What Simply Is

Anita feeding the Lake Gaston Goats

Most of us imagine ourselves to be individuals, I did, proclaiming my individuality for more than 54 years.  Thankfully, I was/am at age 61 humbled to know I never existed as a separate person across time and space and the last seven years seems to have been like a shedding of the deeper remnants of the anita belief system, like a free falling through infinity with no solid place with which to anchor. And these words too are the illusory story of a fleeting anita.

Nothing of a personal me remains yet I am this that is seeming to appear and not appear as form and emptiness.  “Form does not differ from emptiness.  Emptiness does not differ from form.”(1)  These stark words from the Heart Sutra pretty well sum up the nature of our apparent reality. So why write anything at all?  It’s a mystery. I no longer know anything.  It seems there is nothing to teach and no one to learn. Writing spontaneously seems to be appearing.

  • I write about noticing a simple, unified, and seamless perspective that is beyond all words.
  • I write about emotional and psychological suffering as being optional and completely wedded to a personal identity.
  • I write of the paradox of living as a momentary appearance of no-thing-ness and every-thing-ness.
  • I write these essays for my adult children and their children so they may be exposed to the deeper nature of life.   
  • I write about the ease and clarity of presence, how it feels as a body, how it seems to be appearing as the simplicity of what is.  I foolishly attempt to describe this Mystery…meaningless words seem to spontaneously pour forth.

These writings reflect the challenge and paradox of discussing and dissolving the belief of being a separate and time-based personal entity. There is no separate and personal entity here that can implement change, begin or end seeking, and uncover or cover what is appearing.

Reading books and websites can be mental traps keeping the seeker in search for what is already right here, right now.  Go outside and gaze up at the sky.  This is what you are…infinite, edgeless, empty fullness.   

And like a map is not the actual territory it represents, these written words are not able to communicate the Mystery of what is…as it is…it’s beyond the relative and limited words we use to describe an intangibility.  

Our original identity, our naturalness, appears so effortlessly and intimately as beingness we simply overlook this presence…believing instead that appearances are within an external world of subjects and objects with us at the center inside as the perceiver, a me.

The personal identity of the Anita character was shattered in 2011. After seeing the illusion of the personal self I still clung to the story that it was necessary to use various tools like meditation, yoga, and self-inquiry to investigate the ongoing mental processes.  Even though I had awakened to the fallacy of the personal self I STILL had the beliefs that I could change my beliefs, drop my lingering beliefs and somehow teach others to do the same. 

What arrogance and limited knowing I had!  I yearned to be a better version of a “non-personal” self.  See how clever and arrogant the ego is? 

A personal ego desperately believes it has the power to make personal choices and to reach awakening, to become enlightened. It does not.  Never had and never will. And yet, the ego is also the perfection of what is seeming to appear and disappear.  Such paradox.

(1) The Perennial Way, The Heart Sutra, pages 95-97,  (c) 2009 by Bart Marshall


  1. peacefulriver

    I love your posts. I “get” all this intellectually, but still thoughts trap me into a sense of separation. Over and over again ……

    • Thanks for your comment. I love you. As you already see…you are not the thoughts and feelings that come and go…you are the infinite edgeless stillness, the indescribable void upon which the thoughts come and go…simply ignore the thoughts and stay with the aliveness you are. Thoughts will pass through as long as you are conscious…that’s what thoughts do…accept them and ignore them. Hey, most of the latest TIG videos are up…take a look! Click here for 2016 TIG videos on YouTube

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