Thursday, February 26, 2009


is the aliveness beyond belief, the aliveness of awareness itself.
Liberation is when all the answers, explanations and positions disappear, and you're left with the open mind of not knowing.

- Joan Tollifson
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Sunday, February 22, 2009

The novel of life

When you read a novel, and you read about various characters, you may like some and not like others. Or when you watch a movie, think about your relationship with the characters. You might like them; you might not like them—but you're not finding your sense of self in them. You're not referencing your self-worth by the characters in a novel or when you turn on the TV. You just have your thoughts about them.

But imagine if you turned on your TV or you read a novel and you actually completely derived your sense of being and your sense of self from one of the characters. Immediately your perspective is very different, isn't it? Now your perspective has gone from something that's very vast to something that's very limited, seen only through the eyes of the character. Sadly, that's how most human beings spend their lives. They have this little character in their mind called "me," and they're actually viewing that "me" as personal when it's not.

The "me" is very impersonal, not meaning cold or distant, but just meaning without inherent self nature, in the same way that when you read a book, the characters are without self nature. They actually don't exist outside of your imagination. They don't even exist in the book, because the book is just words. And without someone reading the words and bringing it all alive within imagination, nothing even exists on the printed page. It's all within the reader, all the life.

When the Buddha talked about the realization of no-self, he was talking about the self that's an image in the mind being completely seen through. And when there is no image of self, experience has nothing to bounce off of. Everything just is as it is, because there's no secondary interpretation. The one that's interpreting is the one that's in pain. And that's the one who suffers. That's the one who causes others to suffer.

The false self, the self that's an image in the mind, uses every experience to measure itself: "How am I in relationship to what's happening? Am I wise? Am I stupid? Am I clumsy? Am I courageous? Am I enlightened about this?" That's the movement of consciousness reflecting on an image of itself that doesn't actually exist. It's always measuring each and every experience, and then believing in the interpretation of the experience rather than seeing "Everything just is."

Everything actually just is. From the perspective of consciousness, even resistance just is. And if you resist resistance, that's just what is. You can't get away from it. You start to see that the only thing that goes into resistance, a story, or an interpretation of what is - whatever it is - is this mind-created persona. It's like a character in a novel. When you read a novel, every character has a point of view. It has beliefs. It has opinions. There's something that makes it distinct from other characters. Our persona is literally this mind-created character that's always making itself distinct. So it always needs to evaluate everything against its preconceived idea.

There's another vantage point. The other vantage point is not only outside the character, it's also inside the character. It's the ultimate vantage point that's outside, and it's also playing all the parts from the inside.

That's basically what it means to really wake up: we're waking up from the character. You don't have to destroy the character called "me" to wake up from it. In fact, trying to destroy the character makes it very hard to wake up. Because what's trying to destroy the character? The character. What's judging the character? The character.

So you leave the character alone. The character called you, just leave it alone. Then it's much easier for the awakening out of that perspective to happen.

You don't lose the character; you just gain the whole novel of life. It's not like you lose anything. You just gain the whole book. You gain the whole universe. As Buddha would say, "Lose yourself, gain the universe." It's not a bad deal. Or Dogen: "To know yourself is to forget yourself, and to forget yourself is to be enlightened by the 10,000 things," which means to see yourself everywhere. Wake up from your character, and then you see your self nature in all characters - not just one, but all of them.

So we don't lose anything. We gain all characters. We just lose the fixation, that's all.

- Adyashanti
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Monday, February 09, 2009


You need not stop thinking. Just cease being interested. It is disinterestedness that liberates. Don't hold on, that is all.

- Nisargadatta Maharaja
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Your constant utilization of thought

to give continuity to your separate self is 'you'. There is nothing there inside you other than that.

- U.G. Krishnamurti
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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Is there enlightenment, realization or awakening?

Your own true nature is an "expression of the One Life" - the Aliveness - Consciousness - Awareness. It cannot be anything other than that - as this would be Dualistic.

Your own essential nature - Aliveness - Life itself - is not personal. There is not a separate entity there which is 'you'. It is pure Life itself. NonDual.

We have a sense of self when the conceptual self-image builds up - and it is just that - a mental image. It is not who or what we actually are.

That self image becomes a reference point. But it is a 'cherry picked', modified and edited version of your characteristics, your foibles, your personality, your attributes, your history, your good points, your faults, your tragic qualities, etc. Just a mental image - not 'you'.

It is insubstantial and has no existence other than the content of thought. The apparent 'me' actually does not exist and when looked for cannot be found.

The 'me' is an abstraction. The actuality of what you are is what exists in the immediacy of the moment - which is Presence - Awareness / Aliveness.

All the rest is a mental construct - an abstraction. What that means is that 'the one who you think you are' is a mental abstraction and is 'not it'.

So then comes the 'desire' to become enlightened, or to awaken, or become self realized.

But your essential nature, which is present and aware right now as you read this, is an expression of the One Life. It is completely NonDual and completely untouched by the travails of life.

Your essential nature does not need to become enlightened, or to wake up, or to become self realized. It does not need to 'learn' how to become 'more Present', become more compassionate, be able to 'surrender' or 'go 'deeper'. It is already 100% Present and the concept of 'surrender' does not arise.

Who then 'wants' to be come 'Enlightened'? Who wants to 'Wake up'? It is the one who feels incomplete, unsatisfied, unhappy. Who is the one who suffers? It is the Self Image, the Reference Point, the Ego, the one who we think we are. The one who we believe is us.

It is entirely a case of mistaken identity. We are not who we think we are and we want to fix that one up.

Our real nature does not need 'fixing up'.

Our true nature does not need to become 'enlightened'.

Our true nature was never asleep and does not need to 'wake up'

Our true nature does not need to become 'realized' as it is already fully Real.

The reference point, the Ego, has no existence beyond the content of thoughts, has no aliveness of its own and has no awareness whatsoever in its own right. No wonder it feels incomplete and miserable! No wonder it suffers.

Who is the one that is the "I" in "When I awoke" or "I am enlightened", or "I am self-realized"? The only 'one' there that regards itself as a separate entity is the Ego itself - the reference point.

In fact there is no one there at all. The reference point, the so-called ego, does not exist beyond the content of thought. It has no substantial nature at all.

Our essential nature is Aliveness / Presence Awareness / Consciousness - but that is entirely non-personal - there is no separate entity at all. No Self, as the Buddha puts it.

So there are three good reasons to discard the old concepts of enlightenment, awakening and self realization.

1. Firstly there is no separate 'me' there to 'achieve' enlightenment, an awakening or self-realisation.

2. Secondly, our true nature does not need enlightening, waking up, or self-realization.

3. Thirdly - 'enlightenment', 'waking up' and 'self realization' are actually concepts - more than that - they are abstractions.

Far better to look into the matter of mistaken identity - just that and only that.

There-in lies the end of suffering and the end of seeking.

- Mike Graham
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