When you rest deeply in the Unknown without trying to escape, your experience becomes very vast. As the experience of the Unknown deepens, your boundaries begin to dissolve. You realize, not just intellectually but on a deep level, that you have no idea who or what you are. A few minutes ago, you knew who you were-you had a history and a personality-but from this place of not knowing, you question all of that.
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The mind wants to land, to fixate, to hold a concept, but the only way you can be really free is by not fixating. That's part of true maturity, and it's one of the hardest things for spiritual people who have had true and powerful revelations to go through - to accept the degree of surrender needed to literally let go of all experience and all self-reference. Even in great revelations, there is almost always something that wants to claim, "I am this." Every time you claim, "I am this", you just claimed another sense perception, thought, emotion, or feeling.
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When we really start to take a look at who we think we are... we start to see that while we may have various thoughts, beliefs, and identities, they do not individually or collectively tell us who we are. [And yet] it is astounding how completely we humans define ourselves by the content of our minds, feelings, and history.
Human beings have a drive for security and safety, which is often what fuels the spiritual search. This very drive for security and safety is what causes so much misery and confusion. Freedom is a state of complete and absolute insecurity and not knowing. So, in seeking security and safety, you actually distance yourself from the freedom you want. There is no security in freedom, at least not in the sense that we normally think of security. This is, of course, why it is so free: there's nothing there to grab hold of.
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Trying to maintain a pleasant state and avoid an unpleasant state is actually the cause of sorrow. When you stop resisting, you see that what seems frightening is actually the absolute beauty of reality. When you see that everything is a momentary display of reality, then you stop resisting it. Resistance hurts, only every single time. Love is the state of nonresistance.
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When you stand in your own authority, based in your own direct experience, you meet that ultimate mystery that you are. Even though it may be at first unsettling to look into your own no-thingness, you do it anyway. Why? Because you no longer want to suffer. Because you're willing to be disturbed. You're willing to be amazed. You're willing to be surprised. You're willing to realize that maybe everything you've ever thought about yourself really isn't true.
As you peel it back, in the heart of nothing, that is love. You are what you are seeking. Life is a set up so that each of us can actually see in ourselves the truth for ourselves. What gets taken away are all the exterior means we thought we wanted love to come to us. You have the choice to notice the perfect set up to see love is exactly what you are.
The question of being is everything. Nothing could be more important or consequential-n othing where the stakes run so high. To remain unconscious of being is to remain asleep to our own reality and therefore asleep to reality at large. The choice is simple: awaken to being or sleep an endless sleep.
Do not think that enlightenment is going to make you special, it's not. If you feel special in any way, then enlightenment has not occurred. I meet a lot of people who think they are enlightened and awake simply because they have had a very moving spiritual experience. They wear their enlightenment on their sleeve like a badge of honor. They sit among friends and talk about how awake they are while sipping coffee at a cafe. The funny thing about enlightenment is that when it is authentic, there is no one to claim it. Enlightenment is very ordinary; it is nothing special. Rather than making you more special, it is going to make you less special. It plants you right in the center of a wonderful humility and innocence. Everyone else may or may not call you enlightened, but when you are enlightened the whole notion of enlightenment and someone who is enlightened is a big joke. I use the word enlightenment all the time; not to point you toward it but to point you beyond it. Do not get stuck in enlightenment.
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By identifying with a particular name that belongs to a particular body and mind, the self begins the process of creating a separate identity. Add in a complex jumble of ideas, beliefs, and opinions, along with some selective and often painful memories with which to create a past to identify with, as well as the raw emotional energy to hold it all together, and before you know it, you've got a very convincing - though divided - self.
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A spiritual teaching is a finger pointing toward Reality; it is not Reality itself. To be in a true and mature relationship with a spiritual teaching requires you to apply it, not simply believe in it. Belief leads to various forms of fundamentalism and shuts down the curiosity and inquiry that are essential to open the way for awakening and what lies beyond awakening. A good spiritual teaching is something that you work with and apply. In doing so, it works on you (often in a hidden way) and helps reveal to you the Truth (and falseness) that lies within you.
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The sacred dimension is not something that you can know through words and ideas any more than you can learn what an apple pie tastes like by eating the recipe. The modern age has forgotten that facts and information, for all their usefulness, are not the same as truth or wisdom, and certainly not the same as direct experience.
If you prefer smoke over fire then get up now and leave. For I do not intend to perfume your mind's clothing with more sooty knowledge. No, I have something else in mind. Today I hold a flame in my left hand and a sword in my right. There will be no damage control today. For God is in a mood to plunder your riches and fling you nakedly into such breathtaking poverty that all that will be left of you will be a tendency to shine. So don't just sit around this flame choking on your mind. For this is no campfire song to mindlessly mantra yourself to sleep with. Jump now into the space between thoughts and exit this dream before I burn the damn place down.
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There is a very Simple Secret to being happy. Just let go of your 'demand' on this moment. Any time you have a demand on the moment to give you something or remove something, there is suffering. You're Arguing with 'What Is' - Your demands keep you chained to the 'dream-state' of the conditioned mind. The desire to 'control'... is, ultimately, our unwillingness to just be awake.
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Silence and stillness are not states and therefore cannot be produced or created. Silence is the non-state in which all states arise and subside. Silence, stillness and awareness are not states and can never be perceived in their totality as objects. Silence is itself the eternal witness without form or attributes. As you rest more profoundly as the witness, all objects take on their natural functionality, and awareness becomes free of the mind's compulsive contractions and identifications. It returns to its natural non-state of Presence.
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Meditation is not something restricted to times of formal seated meditation; it is most fundamentally an attitude of being-a resting in and as being. Once you get the feel of it, you will be able to tune into it more and more often during your daily life. Eventually, in the state of liberation, meditation will simply become your natural condition.
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The Buddha's insight into the middle way is not simply about a balance between extremes. This conventional understanding misses the deeper revelation of the middle way as being the very nature of unexcelled enlightenment. The middle way is an invitation to leap beyond nirvana and samsara and to realize the unborn Buddha mind right in the middle of everywhere.
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If you think that people should be nice to one another, then byall means be nice. But when you project that belief onto thepeople and the world around you as if it were an objective reality,or worse still, as if it were their job to be nice to you, you putyourself at odds with what is, and suffering will surely follow.
All you have to do is say "yes." Don't make some big project out of it. Don't make some big deal out of it. Just say "yes." You don't even know what it means to say "yes," but you say it anyway. You'll never know what it means to say "yes," but you do it anyway. Freedom and Love arise when you die into the unknown mystery of being.
Many spiritual people are involved in a radical denial of what is happening. They want to transcend it, get rid of it, get out of it, get away from it. There's nothing wrong with that feeling, but the approach doesn't work because it's escapism in spiritual clothing. It's wearing spiritual clothing and spiritual concepts, but it is really no different than a drunk in the gutter who doesn't want to feel the pain anymore. When you abide and accept everything completely and fully, you automatically go beyond.
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Right now you can allow yourself to experience a very simple sense of not knowing - not knowing what or who you are, not knowing what this moment is, not knowing anything. If you give yourself this gift of not knowing and you follow it, a vast spaciousness and mysterious openness dawns within you. Relaxing into not knowing is almost like surrendering into a big, comfortable chair; you just fall into a field of possibility.