Bhakti (faith, devotion) and Kriya, (Action, to do)

work not for the food that perishes, but for the food that remains for everlasting life …

John 6:27

During my chemotherapy treatment yesterday I listened to a podcast sent to me by my dear friend, Zahara. The timing of the message felt so serendipitous, as always with relationships we seemingly “find” ourselves in.

I’ll share the link to the podcast below, but in summary, the orator revealed to me something that enhanced my worldly perspective:

Any “other” in our life (shared relationship) is there for you, not you for them.

What does that mean?

What we “see” outside our personal self is perfectly placed there (in harmony) to our (yet unrevealed) need for reconciliation, healing, awakening, purification, and steps to Knowledge (God).

“They” or “It” is there to mold us, shape us, teach us, offer us an opportunity to make choices for our own path to self-realization (one-ness and connection with God)

Does that mean we (our personal self) play no role in service to others?

NO.

Of course, our personal course of action in the world is meaningful – our service to other; however, again, it is actually for the same purpose.

Undeniably, it is ALL for the SAME PURPOSE.

Enlightenment has to translate into service if it is to be real and meaningful. You were sent into the world to do something specific. Knowledge within you knows what this is and is trying to guide you and move you into a position where you can recognize this and meet those individuals who will be a part of your greater service and accomplishment here. Along the way, knowledge is building your strength, building your discernment and building your courage.

Most of the spiritual work is deconstructing your confinement, your disabilities, your fantasies, your obsessions and your delusions to help you divorce yourself from your weakness and to unite you with your strength. It takes faith to do this because you don’t really know where it is taking you. You do not really know the outcome.

You do this because you know you must do this. Because in your heart, you know you must take this journey. Not to satisfy the goals of the mind, your ideas of enlightenment or to become a saint, a goddess, or any of this foolishness. You’ve taken the journey because you must. And this is what returns you to God because you are following what God has put within you to follow. You do not know where it is taking you. It is deconstructing that which is imprisoning you. It is building your strength, your confidence and your ability to discern the power and the presence of Knowledge within you.

Marshall Vian Summers

How can this help us navigate the physical world?

When you look outside your eyes at that other appearing in your life – in every relationship and circumstance, ask yourself, “How will this encounter polish the inner diamond of my heart so that I may better serve the will of God within me while I am here in this moment?”

I hope there is a crumb of inspiration in this writing … I truly hope to share what may serve another along the way.

The foolishness of this world, the seeming deceit, corruption, and insanity has taken my personal mind down to a level of sadness that has actually served to further ignite and strengthen the force within me to seek a course of action in planting seeds of LOVE in the mud of the world.

I devote this post In gratitude to ALL of my teachers along the way:

Cancer – husband – family and friends – pets – nature – food – and every stranger I will encounter in this world.

Namaste.

original

Photographer Credit: Jena Vignola

Way before I began delving into Advaita Vedanta and nondual teachings of all sorts, I often had a thought – an idea – a feeling,

What if I AM really infinity? Holy shit, how horrifying.

It’s a scary thought … to imagine that you’ll exist forever.

Who wants to live forever? (Not here anyway)

On the other hand, there’s the human fear of death.

Holy shit, I’m going to die. I won’t exist anymore.

Which is more terrifying:

living forever or not existing at all?

Over a decade of existential introspection and contemplation, I’ve never found a concrete answer.

In fact, I don’t think that the purpose of IS-NESS is to find an answer to anything.

This HUMAN BEING is the only ‘thing’ we’ve got.

It appears as a hard cold fact. Skin and bones. But, for sure, this solid ‘thing’ ain’t anything close to IS-NESS. This concrete form is like a Xerox duplicator for the Mind. You think, you imagine, and Voila, it shows itself! The mind is the duplicator, the body is the copy.

Which Mind is the Original?

The closest I’ve come to feeling intimate with knowing the “Original” was when I briefly experienced a merging of Subject and Object during meditation. And everything in time stopped. And the meaning of One Mind became clear. (still not an answer, only an intuitive feeling)

The other time was when I was like 10 years old walking home from school and suddenly observed myself as the observer –  I turned my attention back on attention Itself. I was only 10 so I didn’t really comprehend the depth of that experience, but I never lost the perfume it left on my consciousness.

At the present time, I’ve got this cancer thing going on. And, naturally, I’ve contemplated the reality of not living in this body anymore. I’ve wasted a little time wondering why this thing called cancer exists, and what it really is. But the inquiry usually leads me nowhere.

Thinking, thinking

Subject – Object

A vicious cycle. For a non-existent answer.

So now, let’s contemplate this … the photo that inspired this contemplation. (thanks to talented photographer, Jena Vignola)

There’s a background, an All-ness, the neutral-colored wall in the photo above.

There’s a pink sink and pink mirror frame. Let’s imagine Original Creation is the neutral-colored background Wall. The pink sink and mirror frame are the Objects floating in a sea of it’s Creator’s all-encompassing neutrality. But there’s a mirror. There’s an opportunity for even the Creator’s copy to look into the mirror to see it’s object self and contemplate, What am I?.

The Object and the Subject have never really become separate from one another. That’s the illusion.

Why? Why would Creation play such a ridiculous game?

Does it want to keep BEING itself and SEEING itself and FEELING itself again and again and again? …….

Is it’s devotion to ITSELF an INFINITE, never-ending and unfathomable experience to the lowly OBJECT it has created?

Why?

Again, no answer. Just an intuitive imaginative image:

The OBJECT is only a thought in the MIND of GOD. But even those words are insufficient.

Maybe just the photo suffices … a splash of color showing itself on the background of neutrality.

It only wants to experience ITSELF… and look back to see what it looks like.

You heard that I said to you, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you. If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, for the Father is great than I am’. John 14:28

The pull of God

This time-stream I’m witnessing on planet earth feels kind of like the worst movie I’ve ever seen.

Like when you’re watching a movie and you want it to horrify you, enrage you, confuse you …

I wonder … Could it be that deep within our collective unconscious we want this scenario that’s seemingly happening?

And because we thought it, we desired it, we feared it, we imagined it,

it has to play out?

Anything we can possibly dream up – the most auspicious and the most ominous

Sooner or later it’s gotta show up – Every potential will be manifested

What the hell is going on here?

Are we lost and hopeless? Is there anything that we can do? What on earth is happening? Is anything true? Is this all a concocted game of insanity without purpose? What the hell am I doing here?

Then I relax. Breath. Close my eyes.

I feel alone in my uncertainty.

I hold the moment of silent inward connection.

Through what feels like my heart’s voice, I can feel what I intuit to be God’s (Absolute) pull.

It pulls so strongly at my heart that I can’t help but feel Certain that this pull is the most important thing to place my attention on. It’s voice silently informs me that I should spend every waking (and sleeping) moment in Time in devotion to Serve Its purpose, even though I don’t understand it.

This pull wants me to Trust It’s Certainty.

It says, Don’t ever stop contemplating my mystery and my omnipresence. This is your highest purpose.

And even when I forget, and feel lost in uncertainty, this pull of God continues to yearn for me to remember.

…you should no longer go on walking just as the nations also walk, in the futility ( emptiness; vanity) of their minds. They are in darkness mentally and alienated from the life that belongs to God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the insensitivity (dulling) of their hearts. (Ephesians 4:17, 18). Let a rotten word not come out of your mouth, but only what is good for building up as the need may be, to impart what is beneficial to the hearers (Ephesians 4:29)

I am pulled to remember that this paper world is not Real. We have forgotten how to connect with nature (God) and our materialism has become the only God we know. Of course, it looks bleak when we place our trust in what is Not True.

I feel the pull …. I feel the pull … I feel the pull of my heart strings.

Mystery of God

Think for yourself.

Did we forget how to do that?

Question everything.

Look inward for the answers.

Stop TRUSTING the assumptions of “experts”

YOU are the only one who “knows” the truth.

TRUTH buried under eons of indoctrination and lies

But IT is THERE

Your breath – the blood in your veins – your spirit – your purpose

YOU – a Mystery – God’s Creation

Finding ONE CORRECT ANSWER to any of Life’s happenings

Is simply a human egoic desire

There is not one correct answer

LIFE IS ….

INFINITELY UNFOLDING MIRACULOUS POTENTIALITY

freedom

“While they are promising them freedom, they themselves are slaves of corruption, for if anyone is overcome by someone, he is his slave.”  2Peter 2:19

“Of all things that human beings fear (and they are a timorous race) the one that strikes them with abject and utterly demoralizing terror is freedom. They are so afraid of it for other people that almost simultaneously they come to dread it for themselves. So they devise systems of checks and balances, restraints, moral sanctions, conventions and moral mass-expectations of one kind and another; they are willing to go to the most fantastic lengths in restriction and repression; but the one thing that they never yet have shown the courage to try is simple freedom, which some day they will have the happy surprise of discovering to be the only thing that really works.” A Matter of No Curiosity, Albert Jay Nock

I witness the insanity.

Our veiled hearts and minds, it’s heartbreaking.

Our Home is not a physical structure or a material plane or dimension.

We’ve lost that Knowledge.

Hence, FEAR.

I AM … The light of the world

A spiritual anarchist by nature, I find joy in exploring the potentiality of language to make attempts at expressing God’s Infinite Presence. Recognizing one’s true nature is our path to peacefulness. This true nature exists within all of us, just waiting for that holy instant to be seen or heard or felt – once found, this peacefulness transcends all fear.

“This consciousness literally IS a light to the world.

It lights up one’s whole experience of Being.

In the same way that awareness or consciousness is not an experience but allows ALL experience, consciousness is a light, a light that sees all the lights of the world but is not itself a visible light.

That’s why when I say consciousness lights up the whole world, yes, but it’s a different kind of light.

It innately transcends experience, good, bad, happy, sad.

That’s why in the east they would often talk about emptiness.

You are an intangibility at your essence, your core.

You’re here, and we think that I am here as an entity, but actually if we really look closely – the sense of I am here, I exist, there really isn’t a fixed, stable, entity to it. That image can exist within your experience, of course, but there’s something more primary. Its ungraspable.

You are not a thing.

This thing-ness happens, of course, but YOU – when you really follow it right into that immediacy – you just sort of disappear into intangibility. There’s nothing graspable there, and yet you are.

In the bible when God was asked to give an accounting of himself or herself, ‘WHAT ARE YOU GOD?’

All God would say is, I AM, I AM WHAT I AM

And that’s sort of the expression or the confession of your true nature.

I AM.”

Excerpt from Adyashanti, March 14, 2020 broadcast: 1:02:28

Living Non-Duality

A surge of anger, discontent, pain, disappointment, misunderstanding, judgement, has seemingly overtaken me. Who me? I ask myself in disbelief. Yes, me. I answer myself irrefutably.

What’s wrong with me? (This is not my typical emotional behavior).

Not so long ago I reached what felt like a pivotal moment in time – seeing through the illusions of separation, seeing myself in the dirt beneath my feet and the bark of the tree. I was able to perceive the unconditional Loving Presence, in it all, regardless of the circumstance. I was actively practicing in each moment, How can I BE this love?

How did I forget the wisdom of my heart?

  • The state of the world, politics, the insanity of the collective consciousness seems to have won in pulling me down with it.
  • The discord in my own family/intimate relations has won in rearing my judgemental expectations.
  • Cancer’s aggressive reappearance has suceeded in making me fear a painful death.

Today, an angel seemingly landed gently on my shoulder. She said, No, you will not forget the foundation of your inner stability. What has sustained your understanding for all these years is ever-present. You’ve just fallen away from remembering.

Among shelves and shelves of books, my eyes landed on just one. I pulled it off the shelf, and opened a random page. My inner knowing was gloriously reignited.

Glory, glory hallelujah, the Truth is marching on …..

“Here in our Western culture, where we are accustomed to attempt to exert maximal control, it is difficult for us to bear in mind that things are always unfolding in the way that they are bound to do.

As could be expected in a culture which so emphasizes the value of human life (as, for example, over the value of other species’), this tendency is particularly evident in our reaction to the manifestation of chronic or terminal illness – in us, or another person.

If the condition of health changes for the “better”, we can accept that. If it changes for the “worse”, we can’t accept that. The only unfolding of life events that we meet with equanimity are the positive ones. The implication in our attitude toward negative changes is that they must be met with resistance.

Sooner or later, every fact in life must be accepted.

Each of us will do whatever it is that we do, when the time comes. And nature will do whatever it is that it does, regardless of whatever it is that we do.

Yet notice the implication in the reaction to a change in health: if you are ill, you shouldn’t be: if you are not anxious about your condition, you should be.

‘The dark threads are as needful, in the Weaver’s skillful hand, as the threads of gold and silver in the pattern that shall stand,’ if I recall an old poem.

Can we relate to what is, as it is-for ourselves and others-even at the most pivotal junction?” (Living Nonduality, by Robert Wolfe)

And then I read on and remember… This clarity feels most true to my heart – It’s all unfolding as the Self experiencing it’s self:

“The creator (the formless) and created (the forms) – as well as the creating- are the same thing, an indivisible (no “parts”) whole.

Because the created, creator and creating are all One immediate actuality, there is no ‘creation’ in the sense that a plan or design has been culminated. There is no ‘intelligence’ APART from all these manifestations that has (prior to manifesting) desired or decided that what is ‘will be as it is’.

All of the ‘creating’ is going on at this very moment, moment by moment, without having to be accounted for (as a ‘purpose’) to anyone or anything. The formless, being WITHOUT a separate ‘self’, need not even justify what is unfolding to its own ‘self’. No matter WHAT happens-without an ‘intent’ – nothing can go wrong, as far as the formless actuality could be concerned. The formless IS the unfolding, in these forms.” Robert Wolfe.

Photo Credit: Annette Adams

Nishprapanchaya Shantaya

Last week I went Christmas shopping. Having purchased not a single gift up till now, this was a huge endeavor seven days prior to the holiday. But I braved the 17–degree temps.

Probably not too wise of a decision.

I thought, I should be nurturing my immune-compromised blood levels during “week-off” chemotherapy

But I’m resolute; I gotta bring gifts for the grandkids and family members.

My habituated determination …. I recognize it. It’s laughable. Hard to change lifetime convictions.  

Thankfully, the opposite pole of persistence arose simultaneously, and the desire to self-nurture endured.   

A 30-minute drive to Milford, PA ahead, I decided to lose myself in a podcast. Its auspicious title beckoned my attention, “The Search for Enlightenment” by Rupert Spira.

Kind of ridiculous having heard this talk a gazillion times in every imaginable form – from Nisargadata to Ramana to Krishnamurti to Adyashanti ad infinitum …. As if I might hear something new.

Unexpectedly, Mr. Spira’s articulation on this topic smashed my heart open – in an exceptionally beautiful, frigid, sun beaming off icicle moment on a country road in Northeastern PA.

Perhaps my lowering WBC count assisted in opening my heart a little deeper this time?

Who knows.

I bawled like a puppy for her mother. You know when you’re alone in the car, and you can sob so loud it hurts?

Ranks right up there with an incredible orgasm.

Here’s the part that broke the dam of uncontrollable tears:

15:47

Rupert: You’ve recognized that who you essentially are now is ever-present, never hurt or tarnished by experience, never disturbed, it needs nothing.

What more do you want?

Questioner: (I can’t trust that the wanting will stop)

Rupert: What are you wanting?

If you have found that in yourself which is inherently peaceful and has no sense of lack, what are you lacking?

Questioner:  (There’s nothing I lack)

Rupert: The wanting will only stop when you recognize that you ARE what you WANT.

End 17:01

The Anusara invocation I have chanted for a decade reverberated in my heart, and I recalled how near this knowledge is, how it has remained engrained in my heart.

Om Namah Shivaya Gurave: I honor God, the Nature of Being, The Teacher within.
Satchidananda Murtaye: ITS essence is Truth, Consciousness, and Bliss.
Nishprapanchaya Shantaya: IT is always present and full of peace.
Niralambaya Tejase: It is completely free and radiates from the heart with a divine luster.

(my interpretation)

Enjoy the video, tissues recommended.

Magic green carpet

There’s a statement by Mahatma Ghandi that remains implanted in my mind. He said, “If anyone is to find writings of mine, please use the latter on the same subject.” 

For me, this token of wisdom affirms that our ideas and opinions have an infinitely changing nature. What we perceive through the mind has the unlimited capacity to change.  

Over a decade ago, I wrote about a mind-altering experience while sitting in meditation:

My interpretation of the experience was being in infinitely big space (like being in outer space). It was completely dark, as the vast night sky with no stars. The silence was so huge that it was beyond anything my imagination could create. The feeling was like having no body, no time, and no words. And so I couldn’t process this, having nothing to compare it to. I didn’t even know where to begin, so I kind of just let it go. I knew it “happened” but I couldn’t relate to any of it through my cognitive mind.

In my memoir, which is presently a work in progress, I wrote about this again and revisit the experience within context.

CHAPTER __:

 The Magic Green Carpet

I had already lived 46 years when I met Gail. It was a time of transition for me, and I felt called to do something in my typical way – unexpectedly. One day, the inner voice simply made its choice to be heard, and the body felt compelled to pursue its direction.

Sitting in my office at a desktop computer, I stared at the monitor’s screen jam-packed with the medical notes I had diligently transcribed. All of the words that I had typed became blurred.  I removed my earphones, stopped typing, and placed my attention on sitting quietly and listening to a feeling sense that arose out of nowhere. It sounded like my own voice to my thinking mind, but I recognized a quality of deeper resonance than the usual mind chatter.

It said, “You need to study yoga. It’s time to train as a yoga teacher.”

The idea appeared out of nowhere, but I didn’t question it. My mind complied, and I made a silent agreement just like that, Okay, I’ll choose a place to get my yoga certification.

My friend, Inga, often spoke about Ronda – a yoga teacher at Yoga Mountain.  

Decision made. I’ll call Yoga Mountain and apply.

The Yoga Mountain dwelling was a residential space that had turned commercial, and it looked pleasant enough, humble and welcoming from the outside. A small glass door entryway led to the reception area where I would be directed to go upstairs to the yoga studio. A narrow spiral staircase led to the studio upstairs. This struck me as wholly symbolic – a mysterious new pathway into the unknown.

At the top of the stairway what appeared to be a closet door led into the yoga studio from the rear.  I opened the door, and allowed my eyes to adapt to the dimmed lights.

A woman sitting cross-legged at the front of the room looked up, “Hello, welcome. Please come in and sit down.”

In that instant, from that 15-foot distance across the room, I could feel her immense warmth, kindness and loving presence. I knew I was in the right place.

It perhaps had not even been a full year when my yoga teacher, Gail, instructed, “It’s time for you to teach”. Her belief was, there’s no “right” time when you’re ready to teach yoga. Her method was, throw the student into the water and they’ll learn to swim- to teach what they know – from their heart.

That’s when she chose me to take on a private student. I was a new teacher, very inexperienced, and still studying with Gail for my 200-hour certification. But my foundation was strong with Gail’s guidance, and I grasped the magnitude of the breath and meditation. Though my confidence often wavered, I trusted that I possessed something of value – something I could share with another person.

The only information I was given about Dawn was that she was a 30-something year old mom who wanted private yoga instruction. On the day we met for our first yoga session, it was her timid nature that affirmed for me her reluctance to attend a group yoga class. A fair-skinned, blonde with blue-gray eyes, she was soft-spoken, a gentle soul, and I could clearly sense her fear of not being good enough. She wasn’t ready to try something she didn’t know how to do in a group setting.   

As I guided Dawn through the most basic of stretching and strengthening postures, I encouraged her to be less judgmental about the right way and the wrong way. Then I invited her to sit down. The studio had a tight-weaved wall-to-wall carpet, a dark shade of green, which was almost dowdy but strangely soothing. I stacked two folded blankets, placed them down on the carpet, and asked Dawn to sit down.  Then I placed my blankets directly across from her, and I sat down. We sat face to face.

I invited Dawn to explore a breath I had studied called 3-part breathing, also known as dirga pranayama, which can be translated as complete, or long or deep breathing from the low belly all the way up to the collar bones. We practiced the breathing together until I sensed the student had reached a deeper relaxation, and I said, “Okay, let’s return to normal breathing, close our eyes, and sit together in silent meditation”.

That’s when it happened …

Within moments of sitting quietly with my own breath, the observer (me) disappeared, and all there was to be experienced and observed was NOTHING.

Time and space completely vanished.

Yet somewhere, like an infinitesimal spec of light, the observer (me) was able to witness this huge, black, ENDLESS space with a silence I had never imagined could exist.

Then I actually MERGED with the dark, silent, space.

That is, until the spec of light that could observe this space reappeared. And that’s when the spec of light spoke.

It said, “You have to teach yoga now.”

On hearing those words, my mind became alert and aware of the physical space my body was occupying.

I wondered, How much time has passed?

I looked at Dawn. Her eyes were still closed. Everything seemed completely intact. But I had no idea how much time had passed, if any at all. I glanced at the clock on the wall – it was almost 10:30 a.m., precisely the right time for our session to conclude.

As astounded as I was over this inexplicable state of consciousness I had just experienced, there remained a calm grounding presence that continued to guide me, and so I resumed my role as teacher and gently directed Dawn to deepen her breath and slowly open her eyes.  

I ruminated, “Could she possibly know what just happened? Don’t be ridiculous, that’s impossible. She seems perfectly fine.”

But I knew something immense had occurred. However, I had no understanding what it was or what it meant to me.  

I would spend the next decade delving into every aspect of yogic esoteric knowledge to help me process what this experience could possibly mean. I studied the classics, the Vedic and Tantric philosophies, the Sutras, Taoism, Zen Buddhism, the ancient yoga masters, and the new age masters.

At the time of this writing, I persevere in recognition and gratitude that this was a moment of grace. The reality of no-time was given to me, just a glimpse, enough to spark the light of wisdom within me. I was graced to witness the reality of non-duality prior to my conditioned and learned understanding of such an idea.  It was a foresight of everything I would come to learn, study, and experience through the mastery of the yogic path.

As I write this now, I am reminded of the unchanging quality of that magic green carpet experience.  Simultaneously, I’m reminded how my understanding of it holds the potential for infinite evolution.  

As Gandhi wisely advised, “If anyone is to find writings of mine, please use the latter on the same subject.” 

Photo credit: Annie Brightstar

Trust

My soul sister, Zahara, called me from Florida today.

She always sparks something that arises as a feeling in my heart center, which I can only describe as,

I know she sees it in me, and I also see it in her (Namaste).

We talked and laughed. And she asked about how I’m doing – the cancer thing – and the words that came out of me were, “I totally TRUST it will all be okay.”

(Translation: Whether I live to experience life as an old lady, or whether inflammatory breast cancer causes my demise as a younger woman – I TRUST either path.)

I have my moments when this wavers, of course. This Trust, I mean, though I know it’s quality of omnipresence, I forget. My ego takes the reins. It wants to think it can control or it wants to think that it will find the reason for cancer, for the world’s insanity. When I remember, this immense Trust simply observes and then lets go of all these ideas.

And I empowered the Trust by listening to this talk today, which I’ve highlighted/paraphrased below. For almost 15 years I’ve been learning from this being’s wisdom, and the teaching is endlessly alive within me. It is rewarding to hear this wise soul, Adyashanti, articulate what I feel.

Namaste, Zahara.

Namaste, Adya.

“There’s a part of the mind that is almost incessantly talking to itself. Ego is kind of like the verb of self-consciousness –  I am a something that exists.

When awareness reflects back upon itself, that’s the absolute essential component for self-consciousness. It starts out in a relatively mild form, and as you grow up it becomes more dense.

Ego can also be thought of as a psychic function, a function of self-consciousness, the sense of I Am-ness, even before it becomes the narrative, I am worthy or unworthy, etc.

There’s another kind of psychic structure that’s very different from the ego. In some traditions it’s called the Self (equated often with God, Buddha nature, etc).

Sometimes we can actually be called to look within to mitigate suffering, or to have a better experience of being. It makes sense at some point that the ego would want to mitigate as much suffering as it can.

But there can also be another call. Something else which calls us to look within. A totally different domain of this immensity of the psyche – the Self. (the God-head, Buddha nature etc). The Self really knows there is no boundary. There is no experience of limitation or edge to the Self. When it’s experienced it is boundless. Therefore it’s often called the fundamental reality.  

The spiritual instinct properly belongs to the Self. When the Self begins to move within you, there is no ambiguity that you as an ego are being acted upon that’s completely beyond the ego. The spiritual impulse from the ego’s point of view is something it receives, not creates.

The ego is the recipient, not the creator of the spiritual impulse.

It’s as if you as an ego can be chasing God or enlightenment, prayer, meditation, etc., and then all of the sudden you realize that the game has shifted, its reversed. And all of the sudden it feels like you are being chased by God. You still don’t know what that is but you can feel the transition from when the spiritual instinct within the self is activated, you then have a feeling that your own spiritual search doesn’t really fundamentally belong to you as an ego. It’s kind of unsettling. You have the feeling your spiritual search is not entirely in your control.

It’s not something you’re creating but it’s something that’s calling for some kind of response from you. That’s why words like God got invented – a word for this immensity that’s infinitely bigger than the ego. The ego is experiencing this awakening impulse but it’s not just for the ego, its somehow something outside of that. Often you don’t understand it.

For me, it felt like some sort of force came and lit up this desire for Truth. I didn’t understand why I was interested in those things. Wherever that impulse came from, I knew I received it but I didn’t create it. Then there’s this transition that happens inside, if it happens at all.

Ramana (Maharshi) has a great image for this: Getting your head caught in the tiger’s mouth.

Well you’ve just gotten your head caught in something bigger and stronger than you are.

The nature of the Self being without limit. When there’s no cosmic line drawn anywhere that you can say, I’ve experienced all there is to experience about it. You can think it, feel it, but that doesn’t mean it’s actually true.

In esoteric or contemplative teachings of reality, God is within you, and that’s relatively true, but not absolutely true. It’s said in order to get us to stop looking for God out there, and to get us to look for God inside of us. But really, we exist within God (or what the word is pointing to). The same way the ego exists within the totality of the psyche/ which is limitless. The greater part of your psyche does not exist within your ego. Your ego exists as a very small portion of your psyche. To stop exteriorizing God, we shouldn’t take it literally. God doesn’t exist within the ego. The ego exists within God, within the Self, within Buddha nature. All words for the same immensity. This is all theory right up until the point that this immensity starts to impose itself, act upon the ego in a very direct way. You can understand why people would create Gods and deities “out there” because the true spiritual impulse is something that comes outside of the ego. If you’ve ever really had the spiritual impulse that comes from the totality, its abundantly clear to you that you as an ego did not create it.

Awakening is when our sense of being wakes from being contained within the limiting sense of the ego structure and suddenly becomes aware of the immensity by whatever name one gives it.   

When the Self decides that It wants to stir into consciousness through your incarnation, well you’ll feel it. You’ll start to feel this evolutionary thrust, yearning, and of course, the ego is going to coopt that to some extent or another. That’s okay, the Self will utilize the ego’s desire not to suffer, but the impulse itself transcends our own personal wants and desires.  

The true part of God existing outside of you does exist outside and beyond the ego. But it’s within you in the sense that it is all originating in the cosmic psyche. It’s not the ego that awakens; it’s the Self – in a certain sense – that awakens from the identification with the ego.  Then we realize the Self isn’t really out there, but the self isn’t even something in here. Properly speaking, the whole point isn’t to look inside as opposed to outside, because inside and outside are actually mental constructs. When those constructs fall away – when we see through the constructs – then even the idea of in and out doesn’t make sense anymore. At a certain point it no longer even fits experience or perception. It’s just something that conditions perception. Like the Buddha would call it “thus-ness” the “such-ness” of something.  When something is not dual, how do you describe it? So you really can’t describe it.  In the Self, the opposites are not even dictating perception.

Awakening is a grace. That’s simply to say it is something the ego cannot produce. The ego can’t make awakening happen, however, it can start to undermine its fixed identity. If you really get what I’m talking about, the ego can start to deeply relax. Okay, it’s participating in its awakening but it’s not the cause of it. Your true being, your total being is the Self. So it’s a kind of trust in the Self.

If you can conceive of it, it’s too small.

THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT IT THAT YOU CAN TRUST.”

Adyashanti