behind the curtain of belief

in a moment of true availability, when the curtains of belief are withdrawn, what is glimpsed could be called that which is real. it is real because it has always been and will always be, because it is the home-ground of all experience, because it cannot be removed from its Being…it is a conscious reality, knowing itself independent of any cause or any premise. it does not become conscious, as its unchanging and irreducible nature is always consciousness. it is this very consciousness reading these words, the one that perceives and exists, this numinous entity which creates and sustains the cosmos. 

so what is a moment of true availability?

it is a moment of not-knowing, where we somehow suspend the belief to be a limited consciousness. we have to be honest – what do I really think and feel and believe myself to be – we have to be truly open to the possibility that consciousness is universal. this openness does not come from having an agenda to find something for a small ‘me’ – for the ‘me’ that would find something is already the assumption of limitation. instead, the availability comes from the innocence of an open desire, or love, for the truth. it’s a moment of honesty, and it’s a moment of grace. this moment is the initiation into the journey of Peace, which stabilizes itself, and deepens into the various realms of our life over time. it’s not that we become insusceptible to feeling and thinking we’re a separate entity after this moment – but somehow the deepest root of that belief has been severed – and if the post-awakening sadhana as it’s sometimes called is undertaken, we eventually learn to live our lives from this freedom.

that would be a way of speaking about awakening from the point of view of a human mind.

however, the moment is not really a moment – it only seemed that way from the perspective of a body/mind. our nature is timelessness itself. it only seems that somehow, in a certain location within time and space, consciousness has stopped believing itself to be a separate reality among many, and now, in a more or less stable way, remembers its universal nature. this is all a concession to the belief in limitation, an attempt to paint a picture of a journey from our original silence to nowhere else. in truth, there’s nothing to say about awakening – there’s only always been consciousness, it’s never known anything else, and primordial Peace has never even been veiled – not from consciousness itself which always remains in its home-ground. from the perspective of belief, perhaps, Peace was temporarily veiled by thoughts and feelings on behalf of a limited entity, but in truth, consciousness was only ever itself. there never was anything else to be.

that’s why many non-dual teachers speak ill of the seeming emphasis on awakening in spirituality – it’s a storyline, ultimately one that makes no sense from our true nature, and like any storyline, it can be appropriated to the mind that dreams it up. it becomes a fantasy, an escape from reality instead of an investigation into it. but at the same time, we have to acknowledge that psychological suffering has at its root the belief to be a limited entity. if we don’t acknowledge that – if we just say something like ‘everything is relative, there’s no Absolute truth, suffering and happiness are flip sides of the same coin’ which is a common refrain – then we’ve fallen into the trap of duality, the belief that consciousness is relative – and there’s always suffering around that corner, whether we admit it or not. in that sense, we can talk of awakening in relationship to suffering. if there’s suffering, an open investigation into the root cause can relieve it, eventually, by initiating us into the journey to be free from ignorance.

this still deepening moment

the deepening of experience, the deepening of intensity, the growth of a life and of living: this all arises within formless consciousness like a wave cresting, rolling, foaming on the surface of an endless ocean, its natural home. at depth, nothing changes; but as this changeless-nothing is refracted through the lens of mind – in other words, on the level of what we call manifestation – everything changes.

reality is non-phenomenal in nature; everything is empty of any substance apart from pure consciousness. the dynamic motion of consciousness, however, creates this cascade of phenomena, Life. Life is really sensation, an expanse of consciousness creating for itself a body, and it’s through the vehicle of the body that we reconnect to the felt expansion, blossoming non-duality on a sensory level.

the body is extremely intelligent. it knows intuitively through a wisdom not accessible to the mind. when freed from the cage of limiting belief, the body is free again both to feel its natural expansion and to continue, unhindered, in an open exploration of felt experience that deepens and opens ever onward. thoughts are mostly superfluous, they come and go like the wind, what matters more is the sensory engagement with the moment, and what matters most is Being.

one conductor

this little vessel made of sand and stone – this shape that reforms itself anew at each moment – is but a moving pictogram, struck, as they all are, by the light of the origin. cascading waves of desert grain create, in the blink of the eye, a remnant of perception; a bare shift of energy within the creator’s reality. what remains after the glimpse of eternal being is that same sandstone: ever refining, ever deepening, ever opening – a dance of mind and body coagulating into the varying forms of Life’s celebration.

the wry musculature of this formed body asks for release…and simultaneously yearns to be rebuilt, a construction project built on the grounds of peace. It is a failing attempt to contain the multitudes of feeling within – failing because any container will soon overflow where Love is concerned. 

In this little corner of the infinite, I – although which I, I don’t know – learn somehow to play this instrument with a little more precision and a little more grace, to tune in to the harmonic symphony of the absolute where we all all played by the same Conductor. The conductor is fully in charge, and in fact he too is the only one musician with a million faces and a million bows. We could say he works through our bodies and minds as we learn to live in greater harmony with what is here, and all we can do is to truly disappear – to become transparent to him – to rest as our self and allow his work to be done.

Freedom Within

Is it possible that this very consciousness that is perceiving in this moment is completely free? Free from the feelings – pleasant or unpleasant – of a body, its up and downs, pains and enjoyments, moods and emotions, even the raw sensations that pulse along throughout the states. Free from the thoughts – the buzz of the mind, the projected self-image, the internal dialogue, even thoughts about the truth. And free from the world – not limited to these five human senses but ‘sensing’ itself in a dimension not quite known to man but rather, man being known through it. Is it possible that we are simply playing this game of being people – and yet we have made these bodies out of our own substance and the world they play in too, while all along we watch happily as the person lives it out, set within. Is it possible that the substance of our being is completely intimate with all seeming things, that nothing arises that is not chosen by It? This Being, this Consciousness, has not for one moment parted itself from its home. It has always been, resting in itself, contemplating itself, loving itself, being itself. This knowing, with which you know yourself and out of which all appearances are made is Freedom…

Of the Sun

This wonder lives
in the eye of the I,
as brief expanses of light
echo within galaxies lost to time
that soar through the night sky,
regardless.

When waking life is seen to be the waking dream

then Life, never parted from beauty,
is known once again in the heart of Awareness
and all of this enfolds itself inside once more,
and there’s no more gap.

the empty cup is full
but the dizzy dancer doesn’t settle for terms.

it’s all too much sometimes
too much to take in
so there’s a melting into the words of a song
and then the song melts itself into the motion of silence
and then it springs backwards into fireworks over the bay

stillness laughs
and motion snores
and everything between is singing for us to remember

because there is nothing to fear:
not a belief, not a thought, not a dream nor a nightmare

the one in charge is good
we have a good captain on deck

I only know because one time I glimpsed the sunrise after a dark night,
a night when everything collapsed,
and now I know.

or, maybe, now I know I don’t know much but
what I’m trying to say is:

The sun doesn’t stop rising,
And we are all children of the sun.

The Key to Peace

What is here?

Seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching;
Thinking, feeling.

The senses, the mind and the body.

All are perceived by the same consciousness.
And this consciousness is self-knowing.

It may seem like there is only the body, the mind, the world,
and the consciousness is distinct:
but what do the body, the mind and the world arise within?

Consciousness is often likened to a ‘space’ where all these perceptions arise.
In fact, the world is not ‘outside’ of you. It is inside. Everything is inside.
The body sensations arise within the conscious ‘space’ –
an infinite welcoming presence waiting for our joyful surrender.

Where would the body, the mind, the world arise within other than in consciousness,
other than in the reality that perceives?
All perceptions are within you, within awareness.

And what is the substance of these perceptions, what are they really?

They are perceived by consciousness, in consciousness,
and they are made of consciousness.
There is only consciousness.

This consciousness we are has no border or boundary,
no shape, size, or texture,

it Is,
it is Aware,
it is Present,
it is Real,
it is Limitless Perceiving.

When was this consciousness born? When will it die? Will it die?
Or is birth and death a sentence given to objects, for that which arises and which must eventually fall?
But consciousness – when have we experienced it arising?
When have we experienced it falling?

It’s always been with us.
It’s always been us.
It’s always been.
And it will always be.

Consciousness is Eternal Life.

Because that which Lives, that which is truly Alive, is that which perceives, that which creates and sustains the forms,
itself not subject to the rules and quandaries of impermanence.

Everything is impermanent, but consciousness is not a thing.
It is what is truly permanent.

And in it, we find Peace.

Peace that is not subject to the comings and goings of any event or any object or any situation or any relationship.

Peace that is in fact causeless, timeless, permanent.
Our very nature is Peace itself, whether we know it or not.

And the key to rediscovering this is simply to notice
and to fall in love with our very

Consciousness.

The Path to Reality

This is what I think the path is, at least the first stretch. Really it’s the path to the path, the path to the initiation, but it’s the part of the spiritual journey you hear about the most. It’s not the end, it’s really just a new beginning, but there’s a path towards it, and this is how I see it these days:

First of all…

It isn’t a theoretical path. It’s an experiential one. It isn’t really a path for the mind, it’s a path to what’s beyond the mind. (Which has always been, but you have to realize it, and that’s what happens.) It’s not a path for the mind but it has to be communicated somehow, and words, and the thoughts they form, are the quickest means to deconstruct belief systems, it seems.

That’s what this part of the path is about, it’s a big rug-pull under the kitchen table holding your Big Belief Sandwich.

The reason, by the way, people write about non-duality (hopefully): is not to advance some grand scheme or theory for the mind but in a deconstructive sense – to deconstruct what was previously held to be true, for the one reason that there are beliefs we hold about reality (namely, that we are separate from it) that cause us suffering.

With that said, the path to the path beyond suffering is, in fact, very simple:
you just have to realize the reality of your awareness.

It’s always been real. It doesn’t become more real or less real. Nothing happens to it. It’s just, first, you realize ‘Hey, awareness is real’.

What do I mean by real?

I mean, that you know that you are aware, with 100% certainty. Always have been. Any time you check, awareness is there. And everything else, you don’t know, this might be a dream, but the awareness part is real.

You know you are aware. I am aware, awareness is real.

Then you’re sitting under a gate (a gateless gate), that says ‘Awareness is Real’ in gold letters above. And you sit there for a while, knowing full well that awareness is not a body, or a mind, or a world, having no idea where else to go. And eventually the gate opens and you’re pulled in and when you look back up at the gold letters above, they’re flipped around from this side and now they say:

‘Reality is Awareness’.

Or whatever words come to you that signify The Infinite-Eternal Self, which is actually more like a silence than gold letters, but there you have the limits of blogs.

This is all figurative, by the way, the words are just pointers and can be replaced any number of ways. There’s no literal gate, but somehow you’re still taken to the other side of your preconceptions.

You discover, in your own way, that awareness and reality are synonymous. There’s only One, one awareness, one reality, one indivisible Self, and You are That.

Awareness is real, Reality is Awareness. It’s just about realizing the reality of your awareness.

The truth is, this is always the way it’s been:

Our reality has always been awareness, we just think and feel that we’re separate from it when we’re not. We are always That, The One Being seeming to take many forms.

The good news is that the ticket through the gate is the Love of the Truth, and the other good news is that the gate is a gateless one. You, awareness, are already in your steady Home,

the place beyond time and space where we all

(ALL of us)

meet, in the end.