what happens when all authority is abandoned?


If you’re born blind, totally blind, you need to be told about light.  That’s the only way you’ll come to believe something like light exists.  But if you aren’t blind, belief isn’t necessary – you simply see and know light.

It’s odd then – with respect to ‘awakening’ – the way beliefs seem to cause blindness in those with eyes to see.  Beliefs are just like cataracts.

To see for yourself that wideawake brilliant awareness is all there is, is simple.  It’s probably the most obvious of all observations.  So why do we resist?  Why do we look for the Real everywhere but here?

Conditioned from tiny-hood to believe ourselves blind (unenlightened) we unquestioningly accept the beliefs of those who appear to have vision (authority): parents, priests, teachers, gurus, scriptures.

What happens when that conditioning is questioned?  What happens when all authority is abandoned?  What happens when we use our own eyes and trust our own vision?

Clear brilliant awareness is inescapably present.  Clarity flowers.  And clarity instantly removes cataracts.


the great way isn’t difficult


The Great Way isn’t difficult
– nor is it easy

aspiring to walk it
one hobbles oneself

better to sit down now,
rest your tired feet

and with a sweet sigh soak up
The Great View


The Great Way by Sengstan (Third Zen Patriarch)

you want the ultimate refuge?


Echoes from Emptiness: bungee jumping

I was still very young when Granny taught me this little ditty:

sticks and stones
can break my bones
but words can never hurt me!

I hurled that little incantation at many a playground bully, oblivious to its profound truth.

Decades later I found out for myself that whatever ‘I’ is, it can’t be touched, let alone hurt, by words or anything else: no weapon, thought or circumstance has any power over ‘I’.

How could ‘I’ – a ‘something’ that isn’t an object of any kind – ever be a target?

What kind of weapon could ever affect a not-thing that has no particular place in time and space?

You want the ultimate refuge?

Break the bungee cord and free-fall into your very own ‘I’.

It’s nowhere near as scary as you might think.

Image source

o m g


Echoes from Emptiness: this is it


O is for


to the possibility that nothing
is the way it appears to be

thought’s dynamics, especially
the compilation of dear wee-me

identification with anything nameable
is suddenly … laughable

is the order of the day
nothing is special, only everything

no more arguments with whatever-ness
(my battle-bruises get a rest)

virtual or ‘real’ turn out to be
a mirror-image of ‘me’

this … this … this
is always IT


Image – probably the  beautiful calligraphy of Thich Nhat Hanh – see comments. 


witness? watcher? who? where?


Several highly respected books on ‘awakening’ advise that once the impossibility of a separate self-entity has been irrefutably seen, ‘identification’ needs to shift from that illusory person to the ‘watcher’ or ‘witness’, and that further along the path, this witness will dissolve into pure primordial Awareness – which is what One truly is.

I find this quite illogical. I just don’t get it, never did; I missed this step, totally.

Having met the impossibility of ‘my’ separate existence, the impossibility of an independent object called by my name here, there or anywhere, past present or future, just who would this person with ability to identify with anything BE?

Who could become the ‘watcher’ or ‘witness’ – or for that matter, emptiness?

Identification was suddenly as obsolete as the old ‘me’ and it took off – taking self and no-self with it – when it was clearly seen that wild wideawakeness is the only player in this game, and that that wideawakeness – aka natural, naked aware-ing – is none other than ‘I’.

The ‘I’ casts off the illusion of ‘I’
and yet remains as ‘I’,
such is the paradox of Self-realization.
~ Sri Ramana Maharshi



are beliefs of any kind necessary?


Echoes from Emptiness: Mt Warning - Woolumbin

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.

image source


your mission: find that independent, sinful, suffering entity


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

Echoes from Emptiness: Your mission? Find that entity


yet no one, among all the billions of human beings
who have incarnated throughout time,
has ever been able
to find that entity

Can you?

Image – artist unknown.