‘It Makes Me Feel Happy’

Addiction. It’s all about identity.

Barring a serious physical condition or extreme psychological problem, the source of all our suffering can be distilled down to our identity, or more precisely, our mistaken identity.

Listening to a radio show on opiate addiction, the host asked a young caller, an addict, why he was attracted to drugs. ‘It makes me feel happy,’ the caller said. This was a person raised by loving parents under decent economical and social circumstances. This begs the question, why didn’t they feel happy in the first place?

If you or someone you know has an addiction – be it drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, eating, porn, shopping, you name it – there is a way out. Or better yet, a way in: discovering your true identity.

If you ask someone what he or she most wants in life, the answer is invariably some form of happiness. But the personal self can never be satisfied or happy because it is the false seeking the false. It is like trying to catch the wind in a butterfly net. When you examine the assets of the personal self, all you can find are ever-changing thoughts, feelings, sensations, and perceptions, hardly qualities to invest your identity in.

Our essential nature, Awareness – that which knows the coming and going of all things yet doesn’t come and go with them – needs nothing to be happy. It is eternally without desire because it is the source of all things. Nothing arises outside of Awareness. It needs nothing to be itself.

Identify with this aware presence that is always with you, is you, and be happy. Be happiness itself. Relax in this knowing presence, as this knowing presence, and know, feel, that nothing is missing, nothing is lacking.

Your addiction is nothing but a thought. Your confusion is nothing but a thought. And thoughts, when looked at thoroughly, are . . . nothing. No thing. Put thought aside for a moment and recognize the aware presence that you are and watch as cravings evaporate like a little puddle in the hot sun.

If you are interested in learning more about how Non-Dual Awareness can dissolve cravings, visit Scott Kiloby’s website (http://kiloby.com). Scott is a recovering addict and teacher of non-duality. He has dedicated his life to pointing out to others that our essential being lacks nothing, and therefore, our addictions, when seen for what they truly are – an imagined panacea for an imaginary self – lose their meaning and disappear.

Such Is Life

A dear old friend died recently, and when the news was relayed to a mutual friend, he said, ‘Such is life.’

Such is life. Impermanent. Fleeting. Our body-mind is made up of temporary thoughts, feelings, sensations, and perceptions, all bound by the limits of time and space.

Not so Awareness.

If we look closely at our experience, there is an unchanging presence from which we actually view this life. A presence that cannot be denied. An unchanging presence, without beginning or end, without limits or boundaries. An unchanging ever-present knowing that is infinite and eternal.

While alive, or as Mooji likes to say, ‘while our body is still warm,’ recognize this Awareness, this being-ness that exists prior to, during, and after ‘life’ as we know it begins and ends.

Acknowledge the aware presence that knows the coming and going of all things – including the body-mind with its ephemeral qualities and so-called birth/life/death cycle – but doesn’t come and go with them.

Everyone’s essential being is this unchanging, knowing, aware presence that exists even before we utter the words ‘I am.’ Recognize this, and then discard the notion of any presence, even the thought ‘I am’, as ultimately we are prior to the idea of . . . anything.

All Good Things

All good things must come to an end. So the old proverb tells us, and we appreciate its wisdom. What it doesn’t tell is us that all the bad, sublime, and ugly things must also come to an end.

All that we perceive, all that is experienced – thoughts, strong emotions, bodily sensations, or anything else that can be named – must come to an end. In other words, all ‘things’ come to an end. But that which is not a thing, that which knows all things, in fact, that from which all things arise, does not come to an end with them.

If you know the coming and going of all things, yet don’t come and go with them – for example, a thought comes and goes, yet you who are aware of the thought remains – who are you? What are you?

You can’t be a temporary body-mind made up of fleeting thoughts, feelings, sensations, and perceptions, as these all come and go. If you look closely at your experience, there is something about you that is aware of the coming and going of all things, yet doesn’t come and go with them.

Become aware of the ‘you’ that exists prior to, during, and after a thought, feeling, sensation, or perception has come and gone. This knowing presence is unchanged by anything that comes and goes in its field of awareness, and its essence is that of peace, happiness, and love.

Understand that this knowing presence, the awareness with which you know any ‘thing’, is all that can be found when we look for the background of our experience. Then recognize its limitless, ageless nature – for no edge or boundary, beginning or end, can be found – and realize that there can be only one.

Therefore, we must conclude, and rightly so, that you, I, we, are each a unique manifestation of this one infinite and eternal source.

One source for all appearances, all things.

Not two.

 

Be The Change?

‘Be the change you wish to see in the world.’ ~ Mahatma Gandhi

If you are a seeker of truth, more than likely you’ve come across and related to Gandhi’s well-known quote. He suggests that before we attempt to change the world from whatever spiritual, political, social, philosophical, religious, or cultural platform we represent, we first change ourselves to reflect these beliefs. Walk the walk, so to speak. It seems to make perfect sense.

There’s just one problem. Maybe two. Beliefs are subject to opposing beliefs, and who is to say who’s right? From a non-dual point of view, this is what gets us into trouble in the first place. And more importantly, the ‘you’ that is trying to change doesn’t exist. How can we change a cluster of random thoughts, sensations, and perceptions? By nature, they are always coming and going, always changing. How do we change the changing to make any lasting change? We can’t.

Instead of identifying with ever-changing beliefs and a temporary body-mind, we might consider this:

Be the changeless.

Be the unalterable, unstainable, undeniable aware presence that is the very essence of our being – the background of all experience. Although the ‘be’ is not necessary. Without making any effort to be or not to be, as we cannot become what we already are, simply abide as that which is changeless.

Abiding as the limitless, changeless one, the recognition that we are all manifestations of the same changeless source is immediate – if something is limitless, where is there room for two?

When we meet someone who understands this – we are drawn to the magnetic knowing presence in his or her eyes – where is the conflict? Any problem that arises is quickly resolved with clear thinking, practical application, and boundless compassion and love.

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Timeless One

Limitless One

Changeless One

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All Things

Arise In You

Are Known By You

Made Of You

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The Changeless

Knowing

Ever Present

Source of All Things

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Rules To Live By II

The Ten Commandments. The Five Pillars Of Islam. Maimomides’ Thirteen Principles. Buddha’s Eightfold Path. Thich Nhat Hanh’s Five Mindfulness Trainings. The Four Agreements.

A short list of the numerous rules to live by – moral codes that have been passed down through the ages from the many spiritual and philosophical traditions – wisdom to guide us in our everyday life, and, if all goes well, to lead us to the land of the pure after death.

Originally, these edicts described the qualities of an Awakened Being. They were not a list of goals to aspire to in order to become someone other than, better than, more perfect than ourselves, but the qualities of our essential being – who we inherently are.

Instead of starting from the point of view of a limited separate self that is always involved in the act of becoming, how about starting from the point of view of that which is always present, aware, and unchanging? From the point of view of that which has no agenda, no desires, and is inherently peaceful and happy? It can be such hard work trying to become a perfect person, and, in any case, impossible to maintain. The separate self is never satisfied – it can never be perfect enough. And beside, perfection is a relative concept, so what is perfect to one is imperfect to another.

Start from the place prior to any concept of good or bad, compassion or indifference, perfection or imperfection. It is from this limitless placeless place, the source of our being, that all these rules of proper conduct, these moral codes, have arisen in the first place. In fact, it is the place from which all appearances arise.

Setting aside the illusionary separate self – for who can identify with something that by its very nature comes and goes? – something like the Buddhist Eightfold Path – Right Understanding, Right Intent, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration – is revealed not as a collection of qualities you have to seek, or a path to follow, but as qualities that you, we, all seven billion of us, already embody as infinite and eternal beings.

And the sweet thing about something that’s infinite and eternal is that there is only room for one. Not two.

It Is What It Isn’t

We sometimes use the well-known phrase, ‘It is what it is,’ to express resignation, as in, ‘Things may not be going my way but it’s what’s happening, so I just have to deal with it . . . or not.’ Or as a reprimand, as in, ‘Get over it.’ Or to show moving on with a shrug of the shoulders, as in, ‘Oh well.’

To all appearances, all experiences, all objects, subtle and gross, be they thoughts, images, memories, emotions, sensations, or anything that you can taste, touch, see, hear, or smell, be they good, bad, or neutral, we can say, ‘It is what it is,’ and it would be the perfect description.

To discover the source of our essential being, that which knows ‘I am,’ we can say, ‘It is what it isn’t.’

Just as the sky exists prior to the appearance of any clouds, you, the eternal and infinite aware presence, that which knows ‘I am’, precede all thoughts, sensations, and perceptions.

You are not.

Everything else is.

As far as appearances,

Nothing is more or less than it seems.

As far as the source of our essential being,

There is nothing to remember, nothing to forget.

There is just that which knows I Am,

And all that can be said about it is,

It is what it isn’t.

Don’t Take It Personally

We take things personally when, in fact, there is no person, no individual self, to take anything, or, for that matter, to give anything. This causes a dilemma, especially when it comes to relationships.

When someone addresses your ‘person’ they are really addressing a phantom, a shadow, and all attempts at clear communication are futile. Actually, in most cases, it’s phantom addressing phantom – two people coming from the limited point of view of an individual self. This is frustrating to everyone, often leading to major disagreements and, ultimately, separation, which makes perfect sense when we already live as separate beings.

This is particularly true when we are trying to ‘make things right’ – when we’re dissatisfied with how we are being treated and want to make sure that the other knows where we’re coming from – and, more than likely, to correct their behavior so that we feel better about our . . . phantom self.

When we take things personally we are kowtowing to an illusionary conditioned self that has innumerable likes and dislikes – an infinite number of deeply ingrained conditions that must be met in order for it to feel satisfied and happy. This is not a formula for liberation, happiness, and love, for our self or others.

Take a deep look at your own individual person and experience the irrefutable fact that there isn’t one. We find a mind consisting of passing thoughts and images, a body composed of perishable tissue and bone – all ever-changing attributes with no real lasting value.

And then look at who is doing the looking. Discover the source of being – an aware presence that knows the coming and going of all things, yet doesn’t come and go with them. It is not an individual person, a phantom self, or any ‘thing’, but an essence, a vibration of infinite light and eternal love. And each one of us contains this source of being. Actually, we don’t contain it – the source of being, by definition, contains us.

When we communicate from this source of being, as this source of being, whomever we address, we address as this very same source of being. It’s a unique expression of infinite and eternal aware presence addressing a unique expression of infinite and eternal aware presence.

See this, know this, be this, and you can’t help but fall in love with everyone and everything.

Beloved . . . Be love . . . Be loved