Throw Away The Mask

Remove the mask of the personal self and reveal your original face.

Remove the mask of separation, division, and delusion, the mask that says I am this, I am that, you are this, you are that.

We hide behind a mask of mistaken identity. We think that we are individual selves with our own particular conditioned beliefs, often sitting in judgement of who or what is right and wrong.

Take off the mask of the ego, the separate self, and reveal your original face, your inherently intelligent and compassionate original self of pure awareness. For what are you at your core other than the knowing presence of awareness, experiencing all things, but yourself not an experience?

If you look at your awareness, that which observes the coming and going of all things but does not come and go with them, can you find any limits or boundaries? Can you find a place where your awareness ends and someone else’s begins? When asked, are you aware, we all answer yes, and this awareness is the same for everyone. We don’t each have our own individual awareness. Just as a wave on the ocean has no distinct border between itself and another wave, our assumed individual awareness has no distinct border between itself and another’s awareness.

There can only be one limitless and timeless awareness, not two. Challenge yourself to identify anything that has come from outside of awareness and you will discover the impossibility of this occurring. Where would it come from? Just as a wave doesn’t arise from outside the ocean, no object or appearance can arise from outside of awareness. And if nothing can arise from outside awareness, we, all things, must be made of it. At the core of our being, at the core of all that exists, there is only the unnamable stuff of awareness, and we are that.

Just as a wave is a unique manifestation of the ocean, you, I, we, are each a unique manifestation of this timeless and limitless awareness. Be this, as this is the truth of your, our, effortless being, before the mask of separation was inadvertently, innocently, placed over our original face, obscuring our view of reality.

Throw away the false mask of anxiety and doubt, paranoia, division, and fear, and expose the one true face, our one original face, the all-embracing, loving, compassionate, luminous faceless face of awareness.

Our actions in the world will reflect this clear and open understanding.

Skyless Cloud

You don’t have to go far to discover your essential being. In fact, you don’t have to go anywhere. Does the sky have to travel to find itself?

We think and feel that we are an individual self, a body-mind housing its own personal awareness or consciousness, viewing the world through its five senses. But this is not our actual experience.

Try to imagine a skyless cloud – a cloud without a sky. Or to put it another way, can an object appear without space? Not possible.

Now try to imagine a cloudless sky – a clear blue sky. Easily done.

Isn’t it true that the sky exists without clouds, but clouds can’t exist without the sky?

Now try to imagine you, as an individual self, without the aware knowing presence that has been with you, unchanging, since you were a child. Can you remove this awareness from your body-mind? Can you take away the aware presence that knows that you exist, that says I am?

If you answer yes, you are contradicting yourself. You would have to be aware to know that you have taken away the awareness that says I am.

Just as the sky exists with or without clouds, awareness exists with or without the individual self or body-mind. Clouds appear and disappear in the sky, but the sky doesn’t appear and disappear with them. Thoughts, feelings, sensations, and perceptions of the body-mind come and go in awareness, but awareness doesn’t come and go with them.

Now ask yourself, when a cloud appears in the sky, where does it come from? Does it come from outside the sky? Could it come from outside the sky? Obviously not. Where would it come from?

Then ask yourself, when a thought appears, where does it come from? Does it come from outside awareness? Could it come from outside awareness? Obviously not. Where would it come from?

Just as a cloud must be made of sky, the individual self or body-mind must be made of awareness. And if you look at the qualities of awareness no limits can be found. It never begins or ends and is ever-present. And this being the case, there can only be one. Where is there room for two in the infinite and eternal?

Identify with this unchanging, limitless, ever-present awareness and relax into the cloudless sky of our collective being. With this recognition, you, I, we, will effortlessly share the peace, love, and happiness that resides in and as the centerless center of our original self.

Die To Your Imagined Self

Die to your imagined self and abide in profound peace.

‘Imagined self’. What does this mean? You say, ‘I am this being, I am this self, and I don’t think I am imagining it.’ But is this you, this self, the real you or just an image that has been created by your conditioned mind?

The separate self we have come to call I, as in I am a woman, a man, I am old or young, etc., has no lasting qualities. All attributes of the body-mind we call the self are temporary and therefore unreliable measures of reality.

You imagine you are real, but you are only a conglomeration of passing thoughts, changing emotions, subtle or strong sensations, and endlessly shifting perceptions. What in this collection of characteristics can be considered real?

When you strip away the imagined attributes of your so-called self, what remains?

You still remain, or more to the point, your essential being, a knowing and aware presence, remains.

As you rest in this, as this, knowing presence, empty of the ephemeral, full of unchanging emptiness – your original Self – what is your experience?

Die now or die later and your experience will be the same. The knowing presence at the core of our being, devoid of the clutter of the body-mind’s thoughts, feelings, sensations, and perceptions, is revealed as an infinite and eternal peaceful stillness.

No limits can be found to this great emptiness. It is always present in the background of all experience, and when experiences fade, which they all do, it alone remains, unchanged.

And, as the background of all experience, all appearances must be made of this background, whatever unnamable stuff that might be. And if all things are made of the same stuff, all things are, at their core, the same. No separation, no division, no self, no other. And when all boundaries dissolve all that remains is love.

How do we strip away the imagined attributes of our so-called self? ‘Strip away’ is just a manner of speech. We really don’t have to do anything. In the stillness of not-doing, our essential shared nature, ever-present awareness, is revealed. And with this revelation all of our imagined attributes fade into the background just as the darkness of night fades in the coming dawn.

To Beat A Dead Horse

We beat a dead horse over and over – wake up, Wake Up, WAKE UP! – and still the horse is dead.

As a spiritual seeker we beat our heads against the illusionary wall of separation over and over, hoping that some time in the future we will wake up, Wake Up, WAKE UP! But still we are dead to our true nature.

The separate self, the body-mind, the ego, seeks the happiness as proclaimed by sages, past and present, and goes to any means possible to find it. It seeks it through possessions, relationships, substances, thrills, or meditates, prays, chants mantras, surrenders to a guru . . . and is never satisfied. It might find momentary relief in some of these experiences, but all experiences come and go, which leaves the separate self in an endless and futile quest for relief. Relief, as it turns out, from itself.

The separate self cannot find the happiness it seeks because the separate self doesn’t exist. There is no ‘me’, as we have been taught to believe, to do the seeking in the first place.

The separate self is a body-mind made of flesh, sinew, and bones, housing thoughts, images, emotions, and sensations, perceiving the world through the five senses. All these attributes are continually changing, forever coming and going, and therefore can’t be considered real in the truest sense.

For something to be real shouldn’t it be ever-present and unchanging?

What in our experience is ever-present and unchanging?

The only thing ever-present and unchanging in our experience is awareness, that which knows experience but is itself not an experience.

Once this aware-presence at the core of our being has been identified, ask yourself, can anything exist outside of this awareness? Does anything in our experience enter our awareness from some other place? Does a cloud enter the sky from a location other than the sky? And, strictly speaking, awareness itself is not a place. As it is ever-present, it is not limited to one particular location in time or space. It is beyond, or prior to, time and space, and therefore infinite and eternal.

Where in the infinite and eternal is there room for two?

Awareness is all there is.

If awareness is all there is, everything must be made of awareness. There is no horse, no self, no other, no thoughts, sensations, or perceptions, no world, no galaxy, no universe. There is only awareness and its infinite manifestations.

So now, for the two hundredth time, let’s beat on one more dead horse: the idea of ever-present awareness. We have come to understand that awareness is all there is, that nothing comes from outside of awareness, that everything is made of awareness, and finally, as awareness is the source of all things, it wants for nothing.

Now let’s take our neti neti stick of discrimination and with one pure stroke beat the concept of awareness into oblivion . . .

. . . and vanish into the full emptiness of the centerless center of our shared being.

One Of Two Things

As someone dedicated to discovering your original nature, awakening or becoming enlightened, you’re either one of two things: a separate self seeking the everlasting peace and happiness of absolute consciousness, or absolute consciousness manifesting as a separate self, but only ever being itself.

If you look closely at your experience, you can only be the latter – absolute consciousness manifesting as a separate self, but only ever being itself.

So the first thing you can do is relax. Enjoy your life experience, your manifestation as a so-called individual body-mind with its endless parade of positive, negative, and neutral thoughts coming and going, waves of diverse emotions washing through you, the ever changing array of sensations coursing through your body, the variety of sense perceptions of the world experienced through your five senses.

Then ask yourself the question, is this separate self, this seeker, real? If it is, then we should proceed with our search using the various tools offered to the seeker, e.g., teachers, gurus, study, retreats, meditation, mantra, yoga, etc. If it is not, then we can abandon our search and live our lives in accord with our essential being, that is, absolute consciousness, whose very nature is one of peace, love, and happiness.

When we seriously investigate the elements of the separate self, that is, its thoughts, feelings, sensations, and perceptions, we discover that they are all temporary occurrences, forever changing, and therefore can’t be considered real in the truest sense.

For something to be considered real it would have to be ever-present and unchanging, unmoved by any experience of the body, mind, and world. It would have to be beyond time and space, and therefore infinite and eternal.

So trying to prove that the separate self, our body-mind, is real is like trying to prove that we have captured wind in a bottle. The separate self, the seeker, can never find the infinite and eternal because it is already a manifestation of it. It’s like the wind looking for the sky.

For just a moment, shift your perspective from that of an individual self made up of temporary attributes seeking the infinite, to the unchanging infinite itself, the ever-present knowing within you, that seeks nothing as it is all things. You can do this, as you know intuitively that this ever-present knowing is at the core of your being, the source of your being, our being.

At first glance, it seems as though we have two choices, to identify as one of two things: the infinite and eternal Self manifesting as a human being, or the finite and time-bound separate self forever grasping after the truth. But, in fact, there is no choice – there is only the choiceless awareness of just one thing that is not even a thing.

Nothing To Know

When you are searching for ultimate reality there is nothing you need to know. All knowledge is a hindrance to realization. Basing understanding on knowledge is like thinking that the reflection in a mirror is the real thing.

All reflections in a mirror are made only of mirror, just as all appearances of the body, mind, and world are made only of awareness, or that which knows them.

To say that all knowledge is a hindrance to realization is not exactly true. There is one thing you do need to know, and that is the knowing element at the center of our being that knows all experience. And even this is not quite right, as it’s not something you know, it’s something you are.

All you can truly know is your original self, or the unchanging awareness that is at the core of your being, or more accurately, at the core of our shared being, because if you investigate the qualities of awareness you find that it is borderless and beyond time, or infinite and eternal, and therefore there is no room for two.

So polish your mirror, the one mirror, recognize the unchanging awareness at the core of our being that knows all experience, but is not itself an experience, and reflect all that is real – our original one self.

Then throw away the mirror.

Shared Being

‘When we love someone, or we fall in love with someone, what we are really in love with is their being. That’s what we are really attracted to. Something about their being puts us in touch with our being. So the experience of love is really the sharing of our being, or rather, it is the recognition of our shared being.’

~ Rupert Spira

Pebbles On The Shore

Just as each pebble on the shore is unique, yet shares ‘rockness’ at its core, each individual self is unique, yet shares consciousness, or knowing, at its core.

Don’t just cast this off as some interesting concept. Recognize the truth of our original shared nature and witness the division, the separateness, fall away, and ultimately feel the love, peace, and happiness that remains.

And this shared nature isn’t just with others. As the nature of consciousness itself is infinite and eternal, no thing can exist outside of it, and this being the case, all things are made of consciousness.

Acknowledge your unmoving, unchanging nature that is at the source of all things, including that of the pebbles on the shore, and relish your, our, unshakeable ‘rockness’.

I, Awareness, Cannot Be Followed

I, Awareness, cannot be followed.

To follow someone or something infers that there is something to obtain from that person or thing being followed. That they or it inspires you in some way and moves in a direction worth pursuing. It also assumes that there is someone to do the following.

We play ‘follow the leader’ as children. We’re encouraged to continue the game as adults. We follow a religion or a philosophy, a spiritual teacher, a political leader or a revolutionary. We sing songs about following, e.g., ‘I’ll Follow the Sun’ and ‘I Will Follow Jesus.’

We follow our thoughts. Actually, we’re obsessed with following our thoughts to the point that, for the most part, we live in a fantasy world created by them. We follow our passion, our bliss, our dreams, Don Juan’s ‘a path with heart’, and Buddha’s ‘Middle Way’.

But I, Awareness, cannot be followed because I am not going anywhere. I am unmoving. And I have nothing to give you because I am nothingness itself.

Remain still and I am there. We are there. Move through your daily life and I am there. We are there. You cannot lose me for I am everywhere, in you, as you, of you – the essence of your being, of all beings, as I, infinite and eternal Awareness, am the source of all manifestation. I is we. We is I.

You want to follow me, but how do you follow yourself? In what direction do you move to find me, yourself, who is everywhere, everything? Can a cloud follow the sky? The cloud arises in the sky, from itself, and dissolves back into the sky, into itself. So in essence it is following itself, from itself, to itself, knowing only itself.

And the irony of it all, which was established thousands of years ago by the sages of old, is that you, the follower, are an illusion made up of ever-changing thoughts, feelings, sensations, and perceptions – there is no you to to do the following in the first place.

I would suggest that you ‘un-follow’ me, but for all the above reasons that’s not possible either. Now, as you like to say, you’re caught between a rock and a hard place. But, funny thing, there are no rocks in my world, nothing hard, as there is no matter in the truest sense – all is a manifestation of me, emptiness. I, Awareness, am the stuff of all things.

So from my perspective I would say that you’re caught between a cloud and the sky.

Now what do you do? What can you do? There are not two answers.

Forever

Our

Centerless Center

Dissolves

Vanishes

Into Its

Centerless Center

Never To Be Found

Never To Be Lost

Never To Be Ever

Never To Be Never

Again

Forever