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A Dialogue on Awakening.... part 2

This conversation is about becoming free of the sense of powerlessness and fear that arises from a limited self-perception -- a false belief about who we are.  This anxiety is so pervasive that most would considers this to be our 'normal' state... and probably wonder what people like me are babbling on about. ;)

Tina's comment in the  last post highlights a common frustration.  To understand where she is coming form you'll need to read the whole comment, but I've extracted the questions here:

..if I am not to stand up, nor to sleep - what to do?.... "I have no focus.  That I feel I need.  I don't know what to do, where to go (out of hiding)."  and..  "Why does it have to be so damn hard?  When it should be easy?"

The sense of frustration that Tina expresses arises, I believe, because we keep trying to achieve an imagined state and then keeping failing.  And it's in this repeated failure that we assume there must be something else we need to learn or practice to  'get it'.  But there isn't.  In fact, there is nothing to 'try' at all.  The sense of difficulty or complexity arises only from our ego mind's refusal of to let us believe that we can simply choose to relax into the flow of our own Beingness, right now.

That's why 'enlightenment', as far as I can tell, is an ego orientated idea whose purpose is to postpone freedom by turning into a concept with a future orientation -- something to work towards.  One strategy it can use is to ask more convoluted questions while overlooking simple, direct answers.  But it's only the questions that get more complex.  In short, our 'ego mind' will do anything except allow our attention to settle into this present moment and discover what is true and present now.

But just stop, and here it is...

... and yet the more we 'try' the more frustrated we get.  This is because any thought, plan or strategy to become free is yet more mental activity -- the very stuff that is preventing us from being open and fully conscious in this moment.  As Chuck Palahnniuk puts it...

It's because we are so trapped in our culture, in the being of being human on this planet with the brains we have, and the same two arms and legs that everybody else has.  We're so trapped  that  any way we could imagine to  escape would be just another part of the trap.  Anything we want, we're trained to want."

This resolves itself as we turn to our Self, instead of the 'thinking mind', for guidance.  But instead of just talking about this, let's see if we can get a sense of what it is we are talking about here: 

As you read this sentence, instead of being lost in the words as we usually are, be aware of what is happening in your body and and mind as you read.  Be aware now of your eyes scanning each sentence.  Also, without getting involved with them, be aware of the thoughts that are arising as you interpret the meaning of these words. 

And now, step back a little from this activity so you can watch it easily as it happens.  Notice how, as we step back in our mind to observe, that the reading still takes place quite easily and naturally without our direct involvement. 

Many call this 'being present'.  But actually, there's something present right now that is more primary still.  There is this presence of awareness -- this that is doing the watching --  this that is now aware of our body and mind in the act of reading these words. 

So now, just allow your attention be aware of this Presence of Awareness itself.  This is Awareness being aware of itself.  You'll probably find that this really peaceful.  This Presence is Who we Are.  This is our Self.  Perhaps you can also be aware now that this has no outer boundaries like the body has.  Everything that is appearing, and has ever appeared, appears in This. 

So just for a moment let yourself enjoy this peace of mind.  We are always able to relax and enjoy this Holy rest like this because, somewhere within us, we already know that when we rest in this place of peace everything works perfectly.

This Presence of awareness is not only who we Are, but what brings us together.  It has no problem doing this because it knows no part as separate from itself.  It is the  'call for freedom'  itself.  Some feel it is a feint 'tug' from within when we lose our way in life.  For some it's a steady guiding light.  For others it's a fire that shines a light into every shadowy corner of fear in our mind. 

But none of this really matters.  What does matter is that it is impossible to lose, and can always be called upon.  It can be denied but never lost.  I don't believe we could be here, asking and answering questions, if this 'call for freedom'  wasn't present.

As we let this place become familiar to us it begins to show us some wonderful things:  There are no boundaries here at all... nowhere our Presence ends and another's starts... no time or place where this Presence could begin or where it could end.  And although all things that appear in this awareness change or decay, this Awareness never does.  But also it dawns on our mind that this one unchanging thing must also be the one thing that is true, and then are amazed that we could have called 'real' all those things that changed.

There is nothing difficult about recognising this -- simply a choice of what we give our attention to.  When we really want this recognition, then here it is.  It's only when we start thinking about this -- adding a layer of judgement to it, that it appears to become abstract or complex.  All we are talking about is the experience of knowing who we Are... and because it is just this, there is never a place or circumstance when we cannot call this into our conscious awareness and trust it to be so.  And to witness this, we need only relax in trust into the warmth of this Love that delights to be acknowledged.

Our frustration arises because we do not believe we can simply choose, like this, to let go into a state of joy.  And we don't really want to believe the simplicity of this because we don't yet trust it with everything in our life.  We don't want to relinquish control.  And so what we try to do is keep one foot on the ground while attempting to learn to fly.  This is as painful as hell... and feels far worse than if we'd never entertained the notion of flying in the first place.

And so we continue on, attempting to organise our life, using whatever strategies we can to improve our little lot (and perhaps complaining how elusive this 'enlightenment thing' is ;) ).  But all the while there is that little voice whispering that we really needn't put ourselves through this.  "Come to the edge", it says. 

So to answer your question Tina,  how about letting this Presence that brought us here be our focus and guide?  This way, Love becomes the means and the end.  A fait accompli, eh!

I'll finish this post by pre-empting one more question... "How do I remain centred in this place of peace?"

Although there is nothing to 'do'  ('how' being what we do to resist becoming Self aware)  I find this can help:  Hold the willingness to see, moment by moment, how I still resist resting in our Self.[1]  And then be reassured that this is something our Self moves mountains to help us with us.  In fact, the whole Universe bends towards us in support of this.


[1].. The habit that I suggested in the previous post  of asking something like... "What is it now that I am valuing that prevents me from being totally present and open to the truth of who we Are in this moment?"  is intended to align our thinking along these lines.

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  • ..this blog stems from a recognition that our true nature is far more creative, loving and unlimited than we could possibly imagine... and it transforms everything... a practical, generic solution to all our problems.

    These are just my lesson notes as I try to  be true to that recognition... and  learn to fly.  So it's quite possible that everything here may be wrong.

    Thank you for visiting.  Email (to Nick Smith) is always welcome.

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