I opened our local newspaper this morning and saw this nondual comic while looking to see if my name is listed in the obituaries as Carl Reiner suggests. Apparently I am still here.
I took myself quite seriously until the early 1990s when I began looking more deeply into the Eastern religions and philosophies. Something akin to Grace swept me towards A Course in Miracles and the teachings of Buddhism in the early 1990s when I saw that I was under the spell of a deeply rooted belief of appearing as a me, a personal self. I learned through ACIM and the Buddhist studies and meditations that I was being lived as this fleeting appearance of life.
And yet it certainly feels like we have a center, yes? On the one hand, it appears this moment I have a centerpoint…yet this moment falls away, so on the other hand, I do not. I certainly thought I was separate until one day in 1990 I noticed I as Anita was a well-developed concept and set of beliefs. This beginning of an intellectual seeing was absorbed by studing and practicing the teachings of Gautama Buddha while attended the Kadampa Center in Raleigh.
A realization that we are not separate and lasting is not easy to uncover with all we have been taught and learned about ourselves. We feel the aliveness streaming through our body and infer there is a center to this sensating streaming, that there is a me, a thinker, a doer, who is experiencing the streaming aliveness in time and space, right?
And I know I’m in a minority since most believe there is a personal consciousness with private thoughts experiencing the world. There is not. You can begin noticing what is breathing you…walking you, sleeping you, and filling the brain and mind with a steady stream of thoughts and bodily feelings as you claim this river of thoughts as yours and personal to a you.
And since we can feel this aliveness and these sensations of sight, sounds, touch, tastes, smells, thoughts, emotions, and feelings, we are certain the indivisible symphony of perception has a separate me and you to experience it…but there is no separate perceiver: what seems to be appearing, if anything could appear at all, is impersonal consciousness, aware presence, awaring itself. I love this word “awaring.” I use it more since I’ve read the writings of Alfred Sorrenson, now known simply as Sunyata. This word “awaring” points more clearly and naturally to the true essence of “awareness” than does the word awareness, in my opinion 🙂
This wondrous and impersonal aliveness, this awaring, fills you, is you, dissolves you, leaving you feeling breathless, and yet, feeling just as ordinary as the oatmeal in your breakfast bowl. And you feel this aliveness but you cannot capture it and squeeze it into a personal body…nor step outside of it…it’s undivided, limitless, and has no edges, like the illusory nature of the sky.
And for those I’ve spoken with that have become the final answer, most report this awaring is nearly unbearable at first…this realizing you are it, that it is you, and all there is is impersonal consciousness/ awareness awaring and dreaming a relative dream, and not even that.
This realization can feel like the dry death of all you know and love until the heart finally and completely opens to infinity with unending compassion flowing across all you see as God in action. And I am, and you are, That.
You appearing as a character may be rendered immobile by this seeing, or not. You many perceive and feel this seeing and awaring in the body as a naturalness like walking in the rain or watching a sunset, or not. And perhaps the acute awe and shock of it all seeps in slowly, or not, and wipes the metaphorical mental slate as clean as a whistle. And sometimes the slate of mental debris appears to continue falling away. Some pilgrims and teachers feel the deeply rooted mental debris continues to rise up to the light and shed as long as the character seems to appear. The more I know the less I know.
Yes, most everyone you know and love may believe you are nuts at first for going against the grain of what we are taught. If you are lucky enough to be in a tribe of pilgrims searching the depths of the heart and mind – you are blessed. I cannot imagine not having someone to talk with while walking this pathless path away from untruth. This compassion is the motivation for writing these posts for you.
On the path, I seem to have left a wake of family and friends who did not understand my need and yearning for questioning everything, for different paths of spirituality and philosophy, and my perpetual silence, aloofness, and seclusion. And yet I felt, and still feel, deeply compassionate for all beings and all suffering, my character included, arising as appearances of a dream of what is. And yes, even the emptiness is empty as Buddhists say.
If you relate to this post, consider commenting below as I know others readers value your comments. Sharing your words and perceptions may be just the perfect pointer or question readers of this blog want to read. And of course, you cannot mess up, make a mistake, or make a wrong turn. All is well and is as it is my friend.