Breathing In

‘Breathing in, I know I am breathing in.

Breathing out, I know I am breathing out.’

~ Buddha

 

Breathing aside, as it is happening by itself, ask yourself the question, who is this I that knows it is breathing in and out?

It can’t be the personal I, the separate self, the body-mind we call ‘I’ made up of the temporary attributes of thoughts, sensations, and perceptions that are always coming and going. So perhaps a better question might be what is this I that knows it is breathing in and out?

‘What’ infers an object or thing, and all things are bound by the limitations of time and space – they appear and then eventually disappear.

So if the I that knows it is breathing in and out is not the personal I made up of fleeting thoughts, images, memories, moods, sensations, and perceptions – all subtle objects in themselves – or things ‘out there’ in the world, all of which are subject to the limits of time and space, what is it?

You know what it is because you are it. Not the limited personal you, but the limitless knowing presence that has always been with you, aware, unchanged, and untarnished regardless of your experience.

It’s hopeless to try and think this through. The ‘it’ we are talking about is prior to mind, prior to the body and the world. It is that part of you, we, I, that remains ageless as the personal self, the body-mind, is born, lives, and dies, as things out in the world age and disintegrate.

To say that it is a part of you is not entirely accurate. It is not a part of you as a body-mind in a world. You, as a body-mind in a world, are a part of it. ‘It’ is that which contains all things, yet is not itself a thing. It cannot be found because it has no objective qualities, but it is never not here. Call it consciousness, awareness, or Divine Spirit. Whatever you call it, it is the undeniably present and aware essence in which all things arise, are known by, and made of.

It is consciousness that knows it is breathing in and out, and because all there is is consciousness, consciousness is breathing itself in and out, although in reality there is no in or out for consciousness, so consciousness is just breathing.

We, as individual body-minds, are the manifest breath of consciousness. Yes, we appear to come and go, to be born, live and die, but in reality there is no place to come from and no place to go to. There is only infinite and eternal consciousness breathing itself, or more accurately, consciousness just is. And we are that. 

Consciousness Only Knows Itself

Can you have any experience outside of consciousness, outside of awareness, the knowing presence at the core of our being that has been with us unchanged, untarnished, since we were infants?

Look at your hand. Is it outside your field of awareness?

Feel the weight of your body on the chair. Is this sensation outside your field of awareness?

Listen to any sound that occurs. Is it outside your field of awareness?

Take a thought, an image, an emotion, a memory. Are any of these appearing outside of consciousness, outside your field of awareness?

Is it possible for anything to exist outside of consciousness, outside our field of awareness?

If you say yes, how would you prove this? You must be in consciousness, in awareness, to experience anything, even the erroneously labeled ‘outside of consciousness’.

Nothing can appear outside of consciousness, outside our field of awareness, because that is all there is.

What are the implications of this discovery?

All things that arise in consciousness must be made out of consciousness.

This being the case, if we, everything, is made out of the same stuff, there can be no real division or separation between any thing.

When there is no separation, no division, when all we experience is indivisible oneness, don’t we call that love?

Don’t Name It

We all have feelings. We feel happy, content, peaceful, angry, sad, depressed, bored, lonely, anxious, etc.

What is a feeling, really? Most of us accept feelings as part of our essential nature, but is this our actual experience?

All feelings are temporary, coming and going in the empty, open field of awareness, the source of our being. Rather than name these feelings as good, bad, or neutral, and reacting to them in some way, don’t name them at all.

Go through a day without naming or labeling any of your so-called ‘feelings’ and see what happens.

If you do this, go through a day just experiencing feelings, observing them as they come and go without naming them, you will find that what you considered a previously uncomfortable feeling is nothing more than a temporary appearance in awareness that does not affect the unchanging, knowing presence of awareness itself.

And you are this awareness. You are that. All feelings come and go in you, awareness, but you do not come and go with them. Things happen in you, not to you.

A Bird’s Simple Song

A bird’s song is a simple song, a song sung from dawn to dusk, year after year, for a lifetime. It may be only a few melodic notes, perhaps a small variation here or there, but always beautiful in its simplicity.

Composers from all musical traditions have been inspired by birdcalls like that of the nightingale and the cuckoo. ‘The Lark in the Morning’ is an old and beloved Irish fiddle tune. The call of the Western Meadowlark brings to mind a saxophone riff by Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker.

And to know ourself as Awareness is a simple song – there is only one thing going on, not two. That is, there is only one consciousness, one aware-presence that knows the coming and going of all things, but doesn’t come and go with them. And all things that arise in consciousness, which, in fact, is everything, must be made of consciousness, leaving us to conclude that consciousness is all there is.

The source of our being.

How simple is that?

I, Awareness, sing my song, my simple song

My one note song

Of silence

From dawn to dusk, from dusk till dawn

A timeless melody

~

As I am boundless, with no beginning or end

Nothing exists outside of me

I am the source of all sound

~

All songs appear in me, in my silence

All songs are known by me, by my silence

All songs are made of me, of my silence

~

I, Awareness sing my song, my simple song of silence

Alive with the rhythms of peace, love, and happiness

The only song I know

My one note song

Not two

I, Awareness, Want For Nothing II

I, Awareness, want for nothing.

Before any thought, feeling, sensation, or perception, I am.

As I am before all appearances, all things arise in me, are known by me, and made of me.

As I am the source of all things, what could I possibly lack?

What could I possibly need or want to make me whole?

I am wholeness itself. I cannot be divided.

I am emptiness itself. I cannot be divided.

I am everything springing from nothing, nothing springing from everything.

I am limitless, with no beginning or end. Before birth and death, I am.

And you, I, we, as humble little body-minds, are unique manifestations of this Awareness, which is at our core, which is our core, within which our body-minds appear and disappear.

This one unchanging, knowing, and ever-present Awareness, for where is there room for two of something that is limitless?

We are this One Absolute Awareness and can’t do anything about it . . .

. . . except act, be, our oneness.

And want for nothing. Which is happiness itself.

Already A Masterpiece

‘Someday, everything is gonna be smooth like a rhapsody
when I paint my masterpiece.’
~ Bob Dylan

The background of all experience is like a blank painter’s canvas. You can paint any image on the canvas – in the style of a Picasso collage, a Rembrandt landscape, a Pollock drip painting, or a Dali surreal image – and it has no affect on the canvas whatsoever. Underneath the paint the canvas rests in its original blank state – pristine and wholly receptive.

In just the same way, your essential being, awareness itself, is unchanged, untarnished, and unconditionally receptive regardless of what is happening in your body, mind, or world. Myriad thoughts, good, bad, and neutral, fantastic or disturbing images, wild emotional swings, intense or subtle bodily sensations, and perceptions of the outside world, all come and go, but your essential nature remains still, peaceful, pristine, open, aware, and knowing.

Before paint is ever applied to canvas, before you, that is, you as aware, knowing presence, experience a thought, mood, or perception of the world, all is ‘smooth like a rhapsody.’

Already a masterpiece.