Gap In The Clouds

We experience thoughts coming and going, but after one thought disappears and another one arises there is a gap. Where are we in this gap between thoughts?

Do we, the one who is aware of thoughts coming and going, disappear when a thought disappears and the gap appears? No. We are still here, in the gap. So we could now say, ‘I am the gap.’

But there is no gap.

To say that we are the gap between thoughts would be like saying that the sky is a gap in the clouds.

Just as there is only the unbroken continuity of the sky, sometimes obscured by the clouds, but never not there, there is only the unbroken continuity of the presence of awareness, sometimes obscured by our thoughts, sensations, or perceptions, but never not there.

Now ask yourself, who or what is it that notices the thoughts, gap, clouds, sky, and awareness?

But before you answer, here’s a hint: there is no ‘who’ or ‘what’.

Pay More Attention

Pay more attention to the space in which objects arise rather than to the objects themselves.

Anything that can be experienced – a thought, memory, mental image, mood, a perception of the world through the five senses – is a fleeting appearance in the limitless, silent space within which they appear. They are like characters in a movie whose existence depends solely on the screen.

Pay more attention to the screen, this limitless space within you, this unchanging, ever-present knowing that is the background of all experience. This is the source and substance of your original being. Of our original being, as there can be only one. ‘Limitless’ leaves no room for two.

Then ask yourself, who or what is paying attention to this limitless space?

Skyless Cloud

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.

Welcome!

Any Idea

Any idea of how things are is not how things are.

The only thing standing between you and your true nature is the idea of your true nature.

Any idea is made up of thoughts, all of which come and go in the open empty field of unchanging awareness just as clouds come and go in the open empty field of the unchanging sky.

Set aside any idea of who you think you are – your age, gender, occupation, where you have been, what you have done, where you are going, what you will do. Even set aside any idea of what you think you are doing in this present moment.

When all ideas are set aside and thinking comes to rest, in this silent, still moment between thoughts your true nature is revealed.

Nice idea. You see how easy it is to be seduced by yet another idea of how things are, even if it’s of a profound realization of your true nature as the open empty field of unchanging awareness?

Throw it all out! Even the idea of throwing it out!

Now, quickly, without referring to any thought, any idea, what remains?

The Chosen One Walks Among Us

The Chosen One walks among us, and that Chosen One is you.

That’s absurd, you say. You can’t possibly be the Chosen One. That would not only be an arrogant statement but a dangerous one. There are too many people in our checkered human history who have claimed to be the one to save us from disaster and ended up leading us down an even more horrific path.

But it is you, Chosen One, who can lead the rest of the human race to a place of peace, happiness, and love – the placeless place where spontaneous acts of loving kindness occur.

It starts with you recognizing your essential nature – the knowing presence within you that is made of infinite emptiness, profound silence, and eternal light.

Don’t look at yourself from the limited point of view of a body-mind that is made up of temporary qualities – what lasting value has a fleeting thought, memory, image, mood, sensation, sight, or sound? Is there anything there that you can count on to give you enduring happiness, impeccably clear thinking, or a spontaneous and correct response to any given situation? No. Anything that comes and goes cannot be counted on when real and true answers to difficult questions are desperately needed.

And what is it that remains objective and calm in the face of desperation? What is not affected by the passing whims of haphazard thoughts or reckless actions? What remains still, clear, open, and loving regardless of what is going on around it?

The element within you, Chosen One, that knows the coming and going of all things but doesn’t come and go with them. Whatever you call it – awareness, consciousness, the absolute, divine spirit – know that your essential nature is ever-present, all knowing, unalterable, and untouched by whatever happens in the body, mind, or world.

Look at your experience. Don’t you, as consciousness or awareness, exist prior to any appearance of a thought, sensation or perception of the world? If you didn’t, how would you know them? All things arise in you, Chosen One, are known by you, and made of you. As no limits or boundaries can be found to this awareness it has to be infinite and eternal, and there is no room for two in the infinite and eternal – where would one infinite space end and another infinite space begin? So this must be true of every living being on the planet.

You, I, we are the Chosen One, and there’s nothing we need to do to be this, as we are already that. If we are open to this possibility, we will begin to see the evidence of the true non-dual nature of reality – the inherent oneness of all experience. Speak to this oneness in everyone and see what happens.

Chosen One.

Dining Out

‘When you go to a restaurant you don’t take your own menu.’ ~ Mooji

If you are a seeker who sincerely wants to find your essential being, you must leave who or what you ‘think’ you are out of the search. Your essential being cannot be found in any of the temporary attributes of the body, mind, or world. Your essential being is prior to all appearances.

This is really all you have to know – the source of your being, our being, is prior to all appearances. Our essential nature knows the coming and going of all appearances of the body, mind, and world, but does not come and go with them. Check this out for yourself. For example, a thought comes and goes, but the essential you, that which is aware of the thought, doesn’t come and go with it. Your essential self remains eternally present and aware, infinitely receptive to all experience, yet unchanged by any of it.

Just as you wouldn’t bring your own menu to a restaurant, you wouldn’t bring a head full of beliefs, concepts, and opinions if you were trying to discover your true nature. To be full is to leave no room for discovery. No room for dessert!

So set aside all the so-called identifying qualities of who you think you are – no name, no gender, no size, no weight, no thoughts, feelings, sensations, or perceptions. All of it goes.

What is left? Whatever it is cannot be seen, heard, touched, tasted, and has no scent. It cannot be found, yet is the background of all experience.

I, you, we, know what it is because we are that – emptiness beyond emptiness.

To be empty is to be open and receptive.

To be open and receptive is to be nothing.

To be nothing is to be everything.

To be everything is to be Love.

What Is This Something?

Just as waves come and go in the ocean, thought waves come and go in the ocean of awareness, the knowing presence that is always with us, always is us.

Seekers of the truth often complain of being bothered by their thoughts and are taught to meditate, to learn how to watch thoughts come and go. But then we end up being watchers, the witness. But the witness is just another wave, another thought. Perhaps it can be considered a special wave, an important thought, but it is still just a passing activity like a wave on the ocean, a fleeting appearance in awareness.

Just as waves, be they tsunamis or ripples, do not affect the ocean in any way except as temporary variations on its surface, thoughts, tormenting or seductive, do not affect awareness in any way except as a temporary variation in its unlimited spaciousness. The ocean has no interest or need in controlling the waves and awareness has no interest or need in controlling the mind.

At first we think it is I, the personal self that observes and interacts with the world. But this I turns out to be just that, a thought, a temporary attribute of a body-mind limited by the concepts of time and space – it is born, lives, and dies. So we look a little deeper and discover that there is another I, the witness, which observes and knows all appearances of the body, mind, and world. But as we look even closer we recognize that the witness is also just a thought, an idea, known by something that exists before it.

What is this something that exists before all else?

The waves, the thoughts, the ocean, and the witness all arise in and are known by this something that is obviously present and aware before, during, and after all appearances, all experiences, come and go.

Something that can’t be found, yet is everywhere. Something that is nameless, but from which all names arise. Something that is ever-present and aware. We all know what this is, this aware presence that is always with us. We sense it in the depths of our being. We are it in the depths of our being.

The truth of our experience is that all objects, all appearances, come and go in the limitless ocean of the aware presence that is at the core of our being, yet just as the ocean is unaffected by the activity of the waves, this aware presence remains untouched, untarnished, and unchanged by anything that occurs within its limitless presence.

Take this moment to relax into this understanding and live with, within, and as the freedom and spontaneity that is your, our, true nature.