what never comes and goes

one crucial question that came to me as I first ventured into what we could call the spiritual realm, a question that I knew I had to answer no matter what, was just: what is it that never comes and never goes?

there had to be something.

everything fades, falls away, nothing that arises seems to last. what of our perceptions remain when the day is done and we lay ourselves down, stripped of all our past?

all the thoughts, the emotions, the feelings, the relationships – friends, lovers and everyone else, all the things I had that I thought I could count on, would disappear eventually. all the grand plans, the projects, the promises of the future, everything I thought I was becoming, was not, in fact, to be my destiny, that much I could see. 

life was up or it was down.

what is it that I can hold on to, that never comes and never goes?

I had to see, finally, that there was something I could never lose. this something, in fact, I had no recollection of ever having gained – and so it was easy for it to slip under the radar, unnoticed. it was closer than all those things I thought mattered, closer than close. in fact, you can’t get any closer.

it was me.

I am whatever is left when everything leaves.

these thoughts can’t be me – they come and go like the wind.
these feelings can’t be me – evolving, changing, disappearing into the next.
these perceptions can’t be me – because anything I perceive with my senses falls through my grip,
and even the image I see in the mirror – I intuit, as we all do I think, that there’s much more to the picture than that.

I am not my thoughts, my feelings, my perceptions or my image.

…but I Am, still. I know that I am.

I am, and I am aware of all these things.

I am aware.

I am whatever is aware of this changing movement of experience.
I am whatever is aware of this life.

where could this life arise, but in my awareness itself,
and what of my life has ever affected the fact that I am aware of it?

the space my life arises in is my Awareness,
detached from all these events, but openly welcoming them, like the sky to the clouds.

this Awareness that I am never comes and never goes,
because I never come and go, and I am aware.

I can hold on to this Awareness, in a matter of speaking, because it’s always here:
never letting me down, never moving somewhere else,
never judging, never blaming, never believing…

this Awareness is real.

within the knowing space of this Awareness, my life began to come to a greater ease…
I was recognizing my identity with this open, empty space, perceiving everything within it.

it’s not a cold space, empty of heart,
it’s friendly somehow, benevolently allowing everything to arise in its loving freedom.

I would see too, that what arises in this space is not separate from it,
this real space and its content are one.
that’s non-duality, in my book…

the initial openness to this question – what is it that never comes and goes – was a grace, received through Life’s persistence. it was through her constant leading me away from all that could ever let me down, towards that which is real, that which is truly natural, that which is the source and the destiny of all that Is.

towards that which never comes and goes.