From time to time, I am asked questions, and from time to time, I am inspired to answer:
Q. How can I come out of hiding?
A. I can't resist a question like this.
This is a question that generates further questioning, a line of (self) inquiry:
…and who sees that the one who is hiding?
Who is this one who is aware of the one hiding?
Is this one hiding?
Does this one need to hide?
Can this one even possibly, ever hide?
Where can this one be found?
Who is he?
Our Buddha nature is not truly hidden. It can't be.
Yet even the thinnest veil of belief in the identity of this human life as all that there is, can leave us with the sense that our true nature is hidden. Because we look from the wrong side of this imagined veil.
Looking out from the source of being, Buddha nature, call it what we will, nothing is veiled. Everything is seen in this all-inclusive awareness. So what could be hiding that is worth our attention?
Seen from this direction, all is included, and stories are seen for what they are, no matter what the stories are about.
Life still plays out, the characters that life has destined us to be still play out. But without the belief that we are the character we seem so closely connected to, it is just that, a play. Characters appear in plays. They don't write them.
All is perfect as it is, we've simply been looking in the wrong direction for a while. Turning our attention in on itself, to discover who is aware of all of this play, who is aware even of awareness itself, this is the direction. When we rest here, at the source of all arisings, the source even of awareness, we are quiet.
This is our home.
When we take even a micro-step out from this place, we enter the realm of mind. Happy mind, angry mind, no difference for this one. Both are phenomenal. Both arise and pass.
This home is neutral. This home has no preferences.
And it doesn't need to be fixed, or found.
Simply, through the strong determination to know who we are, Truth reveals itself, to itself. Any effort on our part, simply takes us in the opposite direction.
There is no doership here, or non-doership, so how could we hide?
Here, there is only naturalness, our natural state, Sahaja Samadhi. This is the highest Samadhi. The Samadhi before and beyond all Samadhis of attainments. This, Sahaja state is the stateless state, the only Samadhi that cannot be attained, because it is already attained, always present.
The highest teaching is that there is no highest teaching. The highest attainment is that there is no highest attainment.
Now there's a paradox for you.
At some point, all teachings, all attainments, and the seeker who so strongly played out that role, must be dropped. No seeker. No path. No place to land, any more.
Once, and for all.
All identities belong to the personal sense of self, not to our True Self, even the spiritual ones.
Q. Thanks for your writing. I still have to reflect for a long time on it. A meal that could last a life time…
I've been thinking today how all our pain comes from our misperceptions of reality. The only way to drop our (my) misperceptions is through enquiry and seeing in our own experience the falsity of misperceptions. It has to be seen in one's own experience.
Only through seeing the falsity can it be dropped to reveal what was there all along - the truth. The truth was never hidden, how can it be, there was only ever the illusion of it being hidden.
A. Beautiful, this contemplation.
This meal is a meal that takes only a split second to swallow and digest, yet may appear to take a lifetime.
We can leave time behind for a moment, and there is nothing to swallow or to digest. No me to take any action. Nothing missing.
I'm assuming that when you refer to pain, you mean suffering, mental pain? Just as the Buddha described, and experienced.
Pain is generally a form of energy, another aspect of the same energy that can arise as a pleasurable sensation, a dull sensation, or a painful sensation. Yes, it is still perceived, but we have little control over how the (physical) senses present this energy. It belongs to the body. Physical, neurological, visceral. But if it becomes adopted by the mind, the trouble begins.
Suffering belongs to the mind, and yes, it arises only from our mind. No inherent existence, even for this apparent reality, that so many experience, so “strongly.” I'm witnessing this in my own family members recently, as my Mum journeys towards her final breath, as they try to hold onto the past, to ideals of how it should be. Even Mum, barely able to express, has said “I didn't think it would be like this.” So even in this mentally fragile state, she finds comparison with an imagined version of reality.
Yet if we don't rise into the I, then there is no trouble. Because the trouble starts when I appears. Once there is I, there is other. Once there is I, there is I am. Once there is I am, there is I am this, I am that, I wish I was this, I wish I was that.
From this arising sense of I, the world appears.
But we don't have to try to remain at the source. That is also a trick of the mind. The idea I can fix this, I just need to remain as the Self.
But there is an I in this concept.
To do, to not do, to remain, to not remain, are all actions of an I.
A spiritual / seeker I can be the last identity that remains, slipping behind, masquerading as a good guy. When actually, it is the I, wearing different clothes.
We can only meet Truth naked. Completely naked of the clothes of identity, naked of belief, naked of past, future, and even of present. Because even the present moment is a concept.
Even the concept of meeting Truth is unreal. There is no room for two here. Two cannot meet, because there are not two. No union, no communion. Realisation of the Truth we already are is that, without separation or identity.
But the True Now is eternal, timeless, without beginning, or end. In contemplation, I have never found a beginning to myself, nor can I perceive an end. Even this body, I cannot trace a beginning to it, tracing back before birth, which we mark so grandly in our culture. I am certain it has no end. Simply it continues, as a seed becomes a tree, a tree becomes wood and wood becomes ashes, and on, and on…
Ashes cannot become wood. Gold cannot become earth, although wood can become ashes, and earth can become gold. But is there ever a stage where it is permanently either? Or neither?
The Truth has never been hidden, it cannot be hidden. Simply we have been looking in the wrong direction, just as when our glasses are on our head (or even our nose!) and we cannot find them anywhere. They were there all along, unnoticed, unseen.
This is the beauty of inquiry, this turning in of Awareness on itself. This turning in is found in the highest teachings of all spiritual paths. It is the end of all spiritual paths.
At this point, we run out of road, we run out of maps, we run out of teachers, and only the teacher within guides.
Our teachers manifested outside, in the appearance, manifest from our need for them, and remain until the need no longer remains, there to be called upon, questioned, as with my own Master, and hers before her.
For many, fear arises with such force at this point. It is as unreal as all other perceptions.
It's not that the phenomenal world doesn't exist. It simply doesn't exist as we perceive it, because all mental perception is imperfect, flawed by comparison.
Even these words are flawed. But we must use language, to the point where language runs out. Silence is the ultimage expression, an equal guide to language, but for most, words are needed.
When you and I sit in silence, not entering the sense of I, resting at the source of all existence, where are you, and I? Nowhere to be found. Not two, not even one. Whether we are sitting alongside one another, or thousands of miles apart.
This is Truth.
Yet the play continues. But we no longer mistake it for reality, for I, for my life, although these words may be used. Although anger, sadness, and other behaviours may appear. Because they belong to the body / mind. That is the nature of body / mind. Nothing that can be done with that, but to see through it.
Once seen through, we find ourselves to be Free, as we always were, always are.
I am always the Self. You are always the Self. This laptop is always the Self, this conversation, the whole nine yards.
It is the most ridiculous mistake we have been making, for millenia. No wonder Buddhas smile.