Aloha, my friends.
There is a deeper settling into the recognition that there is no ‘I’, no personal self. So it seems a good time to describe it a bit more.
Since the original experience there have been several others, each including very strong ‘no-self’ components and much more. (Further on this in upcoming posts.) The emotional power of all of them, and a lot of the experientialness, has faded. I am taking that as natural. Feelings and experience do just that… arise, peak, fade. So, as it must, the immediacy dims.
What sustains, remains, is?
1. Knowing that when I specifically look for an inner self, an entity called ‘me’, none is ever found. All that really needs to be done is ask and immediately it’s clear that the answer is a big fat ‘NO’. In daily living lack of an ‘I’ is experienced in varying degrees. Also in daily living there is sometimes a spiraling into a particular thought through an ‘I’ component abruptly experienced as kind of ‘real’. Then ‘I’, who totally knows there is no ‘I’, buy into ‘I’, and start feeling like a ‘me’ again. This is suffering. See point 2.
2. A moment-to-moment experience that includes both letting thought scroll through and giving it attention. Calmness with the former; various degrees of suffering with the latter. Suffering? Yes. No pain arises when a thought is simply noticed and allowed to pass through. Holding to something untrue and going where it leads, ahhh, different story altogether (emphasis on ‘story’). This takes me to suffering via ideas like: ‘I’m right.’ ‘It’s awful.’ ‘How stupid.’ ‘This situation should be different.’ These kinds of thoughts are ever and only my opinion and belief, rather than some sort of truth, and they hurt. Yet ‘I’ holds on until what is twistedly happening in the mind is genuinely recognized. Then comes inquiry into the thoughts and their source. Eventually, letting go of them also releases the sense of a ‘me’. Thoughts just slide on through again, no ‘I’ to clutch. Sweet relief.
3. Recognition that when the suffering symptoms start, the remedy is close at hand: Getting out means going through. So I do. Inquiry, sometimes quiet, sometimes not, shows up the erroneous ideas, beliefs, doctrines and dogmas I’ve nurtured, then takes me out the other side. I look, look, and look some more until as many shreds as currently possible of these false edifices are examined and released. Once seen, lesser impact the next time; eventually, dead. [Not much changed in this one, just cleaned up the writing a bit.]
4. Reactivity cut to the bone. Meaning, very little knee-jerk responses to others, situations, thoughts, feelings, ideas. There is sometimes surprise, unease, etc. There also can be reactivity that stays strictly internal as thoughts start swirling, feelings arise and even the temptation to speak the ‘me’s’ silly opinions and beliefs and call them truth. Yet automaton behavior no longer always follows. Mostly, I keep my mouth shut now, my actions unexpressed. So somehow the kinks are being ironed out. And when auto pilot does kick in, it is quickly seen and amended. How do I know that it is always seen if it occurs? I don’t; I can’t. But I do know that if it’s not seen, it will come back around sooner or later to give another whack at it.
5. Last and very far from being least: The ever deepening sweetness of Life without a center, as Jeff Foster calls it. This is the continued experiential awareness that all is Oneness; no ‘me’, ‘no ‘other’. I do not experience that Oneness without interruption. I do experience varying degrees of experiential no self. It is realized here that the original lie is this imaginary ‘I’, assumed as central. And it’s the same false center for all who assume it: ‘me, me, me’!
OK… that’s the update. Stay tuned for more about the non-abiding awakenings, and my reports from the expanding front. If your interest is sparked, look at other sites and blogs listed to the right for variations on this theme. Perhaps consider pondering, deeply: No self… no me… possible? desirable? doable? See what comes up… and even if it’s “There IS a self, by golly!” ponder looking around for the where of it. You never know.
(This post edited on 1-29-2012; see ‘More Naked’ if you want to know why.)