Rather Than Staying Asleep…

rather than

Rather than staying asleep to what is…

Rather than thinking and telling over and over the same stories about yourself and life …

Rather than affirmations by rote…

Rather than trying to become anything you think you are not, including: worthy, good, childlike, holy, pure, peaceful, deserving…

Rather than chanting, meditating, om-ing, yoga-ing, breathing by the book…

Rather than turning to shamans, wise ones, gurus, teachers…

Rather than books, videos, crystals, satsangs, meetings, seminars, firewalks, channelings, retreats…

Rather than imagining that you have to find, give up, take on, release, grow, transform…

* * * * *

Nothing ever wrong or misguided with any of these, and rather than putting all your attention into them, why not simply start looking?

Ask: “What am I?” then look where this points.

Is there an actual “I” to be found?

Where is it?

Look.

All it takes is a single looking, unchained from thinking; one clear seeing right here, right now.

Awakening… to the fact of no personal self; the reality of seamless, inseparable oneness.

It’s as close as your breath, as near as your nose. Look.

Much love…

You are Innocent

paper

… as innocent as a white piece of paper. You are not bad and wrong. And this is easily checked. Look. 

Is badness actually a thing, and is it present? If it is, it will be findable. Look all around inside yourself; where is it?

If you find a thought that says there is badness, it’s but a thought, an idea, perhaps even a deeply held belief. Thoughts are interesting, to be sure, but to what do they actually point? If the thought of a table points to the wooden thing at which meals are taken, it is a legitimate pointer. If a thought points to a unicorn, it’s pointing to an idea, a story, a nothing. And when thought is referring to some sort of existent badness that is actually present, unless there is a lump of it somewhere, it too, points to a nothing. Can you find a lump of badness in yourself? In anyone?

Others have said that you are not innocent, that you are guilty of X,Y, or Z…  Look there, too. Close examination will reveal that a thought, idea or perhaps belief, came out of their mouth as sound. Find the concrete reality of your guilt in that sound, in their thought. Find the lump. Can you?

Is it possible to be actually, concretely bad, non-innocent? Or is it a label, and a judgmental one at that?

So… when we do “bad things”, what does that mean, if there is no such thing as a lump of badness that is real? It means that things happen, behaviors show up, and because there is no inherent “you” (try to find that, the “I”, the “me”) there is nobody home to take the blame. So where, then, does blame go? Nowhere. It’s not anything but another judgment, another idea, given the attention of thinking about it.

You can check that, too. Find a lump of blame. Is it possible to find anything other than a thought that says it’s real?

While you’re at it, do look for that “me”, the self that is assumed to be a little entity inside somewhere, calling the shots. Findable?

Nope.

Just like badness, unicorn, blame.

It isn’t.

Much love….

Suffering? Read this.

 

 

Aloha, everyone! I’ve been not around, not writing here on my blog because I’ve been writing a manuscript on awakening. It’s almost finished, and I am really excited about it. I’ll post a link to the website as soon as everything is all set up.

Meanwhile…. my friend Ilona Ciunaite has written this, and it’s just so darn good I am posting it here. If you suffer, this is for you. If you don’t suffer, this is for you. Everything she says here is exactly my experience and that of many other awakening ones, so it’s absolutely worth the read.

WHERE IS THE SUFFERER?

As I communicate with many people, I get asked for help to stop suffering… People write messages to me, saying how much they suffer, how unbearable that is and how much they want to make it stop. So I felt to say something about this.
I know how shit that feels. I really do. I felt horrible many times and all I wanted was to die. I used to cry and suffer. It used to be happening periodically and that’s how I saw life- bits of sweet happiness in between feeling of not enough.

I wasn’t depressed in general, apart for a few months after the process of deconstruction started, but in general life sucked. There was a constant background feeling of not enough, being not good enough, seeking for relief. Some days strong, some days not. Expansion – contraction. I did not like contraction. 

Just like breath, it was happening: in and out. Right now, chest is expanding and falling back in even rhythm. Naturally.

Suffering is something that nobody wants. And yet it’s here. What to do? How to get rid of it? Who can help? Hello!!

And if you are trapped in a vicious loops of darkness it feels so hopeless and alone. If you are looking for exit sign, here it is.

There is no sufferer. 

None. None at all. Same way as there is no Santa. It’s imagined.

You think you are suffering and this is the suffering. Yes, thoughts that tell story about suffering is THE Suffering. It’s a chain of thoughts about the me that is suffering. But where is that ME??

There is a story about a me that is tortured. Thoughts say that there is. 
But let’s go down from the head into the body for a bit.

How does suffering appear in the body? It’s a contraction. There is a sensation of tightness or emptiness like a hole, whatever description, does not matter. But bringing attention to sensing rather then thinking about it, lets the tension start dissolving. If you keep focus on feeling, just letting it be there, just watching the raw energy without naming it, it starts dissipating. Test it.

And what is behind the tension? 

Take a look for yourself:
Is there a feeler? “Yes, there is- its me”- thoughts may say, but without thought, is there a me? is there anything separate in life from life? Is there a me in the body? If so, where is it? Can you touch it? Smell it, taste it? Can you hear it with ears or see with eyes? How do you know that it’s here? It seems to be in the head behind eyes, it seems…. But is it there?

See, me is not an entity that lives in the bag of skin, not a soul having human experience, its not a separate avatar that is navigating it’s way through life, not the narrator of the story, it’s just nothing there! Empty. And it’s not bad empty of good empty, it’s not an end to a little me, it’s just nothing there! Don’t believe me, take a look.

The sufferer is not there, but there is a story about suffering, right. And heavy unbearable feelings too, isn’t it? What’s up with that?- you may ask.

Here is a turn around. On one side there is a suffering me on another side there is acceptance and peace. There is a flip from saying no to saying yes.

The sensations in the body, contraction only gets stronger if its willed to go away. If you want to get rid of it, it feels even worse. The key is to notice resistance. Just notice that there is something that resists something. There is frustration and tension. Locate it in the body. Feel it, let it be ok for 1 minute and 23 seconds. Watch it, make friends with it, feel it fully, openly, just … feel…

That’s it.

Yes, to whatever is here. So be it. It is here already.

Tension, when noticed and allowed to be here starts melting. See that for yourself. Notice when resistance arises and you say yes to it, what happens?

Another thing, if the feelings are so intense, that it’s unbearable, learn EFT technique, it’s really simple and effective. There are plenty of videos on YouTube showing basics, learn it and then just use it. It really works. (Emotional Freedom Technique).

Yes, suffering is seen as something negative and unwanted. And it’s ok. It’s ok to want to drop that and feel at peace. It’s ok to relax. You do not need to believe what thoughts say, you can direct focus on sensations in the body. Then there is no need to try to stop the voice from talking. It’s ok for it to be here too. Just move attension to senses.

When all is welcomed, all is flowing smoothly and sweetly. When resistance shows up, and it will, just like breathing in and out, notice it.

Don’t try to change anything, just notice. Rinse and repeat. 

The truth is, resistance, frustration is a friend. It may be impossible to even think this now, but if you start noticing it, you will see where it leads. Resistance itself is not meant to be resisted. Otherwise it locks into self-strengthening loops. Some say there is a path of least resistance and when resistance melts, all that is left  is surrender. This is the path of saying yes to whatever feeling/ sensation comes up.

Noticing frustration, watching how the mechanism works and asking questions- what is behind it? What is here that feels threatened? What is here that wants to hold on? What needs to be protected and from what exactly? Listening closely and noticing sensations in the body is the key to releasing stuckness.

When it’s seen, that there is nothing here that needs to be protected, the mechanism no longer gets triggered in the same situations. But don’t expect a happy ever after, there is nothing permanent. Life is a movement of expansion- contraction. Things happen and they will keep happening. The peace is here when there is no resistance to what already is.

So first step to the end of suffering is saying yes to it. It’s ok to feel shit. And it’s ok to want to end it.

Second step is to really get curious and interested to see for yourself that sufferer is not there by looking behind feelings and sensations. Sensation comes up, look behind it, is there a feeler?
Can it be found in your experience? Or just in thinking? Is it here now?

Third step would be to investigate what is this word ‘me’ and where it points to, can that “me” be found? Or is it just a story ABOUT me, like a story about Santa?

And most of all be kind to yourself. The love you seek is your own love to yourself. By saying yes to feelings and sensations a door opens. The habit of thoughts about suffering start loosing its grip.

In short, it’s not the suffering that you want to get rid of, but see for yourself, in your experience, that there is nothing there, where you think that me, the sufferer, is. 

If you found this helpful, please share with a friend.

* * * * *

Link to Ilona’s blog, Marked Eternal: http://markedeternal.blogspot.com/

Unplug. Yes, YOU…!

 say no

 

Are you a thought slave?

I was. I revered, obeyed, licked the boots of thoughts. There was a constant stream of them, and they were given constant attention.  I believed almost every single thing they told me, and they told me plenty. The vast majority of it turned out to be untrue but I did not see that.

And I was terrified of them. By not following the dictates of one thought, another would come along and create much unpleasantness over it. A particular type of hell is not too strong a description of some of it.

Guilt, remorse, shame, anger, sadness, depression… all the emotional result of thoughts believed, or thoughts ignored but secretly believed. It never occurred to me that they might be selling a bill of goods, that I might want to question them in any way. They seemed utterly compelling. 

How did I leave behind this deeply entangling and profoundly confusing rat’s nest? The first and biggest realization was triggered by seeing that the thoughts I’d accepted without question for forever were simply not correct. They were based in childhood, on a small girl’s distorted and fearful view of life, of what things meant; not on what things actually were, but on what they seemed to be and mean at the time.

I had literally taken a child’s thoughts and kept them safe and revered throughout the rest of life. To be sure, they became much more sophisticated, more intellectualized, more mature in their expression and my justification of them (which is just more thoughts). But they were essentially still the reflection of a child’s view, dressed up in adult clothing.

Seeing that made it obvious: thoughts had conjured a world, attributed motives and values and meanings to people and situations, and then added the extra bonus of judgments of Lisa and everyone else, to round it all out. Every bit of it imagined and then believed. Story after story after story.  

How much of this same is playing out in your life? Look carefully. If there are thoughts that say something should not be, or that something is supposed to be present that isn’t, and you buy into them, then thoughts are weaving their hypnotizing magic. If there is sadness, depression, anger, guilt, shame… there are thoughts embraced at their root.

When thoughts are telling us “This is How the World IS… or Is Supposed to Be”, then they are assuming the position of dictator in our life. And we give the power to do that via our constant attention and conscious or unconscious belief in them.

They speak. We listen. And then the games begin…

Look closely with a quiet mind for a moment: Where do thoughts come from? Can that place be located in your direct experience? Does it even exist? Where do they go? Is that place findable?

Really look, don’t just say they come from the mind and go into memory. What do you find? See thoughts for what they are. Look… what are they?

Why do this? Because until we are not, we are ruled by what we think. And what we think has nothing whatsoever to do with reality, neither the Ultimate one nor its inseparable mirror image of life in 3D. Oneness includes thoughts and is not affected by them. 

In fact, because thoughts are about our experience, rather than simply experiencing in and of itself, they can and do keep us from realizing our true nature, which is Ultimate. Thinking and the emotion it triggers become how we live. And we mistake that for what we are.

Thoughts are simply a part of life; they are not what determines what and how life shall be. Yet by giving them so much spontaneous attention and unquestioned belief, it seems that they then tell us what life is. Time to stop.

We can learn to allow thoughts to simply be, without giving them more weight than they warrant. The first step is seeing that thoughts are absolutely not… what we think they are. 

Don’t take my word on this, check it.

Look.

 

 

 

The Dick in Dictator

 Dictator s

 

Good day, these are your thoughts speaking. Time for another lesson. You need a reminder: What we say goes.

We will tell you exactly what is correct and incorrect in your world. Right and wrong are decided by us, and only us. We will guide you to do the things that are best for you, no matter who it hurts, even if you are the one hurt. You’ll get over it. Usually. 

You will be requested, required, and hounded into following orders. Ours. You know the drill; you’ve spent a lifetime marching. Keep it up.

We will cause it to look very much like you are protected and safe, but only if you believe and follow through with everything you’re told. And it will do you no good to seek genuine protection or safety somewhere else. You’ve tried. How far did it get you? Not far; your fear of us saw to that. 

You will continue to be informed of those people who can give you something you need, and of those who cannot; those to cultivate, those who must be jettisoned.

Yes, it can be painful, but there is no choice. Your illusion of well-being is of more importance than theirs. You know this. So do what you have to do.

If you don’t obey, there is a price. You know this, too. We can up the guilt, deepen the shame, intensify anxiety or depression at any moment. Our hand is on those buttons as we speak. So watch your step. Suffering can, and will, be rocketed up by just a twitch of our finger. You decide.

OK… now that we are clear… have a nice day!”

___________________________________________________________________________

Hi, everyone… any of this seem familiar? If you are still living under the tyranny of this fascist regime, then answer one simple question each and every time a thought comes that you start to believe:

Is it true?

Can I absolutely know it is true?

And when necessary, go one step further. Ask yourself:

How much suffering is enough?

 

Ask. Look. See.

a3 final

What is awakening? Is it the same as enlightenment? Is it something that can be created? Conjured?

All I can speak to is what it looks like from here: If there is deep experiencing of oneness, and the experiential and recognized, however brief, lack of a personal self, then that’s it. Awakening. Enlightenment. And just like coming out of deep sleep, it is but the starting point of a new day. 

Awakening isn’t the end of anything other than delusion… and is also the beginning of the gradual and constant coming to clarity about what is. My preference is to use the word awakening over enlightenment, as the E-word bears a lot of baggage for some.

From what, to what, is one awakened? Strictly speaking, the answer to both is nothing. This can be confusing until the actual awakening, yet from the angle of Ultimate view, it’s the only answer.

Look at it this way: There is but OneThing here, a singularity, nothing existing other than that; so there is not a thing from which to travel into another, different thing. It’s always the same thing.

Yet it’s absolutely accurate to say we wake up from the illusion of separate into the clarity of oneness; from dreaming of many to living as singular. We step out of thinking about life, and into experiencing it as it is; many many fewer thoughts imposed on top, coloring it all. Oneness becomes experiential.

And what is oneness? This, right now. It’s also the source of this, and the seeming two are never more than one. Such a paradox! (And this rabbit hole goes even deeper: there really isn’t even a “one”… but that’s for another post.)

                                         * * *

There’s a classic story about a poor man who unknowingly has a diamond sewn into the lining of his pants pocket; he wanders the earth, starving; no home, no possessions. Only when he finds the diamond, of course, does his poverty end.

Awakening is the seeing of that hidden, yet always available, treasure. Never not here, just not known; poverty of spirit carrying on, despite the potential. Wealth realized, eventually.

Awakening is waking up to what was always the case, and the answer to the can it be created or conjured question is nope. It already is; it’s just not always apparent. It either shows up or it doesn’t. The diamond stays hidden for some; is discovered by others. All we can do is await; yet intention and focus can be helpful. Adyashanti says it shows up via grace. I agree. 

“We awaken to what we are,” is another way of saying that IT awakens to what IT is, as and via us. IT is Ultimate Be-ing; imagine it as a verb, not a noun.

We are all presentations, my friend. We are Ultimate, presenting as human, as life here and now. Same for rock, love, sky, plastic, anger, sun, laughter, tears, time… all of it. Simply be-ing as apparent manifestation, and always IT.

Strip off the names, remove the labels of good/bad, right/wrong and peer closely: all is a presentation of the One showing up as the many. And this is realizable.  

How? My best answer: Look. It’s a doing, sure; and when it shows up without a lot of thoughts attached, seeing can happen.

Investigate: are you genuinely a “me”, a separate self?

Look: is there a little entity inside, thinking, speaking, controlling?

Looking can reveal that “I” is an idea and that singularity gives birth to seeming multiplicity. Oneness is right here, right now, so utterly obvious it is simply not noticed.

The two realizations together are the foundation of genuine, lasting awakening; the doorway into the the peace that simply is.

How to see there is no ‘me’, there is only Oneness? Look, without thought, and ask over and over:

Is there Oneness? Where? Is it true?

Is there a self, a me? Where? Is it true?

By dropping automatic, unexamined belief in what is considered unquestionably real, by opening without reservation, the seeing of what is actual has a chance.

Do it.

Ask. Look. See.

Wake up.

 

A Milestone Passed, A Living Solidified

 white flower 2

 

Two weeks ago I celebrated my ‘Gate-aversary’… I first saw through the illusion of the personal self one year ago as of New Year’s Eve.

In Buddhism this is referred to as passing through the Gateless Gate, or stream entry. I’ve never studied Buddhism but understand why those terms would apply.

There is, of course, no actual Gate through which one passes, no water to enter. Yet experience is accurately described as being one way ‘before’ and completely different ‘after’:

I was anxiety-ridden, a futurizer, believing of all thoughts regardless of content; and now am not.

I saw separation everywhere, was suspicious of others, deeply disliked myself; and now do not.

I judged, angered, sadded, and resented much of the time, and now have very little of them.

The list goes on.

There were also a number of expectations of what it meant to awaken from the dream of self, the illusion of separation. I thought it meant steady bliss, a certain amount of omniscience, and a 24/7 altered state of consciousness (read: not a mundane day-to-day consciousness). Perhaps even levitation! Nope.  Scratch those!

The first big thing that changed was around thoughts. I was fully buying into whatever mine presented, never doubting they were true and absolutely not to be ignored. Now, as Byron Katie so succinctly says, I love them and don’t believe them.

I am able to see thoughts as an imposed narrative, placing a story on top of sensory, mental, and emotional experience; not bad or always mistaken; simply unnecessary ideas about experience, clouding it, fogging the view.

Thought is useful to me at times, of course, but usually only brought to the forefront when needed. That’s it.

The most succinct thing to say about how life is now, is that everything is still very ordinary in the way it shows up, and simultaneously, nothing is perceived as it used to be.

Rather, all is constantly known to be a seamless, non-separated singularity. The One is seen to be omnipresent as the apparent many, and the many seen as the One, very cleverly disguised. Fun and very helpful!

This became, after some stabilization, obvious beyond questioning. Diversity and separation are known now as vastly different animals; the former shows up everywhere, the latter does not exist other than in sensory perception.

Before, oneness realization was a hope, for which there seemed no hope at all. Now it is a constant.

Seeing through the illusion of a separate ‘me’ opened the door to numbers of further realizations. Yet it is the first and most fundamental illusion; and while intact, everything had been seen through its filter, coloring all from the point of view of the ‘self’. This significantly limited experiencing.

And then I saw through it. My gratefulness will never end.

So… that’s the nutshell version of the past year. Thanks for sharing it with me. What a ride! And on and on it goes…

 

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