do you find the time to sit?” I’m asked.
Well, I don’t. I will explain.
Decades passed with ml desiring more time to sit.
The cushion was ever calling, but she was a self with things-to-be-done.
They lined up in lists and no matter how many were struck off, accomplished, more recruits would appear to replace them.
She longed for more time in which to achieve all the must-do’s that self spun around its existence.
She longed too, for the space and silence of the zafu.
And all that longing created conflict.
So, what changed all that?
When the impossibility of ml’s existence as a separate solid entity was seen, everything shifted.
ml was replaced by Life, Itself, and Life loves using the zafu as its launch-pad for the return to Itself – point ZERO.
So I confess I don’t have to find time; nor is it really true to say, “I sit.”
But it happens.