Monthly Archives: March 2013

Awakening to the Truth of What Is

We live in a sort of dream world, created by our constant thinking activity. We have been doing this for so long, we have come to accept our thinking as reality, not realizing that reality is passing us by as we continue to dream. We don’t see this predicament we’re in because everyone around us is operating the same way.

In our youth, we were filled by those around us with ideas, opinions, and beliefs. Over time, we began to develop a sense of personal identity from this collection of thoughts. Since then, we have been immersed in a world that continually reinforces this mental sense of self – parents, teachers, friends, TV, movies, etc. are constantly supporting our sense of personal identity. Whenever we have the thought of “I” (which is our most frequent thought), a huge collection of other thoughts, beliefs, preferences, and fears arise from association.

As a result, we feel as if there is an actual “somebody” inside of us who is having these thoughts. But is there? Look closely. Don’t try to think about it or analyze it – just look at what is actually there inside, right now. When there is no thought activity, can you find any separate self?┬áIt is the movement of thinking itself that creates the sense of an “I”. We sustain this sense of self by keeping the movement of thought going continuously, day and night.

If you can allow the mind to become still, even for a few seconds, you will see that there is undeniably something still there. There is consciousness, there is aliveness. But there is no separate, personal self to be found.

The difficulty in this process is that, when we first attempt to look within, it is the mind that does the looking, and this cannot yield any meaningful results. We are so accustomed to focusing on the mind that, even if a rare moment of mental stillness occurs, we miss it entirely – much like when we look at a night sky and see only the stars, without being aware of all the space between those stars. Just like our attention is drawn to objects without being aware of the space that holds those objects, our attention is likewise drawn to thoughts without being aware of the silence that holds those thoughts.

When we look within, we tend to look for a “something” – but the reality of what we are is not an object to be found. It has no shape, no form, no qualities. It cannot be labeled or defined in any way. And yet, it is here right now. It is what we are, right at this very moment.

 

Meditation

True meditation is simply being present, in the here and now, completely open to all that IS. No effort. No concentration. No technique. Simply being, seeing, and allowing.

If thoughts arise, let them arise. Don’t pursue them. If emotions arise, let them arise. Don’t resist them.

Like riding a bicycle, our thoughts and emotions have momentum. When we stop pedaling the bicycle, it does not immediately come to a stop. When we stop putting energy into the mind, it will take some time to settle into stillness.

Awareness and acceptance is all that is needed. The rest happens naturally.

Notice the movements of thoughts. Notice the gaps when thoughts subside, which may only be for brief moments at first. Notice that there is no sense of “I” in those gaps. The “I-sense” requires thinking to exist. In the moments when thinking has stopped, even momentarily, notice that there is still presence, there is still aliveness, but there is no sense of a personal self. In the gaps between thoughts, what remains is the real truth. Without thoughts, there is no this and no that, no here and no there, no inside and no outside – no divisions of any kind.

It takes practice for this way of being to move beyond momentary glimpses and to permeate our everyday life. Be patient. Keep it simple. Don’t expect miracles. Just continue noticing the presence, the aliveness that is here, looking out through your eyes. Each moment of noticing helps to bring about a gradual transformation, and the effect is cumulative.

What We Think vs. What IS

Real truth does exist. We will never have complete and lasting fulfillment until we recognize this truth for ourselves.

On the one hand, there is what we think. On the other hand, there is what IS. What we think is not real – it is just thoughts. But we mistake our thoughts about reality for reality. Reality, or truth, is what actually IS, right now, in this moment. But we are almost never aware of what is occurring in this moment because our attention is focused in our thinking activity.

Most of our thinking is about past or future. Past and future do not exist outside of the mind. The past is only a collection of memories. The future is only an educated guess, projected based upon our past memories. Only NOW is real. Everything that is real happens in the now.

If we want to discover the ultimate truth, the truth of our own being, the truth of all existence, then we only need to shift our attention away from thinking and into the actual present moment. To recognize this truth, we need to drop all of our expectations about what we will see or experience. Drop any ideas about truth or enlightenment, and just see what is already here right now.

It is not possible to know the ultimate truth. But you can be the ultimate truth. When you rest in the present moment, in the reality of what actually IS, right now, any sense of self or separateness dissolves, and the truth shines forth naturally.

No effort will get you there. It is a letting go of all effort that is required. Stop looking for anything other than what is already here, now. Drop all expectations. Be what you already are.