The Only Thing That Is Constant

‘The only thing that is constant is change.’ ~ Heraclitus

Change of all perceivable things is inevitable. As Heraclitus said, up becomes down, in becomes out, day becomes night. But to say that the only thing that is constant is change is not quite accurate.

Stop for a minute and notice your experience. Notice that your thoughts are always changing, your sensations and feelings are always changing, the sights, sounds, tastes, textures, and smells of the world are always changing. Yes, there is continuous change, but when you look deeply at your experience you discover that change is not the constant.

Ask yourself, what knows change? What is it that is aware of the change in all objective experience? Change is constantly happening, but by its very definition change itself is not constant. Isn’t something that is constant unchanging?

There is an unchanging element to all experience. What is it?

Who or what is it that notices anything? Identify that within you that observes the coming and going of all things but doesn’t come and go with them, the constant, unmoving, and unchanging aware presence that is the source of our being, the essence of our being, the background of all experience, the I that knows that I am.

This is it.

Change happens in this aware presence, or awareness, whose very nature is changeless. When is it ever not present? Does any experience affect it? It’s always the same regardless of what happens in the body, mind, and world – it is nameless, placeless, unmoving, all embracing, limitless, and timeless. And how do you find this awareness? By not looking. By not not looking. By simply being, no effort involved. You are because Awareness is.

Once you have identified this unchanging awareness in yourself, in all beings, as there can only be one that is limitless and timeless, and begin to live your life in harmony with this discovery, your essential self is less and less obscured by the ever-changing experiences of the body, mind, and world.

And finally, just as the sun shines brilliantly in the sky whether there are clouds or not, so to will your essential being shine brilliantly regardless of what happens.

And all will be brightened by your presence.

This brings to mind the final verse from the Ten Bulls of Zen:

10 bull.jpeg

Barefooted and naked of breast,

I mingle with the people of the world.

My clothes are ragged and dust-laden,

and I am ever blissful.

I use no magic to extend my life;

Now, before me, the dead trees

become alive.

(http://www.deeshan.com/zen.htm)

All You Need To Discover

All you need to discover is the limitless, timeless nature of awareness – that which knows the coming and going of all things but doesn’t come and go with them.

Discover this and all your questions about the meaning of life, the truth of existence, enlightenment, awakening, or liberation will be answered.

Simply look at what in you exists prior to any appearance in the body, mind, or world. Or even more simply, notice that whatever you are aware of you are not.

You are the awareness or consciousness with which all things are known. Because your nature is limitless and timeless nothing can exist outside of you.

Recognize this limitless, timeless element of your being and experience freedom from the bondage of the body, mind, and world, and in this recognition experience the one true experience, your essential self, whose nature is one of unbounded joy.

How do you recognize the limitless, timeless nature of your essential being? Look at that within you that is aware, or awareness itself, and see if you can find an edge or boundary to it. When you firmly establish that there is no end to awareness, in other words, it is infinite, then see if you can discover a time when it is not present. When you firmly establish that there is no time when it is not present, or, in other words, it is eternal, you are home free.

What else do you need to know? This discovery, recognition, understanding – the infinite and eternal nature of awareness or consciousness – dissolves all separation between self and other, you and me, subject and object, this and that, and reveals the indivisible nature of all experience. All things are made of the same stuff – consciousness if you’re a scientist or pragmatist, awareness if you come from a philosophical or spiritual background – and therefore all of our actions spring from the reverence of this oneness and promote nothing but peace, love, and happiness for all beings, all things, and all worlds, inner and outer.

Connecting The Dots

Most of us feel a need to connect with others – our loved ones, our peers and neighbors, our community and co-workers, etc. Some of us feel a need to connect on a global scale, to be global citizens, setting aside our preconceptions and dogmas and connecting in some small way with the diverse cultures found around the world. But what actually connects us? Many of us think that it’s our common ideas and beliefs, our deep feelings for this or that, or our shared experiences. On the surface this seems to be the case, but is it?

To feel a need to connect infers that there is a ‘you in here’ to connect to an ‘other out there’. Two separate entities. But when looked at closely, no division can be found between a self and other, an inside or outside, here or there.

We can verify this by looking at our own experience, the only true test of what is real. If we rely on or blindly accept what others tell us we’ll never get the correct answer, never come to the same universal conclusion.

Just as all waves are made of water, all objective experiences, including that of our own body and mind, which includes all thoughts, feelings, sensations, and perceptions, are only made of the knowing of them, the awareness of them.

And does anything come from outside awareness into awareness? Where would this outside be? Can you find any boundaries to your awareness or consciousness, a place where awareness ends and something else begins?

We cannot find any limits to our own awareness because there aren’t any. And the same goes for everyone else on the planet. And this being the case, there can’t be more than one awareness, one consciousness. Therefore, all things must arise in awareness, and it follows that all things must be made of awareness.

There are no dots to connect. It’s not even that we’re already connected. It’s that you, we, I, are manifestations of one indivisible whole. We are all made out of the same stuff, just as all waves are made out of water.

Once this is experienced, understood to be irrefutable fact, all our actions rise from the limitless, unchanging, and indivisible source. And what is the one thing that has these immeasurable qualities?

Love.

Are You Experienced?

‘But first, are you experienced?
Have you ever been experienced?
Well, I have’ ~ Jimi Hendrix

We are all experienced. We live our lives one experience after another. We hopefully avoid repeating old experiences that were unpleasant and often seek new experiences to keep life interesting. We might even go to extremes, thrill seekers in search of the ultimate experience, one that will take us beyond ourselves, like feeling the adrenaline rush of skydiving or meditating ten hours a day to reach a blissful state. If we have a particularly powerful experience we may spend a tremendous amount of time and energy trying to duplicate it.

Not only are we all experienced, we ourselves are an experience. For starters, each of us is someone else’s experience – the ‘subject/object-object/subject’ paradigm.

What is the nature of an experience, of all experiences? They are temporary events, arising and passing away. Experiences don’t linger, and the individual self is made up of experiences of ever-changing thoughts, emotions, sensations, and perceptions of the world.

The individual self thinks that it is experiencing all these experiences, but is itself an experience being experienced by something beyond itself.

What experiences all experiences, yet itself is not an experience, cannot be experienced?

There is an element of our being that is aware of all experience but does not share the ephemeral quality of all experience. What is this? Where is this? It can’t be named and it can’t be found, but is undeniably present at all times.

It is unquestionable that we know that we are. We are aware beings that know we are aware, but often overlook this fact and identify with the fleeting qualities of our ever-changing thoughts, moods, sensations, and perceptions. Identify with the unchanging, dimensionless awareness that is always with us and experience the changeless, formless, all-embracing source that we all share, as there can be only one. (Where is there room for two of something that is dimensionless and unchanging, infinite and eternal?)

This is the ultimate experience. No need to seek any further.

I, Awareness, Am Here To Simplify

Seekers of the truth can get easily sidetracked on the path towards liberation or awakening. I, Awareness, am here to simplify the process:

There is no process.

There is no path.

There is no liberation or awakening.

You are already what you seek – unlimited, formless, boundless, ageless, all-knowing, ever-present Awareness (some call me Consciousness).

But let me simplify that:

Nothing is unlimited.

Nothing is formless

Nothing is ageless, all-knowing, ever-present, conscious or aware.

Nothing.

No thing. Nothing with objective qualities can be considered real in the truest sense. That includes all concepts, opinions, positions, and beliefs (thought being the subtlest form of object).

I, Awareness, am the only ‘thing’ that can be considered real, as I have no boundaries or limits. I stand outside of time and space, or rather, time and space stand inside of me, as do all appearances of the body, mind, and world.

But again, I must clarify:

I, Awareness, am only a concept, a lofty idea, ideal, which sounds enticing but is only as real as a wave on the ocean or a cloud in the sky. Give up all hope of liberation. Reside in the emptiness that is my heart, and be eternally liberated, beyond time and space, beyond birth and death, beyond the beyond.

There is nothing to believe in, no opinion worth fighting over, nothing to find and nothing to lose.

Relax in the formless emptiness that is your, our, essential being and be forever . . . forever.

 

Naked Awareness

‘As mystics we rest in being. As friends and lovers we share our being. As artists we celebrate our being. As scientists and philosophers we explore or investigate our being. But whatever we do or wherever we go we don’t allow our experience to eclipse our being, our essential self-aware being – naked awareness.’ ~ Rupert Spira

This Too Shall Pass II

‘This too shall pass.’ This common phrase has been around for a long time, its origin attributed to, among others, early Persian poets, the Bible, Judaism, and various Western and Eastern philosophers. A version of it can be found in most world cultures and for good reason – it’s a starting point for a true understanding of the nature of experience. If we pay any attention to what’s going on around us, it’s obvious that all things come and go. Some things take longer than others to arise and pass away, but the rise and fall of all objective experience is inescapable, and many of us base our life’s actions on this inevitability.

We usually say ‘this too shall pass’ when we find ourselves in an unpleasant situation, one we’d rather avoid or not experience at all. It might be physical like a sickness, or psychological like a bad mood. Whatever it is, we assume it is I, the personal self, who says ‘this too shall pass’. But the personal self consists solely of passing attributes. Try to name one characteristic of the personal self that doesn’t come and go and you can’t. The body-mind is comprised of thoughts, images, emotions, sensations, and perceptions of the world. All constantly changing attributes, coming and going, appearing and disappearing like colorful fall leaves floating down a mountain stream.

So if there is no personal self, who or what is actually saying this?

Whoever or whatever is saying ‘this too shall pass’ cannot itself be passing, otherwise how would it know anything was passing? It’s like the difference between sitting on the edge of a stream watching the leaves drift by and being one of the leaves.

Identify that within you that never comes and goes, that is ever-present and aware, and you have found your essential being. Although that isn’t quite true, as your essential being was never lost in the first place, it was just mistaken for a drifting leaf. But once you discover this unchanging element of being within you, within all of us, it can be said with assurance that this understanding shall never pass.