There’s an assumption that when I say “you are awareness/consciousness” that I’m talking of I-personal/ego/individual I/you. Firstly I want to clarify that when I speak of I/me/you in conjunction with awareness I’m talking of the non-personal ‘I’ that is consciousness. That is awareness. The you (big Self, I-I) that IS awareness-consciousness.
It seems to be common that when someone realizes that who they took themselves to be (the mind-body ‘I’) is untrue, it’s seen that at the heart of experiencing there is nothingness/emptiness/awareness. This is true. But I urge you to not stop there, look/inquire deeper into this recognition.
“Stripped of all your beliefs & assumptions the beauty of raw truth shines through
and there you stand, free.” – Imogen
Wow I feel like a lion has been unleashed. This brutal honesty in service of truth that cuts with the precision of a well known blade is quite a surprise to me. This sharp intellect that can spar and duel with words unknown to me, spilling out like nobodies business.
There’s still a tendency that’s been around all my life – that when confronted with an assertion by someone, to shy away, to back down without even looking, to assume that they must be right… “who am I after all? I know nothing.”
I stand in truth.
Can I accept that I may be judged,
I may be questioned,
I may be ridiculed?
Can I accept that,
can I be brave?
Can I stand in my own truth,
without qualification and explanation?
Can I stand sure,
knowing that it’s the right thing,
it’s the only thing?
Can I stand in truth,
unashamedly without reason,
and with no excuse?
Can I stand up for mySelf,
stand tall for the realisation of my very being?
Can I stand up for the truth of my own reality
that I know so well,
Can I live my life without the influence of shoulds and should nots?
Can I say to hell with it all and be as I am?
Can I stand in all my glory,
warts and all,
honest and vulnerable?
Can I accept all of it,
every aspect of me,
every aspect of life,
can I embrace it into my heart without exception?
So I stand in my truth
and in turn encourage others to stand in theirs.
For it’s the most loving thing I can do for myself and others.
Drop all the games,
all the masks,
all the pretences,
all the false concepts and notions,
drop it all.
Stand naked and open,
don’t hide your light.
Let reality, truth and honesty be the guiding movement of life.
Let the truth of your being shine through.
“The only path is the path of Grace. All is Grace.” – Imogen
Life has become about living; living not in past regrets or future worries but life lived in this moment… None of the second guessing, the questioning, the “is the right thing?”, or shoulds and should nots. The age old – before awakening, chop-wood-carry-water and after awakening, chop-wood-carry-water is so so true it’s laughable. Being a seeker you imagine some different ‘state’ where everything will be beautiful and blissful – life will be perfect. Well… life is perfect, but not in that way, perfect in that it IS. It’s happening exactly as it is, nothing to do, nothing to change, nothing to be; even in amongst every imaginable phenomenal occurrence. That’s where the miracle of life is to be found, in the very ordinariness of existence.
You are, and always have been exactly what you seek. You are the freedom that was/is always here, it’s only a matter of seeing through the trees of ‘personhood’ to see that the ‘person’ that you take yourself to be is such an incredibly limited and narrow view of you. We take ourselves to be the body; the body that has changed, morphed and grown since birth, the body that will die. We take ourselves to be thoughts; the thoughts that tell us one thing today and something completely different tomorrow. We take ourselves to be the emotions and energies – sometimes blissful, sometimes not. You get my point…. In all of these we are, but we are more than this, we are prior to this, we are the one that sees all of this. We put so much emphasis and importance on everything that can be perceived, everything that can be experienced, yet we put almost no attention on who is perceiving and experiencing life. What is the nature of this one, what are the quality & attributes of this one, how can this one be described.
That One never goes, never changes – that one is YOU!
The image of relationships and enlightenment don’t normally go hand in hand. The stereotyped image of the ‘enlightened monk’, shunning the material householder life is something that’s been around in spiritual traditions for a long time. So out of this there comes the common misconception that you can’t be in a relationship and be successful on the ‘spiritual path’. But being in a relationship doesn’t necessarily mean that awakening can’t be there too. The relationship doesn’t have to go, only the attachment to the relationship has to go. Don’t get me wrong, the result of that dropped attachment may actually be that the relationship ends. Ultimately that’s what was meant to happen, and all attachments do eventually fall away – what’s left is what’s left, maybe the relationship will be there, maybe not.
“Liberation isn’t a spiritual prozac against feeling; it’s the opposite –
pure openness to everything that arises, the good, bad & the ugly.” – Imogen
I feel your pain, your suffering.
If I could, I’d tell you that this will pass,
just as the clouds pass in the sky,
just as the ripples of the dropped stone disappear,
just as the passing wind that rustles the tree leaves,
just as the forgotten pain of yesterdays cut finger,
just as the heartbreak of first loves breakup,
just as the treasured childhood wellington’s long outgrown,
just as the wishes of birthday candles past.
Don’t hold on, for this too shall pass.
I’m pretty much an open book these days, but I’m not some kind of spiritual google that people can ask any amount of questions and I give them the answers. Someone on twitter recently asked me “…does that mean people have no individual purpose?” A perfectly normal and unassuming question as questions go, but all of these questions, do they need to be answered? If you have the answer will it stop all questions, or will it just satisfy that particular question for a second then another one will fill it’s place? Is there a question that will end all questions? Is there an answer that will end all questions and answers? Will this cycle of questions and answers ever stop? Is there something in you that is nothing to do with questions and answers? (Wow, see how many questions I just asked there!!!) Throw out all questions, throw out all answers. They are just more of the same stuff, empty and meaningless. Keep quiet and see if any questions or answers come in this quietness of being.
The utter humanness of existence cradles in it every possible emotion, sensation, feeling & thought. We can’t run from that, we can’t hide from that, we can’t avoid or resist that, and nor should we want to.
It’s our human experiencing that reveals the ever-changing world of perception that we live in – our ‘world’ is constantly being born and reborn in every moment. Embrace this change, embrace it as the play and display of awareness-consciousness (you). This play is set on the stage of pure open, unconditioned and ineffable awareness-consciousness.
“Once the recognition of yourself as primordial awareness has happened,
the fuse has been lit that’ll burn everything you’re not… it’s just a matter of time.” – Imogen
This is not the bliss of happiness; the fleeting bliss of phenomenal experience, that shows up when nothing is rocking the boat, the bliss that’s dependent on the content of life being wonderful. It’s something deeper, something more fundamental, something ever-present. It’s like an immovable mountain; the very ground you walk on. It’s peaceful beyond the word peaceful. It’s the very fabric of you.
I didn’t notice it much until now; there have been plentiful moments of the kind of happiness bliss that we all know about, both since this realization and throughout my whole life. But this…I’ve had hints of it, I’ve sensed its unceasing presence; it’s completely without words that can describe it. The nearest thing I know to say is to use the word bliss, but it feels far more primordial than that word can grasp.
You are the awareness that’s witnessing the comings & goings of life. You have no qualities, no attributes other than you are aware – you’re not an object that can be described.
There’s nothing that can show up that can disturb you – for you just ARE. Notice that you’re observing even the thought or feeling of an ‘I’ that wants to identify what’s showing up and why it’s showing up. In this recognition you realize that anything can show up, nothing can be avoided or gotten rid of, life doesn’t need to ‘look’ a certain way, because you are simply aware. You are that awareness, you have always been awareness, you cannot NOT be awareness, for you are aware.
Notice that all that I say is not a prescription for something to do, rather is a description of how it is; you need no instruction or ‘practice’ to be aware.
And so you say “but it’s not always like this”, but it is… are you not always here, always aware? Do you-awareness need anything, does the feeling of peace, space, bliss or lack of thoughts need to be there in order for you to be aware? Are you not aware even when sadness or anger is here in the midst of an argument?
Awakening is the recognition of this awareness to be you. It’s a noticing – a confirmation if you like, that you are the awareness that witnesses all of life.
“Notice the silence of your own nature. All questions cease, all answers disappear.
Recognize That which you cannot NOT be.” – Imogen
There’s nothing more than this…. and yet people spend their lives convinced that they’re missing something, not getting something, not where they’re supposed to be, not doing what they’re supposed to be doing. Pretty much focused on everything BUT This, what IS, the present-moment experience.
There’s something in the mind that’s compelled to go with the seeking energy for that ‘greener grass’ over yonder. This constant looking/seeking motion that pulls your attention out of the very now is derived from the attachment to the idea of how life ‘should’ look. Ultimately this is where suffering shows up, where there’s a disparity between how life should look, i.e. your expectations, and the reality of what is actually happening. But if for a moment you can set aside this seeking, this outward searching movement to fulfill expectations and desires, and look to your own experience prior to words and descriptions in this very moment – is there anything lacking here?
No letting go
Awareness is aware
When you experience an awakening – the recognition of the primordial nature of awareness, you’re centerless center; often what comes with it are things such as relief, spaciousness, invincibility, freedom, few thoughts and even bliss. It’s quite easy to then start identifying with those qualities as something that has to be present to indicate your new found ‘awakening’.
This can lead you down the path of trouble, because as you go about your life you’ll naturally start to bump into the different flavours of living, some nice and some not so nice. You might start experiencing what you might call ‘afflictive thoughts’ or intense feelings & sensations. Maybe the feeling of invincibility and spaciousness feels like it has lessened or disappeared. This can lead you feel that you’ve lost ‘it’. You then try all that you can think of to get back to those wonderful qualities that you experienced; all the while trying to avoid the shitty thoughts and feelings that are coming up.
We take the fleeting objects of our perception to be solid & persistent – even eternal, and we build our identity based on these beliefs. This illusion can work for a while, but at some point when we find that the ‘solid’ ground we walk is not so solid after all, we tend to hold on for fear of losing our identity, and in that we suffer.
The belief that anything was ever solid was build on unexplored assumptions. Explore and recognise that at the heart of you, there is an emptiness from which all that you perceive arises.
“Find the gap in the stream of thoughts,
stay there, live there, learn to love there,
for it’s there that you’ll find yourself.” – Imogen
Two years ago today I collided with the Self, setting in motion the falling away of life as I thought I knew it to be. I was smacked over the head with the realisation that who I took ’Imogen’ to be was false. There was in fact no identifiable ‘solid’ form of Imogen that could be found. It’s been quite a journey, a journey to realise that what I sought was always here, looking out at the unfolding of an apparent journey. Although I now see that that collision was ultimately a fleeting experience it was so dramatically felt that it changed everything. It changed my casual interest in spirituality into a search that left everything else in its wake.
The abiding realisation of non-duality came about a year and half later.
The obsessive need to understand enlightenment or anything for that matter, is the very thing that’s stopping you from experiencing this present moment in its fullness. When resting in the present moment it’s seen that there’s nothing missing and no needs are unmet; there’s no understanding that you need that could add or take away from what you essentially are.
You are that which sees everything, you are what is being sought. There’s no understanding that would bring about this realization. Understanding is only ever something that the mind ‘gets’. That’s not to say that some understanding might come; but you as consciousness are prior to any understanding. The understanding arises within you, not the other way around. You exist before any understanding.
“Keep Quiet. Abide before any notion of understanding, for it’s there that you’ll find your Self.” – Imogen
All these thoughts whirling around in your head
The whys and hows and what ifs
The past regrets and plans of the future
The shoulds and the should nots
Stop holding on to them
Stop giving energy to them
Stop indulging them
Stop pushing them away
Stop trying to fix them
There’s nothing to be figured out
No puzzle piece that needs to be found
No magical understanding which will make all of this make sense
Let go of all these thoughts
Keep letting go all day long
Abide in that which is aware of all these thoughts coming and going
Stop going to the thoughts as if they’ll be the answer
Stay where you are
Could it be so simple?
Anything other than the recognition that you are formless awareness is born of the mind. There’s nothing that can adequately capture the indescribable awareness that you are. To try and do so will always fall short somehow. But it doesn’t mean that these pointings can’t be useful, that they can’t lead you to the doorstep of recognition, it’s for grace to push you over the threshold. To simply dismiss the importance and power of any or all teachings is to miss the possibility that even a woefully inadequate pointing, that is full of concepts and occlusions may in fact give way to a greater seeing.