For Advanced Seekers!

There was a recent YouTube post with the tag line, ‘A MUST WATCH for Advanced Seekers!’ If you are an advanced spiritual seeker, or a spiritual seeker on any level, this is a wonderful clip and must be watched. The question here is, what exactly is an advanced seeker?

Someone who’s an advanced seeker has done a lot of homework – put in endless hours of spiritual study, chanted mantras and meditated for long periods of time, studied with a guru or mystical guide, attended meetings and retreats, perhaps learned yoga, maybe ingested psychedelics, spent time with like-minded people, the sangha, and tried to live a life in accord with whatever teachings they lean towards, be it an established religion or philosophy, or some new age enlightenment movement.

What is actually being sought? If you surveyed a random group of spiritual seekers, you could distill their response down to something like, ‘I am seeking lasting happiness through the dissolution of the ego and the discovery of the Absolute.’ Or simply, ‘I am seeking happiness.’

You have done all of the things you’re supposed to do and had fleeting glimpses of happiness, but nothing has lasted. So the seeking continues – the ego fights dissolution tooth and nail – and continues to fail. After a while (decades?) it might dawn on you that all the seeking is futile. But if there is never any lasting satisfaction in all of these time-tested teachings, where can you turn?

In what direction can the mirror turn to reflect itself?

As a frustrated seeker, you might ask yourself the question, who is doing the seeking? When you examine the qualities of you, the seeker, you discover there is nothing real to invest your identity in. All you find are fleeting attributes of a limited body-mind. If our actual experience shows that there is no real seeker, then doesn’t it follow that there is nothing real to seek?

No Seeker = Nothing to Seek

There is nothing to do. There is nothing not to do. Relax in this invisible and indivisible balance point between being and not being and discover the inherent happiness in and of the infinite, eternal, and unnamable Absolute.

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

THIS STILLNESS

This stillness, its quiet, with no beginning,

this silence before the word,

before it could be said, all in the One Moment

lit by the morning, aging into light,

as the autumn promises with its resplendencies

the return of another summer,

the transformation from darkness

into transparency of this, given

so we might understand

this awesome This,

the one eye seeing this fragility,

this delicious tasting,

no matter how brief.

~ RC Williams (1931-2015)

It’s Only The Separate Self

It’s only the separate self that feels challenged by an uncomfortable situation. That feels resistance, frustration, fear, anxiety, anger, and hate.

It’s only the separate self that needs to be right.

It’s only the separate self that needs to hear things in the correct tone of voice.

It’s only the separate self that thinks others are projecting their thoughts and feelings onto them.

It’s only the separate self that feels put upon and misunderstood.

It’s only the separate self, the thought that says, ‘I am this, I am that,’ that sees itself as separate, divided from the outside world of others and things.

And yet when we look in earnest for this separate self, our experience shows us that there isn’t one.

A separate self cannot be found, yet we live our lives under its spell.

Self-esteem is shattered or aggrandized, relationships are overly possessive or torn apart, wars are waged, and senseless destruction, internal and external, prevails, and all on behalf of a non-existent entity.

See the truth, the truth of your own experience, that there is no self – only fleeting thoughts, emotions, sensations, and perceptions – and therefore no other. No inside. No outside. All that can be found is limitless consciousness, the source of all experience.

Our true identity is this limitless consciousness, this one and only limitless consciousness. Our essential nature is that of boundless and loving openness. We have nothing to achieve, nothing to fear, and no belief to cling to. We, you, I, are free.

The Most Relaxing Ride Of All

You find yourself on a roller coaster ride of ever-changing thoughts, images, emotions, sensations, and perceptions.

It’s uplifting and exciting one minute, disturbing and frightening the next.

Up and down, up and down. Sometimes gut-wrenching. Sometimes nauseating. Not the most relaxing ride.

But then there is an unexpected moment of stillness pervaded by a profound peace. You have a sense that all is right with the world, with the universe, that all things exist in balance and harmony . . .

Then off you go again on the roller coaster. Expectations build as you go up, up, and up. Anxiety grows as you go down, down, and down. And then there’s everything in between.

Actually, the original ‘you’ – the you before there is a you – is not riding on the roller coaster.

Look closely and discover that this original you is the ever-present observer of the ride, not the ever-changing participant on the ride. You know the ups and downs of thoughts, images, emotions, sensations, and perceptions, but you don’t go up and down with them. In fact, you don’t go anywhere because you are everywhere to begin with. There’s no place for you to go.

Thoughts and sensations depend on you for their existence. You don’t depend on anyone or anything for yours, as you are the source of all appearances – you exist before, during, and after all appearances come and go. You are the constant, ageless, unchangeable, unlimited space of awareness that knows all of the ups and downs but is not affected by them in any way.

This isn’t just a fanciful idea. Check it out in your own experience and discover the original you that is always present and aware, that knows but can’t be known by anything other than itself – the infinite and eternal nameless source of your being. Our being. One being.

Live naturally, effortlessly, as this knowing presence – the most relaxing ride of all.

Meet Presence With Presence

No matter where you go or what you do, you meet presence with presence. Whether you know this or not doesn’t matter, it’s the only thing that’s happening.

When you glance at yourself in the mirror – presence glances at presence.

When you hug a loved one – presence hugs presence.

When you smile at a stranger on the street – presence smiles at presence.

When you get angry with someone – presence gets angry at presence.

When you lock eyes with someone and hold his or her gaze – presence looks deeply at presence. We all know this look – primal, penetrating, mysterious, and yet familiar – an all-knowing look.

The presence referred to is the aware presence in each one of us that is always in the background of our so-called individual experience. That which says I am, that knows I am, and that knows I am before there is anything else . . . present.

A presence prior to presence.

Go there.

Actually, you can’t go there because you are already there. Already it. In what direction would space go to find itself? You, I, we, are like limitless space, with no beginning or end, no edge or boundary. In other words, we are infinite and eternal.

Anything that is infinite and eternal must, by definition, contain all things. Must be the source of all things. Nothing can arise outside of that which is limitless. Where could it come from? There is no outside to the infinite.

Relax in the knowing that you are this infinite and eternal presence. You are that which exists prior to the arising of any appearance. All things come and go, but have you ever experienced the disappearance of presence? The disappearance of yourself?

No. You would have to be present to experience the disappearance of presence, the disappearance of yourself.

Not only are you this presence, presence is all there is. One presence. And we are That.

So, in the spirit of camaraderie, truth, and love, Presence . . . meet Presence.

One Plus One

One plus one equals one.

One is all there is.

Can you find two?

If you can, it’s only one finding itself.

~*~

Locate a beginning to one.

It can’t be found.

Locate an end to one.

It can’t be found.

~*~

No beginning, no end.

Where is there room for another?

One is all there is.

One plus one equals one.

Universal Law

‘Welcoming is a universal law. The night is welcoming, the sky is welcoming, the birds and the trees are welcoming. When we are surrounded by welcoming human companions, we live in beauty. Our shared presence gives us a taste of what the lost paradise might have felt like.’                                                                                                                                   ~ Francis Lucille, Eternity Now

To Feed A Hungry Ghost

In the news: another young adult from a western culture runs off to join a radical terrorist group known for its viciousness and total disregard for human life. All done based on the belief that ‘we are right and they are wrong.’

Disillusioned by the trappings of materialistic greed, unable to find happiness in ‘things,’ the young (or old) may go in the opposite direction and turn to religious fanaticism – the complete surrender of the supposed self to a higher cause – even if it means sacrificing one’s life. Or, conversely, someone living under a dictatorship or other oppressive regime might escape to a democratic country, join the military, and fight for its particular definition of freedom.

Most young adults want to know what life is all about. Why are we here? What’s the point? They want to know because they still have vestiges of their newborn innocence, openness, and curiosity. Even as they are being swept into the mainstream of mindless mediocrity, instinct tells them no, no, no, this is not the way, there is something more meaningful – there was something more meaningful, but I’ve lost it. But society says yes, yes, yes, this is the only way – you are basically a slave to your thoughts (beliefs), feelings, sensations, and perceptions, and we know the way to manage them.

But as long as we identify with these fleeting qualities of the body, mind, and world, we create a false sense of separation, which breeds isolation, loneliness, helplessness, depression, and despair. When a young mind is assured that fighting for some random idea of freedom will make them part of something greater, something powerful and dominating, this sounds like a real sense of purpose, a true sense of self-fulfillment.

The problem is that the separate self can never be satisfied because it is not real. You can’t satisfy something that doesn’t exist. It’s like trying to feed a hungry ghost. The only thing that is real is that which never comes and goes, in which all appearances arise and are known by, not, as we commonly think, some ephemeral thought or perception.

Our essential being, everyone’s essential nature, call it consciousness or awareness, is that which is always present and aware, untouched, unchanged, unstained by all appearances, yet contains all objects of the mind, body, and world. And because of its infinite and eternal nature there cannot be two. We are one, and one cannot harm one. The knife cannot cut itself. And our, its, essence is peace and love.