Never To Be Found
Never To Be Lost
Never To Be Ever
Never To Be Never
Never To Be Found
Never To Be Lost
Never To Be Ever
Never To Be Never
‘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:
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
Why do we love flowers?
Their fragrance exudes sweetness.
Their petals epitomize vulnerability.
A combination so delicate and refined we are spellbound by their beauty, intoxicated by their scent.
Sweetness and vulnerability are the qualities of the flower that draw us in, closer and closer, to sense, to feel, to vanish for a moment into this natural world of innocent splendor.
And what does the flower do to achieve these qualities?
Obviously nothing except to simply be itself.
And where is the sweetness and vulnerability in you? In others? If the flower makes no effort to convey these qualities, what must you, I, we, do to achieve the same?
Meditate on the flower. Its delicate perfume and fragile form. Effortlessly sweet and vulnerable. Perfect in all ways.
Just like you. Just like us.
Just like all one of us.
For one day only WE ARE GIVING AWAY CONSCIOUSNESS!
For one day only imagine that you are pure consciousness or absolute awareness.
For one day only believe that you, that is, you as a body-mind and everything that you think, feel, sense and perceive, is made of consciousness.
For one day only pretend that your essential being, consciousness, is invisible, indivisible, unlimited, and timeless.
For one day only believe that you are a manifestation of infinite and eternal consciousness and by its limitless and timeless nature think that there cannot be two.
For one day only, feel that you and everyone and everything else on the planet are made of the same stuff, consciousness, and that you, we, can’t help but act accordingly – a being pervaded by all-embracing consciousness does not distinguish between self and other and is kind, helpful, and loving.
And at the end of the day realize that this is not imagined, a pretense, a feeling, or a belief. As nothing can be found outside of consciousness everything must be made out of consciousness.
This is the reality of your being, of our being, our one being.
AND IT’S FREE!
Sit or lie comfortably.
Close your eyes.
Take time to notice your breath, the inhale, the exhale.
Now imagine and feel that your inhale is the exhale of Consciousness or Absolute Awareness, and that your exhale is the inhale of Consciousness.
In is out.
Out is in.
Find yourself in the spaceless space between nothing and nothing.
In so doing, be the realization.
‘The known always changes. The knower never changes.’ ~ Rupert Spira
To know yourself is as simple as knowing that which knows our experience. Our experience is always changing, but the knower of experience, of all experience, never changes. Discover the knowing presence within yourself that is never changing and know your essential being, our essential shared being, once and for all. No mistaken identity.
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.
For those of us who hold Ram Dass dear to our heart, if you haven’t already, watch the newly released Ram Dass Going Home streaming on Netflix.
Words can’t express the indebtedness to Richard Alpert, who, in the midst of the political, social, and spiritual turmoil of the late ‘60s, went to India in search of the truth and returned as Ram Dass to spread his message of peace, love, and happiness to the many seekers who were inspired by his journey. His book ‘Be Here Now’ motivated us to join him on the pathless path and discover our essential nature that his presence now embodied.
And now, at age 87, having gracefully weathered a severe stroke he suffered over twenty years ago, he is preparing to die. His mantra, ‘I am loving Awareness.’ His message, ‘Let’s all lead each other home.’
Thank you, thank you, thank you, Ram Dass!
We love you!
Look closely at awareness, the knowing presence that is our essential being. Notice that all things come and go in this awareness – thoughts, memories, feelings, sensations, sights, sounds, tastes, textures, and smells – but it doesn’t come and go with them.
Can you remove this awareness from your experience? Can anything, any thing, be known without it?
Can you remove the sky from the clouds?
Without the sky, can there be a cloud? Without awareness, can there be a thought, a feeling?
We often see a cloudless sky, but never a skyless cloud. We sometimes experience an aware stillness, but never an independent thought.
There can be an infinite number of clouds, but only one sky in which they appear and disappear, just as there can be an infinite number of thoughts, feelings, or sensations, but only one awareness in which they arise and pass away.
Just as an endless parade of clouds come and go while the sky remains unchanged, an endless parade of thoughts, feelings, sensations, and perceptions come and go in the unchanging field of awareness that is our original nature.
We can experience awareness without thoughts, but we can never experience a thought without awareness. In other words, you can take thoughts out of awareness, but you can’t take awareness out of thoughts.
Find this awareness, this aware stillness that is in the background of all experience, the stuff out of which all experience is made, and know your original nature.
Where is it?
Just as clouds sometimes obscure the sky, but we know it’s always there in the background, notice that awareness, the knowing presence that is your, our, original nature, exists prior to the appearance of any thought or perception. It is ever-present and aware regardless of what arises and passes away.
We know without a doubt the clear, pristine sky that is always present and unchanged by any cloud that appears and disappears within it. Now know without a doubt the clear, pristine presence of awareness that is always with you, always is you, unchanged by any appearance.
Then let go the mental images of the skyless cloud and an aware presence, only concepts of mind. Let them dissolve in that which is beyond all images, beyond all concepts.
Beyond the beyond.
‘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.