I believed I could experience awakening. Bart Marshall, my teacher, set me straight and let me know awakening is uncaused and spontaneous…appearing to no one and beyond the beliefs of time and space. Perhaps like me, you believe, or you want to believe, you can experience awakening…but you cannot…but this doesn’t stop seekers from longing to awaken and be present for the experience of awakening. Not going to happen.
Awakening is a very simple (too simple) and child-like seeing with an up-side-down perspective that is always available, and usually overlooked, every moment. It’s ripe, ready, available, to be blinked with your very eyes, this very moment. But the “you” that you believe you are is the very roadblock to simply seeing this.
How often do you hear the stark truth about awakening? I was fortunate to meet Bart Marshall and learn that “nothing of you will remain” (Bart quoting Alfred Pulyan) so I knew intellectually I had some lingering beliefs to dismantle about the personal self, eternity, and my concept and beliefs about God/Absolute.
Be aware that awakening will demolish and destroy all your beloved concepts of yourself, and all the beliefs you hold so dearly. All beliefs and concepts will die before or at awakening…and awakening will feel like the death of the self. There will be deep grief and tears.
I found inquiry to be the best and most effective tool for backing away from content and beliefs of the anita character.
Grace knows when the character is seriously committed to jumping in the deep waters of surrender and finally willing to let go and die. Only in complete surrender and rawness is there enough of a crack to let the Original Face (Zen phrase) shine through.
Upon hearing that the self must die, most expect the personal self to disappear with Awakening. It does not. The self is merely seen for what it is – an illusory perceptual lens and “global positioning system” for the character reflecting and refracting awareness…aware…that it is aware. For me, it certainly felt like the death of the personal self.
It is necessary in the dreamscape to have an imaginary two-ness in order to play as dream characters, to appear as self and other, to feel emotions, to experience virtual reality in the dream of separation.
You, dear one, ARE the painful belief in separation and the feeling you are a separate and distinct entity in a world of subjects and objects. You ARE the feeling of lack that cannot be soothed. There is no inside or outside to what is, no boundaries to what is, to what seems to unfold…so how can you escape it when you are it?
Separation is a self-perpetuating loop that cannot un-loop itself. Yet, somehow (Grace – if there could be a concept of Grace – all is Grace and/or nothing is Grace…) the brain may see through the maze of words, beliefs, concepts, and recognize that all separation is simply a projected illusion.
And, with the direct seeing… it becomes apparent that no-thing and no one in the world needs to be fixed, improved, or sanctified. Life is seen as an elaborate game of smoke and mirrors, and then a quiet calm and perfect ease appears as no-thing-ness and floats like a wave upon a deeply profound peaceful sea and the brain/mind surrenders…and floats undisturbed…as ease and peace.
When it is realized and deeply sensed that there are no separate subjects and objects divided by space, nor separate events divided by time, “you” may finally relax as vast perfect stillness, of no-thing-ness and every-thing-ness, just perfect edgeless awareness appearing.